Savings account rates fluctuate often, which can make it difficult for you to be able to find a savings account that provides you with a decent return for your savings goals. It helps to compare savings rates with multiple banks in order to find a decent rate but to find a bank that is going to provide you with high quality service. A high interest savings account is a great option but they are often limited to customers with deep pockets or individuals that have been long-lasting customers of that particular bank. To help you find the best rates on savings accounts here are some tips that can make the process a little bit easier for you!
Create Savings Goals
To find the best savings accounts you need to establish some savings goals for yourself. What is the purpose of opening the account? Are you hoping to build up a large savings account that you can use to pay for certain expenses like a down payment on a car or home? Are you establishing a savings account as a smart investment decision to try and have a rainy day fun to fall back on? No matter what your motivation is for opening a savings account, you need to have some goals in mind. Having a checklist of goals will help you as you compare savings account rates and search for a bank that will help you to reach these goals in a timely manner.
Compare Savings Rates
Most savings accounts offered through local banks aren’t going to give you an interest rate that is greater from 1%. In fact the average national savings rate is .014 on a “passbook savings account”. A passbook account is the typical savings account most people acquire when they open a checking account with a bank. This is why you have to compare savings rates with online banks and other banks to see if you can acquire a higher interest rate. In fact online savings accounts can easily give you a rate that is 5 times the national average! This provides you with a faster way to save your money so you can quickly meet your savings goals. Some of the high yield interest savings accounts come with rates that are closer to 1.5%! This is a great way to save, just check out the account details to know what the terms are so you can get the best deal out there.
As you compare rates on savings accounts you need to take your time. You don’t want to rush into anything! If you just invest your money with the first online savings account you find, it could cost you extra money in interest income. While you might already know that the best savings account rates are usually found online, you will quickly learn that it helps to work with about 5 different banks. You need to not only use online bank comparison charts to help you look over the account rates but to see what the minimum balance requirements are along with account fees and many other things that can impact your savings goals.
Read The Reviews
A great way to save yourself a lot of time as you are researching online savings account rates is to use reviews. Reviews of several different bank savings accounts will help you to gather the information that you need from the account fees to online access and quality customer service. The more you can learn about the bank and the way that they operate and maintain their accounts, the easier it will be for you to select the best bank for your savings.
Understand The Fine Print
The online banks may have higher rates for savings accounts but the fine print is what it all comes down to. You need to look at what the bank is asking from you. Some banks will give you a higher interest rate if you will deposit at least $5,000 or more. The higher the amount of money you can invest, the higher your interest rate will be. It is important that you understand what your minimum balance requirements are with the bank and to find out if you will be penalized if the balance ever falls below this amount. There are actually some banks out there that end up inflicting harsh fees on your account and then even reducing your interest rate on savings if you do have a balance that does fall below the requirement. Not only do you need to get familiar with the minimum balance requirements you also need to concern yourself with some other things as well like account fees if you do withdrawal money. Depending upon the type of account you open, you could easily deal with fees like this.
Getting Started With Bank Comparisons
As you compare rates on savings accounts you will need to use the online comparison tools. These tools are beneficial as they will help you to understand what is expected from the bank and from you. Over the past year, some of the best banks for savings account include the following:
- ING Direct
- Ally Bank
- American Express
These banks have remained on the top of the bank rate comparison charts through most of 2011 and look to continue being the best savings accounts of 2012 as well. What makes them great is not only their higher interest rate but online account access, quality customer service, and a handful of other great perks to their accounts.
When you compare savings account rates you always want to focus on a few other details besides the rate. One important detail that can easily be neglected is the security and account protection provided by the bank. Most banks are backed by the FDIC but it is always a smart idea to double check on your bank to ensure your money is safe and protected. Then you should check on the security of their website to know that your personal information is also going to be safe and protected.