What Are The Types Of Bank Accounts?
If you are new to banking, you may be surprised to learn that there are many types of bank accounts available. The type of bank account that you will need will depend on several factors. This article will examine some of the more common types of bank accounts that you will find at most banks and credit unions. First, you should understand that not all banks and credit unions will offer the same types of accounts. Larger banks will usually offer the most services, but smaller banks are also usually well suited for most consumer needs. The most popular bank account is the checking account.
A checking account uses paper checks and/or electronic funds transfers as its primary means of business. When you open a checking account you will receive paper checks that you can use to pay bills and make purchases. Many checking accounts are free, but some may charge a small fee each month. With your checking account you may get access to ATM machines as well. The most important thing to remember about checking accounts is to not write checks that you cannot cover with the funds in your account.
This is called bouncing a check and it can cost a lot of money in service charges and fees. It can also lead to criminal charges in some cases. The savings account is the next most popular bank account type. A savings account allows you to make deposits and withdrawals, just as a checking account does, however, savings accounts are not as flexible as checking accounts. Some savings accounts only allow a certain number of withdrawals per month. Normally, savings accounts do not include checks, so to get cash you have to visit the bank in person. Today, most banks to allow savings accounts to be accessed through ATM's for both deposits and withdrawals. A third bank account is the money market accounts that some banks offer. A money market account pays higher interest on your deposits than a savings account but there are added restrictions as well. Often, these accounts will have a minimum balance that must be kept in order to earn the higher interest rate.
Most accounts of this type also limit withdrawals to six a month. This type of account is used most effectively for cash that you do not think you will need to use soon. Certificates of deposit are yet another type of bank account that some consumers find useful. These accounts should be thought of and treated as investments rather than money-moving accounts. CD's require you to make a deposit and to agree to leave the money in the account for a predetermined length of time. In exchange, the bank or credit union agrees to pays higher interest. With a CD, you are required to keep the money in the CD bank account until the maturity date of the CD. If you take the money out early you are usually charged a penalty fee. In some cases, you may be allowed to withdraw the interest that has accrued without suffering a penalty, but you should check on this before assuming it to be true for all CD's.
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