Signs a Savings Account Is Worth Switching Banks For

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.

KEY POINTS

  • Switching banks can be a hassle, so it's important to weigh the benefits of the new account carefully before making that call.
  • Annual percentage yield (APY) is the most important factor for most people when choosing a savings account.
  • Banks may offer other incentives, like a cash bonus or easier access to funds, to lure in new customers.

Here's how to know if the account you're eyeing up actually deserves your attention.

A savings account is one of those things that nearly everyone has but no one gets that excited to shop for. Even though you can make money -- possibly hundreds of dollars per year with the right savings account -- switching banks can also be a big hassle.

You don't want to jump ship for just any savings account. Here are three signs the one you're looking at is actually worth it.

1. It offers a competitive annual percentage yield (APY)

A savings account annual percentage yield (APY) indicates how much interest you can earn on your savings in one year. The best savings accounts right now have APYs around 4.00%. That means that your savings account balance would grow by about 4% in a year, assuming the APY doesn't change during that time.

The best high-yield savings accounts are usually available through online banks. Since they don't have branches, their overhead costs are much lower than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, and they pass that savings along to you in the form of lower fees and higher interest rates.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024

APY
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
APY
5.00%
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
$5,000
APY
4.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. See Capital One website for most up-to-date rates. Advertised Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is variable and accurate as of April 11, 2024. Rates are subject to change at any time before or after account opening.
Min. to earn
$0

Even if you go with one of these, your rates will still fluctuate over time. But by shopping around and comparing savings accounts from other top banks, you should be able to determine whether you're getting a good deal.

2. It offers a bonus for new customers

Bank account bonuses are cash bonuses that banks give to customers who open a new account with them and complete certain qualifying activities. This often includes things like keeping your account open for a certain number of months, setting up direct deposit, or maintaining a certain minimum balance.

Bank account bonuses are most common with checking accounts, but some savings accounts offer them as well. This could help you decide between two similar bank accounts if you're on the fence.

But remember, a savings account bonus is a one-time deal. You're still going to be stuck with the savings account afterward, so make sure it's a good fit for you. Pay attention to its APY and how easy it is to access your funds before deciding whether to sign up.

3. It makes it easier for you to access your money

Savings accounts keep your money liquid, but they don't give you many options for accessing funds directly. You often have to transfer cash to a checking account before you can withdraw it. And many banks limit the number of free monthly withdrawals you can make.

But times are changing. Some savings accounts now offer ATM cards or other means of accessing your cash directly. This can be useful if you don't have a linked checking account with the same bank and need to access your cash right away.

Think about how you prefer to access your savings account funds and look for a bank that offers these options. If the new bank account you're considering offers more flexibility than your current account does, that could be worth making the switch.

What to do when you're ready for a change

If you decide to switch savings accounts, your first step is to apply for the new account. You may need a minimum initial deposit to open it, though many online banks don't require this.

Once that's set up, you can transfer the funds from your current savings account to your new account. If you have any automatic bill payments set to come out of your old savings account, change these over to your new account to avoid late fees.

You may wish to close your old savings account if you don't plan to use it anymore. This is especially true if it charges you maintenance fees. Reach out to your bank to learn how to close it. Once that's done, you can focus on reaping the rewards of your new and improved savings account.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 11x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 11x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Two of our top online savings account picks:

Rates as of Jun 18, 2024 Ratings Methodology
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SoFi Checking and Savings Capital One 360 Performance Savings
Member FDIC. Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

APY: up to 4.60%

APY: 4.25%

Min. to earn APY: $0

Min. to earn APY: $0

Our Research Expert

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