What's the Difference Between Checking and Savings Accounts?

Read Time: 4 Min

The difference between a checking and savings account can seem confusing. Huntington is here to help you understand the differences between a checking and a savings account and how both could help you manage your finances.

two parents let their young daughter put a coin in her piggy bank

For your day-to-day life, the main differences between checking and savings accounts are access to the money and interest. Checking accounts allow quick access to your funds on an ongoing basis, and some checking accounts are interest bearing. Savings accounts have withdrawal limits, are interest bearing, and are typically used for a financial goal or specific purpose (vacation, home remodel, etc).

There are benefits to checking accounts and savings accounts, but it's beneficial to have both a checking and savings account at the same bank. If you're unsure about whether to open a checking or a savings account, we can help. Both accounts provide ways to store your money and allow you access to the money you have deposited.

What is a Checking Account?

A checking account is a deposit account that lets you keep your money in a secure place while still allowing you to easily pay for daily expenses. When you use your debit card at a store, the money is typically withdrawn from your checking account. If you use checks, the money is also usually withdrawn from your checking account.

Benefits of a Checking Account

The benefits of a Huntington checking account include:

  • Deposits are FDIC insured, up to insurance limits
  • Access to funds through:
    • an ATM
    • a teller
    • cashback at a register
    • checks
  • No transaction limits as long as your account is in good standing
  • Access to Bill Pay online and in our mobile app
  • Access to transaction history and statements online
  • Access to digital money management tools
  • Ability to transfer money to friends and family with Zelle®
  • On-demand access to your account balance online, in the mobile app, at an ATM, and through text alerts¥

When you open a checking account with us, you get access to all these benefits and more. These tools are beneficial when it comes to managing household expenses. At Huntington, our digital money management tools can be accessed in The Hub, which can be found in your online account or mobile app.

Looking to get a handle on where your money is being spent? Spend Analysis provides an analysis of your spending habits based upon your actual spending.

The Hub also contains Spend Setter. After you create a household budget, you can use Spend Setter to visualize if you're at, over, or under your budget for the month.

Open a Huntington Checking Account

If you want a basic checking account with no monthly maintenance fee or an interest-earning checking account, we've got the option that's right for you.

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Huntington’s Online Bill Pay, a free resource, can help you schedule and pay your bills. This can save you from handwriting checks, spending money on stamps, and can save you time by letting you pay all your bills on one secure website.

Bill Pay informs The Hub and gets factored into Spend Setter. The more you use these tools, the more you'll understand where your money is going every month and discover ways to take control of your finances. Integrating this toolset with your checking account can put you in a better position to save money.

What is a Savings Account?

A savings account is a smart choice when you want to save money for the future. Regulation limits the number of transfers on a savings account to six per month or statement cycle, so day-to-day access isn't as feasible as it can be with a checking account. All savings accounts at Huntington earn interest.

Benefits of a Savings Account

The benefits of a Huntington savings account include:

  • Deposits that are FDIC insured, up to insurance limits
  • Interest to earn to grow your personal wealth
  • Limited access to funds (6 transfers a month/statement cycle)
  • Access to transaction history and statements online
  • Access to household budget and digital money management tools
  • On-demand access to your account balance online, in the mobile app, at an ATM, and through text alerts

Looking at these at-a-glance lists, you can see how checking accounts and savings accounts are alike: FDIC insured, access to money through ATMs and tellers, and access to online and mobile banking.

It's also easy to see how they're different. A Huntington savings account also includes similar benefits as a Huntington checking account giving you access to our digital money management tools in The Hub, both through your online account or mobile app.

The Hub also contains Savings Goal Getter where you can create up to 10 goals, plus an emergency fund on your savings and money market accounts. Checking and savings accounts serve different purposes. While you may be comparing the benefits of a checking account versus a savings account, it's also helpful to think about how these accounts can work together to help you achieve your financial goals.

Benefits of Having a Checking and Savings Accounts

At Huntington, there are several advantages to opening both a checking and savings account. Establishing both your savings account to a checking account at the same bank makes it very easy to transfer money between the two. You can also add a savings account to an existing debit card that comes with another direct deposit account. You can have access to both accounts through the same card at the ATM. When the debit card is swiped for a purchase, all purchases would still be debited to the direct deposit account.

Being able to easily transfer money encourages you to save. When you open a savings account, you do so with the best intentions, but life gets busy, or expenses come up. Establishing your checking and savings account lets you set up an automatic savings plan that's easy to grow as your financial situation changes.

Building a savings account can help provide an emergency fund to help yourself in the future in the event of an unexpected expense or job loss. Setting goals can help keep you motivated to save, which is why we have the Savings Goal Getter in The Hub. The Savings Goal Getter helps you set different goals, and you can watch your progress as you achieve them. Additionally, you can set up scheduled transfers from your checking account to help you get to your savings goals even faster. 

Another benefit of having a savings and checking account with Huntington is you can waive Savings account Monthly Maintenance Fees. You could also avoid help Overdraft Fees by establishing your savings account as overdraft protection for your checking account.

Finally, we offer Money Scout®, an automatic savings service to help accelerate your savings. Money Scout learns your spending habits and identifies money that’s not being used, and it transfers this money from your checking to your savings account, automatically. To keep you informed and in control, you can get text alerts for every time a transfer happens.

How to Choose What's Best For You

Understanding the benefits of having multiple bank accounts is one step, the other is figuring out which account is the best for you. We have banking information available online to help you. We're also available on the phone or in a branch to talk to you about your financial goals and how we can help you achieve them.

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FDIC coverage up to customer's applicable limits

Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

For your protection, you should only send money to those you know and trust, such as family, friends and others such as your personal trainer, babysitter or neighbor. If you don’t know the person or aren’t sure you will get what you paid for, you should not use Zelle® for these types of transactions. Must have a bank account in the U.S. to use Zelle®.

¥ Message and data rates may apply.

Regulation limits the number of transfers that can be made from a Savings or Money Market Account during the statement cycle.

Spend Setter and Savings Goal Getter are service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.

Money Scout automatically schedules transfers from your selected checking account and credits your selected savings account. A money market account (MMA) cannot be a selected savings account for use with Money Scout. A scheduled transfer may be canceled before midnight ET on the day it is scheduled. Transfer amounts and frequency may vary and will reduce the money available in your account to cover other transactions. You are responsible for ensuring your account has sufficient funds. You may be charged overdraft fees if your account falls below $0. Subject to eligibility, terms and conditions, and other account agreements.

The information provided in this document is intended solely for general informational purposes and is provided with the understanding that neither Huntington, its affiliates nor any other party is engaging in rendering financial, legal, technical or other professional advice or services, or endorsing any third-party product or service. Any use of this information should be done only in consultation with a qualified and licensed professional who can take into account all relevant factors and desired outcomes in the context of the facts surrounding your particular circumstances. The information in this document was developed with reasonable care and attention. However, it is possible that some of the information is incomplete, incorrect, or inapplicable to particular circumstances or conditions. NEITHER HUNTINGTON NOR ITS AFFILIATES SHALL HAVE LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES (DIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR OTHERWISE) RESULTING FROM USING, RELYING ON OR ACTING UPON INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT EVEN IF HUNTINGTON AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF OR FORESEEN THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES.