You are looking for a good and free checking account, possibly even with start credit? Then you will quickly realize that there are a great many offers on the financial market.
As known from the free economy, competition is greatest when supply exceeds demand. Due to the many different direct and branch banks, the financial houses court potential new customers with tempting offers for their new checking account.
These can be start credits or additional rewards. No matter what priorities your checking account has to meet: carefully compare the offers in your search for a checking account so that you do not pay more than necessary.
Starting balance with a checking account
In addition to comparing which bank has the best starting balance, you should also examine the terms of the account models more closely. An extremely attractive starting balance can also be deliberately offered to distract from poor conditions such as high disbursement costs, account management fees and other costs.
Tip: Many banks have a high welcome bonus, but be sure to compare monthly fixed fees / account maintenance fees. Otherwise, the welcome bonus is quickly used up.
For this reason, you should always consider the full range of the bank and not just consider individual aspects.
Which checking account offers start credit?
How much a bank is willing to give you to start credit when opening a checking account varies from bank to bank. The granted start credit also depends on individual actions of the financial institutions. If you open your checking account with a bank during a promotional period, you can be lucky and benefit from a 50% higher starting balance. In the reverse case, but also the bad luck, that the bank has reduced the bonus in terms of starting balance with the matching current account for you. To give you an overview, we have summarized for you various current account models with start credit (as of mid-2015):
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What you should look for in a current account with start credit
At first glance, the cash bonus for opening the checking account is very tempting. One of the most important criteria, however, should be the permanent exemption from fees. If you pay an account maintenance fee or transaction fee on a monthly basis, the checking account will cost you far more in the long run than you have received on start up credit.
Attention: You should also pay particular attention to the details that the bank has set for this starting balance. When opening a current account, it is often overlooked that the bonus will only be paid to the checking account after a certain period of time. Four months and more are not uncommon.
Another requirement for the payment of the starting balance is an active account usage. This means for you that you have to make a certain number of transactions, which often involves a bank-determined level of revenue. Transactions include cash in and out, ATM withdrawals, wire transfers or direct debits.
Another condition that all major banks require is regular cash in the checking account. Here, the financial service providers differ only on the duration of the cash receipts.
While some banks are satisfied with two cash receipts in a row on the checking account, other banks want to see a receipt of money three or four months.
In addition, the total amount of these cash receipts reaches a fixed level. That can be 500 euros per month, but often 1,000 euros, sometimes 1,200 euros are required. There are usually exceptions for federal aid-related students, for whom proof of a lower minimum entrance fee is sufficient to open a checking account.
When is a change worthwhile?
Of course, when you open a checking account for the first time, this question will not arise for you. However, if you have a checking account, then this question is entirely justified. Normally a change of the account is avoided. It’s not because opening a giro account would be a complicated process. This can be done online today with just a few clicks or going to the post office.
The effort in the aftermath, however, is quite high. Standing orders have to be renewed, financial partners must be informed and the employer must be notified of the new account details. For this reason, many hesitate with the opening of a new account.
Recommended: Basically, one can say that a comparison is always worthwhile if you pay for your existing account maintenance fees. The number of toll-free deals is large enough that you can usually find a matching and free account. Start credit, which you get as a new customer, then serves as an additional decision support.