What to Look For
A plus to continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve is the ability to earn more interest on cash stashed in your savings accounts. How much interest you can earn depends on where you do your banking. Consider these tips to earn as much interest as you can, even if it means opening a new account:
Earn a bank bonus.
Some banks offer a bonus if you meet specific requirements, such as depositing a minimum amount or setting up direct deposit. These bonuses can give you an incentive to try a new bank while padding your savings with a few extra hundred dollars.
Look beyond your local bank.
If you want to earn enough interest on your savings to keep up with inflation, look beyond your local bank to the range of online banks offering much higher interest rates. For example, Chase banking customers are currently earning 0.01% on their savings, while those who save with UFB Direct are earning 5.06% APY with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
Take advantage of new banking tools.
Bankrate.com shows approximately 60% of consumers are very or somewhat interested in using a digital bank in the coming year. This is partly due to the digitization of nearly all other aspects of our lives, but it’s also due to convenient online tools like mobile check deposit, virtual account management and bill pay features.
Beware of fees.
Take note that many of the best bank accounts with great rates don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or any hidden fees. However, you’ll want to read over the fine print for accounts you’re considering so you know for sure. This is especially true with CD’s at some banks that tease with high interest rates, but hide the 1% to 3% penalties of your balance for early withdrawal.
Stability is important.
When making a banking move, double check to ensure your deposits are FDIC insured. Even if insured, you still should check the press for any indication of deposit risk at your chosen bank. And if your current bank is still offering low interest rates, it may be subject to deposit flight limits that may create difficulty removing your funds. So while your money is insured, it may be hard to withdraw should this happen.
Today’s interest rates can be a boon for your finances, but you’ll need to put in some work up front to find the best bank for your situation. Shop around for a new bank and look for ways to get ahead, either through banking bonuses, great rates or both. The time and effort you spend will be worth it in the end!
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