Make the most of your checking account – and minimize costs

When you combine technology, bank resources and a few smart choices, it's easy to minimize checking costs. Here are some tips to get you started:

Which account is right for you?
Many bank accounts require customers to maintain an average or daily balance to avoid a monthly fee. Minimum balances vary by account and bank so it's important to understand any requirements on your account.

Find accounts with no or low minimum balance requirements. Research online or talk with your local financial institution to find the right account. TD Bank has a range of accounts to choose from that meet your budget, banking needs and includes the perks you want. Use our account selector tool to help you decide

How to avoid ATM fees
When you use an ATM outside your bank's network, transaction fees can really add up. But with a little planning, you can avoid these costs. Choose a bank that's available when and where you need it. Think about where your daily routine takes you, and choose a bank that has stores on your way to and from work, near the gym and other places you go often.

If you know you'll be using ATMs outside of your bank's network, look for accounts that reimburse these costs.

You can also save money using your bank's mobile app. Check your balance, deposit checks and find the nearest store or ATM all on the go. No smartphone? Many banks have a toll-free number, and some like TD, even have 24/7 live customer support.

Set up e-mail alerts
Whichever bank and account you choose, see if your bank's online site or app can set up free balance alerts. You can set it up so you receive an email if you're at risk of dropping below your balance threshold.

How to avoid overdrafts
When you're thinking about which account to choose, don't make overdraft coverage an afterthought. Not all overdraft services are created equal, so talk to your bank to figure out what overdraft services are available and right for your account.

You can also use your bank's app, ATM, store or phone support to keep track of your balance, and keep track of outstanding checks and scheduled bill payments to know if you're in danger of overdrafting. Using your bank's online bill pay services can help you keep track: you can automatically schedule (and space out) your recurring monthly costs to avoid having multiple bills hit at the same time.

This article is based on information available in January 2018. It is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting, or other advice and should not be acted or relied upon without the advice of a professional advisor. A professional advisor will recommend action based on your personal circumstances and the most recent information available.

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