GFA Federal Credit Union

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  • Aug 17, 2022

6 Questions To Ask Before Opening a Checking Account

Finding a bank account that meets all your needs can be difficult. If you're looking for an easier way to compare accounts and make sure you're choosing the right one, here are six questions you should ask before opening a checking account.

What Features Matter to Me?

When it comes to features, every checking account is different. Here are a few things you should consider as you compare available features:

  • Are there any restrictions?
  • How many transactions can you make per month? 
  • Do you need a debit card or credit card?

What Fees Will I Incur?

When it comes to fees, you want to ensure that the bank doesn’t charge for basic actions and has no hidden charges. You don't want to be surprised by extra charges such as overdraft fees or transfer charges. A credit union checking account is a great option for offering free accounts with no minimums or fees.

What Is the Bank's Reputation?

Checking account reputation is important for a couple of reasons. It helps you make sure that your bank will handle any issues that may come up. If the company has a good reputation, it's likely that they're financially stable and will be around for years to come.

How Is the Customer Service?

Banks must deal with customers who have questions and concerns about their accounts. The best way to determine a bank's reputation for good customer service is by asking around among friends and family members who are customers of that bank. 

If you're still unsure about whether or not a particular bank has good customer service, there are other ways to find out how well-regarded they are. Search online for insight into what others think about the bank's customer service (or lack thereof). Additionally, some banks provide contact information on their website where you can ask them any questions before signing up.

Is There a Local Branch I Can Visit?

You can get the most out of your checking account if you have access to a local branch. This will allow you to visit in person when there is an issue with your account or other needs. You can also use the branch for any of these purposes:

  • Depositing checks
  • Getting help with loans/debt consolidation
  • Meeting with staff on savings accounts and investment opportunities
  • Discussing options for credit cards

Which Value-Added Benefits Are Included?

A question to ask before opening a checking account is the availability of the bank’s value-added benefits. Some examples of those benefits include:

  • Free money orders: Money orders allow you to pay for things with verified funds and no cash exchange, which can be helpful when trying to stay safe dealing with strangers.
  • Early pay access: Some institutions offer access to your income a day or two early. As long as your paychecks are direct deposited, you can enjoy the feeling of getting paid early.

Find the Right Account

Many people are guilty of making decisions without considering all their options or understanding their long-term goals. It's important to consider your goals before choosing any financial product, such as loans, credit cards, and even checking accounts.

Remember that the best thing to do is take your time shopping around for an account, so don't rush into anything. You can always find another institution that does offer what you want.

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