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What should you look for in checking account promotions?

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Quick Answer

Because various checking account promotions highlight different aspects of banking, consumers should look for their own particular banking needs such as rewards, interest payments, online services or free checking when choosing checking accounts, advises About.com. Consumers should also carefully consider the fees attached to promoted checking accounts, reports Bankrate.

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Full Answer

Reward checking accounts offer higher interest than standard interest checking accounts but often come with a number of qualifications, including maintaining a minimum balance in the account, online-only statements, mandatory direct deposit and other restrictions, according to About.com. Interest or high-yield checking accounts offer less interest but possibly fewer restrictions. Online-only accounts are available at traditional banks as well as online banks and offer the convenience of handling all personal finances by computer or mobile phone. Free checking accounts offer checking account services without fees, but the services are often rudimentary.

Fees, surcharges and restrictions accompanying checking account promotions include monthly maintenance fees, limits on check writing, the establishment of a companion savings account and a lack of overdraft protection, reports Bankrate. Those who have online-only checking accounts may have to pay a fee if they need to work with a teller at a physical bank, states About.com. Those who only require basic banking services may find a free checking account more easily at a credit union or smaller bank. Those who travel often may need a checking account at a larger bank with a more extensive ATM network, according to Bankrate.

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