What Are Common Types of Checking Accounts?

A checking account is an essential and frequently used personal finance tool. It's important to choose a good one. It's also important to pick the right checking account — one that fits your needs. Let's learn more about the common types of checking accounts and how they differ from one another.

Common types of accounts

Checking accounts tend to offer common features and tools, but they come in different styles. One type might fit a specific group of people better than another type. Here's a quick look at the main categories.

1. Simple checking accounts

You could call this a "regular checking account." At its heart, a basic checking account lets you write checks, cash or deposit checks, and withdraw money. A traditional checking account includes a debit card, though some free checking accounts may charge ATM fees for withdrawals, depending on which bank's ATM you use. Regular checking accounts may or may not include online bill pay and automatic payment scheduling. A basic bank account like this makes a good starter account. For some folks, it might be all they need. 

2. Premium checking accounts

The next step up is the premium checking account. These accounts tend to come with more perks. Often included are a debit card with no ATM fees at other banks, free checks and money orders, and online bill pay. Many premium checking accounts also give you overdraft protection. And by maintaining a specific minimum balance in your account, premium accounts often waive monthly service fees. Some premium accounts pay interest as well as offering additional free or discounted services.

3. Student checking accounts

A student checking account is usually similar to basic checking accounts, though there may be limitations. To qualify, you generally need to be in high school or college or be 17-23 years old. Most banks don't charge monthly maintenance fees for student checking accounts. Most of the time you'll be able to make debit card purchases and pay bills with a debit card. But you may be restricted to the issuing bank's ATMs for cash transactions to avoid extra fees.

4. Senior checking accounts

Senior accounts are a great resource for those who qualify — typically, those age 60 or older. The accounts usually require a minimal balance to have the monthly fee waived. Some will earn interest on its balance. Like most accounts, senior accounts often include a debit card. Other usual perks include free checks, money orders, bank checks, and paper statements.

5. Business checking accounts

Business checking is a must-have if you're running a business. Each account type carries its own perks, costs, and limitations. Some waive monthly fees with large enough balances. Some have a minimal fee and no balance requirements at all. Interest checking accounts are also available. If you tend to maintain a large balance, one of these interest-bearing accounts might be a good choice.

Business checking often includes other valuable merchant solutions like invoicing customers and processing credit card or online payments. Some accounts include analytics to track sales, trends, spending patterns, and more. Other common perks are 24/7 customer support and additional accounts under your business name.

Comparing checking accounts

Here are factors to keep in mind as you compare accounts. Balance what you need in a checking account with any associated costs or limitations.

Minimum balances

To avoid a monthly maintenance fee, most accounts have a stated minimum balance. And not all checking accounts have the same balance requirements. For basic accounts, it might be as low as $0, or as high as $100 or $250.

Premium and business accounts may have higher minimums: $1,000 to $10,000 — or even more. That doesn't mean you can't draw your account below the required minimum. It just means you'll probably get charged a maintenance fee that month if your balance dips below the required level.

Maintenance fees

As we've covered, a monthly maintenance fee might be charged if your balance falls below requirements. If monthly fees have been waived by a recurring direct deposit, and the deposit is missed/delayed, expect fees. Sometimes there's a fee for using non-bank ATMs. Writing too many checks in a month or making excessive withdrawals can sometimes trigger a fee. If you travel, check for foreign transaction/ATM fees. Other fees you might see for paper statements, money order or official bank checks, transfers and wires, and early closing charges.

Overdraft fees

If you write a check when your account doesn't contain enough funds to cover it but the bank pays the transaction, that's an overdraft. That applies even if it's your own check you wrote for yourself. The amount for overdraft fees varies, but $35 each occurrence is common. If that check is resubmitted again, expect another fee.

Overdraft protection, however, could save you from such fees. It may take the form of a savings account tied to your checking, covering shortages. (Of course, you must have enough in savings to cover the difference.) Also, the bank might waive the fee if the shortage falls under a certain amount. Then you might have until the close of the next business day to make a deposit and correct the overdraft.

Mobile banking

Mobile banking has truly changed the way we bank. Using your smartphone, tablet, or PC, you can manage your accounts 24/7. Review your debit purchases, account balances, deposits, and more. With mobile deposit, snap photos of a check and deposit it without visiting a bank branch. Some online apps also let you send and receive money from friends and family. Do your banking from the comfort of your home or on the go.

ATM fees

When you have a debit card, they tend to have one of two kinds of ATM fee plans. The first lets you freely use any ATM owned by your bank, but there's a charge for non-bank ATMs. (Those are also called out-of-network ATMs.) The fees in this case are typically passed on from the originating bank or ATM operator. It might be a flat fee, say $1.50 to $3 per transaction. It might include a percentage of the transaction. Or it might include an ATM operator fee, plus a percentage, plus a non-bank ATM surcharge. That may add $4, $5, or more to your transaction.

The second plan is a free use of bank-owned ATMs — and your bank covers non-bank ATM charges for you. This perk is usually associated with premium checking. If you plan to use non-bank ATMs, a premium account might be what you need.

Interest rates

Most basic checking accounts don't pay interest. But some premium and other deposit accounts earn interest. Rates are usually tied to tiers of account balances. Higher balances get you higher interest rates, and so earn more monthly. If you're interested in earning more than the usual checking account rates, check into savings accounts or CDs.

Compare checking account types1

Minimum Balance

Monthly Fees (if not waived)

Overdraft Fees

ATM Fees

Earns Interest


$0 to $100

$5 to $20


None at your bank's ATMs, $3 elsewhere



$1,000 to $2,500

$25 to $50

Protection Available




$0 to $100


Protection Available

None at your bank's ATMs, $3 elsewhere





Protection Available

None at your bank's ATMs, $3 elsewhere



$0 to $2,500

$10 to $50

Protection Available



Types of checking accounts offered at TD Bank

TD bank offers many types of checking accounts to fill most anyone's needs. Here's a look at some of the features of each one.

  • TD Beyond Checking. $0 to open, $25 monthly maintenance fee waived with three ways to waive.2 Earns interest, free checks, ATM fees reimbursed with $2,500 daily minimum balance3
  • TD Complete Checking. $0 to open, $15 monthly maintenance fee with three ways to waive.4 Waive the monthly maintenance fee on one linked personal savings account of your choice and additional benefits for students and young adults
  • TD Essential Banking. $0 to open, $4.95 monthly fee, no minimum balance required. Checkless account, use debit card for payments/purchases. No fee for account holders 13-17 years old5
  • TD Business Simple Checking. $25 to open, $10 monthly fee, no minimum daily balance
  • TD Business Convenience Checking Plus. $100 to open, $1,500 daily balance to avoid fees
  • TD Business Premier Checking. $200 to open. Up to 500 free items paid and/or deposited and up to $30,000 in cash deposits in store included per statement cycle

Take the next step

For more help in choosing the right checking account for you, try out TD Bank's account selection tool. Just answer a few simple questions and it points you toward an account suited to your needs. If you're running a small business and interested in learning more about business checking, try out TD's business account selection tool.

Take your next step with us

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1This information is presented for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual existing accounts.

2TD Beyond Checking monthly maintenance fee can be waived with one of the following: Have $5,000 or more in direct deposits within a statement cycle; OR maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500; OR have a $25,000 minimum daily combined balance of all deposit accounts, all outstanding home equity loan and home equity line of credit accounts, and/or mortgages in good standing (excludes credit cards and personal loans) that you choose to link.

3Non-TD ATMs: TD ATM fees are waived regardless of balance. Any surcharges at the time of your non-TD ATM transaction, will be reimbursed when the minimum daily balance in the TD Beyond Checking is at least $2,500. The institution that owns the terminal (or the network) may assess a fee (surcharge) at the time of your transaction, including balance inquiries.

4TD Complete Checking monthly maintenance fee can be waived with one of the following: Have $500 or more in direct deposits within a statement cycle; OR maintain a minimum daily balance of $500; OR have a $5,000 minimum daily combined balance across all personal deposit accounts that you choose to link; OR if the primary account owner is aged 17 – 23.

5If you are under the age of 18, you must open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian as the secondary owner. For the TD Essential Banking account, the maintenance fee is waived if the Primary account holder is 13 through 17 years of age. Upon the primary account holder's 18th birthday, the account will be subject to the monthly maintenance fee. Please see the Personal Account Maintenance Information Grid for additional details.

This article is based on information available in March 2023. 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. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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