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Is It Possible to Write a Check From a Savings Account?

Can You Write a Check From a Savings Account?
Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarcoUpdated February 28, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Checking accounts are designed for day-to-day money management, like making purchases and paying bills. Savings accounts, on the other hand, are set up to store your extra cash for later use, and pay interest to help your money grow over time. Therefore, savings accounts generally don’t come with payment tools like debit cards and checks.There may be times, however, when you need to make a payment from savings rather than checking. Maybe your checking account is low or you’ve met your savings goal and you’re ready to tap those funds. Can you write a check from a savings account? Typically no. But there are other ways to make payments from a savings account. Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Write a Check From a Savings Account?

Generally, banks don’t offer checkbooks (or other spending tools like debit cards) for savings accounts. The reason is that these accounts aren’t meant to be transactional accounts; they’re set up to hold money you don’t plan to spend immediately. Savings accounts reward you for leaving money in the bank rather than spending it, in the form of interest.Unlike checking accounts, savings accounts also typically limit the number of withdrawals you can make to six per month. While the Federal Reserve no longer enforces the six-transaction limit on savings accounts, banks can still limit the amount you can withdraw or transfer from a savings account per month, and many do. Withdrawals and transfers you make in person at an ATM or teller typically don’t count towards your limit.Recommended: What to Do if You Lose Your Checkbook

Other Ways to Make Payments From a Savings Account

Though savings accounts are designed for everyday transactions, the money in the account is liquid, meaning you can easily access it when you need it. Here’s a look at four simple ways you can use your savings account to make a payment. 

Transferring Funds to a Checking Account

Probably the simplest way to make a payment from your savings account is to transfer the amount you need to your checking account. Once the transfer is complete, you can write a check for that amount or use your debit card. Whether your checking and savings are at the same bank or two different banks, you can typically transfer funds online or using your bank’s mobile app. If accounts are at the same bank, the transfer is usually immediate. If they are at two different banks, it may take a day or two.

Cashier’s Check

One way to write a check from your savings account is to purchase a cashier's check from the bank that holds your savings account. A cashier’s check is a special type of check that your bank guarantees, usually for a fee. Some banks require you to go to a branch in person to get a cashier’s check, while others allow you to order one online. Either way, you would authorize the bank to take the amount of the check directly from your savings account. The bank would then deposit the money into its own account before they issue the cashier’s check.Recommended: Money Market Account vs Savings Account 

Credit Card

Another way to pay a bill or make the purchase from your savings account is to use your credit card for the transaction, then pay off the credit card (in full or only for that payment) using your savings account. If you have autopay set up with your credit company so debits come from your checking account, you’ll need to make a manual payment using your savings account. This entails providing your account information — including routing and savings account numbers — to your credit credit card company and authorizing a single payment.

Prepaid Card

A prepaid card looks and functions in a similar way to a credit card or debit card. The difference is that the card is preloaded with funds. To use a prepaid card to make payments from a savings account, you would simply load the card with money taken out of savings. You can buy prepaid cards online, at retailers like supermarkets and gas stations, and at some banks. One of the easiest ways to load (or reload) a prepaid card is through an online transfer from a bank account.

Why Keep Money in a Savings Account vs a Checking Account

Savings accounts allow you to keep your savings separate from your everyday spending. In addition, they pay interest on your deposits. The interest you earn in a savings account is expressed as an annual percentage yield (APY). An account’s APY tells you how much you will earn on your money in a year and factors in compounding (which is when the interest you earn also earns interest).While the interest rate on a typical savings account is relatively low, the APYs offered by high-yield savings accounts at online banks can be 20 to 25 times higher than what you could earn in a traditional savings account. Savings accounts can be ideal for short-term savings goals, such as building an emergency fund, going on vacation, or buying a new car. You’ll earn interest on your deposits, and thanks to monthly withdrawal limits, you’ll be less likely to tap this money for everyday expenses. Keep in mind, though, that even high-yield accounts may not outpace inflation. As a result, this type of account isn’t ideal for long-term savings goals like your retirement or a child’s college education.Recommended: 10 Key Benefits of Opening a Savings Account 

Do Checking Accounts Pay Interest?

Typically, checking accounts do not pay interest, since they are meant for short-term deposits and covering day-to-day expenses. While it’s possible to find an “interest checking” account, the APYs these accounts offer are typically lower than what you could earn on a savings account.

The Takeaway 

Can you get checks for a savings account? Generally, no. Savings accounts are designed for storing (and growing) your extra money for later use, rather than for paying bills. However, there are ways to use a savings account to make payments, such as transferring money to your checking account, getting a cashier’s check, and using a prepaid debit card or credit card for the payment.If you’re interested in finding the best rate for your savings, Lantern by SoFi can help. With our online banking marketplace, it’s easy to compare high-yield savings accounts based on APY, fees, and balance minimums.Lantern can help you compare online savings accounts and find today’s best rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my savings account to make payments?
Can you transfer money from your savings to your checking account?
What is the maximum amount I can withdraw from a savings account?
Photo credit: iStock/AndreyPopov

About the Author

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a personal finance writer and editor based in Southern California. While she spends the bulk of her time writing about complex financial issues, she also tackles a variety of subjects ranging from food to fashion to travel. Her work can be found across dozens of publications such as Credit Karma, LendingTree, Northwestern Mutual, The Everygirl, and Apartment Therapy.
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