Opening a bank account is one of the best ways to keep your money safe while still having access to your cash whenever you need it. When you go to the bank to open an account, you will encounter a wide array of accounts to choose from, and it is important to consider a number of factors before making your choice.
Before you open any bank account, you first need to make sure that the bank has full Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance coverage. If you open a checking account, savings account, money market account or certificate of deposit at an FDIC-insured bank, your money is safe, up to a limit of $250,000 per account. But if the bank does not have FDIC insurance coverage, all of the cash you deposit is at risk.
Access to Cash
It is important to consider access to your cash when you open a bank account. If you need to have ready access to your money at a moment's notice, a checking or savings account is a good choice. If you are willing to keep your money tied up for a period of months or years, you might be able to get a better rate of interest if you open a CD instead. If you need ready access to your cash but are willing to accept a few restrictions, like limits on the number of checks you can write, a money market account could be the best choice.
ATM fees can really add up when you have a bank account, so look for an account that provides you with free ATM withdrawals. For maximum flexibility, you might want to look for a bank account that reimburses you for ATM fees charged by other institutions. That frees you from the need to always seek out your own bank's branches when you need to access your money.
When you open a bank account, it makes sense to get the most for your money. It is a good idea to compare the interest rates offered by the bank and choose the account that provides you with the best possible interest rate. Of course, it also is important to look at other factors, like the minimum balance requirements and the monthly service fees. You want to make sure you can meet the minimum balance requirement and avoid monthly service fees before you open the account.