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Checking vs Savings Account: What's the Difference?

Money Management | Kat Tretina | December 29, 2021

If you’re planning on opening a new bank account, you’ll be prompted to choose an account type. Bank accounts can be for either checking or savings, so how do you decide which is best for you? 

Which type you should open is dependent on your goals for the account and its intended use. Here’s what you should know about the differences between these accounts, and how to find the best banks for checking and savings accounts. 

 

Checking vs. Savings Accounts

Checking and savings accounts share some similarities. You can use both accounts to safely store your cash, and you can make withdrawals from your accounts when you need money. However, there are some key differences to keep in mind. 

 

What Are Checking Accounts? 

A checking account is a tool you can use to deposit your paychecks and pay your bills. It securely holds your money, but you can readily access it whenever you need cash. You can withdraw money by visiting a bank or ATM. 

By having a checking account, you can complete transactions without the need for physical bills. Instead, you can pay for items with a debit card, by writing a check, or by authorizing electronic payments. Here are a few pros and cons of checking accounts:

 

Pros of Checking Accounts

  • Easy access to cash: A checking account allows you to tap into your money when you need it. Whether you withdraw money to pay your rent or to purchase a gift for your friend, you can have quick and easy access to cash. 
  • No limit on withdrawals: As long as you have enough money in the account, checking accounts don’t limit how often you can make withdrawals.
  • You may earn a return: Some checking accounts offer perks like cashback or interest and can be very rewarding. Shop around when you’re choosing a checking account to find the one that offers the best return - starting with these personal checking accounts from SouthEast Bank.

 

Cons of Checking Accounts

  • Requires careful budgeting: According to Fortunly, if you’re paying with a debit card rather than cash, you may find yourself spending more readily if you aren’t tracking your budget. Fortunately, SouthEast Bank offers digital budgeting and spending tools that automatically categorize your spending so you can stay on track to meet your goals.

 

If you’re researching the best banks for checking and savings accounts in Tennessee, consider these personal checking options from SouthEast Bank:

 

What Are Savings Accounts? 

Savings accounts are best suited for long-term financial goals rather than day-to-day expenses. A savings account is where you stash your money to save for things like a vacation, wedding, or the downpayment on a house. 

The money in your savings is completely separate from the cash in your checking. Like checking accounts, though, certain savings accounts offer a return on your balance. Here are a few reasons to consider savings accounts:

 

Pros of Savings Accounts

  • Save for specific goals: With a savings account, you can keep your emergency fund or vacation fund separate from your everyday expenses. You can even use multiple savings accounts to save for several goals at once, helping you monitor your progress and stay focused. 
  • Earn - or grow - your returns: Some savings accounts, like SouthEast Bank’s Bonus Rate Savings option, offer a return on your balance.3 By pairing a high-yield savings account with a high-yield checking account, you can enjoy watching your money grow faster over time.

 

Cons of Savings Accounts

  • Restrictions on withdrawals: Many financial institutions impose limits on the number of times you can withdraw money from savings each month, and if you exceed the limits, you’ll be charged a fee. If you’re debating a savings account vs a checking account for everyday purchases, checking may be a better fit. 

 

Choosing a Bank Account

Now that you understand the similarities and differences between checking vs. savings accounts, you can choose the right account for your needs. In general, a checking account makes sense if you want easy access to cash and plan to use it to pay for your routine expenses. By contrast, a savings account is best if you’re saving money for long-term goals and don’t need to make frequent withdrawals.

Looking for the best banks for checking and savings accounts? SouthEast Bank strives to offer the utmost in banking options, personalized service and local decision-making. We offer rewards checking accounts and savings accounts designed to fit a variety of lifestyles and goals. Plus, you can apply online in minutes. Click here to get started.

 


Note: Links to other websites or references to services or applications are provided as a convenience only. A link does not imply SouthEast Bank’s sponsorship or approval of any other site, service or application. SouthEast Bank does not control the content of these sites, services or applications.

Information contained in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal or tax advice. An attorney or tax advisor should be consulted for advice on specific issues.

*APY=Annual Percentage Yield 

1To earn the bonus rate, each statement cycle the account must be enrolled in eStatements and post and settle at least 15 qualifying debit card transactions of $1 or more. If all qualifications are met during the statement cycle, the account will earn a 2.01% APY on balances up to $20,000 and .20% APY on balances over $20,000. If bonus qualifications are not met during the statement cycle, the account will earn .05% APY. Unlimited check writing is subject to available funds. $3.00 Paper Statement fee is waived with a daily average account balance of $1,200 or a daily average relationship balance of $10,000. Qualifying transactions include point of sale or online purchases using the SouthEast Bank debit card. ATM and cash-only transactions do not qualify towards minimum debit card transaction amount. Fees may reduce earnings. Some fees and restrictions apply. Visit southeastbank.com or ask an associate for complete details. Rates are accurate as of 1-1-2022. Rates are variable and subject to change after account opening.

2Enrollment in monthly eStatements is required to earn the $.10 cashback rewards. Qualifying transactions include point of sale or online purchases of $1 or more using the SouthEast Bank debit card. ATM and cash-only transactions do not qualify for cashback rewards. The Rewards Period begins on the first calendar day after the last business day of the prior month and ends on the last business day of the current calendar month. Regardless of the Statement Cycle, cashback rewards will be paid (credited to the account) on the 1st business day of each month. Unlimited check writing is subject to available funds. $3 paper statement fee is waived with a daily average account balance of $1200 or a daily average relationship balance of $10,000. Fees may reduce earnings. Some fees and restrictions apply.

3To earn the bonus rate, the account holder must have a SouthEast Bank checking account with the Round Up feature, enroll the Bonus Rate Savings account in eStatements and post and settle 15 round up debit card transactions during the statement cycle from any personal SouthEast Bank checking account. This is a variable rate tiered account. If all qualifications are met during the statement cycle, 2.01% APY will be applied on the balances up to $10,000 and .20% APY on balances over $10,000 will be credited. If bonus qualifications are not met during the statement cycle, the account will earn 0.05% APY. Unlimited withdrawals at teller window or ATM and 6 pre-authorized withdrawals per month at no charge, including checks, ACH debits and online banking transfers; $3 fee for each withdrawal thereafter. Fees may reduce earnings. Limit one Bonus Rate Savings account per primary owner tax ID. Rates are accurate as of 1-1-2022. Rates are variable and subject to change after account opening.

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