In 2012 checking and saving account yields hit their lowest point. I bet if you look at your bank statement, you would see that you’re earning almost nothing from your savings accounts. That’s if you are lucky, more and more people are paying higher bank fees (maintenance, over-draft, transaction fees), while not making anything at all off their bank balances. That means they are basically paying their bank for the privilege of using their hard-earned money. Just because saving accounts interest rates are at historic lows, however, doesn’t mean you should give up searching for a high yield savings account. Doing a quick research online can benefit you tremendously, especially if you are keeping significant portion of your net worth in a bank.
Here’s a couple of high yield, FDIC-insured savings accounts (in no particular order) that I found just by performing a simple Google search and checking a couple of review sites. The whole process took me approximately 15 minutes, if that. I only picked high yield accounts that have no maintenance fees and require no or extremely low initial deposit.
Please note, that all rates were checked on August 1, 2012. Depending on when you read this post, the rates might have change in one direction or another.
Ally Bank Online Savings – Bank unit of Ally Financial, a former part of General Motors, is now one of the more recognizable banks in US, thanks to an extensive advertising campaign on network television. As of August 1st, Ally Bank offers 0.89% APY on its high yield savings account. There is no minimum deposit to open an account and no monthly maintenance fees. You can also make unlimited deposits and ATM withdrawals but other transactions, such as check-writing, is limited to 6 transactions per month. All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
American Express High Yield Savings – American Express High Yield Savings account offers 0.85% APY with no fees to open or maintain a High Yield account. Account can be funded by linking your existing checking account in another bank so you wouldn’t need to switch banks. All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Barclays Online Savings – Barclays is one of the biggest British bank that only recently started getting into American banking. Barclays Online Savings account offers exceptionally high yield of 1% APY with no hidden fees and no minimum balance requirement to open a savings account. Again, Barclays high yield savings account can be linked to your existing checking account so you don’t need to switch banks. All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
HSBC High Yield Online Savings Account – I would be re-missed not to mention a savings account I use myself – HSBC Online Savings. While it only offer 0.4% APY at the moment, it’s been one of the leaders for high yield savings accounts for the past several years. I enjoy HSBC customer service and security features more than other banks I dealt with so I’m sticking with it, at least few more months. Again, there’s no monthly maintenance fee to have an account with HSBC and minimum balance requirement to open an account is $1. All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000, like in other banks.
As you can see, 15 minute Google search yielded me (pun intended) 3 high yield online savings accounts that offered twice the interest rate of my current bank. That’s on top of the fact that HSBC’s 0.4% APY is still much better than national average for bank yields (I believe it’s in 0.1% to 0.15% range right now). This type of research can be performed by anyone with internet connection and can lead to additional earnings/savings on all sorts of things – credit cards cash back rewards, mortgage payments, utility bills, discount shopping on Amazon, etc. All you need is some time and desire to better your financial situation.