Using a checking account has many advantages over keeping money in cash. Not all accounts are the same, so before you open an account learn all the details. Here’s what you should know when you open one of these accounts:

  1. They Keep Your Money Secure.When you put money in a checking account, the money is guaranteed to be there until you withdraw it or transfer it to someone else. For credit union accounts, this promise is backed up by the NCUA. If instead you hold onto money in cash form, it could be lost or stolen with no way to retrieve it. Keeping money in an account is safer.
  2. They Give You a Reliable Way to Pay Bills.You’ll get a checkbook when you open an account; this allows you to easily pay bills anywhere and at any time. You’re spared the trouble and expense of going to a store for a separate money order each time you need to send money.
  3. You Can Manage Your Checking Account Online.Through your credit union’s website, you can monitor how much money you have in your account and see which of your checks have been paid. This means you always have accurate information about your finances.
  4. Some Accounts Are a Better Deal Than Others.All checking accounts offer some basic conveniences, but not all accounts have the same terms. An account may require you to have a certain amount of money called a minimum balance in the account at all times. You may also be charged a monthly fee or a fee based on the number of checks you write. Learn about the requirements and fees before you open a checking account so that you can make sure you’re choosing an account with the lowest costs.
  5. Some Accounts Pay Interest.Interest-earning checking accounts pay you to keep money in your account. These accounts often have more requirements such as minimum balances than accounts that don’t pay interest, as Kiplinger notes. But if you’re able to meet the requirements, an interest-earning account could be a good choice.

For more details, and to read about two more money-saving apps, click here for the full blog post, which originally appeared at www.mycvcu.org.