Whether you’re saving for a rainy day, a house, retirement, college, travel or so you can attain financial freedom, you can find an account to fit your needs. From online savings accounts to money market savings accounts to automatic savings plans, whatever you choose, make sure you start saving now. See the latest Savings Account Rates here.
A savings account is like a checking account — without the checks. A free savings account is a good place to start — you don’t want to lose your hard-earned cash by paying fees. Earning interest without paying fees is the best combination you can get.
Many banks offer free savings accounts with competitive interest rates and no minimum balance requirements. Some financial institutions even offer savers the option to open multiple accounts — and name them — for different savings needs.
You’ll also find many banks and credit unions offer online and mobile access to savings accounts so you can deposit checks from anywhere, or bank on the go with your smartphone or tablet. You can link your savings to your checking account and make it easy to transfer money to build your funds.
Open a savings account with an online bank and you’ll likely get an even better rate than at a brick-and-mortar institution. Because online banks don’t have high overhead costs like physical bank branches, they typically pass those savings on to their customers in the form of better rates.
You’ll get the same features with an online savings account as you would with a “regular” account — like no monthly maintenance fees and online and mobile banking. Just remember that you can make only six transactions per statement cycle from a savings account. And make sure the online bank or credit union you choose is FDIC- or NCUA-insured for your peace of mind.
A high-yield savings account is one that gives you a higher interest rate — typically expressed as an annual percentage yield or APY — than a regular savings account, and is considered a low-risk investment. Putting your money in a high-yield account can really make it grow fast — don’t underestimate the advantage of even a small percentage hike when it comes to interest.
Online banks are a good place to find a high-yield savings account. Because they don’t have to pay for overhead — like a building or employees — they often pay it forward to their customers in the form of higher interest rates.
When considering a high-yield savings account, a few details to find out about include whether the APY is just an introductory offer, how often your interest will be compounded and how often it’s added to your account, and how much money you need to open an account. Also, check if there’s a minimum balance requirement to get the interest rate and if there’s a monthly fee for the account.
A money market account is a hybrid between a checking account and savings account. You’ll likely earn more interest with a money market account than with a regular savings account, but the minimum opening deposit and required balance will typically be higher than a basic account’s, and might range from $500 to $50,000. You’ll get the interest rate of a savings account but will still be able to write a certain number of checks each month.
Money market accounts differ among financial institutions, but you’ll find they typically earn interest at a variable rate and enable you to access your funds via debit card or check, as long as you remain within federal transaction limits. If you’re interested in this type of savings, look for low maintenance fees and minimum balance requirements, plus free ATM use and online and mobile banking.
If you want to “set it and forget it” with a savings account, an automatic savings plan might suit you perfectly. Most banks enable customers to set up automatic withdrawals from their checking accounts into their savings — and allow customers to change their transfer amounts when they want.
By using an automatic savings plan, you’ll see your money grow quickly and it’s likely you won’t have to pay any monthly service fee if you have a repeating, automatic transfer to your savings. Once you automate your savings, all you need to do to reach your savings goal is sit back and watch it happen.