A checking account is a bank account that allows you to easily manage your money.

There are so many ways to use your funds that having a checking account is more relevant than ever — even if you never write a paper check.

Here are some of the top benefits of a checking account and why opening one can make managing your money easier and less stressful.

Easy Access With ATM Withdrawals

When you open a checking account, it’s likely you’ll receive a debit card connected to the account that you can use to make purchases at stores or online and withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs).

Before selecting a bank, review its ATM network or list of locations. For example, PNC cardholders can enjoy fee-free access to approximately 60,000 PNC and Partner ATMs across the country. This makes functions like withdrawing cash, checking balances, or even depositing money into your account easy and convenient.

Even if an ATM isn't in your bank's network, often you can still use it, but both the ATM owner and your bank may charge you fees.

Receive Direct Deposits In Your Account

Having a checking account allows you to set up direct deposits from your employer when you supply your routing and checking account numbers. This means that you'll no longer receive a paper check every payday. Instead, your employer will deposit your paycheck directly into your bank account. There's no need to cash your check, take it to the bank to deposit it, or wait for your deposited amount to appear in your account.

Digital Payments

Digital payments can include payments made with a mobile wallet, transfers made using peer-to-peer apps, and payments made online.

When you have a checking account, you can use your checking account number and bank's routing number or debit card number to pay for goods and services online. You can also connect your debit card to a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay® or Google Pay® for contact-free payment at a growing number of stores.

In addition, you may be able to use a  peer-to-peer service such as Zelle®, PayPal, or Venmo to send money to friends and family members across the country.

Mobile Banking

Thanks to the internet — and to smartphones — banking is easier than ever before. When you open a checking account, if your bank offers mobile banking, you'll get access to their mobile app. Mobile banking apps often include a variety of features that make banking easier. 

You'll be able to track your transactions and keep tabs on your budget to help you make better financial decisions.

Mobile banking also makes it easy to deposit checks that you receive without having to go to a brick-and-mortar branch or ATM. You can use your bank's app to deposit checks up to a certain daily limit by taking photos of the front and back of each check. Check with your bank's funds availability policy to determine when your deposit will become available. 

Mobile banking apps also allow you to make easy transfers between your accounts. So if you have a checking account and a savings account at the same bank, you can transfer funds from one account to the other. This can help make saving more money easier.

With mobile banking, many banks offer the ability to pay bills online. With an online bill pay service, you don't need to worry about sending money through the mail. You also don't have to worry about your payment not making it in time — you can often set up to pay your bills automatically by their due dates. You may be able to arrange for your bank to send you a reminder when it's time to pay certain bills.

Check Writing

These days, paying for something with a paper check isn't as common as it used to be. But sometimes, it's necessary. For example, your landlord might accept personal checks as the only form of payment. Or you may need to write a check to another vendor who doesn't accept debit cards if you don't have a large amount of cash on you (such as a plumber, lawn service, etc.).

Although these instances are becoming rarer, sometimes personal checks are the only way to pay. And if you don't have a checking account, you could be stuck.

Earn Interest

Some checking accounts pay a small amount of interest. These accounts tend to have relatively high required balance minimums. However, if you are able to meet the requirements, your money can grow effortlessly.

Peace of Mind

When you keep your money in a deposit account at a bank in the U.S., you can have peace of mind. That's because the deposits in most checking accounts — as well as savings accounts — are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance  Corp. (FDIC) up to $250,000 per depositor per bank[1].

In addition, banks are using security measures — including encryption and multifactor authentication — to help keep the contents of your accounts safe.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to opening a checking account. You can engage in cash-free money transactions, which are becoming more popular every day. These accounts also help keep your hard-earned money safe from theft or loss. In addition, thanks to mobile banking, checking accounts come with myriad features that make tracking your spending, making on-time bill payments, and even depositing money easy and efficient.

Get Started With Online Banking

Opening a bank account online with PNC Bank is simple and straightforward. With a range of account options to choose from, it's easy to find a solution that meets your needs. Take the first step towards financial empowerment today and open a bank account online with PNC. Our financial professionals are here to guide you every step of the way.