Your checking account is always active throughout the month, whether it’s the bills you have on auto-pay, the direct deposit coming through your paycheck, or the weekly trips you make to the ATM. But not all if that lines up perfectly throughout the month, sometimes you can encounter unexpected or high than usual expenses!
A checking account is an important necessity for managing your day-to-day money: bills, utilities, gym memberships, and even other financial accounts like credit cards. While anyone will tell you that you should have a checking account, there isn’t any hard rule for how much you should keep in it. But just how much money should you keep in your checking and savings accounts?
|HSBC Premier checking account: Get up to $600 when you open a Premier checking account. You'll enjoy 3% Cash Bonus, up to $600, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $100 per month, during the first 6 calendar months after account opening. Member FDIC Terms|
|HSBC Premier checking account: Earn $450 bonus for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities. Make recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000. Member FDIC Terms|
|Huntington 25 Checking: Earn $500 bonus when you open a Huntington 25 Checking account and make cumulative new money deposits of at least $15,000 within 60 days of account opening. The $500 bonus will be deposited into your Huntington 25 Checking account after all requirements are met. Apply Now---Huntington 25 Checking Review|
Table of Contents
Should you keep all your money in a check account?
Checking accounts exists for transactional purposes, it’s where you keep the money you may need in the near future! But it is an insufficient way to store all your cash for two big reasons:
- Low interest rates
- Even the very best checking accounts pay less interest than online savings or money market accounts. If you want to keep most of your cash where it will earn the most interest, a checking account is not a place for that. You can find the best savings account that pay nearly twice the rate of the best checking account.
- Theft Risk
- The reality is that money you keep in your checking account can be easily accessed via debit card. If you lose your card or your card number is stolen, a thief can wipe out your account by making unauthorized purchases or ATM withdrawals. Keep in mind that debit cards have poor consumer protections against fraud! So if it takes you too long to realize your account has been compromised, you could be fully responsible or any fraudulent charges. On the other hand, many credit card issuers offer zero liability for fraudulent transactions, which means you’re totally off the hook if a scammer makes purchases in your name. So it’s a good idea to use credit cards or cash!
The amount in your checking account should be sufficient to cover the monthly bills, provide you with some ready cash for other expenses, and act as a buffer to avoid potential overdrafts.
The remaining money should be kept safely in savings, because your checking account can quickly become a financial weak spot! So once you’ve built up that one-month balance in your account, it is recommend transferring any extra cash into your emergency fund, savings account, etc.!
TD Bank Convenience Checking: Earn $150 bonus with the TD Bank Convenience Checking account when you receive direct deposits of $500 or more within 60 days of opening your account. The account comes with free online banking, free bill pay, and access to 1,300 ATMs. Apply Now---TD Bank Checking Review
Chase Total Checking®: Earn $200 bonus when you open a new Total Checking® account and set up a qualifying direct deposit into this account within 60 days of account opening. Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. Apply Now---Chase Total Checking Review
Aspiration Spend & Save Account: Enjoy a $100 bonus when you open and fund an Aspiration Spend & Save Account with a deposit of $10 or more, and use their Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within the first 60 calendar days from account opening. Learn More---Aspiration Review
What’s the Right Amount in Checking?
Checking accounts aren’t known for carrying high-interest rates. Even banks that offer high-interest checking accounts often provide tiered-interest rate structures that need to be navigated to realized the full value.
One to two months of spending is an arbitrary amount to keep in a checking accounts, it’s enough for most people to go a long time without having to move money between accounts and to avoid an overdraft fee. The amount in your checking account should be sufficient to cover the monthly bills, provide you with some ready cash for other expenses, or act as a buffer*1 to avoid potential overdrafts.
The remaining money should be kept safely in savings because your checking account can quickly become a financial weak spot. If you’re committed to always swiping a debit card instead of a credit card, you should keep the minimally acceptable amount for your spending habits in a checking account.
How to Protect Your Checking Account
1. Use Your Credit card for the majority of purchases you make! Credit cards have better fraud protection and don’t give the thief direct access to your money.
2. Only try to use ATM’s inside a bank.
3. Cover your hand when punching in the pin associated with your debit card.
4. Set up text alerts for your account balances and transactions
5. Understand your bank’s liability policy associated with a checking account.
HSBC Advance checking account: Get up to $240 when you open an Advance checking account. You'll receive 3% Cash Bonus, up to $240, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $40 per month, during the first 6 calendar months after account opening. Member FDIC Terms
HSBC Advance checking account: Earn $200 Bonus with a new HSBC Advance checking account with qualifying activities. Make recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $500 to your HSBC Advance checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months. Member FDIC Terms
TD Bank Beyond Checking: Earn $300 bonus when you open a new TD Bank Beyond Checking account and set up direct deposit of at least $2,500. It comes with free online banking, free bill pay, and access to 1,300 ATMs. Apply Now---TD Bank Promotions
You should keep one month’s take home pay as a comfortable spending cushion in your checking account, but move any extra cash into separate savings accounts for any emergency fund, annual expenses, and long-term goals.
For a variety of options, see our list of the Best Bank Promotions and the Best Bank Rates! While you’re here on HMB, you should check out our Bank Guide for any additional questions or resources that might help you with banking!
|Chase Business Complete BankingSM: Earn $300 bonus when you open a new Chase Business Complete BankingSM account and deposit $2,000 or more in new money within 20 business days & maintain that balance for 60 days, and complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days. Chase offers financial products and services that let you bank when and how you want. Get Coupon---Chase Business Checking Review|
|Huntington Unlimited Plus Business Checking: Earn $750 bonus when you open a Huntington Unlimited Plus Business Checking account and make total deposits of at least $20,000 within 60 days of account opening. The $750 bonus will be deposited into your account after all requirements are met. This account is for larger businesses with high monthly transaction volume. Apply Now---Huntington Unlimited Plus Business Checking Review|
|Huntington Unlimited Business Checking: Earn $400 bonus when you open a Huntington Unlimited Business Checking account and make total deposits of at least $5,000 within 60 days of account opening. The $400 bonus will be deposited into your account after all requirements are met. This account is for businesses with higher checking activity and greater cash flow needs. Apply Now---Huntington Unlimited Business Checking Review|
|Huntington Business Checking 100: Earn $200 bonus when you open a Huntington Business 100 Checking account and make total deposits of at least $2,000 within 60 days of account opening. The $200 bonus will be deposited into your account after all requirements are met. This account is ideal for start-ups and small businesses with lower balances and checking activity. Apply Now---Huntington Business Checking 100 Review|
|Wise Business Banking: Get a $100 credit in your Wise account when you sign up and spend $1000 on your Wise card the first 30 days. No hidden fees. No minimum deposit. Earn up to 1% on Wise checking.
Apply Now---Wise Business Banking Review
|Axos Bank Basic Business Checking: Earn $100 bonus when you open a new Axos Bank Basic Business Checking Account and have average daily balance of the account must be at least $2,500 in the first two months after account opening. Business must be incorporated after 6/01/2020 and application must be submitted before 11:59pm on 3/31/2021 to qualify.
Apply Now---Axos Bank Business Checking Review