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Maximum Deposit and Balance Limits for Checking Accounts

By Rebecca Lake · April 17, 2023 · 9 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Maximum Deposit and Balance Limits for Checking Accounts

Having a bank account can simplify money management, but it’s important to know that there may be limits on how much money you can put in and move through your accounts. Limits like these can impact the timing and efficiency of your transactions.

Banking details matter to almost all of us. According to the Federal Reserve , 95% of U.S. households have at least one account with a bank or credit union. If you are wondering how much you should keep in checking and savings and whether bank accounts have limits, do read on. We’ll help you answer these important questions so you know where to keep your money and what to expect when you do your banking.

What are Maximum Deposit Limits?

Generally speaking, banks and credit unions don’t impose maximum deposit limits on checking and savings. This means that there usually is not a maximum deposit amount for your checking account that you need to know. The same applies for savings accounts. So if you were to win the lottery (wouldn’t it be nice?), you could go ahead and deposit that mega check into your checking or savings account without any issues.

There may, however, be maximum deposit limits for other types of deposit accounts. For example, if you’re opening a certificate of deposit (CD) account, the bank may cap those deposits at a certain amount. Depending on the bank, the maximum deposit may be as high as $1 million.

Now, do checking accounts have maximum limits on what you can deposit in a single transaction? Yes, they can, depending on the bank.

Maximum Account Balance Limits

Just as banks usually don’t impose a maximum deposit limit, they also don’t set limits on account balances. There is, however, a limit on how much of your money is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The FDIC insures bank accounts in the very rare event of a bank failure. As of 2022, the FDIC coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution. Having two checking accounts with the same bank or multiple savings or CD accounts at the same bank doesn’t affect your coverage limit if the total balance is under $250,000.

If you have multiple accounts at the same bank and the balances exceed $250,000, then it’s possible that part of your deposits might not be covered. The FDIC offers an online estimator tool that you can use to calculate how much of your deposits are covered at an insured bank.

One important note: Some banks participate in programs that extend the FDIC insurance to cover millions. If you want to keep large sums of money on deposit, you may want to consider these programs1.

What Is the Right Amount of Money to Keep In a Checking Account?

How much money can you have in a bank account? The short answer is as much as you want. But a better question might be, “How much money should you have in checking?”

There are different rules of thumb you might follow. Much depends on your personal situation and comfort level, but let’s consider two popular ways to look at this matter. You may choose the “emergency account” route and keep two to three months’ worth of expenses in checking. You could add another 20% to that amount as a just-in-case cushion to cover any small unexpected expenses that might come up so you don’t have to tap into your emergency savings.

If your bank imposes a minimum balance requirement, you could use that as a guide instead when deciding how much to keep in checking. So if your bank has a $1,000 minimum daily balance in order to avoid a monthly service fee, you might aim to keep at least that much in checking.

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What to Consider When Withdrawing Money

Maintaining a minimum balance in your checking and savings has some benefits. Specifically, it can help you to avoid fees or situations where you might run the risk of being short on funds. Here are three things to weigh when making withdrawals from bank accounts which can have implications in terms of maintaining your balance and avoiding excess charges.

Overdrafts

Overdraft occurs when you withdraw more money than you have available in your bank account, resulting in a negative balance. This is problematic because not only do you not have money to spend or pay bills, but also because your bank can also charge you a fee. According to the latest research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , banks collected $15.47 billion in 2019 alone. Ouch! Keeping a minimum balance in checking and monitoring your balance regularly can help lower the risk of overdrafting your account.

Pre-Authorizations

Some transactions may require a pre-authorization hold before money is deducted from your account. For example, if you use your debit card to get $50 in gas, there may be an initial hold for that amount against your available funds. This lowers the dollar amount you have available for other spending. Having some extra funds in your accounts means all of your money isn’t tied up by these kinds of holds. Better yet, you might consider setting up a credit card account just for things like gas, hotel, and other travel purchases which often require pre-authorization.

Minimum Balance Requirements

As mentioned, banks and credit unions can impose minimum balance requirements for deposit accounts. This is separate from any initial minimum deposit requirement you might need to make to open the account. If your balance dips below the minimum deposit requirement, that could trigger a fee. How would you enter that “too low” zone? It might happen if you make a larger than usual withdrawal or debit card purchase, or decide to write a check that pays off your credit card bill one month.

Of course, you could avoid this by choosing a checking and savings option that doesn’t charge a monthly fee or set minimum balance requirements. This is an option if you’re banking with SoFi.

What to Consider When Depositing Money

The purpose of checking and savings is to hold your money until you need it. You therefore may not think twice about plunking some funds into your bank and parking it there. But when making deposits, it’s important to consider:

•   How much interest you’re earning with your bank vs. what you might earn elsewhere

•   How accessible your money is once you deposit it

•   What kind of fees you might pay to withdraw funds

Let’s review these points in a little more depth.

Investment Opportunities

Keeping all of your cash in checking and savings may seem like a good idea. After all, your money is relatively safe (thank you, FDIC), and you can dip into it as needed. But if you’re hoping to grow wealth, then investing some of your money in the stock market can deliver better returns over time. Allocating part of your paychecks to an investment account where you can buy stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cryptocurrency, or IPOs could pay off over the long term more so than simply earning interest with a bank account.

Liquidity

Liquidity is an investing term that describes how easy it is to turn an asset into cash. Bank accounts are highly liquid since you can get money from them fairly quickly. For example, if you need $500 to pay for an emergency vet bill, you could swipe your debit card, write a check, or hit the ATM.

When deciding how much money to deposit to checking and savings, consider an amount you’d feel comfortable having on hand if you needed it in an emergency. Then, if there’s an amount beyond that which you don’t think you’d need to access right away, you could invest that or put it into a high-yield CD account.

Transfer and Withdrawal Fees

There may be times when you need to transfer funds between bank accounts — perhaps on a regular basis. It’s worthwhile to consider the kind of fees this activity may trigger, so you don’t wind up taking too much of a financial hit. For example, if your bank sets a savings withdrawal limit, you may have to pay an excess withdrawal fee if you go over that limit. The Federal Reserve eliminated the “six withdrawal per month limit” for savings and money-market accounts, but banks can still charge a fee for excess withdrawals. Check the policies at your bank. This can guide you when deciding how much to deposit in savings. You’ll want to think about how soon you might need to take that money out again and what it might cost.

The Takeaway

Bank accounts can make life easier when you need to pay bills, make purchases with a debit card, or set aside money for savings goals. That said, you’ll want to be aware of limits on your accounts in terms of minimum balance requirements, deposit limits, and withdrawal limits. This can help you to avoid excessive fees. Because your checking should be a convenient financial tool, not something that is causing you concern or charging you an array of fees!

Bank Better with SoFi

If you’re looking for a checking and savings option that’s accessible and fee-friendly, consider online banking with SoFi today. Not only do eligible accounts earn a competitive APY, you’ll also bank free of account and overdraft fees. Plus SoFi recently announced that deposits may be insured up to $2 million through participation in the SoFi Insured Deposit Program.

Why not see how simple and stress-free banking can be?

3 Great Benefits of Direct Deposit

  1. It’s Faster
  2. As opposed to a physical check that can take time to clear, you don’t have to wait days to access a direct deposit. Usually, you can use the money the day it is sent. What’s more, you don’t have to remember to go to the bank or use your app to deposit your check.

  3. It’s Like Clockwork
  4. Whether your check comes the first Wednesday of the month or every other Friday, if you sign up for direct deposit, you know when the money will hit your account. This is especially helpful for scheduling the payment of regular bills. No more guessing when you’ll have sufficient funds.

  5. It’s Secure
  6. While checks can get lost in the mail — or even stolen, there is no chance of that happening with a direct deposit. Also, if it’s your paycheck, you won’t have to worry about your or your employer’s info ending up in the wrong hands.

FAQ

How much money can you put in a checking account?

Generally, there’s no checking account maximum amount you can have. There is, however, a limit on how much of your checking account balance is covered by the FDIC (typically $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution), though some banks have programs with higher limits. Banks can also impose daily, weekly or monthly limits on mobile check deposits.

Should I keep all my money in my checking account?

Keeping all of your money in your checking account usually isn’t ideal, as you may be able to earn a higher rate of return by investing some of it. It can, however, be a good idea to keep two to three months’ worth of expenses in checking, plus a small cushion of 20% to 30% extra for any surprise expenses that might pop up.

What is the limit of depositing money in the bank?

Banks may not impose an aggregate limit on how much you can deposit to checking and savings. But there may be limits on how much you can deposit each day via mobile check deposit, with a teller or through the ATM. This limit can vary from bank to bank.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

1SoFi Bank is a member FDIC and does not provide more than $250,000 of FDIC insurance per legal category of account ownership, as described in the FDIC’s regulations. Any additional FDIC insurance is provided by banks in the SoFi Insured Deposit Program. Deposits may be insured up to $2M through participation in the program. See full terms at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/terms. See list of participating banks at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/receivingbanks.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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