A savings account can be very useful when you want to set aside some extra cash for emergencies or save up for a big purchase. If you have never opened a savings account in the past, you may think any account will work for you. But no two savings accounts are the same.
There are several factors that everyone should consider when they are deciding which savings account is the best one for them. There is the interest rate, which is one of the most important details, as well as monthly fees to pay. Some accounts may not have any monthly fees, while others may charge if you go over your transaction limit.
It’s important to find out all about your new savings account before you make your initial deposit.
Compare Interest Rates
The most important factor to keep in mind when opening a savings account is the interest rate. The issue is, most savings accounts have a very low-interest rate, which means it can take a long time for funds to add up. Most banks have an interest rate of 0.01%.
A savings account shouldn’t be viewed as a place where your money will grow, but instead a place to keep it safe while you set it aside. There may be some savings accounts out there with a higher interest rate, but they are rare and may have some unwanted terms attached to them.
Find a Savings Account with No Monthly Fees
Because their interest rates are so low, it may be surprising for some to learn that there are several savings accounts out there with monthly fees. While these fees are usually under $5 per month, that’s still money you could be saving instead of spending. When you are looking for a new savings account, try to find one with no monthly fees attached.
Look for an Account with No Minimum Opening Deposit
Some banks and financial institutions will require a minimum opening deposit when you open a savings account. Others may not require any deposits at all. The average amount is often around $25, and it isn’t too bad considering that money goes into your savings. But if you would like more freedom with your savings account or prefer a much lower opening deposit, you can look around for savings account options with no minimum opening deposit.
Automatic Transfers Can be Useful
Not everyone can adjust to having a savings account right away. But setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account can be a great benefit. You have control over how much you transfer and how often. This can help you to have more discipline with your new savings account.
Setting aside just $50 per month adds up to $600 in savings each year. Just be sure to read all the fine print because some banks will charge extra for this service.
Is Mobile Banking an Option?
Mobile banking can be just as useful for savings accounts as it can be for checking accounts. With the addition of mobile check deposits, you can deposit money from a paper check into your savings account without ever leaving your home.
For those unfamiliar with the process, all you need to do is take a photo of the front and back of your check, then after a few clicks, the amount is deposited into your account. While this was once a very rare feature offered by only a few national banks, today it is more widely used and offered by many large and small institutions.
How Easy Is It to Withdraw Funds?
The whole point to having a savings account is keeping your money in savings until you need it. That is why savings accounts will place a limit on the amount of times that you can withdraw funds. But if you need quick access to your funds for a financial emergency, those limits are not going to help.
Federal regulations state that you can’t make more than six withdrawals from your savings account each month. Be sure to look into your bank’s withdrawal policy before you make a final decision. If you choose to withdraw anyway and go over your limit, you could be subject to a fee with every additional withdrawal.
You will also want to find out about ATM locations in your area and where you can get access to your cash in savings after hours. Having several ATMs close to you can be a very useful advantage in the event of an emergency.