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Banking

How to Find the Best Savings Account Interest Rates
Currently rates are at historic lows and vary from 0.2 percent to 2 percent depending on the financial institution and account balance. If you have a significant amount of money to invest initially, consider looking at a high yield savings account. These accounts pay a higher rate of interest since the investment is higher. If you are willing to invest with an on-line bank, they traditionally offer higher rates since they have lower overhead. If you are comfortable managing your funds on-line, this is a great option. There are on-line sites that assist consumers in finding the best savings account rates. Bankrate.com and money-rates.com allow users to do an on-line search for the best rates based on their amount of deposit. In addition to banks, some investment companies, such as Fidelity and Schwab, also offer an account that operates like a savings account. Most require a minimum balance. It is important to note that investment companies are subject to Securities and Exchange (SEC) rules rather than banking laws.

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How to Compare Savings Account Plans from Different Banks

The above referenced sites, bankrate.com and money-rates.com, can also be used to compare banks either locally or nationally. Both sites allow users to select either national or local when searching. Local search is done by zip code and brings up local banking branches as well as competitive on-line banks. The search discloses any minimal balance requirements, transfer restrictions and any fees associated with an account. Both searches disclose important information about each institution such as recommendations from an investment magazine such as Money and whether the institution is covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Users can also elect to search for a high yield or high interest savings account on these sites. Many local banks post their current interest rates either in their lobby along with those of their local competitors. If you have a good relationship with your bank, you may want to call and get their current interest rates. Many will offer a higher interest rate with automatic deposits or if you have additional accounts with them.


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