How to Open a Checking account?

Checking accounts are quite handy for multiple purposes: you will be able to pay utility bills, write cheques for various purchases, and use the debit card that typically comes with this type of account. Moreover, you can take advantage of some additional services if you use the bankís online services.

As a very first step, you have to check and compare the offers of various banks. Some institutions charge monthly fees to maintain your checking accounts while others donít. Inquire if there are additional benefits. For example, some banks offer accounts with free cheque writing, minimum low balance, as well as special accounts for old persons. It is also a good idea to inquire if the bank charges additional fees for various services. Some institutions charge fees for money orders, using ATMs, and printing and writing cheques. Banks will typically charge extra fee for bounced cheques, returned cheques, closing an account, copies of your monthly statement, and balance inquiries. Inform yourself of these charges in advance and look at the banksí brochures. In case you think of opening an online checking account, ask whether it pays interest. You might also ask if the bank offers Ďrewardí checking accounts. Finally, if you are a foreign national and donít understand English, customs officials will surely do their best to meet your special needs.

If you want to open a checking account in a Canadian bank, you might want to look at the offers of major banks such as the Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada. You can either visit a local branch of the bank you have in mind or apply for a checking account on its website. You will have to enclose two proofs of identification, e.g. a copy of your social security card and your driverís license, together with your residence address. If you are a foreign national with residence in Canada, you may be asked about the name of your primary banking institution and its routing number. As a next step, you may print and mail the application to the bank. Donít forget to enclose two proofs of identification. You will also need to enclose a money order or cheque for the initial deposit on your checking account. You donít need to make initial deposit with some banks; so, it is best to inquire about their requirements. After you send all requested information, the bank will review your application. If you want to use the bankís online services, you will have the ID number and password sent as well.

Keep in mind that checking accounts often come with higher minimum balances than savings accounts. If you are writing just a couple of cheques per month, you might consider opening a savings account instead. With this type of account, you will have to use money orders. On the other hand, if you maintain higher balance, the bank will reward you with better monthly interest. Consider your personal needs and financial requirements, consult the bankís officials, and you will choose the right account for you.