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Keep savings, checking accounts at 1 bank

Checking » Keep savings, checking accounts at 1 bank

Overdraft protection with linked accounts
Overdraft protection with linked accounts © AVAVA/Shutterstock.com

Overdraft protection with linked accounts

If you make a mistake and overspend with your checking account, having a linked savings account can trigger an automatic deposit into your checking. That can help avoid pricey overdraft fees, Reshen-Doty says.

"You can use your savings as a well of reserves, usually for free," she says.

Overdraft fees are not to be disregarded, as they continue to rise. According to Bankrate's 2014 Checking Survey, the average overdraft fee, known in the banking industry as a nonsufficient funds fee, rose to a high of $32.74, a 1.7 percent increase from the previous year. The year-over-year increase was less than the rate of inflation. Banks also have lines of credit that can be used as overdraft protection, but you would have to qualify for a line based on your credit history, Reshen-Doty says. Linking your savings account to checking could make applying for credit unnecessary.

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