Managing Your Money Without a Checking Account

Everyone has a unique financial situation — one that may require additional banking solutions to meet specific needs. Fortunately, many banks offer more money management options than just checking and savings accounts.

Not everyone needs a traditional checking account. In fact, many qualified banking customers choose not to have checking accounts, according to Wigley, Head of Now Banking at Regions Bank. “It’s not because they’re locked out by the financial institution or don’t understand how a checking account works,” he says. “They just want other options.”

If you’re looking for a checking account alternative, consider these tools to help you manage your money:


If you use cash frequently, you’ll want to be mindful of budgeting, spending, and saving. “Cash is not insured, so if you lose it, it’s gone,” Wigley says. “And since there’s no electronic record, you have to be more disciplined about keeping track of it yourself.”

If you need to pay bills with cash, you can visit the biller’s payment center, such as your local power company’s payment center for your electricity bill. You can also visit a participating Western Union® agent location to send cash to thousands of business to pay your bill for things like credit card, car, utilities, and mortgage for a small fee.

Check-Cashing Services

If you have a check to cash but don’t have a bank account, you may need to rely on check cashing services, where you could incur a fee of 1 to 6 percent, or possibly more. If you don’t have a checking account, then the next question is what to do with your cash.

Reloadable Prepaid Cards

Consider a reloadable prepaid card if you don’t have a checking account and you don’t want to carry cash in your wallet. Prepaid cards can be useful for managing your money if you have a variable income, and many do not charge overdraft fees. They also may offer fraud protection and transaction monitoring to protect your money from suspicious activity.

A reloadable prepaid card can also help with budgeting, Wigley says. “You might put a certain amount for grocery shopping and other expenses onto separate prepaid cards to help control your spending,” he explains. Many reloadable prepaid cards also come with access to online banking to manage your money wherever you are with tools to help with budgeting, cash flow, and savings.

Money orders

If prepaid cards aren’t for you, a money order may be a good option. You can use a money order to make payments, pay bills, or send money to friends or family. Money orders can be purchased several places like a bank, a post office, or some retail stores. Most of them accept cash, prepaid cards, and debit cards, and some accept credit cards. While money orders come with a small fee, they allow you to track the payment to ensure it gets delivered to the correct recipient.

Money Transfer Technology

With services like Regions Personal Pay® and some other digital wallet apps, you can quickly and easily transfer money between friends, family, and even businesses without writing a single check. Simply link select payment forms to a money transfer service. Then transfer money to other registered users with just a few taps and swipes. For many of these apps, you may need to have an account to send or receive funds. If you have cash you need to transfer to someone, you can visit a participating Western Union® agent location to send cash for pick up at over 500,000 agent locations worldwide.

Learn more about how to manage your money with or without a bank account through Regions Now Banking.


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This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Information provided and statements made by employees of Regions should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation. Information provided and statements made by individuals who are not employees of Regions are the views, opinions, or positions of the individual who made the statement and do not necessarily reflect the policies, views, opinions, and positions of Regions. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented.