Personal Finance

Basic Accounts Offered by Banks

Basic Checking

When you have no special requirements for your money and you simply need a way to write checks to make payments, a basic checking account may be your best option. Get all the details about this method of managing your money, however, because some banks institute limitations for the services included. For example, it’s possible that you may need to keep a minimum balance, or you will incur penalty fees. You also may have limitations about the number of checks you can write each month. Find out about back-up funding to eliminate the risk of overdraft penalties.

Interest-Bearing Checking

Similar to a basic checking account, an interest-bearing checking account also enables you to write checks from your balance to make payments. However, you can earn interest on your balance each month. If your balance falls below a specific amount, you will usually forfeit any interest that you would have earned for that month. Usually, customers with this type of account can write an unlimited number of checks each month.


If you don’t need the ability to write checks and you just want to save your money, a savings account could be ideal for you. With this type of banking, you deposit your funds to save money and you make withdrawals when you want to spend. As you keep your funds in the account, banks will pay you interest based on your balance. Inquire about rates before you open a savings account to ensure that you choose the institution that pays the highest rate. Most institutions also send their customers a monthly statement that lists all transactions and balances.

Certificates of Deposit

A certificate of deposit requires an agreement to keep your funds in place for a specific period of time. This period could be as short as a few months, or as long as a few years. The longer the period of time, the higher the rate on the funds will be. Customers need to choose the duration of the certificate of deposit carefully to ensure that access to the money won’t be necessary until the time ends. Early withdrawal before the maturity date will incur a penalty.