What Are the Different Types of Non-Interest-Bearing Accounts?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

Non-interest-bearing accounts are typically checking accounts with low requirements for maintenance. Some of the most common types are basic, student, senior, and joint accounts. A couple of these types are only non-interest-bearing, while others may have interest in some cases, depending on the terms.

One of the most popular non-interest-bearing accounts is the basic checking account. This is typically used by a person who wishes to have the account for transaction purposes only. While the terms for these accounts vary widely, they are for the most part low frills and tend to have a few restrictions. Some requirements may include keeping a minimum balance, paying a monthly fee, or writing a limited number of checks per month before a fee is charged.

Student and senior checking are other widely-used non-interest-bearing accounts. These tend to have lower or no fees on things such as checks, automatic teller machine use, and teller service. This kind of account may also offer low credit card rates and traveler’s checks.

There are also special low-cost non-interest-bearing accounts for customers with low income. Some regional governments require that banks offer these accounts under terms determined by the government. They do not require a minimum balance and tend to have very low or no monthly fees. While checks may be free, there is usually a limit on how many can be written per month without a fee.

Some non-interest-bearing accounts are used primarily via computer, phone, and automatic teller machine. Though this can be a convenient, easily accessible account type, there may be a fee for teller use. This is often a good choice for customers who rarely need to go to a physical bank to do banking.

While they can offer interest, there are also non-interest-bearing accounts for joint customers. These usually offer many of the same services as a basic checking account. They tend to be less common for joint holders.

Non-interest-bearing accounts are often a good option for people who are new to banking, such as children. They have enough services to help a new customer get acclimated to the process of banking without being too demanding. These types can also be particularly useful for customers with little cash or who tend to keep a low balance. Some accounts are even entirely free.

Though non-interest-bearing accounts can be a simple, economical choice, it is typically advisable not to keep too much money in them. Customers who have idle cash from month-to-month will usually benefit from having at least a savings account. Other low-risk options include money markets and certificates of deposit.

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