9 Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Checking Account

Need a reliable place to deposit your paychecks? Tired of your existing bank’s shady policies? If you don’t read the fine print, you could end up paying hidden fees or missing out on valuable rewards.

Here’s what to look for when opening a checking account to help you make the most of your experience.

No Monthly Fees

Many banks charge monthly maintenance fees. In fact, 45% of Americans pay these fees, but they are completely unnecessary. When choosing a checking account, you may find some that are “free,” as long as you jump through hoops. You may be required to maintain a minimum account balance or deposit a certain amount of money each month. This adds needless complexity to your financial situation and could result in fees if you’re not careful.

Connexus actually offers zero maintenance fees with no strings attached. Switching from a bank that charges you $10 a month just to hold onto your money will save you $120 a year!

No Transaction Limits

To make sure you have access to your money when you need it most, open a checking account that has no limits on the number or method of transactions you can perform per day or per month.

At Connexus, we believe our customers should have complete freedom to withdraw, deposit, or transfer money between checking and savings accounts without worrying about fees.

Free ATM Access

The average ATM surcharge is almost $5 per transaction. Avoid fees by banking with an institution that offers free access to in-network ATMs. If you regularly withdraw cash this way, make sure the bank you choose has a large ATM network.

All Connexus members have access to more than 54,000 free ATMs across the country, which allow you to enjoy unlimited transactions. While the ATM provider may charge a fee (we can’t control that), you will never receive one from us. Find an ATM near you.

Digital Banking Access

Having the option to check your balance, pay bills, and deposit funds electronically is a must. Connexus offers free 24/7 Digital Banking from anywhere in the world. Plus, with the Connexus Credit Union App, you can monitor your account on the go with convenient features such as Mobile Deposit, instant Account Notifications, and more.

Overdraft Protection

Most banks charge overdraft fees, which can be as high as $35 per overdraft. It’s extremely frustrating when you’re a dollar or two short, but then you’re hit with a steep fine. Watching your budget closely is one way to avoid overdraft fees, but it’s also wise to bank with an institution that offers overdraft protection, just in case.

At Connexus, Privilege Pay automatically applies to your checking account. This overdraft service authorizes and pays your check, ACH, or Bill Pay transaction, even if it overdraws your account. An overdraft fee of $4 may still apply, so we recommend further protecting your account with one of these options:

High Yield

At many institutions, checking accounts earn very little, if any, interest. High yields are often reserved for savings accounts. However, at Connexus, you could earn one of the nation’s highest yields. See how much higher our yield is compared to the national average. You’re unlikely to find such high yields anywhere else, especially with all the other benefits our checking accounts offer!

Branch Locations

Local banking is useful when you’re in town, but what about when you go on vacation? Opening a checking account with an institution that offers Shared Branching allows you the convenience of making loan payments, depositing checks, or making withdrawals — all as easily as performing these transactions in your hometown branch.
Learn more about Shared Branching.

Good Customer Service

When you eat out, you expect to not only enjoy the food but also to receive excellent service. If the wait staff is inattentive or treats you rudely, it doesn’t matter how good your meal tastes — you will probably never eat there again. The same is true for your bank or credit union. If something goes wrong, or you have a question, you want to rest assured that the people you work with will be knowledgeable and eager to help.

Connexus promotes great service by offering a fully staffed and trained Member Contact Center, online chat support, and branch locations in four states. We also prioritize a healthy work-life balance so our employees can focus on doing their best work for our members.

Values & Ethics

It may be important to you to choose an institution that shares your morals. Many national mega-banks give their profits to shareholders, which can lead to unethical behaviors. Is that the kind of organization you want to safeguard your money?

As a not-for-profit organization owned by our members — not shareholders — Connexus can remain committed to member service and innovation. We return the profits to you, which results in lower rates, higher yields, and fewer fees.

We strive to make a difference in the lives of our members, ensuring a reliable, relevant, and simple banking experience. We also invest back in the communities we serve because we believe in working together.

Learn more about Connexus Cares.

If you’re ready to change the way you bank, or you still have questions about our checking account options, please let us know. We’re here to help your money work harder for you.