Each bank offers a variety of different checking account types, including free accounts, basic accounts and joint accounts. Some banks also offer special custodial accounts for teens or students, accounts for individuals with low income or money market accounts for investing.
The standard elements of every checking account include the ability to store money with the financial institution, write checks against the account and receive a debit card to make purchases using the funds in the account. Many banks offer some form of free checking account, which does not charge any monthly maintenance fees, but may include limited features. Above this is usually a basic checking account that provides the option to avoid fees exchange for compliance with certain criteria, such as a minimum balance, direct deposit or sacrificing certain features. A joint account may appear as either of these types, but with the ability to place two individuals as owners on the account instead of one.
A teen or student account allows a parent or guardian to open an account in the name of the child, with limited features, no fees and lower requirements. Low income accounts, also known as lifeline accounts, provide people who face financial hardships to open an account with certain limitations and potential fees to offset the potential financial risk to the bank. A money market account has a high initial deposit, but allows the owner to invest the fund directly through the bank.