I love anything that makes financial management easier. Sure, I adore chocolate, but an easily accessible, high-yielding, online savings account can also warm my heart.
Why do these humble instruments that exist only in cyberspace set my heart aflutter? Let me count the ways ...
- You'll find some of the highest savings rates around through an online savings bank. For example, EmigrantDirect advertises a 5.05% annual percentage yield, and ING Direct advertises a 4.50% annual percentage yield. Can your local bank make the same offer?
- With yields like that, you can park quite a bit of money in an online savings account and protect it from the gradual ravages of inflation. That makes these sweet vehicles an interesting option for holding some or all of your emergency savings.
- Unlike a certificate of deposit, you can get these great yields without locking up your money for a long time. You can also save incrementally, so you don't have to wait until you've amassed a chunk of cash to purchase a CD. That's flexibility any Fool could love.
- It used to be that online savings banks were a rare breed. No more. Head over to a website like Bankrate.com
(NASDAQ:RATE), and you'll find a whole cast of suitors to compare. This makes it easier to find an account with features like no minimum balance requirement, no minimum deposit, and low or no fees.
- Online banks let you save your money with the click of a mouse button. Just sit at your computer, type in a few numbers, and send your money through cyberspace. Can't be bothered to log in every time you want to save? Set up an automatic savings plan that drafts money into your savings account on a regular basis.
- Your money stays out of sight and out of mind. Separating some cash from your everyday checking reinforces the idea that this money shouldn't be used. In fact, with some accounts, the money can't be used unless you move it someplace more accessible, making these accounts a great way to reinforce your savings habits.
To be sure, these accounts aren't best for everyone or for all circumstances. But, if that list of admirable features piques your interest in a little online bank dating, take a look at this section of the Banking Center to find out more.
Bankrate is a Rule Breakers recommendation.
What's sending Fools' hearts aflutter? Go back to our intro page to see what else we have a crush on.
Fool contributor Mary Dalrymple plans to shower her sweetie with chocolate and check on his online bank account this Valentine's Day. She welcomes your feedback. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.