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Tips to Maximize Your Checking Account

May 9, 2024 5 min

Every checking account comes with a set of perks and benefits that can help consumers save money and maximize their rewards. But unless you pore over the fine print in your checking account, you may not know what your checking account is capable of.

Not understanding everything about your checking account can result in you paying more than you need – or not saving as much as you could!

Ready to see what your checking account can do? Keep reading to learn how to maximize your checking account.

Use direct deposit

One of the best ways to utilize a checking account is to set up direct deposit with your employer. With direct deposit, money can be automatically transferred to your checking account on payday.

To enroll in direct deposit, use our online direct deposit form, which we’ll automatically fill in so you can give it to your employer (or benefit provider). It can take one or two pay cycles for your new account to be set up with direct deposit, depending on your company’s policies.

If you have direct deposit with a Patelco checking account, you can even get your paycheck up to two days early.1 This lets you pay your bills ahead of schedule and withdraw funds sooner than if you still relied on paper checks.

RoundUp to savings

With the Patelco debit card, you can sign up for RoundUp, which will round up each transaction to the nearest dollar. This is an automatic savings program that can save money for you.

Each time you make a purchase with your debit Mastercard® we’ll round up the amount to the nearest dollar and deposit it into your savings account. (If you have multiple savings accounts, you can choose which account to transfer the roundups.)

You can even boost the RoundUp purchases to 3x or 5x the rounded-up amount. This can give you an extra savings boost without having to agonize about how much you want to save.

Get insights on your spending

Budgeting is like flossing. Everyone knows they should do it, but it just feels like something you can easily skip.

That’s where Patelco’s Financial Insights program comes in. You can log in to your Patelco account and use the Financial Insights tool to learn where your money is going. Patelco will divide expenses into easy-to-understand categories, so you’ll gain awareness about your spending habits.

You’ll also learn about both your recurring and one-time expenses and even see a 12-month record of your expenses.

Many checking accounts also let you pay your bills directly from the account. Having automatic bill pay can help you save money on late fees. You can pay your mortgage, utilities, car insurance – or any provider that accepts third-party bill payments.

Quick Tip

You can log in to your Patelco account and use the Financial Insights tool to learn where your money is going. Patelco will divide expenses into easy-to-understand categories, so you’ll gain awareness about your spending habits.

Know and avoid fees and penalties

Part of maximizing your checking account means minimizing your fees. Every checking account comes with a fee schedule, which outlines how fees are charged. You will receive this fee schedule when you first open the account.

You can also find it online. Read through the fee schedule to learn what fees may be applied to your account.

Your fee schedule can also show how to avoid some fees, like maintaining a minimum amount in your account or having a certain number of transfers per month.

Get up to 20% more with Prizeout

Imagine shopping for groceries and getting a 20% bonus to put toward the total amount at checkout – exclusively for members with a Patelco checking account. With Patelco Prizeout in the Mobile App, you get more value on everything from online shopping, to clothing, travel, entertainment and so much more.

Choose from over 50 different brands and offers and redeem gift cards typically within minutes. It’s easy, convenient, and a smart way to make your dollars go further.

Learn more about Prizeout.

1 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the receipt of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

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