Friday, August 9, 2013

Open a Better Savings Account

Open a savings account at an "online only" bank. They pay more interest and it makes it a bit harder to get at the money. Yet the money is still accessible if needed.

Online-only banks are paying 5-20 times the rate of regular banks on their savings accounts. Granted it's still not a lot of money but its better than nothing.

You can still access your money easily, you just transfer it to your regular checking account or use the debit card that comes with the savings account. But just having to go through an extra step or two gives you time to think about what you are spending the money on. New golf clubs vs new brakes for the car.Want vs.need.

I use Capital One 360 (formerly ING). The savings account pays .75%. My brick and mortar bank pays .05%

Look for free money. Lots of online banks run specials. I opened a checking and a savings at Capital One 360 during their 4th of July special. I got $76 for opening the savings and $100 for opening the checking. I won't ever use the checking and it only has $1 minimum deposit but I'll sure enjoy the $100 they gave me. This savings account is now my main savings account and I was gonna open one there anyway, the $76 was just a nice extra (and yes I left it in the account, I didn't blow it). It took about 5 minutes to open the account. Connecting the account to your brick and mortar bank accounts is simple. And transferring money between the two is also easy, and free.

I'm in the process of opening more savings accounts at Capital One 360, for different purposes. A short-term rainy-day account, a long-term emergency account and an "escrow" account (a place to save for our property tax and homeowners insurance) . They also have kids savings accounts, $1 minimum to open. I've opened 2 kids accounts there so far, for the littlest guys that didn't have one yet. And we are gonna transfer the other kid's accounts there from the local bank.

Check out these online banks and their current rates:

Capital One 360 (formerly ING) - current rate .75%
Ally Bank - current rate .84%
Barclays - current rate .90%
EverBank - current rate .86%
GE Capital Retail Bank - current rate .85%

Minimums to avoid fees vary by bank.

Or go to Bankrate and look up rates. If you know of other savings options with better rate, please let me know.

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