The first step on the road to financial freedom, having a savings account, is not the easiest step. Having a savings account is vital to achieving future goals and keeping you prepared for the unexpected. It can also be a slow drain on your hard-earned cash if you pick the wrong one. Not everyone puts much thought into picking the best bank for your savings, but if you want to make a switch, here’s how to get started.
“Bank fees increased an average of 2 to 3 percent in 2013.”
Believe it or not, banks will say and do many nice things to get your money. As Bankrate notes, gift cards and free checking accounts are often offered to convince customers to sign without reading the fine print. Don’t fall prey to these gimmicks, always read the fine print and realize that the accounts with the best rates aren’t always the most advertised.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Picking a good savings account ultimately depends on how you want to use it. Think about if you want ATM access, how much money you plan to keep in it, and whether you want a checking account as well. These are some basic questions that may influence which bank to choose, since these services often require extra fees. Bank fees increased an average of 2 to 3 percent in 2013. Since you’ll probably end up paying a fee for something, it’s important to consider what exactly you want out of your bank, and pick the one that gives you those options at no additional cost.
Picking the right bank or savings account is not unlike researching any other major purchase. Bankrate has a comprehensive list of banks and credit unions nationwide that is sorted based on interest rate and customer satisfaction. Forbes compiled a handy list of the best features to look for in a new account, which can help if you aren’t sure what your priorities are. Whenever looking for a savings account, the most crucial factor may be if the bank is FDIC insured. This means that, in the event your bank goes under, the government will reimburse your funds (up to $250,000). Many take this for granted, as most of the big banks are insured, but some smaller credit unions or online banks may not be.
Just like finding a credit card or loan, there are seemingly limitless options when it comes to savings accounts. Stay smart and come prepared for the search, and you will be able to find a bank that fits your needs.
The views expressed by the articles and sites linked in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions and policies of Cash Central or Community Choice Financial®.