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How to Get the Best Interest Rates on Your Savings Accounts

Tips to find the highest interest rates for your savings.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
Episode #150

You’ve probably noticed that the interest rate on your savings or money market deposit account isn’t anything to brag about these days. Low interest rates can make having money in a bank account a little frustrating. The upside is that having money in an FDIC-insured institution keeps it extremely safe. But what if you could get a higher rate of return without taking on a higher level of risk? In this episode I’ll give you tips about how to do that.

It Pays to Shop Interest Rates

To get the highest interest rate for your savings, you have to be proactive about searching for the best offers on a regular basis. The Internet makes it easy to find the best deals. But remember that when you take advantage of a great savings offer, it’s always subject to change. The interest rate on savings and money market accounts is a variable rate, which means it may quietly creep down to a less competitive rate without you realizing it. So never forget about your savings, otherwise you could be short-changing yourself. Your goal should be to move your money as necessary so it can grow as quickly as possible, no matter how much or how little you have.

Differences Between Online and Regular Accounts

 

The highest interest rates for savings and money market accounts are online.

 

The highest interest rates for savings and money market accounts are online. I’ll give you a list of the best ones that I’ve found at the end of the show. If you’re wondering whether there are any significant differences between an online savings account and one at a local bank or credit union, there aren’t. Additionally, most online banks are FDIC-insured. So there’s no reason not to scout out a better offer.

How Online Savings Accounts Work

But if you’ve never had an account at an online bank, it may seem a little strange not to be able to go to a branch to withdraw money or to make a deposit. You can usually do both of those for free by using an ATM that’s in the online bank’s network. And if you have to go outside of the network, many banks will reimburse you for a certain number of ATM fees that you incur.

But if you still want to use the services of a local bank, you can always keep your checking account at one. That’s what I do, mainly for the convenience of depositing paper checks. My institution offers great online banking with free bill-pay, but their interest rates for savings and money market accounts are pitiful. So, for money that I want to save, I transfer it from my checking into a high-interest online savings account. And if I need to access my savings, I simply transfer money back into my checking account without paying any fees. Funds in online savings accounts can usually only be accessed by electronic transfer, however, there are some that offer check cards.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a trusted and frequent source for the national media. Her book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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