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Types of Bank Accounts: How to choose the right bank account

The numerous types of bank accounts can be confusing. That's why we've narrowed the types of bank accounts down to the basics.

Banks are all around you. But how do you choose between the types of bank accounts to fit your financial needs.

That’s what we help you do at Bankiful.

We research banks based on various needs of the regular consumer. But first let's start with the types of bank accounts available to U.S. Consumers.

Basic types of bank accounts

The two most popular types of bank accounts are checking accounts and savings accounts. Each account serves different needs.

  • Checking accounts are best for daily financial transactions. They are the most accessible type of bank account. Checking accounts allow you to deposit checks, make withdrawals, and pay bills either through writing paper checks or electronic payments. Most checking accounts come with debit cards, which you can use to make purchases and withdraw money from ATMs. Some checking accounts earn interest, and many charge fees for maintenance, ATM withdrawals and overdrafts.
  • Savings accounts allow you earn interest on your deposits and serve as an easy way to stash your cash. Savings account typically limit the number of free withdrawals you can make per month due to a federal rule called Regulation D. Under Regulation D you are limited to six monthly savings transfers or withdrawals. However, using an ATM or teller helps get around the limit. The national savings rate is a low 0.30% APY unless you open a high rate savings account.

Other types of bank accounts

While savings and checking accounts meet many financial needs, other types of bank accounts have their own advantages. Here are two more types to consider:

  • Money market accounts earn more interest than your basic savings accounts, but they may require a higher minimum balance to earn interest. Additionally, there is no fixed interest rate for money market accounts: Instead, the interest rate varies based on money markets. Some offer the option of checks, but there is often a minimum check amount and a limit to the number of checks you can write each month. The number of withdrawals allowed is also limited.
  • Certificate of Deposits (CDs) earn interest at a higher rate than money market or savings accounts, but the money is not accessible to you for a set amount of time—typically between a few months to a few years. Like money market accounts, they require a minimum initial deposit. CDs are excellent tools for saving money, but only if you’re sure you won’t need access to the money until the end of the CD’s term. If you’re forced to withdraw before the time is up, you’ll pay a stiff penalty.
  • Retirement accounts allow you to avoid paying income tax on interest you earn from a savings account or CD each year. But you may have to pay taxes on those earnings at a later date. Still, keeping your money sheltered from taxes may help you over the long term. Most banks offer IRAs (both Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, and they may also provide retirement accounts for small businesses.

This is what we look at when researching and recommending banks throughout the U.S.

Is the bank based locally based or are there branches throughout the U.S.

Online Tools:
Can you do online what you would do in a branch

Mobile Deposits:
Higher than average interest rates on savings products

Customer Service:
Live help when you need to ask a question

Free Banking:
Are basic checking and savings accounts free so you can keep more of your money.

High-Interest Savings Products:
Savings Accounts, Money Markets, Certificate of Deposits.

Second Chance Banking Products:
Second chance banking accounts for people with ChexSystems or EWS records who need a fresh start at managing a bank account.

Overall Financial Products:
Personal loans, Mortgage Loans, Car Loans, Student Loans, Business Loans. Lines of Credit, Credit Cards, Investment Products.

Bank Bonus:
New and existing customer opening cash bonus for opening an account.

You can open multiple bank accounts to fit your financial needs. Once you know how to open a bank account, the process can be duplicated for most banks whether you open an online account or visit a branch.

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Best online savings rates

The national savings rate is 0.47% APY. This online bank pays way more.

CIT Bank

Platinum Savings
5.05% APY
Minimum $5,000 balance
No maintenance fees
Mobile & Online Banking
Deposits are FDIC insured


5.21% APY
Minimum $1,000 balance
No maintenance fees
Mobile & Online Banking
Deposits are FDIC insured

Quontic Bank

4.50% APY
Minimum $100 balance
No maintenance fees
Mobile & Online Banking
Deposits are FDIC insured
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide the most relevant and current information. However, the information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be personal financial advice.

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