10 Ways the Rich Use Checking Accounts to Grow Their Wealth

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
It isn’t hard to make some of the same strategies work for you, too.
Last updated May 30, 2023 | By Michelle Smith Edited By Eric McWhinnie
A wealthy older woman

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Get-rich-quick schemes and high-risk, high-reward investments aren’t the only (or even the best) ways to get rich. 

It’s often crucial to slowly and steadily maintain your bank accounts, especially your checking accounts — and no one understands this better than the ultra-rich.

Read on for 10 checking account strategies the truly wealthy use to maintain their high net worths. You’ll also learn how you can apply their strategies to keep your own bank accounts in the black.

They don't keep more than spending money in their checking accounts

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe woman holding poodle and paying with credit card in pet shop

Although many banks have checking accounts that generate interest, those interest rates are substantially lower than rates for savings accounts, CDs, and other investments.

Consider using your checking account to store only enough cash for one to two months’ worth of expenses (plus a buffer amount in case of emergencies). 

Transferring the rest of your cash into a high-yield savings account can help you keep your spending in check and ensure your hard-earned cash always yields a return.

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They use multiple checking accounts for different purposes

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The ultra-rich often store their money in multiple bank accounts, each one with a different purpose. 

For instance, they might have one account for investing, one for expenses, and one for emergencies.

If you struggle to stick to a budget or want to up your savings game, you can try the same strategy: Use one checking account solely to pay recurring bills and another to cover variable expenses to avoid accidentally overspending.

They would rather keep their money in other accounts to grow their wealth

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Even the truly wealthy need cash to cover expenses, but they don’t often keep that cash in a checking account. 

Instead, they use strategies like investing in Treasury Bills that they can liquidate for a profit and reinvest on a rolling basis. Warren Buffett apparently has multiple money market accounts and invests heavily in Treasury Bills.

They access loans based on their assets

Rene La/peopleimages.com/Adobe business manager with investment planning

According to high-profile banks that manage money for the ultra-rich, their wealthy clients often borrow against their assets to access a securities-backed line of credit (SBLOC). 

This is one reason certain billionaires don’t pay much in income taxes. Instead of cashing out investments and paying taxes on their capital gains, they use their assets to borrow against the investments, which continue to generate interest.

You likely have fewer assets and less income potential than the ultra-rich, but that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for the same tax break. Some brokerages now offer SBLOCs to help average earners reap the same rewards as those with exceptionally high net worths.

They place their money where it gets treated best

Rido/Adobe happy financial agent smiling

When you opened your first checking account, did you choose your bank strategically, or did you simply go with the option your parents recommended or the one closest to the house? 

If the latter, it might be time to reevaluate.

Generally speaking, the ultra-rich are much more selective about where they bank than the rest of us. If your bank charges an annual fee, has poor customer service, or doesn’t offer good rewards, find a bank that gives you better perks for banking with them.

They use checking accounts to build special relationships with major banks

Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe man with documents and cellular phone

Many millionaires bank through private banks, such as Bank of America Private Bank or Chase Private Client. To access a private bank, you typically have to meet certain requirements and receive an invitation.

For instance, if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $150,000 at various Chase Bank accounts, J.P. Morgan Chase could reach out to you with an offer to join Chase Private Client. 

These private bank accounts have perks like low wire transfer fees, high purchase limits, and higher interest rates.

If you’re considering switching banks, look into those that offer perks to customers who maintain high checking and savings account balances. 

It could take a while to build up your wealth, but eventually, you might gain access to a private bank with even more money-saving perks.

They manage their wealth via financial planners

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The wealthiest individuals don’t spend their time figuring out how to make the most of their checking accounts. 

Instead, they hire financial planners or wealth managers who help them strategize for the future and decide where to place their money for the biggest impact.

If you’ve never met with a financial advisor before, it’s a good idea to find one — they may know more about how to grow your bottom line than you do, including how to manage a checking account to get the best results.

They know how to avoid banking fees

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It’s hard to grow your wealth if you’re constantly losing money to banking fees, such as late fees, monthly maintenance fees, or annual fees. 

Not sure if your bank charges checking account fees? Now is a good time to find out — and like we said above, if your bank imposes too many charges, consider switching to a bank with better terms.

They read the fine print before opening new checking accounts

Prostock-studio/Adobe manager holding and reading financial documents

It isn’t enough to find a checking account with a good interest rate or to move your money to a bank that won’t charge you a monthly account maintenance fee. You need to dig in deeper to find out if a bank account really is as good as it seems.

For instance, instead of looking just at the upfront, advertised APY for a checking (or savings) account, read the fine print to find out if the APY is variable and, if so, how long your current rate will be locked in.

They can plan for their financial futures

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If you’re never sure exactly how much money is in your checking account, it’s hard to budget that money and plan for a solid financial future. 

Naturally, millionaires typically aren’t living paycheck to paycheck — and one reason for that is they (or their financial planners) know where their money comes from and where it’s going.

If you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck, block out a few hours this week to dig into your financial status. 

How much are you making? Where is that money going? What are your financial goals for the future, and how do your current habits need to change so you can meet those goals? 

A little planning can go a long way toward growing your net worth.

Bottom line

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If you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t a millionaire — at least not yet. 

But by employing the strategies the truly rich use to run their checking accounts, you can set yourself on the path to success.

Whether that means you’ll retire as a millionaire or simply reduce the financial stress that comes with living paycheck to paycheck, knowing how to start generating more wealth through your checking account is the first step to hitting your next financial milestone.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.