Depending on where you choose to bank, there are several different kinds of checking accounts that might be available to you. It’s important that you do some research to find the checking account that is right for you and your situation. These are some of the more common types of checking accounts many banks offer:
Some banks offer special checking deals if you are a student. Student checking accounts will vary from bank to bank, but some of the benefits could include no minimum balance requirement, free checks, free debit card, wider ATM availability and the ability to have your parents transfer money directly into your account. Some banks may also impose an age requirement on these accounts, so check that out to make sure you qualify.
This type of account works well for someone who just uses their checking account to pay bills and a few other expenses. In order to avoid paying a monthly maintenance fee on the account, some banks will require that you use direct deposit or keep a minimum balance. Also, there might be a monthly check-writing limit and if you exceed that limit, you will have to pay a per-item fee for additional checks you write.
This is the type of account that most people are usually drawn to. In most cases, “free” means that there are no monthly service fees, no per-item fees and no minimum balance requirement. Other perks that might come with free checking accounts include free online banking, services like bill pay and a free debit card. But it really can differ from bank to bank, so you may want to do some research to find out what “free” really means at any particular bank.
With an interest-bearing checking account, you are paid interest on the money in your account. The bank will usually require a minimum deposit to open the account, and you’ll likely have to maintain that balance, or higher, to avoid fees. For example, the bank may require $150 to open the account, but will then charge you a $10 monthly service fee if you don't maintain a $2,000 balance. Usually, interest on this type of account will be paid monthly and the more money you have in the account, the more interest you will earn. Keep in mind, though, that if you fall below the minimum balance, the fees you might end up paying will probably be higher than the interest you are earning.