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What is a balance check?

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ready card balance Ready Card Balance Check – Your Guide to Financial Awareness

 

Balancing your checking account is an essential financial task that should be performed regularly to ensure that the funds in the bank are actually available. It’s also a great way to track spending and prevent accidental overdrafts. With more than $11 billion paid in overdraft fees in 2019, you don’t want to be the next victim.

There are two types of balances that can be checked: actual and available. Your actual balance is the total balance that your bank currently has in your account, which may include pending transactions like direct deposits and debit card purchases. Your available balance is the amount of money that your bank has currently made available for spend, which may not include pending transactions due to processing delays such as pay-at-the-pump or restaurant tips. You can typically access your available balance through your online banking platform, mobile application, or by contacting your bank directly.

It’s important to understand the difference between these balances, as they can be significantly different depending on your recent activity. For example, if you had an actual balance of $50 and spent $10 at a coffee shop that’s still pending, your actual balance will remain at $50. However, your available balance will drop to $40 as the pending transaction is processed and cleared.

Most people check their bank balances on a regular basis, either through their online banking portal or at the ATM. While it’s easy to check the current balance of your bank account, you may be wondering, “how do I know if my debit card has enough money?”

One way to answer this question is by using a balance check service such as Plaid. Our product, Balance, provides real-time balance information to users for their prepaid or virtual cards. This data is retrieved via an API call and can be used to confirm the availability of an account balance for use cases such as fraud detection and insufficient funds (NSF) prevention. It can also be used to manage a user’s expectations for an upcoming transaction. Alternatively, a Plaid customer can call the bank directly to check their account balance.
How does a balance check work?

A balance check is a feature that gives you the ability to view your checking account balance in real-time, with data straight from your bank. It’s a new way to verify your balance before you make any purchases, or even when you have a direct debit or other automated payment scheduled for the future. This new feature improves the overall direct debit experience, helping to prevent fraud prior to the debit being processed and minimising failed direct debits throughout the collection cycle.

When you check your balance, you’ll be given two numbers: an actual balance and an available balance. The difference between the two is important, as it reflects how much money you have available to spend and does not include pending transactions or holds. These might include pay-at-the-pump transactions, ATM withdrawals, or pending debit card transactions. The actual balance also excludes checks that haven’t been cashed and recurring payments that you’ve authorized but are yet to be presented for payment (such as gym memberships or insurance premiums).

If you use your debit card often, or you’re due to receive an unexpected deposit that may impact your current balance, a balance check is a helpful tool to help ensure that you don’t overdraw your account. You can find out your available balance at any time through our online banking service, or in person at a branch.

In general, one balance is not better or more reliable than the other – they just provide different information about your account status. The best balance to check is likely the one that’s most useful in your specific situation – for example, if you are planning on making a large purchase in the near future or have a recurring transaction due on the same day, it may be more helpful to know your available balance than the actual balance.

In general, it’s recommended that you only ever spend a maximum of your available balance. This can help you avoid costly fees and keep your spending under control. However, if you are finding it difficult to control your spending habits, then it might be a good idea to consider other debt consolidation options. For example, an electronic balance transfer credit card that offers low or 0% interest can help you pay off your existing debts with a single, manageable monthly payment.
What can I expect from a balance check?

Balance transfer checks aren’t usually your best option, especially with the high fees and cash advance rates associated with them. But if you’re struggling with credit card debt, they can be helpful tools for consolidating your balances and eliminating them faster than a regular loan or unsecured personal loan. Just make sure to review the terms and conditions carefully before accepting one, and never use it to finance new purchases.

There are several ways to check your balance, including online via a card issuer’s website or mobile app, by phone and even by checking your monthly statements. Checking your balance regularly helps you keep track of your spending and avoid going over your credit limit. Plus, it can help you spot potential fraudulent transactions quickly and stop them from being processed.

The current balance reflects all cleared and posted transactions. Pending transactions, like a purchase at a coffee shop or an upcoming recurring payment, do not show up in your current balance. Your available balance, however, does take into account pending transactions, giving you an accurate snapshot of how much money you actually have in your account.

You can also check your balance by calling the number on the back of your card. The voice prompt will ask you for personal identifiers such as your card number, last four digits of your social security number or phone number before telling you your balance. This can be a great way to get a quick and easy update on your balance, especially when you don’t want to log in or use your smartphone to access your card issuer’s website or mobile app.

Another way to check your balance is to login to your prepaid card’s online account. Nearly every prepaid card has an online portal that cardholders can access via their web browser or a mobile app to see their current and available balance as well as transaction history. Some prepaid cards allow you to receive text or email alerts1 when your balance gets low or a transaction is verified. Staying on top of your prepaid card’s activity can help you avoid overdrawing and pay off the balance in full before it’s charged interest.
How can I use a balance check?

Credit card companies sometimes send out balance transfer checks, which are paper checks, with promotional offers for a low or 0% interest rate. These checks work the same as a normal check, but they draw from your credit card's revolving credit line rather than your checking account.

Some credit cards also offer convenience checks, which are similar to balance transfer checks but they're attached to your statement at the end of each month. These checks can be used for any purpose, including paying bills or making purchases. While they may seem harmless, balance transfers and convenience checks can be harmful to your credit card debt if you don't have a strong plan in place for paying off your balances.

One of the best ways to use a balance check is to consolidate your credit card debt with a new balance-transfer card. These cards usually come with a lower introductory interest rate and are a great way to get out of debt faster. However, remember that balance transfers typically come with a fee. This fee is typically 3% to 5% of the amount transferred, and it will be added to your balance.

A balance check can also be used to make a payment on an existing debt, such as an auto loan or personal loan. Just be sure to make the check out to the credit card company, so it won't be considered a cash advance. If you're unsure about how to properly use a balance check, contact a credit card representative for assistance.

If you decide to open a new credit card with a balance-transfer offer, you'll generally have the option to select this during the online application process. However, if you're not applying for a new credit card, you can still request to do a balance transfer by calling the credit card customer service number or visiting the account login page online.

You'll need to provide information about the other credit card you want to pay off, including the account number, balance and monthly payments. You'll also need to give the credit card issuer a contact name and phone number in case they have any questions about the transfer.

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