Simple tips to manage your checking account.
Diligently tracking your checking account activity will allow you to keep track of how much money you have, help you avoid overdrawing your account, and identify unauthorized activity.
Here are some tips and tools to help you successfully manage your account:
Record All Account Transactions
It is imperative to keep track of all transactions that affect your account, including transactions made by other accountholders. Be sure to record all checks, debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, account transfers, recurring bill payments and service fees as well as all direct deposits. Your checkbook register is a great tool to keep track of account transactions.
Know Your Account Balance
Keeping track of your balance is key to successfully managing your accounts. Here are some resources you can use to monitor your balances and avoid unnecessary fees:
24 Hour Telephone Banking – Your account information is just a phone call away. You can access your balance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our Automated Telephone Banking system. You can check your balances and transfer funds between accounts at no charge. Simply call our Customer Service Department at (800) 848-1088 to use our automated system. You may also speak with a customer service representative during regular service hours of 5:00am – midnight, 7 days a week.
Branch and ATM Network: Westamerica has a network of 80 branches and over 120 ATMs available for you to check your account balances at any time. Click here for a branch and ATM location near you.
StarConnect Plus™ Online Banking – StarConnect Plus gives you the flexibility and convenience to manage your accounts anytime you have access to the internet. You can check your balances and, if necessary, transfer funds between accounts before making purchases. Click here to see a demo.
Keep a Minimum Balance
Keeping a minimum balance in your account is an effective way to minimize fees and avoid overdrafts. Some accounts have the monthly service charge waived if you keep a designated minimum amount in your account. Also, by not letting your balance drop to low levels, there is a buffer in your account for emergencies or errors, helping you to prevent overdrafts.
Establish a Direct Deposit
Set up direct deposit of your payroll, social security, retirement or pension to have your income conveniently deposited into your account. You can make sure your account transactions are covered even if you don’t have time to go to the bank.
Overdraft Protection Options
Linked Overdraft Protection – With Linked Overdraft Protection, you designate a second Westamerica account to automatically transfer funds to your checking account if you don't have enough money to cover a transaction. You can choose another checking, saving, money market or line of credit as your linked account. There is no fee to set up Linked Overdraft Protection.
Extra Cash Overdraft Protection Line of Credit – Extra Cash is a line of credit that provides overdraft protection for your checking account. If your checking account becomes overdrawn, funds will automatically be transferred from your Extra Cash Overdraft Protection Line of Credit account.
Sponsored by the U.S. government, this site teaches the basics of financial education and provides information to help you make smart financial decisions.
The American Bankers Association Education Foundation offers consumer resources on topics such as finance management and fraud prevention.
The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers practical information on a variety of topics to help you avoid fraud and exercise your consumer rights.