- Personal Finance
Different Kinds of Checking Accounts
Many people just have a regular checking account and use it to pay their bills either electronically or through the mail. I may be odd but this is still my preferred way of doing things. Regular checking accounts are very easy to work with, and you can pretty much write unlimited checks assuming you have the funds to cover your checks. The down side if there is one is that you don't earn interest on your personal checking accounts usually.
Ask about minimum balances and any possible fees with your checking account. Even little fees add up over time, and if there are monthly fees taken out , you will want to know about it.
Money Market Funds and Deposit Accounts
Money Market Funds are available through mutual fund companies. These kinds of accounts usually pay market rate interest and as an added benefit, don't usually have fees. You of course have to keep a minimum balance, but there is no limit to the amount of checks you can write. Checks need to be a minimum of a few hundred dollars, check with your bank to know the exact amount.
With Money Market Deposit Accounts you can earn a changing rate of interest that reflects the markets conditions. So its beneficial especially when rates go up, as they pay well. People usually have a high minimum balance. Going below the minimum will result in fees, and ask about how many checks a month are allowed. Some limit that amount, and don't allow for money transfers. To attract business, sometimes banks will offer high rates initially.
Asset Management Accounts
Banks and brokerage houses that handle your investments, will often have checking accounts as an option. If this is the case, you can usually write an unlimited number of checks. There are statements sent at year end, and there is the benefit of having one account for everything in one place. Some do all their banking and investing this way. This is another example of an account that needs a high balance, but its not a problem for many that want to use it. The down side is there are fees like an annual fee and of course the fees for investment services. Depending on how well you invest, it might be worth all the fees and especially for the convenience if you are a very busy person.