Finding the Checking Account best suited to your everyday needs provides a foundation for sound financial health! Find what you’re looking for in a new Checking Account by asking your bank these crucial questions to determine the features a bank provides that will make managing personal finances a breeze.

 Does the bank offer Online and Mobile Banking services?

Online and Mobile Banking services are extremely valuable tools and can save a ton of time! Skip out on an extra trip to the bank or even a phone call with the ability to check account balances, transfer money, review statements, and pay bills from a desktop or mobile device. More specifically, mobile devices allow customers to bank on the go and even manage debit card controls or deposit checks by simply taking a photo within a secure platform. These remote banking services can vary between institutions, so it’s essential to research or ask about your bank’s app features.

Where are the bank’s branches located?

Nowadays, banking is becoming increasingly digital, but you still may want to consider a bank with a branch close to you. Whether it’s near your home or workplace, being able to visit your local branch in person is vital in the event of any issues or special transactions. In addition, choosing a community bank or institution with a significant presence in the community can be beneficial to maintain a strong relationship with your bank. We also recommend scanning the bank’s website or asking them which transactions require an in-person visit to minimize surprises down the road.

What fees are associated with this account?

Depending on the type of account opened, a monthly fee may be charged to maintain an account. However, these fees can sometimes be waived with regular payroll deposits or by maintaining a certain balance on an account. In addition, some accounts charge a fee for not maintaining the account’s minimum or average balance. The best way to avoid these fees is to open a Free Checking Account, which can be opened with as little as $25*. Some banks can hide small fees that make the “free” part a pipe dream, but Mechanics Cooperative Bank is proud to offer no minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees on a Free Choice Checking Account.

What happens if I withdraw more than my account’s balance?

When a customer withdraws more than the balance on an account, they are traditionally charged an overdraft fee. These fee amounts can vary by bank; some will even prevent overdraws by blocking debit card transactions or requesting that all transactions be blocked when an account does not have sufficient funds. The best way to prevent a charged overdraft fee is to ask about overdraft protection, which some banks will offer for all Checking Accounts per request. These services will automatically cover an overdraft by pulling from other accounts, such as savings or credit cards. However, overdraft protection may be subject to interest charges when connected to a credit card.

Do I have to pay for checks or replacement cards?

Many banks will provide the first book of checks for free but will likely charge a fee for additional ones. For those planning to write checks regularly, confirming whether the bank limits the number of surcharge-free checks you write on your chosen checking account type is important. However, this is not traditionally the case with a Free Checking Account. Regarding replacement cards, some banks will charge a fee for a lost or stolen card, but expired card replacements are generally free. However, with the increase of digital banking services, lost or stolen cards can be prevented with the ability to turn cards on/off via Mobile Banking or added directly to a digital Apple or Android wallet to bypass the use of a physical card.

Opening a new Checking Account? Find the answers to your checking account questions with a Free Choice Checking Account from Mechanics Cooperative Bank! Contact us today to get started.