When you decide to get a new checking account, it will be helpful for you to know the rules. If you do not know the rules of the account, you may inadvertently break them and end up facing unnecessary fees. Every bank has different types of accounts, and every institution has different rules with their checking accounts. The new account you acquire might have some of the following rules, which are common with many banks.
Minimum Balance Requirement
The most common rule with checking accounts is a minimum-balance requirement. If an account has a minimum balance requirement, you must keep a specific amount of money in the account. You cannot let your balance drop below this amount. The amount you may need could be as low as $100, or it could be a lot higher. Some banks set the minimum-balance requirement at $1,000, and some set it even higher. When you open your account, make sure you ask about this amount. It will be helpful to know this before opening the account so that you can make sure you can follow this rule.
Limit on the Number of Checks You Can Write
Even though a checking account provides a way to write checks, your bank may limit how many you can write each month. Some banks are trying to get away from paper checks and set limits on the number you can write. For example, you might be allowed to write up to five or ten checks per month. Some banks do not have rules about this issue, though.
Usage of ATM Machine Withdrawals or Debit Card Transactions
The third rule you might encounter is limiting the number of ATM withdrawals or debit card transactions you complete each month. You might be able to use your debit card only ten times or so, but some banks offer unlimited use of debit transactions.
Overdraft Protection Options
One last thing to ask about is overdraft protection. If you have this service, you can use your debit card for transactions, even when your account does not have enough funds. There is a fee for the service, but it is handy to have when you need it. You can usually opt-in or out of this service.
Your new account may have some of these rules, or it may not. It depends on the bank and the account. You can learn more about checking account options by talking to a bank of your choice.