A young woman sitting on the floor working in a living room reviewing questions to ask when opening a checking account.

Questions to Ask When Opening a Checking Account


Here are questions to ask your banking representative about checking account fees, minimum balance, and mobile apps.

Because you can use a checking account to pay for most day-to-day transactions, it may be the most important financial tool that you have available. It’s important to make sure you’re selecting the right checking account for your particular needs.

Whether you are new to banking or searching for a new bank, asking the following questions can help you find the best checking account for your financial goals:

1. Is there a monthly fee?

Some checking accounts charge users a monthly fee to maintain their account. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, look for a free checking account, such as Fifth Third Momentum® Checking. You may need to complete a certain number of transactions or maintain a minimum balance each month in order to avoid fees.

2. Does the account require a minimum deposit?

Some banks require that users opening new accounts deposit a minimum amount of money in order to open the account. Understanding an account’s minimum deposit requirement can help you determine whether you can qualify for a specific checking account.

3. Can I get my paycheck early?

Some checking accounts, such as Fifth Third Momentum® Checking or Fifth Third Express Banking®, allow you to get access to the funds in your paycheck up to two days before they’ve cleared in your account if you sign up for direct deposit, for free. Early Pay can help with cash flow needs and provide an opportunity to start earning interest earlier.

4. Is there a banking app?

If your checking account has a banking app, that means that you can typically make deposits and other financial transactions directly from your smartphone. That can make it easier to track your money and make progress toward your financial goals.

5. What kind of overdraft protection does the checking account offer?

Overdraft protection prevents your checks from bouncing if you make a payment greater than the amount in your account. It works by linking your checking account to another account, such as savings, or a credit card. Overdraft protection may require additional fees if you use it, so it’s important to understand the terms of the service offered by each account.

6. Can I make mobile deposits?

Mobile deposits mean that you can deposit paper checks into your account without visiting a branch or an ATM. That may be particularly important if the closest branch is not nearby or if it’s hard for you to get to a bank during working hours.

7. What’s the interest rate?

Not all checking accounts offer interest, and rates vary on checking accounts that do offer interest. Knowing the current interest rates offered at multiple accounts may help in comparing them.

8. Does the account require a minimum balance?

Some checking accounts require that you keep a certain amount of money in your account at all times. If you expect that your balance could drop below the required minimum, it may make sense to look for a checking account without a minimum.

9. Does the checking account come with bill pay?

Having a checking account does not mean that you have to start writing paper checks. With bill pay, you can use the account to digitally pay everything from rent to credit card bills.

Need to open a checking account? Find out which Fifth Third account is best for you.

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