Unfortunately, federal law stipulates that people cannot write checks from their savings accounts. You can still get cash from an ATM through your savings account and move the money from your savings account into your checking account, which will enable you to write checks. There are other types of accounts, such as money market accounts, that are more flexible and allow you to earn interest and write checks.
When many people open their first bank account (or bank accounts), they’ll really be opening two deposit accounts: a checking account and a savings account. A savings account is ideally where you save your money, and your checking account is where you have money to use in your daily life. A checking account also enables you to write checks. It’s in the name.
Most banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions will offer standard checking and savings accounts. But can you write checks that will extract money directly from your savings account? The answer to that is no, as federal law prohibits it.
However, there are easy options to get around it. Keep reading to learn how to get your money out of a savings account without writing a check and what your alternatives to traditional savings accounts are.
How to make a payment from your savings account
Though you can’t write a check using money from your savings account, you do have several alternative choices that offer more flexibility.
Transfer to your checking account
The easiest way to make a payment with limited fees is to transfer that money from your savings account to your checking account.
In today’s digitized world, most of us have a smartphone application that will enable a transfer from checking to savings with the click of a button. That being said, you can still do it over the phone or go in person. Once you have the money in your checking account, you can write checks and use your debit card.
Looking for checking accounts that offer easy access through an app? Then you may want to consider one of the accounts below.
Most banks will allow account holders to walk into the bank and obtain a cashier’s check for an amount from their savings accounts. This will allow you to use money directly from your savings account, whether it be individual or shared, to make a payment.
Keep in mind that purchasing a cashier’s check may come with a fee, sometimes between $10 and $15. So save yourself a few bucks by transferring the funds yourself online or in person.
Most businesses and individuals accept cash. If you can’t write a check and have money in your savings account, you might want to mosey on down to the nearest ATM. Many banks allow you to withdraw cash directly from your savings account.
Depending on who you bank with, you may even avoid ATM withdrawal fees. Take a look at some of the savings accounts below if you don’t already have this feature.
Alternatives to traditional savings accounts
Although savings accounts don’t allow you to write checks, there are alternative accounts that allow you to earn interest while offering more flexibility.
Money market account
Money market accounts act as a hybrid between checking and savings accounts. They offer a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account and come with more flexibility, including check-writing.
The only catch is that money market accounts typically require a higher deposit than a traditional checking account, which in most cases does not have any deposit threshold. To better compare your options, take a look at some of the money market accounts below.
Some financial institutions will offer money market mutual fund accounts that allow investors to put their money into mutual funds while offering check-writing abilities. However, the money won’t be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)’s $250,000 insurance policy.
Instead, you’ll be under the protection of the SPIC regulation, with insures investments up to $500,000 per brokerage account with a limit of $250,000 in cash. A bank or credit union might also offer a money market mutual fund but may not allow check-writing privileges, so be sure to ask.
High-yielding checking account
High-yielding checking accounts are checking accounts that pay interest. The interest earned is often between 0.10% and 1%, similar to regular savings accounts but with all the flexibility of a normal checking account.
This best-of-both-worlds option will not offer the same interest rate as a high-yield savings account, but at least you can write checks from this account. Take a look at some of the interest-bearing checking accounts below to get started.
Where is the savings account number on a check?
There is no savings account number on a check, only the checking account number and routing number.
Can you get checks from a savings account?
You cannot get personal checks from traditional savings accounts. You can, however, get a cashier’s check with money in your savings account.
Can I use my savings account with my debit card?
No, you cannot use a debit card with a savings account, only a checking account.
Can you use your savings account to buy stuff online?
If you have a credit card that is linked to your savings account, then you can use your savings account to purchase items or services with funds from your savings account.
Can you transfer money from a savings account to another bank?
Yes, but it depends on the bank. In the U.S., many banks will offer a Zelle facility, which allows you to send money to a different bank account directly from your savings account. Macquarie bank in Australia, for instance, lets you transfer funds externally from your savings account with ease.
- In the U.S., federal law prohibits writing checks that are directly linked to your savings account.
- Savings account holders have different options to access money if they need to pay for something. This includes withdrawing from the ATM, using a cashier’s check, or (in some cases) linking a credit card.
- There are several hybrid accounts that will enable you to write checks and earn interest on your funds in the account, like a money market account or high-yield checking account.
View Article Sources
- Savings Accounts Basics — Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
- Who sets the interest rates on savings accounts? — HelpWithMyBank.gov
- Home Page — National Credit Union Administration
- Your Insured Deposits — Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Should I Open a Savings Account and Why? — SuperMoney
- How to Avoid Tax on a Savings Account — SuperMoney
- What Is a Sweep Account and How Does It Work? — SuperMoney
- How Much Cash Should I Have On Hand? — SuperMoney
- How to Budget Money on a Low Income — SuperMoney
- How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving Out? — SuperMoney
- What Is A Share Savings Account? — SuperMoney
- Can You Direct Deposit Into a Savings Account? — SuperMoney
- Best Savings Accounts — SuperMoney