Link Your Free Checking and Interest Checking Accounts

Enjoy the best of both worlds when you link a free checking account to an online interest checking account. You’ll reap the benefits of a high Annual Percentage Yield (APY) through your interest checking account, without having to upgrade your free checking to a premium account. Online banks can boast these higher APY’s since their overhead costs are much lower than that of a brick and mortar bank. Since free checking accounts have little to no earned interest, linking an interest bearing account will be to your advantage.

The Benefits of an Online Bank

The emergence of online banking has made managing your money more convenient. You don’t have to wait for a branch to open or wait in line to conduct business, since your account is accessible via internet 24/7. Just like your physical branch, you can set up checking account, savings account, direct deposit and online bill pay. You can write checks on some online bank accounts, and virtual banking websites are user friendly with fast response rates since all of your interactions are through the site.

You can even link all your accounts, including credit card and investment, to your online bank account and keep track of all your financial activities in one place. Linking also serves the purpose of transferring funds from one account to another. This is how the free checking account is essentially “converted” into an interest bearing account. The process of linking a free checking account to an online interest account is simple, but the first step is to establish each account before they can be linked. 

Link Them Up

If you don’t already have one, you can apply for a free checking account at a local bank. Be sure to check if there are any fees associated with the Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer. Funds will be transferred between your accounts using ACH, and you don’t want to incur a fee every time. Next, you will want to shop around for an online interest account. You can find a bank that requires no minimum deposits and no fees. Ensure the online bank allows for you to link to an existing account.

Also shop around for the best yield. You’ll want to make sure the online bank is FDIC insured. After you have both accounts open you will need to link them together. To establish an ACH transfer a voided check needs to be sent to your online bank. It may take a few weeks for the link to be established. Once the accounts have been linked you are able to transfer funds from your checking account into your online interest earning account. If you know expenses are on the way, you can choose to transfer some funds back into your free checking account. Transferring your funds doesn’t take much time, however, the downside is it may take a few days before the funds become available.

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