What to look for in a savings account?

Money |

Are you thinking of opening up a brand new savings account? Or are you dissatisfied with your current savings account, and looking for a bank that will better help you to meet your financial goals? There are a number of key things to consider when you are looking to open up a new savings account.

An informed consumer is a consumer who will make the right and most cost-effective choices for his or her financial future.

Have you heard of the bank?

This may seem like a strange consideration, but these days it seems like there is an almost endless supply of new online-only banks popping up in the financial world. While the majority of them are going to be reputable and be able to help you hit those financial targets, you should still do a bit of research into any bank before you give them access to your hard-earned money.

Take some time to look into how long the bank has been opened, and do a bit of research to see if there are any wide-spread complaints or lawsuits against the financial institution that you are interested in.

Is the bank FDIC insured?

A bank that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a bank that offers deposit insurance. This is an extra level of protection and security for your money, and it also goes a long way toward demonstrating to customers that they are in fact a bank with the needs of the customer in mind.

Is it easy to transfer money to your savings account?

Some banks only allow you to do transfers if you actually go into one of the bank’s local branches. This isn’t only an inconvenience, but it’s often a huge waste of your time when you consider that today’s technologically advanced and savvy banks allow you to conduct most, if not all, of your banking and money transferring online.

If you can’t transfer your money into your savings account online, is the bank even worth considering? If you have to go into town, drive out of your way, fill out forms, and stand in line to talk to a bank teller, is it worth considering this bank?

Does the bank allow for automatic savings transfers?

Some banks make it exceptionally easy for you to transfer your money into your savings account, automatically each month. Some will round out purchases to the nearest dollar, and move those extra dollars and pennies automatically into your savings account. You may also be able to schedule transfers to your savings account each and every time that you get paid.

Remember that saving even just a small percentage of your salary can quickly add up to real money that is secured and working for you.

What kind of annual percentage yield are you being offered?

Your money should work for you in your savings account. Determine what type of annual percentage yield that your bank will offer to you for your savings account. Some may offer just half a percent, while others may offer almost a full 2 percent. Think of this money as just cash back on your savings account. Even at an annual percentage yield of 1% you’ll be able to earn up to $1 for every $100 that you have in your savings account. It goes without saying that the more you save, the more you can earn or yield on your balance.

Does your savings account offer you other benefits? Some may make it ultra-easy for you to withdraw your money out when you need it, while others may ask that you wait up to 48 hours to gain access to your own money.

Also look out for and avoid banks that may ask for a monthly maintenance fee for your savings account. These monthly fees can often exceed the annual percentage yield that you are being offered, which of course makes saving with that bank a waste of your time and your money.

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