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Home Blog What to Look for in a Personal Checking Account

What to Look for in a Personal Checking Account

Posted On: February 11, 2021 by The Middlefield Banking Company in: General

What to Look for in a Personal Checking Account

If you are looking for a personal checking account, you will have many different options to select from. Many people assume that bank accounts are all the same, but this is not the case. There are a lot of factors to be considered to ensure that the checking account you choose is right for your personal circumstances. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main factors you should consider when you are searching for a checking account.

What is a personal checking account?

A personal checking account is a type of bank account that provides simple and easy access to funds that have been deposited. Unlike other bank account types such as savings accounts, checking accounts tend to permit unlimited deposits and withdrawals, which makes them a sensible choice for your everyday banking requirements.

In exchange for this level of flexibility, when compared with savings accounts, the interest rates paid out tend to be very low. Therefore, this is probably not going to be the account for you if you’re looking to make your money grow.

When you are using a personal checking account, there are a number of different ways that you can access your funds. This includes being able to do the following:

  • You can transfer funds from your account to other bank accounts, and vice-versa.
  • You can set-up automatic payments via companies where you have accounts, for example, credit cards and utilities.
  • You can set-up recurring payments or pay one-time bills by using your bank’s online bill pay service.
  • Visit your local branch to make deposits and withdrawals.
  • Make deposits and withdrawals via your ATM card.
  • Make purchases using the debit card that is connected to your personal account.
  • Write checks.

What should you consider when looking for a bank account?

There are a number of different factors that you should consider when looking for the best personal checking account for your needs. Some of the main factors include the following:

How you want to deal with the bank

A lot of people today prefer online banking, as it is easy and convenient. However, there are still plenty of people who would rather speak to someone over the telephone. There also are individuals who prefer to visit the bank branch to handle their finances in person. It is all about your personal preferences which should be considered and researched when selecting your bank. If you like to bank in person and there is not a branch of your liking in your local area, you will need to consider other options such as longer commutes to your bank or getting more comfortable with online and telephone banking.

Overdraft Protection facilities

Overdraft protection can be beneficial when you’re waiting on payments coming in but you still have bills to pay. This can be especially helpful for those who don’t get paid on the same day every month.

You may want to check out the overdraft protection options when you are looking for a personal checking account. Not only should you determine how big your overdraft protection would need to be as a new customer, but you need to understand the charges as well. This is going to determine how expensive the overdraft will be and how much you will have to pay if you dip into it.

However, it is imperative to note that an overdraft is still a debt that you will need to pay back.

Do you have to pay any fees?

A lot of accounts available in Ohio today are free to sign-up and use. However, there are some personal checking accounts that require you to pay a monthly fee. Make sure you look into this before you open an account.

You should also be aware of other potential fees that are in place. For example, will you be charged if a payment bounces?


Another area that you may want to look into is whether or not there are any incentives for doing business with a bank. Today, a lot of institutions offer incentives to tempt you to sign up with them. This incentive could be a cash reward or a voucher, for example.

Many banks in Ohio also have rewards-based checking accounts. They offer you cash back, interest or other perks based on numerous factors including account balance, signing up for electronic statements, and number of ATM swipes per month.

Do you want to set-up a joint account?

If you’re married or in a relationship, you may want to set-up a joint account. Some couples like to have one solo account and one joint account. Make sure you consider this when assessing your options.

Make sure you read the fine print

The final piece of the puzzle when you are looking for a bank account is to read the fine print. Yes, it can be long. Yes, it can be boring. But it is imperative. Banks can have all sorts of stipulations, for example, you may be required to have a minimum balance in your account each month or you may need to have a number of direct debits linked to your account. It is important to be aware of any terms in place so you can determine whether or not the account in question is suitable for you and your needs.

Those are some of the factors you should be looking for when you are choosing a checking account. If you carefully consider these factors, you should be able to find the right checking account for you.

A great place to begin is with Middlefield Bank. We make banking straightforward! To discover more about the different options we have available, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.