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How to Choose the Right Checking Account

By Jessica Grems, Retail Banker

1/13/2023

 

Choosing a checking account isn’t always as cut and dry as it seems. That’s because everyone—individual or business—has unique needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all account out there. In the past, there used to be only a few straightforward account options, but today, we offer a variety of accounts, each with different features and perks.  

 

So how should you choose a checking account? Below we’ll share our perspective on things to consider when opening a checking account. 


Photo: Woman paying at counter
Text: Checking accounts give you easy access to your funds, and are designed with accessibility in mind.


What are the Benefits of a Checking Account?

Checking accounts give you easy access to your funds and are designed with accessibility in mind—you can access your money quickly and using a variety of methods: using your debit card transactions online and in person, writing checks, ATM and teller withdrawals, bill pay and P2P payments (person-to-person) through our Online or Mobile Banking.  

 

Checking accounts are meant to be liquid; in other words, it is expected that the funds in the account will be spent in the near future. Because they’re used for your everyday purchases and bills, you’ll need to keep enough money in these accounts to adequately cover these expenses. This is opposed to savings accounts and investments, which will give you a higher yield on your deposits, but whose funds aren’t as readily accessible. In fact, the harder it is to withdraw the funds, the more interest the account tends to accumulate. Ideally, you’ll have both checking and savings/investment accounts. 


Photo: Woman using ATM
Text: A bank with a robust ATM network provides you more opportunities to access accounts at your convenience.


How to Choose the Right Bank for Your Checking Account 

Having a checking account is a fact of life for most people in America. Whether you need a place for your direct deposit paychecks, an easy way to pay your bills, or a card for transactions in an increasingly cashless world. But while every bank offers some checking account services, not every bank will be a good fit for you.

If you haven't had a checking account before, or aren’t happy with your current banking situation, consider that maybe it’s not just a matter of choosing the right account, but choosing the right bank is just as important. Here are some questions and answers about why Peoples Bank is a great choice for your banking needs:

What does Peoples Bank have to offer?

Some questions you can ask:
  • What are some benefits of banking with Peoples Bank?
    • Our Peoples Bank checking accounts are tailored to fit your unique needs. We will ask you some quick, easy questions regarding what you’re looking for in an account and match one best suited to you. We also print our debit cards in house so you can take your active debit card with you!
    • Digital Banking – Our Online and Mobile Banking is super convenient and easy to use. Not only can you check your accounts on your time, but we also feature Conversations, a chat feature that allows you to send messages to members of our staff and Debit Card Management, allowing you to set debit card alerts/protections, unlock/lock your debit card and set travel notifications. You can even set budgets and goals with My Money Manager.
    • Not only do we offer great checking accounts for personal and business, but we offer personal, business, and mortgage loans.
    • While we offer the bank products and services you need, we also offer Peoples Bank Wealth Management Group and Peoples Insurance to complete our well-rounded financial services lineup!¹
  • Are employees friendly and accessible?
    • Our Vision Statement is, “Where Values Matter!” Our Mission and Core Values point to our Vision, and we strive to each and every day to adhere to this as employees, especially when it comes to how we treat our customers.
    • Having just opened our tenth Peoples Bank location, we are accessible to you, now having locations in Northwest Iowa, Southwest Minnesota, and Southeast South Dakota.
  • Does Peoples Bank offer Online or Mobile Banking?
    • Yes and yes! As stated above, we believe it’s one of the perks of banking with us.
  • Can I deposit checks through Mobile Banking?
    • We offer Mobile Deposit through our Peoples Bank Mobile Banking app. It’s easy! All you need to do is take a picture of the front and back of your endorsed check and submit it! You’ll get a confirmation on your device and by email for each deposit.
  • How big is Peoples Bank's ATM network? Do you allow transactions at ATMs outside of your network, or do they charge a fee?
    • We have ATMs at all of our bank locations and at Pump ‘N Pak in Rock Valley and at Sheldon Plaza in Sheldon. Additionally, we are a Privileged Status member, so if you use a Privileged Status ATM, you won’t get an ATM fee!

We feel Peoples Bank is the right bank for you, but we invite you to take the time to check out our website and see what products and services we offer and what perks our accounts feature. Considering the things that are most important to you, compare checking accounts side by side. We also invite you to stop at any of our bank locations! We are more than happy to answer any financial questions you may have.

 

Checking Account Perks

When picking the best checking account to fit your needs, consider the perks we offer with our Checking Accounts. 

We will ask you a few short, easy questions to help you choose the best checking account for you! 
 

Learn More About Peoples Bank's Checking Accounts 


Photo: Man and woman sitting at laptop
Text: Some checking account perks are nominal, but others can make your life a lot easier, save you money, or even make you money.

 

Checking Accounts with Interest


While checking accounts usually aren’t known for earning high interest rates, even a little bit of interest can add up over time, especially if you are able to keep a higher balance in your account. Peoples Bank offers three checking accounts that earn interest:³

  • Preferred Interest Checking - An account for those interested in higher interest!
    • FREE personalized checks
    • Higher interest rate with a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more
    • Competitive interest if balance falls below $1,500
    • $10 (plus tax) monthly service charge only if minimum balance falls below $1,500
  • 50+ Interest Checking - A perfect account for customers 50 and over!
    • FREE personalized checks
    • Competitive interest  
    • No minimum balance
    • No monthly service charge
  • Direct Interest Checking - Earn interest with the convenience of direct deposit or any automatic payment!
    • Competitive interest
    • No minimum balance
    • No monthly service charge

Maybe you're looking for a simple, free checking account. We offer Simply Free Checking! It's a FREE account for everyone There's no minimum balance and no monthly service charge.³


Searching for a Business Bank Account?


We’ve focused on personal checking accounts so far, but finding the right business checking account that matches your business or farm needs can make an even bigger difference in your day-to-day life. If you currently use your personal checking account for your business expenses, there are many reasons to switch to a business checking account—such as not making your life needlessly complicated come tax time. 

Although managing a business bank account can be a little more complicated than running an individual’s personal finances, many of the same principles apply when choosing the right account. Here are the top things to consider: 

Perks

There are different advantages to each of our Business Checking Accounts, but all offer the following:
  • FREE Peoples Bank Mastercard® Business Debit Card
  • FREE Online Banking
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Mobile Deposit
  • FREE Bill Pay
  • FREE E-Statements with Online Check Images
  • FREE Thank You Gift²
  • BUY BACK of Your Debit Cards & Unused Checks from Another Financial Institution²

Our Business Checking Accounts

We have a great checking account lineup for businesses!4
  • Simply Free Business Checking - Perfect for most businesses!
    • 1,000 FREE monthly transaction items
    • No minimum balance
    • No monthly service charge
    • Up to $10,000 currency deposited per month FREE
  • Business Interest Checking - Designed for sole proprietorships and non-profits
    • 1,000 FREE monthly transaction items
    • Competitive interest
    • Only $1,500 minimum balance to avoid a low monthly service charge of $10.00 (plus tax)
    • Up to $10,000 currency deposited per month FREE
  • Commercial Checking - For businesses with more complex banking needs
    • Earnings credit allowance on deposit balances may offset activity fees
    • Only $10 monthly service charge (plus tax)
    • Transaction items are just 10¢ each
    • Coin and currency deposits just 50¢ per $1,000



Open a Checking Account with Peoples Bank

Our mission is not just to meet but to exceed our customers’ expectations. Peoples Bank has nearly 80 years of experience working with individuals, local farms, and businesses, helping them prosper and grow. With a variety of modern banking products and services, including personal checking accounts and business checking accounts designed to meet a wide range of needs, we’d love to be your bank today, and for many years to come. Stop by one of our 10 convenient locations in Northwest Iowa, Southwest Minnesota, and Southeast South Dakota to see what we can do for you! 



1.Investment products are not FDIC insured, not a bank deposit, not guaranteed by the bank or any US Government Agency and principal may lose value.

2. Free gift may be reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-MISC. Free gift provided at the time of account opening. We reserve the right to substitute a gift of similar value. Up to $10 for checks and debit cards from another financial institution given at the time the checks/debit cards are presented.

3. Minimum opening deposit is only $25. Ask us for details. Bank rules and regulations apply. Other fees such as overdraft paid and overdraft returned fees, etc. may apply. See fee schedule for details. Dormant Accounts – Accounts with daily ledger balances below $1,000 will be charged $2.50 per month if dormant for one year or more. Preferred, 50+ and Direct Checking, Money Market and Savings Accounts: Rate Information – This is an interest-bearing account. The interest rate and annual percentage yield (APY) will depend on daily balance. The interest rate and APY may change. Interest will begin to accrue the business day we receive credit for the deposit of non-cash items (i.e. check).

4. Minimum opening deposit is only $25. Ask us for details. Bank rules and regulations apply. Other fees such as overdraft paid and overdraft returned fees, etc. may apply. See fee schedule for details. Transaction items include all debits and credits. If the Simply Free Business or Business Interest account exceeds 1,000 free monthly transaction items, the account may be converted to another checking product. If the Simply Free Business or Business Interest account exceeds $10,000 in monthly coin and currency deposits, the account may be converted to another checking product.

Dormant Accounts – Accounts with daily ledger balances below $1,000 will be charged $2.50 per month if dormant for one year or more.

Rate Information – This is an interest-bearing account. The interest rate and annual percentage yield ( APY) will depend on daily balance. The interest rate and APY may change. Interest will begin to accrue the business day we receive credit for the deposit of non-cash items (i.e. check).