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Ask Lucia
!Hola! My name is Lucia, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about banking and Bankinter. Read my FAQs below and contribute your questions and comments!
Why should I use a bank?

First and foremost, you use a real world bank to keep your money safe.

Real world bank accounts also help you keep track of your money. When you open a bank account, you will receive regular (usually monthly) statements that help you monitor how much you spend. In these statements you can see how much money is in each of your accounts, how you have spent your money, and how much interest you have earned (depending on which type of account it is).

Similar to banks in the real world, Whyville's Bankinter helps you protect, manage and grow your assets in Whyville. Bankinter offers checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit to all Whyville citizens. Visit your Bankinter statement regularly to make your money work the most for you!

Do you bank at Whyville's Bankinter? If so, what comments and suggestions do you have for us?
How do checking accounts work?

A checking account let's you keep your money safe while allowing you easy access to it. You can take money out of a checking account by writing checks, withdrawing cash, or transferring money to another account. You can also add money to a checking account by depositing checks and/or cash. Every time you make a deposit, the amount becomes available for you to use.

Whyville's Bankinter sets up a checking account for every citizen and automatically deposits their salaries into it. Talk about customer service! Similar to real life banking, you can spend the money in your checking account to make purchases at say, Akbars, and you can transfer the money into either a savings account or a CD to earn interest.

How often do you check your checking account statement? How is it helpful to you?
How do savings accounts work and why should I open one?

A savings account is a way to have your money earn more money for you through interest. Simply put, interest is the amount of money that a bank will pay you for keeping your money with them. The interest paid to you is a percentage of your account balance.

Bankinter automatically deposits your Whyville salary into a checking account for you, but it is up to you to transfer money from your checking account into your savings account. Why would you do this, you might ask? Remember, your savings account pays interest on your money, meaning it makes your money earn money for you. So, it's a good idea to keep as much money as you can in your savings account at all times so that you can earn the most interest!

What do you think is the best way to use a savings account?
Do you have a savings account? If so, why did you open one? Are you saving up for something in particular?
What is a certificate of deposit (CD), and how is it different from a savings account?

CDs are similar to regular savings accounts but they pay a higher interest rate. These higher interest rates let your money earn even more money for you, but there's a catch - CDs have restrictions on when you can access your money. Usually you are not allowed to make withdrawals until the CD has "matured" or "come to term". If you do, you must forfeit some if not all of the interest, and possibly pay a penalty. When the CD has matured you may access your money as well as the full interest earned.

Whyville's Bankinter offers three types of CDs, each with its own interest rate and term (1.5% per week for 2 weeks; 2% per week for 4 weeks; 3% per week for 6 weeks). Unlike real world CDs, however, Bankinter does not allow you to withdraw your money before the CD has matured. So, you will have to be patient and allow the CD to come to term.

Have you heard of a certificate of deposit (CD) before? What might you want to save up for with a CD?
Why do you think banks require you to leave your money in a CD for a specific amount of time?
How do credit cards work?

Credit cards allow you to make purchases up to a pre-determined amount without requiring you to pay any money up front. Banks typically issue the credit, meaning they agree to pay the money up front for you. You must then pay off the debt by paying a monthly minimum on the purchases with an interest charged on the unpaid balance.

Bankinter does not currently offer credit cards to citizens in Whyville but might in the future. Check back with us regularly to see!

What are the benefits and risks of using a credit card vs. a checking account? When might you use a credit card instead of writing a check?
Do you have other questions about Bankinter and banking for Lucia? Please post here.
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Bankinter in Whyville is sponsored by Bankinter of Spain.