- March 15, 2023
- Posted by General Electric Credit Union
- 5 read
Don’t Make These 5 Checking Account Mistakes
The right checking account should simplify everyday banking while keeping your funds secure and accessible. But there are some things you can do, as the accountholder, to further improve your financial well-being and get the most out of checking.
5 checking account mistakes to avoid
1. Not checking your balance
If you don’t currently, you should make it a habit to regularly review your checking account balance. Doing so will help you keep track of your spending and gauge whether you have the funds available for a purchase. As a result, you can better avoid overdrawing your account. But everyone has an “oops” moment from time to time, and that’s where overdraft solutions can provide an additional layer of protection. Options include:
- An overdraft line of credit. When you overdraw your account, your financial institution will automatically pull funds from a line of credit to cover the overdraft.
- Overdraft protection transfers. This option allows you to automatically transfer funds between a savings and checking account to cover an overdraft.1
In reviewing your account balance and transaction history, you can also spot suspicious transactions more quickly – and time is of the essence when it comes to fraud! If a transaction does look questionable, contact your financial institution immediately. They’ll take the appropriate steps to safeguard your account’s funds.
2. Not using it as part of your saving strategy
The best credit unions have programs that help you save with every debit card purchase! At General Electric Credit Union (GECU) our checking accountholders can enroll in Round-Up to accomplish just that.3 Once enrolled and set up with a checking and savings account, we’ll round your debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings account. Saving has never been so effortless!
3. Not considering interest-earning options
Traditional checking accounts keep everything simple and straightforward. But did you know some account options pay out interest on your balance? This compound interest can be especially beneficial during inflation, as even small payouts help lessen the burden of increased grocery prices. There aren’t any additional requirements for managing these accounts, either. Once open and funded, your balance starts growing – it’s that easy.
4. Not having direct deposit set up
Employers sometimes give their employees the option to get paid via check or direct deposit. Getting these paychecks in the mail can increase your chances of falling victim to check fraud. Instead, keep your funds and personal information out of criminals’ hands by setting up direct deposit.
Some financial institutions even have an Early Pay program so you may get your ACH payments – including paychecks – up to two days early.2
5. Not taking advantage of digital services
A financial institution’s digital services are there to bring convenience and increased security to your banking experience. At GECU, these digital services include:
- Online banking or mobile banking.3 Both options keep your accounts at your fingertips. Check your balance, transfer money, and so much more from your device.
- Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). ITMs offer expanded options compared to ATMs. You can withdraw cash in denominations of $1, make envelope-free deposits, and more!
- Bill Pay.4 House all of your eBills and pay them under one login.
- Money Management. Get a holistic view of your finances, track spending, and more with this dashboard available within Online Banking or our mobile app.
All of these can help you manage your checking account funds with greater ease. Access them as well as interest-earning accounts, free overdraft solutions, and a network of nearly 100,000 free ATMs5 (including some at stores you frequent!) by becoming a member. If you live or work in the Tri-State, you can bank with Cincinnati’s Best Credit Union.