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Is A Senior Checking Account The Right Fit For You?

It sure sounds good: a “senior checking” account that offers some very appealing perks. But the truth is, not all of these accounts are what they seem, and there can be drawbacks for those who are drawn in by some of the promises that banks make.

You may be eligible for senior checking as early as age 50 or 55. Read on to find out if a senior checking account is right for you, or if it’s simply too good to be true.

Photo: Shutterstock/Leszek Glasner

Benefits: Should You Sign Up?

Senior checking accounts can offer multiple benefits, including:

• Deposit interest
• Free checks
• No account maintenance fees
• Movie ticket discounts
• No overdraft fees
• Free financial advice
• Discounted or free safe deposit boxes

Photo: Shutterstock/Ground Picture

Drawbacks: Should You Think Twice?

Senior checking accounts offer a range of benefits that may seem appealing, but they can also come with certain stipulations that may not work for your lifestyle or finances.

Drawbacks of a senior checking account can include:

• Maintaining a minimum balance before you can start earning account interest (for example, TD Bank’s 60 Plus checking account charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which is double that of some regular checking accounts, if you don’t maintain a daily balance of $250)
• Direct deposit requirements (if an account requires direct deposits, you could meet this requirement if you’re already making regularly scheduled withdrawals from an IRA or 401(k), and setting up those withdrawals to be automatically direct-deposited into your account)

• Maintaining an average monthly balance or making a certain amount of direct deposits each month in order to avoid penalties or fees
• Account interest may be less than that of a high-yield checking account

Photo: Shutterstock/Ground Picture

The Takeaway

It’s worth noting that many of the account perks promoted as part of senior checking may be available to you with a standard account. Some banks offer significant saving and checking account perks to customers that have a long-standing relationship with the bank, keep several different types of accounts at the same bank, or have maintained other high balances over a certain period of time.

Check with your bank regarding which benefits they can offer you as a senior – or at any age. You never know until you ask, and the information you receive can be invaluable when it comes to making monetary decisions.