Personal Checking Account Basics
A checking account is a convenient way to protect and access your money. For example, you can have your paycheck automatically direct deposited into your checking account and pay your bills directly from there. A checking account can also help you keep track of your account balance and spending.
There are several things to consider when choosing the best checking account:
- Which accounts have monthly fees or service fees, and how can I avoid them?
- Is there a minimum balance requirement, and can I maintain that balance?
- Does this account come with free ATM use?
- Does this account earn interest?
Debit cards look just like credit cards but have a few important differences. A debit card is linked directly to your checking account, so when you make a purchase with it, that amount is deducted from your account. A credit card is treated more like a loan. You have extra time to repay the credit card amount but may be charged interest if it isn’t paid in full, and on time.
A KeyBank debit card can help you keep within your budget to avoid overspending, plus it can be used at ATMs and millions of retailers worldwide that accept Debit Mastercard®. Also, a credit card’s ability to pay for emergencies can bring you peace of mind when you don’t have the funds in your checking account. Debit cards are available with any KeyBank checking account.
Your KeyBank Debit Mastercard3 has an embedded chip, which is the latest technology available to keep your information safe. When you check out at a chip enabled point of sale, you may be asked to put in a personal identification number (PIN) to authorize the transaction.
Checking accounts are bank accounts maintained by financial institutions in which a customer can deposit and withdraw money. Checking accounts work by quickly and easily letting you add and deposit money in a variety of ways, including with checks, online and mobile banking, including mobile check deposit, with a teller, at ATMs and by using electronic debits or ACH payments. With checking accounts, there is typically no limit on the number of deposits and withdrawals that can be made in a month.
Yes. KeyBank checking accounts are FDIC-insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law. For more information, call 1-800-KEY2YOU® (1-800-539-2968) or visit a branch near you.
It’s easy to withdraw cash from your checking account anytime using your debit card at an ATM or by visiting a branch. You can also take money out of your account by writing checks, making payments in online and mobile banking, and sending money to friends and family with person to person protocols, such as Zelle®.
You can quickly and easily close your KeyBank checking account by calling us at 1-800-KEY2YOU or by visiting a branch. To close a joint checking account, one owner will need to visit a branch.
To close your KeyBank checking account, you’ll need to make sure you don’t have any pending transactions that would hit after the account is closed. This will help you avoid fees from the entities expecting payments from the account.
When you close the account, we’ll give you a cashier’s check for the account balance or transfer that amount into another account you have opened here or at another institution.
Yes, you can cash a money order at a local bank or credit union, and there may be a fee associated with that. Or, you can deposit it into a bank account for no fee.
The main difference a between checking and savings account is that checking accounts are for everyday use and savings accounts are for longer term saving.
They’re both deposit accounts, so they both allow you to access your money, but there are some differences.
Savings accounts are great for making sure you have money available for emergencies or large purchases, and don’t spend it on everyday purchases. You’ll still be able to access your money by ATM, in online and mobile banking and with the help of a bank teller. They typically have higher interest than checking accounts and that interest will accrue over time, helping you grow your balance. To incentivize saving, savings accounts typically have a limited number of withdrawals that can be made monthly before a fee may be assessed.
Checking accounts don’t limit the number of transactions that can be made per month. And, to make managing money easier and more convenient, checking accounts can come with debit cards, check books, online and mobile banking, and other digital tools you can use to quickly access cash, pay bills and pay friends and family.
You can view your account activity in any of the following ways:
- Sign on to Online Banking
- Use KeyBank’s mobile app
- Check your mailed statement if you are not enrolled for electronic statements
- Get mini statements at a KeyBank ATM
- Call 1-800-KEY2YOU® (1-800-539-2968) and follow the voice prompts. Clients using a TDD/TTY device: 1-800-539-8336
- Visit a branch
You can order your personal checks with any of these easy options:
- Use the Mobile App
- Order in Online Banking
- Order directly with Harland Clarke4, our preferred check provider
- Visit your local KeyBank branch
- Call 1-800-355-8123 (Be sure to have both your account and routing number ready) Clients using a TDD/TTY device: 1-800-539-8336
The routing number is located on the lower left-hand corner of your check. You can find out more about the location of the routing number, including viewing a sample check, by clicking here, or by speaking with a KeyBank representative at 1-800-KEY2YOU® (1-800-539-2968). Clients using a TDD/TTY device: 1-800-539-8336
The availability of funds depends on the type of deposit you make and how it is deposited.
Same-day availability: Direct deposits of electronic payments, such as Social Security benefits and payroll direct deposits are available on the business day (excluding weekends and legal holidays) that the funds are due to you. Wire transfers received by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, cash deposits made in a KeyBank branch and cash deposits made at a KeyBank image ATM are available on the business day of deposit. Check deposits made at KeyBank ATMs before 7:00 p.m. local time on business days will have $100 available the same day and the rest the following day if there are no holds on the account.
Next-Day availability: U.S. Treasury checks payable to you, wire transfers received after 6:00 p.m. ET on a business day, and check deposits made at KeyBank ATMs prior to 7:00 p.m. local time are available the next business day if there are no holds on the account. ATM deposits made after 7:00 p.m. local time on business days or anytime on weekends or legal holidays will be considered deposited on the next business day and be available the following business day. Checks drawn on KeyBank National Association as well as in-person branch deposits will generally be available for withdrawal on the next business day. Deposits made by 11 p.m. ET in the KeyBank mobile app will be available the next business day.
There are a few exceptions that may delay your funds availability. If we delay your ability to withdraw funds for any of these reasons, we will notify you and tell you when the funds will be available.
Reasons for delay include, for example:
- We believe a check you deposit will not be paid.
- You deposit checks totaling more than $5,525 on any one day.
- You redeposit a check that has been returned unpaid.
- You have overdrawn your account repeatedly in the last six months.
- There is an emergency, such as failure of computer or communications equipment or other conditions beyond our control.
- You are a new client with a checking account opened for fewer than 30 days.
In case of a delay, your funds will generally be available for withdrawal no later than the fifth business day after your deposit.
More information, see our full funds availability policy, call 1-800-KEY2YOU® or visit a nearby branch. Clients using a TDD/TTY device:1-800-539-8336
KeyBank uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure your information is kept safe. We deliver a secure environment through a variety of methods, such as encryption, firewalls, and customer-controlled passwords.
Report the incident or theft as soon as possible, by contacting KeyBank at 1-800-KEY2YOU® and following the voice prompts. Clients using a TDD/TTY device: 1-800-539-8336. We also recommend you check your account online for potential fraudulent transactions. Learn more.
KeyBank offers detailed information about overdraft fees online, or you can speak to a representative.
You can quickly find your account number without a check in online and mobile banking—just sign on and select the account details. If you need help, contact us at 1-800-KEY2YOU.
Online and Mobile Banking Benefits
You can download the KeyBank mobile app and enroll. Within the mobile app you can:
- View account balances and statements 24/7
- Transfer funds between your KeyBank accounts and from an external account
- Make payments to existing payees and add new payees
- View and cancel scheduled Bill Pay5 payments as well as set up new payments and payees
- Search and view your transaction history for the last 90 days
- Make mobile check deposits
In online and mobile banking, select your account, choose “More” and then “Manage Alerts”.
Some alerts are available via email only. Certain alerts are listed as Mandatory alerts, meaning we’re required by law to notify you. You’ll receive emails for those alerts automatically.
Bill Pay allows you to pay your bills online without writing paper checks, buying stamps, or going to a post office.
Bill Pay is free for standard delivery of your electronic payments. If you need to get a payment out ASAP, use our Expedite Payment1 option with same day or next business day delivery date.
If you need a payment delivered on the same or next business day, we offer a Expedite Payment option, with same or next business day delivery. Our expedited payment option is available for $9.95. Just click the “Expedite Payment” after you select your payee. (Note: Expedited payments cannot be modified or canceled).
Electronic expedited payments are sent immediately. The payment may take up to one business day to process but should be backdated to the date that you requested the expedited payment.
In some instances, you may not be able to edit the address information as KeyBank may already have a relationship with that payee and have the necessary billing information on file.
Yes. Multiple bill payments can be made when in Online Banking by selecting “Access Additional Bill Pay Features” above your payees. At this time, multiple payments cannot be made in Key’s mobile app.
Applying for a Personal Checking Account
To apply for a new checking account, you'll need the following:
- Your Social Security Number
- One valid form of primary identification (i.e., driver’s license, valid passport, government-issued ID with photo and signature)
- Minimum opening deposit required (amount varies depending on type of account)
When the checking account application is submitted and approved, you’ll see your account number. You can use your account number to immediately enroll in online and mobile banking.
If you elected to receive a debit card, it will arrive 5-7 days after you make the initial deposit in your checking account. If you elected to receive checks, they will arrive in 10-14 days.
Once you’re at least 18 years old, you can open a KeyBank checking account independently online or in a branch.
If you’re at least 13 years old but under 18, parents or legal guardians may visit a branch to open an account in your name with themselves as the co-owner.
Yes, there aren't any restrictions on how many accounts you can open, whether at the same bank or at different banks.
Joint checking accounts are one account that has two owners, each with full control. So the account is shared and both owners may deposit and withdraw money. Usually, joint accounts are held by an individual, their spouse, partner, family member or business partner, but any two people can open a joint checking account together.
You can open a joint checking account in a branch or by phone. You may open an individual account and add a joint holder later, or you can open the account at one time together. You’ll both need to provide the personal information, including email, name, address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number.
Typically, opening a checking account does not trigger a hard pull and does not hurt your credit score. Closing a checking account won’t usually affect your credit score, but it could if you close the account with a negative balance.
KeyBank provides several ways for customers to research checking accounts and determine the right fit. For example, you can:
- Review features through via our Compare Checking Accounts
- Call and speak with a representative
- Visit a local branch
Fees Apply. Review Expediated Payments Terms and Conditions
Message and Data rates may apply.
Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
KeyCorp is not affiliated with, maintained by, or in any way officially connected with Harland Clarke or any of its business units.
Bill Pay is subject to terms in the Online Banking Service Agreement.
Clients using a TDD/TTY device:
Clients using a relay service:
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Clients using a TDD/TTY device:
Clients using a relay service: