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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
3 Great Benefits of Direct Deposit
- It’s Faster
- It’s Like Clockwork
- It’s Secure
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.20% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 1.20% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 4/25/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
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