Savings Accounts are bank accounts that earn interest and usually limit you to six transactions per month. They may include a bank card which generally only allows you to withdraw money at ATMs.
Money Market Accounts are like savings accounts in that they earn interest and limit you to six transactions per month. However, they also usually have some sort of checking capabilities and/or include a debit card that will both work at ATMs and let you make debit purchases at stores.
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Some people prefer banks that have a branch located near them so they can transact business in person. The "Bank Location" filter lets you screen out banks that don't have a branch within a certain distance of your selected zip code. You can also select banks that only have a presence online.
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BankFox classifies all banks into two categories based on how much money is deposited with them. Some people prefer larger banks with a nationally known brand name and sophisticated services, whereas others prefer smaller banks which are more locally focused or more service oriented.
|Large Banks:||Over $10 billion in deposits|
|Small Banks:||Under $10 billion in deposits|
Bank size may be unavailable if its not publicly reported or if the bank has recently failed or been acquired.
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Some banks require a minimum amount of money to be deposited with them to open an account or to avoid a fee. The "Min Balances" filter lets you screen out accounts that require you to start with or maintain a high balance.
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Bank accounts are not all the same. Each bank offers varying capabilities ranging from whether they offer online banking to whether they let you sign up for a joint account. Below are definitions of some of the most common features bank accounts offer:
Online Banking is a feature offered by banks that lets you use their website to view your account balance and recent transactions. Their website may also allow you other capabilities like contacting customer service and transferring money to or from another account at the bank.
ATM or Debit Cards are bank cards provided by your bank that allow you to access your money at ATMs or make purchases at stores. ATM-Only cards allow you to withdraw money from an ATM, but do not allow you to make purchases at stores. Debit/ATM cards (sometimes called "Check Cards") allow you to both withdraw money at ATMs but also make purchases at stores with the card. Some accounts do not provide a bank card at all.
Regular Checks refers to whether the bank lets you write out actual paper checks. These days, some checking accounts don't actually let you write paper checks but instead only let you send money through their online Bill Pay system. In addition, some money market accounts allow paper check writing abilities, although you are usually not allowed to write more than 3 to 6 checks a month with these accounts.
Online Bill Pay is a feature of online banking that allows you to write and send checks from the bank website without needing to mail them yourself. Some banks can also receive bills from select vendors, so that you can schedule your bills to be automatically paid. Some banks offer free online bill pay, while others require a small fee or a minimum balance."
ATM Refunds is a feature offered by some banks in which they reimburse you for the fees you're charged when you use an ATM that isn't owned by your bank so you pay no atm fees. Most banks will put a limit on the surcharge dollar amount or number of ATM transactions that they'll reimburse on a monthly basis.
Overdraft Protection is a service that allows you to avoid large fees if you accidentally withdraw more money from your account than you have in it. If you overdraw your account, the service automatically pulls money into your account when you need it from another account, credit card, or credit line to make sure you have enough money to cover your transactions. However, even with overdraft protection, your bank still may charge you a fee each time you use the service, although these fees are generally significantly lower than the ones if you didn't have overdraft protection.
Online ACH Transfers is a feature of online banking in which you can use the bank website to move money to and from accounts at other banks. Typically you need to go through a multi-day verification process to confirm you are the owner of the account at the other bank before they let you make any transfers. There also may be daily, monthly, or per-transaction limits on the amount you can transfer using their system.
Deposits By Mail is a service that allows you to mail to the bank checks made out to you in order to deposit them. This feature is typical among online banks that don't have branches or ATMs. Some banks will even provide postage-free envelopes in which to mail deposits.
Online Statements is a feature that lets you receive less mail from your bank. Banks are required to send you a report of your balance and account activity on a regular basis, usually monthly or quarterly, but those banks that offer online statements allow you to get these correspondences by email or by logging on to the bank website instead of getting a monthly statement in the mail.
Joint Accounts are for when two people want to share a bank account. Typically either of the two people who own the account have full rights to withdraw or deposit money as they please. Some banks prevent more than one person from being listed as the owner of an account, and thus getting a joint account is not always a feature option.
Hard Inquiries are when a bank requires making a "hard credit check" on you when you apply for an account. Hard Credit Checks may temporarily hurt your credit score a bit, and potentially make it more difficult for you to get a loan or new credit card in the future. Generally most people aren't notably affected by hard credit checks unless they frequently are opening accounts, but in general it is a good idea to minimize them.
Requires Checking: Some banks require that you open or have a checking account with the bank in order to get an advertised rate on a different account. Banks may have different reasons for setting this requirement, but the most common reason is that they want to only give their highest rates to customers who do their day-to-day banking with the institution.
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Banks offer different ways for applicants to apply for an account.
Apply Online: Applicants fill out a form on the bank website, although some banks may ask for certain documents to be mailed to them in order to complete the application.
Apply In Branch: Applicants must come in to a branch and meet with a bank employee to open an account.
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BankFox analyzes the financial health of all banks listed on the site and assigns them a score of one to five. (One is the worst score and five is the best score.)
BankFox derives these scores by comparing financial information about current banks with the financials of banks that have failed (gone out of business) in the past. Although the scores are a good overall summary of a bank's health, they should only be viewed as an informed interpretation of a bank's health, but not a definitive measure of whether a bank will fail.
Read more about BankFox HEALTH Reports.
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Rates and accounts may differ by geography so enter your zip code for better information.