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Checking accounts, transactional accounts or current accounts: it doesn’t matter what you call them, the general idea is the same. It’s the bank account that you use to pay your bills and to make transactions on the go, and the chances are that you’re still using the same bank account that you’ve used for years just because it’s convenient.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but you might not be getting the most bang for your buck. That’s because banks want your business, and they’ll go out of their way to bring you in through their doors with special offers, bonuses and other incentives. Better still, in contrast to popular perception, it’s easy to change from one provider to another. Most banks offer onboarding services to help you to make the change.
That means you’re free to take advantage of special offers and to hop from one bank to another if the rewards are worth it. These incentives can range from larger overdrafts and better interest rates to money back on purchases and even a cash bonus up front. That’s why it’s always a good idea to know what’s available even if you have no immediate plans to switch bank accounts.
And so with that in mind, let’s jump in and take a quick look at what’s out there.
Checking accounts are pretty much the default offering for banks and financial institutions. Because of that, you’ll find that most providers offer at least one option, so it’s worth going into as many local bank branches as you can to get a feel for what they’re willing to offer. In the meantime, here are just a few of the best 2019 options to look out for.
TD Bank offers a Premier Checking account that offers a $300 cash bonus if you deposit at least $2,500 within 60 days. However, you’ll also need to pay a $25 monthly maintenance fee unless your bank balance stays above $2,500. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can try their Convenience Checking account, which offers $150 if you deposit $500.
Bank of America is worth considering too, thanks to their choice of three different checking accounts, each of which will earn you $100 if you receive at least two $250 deposits within the first 90 days. Capital One 360 also offers up to $150 in cash bonuses when you meet different criteria including making debit card purchases and depositing money into your account.
Any list like this also has to include Chase, which offers Sapphire, Premier Plus and Total checking accounts, as well as savings accounts and college checking accounts. If you combine their Total and Savings accounts, you could earn up to $600. Wells Fargo also offers an Everyday Checking account that includes a cash bonus of $400.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also score cash back from providers including PNC, SunTrust, Discover, HSBC, Citibank and others. In fact, it’s worth checking what your existing bank has to offer, although remember that many special offers are only available to new customers. That’s because banks typically focus more on bringing new customers in than on keeping the ones they currently have.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of options out there when it comes to changing your checking account. If anything, it’s easy to become paralyzed by choice and to end up just staying with the same old checking account that you already have. Whatever you do, don’t.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and to ask questions at different banks to see what they can offer you. Don’t be tricked into a fall sense of loyalty, either. You don’t owe your bank anything, and there’s no reason to stay with them if they’re holding you back. Especially if it’s making you miss out on money.