Five Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Bank Account

by Pam on July 10, 2012

There are a lot of financial institutions out there that can provide you with bank account services, however, regardless of the bank you choose to do business with, there are five key things you can do to make the most of your banking experience.

1.  Keep only the minimal amount required in your checking account.  Most banks pay little or no interest on balances kept in checking accounts, so every time you get paid, keep only a minimal amount of money in your checking account, and put the rest into savings.  That way you can earn some interest on your money and make it work for you.

2.  Learn how you can bank for free. Most financial institutions provide a way for you to do your banking for free either by maintaining a minimum balance or by only doing a certain number of transactions.  Most banks also provide free banking to seniors and students.  It is well worth your while to give your bank a call and find out how you can bank for free.

3.  Keep a close eye on your accounts.  The best way to protect yourself and save money is to make good use of online banking, telephone banking, or just simply by paying close attention to your monthly statements.  It is a good idea to watch out for any transactions that may seem unusual.  If you do notice anything strange, be sure to inform your bank immediately. Many banks will monitor fraudulent activity on your account automatically. For example, a checking account with BB&T is actively monitored for any charges that are abnormal and alert you immediately, either by email or text alert.  By doing so you won’t be liable if someone else hacks into your accounts.  Keeping tabs can also save you a lot of money as you will be aware of any fees charged by your bank.  By being aware of them, you can discover ways to prevent them in the future.

4.  Use your own bank’s ATM machines.  Most banks allow you to do transactions on their own ATM machines for free, or for a nominal fee, whereas, if you use another bank’s ATM you will most likely be subject to two fees – one from the other bank, and one from your own bank.  Whenever possible, try to only use your bank brand’s ATM machines or their affiliates that allow you to use their network for free.  Doing this will save you a great deal of money in the long run.

5.  Set up overdraft protection on your checking account.  Most banks will allow you to have an overdraft protection on your checking account so that if in the event you end up short in your checking account, another source can be used.  Some banks allow you to use your savings account or an existing line of credit, while other banks will have a separate product specifically for overdraft protection.  Find out how your bank operates and be sure to ask questions about the cost to you.  By having this protection on your account, you will be spared expensive nonsufficient fund fees and you will never have to be embarrassed about a check bouncing.

Let’s face it. Our lives are all extremely hectic, and banking is such a very small part of our lives.  We want to have to deal with it as little as possible.  Following these five tips will definitely help you to make the most of your banking experience.

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