There are many choices for savings and chequing accounts. Accounts may offer different interest rates and different services for different fees. How do you find the right account for you? Here are some tips as well as some mistakes you will want to avoid.
Four tips for choosing a savings or chequing account:
- Pick a location that’s easy to get to at times you like: Some companies stay open later than others. Some are open on weekends. Try to choose a financial institution that has branches or bank machines located close to you. It will make it easier for you to deposit and withdraw your money. And, you’ll save money on gas, taxi fare or bus fare.
- Get only the services you need: You can get a wide range of services for a chequing or savings account. You may not need all of them. For example, some people write very few cheques. Others make very few withdrawals at bank machines. Don’t pay for services you don’t need.
- Compare fees: How fees work may vary at different financial institutions. Pick the account that charges the lowest fees for the services you need.
- Check the interest rate: There are many kinds of accounts. The amount of interest they offer can vary. Compare rates before you open an account. Also, check from time to time to see if there is ever a reason to change your account.
Tip: Don’t let others get account information that would give them access to your money, such as your account numbers and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Also, watch out for e-mails claiming to be from your bank, asking for your bank information or other personal details. This is a scam called phishing.
Remember: Savings and chequing accounts keep changing.
There are new options all the time. If you haven’t reviewed your account for a while, take another look. You may find new services you would like. Or, you may find a way to pay less for the same services you have today.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.