What is a checking account?

A checking account is a deposit account you use to pay for everyday expenses like groceries, gas and bills.

Key features

  • Safely holds the funds you need for day-to-day expenses
  • Provides access to your money through a debit card, ATM or checks
  • Easily links to bills and other accounts for automatic or online bill pay
  • May earn interest (typically at a lower rate than a savings account)
  • Common account types include basic checking, student checking, checkless debit and premium checking (which may offer special benefits)

What is a savings account?

A savings account is like a piggy bank. It’s a secure bank account meant to hold and protect your money for future use.

Key features

  • Earns interest to help grow the money in your account
  • Limits how frequently you can transfer funds in and out, so you’re not tempted to use it for day-to-day spending
  • A great way to save for unexpected expenses or a big purchase, like a vacation or car
  • Ability to link to a checking account for automatic transfers or overdraft protection
  • Common account types include standard savings, money market savings (typically has a higher interest rate) and certificates of deposit (locks your money for a specified term, with potential for greater return)

Checking account vs. savings: Which is right for you?

Once you understand how they work, choosing between a checking account and savings account is pretty easy. If you’re just looking to pay for everyday expenses, a checking account is the way to go. If you’re focusing on growing your money, a savings account is a better fit.

Regardless of the account type you choose, make sure you pick one suited to your financial needs and goals. Consider these questions as you explore your options.

Questions to help you choose a checking account

  • Does this account have a monthly maintenance fee? Are there ways to waive the fee?
  • Is there a minimum account balance requirement?
  • What’s the overdraft policy on this account?
  • Is there a charge for using an out-of-network ATM?
  • What other fees apply to this account?

Questions to help you choose a savings account

  • What’s the yearly interest rate for this account?
  • Is a minimum deposit required to open this account?
  • Does this account have a monthly maintenance fee? Are there ways to waive the fee?
  • Is there a minimum account balance requirement?
  • Is it possible to withdraw money from this account at an ATM?
  • What’s the monthly limit on withdrawals and transfers?

Take the next step.

Checking accounts

Find a U.S. Bank checking account that works for you. Choose from options that earn interest, offer features just for students and more.

Savings accounts

From standard savings to multiple money market options, find a U.S. Bank savings account that puts your goals within reach.

Checking recommender

Need help choosing the right U.S. Bank checking account? Answer a few quick questions to make your decision easier.

Start of disclosure content

Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.