In simple terms, a checking account is used to pay for expenses, while a savings account is intended to store money for later use.
Checking accounts are designed for everyday transactions — your morning cup of coffee or a tank of gas. Savings account funds, however, are meant to remain in the bank and earn interest over time.
Consider the following to decide what’s best for you.
Fees and Interest
Savings accounts carry a higher interest rate than checking accounts, so it’s wise to leave larger amounts of money in your savings. Savings accounts are typically used for emergency funds or just about any event or item you want to save toward. Checking accounts generally accrue little or no interest, but check with your bank to verify your expected interest accrual.
The fees for checking and savings accounts will vary by financial institution. Some banks require monthly maintenance fees or minimum account balances. However, many banks offer a menu of account options tailored to meet their customers’ needs. For instance, you might be able to avoid monthly maintenance fees on your checking account by maintaining a certain balance or making a number of qualifying direct deposits.
Checking accounts come with features that make transactions as convenient as possible. You can make purchases with a debit card, checks, and mobile apps. Online shopping is a breeze, as you can connect your checking account debit card to a large number of online payment processors.
Money in a savings account is a bit harder to spend. That’s because, by design, the money is supposed to remain in place for an extended period of time. The money in your savings account will need to be withdrawn or transferred to a checking account to be spent, as savings accounts don’t usually come with debit cards or checkbooks.
Why You Need Both a Checking Account and a Savings Account
While checking accounts are a convenient means of making everyday purchases, they aren’t a great place to save cash. Your money is very easily accessible and can be spent quickly on impulse purchases.
If you’re worried about managing multiple accounts, online and mobile banking have made money management easier than ever. There’s essentially zero hassle in keeping track of money coming in and going out. Having both types of accounts can enable you to avoid some checking fees, not to mention the benefit of overdraft protection.
Having a checking and savings account will give you more control over both your short-term and long-term financial goals. Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of financial resources to meet the needs of every customer. For more information about checking and savings accounts, please contact us.