2017 Guide: Finding the Best Savings Accounts, Rates, and Best Bank for Savings Accounts
Finding the best bank for savings accounts is crucial to ensuring that money is well managed and can grow over time.
Savings accounts are an important part of how we manage our money. They allow us to put away money for retirement, vacations, education, or future investments.
Despite a multitude of investing options, the savings account remains a trusted and worthwhile means to confidently and safely invest without giving up banking access. Finding the best savings accounts is crucial to generating financial security.
Photo courtesy of: Forbes
Regardless of a national emphasis on saving for the future, studies show that banking consumers who have been able to find the best savings accounts are few and far between. A 2015 survey polled 5,000 banking consumers on their savings habits.
From that study, 21% reported not having a savings account. Of those who did have a savings account, 28% had a zero savings balance.
Clearly, there is a shortage of good savings accounts, despite the inherent need to generate savings. For this reason, many banking consumers are starting to look for the best savings accounts to accompany their checking accounts.
This includes looking at the best savings account rates as well as the best savings account terms and conditions.
The best bank accounts will provide enhanced savings account services, providing the best savings account rates to ensure that your money can naturally grow over time.
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This Best Savings Accounts & Rates Review
Finding the best saving account can be a confusing process, and this review aims to eliminate that confusion by comprehensively answering how to find the best bank for savings accounts.
Photo courtesy of: Forbes
We will cover the most common consumer questions regarding finding the best savings accounts:
- What are the characteristics of the best bank accounts?
- What are the best savings account rates available?
The second part of our review will detail 6 expert tips to help consumers find the best bank for a savings account. These tips include:
- Define what is the best savings account for your needs
- Comparative shop to find the best savings account rates
- Consider adding banking products to get the best rates on savings accounts
- Look at local credit unions for the best bank accounts
- Consider opening an online savings account
- Read the fine print before choosing a savings account
Finding the best savings account is an important part of enhancing the overall banking experience. Without using the best bank accounts, it may be difficult to let your money grow over time.
By following these 6 tips, consumers will be able to find the best bank accounts that offer the best savings account rates, terms, and conditions.
What Are the Characteristics of the Best Bank Accounts?
The best bank accounts will lure customers through enhanced savings programs and greater accessibility, creating the best savings accounts.
While many banks may claim that they are the best bank for savings accounts, there are a few common characteristics to look for when choosing the best savings accounts. These common characteristics are:
- Zero or low fees: Banks that charge excessive fees tend to stray away from providing the best savings accounts. With minimum or zero additional fees, the best savings accounts will ensure that you can keep more money in your account where it belongs. Some examples of these additional fees are monthly maintenance, minimum balance, ATM, and overdraft fees. When finding the best bank for savings accounts, these fees will play a large role.
- High interest rates: The best bank accounts tend to also have the best savings account rates. When putting your money in a saving account, interest rates can make all the difference. The best bank for savings accounts will provide the highest interest rates, allowing money to grow steadily over time.
- Access to savings: Finding the best bank for a savings account also involves finding the best bank accounts to provide heightened access. Savings accounts are meant to last for long periods of time. Part of maintaining a beneficial and long-lasting banking relationship means having extended access to your savings account. For this reason, it is important that the best bank for a savings account also has easily accessible services. Some common examples of customer service benefits from the best bank accounts are 24/7 customer support, live chat options, teller windows, and ATM locations.
When looking for the best bank for savings accounts, keeping these key characteristics in mind will help identify the best saving account from a group of low-quality saving accounts.
The best savings accounts will carry these base characteristics—and potentially more. The best savings account bank will also keep interest rates in mind for their savings accounts.
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What Are the Best Savings Account Rates Available?
Generally speaking, yields on savings accounts have dropped to drastically low percentages. The average savings account has only 0.06% in annual interest as reported by the FDIC.
Many national banks cut that number even further, offering 0.01%. The best rates for savings accounts will be as far above the national average as possible. Finding the best savings account rates means looking for interest rates around 1.0%.
Photo courtesy of: Forbes
While it may seem as though the best rates on savings accounts are still relatively low at 1.0%, this can create a huge difference in the income your savings account generates over time.
For example, a $10,000 savings account can generate $100 in yearly interest with a 1.0% rate, one of the best rates for savings accounts. In contrast, that same investment only generates a measly $1 from a 0.01% interest rate.
When it comes to finding the best savings account rates, any variation in percentages matters.
For many national banks, interest rates are kept drastically low. For example, a Rewards Money Market Savings account through Bank of America only provides 0.03% interest, half of the national standard. A Chase savings account yields only 0.01% interest throughout the entire year, marking one of the lowest possible interest rates.
On a widespread scale, the best savings account rates tend to fall between 0.75% and 0.95%, with a select few reaching as high as 1.05%.
Thankfully, there are additional options to find the best rates on savings accounts. Finding the best saving account rates may mean exploring additional options. For example, the best saving account rates typically come from online banks and local credit unions, with some rates reaching as high as 4%.
Falling far below the national average, most national banks simply cannot provide the best savings account rates.
The best rates on savings accounts will exceed the national average, offering much more value to banking consumers. Finding the best rates for savings accounts may require a little extra effort, but it certainly pays off over time.
6 Tips to Find the Best Bank for Savings Accounts
Finding the best savings account is a crucial component for banking consumers who want to increase their financial security over time.
By and large, for banking consumers who want to grow their savings, finding the best bank accounts means finding the best savings accounts to invest their money in.
Each of these tips can help identify the best savings account for your personal banking needs. Following these expert tips can help provide guidance toward finding the best saving account to not only keep your money secure, but to ensure that it grows over time.
1. Define What Is the Best Savings Account for Your Needs
When looking to define what is the best savings account for your personal banking needs, examining your saving habits is crucial. Finding the best bank for savings accounts may mean looking at these common components:
- Savings withdrawals: If being able to make savings withdrawals is important, then the best savings account for your needs will include the ability to make savings withdrawals. Unfortunately, some banks charge fees for making three or more withdrawals. For example, Bank of America and PNC Bank both charge a fee of $3 for 4–6 withdrawals. SunTrust only allows 2 savings withdrawals and charges $4 for every subsequent withdrawal. While excessive withdrawals from a savings account may harm your ability to save over a long period of time, the best savings account bank will offer greater choice and control for banking consumers.
- Minimum balance requirements: For savings accounts, minimum balance requirements are tied directly to the ability to earn interest. Once a savings account falls beneath these requirements, the account won’t earn interest for the remainder of the month. Additionally, failing to meet minimum balance requirements can add on monthly maintenance fees. Some of these minimum balance requirements can be somewhat challenging. For example, Bank of America requires a daily minimum balance of $2,500. Without meeting this requirement, interest is suspended, and a $12 maintenance fee gets added to the savings account. The best bank for savings accounts will try to keep these fees at a minimum or erase them entirely. Finding out what is the best savings account for you will depend on determining whether you can maintain minimum balance requirements.
- Interest rates: If accruing a steady return on your savings investment is important to your banking needs, then interest rates should certainly be taken into consideration. While the national average is 0.06%, there are certainly savings accounts that offer far less and, occasionally, far more than that. If you want your savings account to grow, finding the best savings account bank may mean looking for the best savings account rates. Before looking for the best savings accounts, keep in mind that you will also need to look at the best savings account rates.
2. Comparative Shop to Find the Best Savings Account Rates
With multiple options spanning across the country, finding the best saving account means using comparative shopping as a tool. Photo courtesy of: Forbes
One of the most important aspects to finding the best savings account rates is patience. Because there is such a drastic difference in the range of available interest rates, finding the best saving account rates may mean taking a little extra time to shop around.
Luckily, there are plenty of websites and companies that exist purely to help you quickly and accurately collect savings interest comparisons from a variety of banks. Some of the best research tools to use when looking for the best bank for savings accounts are:
- Bankrate: With four decades of experience in financial publishing, Bankrate can be a great resource to find quickly compiled, accurate data to locate the best bank for savings accounts. Bankrate.com uses surveys from close to 4,800 banks nationwide to provide clear, objective, and unbiased information for banking consumers.
- NerdWallet: This company is continuously conducting research on checking and savings accounts throughout the nation, both traditional and online banks. NerdWallet strives to help banking consumers make responsible, informed decisions in order to find the best bank accounts.
News outlets that specialize in financial topics, like Forbes, can also be valuable tools when finding the best bank for savings accounts. It is important to remember that the best rates on savings accounts should exceed the national average. Part of utilizing comparative shopping skills is to avoid settling for less than 0.06% interest.
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3. Consider Adding Banking Products to Get the Best Rates on Savings Accounts
Another way to find the best savings account rates is through combining another banking product with your savings account or depositing a higher amount. For many banks, these factors can positively affect the amount of interest that a savings account can accrue.
For example, the Way2Save savings account through Wells Fargo offers extremely low interest at 0.01%. A Platinum Savings account, however, earns slightly more at 0.03%. While these are still low interest rates, adding additional bank services and increasing your deposits can earn you a higher interest rate. By adding a PMA Package and keeping a minimum balance of $100,000, interest rates raise between 0.08% and 1.0%.
For most traditional savings accounts, the best savings account rates come as a packaged deal. Some banking consumers may find that the additional balance requirements are worth the additional interest. After all, higher dollar amounts will yield higher interest amounts.
4. Look at Local Credit Unions for the Best Bank Accounts
Photo courtesy of: Travis Credit Union
A credit union can be the best bank for savings accounts, ensuring that savings grow steadily over time.
Local credit unions are often praised for offering the best bank accounts. Not only do their checking accounts come without fees, but their savings accounts are typically free as well. As an additional benefit, credit unions often have the best savings account rates.
Opening up a savings account through Alliant Credit Union only takes $5, and it comes with an interest rate of 1.15%, far above the national average. Alabama Telco Credit Union offers one of the best savings accounts, with an interest rate of 3.00% for their Centsible Savings Account. IC Federal Credit Union gives banking consumers 2.59% for balances up to $15,000.
Of course, the downfall to a credit union is that they are dependent upon locality. Though some credit unions offer nationwide accounts, by and large, credit unions require community membership. Still, looking into a local credit union is one of the best ways to ensure that you find the best bank accounts with the best savings account rates.
5. Consider Opening an Online Savings Account
One of the best bank accounts available today is an online savings account. Not only are they simple to use and easy to access, but online banks carry some of the best savings account rates. When compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks, an online bank can be the best bank for savings accounts.
For example, Synchrony Bank offers 1.05% for savings accounts. The advantage that Synchrony Bank may have over a local credit union is that there is no minimum balance required. Opening a savings account through Ally Bank is very similar: with no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, savings accounts accrue 1.00% interest.
While opening an online savings account may remove the ability to visit a physical location, there are many reasons that make online accounts the best bank accounts. Online banks offer enhanced customer service, unlimited account access, lower fees, and some of the best savings account rates.
6. Read the Fine Print Before Choosing a Savings Account
Before selecting any savings account, it is important to read the fine print. The best savings account rates may actually be tiered rates. This means that interest rates increase as savings amounts increase.
With tiered interest rates, the value of a savings account can grow each year. Even if an interest rate seems low at first, it may be entirely possible to increase the interest rate over time. This can turn a mediocre savings account into of the best savings accounts.
Reading the fine print will also help you determine whether the interest rates will be offset by fees later on. It can be easy to get distracted by high interest rates, and banking consumers may forget to look into additional fees. Before choosing a savings account, look closely into maintenance fees and minimum balance fees that may offset the benefits of even the best savings account rates.
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Conclusion: Best Savings Accounts and Savings Rates
Savings accounts are crucial to expanding financial security over time.
For many banking consumers, finding the best bank accounts often means finding the best savings accounts. Having a secure savings account translates into securing your financial future. The best bank for savings accounts will offer the highest interest rates with few restrictions and few fees.
While finding the best savings account may take a little bit of extra effort, the long-term payoffs can make that effort extremely worthwhile. Following these 6 expert tips can guide you toward finding the best savings accounts to grow and develop your financial security.
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