Can You Write Checks From a Savings Account?

How Spending From a Savings Account Works

Businessman taking money at an ATM in the city.

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Savings accounts are a great place to keep your cash. You'll earn interest, and the money is accessible if you need it. But just how accessible is it? Can you write a check from a savings account? How about making online purchases with that money? Can you set up recurring bill payments? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is generally no.

Banks don't issue debit cards for savings accounts; they rarely allow you to write checks for payments and purchases from savings. In a savings account, your money is supposed to be tucked away, safe from spending—intended for some future goal.

Key Takeaways

  • Savings accounts are designed as a place to hold your money, but not as transactional accounts.
  • You can use money in your savings account to make payments, but you generally have to take out what you need and put it into another account first.
  • You cannot write checks from a savings account, but you can write checks from a type of savings account called a money market account.

Savings Accounts Aren't Designed for Payments

Savings accounts aren't designed or intended for transactions. Instead, they're meant for long-term storage of money. Federal law used to set a limit of six withdrawals per month from savings accounts. The law is known as Regulation D, which states that banks had to keep a certain amount of money in reserve.

Regulation D was amended in April 2020 to meet the Federal Reserve's changes in monetary policy, which eliminated the reserve requirement. However, banks can still limit the amount you can withdraw or transfer per month, and many do.


Banks use a percentage of the money in a savings account to loan to other customers, which is one of the key parts of fractional banking. As a result, they do not limit the number of deposits you can make into a savings account each month—they pay you interest for using your money.

How To Pay From Savings Accounts

You can use the money in your savings in a few ways. One of the easiest methods is to transfer what you'll need for the month to your checking account and spend from that account instead. This works well if your transfers are limited, but even if they're not, you can do this all at once and get enough out each month with a bit of planning.

Another method is to have the bank print a check from your savings account and make it out to you. You should check with your bank first to see if this will count against your monthly limit if you have one.

You can also request a check from your savings be made payable to someone else. However, check with your bank first to see if this would affect any limits you might have.

Alternatives to Savings Accounts

You have a couple of choices if you want an account that pays interest and allows you to use the money you have in savings without needing to transfer any: an interest checking account or a money market account.


If you're unable to open a checking account at a bank or credit union, you could open a prepaid card account.

Interest checking accounts are just what they sound like. They pay interest on your cash but without a monthly transaction limit. In exchange for this convenience, the interest rates are often lower than what you can get in a savings account. Still, interest checking accounts at online banks might at least pay competitive rates.

Money market accounts are like souped-up savings accounts. They pay better interest rates than regular savings accounts, and you're allowed to write checks from them. You might even be given a debit card for spending.

Some banks impose the same six-per-month limit on a money market account as they do on savings accounts. Some might even lower the monthly limit to three transactions for these accounts. They're not ideal for everyday use, but they might meet your needs if you only want to write checks from your savings occasionally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make payments from my savings account?

Generally, banks do not allow you to conduct financial transactions using your savings account, but you can transfer money to your checking account to make payments.

Can you transfer money from savings to checking?

Most banks let you transfer money from a savings account to a checking account.

How much can I withdraw from a savings account?

The money is yours, so you can withdraw it all at once if your bank lets you. However, many banks have daily or weekly limits on the amount you can withdraw from your savings at one time. Check with your bank to find out if they have withdrawal limits on savings accounts.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Federal Reserve Board Announces Interim Final Rule To Delete the Six-per-Month Limit on Convenient Transfers From the 'Savings Deposit' Definition in Regulation D."

  2. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. "How Banks Work."

  3. Associated Bank. "Money Market Account."

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