CDs VS Savings Accounts

So you’re sitting on some cash and you’re wondering whether to put it in a CD or savings account. With certificates of deposit and savings account rates being so low it might not make a difference where you put your cash right now. But, we’ll discuss as there are some advantages and disadvantages to each option.

Certificates of Deposit

You’re going to want to ask yourself if you’re going to need the cash anytime soon. Depositing your cash into a CD will lock up your money for some time. Most CDs can be purchased in fixed terms such as 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Meaning, that your money would be locked up for that time frame and in exchange you would recieve an above average interest rate that is guaranteed by the FDIC.

Most banks or brokerages will charge a penalty if you withdraw or cash out the CD prior to the end of the term. This will impact any interest earned as the fee would likely be greater than any interest earned. Point being, is that you need to make sure that you’re not going to need the money prior to the end of the term.

Savings Account

Putting your money to work in a savings account can also generate a solid interest payment every month without having to lock up your money. In most times, you’ll get a rate that’s generally lower than a CD but without having to lock up your money. This would likely benefit those that want to earn a great interest rate but want to make sure to have immediate access to their cash.

You’re going to have to be careful because some banks do charge monthly fees and have account balance minimums that will impact interest earned. In addition, you’ll have easy access to your money, which for some, including myself makes it very challenging to save money.

Ally Bank - Online Savings, Better Bank

Bank of America’s – Add It Up – Savings Program

Bank of America’s Add It Up savings program is another great way to start saving cash on everyday purchases. 
Add It Up allows you to earn cash back, sometimes up to 20% on purchases made with partnered retailers. The percentage received is on top of any retailers discounts.
To get started, all you need to have is an existing checking, savings or credit card account.  You can open an account online or in the branch. You can enroll online as well.
Like Bank of America’s Keep the Change program, the program works because it triggers automatic saving deposits into the account of your choice. Saving money is challenging at times. Bank of America provides a great solution and an option to continually save money.
One of the best features is that you have an option to have the cash back deposited into a savings or checking account. Hopefully, you make the best use of the program and have the cash back deposited into your Bank of America savings account.
A combination of this product, Keep the Change and a high yield online savings account can go a long way in diversifying and growing your hard earned cash.
Right now, it’s best to look at every avenue that’s available to save additional dollars. Even in the form of cash back on purchases. 
See Amanda cover the basics on Bank Of America’s Add It Up Savings program.

ShoreBank Savings Account

ShoreBank’s High-Yield Savings Account has many pluses such as a high annual percentage yield. This great rate is possible because these accounts are opened and managed completely online.
It has a few advantages such as:

Manage savings online by making electronic deposits and withdrawals

Online access to bank statements

No monthly fees
$1 minimum deposit
Being able to make email inquiries – (in order for ShoreBank to provide such a solid rate, they are pushing customer service to online support)
Ally Bank

Deposits at ShoreBank are FDIC-insured to the insurance limit which means individual and joint accounts are covered separately so those who have a ShoreBank joint account and a single account will receive the maximum FDIC coverage which is $500,000.

It’s also good to note that the online savings account application must be approved.

For more information about this online savings account, visit ShoreBank.

State Farm Savings Account

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Actually, I’m not sure of any neighbor that pays interest on a savings account but if there was you’d want it to be State Farm.

If you’re looking for a savings account with bank that’s been in business for a quite a while, the State Farm savings account is an option for you.

The savings account pays interest on a tiered level. So unless you’re sitting on a boatload of cash, you’re likely to get a below average interest rate.
Ally Bank
There’s also more than a few tidbits of information that you should know if you’re under or over 18. Which accounts for everyone reading this article as the savings account imposes fees tied to balance restrictions.
The savings account does come with features such as 24 hour toll-free service, free internet banking and access to ATM fee rebates.
Is this savings account right for you? I’d recommend it for those that have an existing relationship with State Farm as it would be an easy way to keep your accounts consolidated and if you’re pleased with their service. This tends to go along way when things go wrong and you need a quick resolution.
Otherwise, for a higher savings account rate you’d want to check out other online savings accounts available or check some cd rates.
-FDIC Insured
-Variable, Tiered Interest Rates (yuck!)
-Minimum Opening Deposit of $100
-$3 monthly fee if $100 minimum balance is not kept

First Trade Union – High and Mighty Savings Account

Current APY: 3.04% – 3/31/2009
First Trade Union Bank is offering a high rate savings account. The rate is one of the highest online but comes with some caveats. The bank is solid and has a good reputation for customer service. Their online experience isn’t top tier but the high rate more than makes up for it.

Perhaps the most unattractive feature of the Mighty Savings Account from Union Bank is that the rate is tiered. Union Bank requires that you keep a minimum balance of $2,500 to keep the high rate. Fall below that minimum balance and you’ll receive a measly .50% APY.

Fall below $250 and monthly fees apply. In addition, first deposits must be made by check (what a hassle). Online transfers are limited but capabilities look to be there in mid-2009. The bank is FDIC insured and has options for business, personal loans and high yields.

For those that don’t mind the initial hassle of mailing in a check and a cumbersome online process but love APY’s, the High and Mighty Savings Account is right for you.

Along with the great APY, they offer such conveniences such as free online banking (limited capability), an ATM card and synergy with other First Trade Banking Services.

-Minimum balance of $250 to avoid $2.50 monthly fee
-Minimum balance of $2,500 to get high interest rate
-FDIC Insured
-Limited Transfer Capability
-First Deposit Must be made by check

You can open the savings account

AARP (Members Only) Savings Account Solution

Retired Folk, I salute you: when people say that children are our future, that’s nothing more than a bunch of pro-playground propaganda. I used to be a kid- that’s right, I’ve been there- and I’m here to tell you that childhood is in the PAST, baby, and retirement is the future. Forget all about your hopscotch and jungle gym antics- my future is all about shuffleboard and Matlock fanatics.

But in hard times, even retirees need to be smart with their nest eggs. So, if you’re a member of AARP, you might be happy to know that you’re eligible for a variety of AARP’s savings accounts as powered by Waterfield Financial. Among your current options are a High-Yield Savings account with  a 1$ minimum balance to open and maintain your account.

If you need your savings to be a bit more fluid, they also offer a couple of different options in the form of a Secure Money market account which right now offers a 0.30% APY for balances below $25,000, and a 0.40% APY for balances of $25,000 and above. 

If your nest egg is enough to feed a small village (a pretty big egg!), then you might be more interested in the Jumbo Secure Money Market Account. With an account balance of $50,000 or more, you get to benefit from their 1.05% APY. Of course, with an account balance like that in today’s economy, you probably don’t need any tips on saving from a ragamuffin like me!

With any of these savings accounts, you’d be glad to know that there are no monthly service fees, and you’d have the option of using their free ATM Card and their ATM Fee Reimbursement Program. But if writing checks is your modus operandi, one of the Money Market accounts is probably more your forte.

In order to be eligible for this savings account, you must be an AARP member. You can apply online here.

So if you want your retirement years to be more silver than grey, AARP’s savings accounts may be the right plan for you. Just don’t lose it all in a shuffleboard bet gone awry!

Star One Credit Union – Savings Money Market Account

For billions of years, stars in the great unknown of outer space have formed into formidable celestial bodies of undeniable energy and power. 

Credit Unions formed much the same way, coalescing the dollars of cooperative communities into formidable financial institutions of undeniable savings and interest. Star One Credit Union, then, is appropriately named- but unlike its astronomical counterpart, it is unlikely that Star One Credit Union will one day turn into a super nova, obliterating the majority of planets in our solar system. 

Not impossible; just unlikely.

Instead of a science fiction apocalypse scenario, Star One Credit Union instead offers a Money Market Savings account with a good rate. This institution is a solid savings opportunity. 

It is a hassle to open this savings account as it’s for members only. The membership application is cumbersome and isn’t recommended unless this credit union one you’re dying to get into. I only see that if you’re looking for a local credit union.

They do offer all sorts of nice online goodies (easy online access, bill pay, etc.) to make maintaining your accounts as convenient as possible.

This particular Savings and Checking plan is pretty straightforward, but that is indeed a simple beauty to be desired in a credit union. And with a 4-star rating from and insure by the NCUA, Star One Credit Union is unlikely to have a supernova meltdown on you anytime soon.

Wells Fargo – Goal Savings Account

Some of you fellow savers out there are mere digital voyeurs when it comes to your financial interests. You secretly covet the fantastic savings account Annual Percentage Yields that those young kids across the street seem to be getting all the time, all the while wondering why you get sweaty palms at the thought of a bank that only seems to exist in binary code. Well, that’s nothing to be ashamed of since a large part of preparing for your financial future is peace of mind, and if you’re hesitant to put your nest egg into anything but an old fashioned Scrooge McDuck-type vault, that’s your business.*
For those of you that want to be able to manage your savings through the internet while still having the option of the brick-and-mortar variety near your house/trailer/cave, the Wells Fargo Goal Savings account may be a solid option for you. This particular plan only takes a $100 minimum deposit, or a $25 deposit if you decide to set up monthly transfers. That way, you’ll be able to get your savings started up with a reputable brand-name bank, and still be able to share in the digital convenience of secure online balance/statement viewing that seems to be all the rage these days.
Now, because Wells Fargo is the sort of bank that likes to have things like “buildings” with “people” in them, there are some slight stipulations they require in order to keep this account free as possible. In order to avoid that $3 monthly fee, you have to keep either a $300 minimum daily balance or a regular deposit from either another Wells Fargo account or a Direct Deposit source. Also, the APY is only 0.05%, which is pretty good compared to its competitors- but not as high-yield as, say, a high-yield savings account.
On the other hand, this savings account would have nice synergy with a Wells Fargo Checking account should you choose to opt into their Overdraft Protection plan, and you would get the benefit of doing all your banking with one of the best names in the business. That’s a better bet than trusting your money with the bank I just started up: we essentially stick your money in a sock underneath my bed, all the while hoping that China doesn’t invade us and change the national currency to the Yuan. My fingers are crossed.
So if you want the convenience of maintaining your savings online while still looking for the security of a bank that’s a household name, Wells Fargo’s Goal Savings is a solid start. If, however, you’re feeling more adventurous, the Bank of Under-My-Bed is taking new customers as well (it’s a pretty big sock, after all).
*”Nest Egg” and “McDuck” in the same sentence: brilliant!

Bank of Internet High-Yield Savings Account

Despite the rough economy, the internet has financial opportunities galore. For example, just this morning I received an email from a gentleman in Nigeria that was friends with an uncle of mine that I never even knew existed! In order to be the sole heir to his will all I have to do is deposit $1,000 a week for three months in order to pay for the associated executor costs, bank transfer fees, Nigerian Internet Scam Tax, etc. Fantastic!
Now, not all of you may have been lucky enough to have your Dad’s long-lost brother spill his seed throughout the African continent, so I propose another great destination for your hard-earned cash: a Bank of Internet High-Yield Savings account. With a competitive 2.00% APY, Bank of Internet is an especially great option if you’re just starting out on your savings endeavor. With no minimum daily balance required, no monthly maintenance fees, and only a $100 minimum initial deposit required, this account is especially great for you internet-savvy first time-savers.
Bank of Internet also makes an ATM card available when you sign up for your High-Yield Savings account. In case you require your savings to be flexible in unforeseen circumstances, you can make up to 6 transfers/withdrawals during any given statement cycle (per the Federal Limit). However, you might want to keep such withdrawals to a minimum since High-Yield Savings accounts tend to be more effective when you don’t spend the money you’ve already put in. So while you may be tempted to use your Bank of Internet’s $1000 in savings to buy one thousand 99¢ tacos, keep in mind that an untouched $1000 in a Bank of Internet High-Yield Savings account would net you about 20 tacos a year on interest alone!
Even if you don’t like tacos (though I know that you do), this Bank of Internet High-Yield Savings account is still a pretty good deal in today’s tough economy. The account is FDIC insured, and with no minimum account balance or account fees, it’s about as free as money can get. That is unless you have a long-lost rich Nigerian Uncle you didn’t tell me about. Lucky.
Find out more here.