August 14, 2021

Why Have Two Checking Accounts


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.

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

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $225 Bonus

  • New Chase customers enjoy a $225 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
HSBC
Member FDIC

HSBC Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Expires 1/5/2022
  • Get a $450 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
  • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by January 5, 2022; and
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
  • You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Acorns

Acorns Checking: $75 Bonus

Expires 12/31/2021
  • Setup Acorns Checking as your direct deposit method with your employer
  • Receive 2 direct deposits of at least $250 / deposit
  • $75 bonus will be deposited into your Acorns account within 45 days
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Business Complete Banking℠ - $300 Bonus

Expires 10/21/2021
  • Earn $300 when you open a new Chase Business Complete Checking account. For new Chase business checking customers with qualifying activities.
  • More ways to waive fees. Multiple options to waive the Monthly Service Fee, including maintaining a minimum daily balance or purchases on your Chase Ink® Business credit card
  • Built-in card acceptance. Accept card payments anytime, anywhere in the U.S., and get transparent pricing with Chase QuickAccept℠.
  • Same-day deposits with QuickAccept℠. Free up the cash you need to keep your business moving forward with same-day deposits at no additional cost.
  • Alerts to help you stay on top of your account activity.
  • Easy account management through Chase Business online and the Chase Mobile® app.
  • Unlimited electronic deposits, ACH and Chase Quick Deposit℠.
  • Convenient access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches.

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 and creative 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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