Online checking accounts are easy to set up and come with some unique tools you can use to better manage your finances. By being mindful of these beneficial additions, it can help you pay bills on time, avoid costly fees and make better decisions on the go since you have access to all your financial information. Here is a look at some of the tools at your disposal.
Most banks and credit unions offer mobile applications where you can download the app for free on your smartphone. From there you can log into your account anywhere you have a secure internet connection to check your account balances, transfer money and some even give you the ability to deposit checks quickly. This is an excellent tool to have because it can give you the real time information you need to prevent costly mistakes such as overdrawing your account.
When you access your online checking account you can set up account alerts for everything from transactions to account balances. This is beneficial in that you have your bank alert you when your checking account drops below a specific amount. You can also set up security alerts where you will receive a text or email when information on your account changes such as the phone number, email address or PIN number. If you receive one of these alerts but didn't ask for the changes, it's important to contact your bank quickly.
Most of us have had this happen: you think you have more in your account than you do, so you make a small purchase that ends up overdrawing the account and costing your hundreds of dollars in fees. To prevent this from occurring, you can log into your account and set up overdraft protection through your savings account. How this works is if you make a purchase that overdraws the checking account, the bank will transfer the difference from your savings account provided you have at least that amount in the there. While there is a small fee for using this service, it's a much better alternative than paying higher overdraft fees.
Bill Pay is a great feature because it literally sends your payments on your behalf. What makes Bill Pay such a beneficial tool is you can set up payees such as your car lender, utility company or credit card provider and specify how much you want to pay each and when to send the payments. By using this feature, it takes the guesswork out of remembering whether you sent out a check, you make timely payments that can help you avoid costly late fees and you build your credit.
To recap, online checking accounts come with a bevy of features that can help you manage your money well. From Bill Pay, which ensures you make timely payments to account alerts that give you real time account information, these features are great because they help you stay on top of your finances that way you make better decisions with your money.