How to Maximize Your Bank Account

Choosing a new bank account? Considering switching to a new bank?

A 2017 survey found that most Americans stay with the same bank for an average of 16 years. It takes a lot to finally make the choice to move banks, simply because there’s so much involved. Updating your direct deposit, changing all your bill payment information, changing your preferred payment method on Amazon … whew!

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your bank account. The more you know about features that today’s banks offer, the smarter decision you can make.

Compare Bank Account Fees

When it comes to your money, you want to keep as much of it as possible (of course!). When looking for ways to get more from your bank account, check out fees and other areas where your earnings could be slipping away.

Bank savings rates:

According to FDIC’s weekly national rates, the national average for Savings Account APY for Deposits under $100,000 as of May 24, 2019 is 0.09%. The average you’ll actually earn may be based on factors such as how much you have in your account and how much you deposit into your associated checking account.

If you’re interested in exploring a high-yield savings account, you may consider the ACE Flare™ Account by MetaBank®. When you establish direct deposit, you qualify to open an optional Savings Account, you could earn up to 6.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on deposits up to $2,0001.

Checking account rates:

Many bank checking accounts offer similar interest-building opportunities (called Annual Percentage Yield, or APY) as with savings accounts. According to the FDIC’s weekly national rates as of May 24, 2019, the average rate is 0.06%, with variations across banks. If you know you’ll meet the bank account requirements (generally speaking, a certain dollar amount in deposits and average monthly balance), comparing these rates can help you earn a bit more on your cash over time.

Overdraft fees:

Today, many banks offer protection or purchase cushions to help alleviate overdraft fees (and the “sorry, card declined” embarrassment). Still, bank account overdraft fees can really stack up, though some banks may offer lower fees or fee forgiveness.

Monthly service fees:

According to a 2018 Bankrate fee study, the  national average for bank monthly service fees in 2019 is $5.57, the lowest it’s been since 2014. And, the monthly balance requirements to avoid paying fees altogether are the lowest they’ve been since 2014, too— an average of $631.31.

Out-of-Network ATM fees:

At some point you’ll likely find yourself in need of cash, with no branded ATMs in sight. Here’s where understanding ATM fees is important. You’ll be charged a fee by your non-member ATM, but your bank may also charge a fee. According to a 2018 Bankrate fee study, the average total cost of withdrawing cash from an out-of-network ATM nationwide is $4.68.

Infographic titled How to Get More from Your Bank Account

Compare Bank Account Perks

What often makes a bank account special — and turns customers into die-hards — are the bonus perks you get with your card. From cash back rewards to special offers and fun card upgrades, you get to decide what perks matter most to you.

Cash Back:

Did you know that some checking accounts offer cash back opportunities? It’s not just credit cards that get to have all the fun. You could earn a percentage back on some purchases, which would be returned to you on a certain schedule (usually every month or every quarter).

Earn Interest:

Earning interest on your account balance seems like another perk reserved for savings account. That’s changing! Today, some other accounts - including demand deposit accounts and checking accounts - give you the opportunity to earn interest on the balance of your account. gives you the opportunity to earn interest on your balance.2

Sign-Up Bonuses:

Sometimes, switching to a new bank account can have its perks. Some banks run special offers with incentives to sign up. These may come in the form of sign-up bonuses factors.

Exclusive Offers and Discounts:

Some bank accounts partner with retailers to offer special discounts or offers. This could include a percentage off your purchase, cash back, or other deals.

Card Upgrades:

Want more customization with the card you swipe? Look for bank cards and prepaid cards with card upgrade features. You could get an exclusive card design, personalization, or other cool upgrades. Be sure to ask your provider what’s available.

Top tips for maximizing bank account perks infographic


*IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OPENING A NEW DEPOSIT ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an Account. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU When you open an Account, we will ask for your name, street address, date of birth, and government ID number. We may also ask to see a copy of your driver’s license or other documents at any time. All Accounts are opened subject to our ability to verify your identity by requiring acceptable types of identification. We may validate the information you provide to us to ensure we have a reasonable belief of your identity. If we are not able to verify your identity to our satisfaction, we will not open your Account or we may close the Account if it was previously funded. Your Account is subject to fraud prevention restrictions at any time, with or without notice.

The ACE Flare Account is established by MetaBank, Member FDIC. Netspend, a TSYS® Company, is a service provider to MetaBank. Certain products and services may be licensed under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,608 and 6,189,787.

1. The Savings Account linked to your Flare Account is made available to Accountholders through MetaBank, Member FDIC. To open a Savings Account, consent to receive communications from us in electronic form is required. Interest is calculated on the Average Daily Balance(s) of the Savings Account and is paid quarterly.

  • If the Average Daily Balance is $2,000.00 or less, the interest rate paid on the entire balance will be 5.87% with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 6.00%.
  • If the Average Daily Balance is more than $2,000.00, the interest rate paid on the portion of the Average Daily Balance which exceeds $2,000.00 will be 0.49% with an APY of 0.50%, and the interest paid on the portion of the Average Daily Balance which is $2,000.00 or less will be 5.87%. The APY for this tier will range from 6.00% to 0.60%, depending on the balance in the Account.

The interest rates and APYs of each tier may change. The APYs were accurate as of 7/1/2019. No minimum balance is required to open Savings Account or obtain the yield(s). However, you must receive direct deposit(s) totaling at least $500 within one (1) calendar month to be eligible to open a Savings Account. Savings Account funds are withdrawn through the Flare Account (maximum 6 such transfers per calendar month) and transaction fees could reduce the interest earned on the Savings Account. Funds on deposit are FDIC-insured through MetaBank, Member FDIC. For purposes of FDIC coverage limit, all funds held on deposit by the accountholder at MetaBank will be aggregated up to the coverage limit, currently $250,000.00.

2. The interest rate on your Account is variable and we may change the rate on your Account at any time. The current interest rate on your Account is 0.01% with an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 0.01%. APY was accurate as of 2/1/2018. No minimum balance is required to open and maintain a Flare Account or to obtain the disclosed APY. Transaction fees could reduce the interest earned on the Account. The ACE Flare Account is established by MetaBank, Member FDIC. Funds on deposit are FDIC insured through MetaBank. For purposes of FDIC coverage, all funds held on deposit by you at MetaBank will be aggregated up to the coverage limit, currently $250,000.00.