Current Account: How to choose the best one in 2021
The current account is one of the types of bank account most used to move money, receive wages and take loans. But as the rates, rates and services available vary by bank, it may seem difficult to choose the best one.
If you are looking to open a checking account, but don’t know how to choose the best option, In today’s article we will take all your doubts and show you what are the main criteria that differentiate one checking account from another.
First, the most important
- A checking account is a bank account that serves to move money frequently.
- There are free checking accounts and those that charge monthly fees, but which also offer benefits in return.
- To open the best checking account you need to analyze some factors that can weigh in your pocket.
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Best current accounts: Our recommendations
When choosing the best checking account, you will come across several banks and different proposals. And the fact is that each one will serve a different purpose. To assist you in this step, we have selected the best current account available today. Check out:
- The best account as a whole
- The most traditional CC of all
- The most advantageous option
Hiring Guide: What you need to know about checking account
If you need a bank account to receive a salary or to have access to cards, loans and a checkbook, among other benefits and facilities, you need a checking account.
But, as there are several types of checking accounts, you need to understand how this type of bank account works so that you can choose the most advantageous and least expensive for you.
In this Hiring Guide, we will explain everything about the current account, what it takes to open one and what options are available today.
Current Account: What is it and how does it work?
The checking account (CC) is a bank account for those who need to move money more often.
In other words, the current account is ideal for making withdrawals, making deposits, payment of slips, TED and DOC’S, besides allowing you to use a checkbook, receive your salary, among others.
In addition, it is through the current account that it is possible to borrow from the bank, including financing, whether for real estate or vehicles, and credit card and overdraft.
To make all of these transactions possible, the requirements for opening a checking account are greater.
id you know that overdraft is a pre-approved loan amount for anyone with a checking account?
When you use the checking account without funds, you automatically enter the overdraft. That is, start using money borrowed by your bank.
To give you an idea of the cost of this loan, while the interest charged on a payroll loan reaches around 42.8% per year, on the overdraft the interest is 341% per year.
Another feature of the checking account is that it allows you to use some essential services for free, such as some amounts of withdrawals and deposits.
To give you an idea, some of the essential services offered by the current account are: Withdrawals, checkbook, monthly statement check, money transfer, debit card and account payments.
However, most financial institutions offer other current account options with more benefits and the possibility of transactions, but also with the collection of fees and charges.
In addition, the current account can also be individual or joint, or even have special rates depending on your age.
To summarize, we have listed below the main features of the current account:
- It is the ideal bank account for moving money frequently.
- It can be free or not , individual or joint.
- It has a pre-approved credit limit known as overdraft.
- Allows access to checkbook and credit card.
- It is possible to get discounts on financing and other loans.
What is the difference between checking account and other bank accounts?
In order to better understand how the current account works, it is worth noting the difference between it and other types of bank accounts.
Currently, we can say that there are at least four types of basic bank accounts: The current, savings, salary and university accounts.
As we have seen, the current account is intended for those who move the money deposited in it more frequently, whether making withdrawals or payments with the card or check.
The savings account, as its name suggests, is aimed at those who want to save money. That’s because, in this type of bank account, the money deposited and kept there yields a small percentage each month.
With the savings account it is also possible to carry out financial transactions, since you are entitled to a debit card, but in a more limited way and / or with higher tariff charges.
In general, in the savings account you are entitled to make two withdrawals, two transfers and to take two statements per month free of charge.
But here, too, if you exceed these limits, you will have to pay taxes and fees charged by the bank.
The salary account, also as the name says, is specific for receiving salaries, retirement and pension. Therefore, this account has the advantage that it can only be opened by the employer.
In addition, the salary account is also exempt from charges if the employee makes up to five withdrawals and two statements per month.
Finally, there is also the university account, which is for university students. In most banks, this is a low-cost alternative, ideal for college students.
In the university account, in general, it is even possible to have a credit card paying lower rates.
In any case, here are the main differences between these types of bank accounts:
Does the current account charge fees?
According to the Central Bank, banks are obliged to offer some basic services in the current account without charging any bank fees.
However, if you exceed the limit on the use of basic services, the bank will charge fees and fees.
And the fact is that these charges can vary a lot according to the service package of each checking account. We’ll talk in detail about this in Purchasing Criteria .
What is the best checking account: Free or paid?
Before opening a checking account, it is important that you know that there are several current account options available banks.
Next, we’ll show you the two main types of checking account and their characteristics so that you can choose the best option.
Free checking account
As we have seen, every banking institution is required by law to offer at least one free checking account option, without charging fees or tariffs so that account holders can use basic services.
Therefore, the main feature of the free checking account is that it has a package of services that can be used for free.
The basic services that must be free in a checking account are:
- 4 withdrawals per month.
- 10 check sheets per month
- Internet consultations .
- 2 bank statements per month.
- Card debt .
- 2 bank transfers between accounts at the same bank.
It is worth remembering, however, that if you exceed this limit of shares in your checking account, the bank may charge you for services.
In addition, even with the free checking account, if you are entitled to credit and overdraft you may still have to pay interest and penalties if your account is negative.
Current account with monthly fee
If you use more services than those provided for in the essential package, then you have two options: pay individual fees for each excess transaction or pay a single amount per month to access a larger package of services.
The second option is another type of checking account that is usually offered by banks: The monthly checking account. This type of account offers more benefits to the account holder than the free bank account.
But, precisely for this reason, with this checking account you will need to pay a monthly fee that, in general, is known as maintenance fee.
The benefits offered on a paid checking account will depend on the bank.
The benefits offered on a paid checking account will depend on the bank but, in general, include interest-free overdraft, points when making purchases and payments, free financial advice, and discounts on other bank services.
In addition, the monthly fee may also vary. Some banks even offer more than one paid checking account option to choose from.
However, in order to have a checking account with benefits, often the bank requires that your balance be higher, which will also vary according to the bank you choose to become an account holder.
Online checking account: traditional bank or digital bank?
Today it is possible to have an online checking account in either a traditional bank or a digital bank. The functionality of the account is the same, regardless of the type of bank.
That is, with a digital checking account, you can make transfers, payments, receive wages and withdraw money. What changes is how you relate to the bank.
For example, with an online account at a traditional bank, you can still have access to physical assistance from cashiers or managers, even though this is becoming increasingly rare.
The online checking account of traditional banks can be opened using a mobile app and is exempt from fees for transactions made over the internet.
The digital bank, which exists only on the internet, offers all services through ATMs, internet banking and applications.
In addition, although it is rare, it is already possible to find digital banks that offer a current account with income.
What does it take to open a checking account?
The current account can be opened by individuals over 18 years of age. Minors between 16 and 18 years of age need to be accompanied by the guardians to open an account like this.
In addition, it is common for banks to ask for some documents before approving the opening of a current account.
Among the main documents is the proof of income. In this case, the work card or paycheck is the most recommended.
Do I need a clear name to open a checking account?
If for some reason you failed to make a payment or a debt and ended up with a dirty name in the square, opening a checking account can be a challenge.
This is because those who are registered with the CPF as a defaulter in credit protection agencies, such as the SPC and Serasa, usually have their current bank account opening request denied.
After all, this type of account offers pre-approved credit, through check and credit card.
And the fact is that these services are only granted to those who the bank considers to be a good payer and who will have enough income to pay the debt.
The bank understands that the risk of default by those who are negative is higher, so it is necessary to have a clear name to open a current account.
How to close a checking account?
It may seem simple to close a checking account. So much so that many people just withdraw all the money from the bank account and expect it to be closed automatically or after a certain period of time.
But since, in general, a checking account has expenses, you run the risk of going into the negative if you just reset the account.
Therefore, when you decide to close your checking account, perhaps even because you have found a checking account that offers better options at another bank, you should formally and in writing request to close it to your bank.
Hiring Criteria: How to analyze current accounts
The type of checking account, the service package and the pricing are very important items when choosing the best bank to open your account.
But those are not the only criteria that you should look at. Other points to consider when opening the best checking account are:
- Branch network
- Customer service
- Financial products
- Fees and fees
- Opening deadline
Below we will explain how to evaluate each of these topics.
Although the offer of electronic and internet services is increasing, having an accessible bank branch network can make your life easier and more, especially if you need to carry out a transaction that still needs to be done at a branch.
In principle, this can be quite useful if you take a lot of trips, for example.
For this reason, choose to open a checking account at a bank that has a large and well-distributed branch network, both and even around the world.
Also take into account the customer service of the bank where you intend to open the current account.
To do this, you must analyze the evaluation of customers and the form of contact. Although most banks offer online customer service, it is worth checking what the customer service channels are and how they work.
If you want to get a loan or make an investment it is important to know the options that the bank in your checking account can offer you.
Often, hiring financial products from the same bank where you intend to open a checking account can bring benefits such as, for example, reduced fees and free credit card annuity.
Fees and fees
It is essential that you compare the fees and charges charged by banks before opening your checking account.
This applies even if you choose a free checking account. After all, it is not impossible that you need to exceed the use of basic services and, therefore, have to pay extra fees.
But that factor is even more important if you decide to open a checking account whose service package already charges fees and services.
Finally, take into account that each bank has a different deadline to approve the opening of a current account. The period can vary, on average, between 72 hours and 5 days.
Opening a checking account has more advantages than disadvantages. With this type of bank account, you can move and invest money more frequently, in addition to having access to pre-approved credit and loans.
To choose the best checking account, however, it is necessary to analyze the bank’s suitability as well as the form of customer service, in addition to the fees and tariffs charged for the transactions and products offered.
Bearing in mind that every bank is obliged to offer a basic free checking account option that allows a limited amount of transactions per month.
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