What Four Leaf Clovers and Interest Rates Today Have in Common

Posted in Banking , Savings Account • March 17, 2014

four leaf clover

This St. Patrick’s Day 2014 , many of us are planning where to get green beer and a good corned beef dinner. But it’s possible that your more whimsical side may also be reminded of leprechauns, rainbows halting at pots of gold and four leaf clovers.

Of course, you (like me) probably never found that evasive four leaf clover, though it’s possible that you never gave up your search. In today’s savings market, your search for that clover is probably similar to a search for higher interest rates on savings and CD accounts. There’s no doubt that finding a savings interest rate over 1% APY is pretty rare, but like the search for your four-leaf clover, there are good reasons to never give up looking.

Interest Rates Today

It’s seems like forever since it was common to find high-interest savings account rates. Following the financial crisis, and hundreds of bank failures, the Federal Reserve and most financial institutions choose to quickly reduce their savings rates to near zero.

Years later, rates are still excessively low. In fact, according to the GOBankingRates database, the national savings rate average is currently 0.11% APY — hardly high enough to see any real savings gains.

But just like your search for the four leaf clover, you don’t want to give up. Why? Because if you know where to look, you’re likely to find numerous institutions willing to give you the rates you’re looking for.

How to Find the Four Leaf Clover of Interest Rates

So how can you go about uncovering the lucky four leaf clovers of savings interest rates? There are a number of steps you can take to gain access to great accounts:

  • Check with local banks and credit unions: While major national banks are often known for keeping their rates low, local banks and credit unions are more invested in their communities (since the communities invest in them) and as a result, pass savings on to customers and members in the form of high savings rates and low lending rates.
  • Opt for online savings accounts: One option many consumers don’t consider are savings accounts from online banks. Many financial institutions have started online branches that come without bank tellers and physical branches. The lack of overhead makes operations more affordable and banks often pass those savings on to their customers.
  • Search online: The best way to explore rate options is to search online. Many establishments have websites and make their current interest rates readily available. Taking this path makes it much easier to find those hidden gems.

Depending on the financial institution you work with, you could benefit from savings rates ranging from 1.50% to 4.00% APY, which is why searching is always worth it. And, who knows, after you’ve grown your savings and are counting the money you’ve saved with your high-interest account, you might stumble upon that other green rarity — a four leaf clover.

Image: cygnus921

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