The ultimate checking checklist

What you should be getting in a checking account.

Nobody has to tell you that money can be confusing. And thinking about something like a checking account just isn’t as much fun as thinking about what you’re going to do this weekend. Or ice cream. Or just about anything else. With that in mind, let’s make it easy to understand what you should expect from your checking.

Checking account must-haves

The fact is that our checking accounts are where the day-to-day movement of our money happens. That makes it one of the most important things to get right. The good news is that it’s really not that hard.

The right account should make it easy for us to do awesome stuff with our money. Here’s a list of what to look for:

  • Online banking - It’s our money, so we should have access to it 24/7 - not just when the bank is open. Online banking should let us check balances on our accounts, transfer funds, pay bills, and more.
  • Mobile banking - Let’s control our money on the go. A mobile banking app should let us check account balances, transfer funds, deposit checks, pay bills, get text alerts and more. And it should offer security features, including the ability to turn off our debit card if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Electronic statements - Ditch the paperwork and have monthly bank statements stored online. Be sure it’s possible to access previous months for record keeping and budgeting.
  • Direct deposit & automatic transfers - Get a paycheck deposited right into checking every payday. And then have money moved over to savings automatically, so we never forget to put something back each month.
  • Nationwide ATMs - Look for a bank with a network of free ATMs nationwide so you can get to your cash without paying a fee.
  • Overdraft protection - Hopefully we’ll never overdraw our account, but if we do, we’ll want to be protected. Let’s find a bank that lets us move money from savings to cover an overdraft. Or one that will charge a reasonable fee.
  • FDIC insurance - Look for the 'Member FDIC' logo to ensure your money is protected up to $250,000 per account.

There is a place First Federal Bank of Kansas City calls Wellbeingville where you’ll find the right money know-how and tools so you can feel more confident and make better decisions. That includes things like this post and a genuinely free checking account that gives you everything you should be getting. Check it out. And welcome to Wellbeingville.

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