How to Choose the Best Online Checking Accounts for Easy and Affordable Online Payment

Filed in Online Banking by on December 2, 2020 0 Comments

Looking to open a checking account online, but having trouble figuring out which is the best account? Then you are not alone. With so many online financial institutions promising great services, deciding which to go for is more of a hard-to-bite. Now, the question is, how do we choose the best online checking accounts?

Familiarizing yourself with the features of the checking account before opening a checking account online can help ensure that you are happy with the account once you are up and running. Don’t know what to look for? Here are several features that you might want to keep in mind:

  • FDIC insurance

Verify that your funds on deposit are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to the maximum allowed by law. This insurance kicks in if an FDIC-insured bank or financial institution fails. You can check the FDIC’s BankFind tool to determine which financial institutions offer this protection.

  • Interest or rewards

Because online banks don’t have to pay to operate branch locations, they may pass the savings on to consumers in the form of higher interest rates, fewer fees or rewards (think cash back when you use a debit card).

  • Potential fee

As with traditional checking accounts, opening an online checking account could come with a variety of fees. Some banks, for example, may charge you if your account’s daily balance falls below a specific dollar amount. You may want to consider ways to avoid bank fees, like selecting a bank that doesn’t require a minimum daily or monthly balance so you have extra flexibility. Don’t forget to check out fees for overdrafts, insufficient funds, ATMs and wire transfers.

  • Readily available ATMs

Because online banks may not have branches where you can withdraw cash, no-fee ATMs that are easy to access can make all the difference. While some banks won’t charge a fee for an ATM transaction, the ATM’s operator may still do so. To avoid this, look for a bank that offers to refund ATM fees or that has ATMs that are part of a large, ATM network that doesn’t charge a fee.

  • Easy deposits

Most online banks accept deposits by mail, ACH transfer, wire transfer and direct deposit. But one of the most convenient ways to deposit money is through a mobile banking app.

  • Options for bill pay

If you enjoy writing checks, you may want to open an online checking account that doesn’t charge for them. Alternatively, online checking accounts may come with no-fee bill pay.

  • An easy-to-use mobile app

If you’re taking your banking online, you may also want to manage your money from your phone. The bank’s mobile app should allow you to check your balance, deposit a check, transfer funds or authorize a bill payment from almost anywhere using your smart device of choice.

  • Customer service

When you have a question or need assistance, you’ll want someone to be available to help. Although there won’t be a branch you can walk into, you may have the option of contacting a banker over the phone, by email or with online chat.

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