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Which New Chequing Account Holder Are You?
As a new earner, it’s important to shop around before signing up for your first chequing account. But with so many options available, you can quickly find yourself befuddled by jargon and dizzied by detail. Not to worry. By getting a handle on just a few key factors, you can hone in on which account is best for you.
Begin by thinking about your money routines.
Before looking at accounts, arm yourself with a clear understanding of your financial habits.
• Do you plan on doing your banking online, by phone, or at a branch?
• How many monthly bills do you have, and how do you pay them?
• What is the minimum you expect to keep in your account on a regular basis?
• Do you prefer paying for everyday purchases with cash or card?
• Do you already have a credit card, or will you need one?
• Do you tend to keep a budget, or manage your money intuitively?
Next, familiarize yourself with the most relevant fees and discounts.
Monthly and transaction
You’re likely to see three combinations to choose from:
• Monthly fee + Unlimited free transactions
• Monthly fee + X free transactions per month
• $X / Transaction thereafter
• No Monthly fee + $X / transaction
These apply to transactions that require a teller’s help, such as in-branch visits.
Regular account fees
Charges for transactions at any ATM.
Network access fees
Charges for transactions at ATMs not belonging to your bank.
A monthly fee that gives you backup coverage in case you overdraw your account.
If you do overdraw your account, this is the interest you’ll pay on what you owe.
Overdraft item handling
A charge for each transaction that overdraws your account.
If you’re under 18, there may be discounts you can benefit from.
Studying? Keep an eye out for offers directed your way.
If you’re new to Canada, there may be options designed for you.
Some institutions offer a discount if you hold multiple products.
Minimum monthly balance
Some will waive account fees if a minimum balance is kept in your account that month.
ALSO CHECK FOR
• Credit card included
• Online/mobile/telephone banking
• Digital money management tools
• Branches near your home, work or school
Last but not least, bring it all together.
Now that you’re clear on your money habits, you’re better equipped to think about which account features to focus on. Take a look at how your chequing account persona might impact your choice.
THE EARLY SAVER
Living at home means no monthly bills to pay. Phew. While you save for that next big step, your account will be mostly out of sight, out of mind – except when you need to withdraw some cash for the weekend.
Consider: youth discount, low ATM fees, no/low monthly fees, or fees waived with minimum monthly balance.
You’re mastering the art of careful spending, and moving a monthly budget from savings to your chequing account will keep those impulse buys at bay.
Consider: student discount, low/no minimum monthly balance, multiproduct rebate, unlimited e-transfers.
THE GLOBE TROTTER
The first big adventure is coming up and you want to make sure you have access to finances, no matter where in the world you find yourself.
Consider: low foreign ATM fees, US banking access, online banking, credit card included, overdraft protection, travel insurance.
THE QUICK SPENDER
You haven’t used cash since getting an allowance and keeping a budget still hasn’t become habit. But with the ease of online banking, you look forward to tracking your frequent spending real-time.
Consider: overdraft protection, credit card included, unlimited debit and e-transactions, online banking, digital money management tools.
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This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.