A checking account can be considered the most basic personal finance account that anyone can own. It is an account that is provided to individuals from financial institutions, mainly banks and credit union. Checking accounts are service based accounts and allow account holders to easily access their money through deposits and withdrawals. Checking accounts holders are able to write checks to pay bills or make purchases. With almost every account, holders will be issued an ATM card to access ATM machines for fast access to their money. Most ATM checking account cards also double as a debit card with a credit card logo, allowing holders to conveniently pay for their purchases without having to carry around cash.
Almost every bank and credit union offers customers the option of opening a checking account. In some cases you will need to start the account with a minimum deposit. Many times you can find an account that does not charge any service fees. Many accounts however, have a monthly service fee or a fee if your balance drops below a certain dollar amount.
Most accounts come with unlimited check writing, deposit and withdrawal capabilities. Some however do charge you additional fees when you write a certain amount of checks each month.
It is important to keep track of your balance. Most financial institutions will mail you a monthly statement, but it is wise to keep your own ledger. With internet technology today many checking accounts can be accessed and managed on line. Never spend or write a check for money that you don't have in your account as that will cause you to bounce your account and have to pay additional fees.
Posted by amazonworker30 -- Feb. 23, 2010
Nice people but having trouble opening an account...
I'm trying to open a joint account with Chesapeake bank (the people who run Clear Sky Accounts). I chose their account b/c they're all online, have a decent interest rate, have a decent HEALTH score, $1 to open, I can transfer money easily, etc etc. But the online experience opening the account wasn't fantastic (only on certain screens could I choose to save and finish later) and once I submitted my application I didn't hear from them for awhile. I called them yesterday, and they said there were problems with my driver's license number - which is strange because: 1) they have the correct number on file, and 2) they didn't alert me to that via email or anything. They were super nice on the phone and they promised they'd call me back yesterday. They didn't, so I just now called again. The woman who answered said my account had been rejected and they had emailed me that (I hadn't received an email from them, actually). So I explained the situation to her and she spoke to her supervisor. She said they are reviewing my application (again, the driver's license number seems to be a stumbling block - even though it's correct!) and will call me back today.... So I guess if I don't get a call back today then I won't pursue this further and will open another account somewhere else. I love my other bank (USAA) so maybe I'll just open the joint account with them.... Sad. Redeem yourself, Clear Sky! (If they come through, I'll re-post with an update.)
UPDATE: Was summarily rejected. When I called to ask why, they said the info I'd given didn't match my credit report. So I ordered a credit report to make sure I didn't have incorrect information on it or a problem with identity theft. Everything in it was correct AND it matched the information I'd given them. Not pleased!! But the joke's on them because I'm taking my business elsewhere.
Posted by amydshelton -- June 22, 2009
Watch out Electric Orange
Clear Sky’s Checking is their an answer to ING’s Electric Orange...
Just like Electric Orange, it’s an entirely paperless checking account - which means all checks must be handled through their free online billpay system - this is good and bad. It’s good for running a streamlined operation, avoiding the hassle of paper, and saving the planet. It’s bad when trying to pay for girl scout cookies or a softball league. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. My paper-check writing occasions are few enough and far enough between that that I feel comfortable I could manage with cash - and what girl scout wouldn’t like cash?
The only drawback to Clear Sky relative to ING is that they’re a whole lot smaller - which is apparent in their somewhat limited ACH system with relatively low deposit ($50k/day) and withdrawal ($10k/day) restrictions. The caveat, however (as told to me by one of their CSRs) is that, whenever necessary, I can just call them up for a temporary increase - in either direction - up to $250k.
So although they’re small, they’re working to get over their limitations, and that hopefully means they’re hungry for growth and will be smart about continually to deliver for their customers.