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Checking vs Savings Account: Learn the Difference

Checking Account vs Savings Account with HFS FCU

What is a Checking Account?

At a credit union, you may hear us refer to checking accounts as a share draft. It works the very same way and is commonly the account used for transactional purposes. You probably would want to have your paycheck deposited to your checking account and you can have your bills paid directly from here as well. It also provides you the option to use a debit card when shopping in-store or online. This is often much more convenient than having to carry checks or cash. When using your debit card, funds are electronically taken directly from your checking account.

Types of Checking Accounts

  • Consumer Checking: A checking account is a staple for managing your money effectively and the perfect companion to your HFS Savings Account.
  • Youth Checking: With parental consent, teen and student members in the HFS Kids Club (under age 18) can also utilize a checking account at HFS. The account includes the same features as a Consumer Checking, making it a great way for teens to practice their money management skills.  Just remember that the accountholders will be liable for any fraudulent debit card charges for youth accounts so make sure your teen is ready for the added responsibility before taking the leap.
  • Business Checking: With no minimum balance requirement, easy access to your funds with an HFS Visa® Business Debit Card, and more, it’s the perfect account to keep your business running in tip top, financial shape.

Checking Account Features

Checking Accounts at HFS Federal Credit Union have some key features that make these accounts so great:

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free HFS Visa® Debit Card with surcharge-free access at any Bank of Hawaii ATM1
  • Have your debit card instant issued so you can take your card home with you on the same day you open your accounts. No more waiting for it to arrive in the mail!
  • Unlimited transactions and check writing
  • Free custom HFS Volcano checks with direct deposit
  • Free Online Banking access
  • Mobile Deposit using the HFS Mobile App

What is a Savings Account?

A savings account, also known as a regular shares account, is the basis of credit union membership. This is the first account you will open when establishing membership at HFS Federal Credit Union. A savings account in general is normally used to store the funds that you aren’t planning to use right away. Whether you’re saving for a vacation, creating an emergency fund, or even saving for your keiki’s college education, a savings account keeps your money safe while also earning dividends (interest the credit union pays you for keeping your money in the account). 

Types of Savings Accounts

There are several different types of savings accounts that you can choose depending on your saving needs. 

  • Regular Savings Accounts: Not only are these the basis of your credit union membership, it’s the perfect tool for saving. These accounts generally earn modest dividends and may have a required minimum balance. However, you can usually deposit or withdraw money as you please.
  • Special Savings Accounts: Similar to a Regular Savings Account, these are just earmarked for specific purposes like Christmas spending money or a vacation, you decide. 
  • Money Manager Savings Account: Money Manager Savings Accounts are a favorite for members who have a little more money to save. Although these types of accounts require you to maintain a higher minimum balance, the dividend rate is usually a little higher.
  • Share Certificates: Certificates are a particularly helpful savings tool if you have money that you won’t need to touch for a longer period of time. Choose from a terms as short as 6 months to as long as 5 years and your dividends earned will scale up the longer the term. These accounts generally have a required minimum balance and usually will incur  penalties if the funds are withdrawn before the term is up.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): IRAs are a great go-to if you’re thinking about saving for retirement. HFS offers several types of IRA accounts. *You may want to consult your tax accountant for the IRA type that will suite your needs.

Savings Account Features

HFS Savings Accounts make it convenient for you to easily save your money whether you’re one or one hundred.

  • Surcharge-free access to your funds using an HFS Share Card at any Bank of Hawaii ATM1
  • No transfer restrictions
  • Convenience of managing your money with Online Banking and the HFS App
  • Minimum balance of $50
    • HFS Kids Club is available for keiki under the age of 18. The minimum balance is just $5. 
  • Earn dividends with an average daily balance of $100 or more
    • HFS Kids Club accounts for keiki under 18 earn dividends on the entire balance of their account, even if it’s under $100.

The Difference Between Checking and Savings Accounts

The main difference between a checking and savings account is what they are used for. Just remember, savings accounts are  to save and  checking accounts are to spend.

A savings account establishes your membership with a credit union, and many times may have a minimum balance requirement. Checking accounts at HFS do not have a minimum balance requirement. Having both a savings and checking account allows you to effectively manage your finances on a day to day basis and keep funds separate from each other based on whether it’s meant to be saved or spent.

Withdrawal Restrictions

At HFS, there are no withdrawal restrictions with a regular checking or savings account as long as any minimum balance requirements are maintained. If you have an HFS Money Manager Savings Account, you will need to withdraw $250 or more each time. If you’ve opted for a Share Certificate or IRA, be sure to pay close attention to the terms of your account as there are penalties for early withdrawals.

Minimum Balances

Different accounts have different minimum balance requirements you must maintain to ensure your account stays in good standing.

At HFS, a Regular Savings Account will need a minimum balance of $50 and $5 for the HFS Kids Club accounts. An HFS Money Manager Savings Account and Share Certificate have minimum balance requirements of $2,500 to begin earning dividends. HFS Checking Accounts and IRAs do not have a minimum balance requirements.


Depending on your financial institution, fees on your checking and savings accounts may vary. Here are some common fees you may see when doing your research.

  • Overdraft Fees
  • ATM Fees
  • Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • Inactivity Fee
  • Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Inactivity Fees

For a list of the fees at HFS Federal Credit Union, click on the following:

Interest Earned

At HFS Federal Credit Union, you can earn dividends on your Savings Account funds by keeping an average daily balance of at least $100 in your account. There are also savings account options that allow you to earn higher dividend rates on larger sums of money like a Money Manager.

To review the current rates at HFS Federal Credit Union, click on the products below:

Should You Have Both Checking and Savings Accounts?

The best way to make use of your membership with HFS FCU is to take advantage of all the products and services we have to offer. In order to establish membership with HFS, you’ll need to open a Savings Account; that’s where it all begins. You’ll definitely want to open a Checking Account if you have a paycheck you want to deposit, bills you want to pay, etc. Be sure to ask for your Debit Card upon account opening so you can begin using it right away.

Once you have your Savings and Checking Accounts established, you can talk to a Member Service Representative about adding on any other account types such as a Special Savings Account, Money Manager Account, IRA, etc.

Open a Checking and Savings Account with HFS Credit Union

Opening your Savings and Checking Account with HFS Federal Credit Union is just the beginning. Let us become your financial partner in life, as we help you realize your goals and dreams. Find a branch near you and visit us today to open your account and begin your membership with HFS Federal Credit Union. 

1Other fees may apply for out-of-network ATMs

Membership with the Credit Union is required and open to all who live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer or participate in associations headquartered on the island of Hawaii. A non-refundable $1.00 fee is required to establish membership. A minimum opening balance of $50.00 is required to open a Savings Account.