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Banking

Get the full rundown on bank accounts, including the best picks for your money and essential education on checking, savings, and CD accounts.

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APYs are subject to change at any time without notice.

FAQs

  • A bank is an institution where anyone (approved by the bank) can deposit savings and take out loans. Banks are often seen as a convenient and secure way to store money, and some account types also earn interest. Most banks have both online and in-person services.

  • An online bank is a financial institution that takes deposits and makes loans online, without any physical branches.

  • A credit union is a nonprofit financial institution that exists to serve its members. Unlike banks, credit unions are owned and operated by their members, with a focus on providing affordable financial products and services.

Compare savings rates

Make sure you're getting the best account for you by comparing savings rates and promotions. Here are some of our favorite high-yield savings accounts to consider.

Account APY Promotion Next Steps
up to 4.60%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. to earn: $0
New customers can earn up to a $300 bonus with qualifying direct deposits!
5.00% APY for balances of $5,000 or more
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 5.00% APY for balances of $5,000 or more; otherwise, 0.25% APY
Min. to earn: $100 to open account, $5,000 for max APY
N/A
5.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. To ensure you keep getting the highest rate at UFB, you'll need to keep an eye on their rates. Occasionally, the bank launches new accounts with higher rates. Existing accounts need to contact the bank to request being moved to one of these new accounts.
Min. to earn: $0
N/A

Dive deeper into our banks library

Types of bank accounts

There are four main types of bank accounts: checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and MMAs.

Savings accounts

A savings account is a low-risk account where you can earn interest on your money. It's a great place to save for an emergency fund, a vacation, or a down payment on a home.

Checking accounts

You should open a checking account for money you plan to use for everyday spending. You can withdraw money as often as you like, as long as you don't withdraw more money than you have.

Money market accounts (MMAs)

If checking and savings accounts had a baby, that baby would be a money market account (MMA). MMAs often come with checks or debit cards, like a checking account. They also have high interest rates -- like savings accounts. However, they usually have high minimum balances. You'll have to be able to keep a hefty chunk of cash in the bank at all times if you want to have an MMA.

Certificates of deposit (CDs)

A certificate of deposit (CD), also known as a share certificate if you're using a credit union, is a special type of savings account that offers a higher interest rate -- but there's a catch. When you put the money into a CD, you're agreeing that you won't touch it for the length of the CD term. This can be anywhere from a few months to several years. Usually, the longer the loan term, the higher the interest rate.

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