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Best Joint Checking Accounts

July 2024

In theory, joint checking accounts provide a simple and practical way to share expenses or help a loved one handle their finances. They are also a great tool when you're trying to budget, and you are in a situation that involves multiple people. However, not all checking accounts are made equal. Here's a closer look at the top joint checking accounts available.
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Many couples decide to join financial forces with a joint checking account. Opening a joint checking account can also be an excellent option when you're caring for an aging parent or want to teach your child how to manage money. However, you are giving others access to your money, so you need to have a strong and trusting relationship with other account holders. It's also important to take your time finding an account with affordable fees that satisfies everyone's needs.
This article points to important questions to ask and a list of some of the best joint checking accounts currently available.
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Considerations when choosing a joint checking account

Checking accounts are a great way to deposit money into an accessible, safe location. Your money is easy to liquidate when and if you need it. The trade-off is usually a low or non-existent APY. Many banks and credit unions offer incentives to make up for this. The list above includes the best joint checking accounts for couples. Here are some things to consider when shopping for your next joint checking account.

Do you need face to face banking (i.e., access to a brick-and-mortar branch)?

Many online joint checking accounts can afford to offer better rates and lower fees. You sacrifice the ability to walk in to ask for help when needed but may find the online perks worthwhile. Research the reputation and perks of any bank, whether online or brick and mortar.
Keep in mind that many banks changed their hours or closed some branches for the safety of customers and staff due to COVID-19. However, many banks have excellent online options for opening new accounts and handling your banking needs.

What are the fees?

Monthly maintenance fees can range from $0 to $25 per month. Many banks will waive the maintenance fee if you meet certain criteria. For example, you're expected to maintain a minimum balance and/or direct deposits into the account.
Other important fees to consider are ATM and overdraft fees. Also, pay attention to whether the bank will charge for online bill payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you open a joint checking account?

Choose the financial institution that best suits your needs. The list above is a great place to start. Check your bank's website to find out if you need to go in in person, call, or just fill out forms online to open the account. If you're just signing up online, you'll need to have access to all account holders' paperwork and documentation on hand.

Which bank is best for joint accounts?

The bank that works best for each couple varies based on your location and banking needs. You'll find some great options above, including a breakdown of fees and detailed pros and cons.

Can I open a joint checking account online?

Yes. Most banks allow for this option. Some bank accounts are set up for 100% online banking. Many traditional banks now offer the option to open your account online as well. The list above specifies what each bank offers.

Can you open a joint checking account?

Yes, it’s common for family members and couples to choose joint checking accounts. Each couple has their reasons for choosing to join accounts. From a legal perspective, this option protects either account member. If either should pass away, the account still belongs to the surviving member.

What are some reasons why some people shouldn't have a joint bank account?

A joint checking account means that either member has access to deposited funds. If you have doubts about the other person's spending habits, this could become a difficult situation. Some couples choose to have individual accounts to split bills or for other reasons. Joining checking accounts is a personal choice that works for many couples, but not all.

What are the disadvantages of a joint account?

A joint checking account works well for two people who are ready to trust each other with their money. If this is not the case, then a joint checking account may not be the best option. For example, a joint account could get complicated if you break up or get a divorce. You also have to give up some privacy, as others will have access to your bank statements and spending habits. There are also liability risks to consider. Your money could be at risk if another account holder is in debt and gets hit with a bank levy.

Who owns the money in a joint bank account?

Both people who are part of a joint checking account have access to any money in it. This can be a protection for a couple since if one were to die, the other becomes the account's sole owner.

Can I take all the money out of a joint bank account?

Yes, either member of a joint checking account can withdraw all the money. Choosing to have a joint checking account requires financial and personal trust.

What is the FDIC insurance limit for a joint account?

Each account holder in a joint account is insured up to $250,000 for the combined amount of his or her interests in all joint accounts at the same financial institution. In determining an account holder's interest in a joint account, the FDIC assumes each account holder has equal ownership unless the checking account records clearly show otherwise.

Can you close a joint bank account with only one person?

Yes, both people listed as account holders on the account have the authority to make any changes. This includes closing the account.
Opening a joint checking account allows a couple to work together to reach financial goals. If you choose to join your financial lives, take some time to find the best account to meet your goals. This list above offers details about some of the best joint checking accounts.

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