A new year means new beginnings and reevaluating your finances. It’s especially important to review all of your bank accounts.
Many accounts — including savings, checking and certificates of deposit (CDs) — can grow your money into a sizable amount that you can use for emergencies, retirement or everyday expenses. The key is to find the account with the highest interest rate — the higher the rate, the more money you can earn on your balance. But often times, the best rates available to you vary depending on where you live.
GOBankingRates.com examined every state* for its median checking account rate, savings account rate and one-year CD rate, as well as the highest rate for each account type. Our study found many of the best states for your money in 2017 are sprinkled in the South and on the East Coast.
Curious to find out exactly where your state falls? Click through to see the best (and worst) states that offer opportunities to grow your wealth faster.
*Montana was not included because of insufficient data available.
49. North Dakota
While North Dakota was found to be one of the most successful states in a recent GOBankingRates study because of high incomes and low poverty rates, it actually has some of the worst bank account interest rates — which means your money might not grow that fast in a checking, savings or CD account.
This state has the second-lowest median savings account rate of 0.06 percent. One-year CD rates aren’t good either, as the state has one of the lowest median rates (0.03 percent). And to make matters worse, North Dakota’s median checking account rate is tied for the worst with a number of other states.
Living in Indiana shouldn’t hurt your wallet. The cost of living is relatively low, and another GOBankingRates.com study found it’s easier to afford a mortgage here than in most states. This is great news for residents — especially because deposit account rates seem to be low.
The median one-year CD rate in Indiana (0.25 percent) is tied for the worst in the U.S. Median rates are low on checking and savings accounts at 0.05 percent and 0.10 percent, respectively.
But if you find the right bank in Indiana, you could benefit from a rate of 2 percent on CDs — it’s the No. 1 CD rate in the U.S.
You might have a tough time saving and growing your money in Arizona. Not only is the cost of living above the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s Best Places, but this state has the lowest median savings account rate (0.05 percent). The median one-year CD rate (0.325 percent) in Arizona also ranks among the lowest in the U.S.
If you’re thinking about moving to the Midwest, think twice before moving to Illinois. It might be difficult to succeed financially here. Due to a variety of factors — including its high unemployment rate — Illinois is one of the worst states for families who want to live a richer life, found a GOBankingRates study.
Interest rates aren’t spectacular in Illinois. With a median one-year CD rate of 0.30 percent, the state ties four others with the third-lowest rate in that category. Illinois’ median savings account rate (0.10 percent) isn’t great either, and the state also has the lowest median checking account rate (0.05 percent) as well.
It might be difficult to afford housing, utilities, transportation and groceries in Delaware. Sperling’s data shows that the average cost of these expenses is higher than the U.S. average. And don’t forget about health insurance — Delaware ranks as one of the 10 worst states for health insurance costs.
If you want to grow your money to offset some of these expenses, look beyond traditional bank accounts. Delaware’s median checking account rate is only 0.06 percent, a tad higher than the lowest in the nation (0.05 percent). The median CD rate also isn’t great at 0.30 percent.
Bank account rates in Connecticut aren’t sky high — but the cost of living is. Housing costs and utilities are noticeably higher than the national average, according to Sperling’s.
To help pay for those costs, you’ll need to be strategic with your money. For example, you might want to choose a one-year CD account over a checking or savings account. The median rate is 0.35 percent, which is higher than both the median checking and savings rates (0.07 percent and 0.075 percent, respectively). But, you might luck out and find the highest rate on checking accounts in Connecticut: 7 percent.
Ohio’s highest checking account rate (10 percent) is easily the best checking account rate in the U.S. In fact, it’s 2.5 percentage points higher than the second-best rate. Still, its low median CD and savings account rates (0.30 percent and 0.10 percent) pull the state down in the rankings.
If you’re able to find a high-interest checking account in Ohio that offers a rate of 10 percent, don’t pass it up. You might have to meet some specific requirements to qualify for a high rate, but consider this: If you deposit $100 in an interest-bearing checking account earning 10 percent interest and add $100 every month for a year, your balance will grow to more than $1,300.
Housing costs in Oregon will likely take a big chunk out of your paycheck. The median home price is a staggering $320,000, according to Zillow, and the prices in some cities are skyrocketing.
If a significant portion of your income goes toward housing, it would be nice to have a way to save and grow your wealth to recoup those costs. But Oregon’s bank account rates are fairly average. And with a median rate of 0.35 percent, Oregon has one of the worst one-year CD rates, tied with four other states.
To set yourself up for financial success in Minnesota, chose your county wisely. For example, the family yearly cost to live in Hennepin County is $71,402 if you and your partner both work full time, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. But in some counties, you’ll find that the cost is closer to $50,000 or around $45,000.
Also, carefully consider where you park your money. Minnesota’s median one-year CD rate is as poor as Oregon’s median rate. However, Minnesota’s highest CD rate (0.85 percent) is low compared to other states in this study. The best median interest rate in the state is on checking accounts — the median is 0.125 percent, and the highest checking account rate is 2.65 percent.
40. West Virginia
Solid interest rates are lacking in West Virginia. The median CD rate is the second-lowest rate in the U.S. (0.30 percent), and the highest CD and checking account rate in the state is a mere 1.01 percent. But West Virginia’s lower-than-average cost of living might make living in a low-interest rate environment more tolerable.
Wyoming has one of the best savings account interest rates in the country: 4.99 percent, which is the third-highest savings account rate in our study. So if you’re torn between putting your money in a checking, savings or CD account, you might luck out with a savings account.
However, Wyoming has low median rates on checking, CDs and savings. Thankfully, the cost of living isn’t as high compared to other states on this list, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
If you’re looking to grow your wealth with a savings account, Washington boasts the nation’s highest savings account rate at 7.52 percent. The highest checking account rate in the state is also an impressive 7 percent. But with a median rate of 0.35 percent on CD accounts, the state fails to rank higher in this study.
Considering Washington has one of the highest median home prices in the country — $314,900, according to Zillow — and a high cost of living, hunting for those high-interest checking and savings accounts will be worth the search.
Hawaii is one of the worst states for your money for many reasons. The cost of living is notoriously high, and when it comes to saving money, this state isn’t your best choice.
See the Rankings: 10 States Most (and Least) Likely to Live Paycheck to Paycheck
Hawaii’s median checking account rate is tied with a number of other states for the lowest in the country. And though its other bank rates are around average, Hawaii’s highest savings rate is only 0.75 percent, which ranks among the country’s lowest for that category.
Interest rates in Maine aren’t too exciting. It shares the lowest median checking rate with Hawaii, which is 0.05 percent. And the state’s median CD rate is a decent 0.40 percent. But, the highest CD rate is only 0.75 percent — the second lowest in the U.S. in that category.
Luckily for residents, housing costs aren’t as high as you might think. The median home list price is $219,000, according to Zillow. But, you might want to save money in the best interest-bearing account you can find to help cover health costs. The average cost of healthcare is higher than the national average, according to Sperling’s.
Kentucky has a median one-year CD rate, checking account rate and savings account rate (0.10 percent) equal to Maine’s median rates. However, the highest checking account rate in Kentucky is 4 percent — that’s nearly twice as high as Maine’s 2.01 percent.
Although this savings account rate is promising, you might have better luck finding solid CD rates. The median checking account rate is only 0.05 percent in Kentucky, whereas the median CD rate is 0.40 percent. If you’re torn between a checking and a CD account offering these rates, remember this: Your money will grow much faster in that CD over the checking account — as long as you avoid early withdrawal fees.
Michigan’s highest checking account rate is an impressive 7 percent, tying with three others for one of the highest checking account interest rates in the U.S. Meanwhile, the highest CD and savings account rates in the state are a respectable 1.15 percent and 0.85 percent as well.
This is good news if you live in Michigan. Since Michigan has one of the lowest cost of living scores in the country, according to MERIC, you might be able to keep your money in a deposit account longer instead of constantly withdrawing to cover various expenses.
This state has an even lower cost of living than Michigan, according to MERIC. Housing costs are especially low with a median home list price of only $150,000, found Zillow.
But, Arkansas ranks No. 33 in our study due to mediocre bank account rates. Still, there are some bright spots that put it ahead of the pack. For instance, the state’s highest one-year CD rate, 1.40 percent, is one of the best in the country. And the highest checking and savings account rates are solid at 3.01 percent and 1.62 percent, respectively.
It’s expensive to live in the Golden State. Housing costs are through the roof — the median price is $475,000 — and it’s one of the most expensive states to own a car, found GOBankingRates.
Although California ranked relatively low on our list, you can be financially successful in 2017 — if you find the right bank or credit union. For instance, the state suffers from an unimpressive median checking account rate (0.08 percent) yet also benefits from one of the highest checking account rates (7 percent) in the U.S. It also has one of the best saving account interest rates at 7 percent.
31. South Carolina
Similar to Arkansas, South Carolina boasts one of the highest one-year CD rates in the nation: 1.35 percent. But its median rate for that account type is among the lowest at 0.35 percent. Plus, the median savings account rate is low at 0.10 percent.
But, at least housing costs are low, too. Sperling’s data shows the average cost of housing is lower than the U.S. average. And, the median home list price is a relatively affordable $219,000, according to Zillow.
Nevada’s cost of living is higher than the national average, according to Sperling’s. To grow money faster, it might be wiser to put money in a one-year CD. Sure, the highest checking account rate in the state is a decent 3 percent, which is higher than the highest CD rate of 1.15 percent.
But, the median checking account rate is only 0.10 percent — the median one-year rate on CDs is four times higher at 0.40 percent. As long as you resist the blackjack tables and slot machines, your money can grow slow and steady in Nevada with a CD.
If you’re able to find strong CD account rates where you live, create a CD ladder. It’s a savings strategy that will help you make the most of your CDs.
Together with five other states, Colorado has one of the best savings interest rates. In fact, it’s home to the second-highest savings account rate (7 percent) in the U.S. However, the savings rate is Colorado’s best feature — its other account rates rank poorly, especially its 0.075 percent median checking account rate.
To help pay or save for your expenses in Colorado — especially housing — consider investing your money in a savings or CD account. The median rates (0.10 percent and 0.45, respectively) are noticeably higher than the median checking account rate.
Wisconsin’s median checking account rates are solid, but the state shines with its highest checking account rate. At 7.5 percent, Wisconsin has the nation’s second-best checking rate, behind only Ohio.
A checking account with an interest rate that high is a good deal. But, find a free checking account so the interest you earn isn’t wasted on hidden fees.
Iowa’s cost of living isn’t terribly high compared to other states. Sperling’s puts the cost below the U.S. average. If you’re in a two-parent family with two children, the basic annual budget is $60,090, according to the Iowa Policy Project.
This state does offer opportunities to grow your money. With a median CD rate of 0.45 percent, Iowa ranks above-average for its one-year CD account. However, its 0.05 percent median checking account rate — which is the lowest in the country — prevents the state from ranking higher.
Typically, checking account rates are lower than savings and CD rates. But in Georgia, the highest checking rate available is 2.27 percent, which is higher than the highest savings rate (2.26 percent) and one-year CD rate (1.22 percent).
But keep this in mind: Georgia has the nation’s lowest median checking account rate. Savings account rates seem promising — the median is a solid 0.15 percent, the third-highest rate in that category. So, you might have better luck finding a savings account with a higher rate.
Massachusetts might offer a low median checking account rate (0.05 percent), but other accounts have higher interest rates. The median one-year CD rate (0.50 percent) is excellent in comparison, while the state’s highest savings rate is an impressive 3.04 percent.
You’ll likely need high rates like these to protect your finances in Massachusetts. The state has a higher-than-average cost of living, according to Sperling’s. In fact, the median home list price is $389,000, one of the highest in the U.S.
In Maryland, the median checking account rate is a low 0.05 percent. But, you’re likely much better off putting your money in a CD account. Maryland ties with other states boasting the third-highest median CD rate of 0.50 percent, which is higher than the state’s median savings rate of 0.10 percent.
If you want your paycheck to stretch further in Maryland, perhaps don’t live in Baltimore. You’ll need to earn nearly $54,000 to live comfortably in this city. However, the median household income is only $41,819, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Here’s another state where checking account rates shine in comparison to savings account rates. The median checking account rate (0.15 percent) is higher than the median savings rate (0.10 percent), so you might have more luck using this account to grow your savings. Plus, the highest deposit rate in this state (5.01 percent) is on a checking account.
Just pay attention to the minimum balance requirement on your Nebraska checking account. Find a credit union or bank that offers free checking with no minimum balance to avoid being charged unnecessary fees.
21. New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s median CD rate (0.40 percent) doesn’t beat Nebraska’s. But, the state offers one of the nation’s highest median checking account rates (0.30 percent), as well as one of the best savings account interest rates (3.04 percent).
If you can’t find high rates at your New Hampshire brick-and-mortar bank or credit union, check out online bank accounts. Online banks tend to offer more attractive rates and fewer fees because of lower overhead costs.
20. New Mexico
If you want to grow your wealth, New Mexico could be a safe state. Not only is the cost of living slightly below the national average, according to Sperling’s, but the median savings account rate in New Mexico is relatively high at 0.15 percent. Its median CD and checking account rates are decent, too.
The overall cost of living in Pennsylvania is slightly lower than the U.S. average as well — but utilities are noticeably more expensive, according to Sperling’s. However, a high-interest savings account might help you afford this expense.
Pennsylvania has a median savings account rate of 0.15 percent, tying with multiple states for one of the highest median savings rates. And, its 3.04 percent highest rate on checking accounts stands out among the rest of the states.
Missouri’s cost of living isn’t that high compared to other states, according to MERIC. Zillow’s data shows the median home list price is an affordable $150,000, and the cost to own a car for three years is relatively low at $9,280, found a GOBankingRates study.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to find a high interest-bearing account in Missouri. For example, the highest checking account rate (6.02 percent) is the fourth-best checking account rate in the U.S. Plus, both its median checking and savings rate is a strong 0.15 percent.
Checking account rates aren’t particularly high in Kansas — the median is a low 0.05 percent — but the state offers favorable rates on other accounts. Both the median savings account rate (0.15 percent) and median CD rate (0.45 percent) are among the highest rates found in the U.S. in those respective categories. And, its highest CD rate (1.25 percent) is one of the highest compared to other states.
If you have a large sum of money — say, $100,000 — you could benefit from a jumbo CD. These types of CD accounts require higher minimum deposits, but offer plenty of other advantages that can make living in Kansas even more affordable.
16. South Dakota
Savings account rates and CD rates are decent in South Dakota. The median savings account rate is 0.10 percent, and the median CD account rate is 0.40 percent.
However, the state has the second-highest median checking account rate in the nation, 0.385 percent, behind only Vermont. And, the highest checking account rate is 3.05 percent.
15. Rhode Island
Rhode Island is a small state, but that’s not true of its deposit account rates. This state ranks high due largely to strong median banking rates. The state’s 0.25 percent median checking account rate is among the top-five highest, and its 0.135 percent median savings rate is also among the nation’s best.
But although bank rates are relatively high, so is the cost of living. In fact, Rhode Island ranks among the top 10 states (not including Washington DC) with the highest cost of living, according to MERIC.
14. New Jersey
If you invest your money in the right account, New Jersey could be a great place for your finances — especially for retirees. This state ranks as one of the best states for retirees, according to another GOBankingRates study that analyzed taxes, home values, cost of living and more.
New Jersey’s highest CD rate, 1.45 percent, is one of the best one-year CD rates in the U.S. In addition, both median savings account rates and median CD rates in New Jersey are among the highest rates in our study at 0.15 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively.
GOBankingRates did rank Mississippi as the least successful state in another recent study that was based mostly on incomes and poverty rates. But if your income is high enough, it could be one of the best states for your money next year.
The state’s highest savings account rate (7 percent) is tied for the second-best rate in the U.S. Plus, Mississippi has the lowest cost of living, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
Though Tennessee’s highest savings rate (0.80 percent) is wanting, the state’s median savings rate (0.15 percent) makes up for this. When it comes to CD rates, Tennessee doesn’t offer one of the nation’s highest — but it does provide a solid median one-year CD rate of 0.45 percent. Plus, the highest checking account rate is a solid 2.27 percent.
But if you’re thinking about moving to this state, buyer beware: Some parts of Tennessee are exhibiting signs of the next housing bubble. Choose your home and neighborhood wisely.
Florida citizens can grow their savings thanks to the third-highest median savings account rate (0.15 percent) in the country. CD account rates are also solid. The state’s median one-year CD rate (0.50 percent) is one of the best.
Although you have a good chance of growing your savings in this state, living comfortably in some Florida cities requires a large income. For example, GOBankingRates found the suggested income in Miami is $77,057 — but the median is a mere $30,858.
Virginia’s overall cost of living is slightly higher than the U.S. average. Thankfully, the state’s highest checking account rate is 5.05 percent, which is one of the best checking account rates in the country. The state also has a strong median CD interest rate of 0.50 percent.
If you’re looking for the best CD interest rate, you might have luck in Alaska. The state boasts the No. 1 best median CD rate in the U.S. with an interest rate of 0.60 percent for one-year CDs.
These rates might come in handy to offset Alaska’s high cost of living, especially for retirees. In this state, healthcare is especially expensive, found GOBankingRates.
Housing can be expensive in Utah. Sperling’s data found the average cost — including mortgage payments, rent and property taxes — is higher than the national average.
If your housing payments are high, take advantage of Utah’s highest savings account rate. At 7 percent, it’s also one of the best in the U.S. The state also has a solid savings median rate of 0.15 percent and a median CD rate of 0.50 percent, the third-highest in their respective categories.
7. New York
New York could be the best state to grow your wealth in 2017. The state boasts one of the highest median one-year CD rates (0.50 percent), as well as one of the best interest rates for savings accounts (4 percent) out of all the states in our study.
Of course, New York’s cost of living is high. But with the right savings strategy and account, you could ease the burden of high expenses. And perhaps don’t live in the Big Apple — you’ll need to make $87,446 in order to live comfortably and pay for your necessities, found GOBankingRates.
There seems to be plenty of opportunities to grow your money fast in this state. Texas has the second-highest savings account rate (7 percent) in the country, tying with a handful of other states in that category. The highest checking account rate isn’t too shabby either at 3.56 percent.
It also doesn’t hurt that the lowest car loan rate is 1.74 percent — one of the best auto loan rates in the country. So in addition to building your savings, you could save money on your car payments by finding a similarly low rate.
Along with five other states, Louisiana claims the second-best savings account rate (7 percent) in the country. And with a median CD rate of 0.55 percent, Louisiana also has the second-highest median CD rate, same as Oklahoma.
4. North Carolina
With a cost of living that’s slightly below the U.S. average, your savings could grow in North Carolina. The state’s solid median banking interest rates give it the No. 4 spot in our study. For example, the median CD rate is 0.50 percent, and its 0.15 percent median savings interest rate is also among the best in that category.
One of the top three states for your money in 2017, Vermont seems to offer impressive checking account rates. The median rate is 0.88 percent — the highest among all the states in that category. Interestingly, Vermont’s highest checking rate (1.26 percent) is on the low end for that category.
If you’re thinking about buying a new house in Vermont, consider yourself lucky. The state’s average mortgage rate is only 2.93% APR — the lowest in the country, according to GOBankingRates’ mortgage rates study.
Oklahoma beats out Vermont for the No. 2 spot due to good numbers across all account types. The state’s median checking rate (0.30 percent) is among the top-five highest. Its median savings interest rate (0.20 percent) is the nation’s second-highest, and its median one-year CD rate (0.55 percent) is tied for the second-highest rate. Plus, Oklahoma is one of the states with the lowest cost of living.
Alabama is the best state for your money in 2017. This state has the highest median savings account median interest rate 0.25 percent, and its highest rate is 3 percent on both checking and saving accounts. The median CD interest rate (0.50 percent) is also one of the best, while its median checking rate (0.35 percent) is the third-highest in the U.S.
To have an even better chance of growing your money in Alabama, consider Daphne. With a median household income of nearly $62,000 and future job growth predicted at around 38 percent over the next 10 years, GOBankingRates found it’s the best city in Alabama.
Keep Reading: The Best City in Every State for a Successful 2017
Methodology: Rates for checking account, savings account, and 1-year CD sourced from GOBankingRates database from 11/4/16-11/9/16. Identified the highest and median rate for each product in every state to assign a score of 0 to 1 (0 being the best). Scores for each product median added to determine the total score, and states ranked from lowest (best) score to highest. Montana was not included in the article because of insufficient data available for checking account rates. However, it is included in the map based on its savings and CD account rates.
About the Author
Andrew DePietro is a finance writer with years of experience covering topics such as taxation, Social Security, entrepreneurship, investing, real estate and housing markets. His work has appeared on MSN, Yahoo Finance, Fortune, Forbes, CBS and U.S. News. Before writing for GOBankingRates, Andrew worked as a research assistant and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in History.