A safer place to put your money now if you want “returns not seen since 2009”

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Savings accounts are paying more than they have in years.

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Today is National Thrift Day, and for the first time in a long time, savers have reason to be happy: some savings accounts are now paying more than they have since more than a decade, say the pros. (See the best savings rates you can get now here.)

“With rising interest rates, the most competitive savings accounts are offering returns last seen in 2009 and they continue to climb. If you’re concerned about the economy and its direction, nothing will help you sleep better at night than having money tucked away in an emergency savings account,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.

Indeed, you will find many accounts paying more than 2% and around 3% or more. “The best performing savings accounts available nationwide are offering returns that have topped the 3% mark and are still climbing,” McBride says. Moreover, he adds, “The banks currently offering the most competitive yields are the ones most likely to remain competitive as interest rates rise further.

Beyond attractive interest rates, you may even find other incentives for opening a savings account. Kevin Barr, Certified Financial Planner and Director of Financial Planning at Facet Wealth, says, “As interest rates rise, many banks are offering great savings rates, many in excess of 2%. These include Bask Bank, Vio Bank, Citizens, Synchrony and more. Moreover, there are favorable promotions in the market for opening a new account or making an initial deposit. These range from $100 to $2,000 in bonuses as long as certain conditions are met,” says Barr. (See the best savings rates you can get now here.)

A few of the banks offering competitive APYs are:

Bank APY Minimum balance required

CapitalOne

2.15%

$0

BaskBank

2.75%

$0

fitness bank

3.50%

$100

loan club

2.85%

$0

CIT Bank

2.70%

$0

SoFi

2.50%

$0

Citizens

2.35%

$5,000

Direct UFB

3.01%

$0

However, many brick-and-mortar banks don’t offer high yields, says Certified Financial Planner Autumn Campbell. But what if you like your bank even if it doesn’t offer the highest rates? “If a bank you like, like a credit union, offers at least half of today’s competitive rates, that’s okay,” she says. “If you saved $20,000, 2% interest over a year, that’s $400. If you have a 1% rate, that’s only $100 less. The difference, while something, is usually not worth the extra energy of switching banks multiple times over the course of a year. And she adds that you should look for an FDIC-insured financial institution.

Although savings accounts pay more, with the rate of inflation so high, many may wonder: Is it even worth saving? The pros say you want between 3 and 12 months in an emergency fund, which can be put somewhere safe like a high-yield savings account. But, of course, don’t leave too much cash, because inflation is still above 8%.

Before you open a new savings account, you’ll want to do some homework. “Always make sure that you have federal deposit insurance protection, that you can meet all balance requirements and avoid monthly fees, and that you can easily move money in and out of the account in case need,” says McBride. A simple tip: Linking the account to your current bank or credit union checking account is often an easy way to transfer money back and forth.

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