Updated July 24, 2022

Why Have Two Checking Accounts

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Would having more than one checking account make your life easier or harder? Check out the pros and cons of having multiple bank accounts.

It's tough to get everything you need from just one checking account.

So why not have two?

Maybe one bank is offering a new bonus for qualifying new customers. Or you're looking for a high APY or want to be able to visit physical branches.

If that's on your mind, find out why you should or shouldn't get a second checking account.

Is it smart to have multiple checking accounts?

As long as you keep your bank accounts in good standing, it's perfectly fine to have multiple checking accounts. This means you need to keep a positive balance and avoid excessive overdrafts.

In fact, how many checking accounts you have and the amount in those accounts will not affect your credit score.

Average number of bank accounts per person
The average American owns 5 accounts across all types of financial situations (banks, credit unions, etc.) Most consumers will have multiple accounts with three different banks.[1]

Below, discover 7 compelling reasons why you might want to open another checking account.

How many bank accounts do you currently have?

Why is it good to have multiple checking accounts?

There are a few reasons why checking accounts can actually help your finances:

  1. Better organize your spending - A simple way to budget your money is the 50/30/20 rule.

  2. You might get new customer promotions and bonuses - If you're in the market for a new bank account, take a look at these bank bonuses (no direct deposit required).

  3. Separate your emergency fund from the rest of your budget - Everyone should have a rainy day fund. Use this calculator to get started, if you haven't already.

  4. Online banks pay higher interest and have fewer fees - Here's how to find the best online bank for you.

  5. Makes it easier to manage FDIC coverage limits - In a single bank account, you can get up to $250,000 insured by the federal government.

  6. Keep your business and personal finances separate - The right bank can help your business grow.

  7. You can have an individual and joint checking account - This is ideal if you're married and don't want to close your own account. Free checking accounts make it a lot easier to juggle more than one bank.

Is there a downside to having multiple bank accounts?

Be careful. You need to stay organized and vigilant with a second checking account. Look out for the following:

  1. More vulnerable to overdraft fees - You could be charged as much as $35 each time.

  2. Keeping track of deposits and withdrawals is tricky - You'll also need to look over separate debit cards, checkbooks, and online banking information (login, password, PIN, etc.).

  3. Beware of accumulating monthly service fees - Good thing banks with no maintenance fees or minimum deposits exist.

  4. More difficult to meet minimum balance requirements for multiple accounts - And thus harder to waive the monthly service fees (which can range from $4 - $20+, depending on the account).

Can I have two checking accounts at the same bank?

You can have multiple of the same checking account type at one bank. Your accounts will have different reference numbers and your bank may charge additional fees for the extra maintenance.

Keep in mind that some banks offer "relationship benefits" if you bundle your savings and checking accounts at their bank. This could mean a higher savings interest rate or waiving the monthly fee (or both).

Can I have two checking accounts at different banks?

You can have checking accounts at more than one bank. Not all banks are equal, so different financial institutions may offer perks like branch access or interest on checking accounts.

Here are some reasons why you might need (or want) an account with a different bank:

Compare Checking Accounts

How to Open a Checking Account

Once you've done your research on the best bank for you, opening a checking account is easy-peasy.

  1. Have all the required documents on hand:
    • Government issued ID, like a driver's license
    • Social Security number
    • Proof of address (lease or utility bill)
    • Contact information (name, home address, email address, phone number)
    • Date of birth

  2. Have enough money for the opening deposit (if required).

  3. Fill out an application online or in-person.

  4. Sign any necessary paperwork.

  5. Make opening deposit (if required).

  6. Use your shiny new checking account!

Tips for Managing Multiple Checking Accounts
  1. Utilize money management apps to see everything in one place
  2. Set up regular direct deposits to maintain the required minimum balance
  3. Divvy up your spending money appropriately with online budgeting tools
  4. Consider opening checking accounts with fewer fees to keep track of
  5. Always keep personal accounts and business bank accounts separate

Bottom Line

You can certainly have more than one checking account. In fact, it may even benefit you. The number of accounts you should have will ultimately depend on your specific financial needs. Are you looking for interest bearing accounts and physical branches/ATMs? Or are you hoping to open a separate business checking account?

Do your due diligence when finding a good checking account for you and be sure to keep it in good standing and waive the monthly fees.

References

Amber Kong is a content specialist at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Amber Kong at amber.kong@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Tips
Banking doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a list of good free checking accounts without outrageous fees or high balance requirements.
How many bank accounts do you currently have?
52% 1
29% 2
8% 3
3% 4
3% 5
6% More than 5
Source: CreditDonkey. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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