Sep 23, 2022 / Money Tips

Time to Check Your Checking Account

You have regular checkups for just about everything. You check on your hair, your health, your fly, your finances, your blood pressure and your breath. You even sometimes check your reality. With so much checking going on, it’s a wonder that your checking account ironically runs under the radar.

Your checking account isn’t just a temporary residence for your incoming and outgoing cash. It’s an important fixture in your financial life, and one—as its name suggests—that deserves to be checked from time to time to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Overdraft Protection

Overdraft protection is offered by almost every financial institution. It’s a customer courtesy to cover account overdrafts, but some banks go to big lengths to impose high overdraft fees at your expense. Even some seemingly reasonable overdraft fees have high, hidden expenses that feel akin to getting kicked while your bank balances are down.

Check your checking account overdraft protection policy. Find out how much you’re getting charged every time you overdraw your account, whether at a store, an ATM, or an online transaction. Does your checking account have an overdraft transactions limit? Or are you getting charged every time you overdraft your account in a single afternoon?

Overdraft protection should be consumer friendly, not a way for your bank to make a quick buck. Check your checking account to make sure you have affordable overdraft protection, and if not, consider finding a checking account with a better alternative.

Oops Allowances and Fees

Closely related to overdraft protection, check to see whether your checking account provides an “oops” allowance. Essentially, an “oops” allowance means that if you overdraft your account by less than a certain amount, overdraft charges won’t kick in.

An “oops” allowance is basically a buffer—a money spending mulligan that gives you a chance to transfer or deposit funds before having to pay extra money for not having enough money (ironic, right?).

While you’re checking your checking account, look to see what other account protections your bank or credit union offers. Make sure you’re not paying minimum balance fees, hidden fees, and high overdraft fees—all common ways for financial institutions to make money.

Debit Card Rewards

Does your debit card give you rewards for every dollar you spend? Check your checking account to see whether you’re being rewarded for spending money, regardless of the method you use to make a purchase.

When it comes to rewards, credit cards shouldn’t get all the credit. At the very least, you shouldn’t be penalized for choosing debit over credit. Check to see if your bank or credit union has a unified rewards program that lets you accumulate points, no matter how you make a purchase.

The next time you check in, check out, check up, or check on something, remember that checking your checking account might save you money. To check into a checking account that’s just right for you, visit the Utah First website or check with one of our helpful checking account experts.