Making the Most of Your Benefits Checking Account

Every adult needs a checking account to keep their money accessible and pay bills, but all checking accounts aren’t created equal. Some accounts offer minimal features and in most cases, you won’t earn dividends or interest on your balance. Other checking accounts offer an array of features that can help you save (and earn) money. That’s the case with Addition Financial’s Benefits Checking account.

At Addition Financial, we want our members to make the most of their money every day. There’s nothing that makes us happier than seeing people achieve their financial goals and that’s why we encourage people to learn about the Benefits Checking account. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Benefits Checking Account?

The Addition Financial Benefits Checking account is a dividend-bearing checking account. At a bank, it would be called an interest-bearing checking account but as a credit union, we pay dividends and not interest. A dividend checking account has a lot in common with an interest checking account.

Like all checking accounts, Benefits Checking comes with a free debit card. You can write checks, make ATM withdrawals and use your debit card to make purchases. If you meet the minimum balance requirements, which we’ll detail in the next section, you’ll earn dividends on your balance.

Another way of thinking about it is that Benefits Checking has all the functions of a basic checking account plus a lot of added features to help you maximize your money.

What Are the Unique Features of a Benefits Checking Account?

Our Benefits Checking account comes with a broad array of features to help you put your money to work for you. 

No Minimum Deposit or Minimum Balance Requirements

The first thing you should know about Benefits Checking is that there’s no minimum deposit requirement to open an account and there’s no minimum balance requirement. (There is a minimum balance requirement to earn dividends and we’ll talk about that.) 

Fees Waived with Direct Deposit

One of the benefits of choosing a credit union as your financial institution is that you’ll get competitive rates and fees. Benefits Checking has a $15 monthly fee, but we’ll waive it if you have cumulative direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more per month. If you don’t have direct deposit, we can also waive the fee if you have more than 20 debit card transactions of at least $10 each per month.

Dividend Payments for Balances Over $1,000

Most checking accounts don’t allow account holders to earn interest or dividends. You might think you need a savings account for that. With Benefits Checking, you’ll earn dividends if your account balance is $1,000 or more. Dividends compound daily and you’ll receive dividend payments to your account every month. We offer competitive rates, so your money will always be growing.

Tiered Dividends for Higher Balances

Your dividend rate will stay the same for balances between $1,000 and $9,999. Once your Benefits Checking account balance hits $10,000, you can take advantage of tiered dividends. That means you can boost your savings while still keeping your money accessible at all times.

Free Custom Checks

When you open a Benefits Checking account, you’ll get one box of free custom checks per calendar year.

Rate Discounts on Loans and Safe Deposit Boxes

Benefits Checking members get discounted rates on Addition Financial loans. You can get a discount of 0.40% on consumer loans and 0.375% on a new mortgage. You can also get a 50% discount on a 3X5 safe deposit box subject to availability.

Other Features

Here are some of the other features that you’ll enjoy if you open a Benefits Checking account:

  • Online banking and mobile banking with free bill pay service
  • Free Presto! ATMs
  • 4 Foreign ATM fee rebates per month
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Free coin machine access
  • AddsUp Savings Program
  • Pay Early
  • Access to Savings Plus account and Growth Plus Money Market account

Our aim with Benefits Checking is to make it easy for you to access your money while working toward your financial goals.

How Can I Maximize the Benefits of This Type of Account?

There are several things you can do to maximize the benefits and features of your Benefits Checking account.

Maintain a Minimum $1,000 Balance

The first way to maximize the benefits of dividends is to do whatever you can to maintain a $1,000 balance in your Benefits Checking account. If you do, you’ll always be earning dividends which means your money will always be growing. As we mentioned above, dividends compound daily and you’ll get a credit of your dividends once a month. As your balance increases, so will your dividend payments.

Sign Up for Direct Deposit

Benefits Checking accounts come with a $15 monthly service fee. The easiest way to waive the fee is to sign up for direct deposit with your employer. If you have $2,000 in cumulative direct deposits each month, you won’t need to pay a fee. You’ll need to provide a canceled check and may need to fill out a form for your employer to either set up direct deposit or switch your existing direct deposit to your new Benefits Checking account.

Use Your Debit Card

What if you’re self-employed or a gig worker and you can’t sign up for direct deposit? In that case, you can use your debit card for at least 20 transactions each month to get a fee waiver. Transactions must be at least $10 to qualify. You can use your debit card anywhere you would use a credit card. You can even load it into a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay to encode your transactions and protect your money.

Increase Your Balance to Take Advantage of Tiered Dividends

Balances up to $10,000 earn a dividend rate that’s competitive when compared with rates for traditional savings accounts. If you want to earn higher dividends, you can do so by increasing the balance in your Benefits Checking account to $10,000 or more. (You should keep in mind that you can earn higher rates with our Money Market or Growth Plus Money Market accounts, but Benefits Checking is ideal if you want your money to be fully accessible at all times.)

Take Advantage of Digital Banking Features

All of Addition Financial’s checking accounts, including Benefits Checking, come with full access to online and mobile banking. With digital banking, you can make mobile deposits, transfer and send money and view your statements 24 hours a day. You can also opt in to our security features to protect your money, including fraud alerts, push notifications and multi-factor authentication.

What Should I Consider Before Opening a Benefits Checking Account?

Before you open a Benefits Checking account, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Can you meet the requirements to waive the fees? If you don’t have direct deposit or can’t make 20 debit card transactions per month, you’ll be paying a $15 monthly fee. By contrast, our Classic Checking account has a $5 fee that can be waived with $1,000 in direct deposits or 10 debit card transactions. We also offer Free Checking
  • Can you maintain a $1,000 balance to earn dividends? Benefits Checking can help you earn dividends on your balance, but only if it’s at least $1,000. If you think you’ll struggle to maintain that balance, you may be better off with another checking account.
  • Do you have a budget? While budgeting may not be directly related to your checking account, having a household budget can help you minimize your expenses and save more money.

Benefits Checking accounts offer a lot of nice features, but you should take a minute to consider your financial circumstances and goals to determine whether it’s the right checking account for you. Of course, you can always talk to one of our representatives to figure out which checking account to choose!

How Can I Open a Benefits Checking Account?

Opening a Benefits Checking account is simple. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. If you aren’t already an Addition Financial member, become one by paying a one-time $10 fee and opening a Share Savings Account with a $5 minimum deposit.
  2. Apply for a Benefits Checking account. You can apply as a new member or as an existing member, and we’ll do a quick status check to make sure your membership is in good standing.
  3. Open your Benefits Checking account. There is no minimum deposit to open an account, but if you can start out with a $1,000 deposit you can begin earning dividends right away.
  4. If you have direct deposit, link it to your new Benefits Checking account to qualify for the fee waiver.

With these easy steps, you’ll have your Benefits Checking account up and running and you can take advantage of dividends and other features to maximize your money.

Take Advantage of Benefits Checking Today

The money you keep in your checking account could be working for you, earning dividends every day with our Benefits Checking account. If you qualify for a fee waiver and keep a minimum $1,000 balance, then you can maximize the benefits of this dividend-bearing account while keeping your money accessible.

Are you ready to open a Benefits Checking account and earn dividends on your checking account balance? We’re here to help! Click here to submit your information and get started today!

The content provided here is not legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. Please consult with legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific needs or questions you may have. We do not make any guarantees as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not support any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.