Personal Checking FAQs

Choose a question to see the answer.

On October 1, 2021, SECU converted all existing checking accounts to our new all-in-one rewards-based checking account, SECU TotalTM Checking & Rewards.  The previous checking account types are no longer available.

You get a FREE checking account with no minimum balance, no monthly maintenance fees and the ability to earn rewards like Debit Cash Back, and higher interest rates, based on your balances and activity with SECU.  See more details here.

There is no action for you to take.  Your account was automatically converted and your account number will remain the same.  The difference is that now you have the ability to get rewarded for your relationship with SECU.  The more you do, the more you earn.

At the beginning of each month, all members start at the Bronze level and level up once the requirements are met for the higher levels.  Your Reward Level is calculated monthly (on the last day of the month), based on your balances and activity.  Click the “My Rewards” icon within SECU’s online and mobile banking platform to view your current level, how to get to the next level and your rewards history.

Members age 13 – 17 with the proper identification can open a checking account with a joint owner over 18. The teen checking account must be opened in a branch or through our Virtual Financial Center. Note, members under the age of 18 are not able to open any SECU products online or through the mail.

Level qualification is based on 3 things:

  • Meeting the balance requirement for that level either with your checking account alone, or with your combined deposit (savings, checking, money market, CDs, IRAs) + loan balances (mortgages, home equity, personal loans and credit cards) and any balances you have with our investment program partner.  See more details here.
  • E-statements (required for levels Silver, Gold and Platinum)
  • Direct Deposit of $500 or more per month into your checking account (required for levels Silver, Gold and Platinum)

You receive a specific rate that corresponds with your Reward Level, which is determined by account activity and your checking account balance.  Your interest rate will be calculated as a blended APY at the end of each month, based on your average daily balance and reward level.  This means that each portion of your balance receives a certain rate, so the more money you keep in your checking account, the more you earn.  

Each rewards level is eligible for interest.  In the Bronze level, the portion of your balance above $1,000 earns interest.

See more details here (pdf opens in new window).

Exchange rates are calculated in global currency markets. Fluctuations in exchange rates may occur due to:

  • Inflation
  • Interest rates
  • Budget deficits
  • Public debt
  • Trade policy
  • Political stability
  • Economic performance

A debit card is linked to your checking account and draws from the available money within the account.

An ATM card can only be used at an ATM terminal to withdraw or deposit money. On rare occasions, certain merchants may accept ATM transactions.

We do not charge for replacing a Debit Card.

Lost your Card? Please call SECU immediately for 24/7 support at 800-879-7328.

There are several potential reasons your card keeps being denied. For security reasons, the specifics of your situation must be dealt with in confidence.

Please contact SECU at 800-879-7328 or schedule an appointment to review your accounts.

Please see our Fee Schedule for a current listing of fees.

Yes. Complete our Online Application to open an account online.

If you are a new cardholder, you will be able to set your PIN at the time of activation. Follow the instructions included with your card when it arrives in the email.

If you are an established cardholder and you do not know your PIN, call 800-879-7328.

You can get a copy of a cleared check through Online Banking. Once you log in, navigate to your checking account and click on the transaction in your transaction history. The check image will be displayed in the details. If you are unable to see the check online or you do not use Online Banking, please contact SECU.

To order a new debit card, you can:

Visit our Business Checking page to view all the features and benefits.

At the time of activation, you will be able to set your own PIN. To activate your card and set your PIN, follow the directions on the sticker attached to your new card.

There is a minimum deposit of $25 required to open a checking account.

For more information, refer to our Checking page.

If you have received your card in the mail, there will be instructions for debit activation and PIN selection included.

There may have been an error with the entered amount on your check. Please schedule a virtual appointment or visit a Financial Center so we can correct the error for you.

For new debit cardholders, a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) is set at the time of activation. Instructions to activate your card will be included when it arrives in the mail. 

If you are an established cardholder and don’t know the PIN for your debit card, please call 800-879-7328.

We partner with Harland Clarke to ensure your security and to offer you affordable, fair prices. For this reason, we strongly recommend ordering through us rather than from a third party.

If you would like to reset your PIN, please call 800-879-7328 for assistance.

There is no minimum number of deposits you must make into your checking account each month in order to avoid a fee.

You must make a deposit to correct the negative balance. Stop by one of our Financial Centers or ATMs, or use our Mobile Deposit service to address the issue.

Yes, your debit card is accepted internationally!

Note: An International Service Assessment (ISA) fee will be assessed at the rate of 1% of the transaction amount of the US Dollar amount on all foreign transactions.

There can be several reasons that a card would be denied. For security reasons, the specifics of your situation must be dealt with in confidence.

Please contact SECU at 800-879-7328 or schedule an appointment to review your accounts.

Your Reward Level is calculated monthly based on your account activity and can be accessed by clicking on the My Rewards icon within SECU’s online and mobile banking platform.

You can find one of our thousands of free ATMs at any time using our mobile or online locator.

SECU may change interest rates depending on market conditions, just like we do with our other services. We’ll always offer competitive rates that make sense to you and are easy to understand.

Direct Deposit of your paycheck is usually available immediately as are cash deposits made via branch or ATM. For check deposits, it depends on your method of deposit.
Deposit Channel Funds Availability for Check Deposits
ATM $500 immediately, remainder next business day
Mobile Deposit or My Deposit $500 immediately, remainder in 2 business days
Branch Full immediately available, subject to exception holds. Please see our Agreements & Disclosures for more information.

The amount you can withdraw depends on your withdrawal channel. In no circumstances can you withdraw more than the available balance.
Withdrawal Channel Daily Withdrawal Limits
ATM $500 or your Available Balance, whichever is less
Branch Cash: $5,000 or up to your Available Balance, whichever is less
Check: No limit up to your Available Balance

A debit card is linked to your checking account and draws from the available money within the linked checking account.

A credit card allows you to borrow money from a limited line of credit offered by a financial institution. Each month you will receive a statement specifying your purchase amounts and details, as well as the minimum payment due. If you do not pay off your credit card in full each month you will be charged interest on the money you owe.

If you have online banking, you can order them right away:

  1. Log in to Online Banking
  2. Navigate to “Checking Services”
  3. Click on the “Reorder” checks tab
  4. Select an account and click “Next”.

This will take you to our check ordering site where you can pick the style and amount of checks you would like to order.

If you do not have online banking, you can order checks by phone or at a Financial Center.

Since SECU Total ™ Checking & Rewards will become the only checking account members have on October 1, 2021 it may be better to contact a service representative with any questions regarding these products.

An overdraft is created when the Available Balance in your Checking, Share Savings, or other deposit account is not sufficient to cover a check, withdrawal, automatic transfer, electronic transaction, returned deposited item or any other electronic purchase payment, or debit. See our Agreements and Disclosures booklet for important details on your checking account balances, overdrafts, and helpful tips to avoid overdrafts.

We do pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions:
  • Checks and other transactions made using your checking account number
  • Automatic bill payments
  • We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for ordinary debit card purchases unless you opt-in to Courtesy Pay. Our default process is that you are not opted in to Courtesy Pay. Courtesy Pay is a more expensive option that you must opt-in to in order for it to apply.
We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. If we do not authorize and pay an overdraft, your transaction will be declined and you may be charged a fee.

Under our standard overdraft practices:
  • We will charge you an overdraft fee of $30 (in addition to payment of the overdraft) each time we pay an overdraft using Courtesy Pay.
  • There is no limit to the number of overdraft fees we can charge you for overdrawing your account.
We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for everyday debit card purchases using Courtesy Pay unless you ask us to do so.

You may opt in in one of two ways:
  • Online: Click the link for “Debit Card Overdraft Options” under the Checking tab within Online Banking.
  • By Phone: Call 410-487-7328 or 800-879-7328 and select the Checking option to talk to a representative.

No. You cannot use your SECU debit card to withdraw more funds at an ATM than are available in your account.

Your Checking account has two kinds of balances: the “Total” Balance – Total Balance may sometimes be referred to as current balance– and the “Available” Balance. Both can be checked when you review your account online, through mobile banking or at a branch. It is important to understand how the two balances work so that you know how much money is in your account at any given time. This section explains total and available balances and how they work.

Your Total Balance is the amount of money in your account at any given time. It reflects all deposits made to your account, even if a portion of those deposits is on hold and therefore not available to you. (See our deposit hold policy.) It also reflects only payment transactions that have actually “posted” to your account, but not transactions that have been authorized and are pending. While the term “total” may sound as though the number you see is an up-to-date display of what is in your account that you can spend, that is not always the case. Any purchases, holds, fees, other charges, or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted will not appear in your Total Balance. For example, if you have a $50 Total Balance, but you just wrote a check for $40, then your total is $50.00 but it does not reflect the pending check transaction. So at that point, you actually have $50, but you have already spent $40.

Your Available Balance is the amount of money in your account that is available to you to use without incurring an overdraft fee. The Available Balance takes into account things such as holds placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending debit card purchases) that you initiated and SECU has authorized but that have not yet posted to your account. For example, assume you have a Total Balance of $50 and an Available Balance of $50. If you were to use your debit card at a restaurant to buy lunch for $20, then that merchant could ask us to pre-authorize the payment. In that case, we will put a hold on your account for $20. Your Total Balance would still be $50 because this transaction has not yet posted, but your Available Balance would be $30 because you have committed to pay the restaurant $20. When the restaurant submits its bill for payment (which could be a few days later), we will post the transaction to your account and your total will be reduced by $20.

Available Balance is used to determine when your account is overdrawn. The following example illustrates how this works:

Again, assume both your Total and Available Balances are $50, and you use your debit card at a restaurant for $20. A hold is placed on your account, so your Available Balance is only $30. Your Total Balance is still $50. Before the restaurant charge is sent to us for processing, a check that you wrote for $40 clears. Because you have only $30 available (you have committed to pay the restaurant $20), your account will be overdrawn by $10, even though your Total Balance is $50. In this case, we may pay the $40 check, but you will be charged an overdraft fee of $30. That fee will be deducted from your account, further reducing the balance.

It is very important to understand that you may still overdraw your account even though the Available Balance appears to show there are sufficient funds to cover a transaction that you want to make. This is because your Available Balance may not reflect all your outstanding checks and automatic bill payments that you have authorized, or other outstanding transactions that have not been paid from your account. In the example above, the outstanding check will not be reflected in your Available Balance until it is presented to us and paid from your account.

In addition, your Available Balance may not reflect all of your debit card transactions. For example, if a merchant obtains our prior authorization but does not submit a one-time debit card transaction for payment within 48 business hours of authorization, we must release the authorization hold on the transaction. The Available Balance will not reflect this transaction once the hold has been released until the transaction has been received by us and paid from your account.

The best way to understand how much money you have, and avoid overdrafts, is to keep careful track of all your deposits, any holds, and payment transactions.

SECU’s posting order is as follows: Checks, drafts, items, and other transactions will normally be batch processed in the following order: Payroll, ACH credits, ACH debits (in the order in which we receive them), Check debits (in the order in which we receive them), Debit card debits (in the order in which we receive them).

However, we may alter the batch processing order at our discretion. The order in which we process checks, debits, and items and execute other transactions on your account may affect the total amount of overdraft fees that may be charged to your account. The items in the batch are posted in the order in which we receive them.