There’s some simple features that every checking or debit account should have, but unfortunately not every financial institution provides them. We created a list of these “essential” features based on a focus group comprised of TFCU members and South Florida community members.
It’s time to make sure your bank or credit union is offering these features through your checking or debit account and if not, it might be time to consider a new home for you and your money.
An Account That Features Rewards or Perks
Who doesn’t love to earn something while they spend? If you take the time to invest in a company, shouldn’t they take the time to invest in you as well? Many financial institutions are starting to create accounts that reward account holders for spending or they are implementing purchase rewards, a program that allows you to get discounts or earn rewards for shopping locally.
TFCU specifically created an account with this in mind, the Daily Rewards Debit account. Our members have the ability to earn two cents back on each purchase (up to 40 purchases per day) with this account. Not to mention, we also eliminated a monthly service fee, so members are truly earning. For those, who enjoy even more rewards, there’s also the Perks Debit account which provides members with even more opportunities to be rewarded in the form of shopping discounts, credit monitoring, and more.
No Pesky Monthly Service Fee
Or any other outlandish fees for that matter. According to a MoneyRates study, the average monthly service fee for a checking or debit account is about $15 a month. Adding that up, that’s $180 a year…imagine paying almost $200 a year for your entire banking relationship.
Now granted, many financial institutions require a direct deposit amount in order to waive pesky monthly service fees, but this isn’t possible for everyone, especially now as times are evolving and jobs are not stable. The best thing to do is find a bank or credit union that doesn’t have a monthly service fee and allows you to store your money at no cost.
Tools to Help You Thrive Financially
Housing your money is important, but what’s also equally as important is managing it. There are so many places to put your money, but ask yourself if those places offer tools to help you not only manage your money, but to help you thrive financially.
TFCU’s mission is to help members get beyond money; in fact this mission has become a community. The get beyond money community focuses on helping members secure their financial future by giving practical tips to re-organize, budget, and spend while surrounding that advice around your goals. Another example of tools TFCU has to help members thrive financially is one called ChangEd. This app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers all that change over to student loans on behalf of members. You don’t have to change the way you spend and we do all the work to make sure you’ve got “extra” payments heading over to those stubborn balances.
No Minimum Balance Required
Sometimes life happens and you need a bank or credit union that understands this. It’s nice knowing that you don’t have to have a certain amount in your account, so if you ever need to transfer money knowing the flexibility is there can be very helpful.
Look for this feature and while you’re at it, see if there’s a fee for dipping below a certain balance. If there is, it may be time to consider switching somewhere else that doesn’t pressure you with how to handle your cash.
Fraud Fighting Resources
Living in South Florida, this one is a biggie. We are the fraud capital, which means you’re going to want protection for your account. Do the research and see if they have apps such as CardValet, which lets you control your debit and/or credit cards or something similar to it. Make sure you have the ability to set limits, turn your cards on/off, and more. These features are important because not only do they protect you, but also they protect your cash.
Now that you have an idea of what others consider essential features of a checking/debit account, take the time to see if your bank or credit union offers all of these and if they don’t it might be time to consider housing your money elsewhere.