Do I Need to Have a Checking and Savings Account at the Same Bank?

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KEY POINTS

  • You're allowed to have a checking account at one bank and a savings account at another.
  • You may want to do so if one bank has more convenient access to branches and ATMs, but another offers higher rates on savings.
  • Having a checking and savings account at the same bank could allow you to transfer money instantly between the two, and that could be helpful in an emergency situation.

You don't need to -- but you might want to.

You need a checking account so you have a way to pay your bills. And you need money in a savings account so you can sock funds away for different goals and have cash reserves to tap for emergency expenses.

But do your checking account and savings account need to be held at the same bank? The quick answer is no.

There's no rule stating you have to keep both types of accounts open with the same institution. But there's a big benefit to having a checking account and savings account at the same bank.

When you need to move your money in a pinch

You might have money in your savings account that serves as your emergency fund. And you might use the money in your checking account simply to pay your near-term bills.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024

APY
up to 4.60%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. to earn
$0
APY
4.75%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. Our Disclosure: Annual Percentage Yields (APY) is subject to change at any time without notice. Offer applies to personal accounts only. Fees may reduce earnings. For High Yield Savings accounts, the rate may change after the account is opened. Visit synchronybank.com for current rates, terms and account requirements. Member FDIC
Min. to earn
$0
APY
4.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. See Capital One website for most up-to-date rates. Advertised Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is variable and accurate as of April 11, 2024. Rates are subject to change at any time before or after account opening.
Min. to earn
$0

A lot of people don't keep extra money in a checking account because it often doesn't earn interest, so they figure they might as well only keep enough cash to pay their immediate expenses. But what happens if you suddenly need to write a $2,000 check to cover a home repair?

If you have your checking and savings accounts at the same bank, you might be able to instantly transfer money between the two to cover that check. But if you have your checking and savings accounts with different banks, your transfer could take several business days to go through, leaving you at risk of overdrawing your checking account or having your check bounce.

That's a big reason why it pays to choose the same bank for your checking account as well as your savings. You get the convenience of being able to seamlessly transfer funds around -- usually in an instant.

A good reason to keep your checking and savings accounts at different banks

In some cases, you may not want to use the same bank for your checking and savings accounts. Let's say you're hoping to score a nice interest rate on your savings. But let's say you also want a checking account that gives you access to nearby branches and a large, convenient network of ATMs. You may not get what you want by using the same bank.

Imagine a local bank you really like and want to use for your checking account. Maybe the branch is around the corner from where you live and has great hours. But if that bank is only offering, say, 2.5% interest on savings accounts, you'll be selling yourself short by keeping your savings there. That's because many savings accounts are paying 4% or more these days -- especially those offered by online banks. So in this case, keeping your checking and savings accounts together could mean losing out on interest.

But if you find a bank that offers competitive interest rates for savings accounts and CDs, and it also gives you the perks you're looking for in a checking account, then opening both accounts with the same institution could be beneficial. So it pays to consider making your life easier and going this route as long as it makes sense financially.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 11x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 11x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Two of our top online savings account picks:

Rates as of Jun 16, 2024 Ratings Methodology
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SoFi Checking and Savings Capital One 360 Performance Savings
Member FDIC. Member FDIC.
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4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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APY: up to 4.60%

APY: 4.25%

Min. to earn APY: $0

Min. to earn APY: $0

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