Tips from Michigan Banks
Your checking account is a financial hub for managing your daily life. You deposit paychecks into it, pay bills with the funds, and withdraw cash for expenses. You need a checking account that works with your current financial situation and offers room to grow as your life changes. Choosing the right checking account starts with listing your needs, then finding a bank with a solution that works for you.
What Do You Need from a Checking Account?
To help guide your decision, we have compiled a few questions for you to answer to help choose from the many banks in Detroit, Michigan or across the US:
- How do you want to interact with the bank that manages your checking account?
- Do you prefer visiting your local branch to make deposits or withdraw cash?
- And/or do you want to have access to your accounts online and through your mobile phone?
National and local banks in Michigan have more than 2,300 branch offices. Most banks now offer online and mobile banking for secure, convenient transactions after business hours or when you're on-the-go.
- How often do you use an ATM to make deposits or withdrawals?
- Do you frequently travel beyond your local branch location?
The availability of ATMs will vary by bank. Many banks place a surcharge on ATM transactions outside their network, in addition to surcharge fees that an ATM may assess. Some, like Level One Bank, offer robust Checking Account options that may waive all ATM fees nationwide.
- What additional account services would be useful for you and your family?
- Do you need additional accounts for your child(ren)?
- Do you often transfer money to friends or family?
- Are you interested in automatic bill pay?
Some banks design checking account options with students in mind. Most provide automatic bill pay, and several have programs for convenient money transfers between U.S. banks.
Now that you have a few ideas about features you want from a checking account, it’s time to investigate which of your local banks in Michigan can best meet your needs.
Questions to Ask Your Bank About Checking Accounts
When you start looking at checking accounts from local banks in Detroit or banks in Ann Arbor for example, these questions will help pinpoint the right account for you:
- Is there a monthly checking account service or maintenance fee, and if yes, what can I do to avoid paying that fee?
While many checking accounts may charge customer service or maintenance fees, several banks will waive these charges if you participate in programs like direct deposit or sign up for eStatements.
- Which ATMs can I use without paying an extra fee?
Each bank will have a list of ATMs within their network along with any services fees you may pay if you use an out-of-network ATM. Or if you have a Level One Bank Checking Account, all of your ATM fees will be reimbursed every time, no matter which ATM in the US you use.
- Do you charge a fee if I pay bills online?
Banks usually offer free online bill pay services, but a few do charge fees.
- What happens if I spend more money than I have in the account?
Most banks will charge an overdraft fee if you try to spend more money than you have available. If those items are returned, the payee of that item may charge you an additional fee as well.
Some banks offer overdraft protection, which lets you use money from another account, like a credit card or savings account to cover your shortfall. Depending on the bank, some charges may apply for use of their overdraft protection services, however you have a piece of mind that your item is paid.
- Are mobile deposits free?
Free mobile banking is widely available from banks in Michigan (and across the U.S.), but some may charge a fee. Depending on each bank’s policies, your Mobile Deposits may not immediately be available for withdrawal. Check on the requirements for your account.
- Who do I call if something goes wrong with my account?
Local bank branches will often be your first line of defense if a problem arises with your account and you prefer to talk to a banker in-person. Many banks provide you an option to seek out help through email, phone, or online chats.
- Do you offer interest on any checking accounts?
Interest-paying checking accounts are often available, but usually can require a higher minimum balance than traditional accounts.
- Do your checking accounts offer any other financial benefits?
Some checking accounts offer benefits like rewards for debit card use (e.g. cash back programs), free checks, loan discounts, or other services that offer coupons or discounts on thousands of purchases.
It’s Your Money. Partner with Level One Bank for a Checking Account that Meets Your Needs
Level One Bank offers a range of checking accounts, including a free checking account, designed with you in mind. Find out more here, then contact us or visit one of our branches in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Grand Rapids metropolitan areas for more information.
“It’s all about the experience. Either banks remove friction, or someone else will.”