Using money from your checking account

There are number of ways you can use money from your checking account. Be sure that only you and, if you have one, your joint account holder have access to your account. Otherwise, your money can be taken from your account without your knowledge or agreement. Also, keep your banking statements, debts card (or ATM card), checks, and deposit slips in safe place.

You can get money from your bank account using any or all of these options:

Personal checks

When you open a checking account, the banking representative will give you a supply of personal checks (along with deposit slips). This initial supply lets you start using your account immediately. The banking representative will ask you to order more checks and offer variety of check options. Based on your selection and quantity of checks desired, you will be charged a fee (from $10 to $30 or more). Within a few weeks of ordering, you will receive in mail more checks, deposit slips, and a check book. The inserts in the mail will also instruct you on how to order more checks. Keep those instructions handy or go to the bank when you need more checks.

Writing a personal check
Writing a personal check

You can write checks to pay a business or a person. So if you need to pay a bill or make a purchase, you can write a check to that business. The business will collect its money from your bank when the check is deposited. Your checking account will be deducted of the amount of your purchase or bill.

Important note

Don’t sign your checks in advance! If your checks land in wrong hands, anyone can withdraw money from your account. When your check is filled with date, pay to the order of, amount, reason/for, and has your signatures, the bank will honor that check (assuming you have money in your account). You may be charged fees if your check does not clear (meaning you don’t have enough money in your account). Help yourself avoid any wrongful withdrawals from you account!

ATM (or debt) cards

An ATM card
An ATM card

At the time of opening your checking account or any time there after, you can request an ATM card from your bank. An ATM card is a small piece of plastic (size of a business card) linked to your checking account. You can use this card to get cash from an ATM machine. With the card, you can also deposit money at an ATM machine. If you use your own bank’s ATM, usually you do not pay a fee. On the other hand, if you use an ATM from another bank, you will be charged a fee ($2 or more). You can avoid paying such fees by knowing in advance of nearest ATMs that are free for your use.

An ATM machine providing ATM banking solutions.

An ATM machine providing ATM banking solutions. This machine lets the customer withdraw cash, check balance, transfer funds, and print statements.

When you request an ATM card, you will be asked for a special number called a PIN (personal identification number) consisting of four digits. Each time you use your ATM card, you will be asked to enter this exact PIN. Without the correct PIN, you or anyone else won’t be able to use your card at an ATM machine. Keep your card and PIN in safe place. Never give anyone your PIN or ATM card. They could use it to take money out of your account.

While ATM cards are for use at an ATM, debit cards are for you to use when making purchases. Banks now offer one card that acts both as an ATM card as well as debt card. As an ATM card, you can use an ATM machine as described above; as a debt card, you can pay for your purchases without writing a check. Like an ATM card, you will need to enter your PIN when using the debt card. In either case, money is withdrawn from your checking account.

Bank checks

With bank checks, you can pay a person or a business. Banks checks are very similar to money orders, as in both cases you have to pay upfront. When you request a bank check, the money is withdrawn from your checking account (or you pay in cash). You get your bank check after you have paid for it. So if you want a bank check for $2,000, you need to pay $2,000 and plus any fees that the bank charges for making the check. The fess can be high as $10.

Why would you want to use a bank check instead of your personal check? You use a bank check when your personal check cannot be accepted. The person or the business that wants your money may request from you a bank check. With a bank check, the person or business receiving the money is sure and feel safe that they can get their money as the bank issued the check after it received money for it.

Posted on 1/7/2007
by Raj Singh