What Is a Checking Account And a Savings Account

Checking and saving accounts are two basic facilities provided by financial institutions to their customers. Both of them serve the primary need for storing money for the customers. Over the time, saving accounts have become a lot flexible and have started resembling the checking account in some dimensions. However, there is a great deal of difference between them in terms of withdrawals, interest payment, fee etc.  If you want to open up a bank account, it is very important that you know what these two accounts mean and their offerings so that you can make an informed decision based on your own needs and requirements.


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    Nature of accounts:

    Saving account, as evident from the name is generally for putting away your money for a long time. If you have ample cash that you do not need for the time, you place it in a  saving account. Checking account on the other hand is used for ‘on-going’ cash like your salary which comes monthly and you withdraw cash to use it up. It facilitates your routine transactions. Saving account is a long term account while checking account is a shorter one.

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    Since you place your savings in the bank, it allows the bank an opportunity to invest the cash and reap profits. The bank, therefore, pays you an interest over the money you deposited with it. So you can expect a certain percentage of interest after a certain period. It can be monthly, biannually or annually, depending on the option your bank offers and your own preference.

    In the checking account, the bank has no security that the cash in your account will remain there long enough to invest it somewhere else. Therefore, it cannot invest it and  does not offer you any form of interest.

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    Transaction and fund access:

    Since the bank needs a security that your savings will stay long enough, it gives you fewer options to make transactions. Some banks have transaction caps which do not allow saving account holders to make transactions above a certain amount. You might have to write a check or transfer to another bank account for making greater transactions on saving account. The bank makes your access to your funds difficult because saving account is not meant to be used often. Most banks do not offer ATM cards with their saving account to prevent greater transactions.

    In a checking account, you can make as many transactions as you want through your ATM, check, transfer and online account. However, you might have to pay the extra fee for the efforts the bank puts in for a great use without any hopes of interest payment.

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