Opening a bank account, either a savings or checking account is an easy task. It is also a financially smart move as you are becoming more responsible for your finances. Having a bank account will provide a secure place for your hard-earned money. It keeps your money safe from theft or other accidents. Aside from the security, it also gives you complete access to your cash, anytime, anywhere. Not only will your money be safe in a savings account, but it can also grow.

If you have decided to open a bank account, make sure to consider these things first:

  • Do your research. Make a list of a few reputable banks and credit unions that are in your area. Make time to visit them and compare the benefits that each of the banks offer.
  • Look for these things when searching for a good bank:
    • The reputation of their customer service
    • The bank’s interest rates
    • Specialty accounts
    • Transfer limits
    • Accessibility of their ATMs
    • Account Fees
    • Extra requirements for the accounts

When comparing financial establishments and institutions, you should look at the fees as they are the most confusing part to understand. The most common fees in banks are the ATM fees. These fees are usually between $3 to $5 and they are usually deducted every single time you make a transaction from another bank’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Credit unions, however, normally don’t charge these fees. They allow credit union members from other institutions to use their ATM without additional charge.

  • As you do your research, try to find the best and most convenient financial institution for you that meets your lifestyle needs. If you are looking forward to using your card for everyday expenses, a debit card with great cash back options might be the perfect choice for you. If you plan to store your money for future uses, then a savings account with a great interest rate is what you need.
  • When you’re done comparing your options, and you’ve decided on a bank, it’s time to go to its local branch near you and speak to a representative. Tell them about your plans in opening an account with them so that they can assist you.
  • When you meet the bank representative, make sure you have on-hand cash with you as you will need to make an initial deposit to open a new account. You will also need to bring any valid identification card and also your Social Security Number. These things are needed for the security of your account.
  • After providing the bank representative with your personal information, you’ll be required to fill out some forms. You’ll also have to create a  Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your account, which will serve as your ATM “password.” PINs are usually four to six digits long depending on the bank or credit union. Make sure your PIN is a combination of numbers that you can remember easily but also a number that no one will be able to quickly and easily guess.
  • Now, all you have to do is wait for your card to be released. Some financial institutions can give you the debit card the same day you opened the account. Other financial institutions will give your card a few days after or it will take a few weeks to arrive.

The Difference between a Savings and a Checking account

The purpose of a savings account is to build an emergency fund or save up money for the future. A checking account is ideal for everyday use like daily expenses, for paying bills, and for writing checks. A savings account has high-interest rates and does not have monthly fees so that your money can really grow. A checking account has low to no overdraft fees and has convenient ATM access so that you can just get your money anytime and anywhere you need.

Do you want to be responsible for your finances? Do you want to keep it somewhere safe but at the same time, accessible? Are you thinking of opening a savings or checking account but have not decided what bank or credit union to choose? Don’t worry. Visit Calcite Credit Union today.