How to Get the Most out of Your Checking Account
For some of us, the advantages of using a checking account might be obvious. But do you know how to get the most out of your money through your checking account? There are common features to a checking account that you may not be taking full advantage of to help you reach your financial goals.
At Arkansas Federal Credit Union, we offer various checking account options to meet your needs. We offer rewards and benefits to our members to help them make the most of their money.
Why Is Having a Checking Account Important?
Checking accounts through banks and credit unions are a great way to manage your money and protect it. Additionally, it has other benefits such as proof of payment and easily accessible account information to pay bills and accept payments. You are also able to write checks with a checking account.
Overall, checking accounts can be very beneficial to your financial situation and can provide you with stability and security. However, there are a few ways to utilize your checking account to the fullest and get the most out of your money.
Set up Direct Deposit
One of the biggest benefits of using your checking account is the ability to use direct deposit. Rather than waiting on a paycheck to reach you, your employer can put your money directly into your bank account. It’s a faster and safer way to manage your money and access your paycheck easily.
At Arkansas Federal, you can receive your paycheck or government checks up to two days early with our direct deposit benefit, Early Pay.1
Monitor Your Account with Online Banking
Rather than waiting every month to get your bank statements in the mail, you can easily review your transactions and balance by signing up for online banking. Sign up for eStatements and eNotices to receive your monthly statement electronically.
At Arkansas Federal, we offer a mobile app that you can use to keep track of your personal finances and make managing your money easier. Additionally, you are able to review your transactions, account balances, set alerts, flag overdraft charges, and more all from your phone, computer, or tablet.
Digital banking allows you to have full control over your finances more easily than balancing a paper checkbook. You can use our digital banking features right from your tablet, mobile phone, text messages, or Apple Watch.
Use Your Debit Card
Rather than having to handle cash or keep track of your checks, you can conveniently use your debit card to make purchases. Using your debit card allows you to make purchases in-store or online, withdraw cash at ATMs, and more. Deductions and withdrawal happen directly from your bank account. You are also able to easily manage your savings and track fraudulent purchases should they occur.
Our Rewards Plus checking allows you to use your debit card to earn points back. You can use your debit card to earn 1 point for every $2 you spend through our rewards program. It also gives members access to extra perks such as zero monthly fees, mobile access to your account, internet payments, and more.2
Another benefit of having a checking account is that you are easily able to move money between checking and savings accounts. You have the flexibility to transfer money between your checking and savings easily with online banking.
Additionally, if you want to transfer money during the same time every month or to put some back, you can set that up through an automated process.
If you spend more money than you have in your checking account, you are usually charged an overdraft fee. However, many banks and credit unions offer overdraft protection or alerts that tell you before you overdraft your account. This is a good way to manage your spending and avoid fees so you don’t have to worry about paying more money in the long run.
With Arkansas Federal’s mobile and internet options, you can check your account any time from anywhere. Arkansas Federal also offers e-Alerts to help you keep track of transactions and fees that may accrue so you notice them ahead of time.
Afraid you’re going to miss a payment or get penalized for forgetting a due date? Setting up automatic payments through your checking account ensures you never have to miss an important payment date again. Automatic payment options help you stay on top of all of your bills so you don’t have to worry. Autopay helps eliminate the fear and worry of missing payments and saves money on postage fees.
Arkansas Federal’s Bill Pay options make sure that you never have to miss a payment again. It’s secure and safe to use and allows you to automatically make payments from your accounts. You have complete control over what you want to pay, when you want to pay it, and what account it should come from.
Link to Other Accounts
Depending on where you bank, you may be able to link to other important accounts through your checking account. If you have different savings accounts or investments that you want to be able to keep track of, finding a bank or credit union that allows you to keep track of all of them from your checking account can make all the difference. Additionally, you may be able to send and receive electronic transfers from different accounts.
One of the biggest concerns about banking is the safety and protection of your money. A key benefit to look for in a checking account is the safety features that come with it. Multi-factor authentication and identity theft protection can help keep your checking account safer when accessing it.
If your card is lost or stolen, you want to guarantee that you are using all the measures possible to make sure your information is safe. Your financial institution should quickly catch and notify you of any strange activity taking place on your account. Check with your bank or credit union to see what security features they offer and how they plan on keeping you safe.
At Arkansas Federal, Card Defend is offered to all members to keep their accounts safe and secure. With Card Defend, members can set up alerts if their card has been declined, exceeds limits, and control what transactions can be made. If anything suspicious happens, Arkansas Federal is there to catch it and notify cardholders promptly.
Having a checking account and using it to the fullest extent can provide you with a safe and secure experience. At Arkansas Federal Credit Union, we offer a variety of card options and security features to help keep our members safe and happy. Open an account today and become a member!
Federally insured by NCUA.
1. Direct deposit and earlier availability of funds in your Arkansas Federal account are subject to your employer/payer or benefit provider’s funding. Actual payment dates may vary. For more information, visit afcu.org/early-pay.
2. If the checking account is the “Rewards Limited” product, a $10.00 monthly service fee will be applied UNLESS the member completes 5 debit transactions, then the fee is $5.00. If the member completes 5 debit card transactions AND maintains a balance of $500.00, then the fee is ZERO ($0.00.) If the checking account is a “Rewards Plus” product, then there is no fee if $2,500 minimum balance is maintained. Otherwise a $12.50 fee is assessed.