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Savings and checking accounts

Do you need to open a savings or checking account? When choosing an account, you should consider your banking habits and preferences and try to match them with an account's features and benefits. Learn more about the account options available in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Savings accounts

Savings accounts allow you to gain interest on money you’ve deposited into the account. Your savings account fees are are often based on your balance or other products and services you use. For example, if you keep a $200 balance or use electronic statements your savings account may not have a monthly fee. Using an insured financial institution will ensure your money is safe and secure.

Checking accounts

Checking accounts allow you to deposit and cash checks in addition to offering easy access to your money for transactional needs. A checking account usually comes with a debit card to use to withdraw money or make purchases. Account fees may vary based upon your account balance and the number and type of transactions you make each month. For example, if you have direct deposit or make 10 debit transaction per month, your checking account may not have a monthly fee.

Accounts for consumers under 18 or over 65 years old

Massachusetts state law requires state-chartered banks to provide no cost checking and savings accounts to anyone 18 years old or younger or 65 years old and older. Some federally chartered banks also have special accounts that may offer reduced or limited fees.  State-chartered credit unions are not required to offer these types of accounts.

Additional Resources

Basic Banking Program - low-cost savings and checking alternatives

If traditional bank or credit union fees too high the Massachusetts Basic Banking Program may be a good fit for you. Many state-chartered banks and credit unions offer low-cost savings and checking account alternatives. This is done to expand banking products and services to consumers with modest incomes.

Basic Banking Savings Account Guidelines:

  • Requires no more than $10 to open account.
  • Charges no monthly fee on account balances of $10 or more.
  • Charges a monthly fee of no more than $1.
  • Pays interest on all account balances of $10 or more.

Basic Banking Checking Account Guidelines:

  • Requires no more than $25 to open account.
  • Charges a monthly fee of no more than $3.
  • Provides at least 15 free withdrawals, including at least 8 checks per month.
  • Charges no more than $1 for each withdrawal over the allowable number of free withdrawals.

Additional Resources

Federal Truth-in-Savings Act

The federal Truth-in-Savings Act was created to help promote competition between depository institutions by making it easier for consumers to compare interest rates, fees, and account terms.  The Act requires banks and credit unions to disclose all account fees in advance.

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