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Best High Yield Savings Accounts of October 2022

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. 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.

A savings account helps you grow your wealth safely while keeping your money close at hand. You can open one with most banks and credit unions, but the best online savings accounts are available through online banks. Here's a look at our picks for the top savings accounts, as well as some guidance on what to look for when choosing a savings account. These banks have some great APYs (Annual Percentage Yield) and are good options to explore.

Rates as of Sept. 30, 2022
Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.50/5
APY
2.70%
Min. To Earn APY
$100
  • Easy online banking
  • Debit card access
  • No fees
  • FDIC insured for at least $250K
  • No branch access
  • Requires $100 minimum to open

A strong APY and no fees make this account stand out. The inclusion of no ATM fees and a great digital experience are the cherries on top that simplify saving and earning.

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.25/5
APY
3.01%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • FDIC insured
  • High APY
  • ATM card included
  • Check-writing capabilities
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No debit card functionality

An overall great online savings account with a high APY, no monthly maintenance fees, and a solid mobile banking app.

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.00/5
APY
2.15%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • Competitive APY
  • No fees
  • Great customer service
  • No branch access

The Discover Online Savings account is a top choice for customers looking for a quality online savings account with a high APY. Discover takes the no-fee approach to the next level with none of the monthly fees or hidden fees that you might see with other banks. Discover offers a top-rated mobile app that lets customers stay connected to their savings from almost anywhere.

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.00/5
APY
2.00%
Min. To Earn APY
$1
  • Competitive APY
  • No maintenance fees
  • FDIC-insured
  • No branch access, online only

The American Express Personal Savings account is garnering a lot of positive attention because of its low fees and high APY. It also allows customers to make up to nine withdrawals or transfers from their savings account every month without paying a fee, which is more than what most of its competitors offer.

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.00/5
APY
2.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • Competitive APY
  • No maintenance fees
  • No minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • No ATM access

The Barclays Online Savings account packs in the essentials we covet, including a high APY, no monthly maintenance fees, and no minimum balance to open an account.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Member, FDIC Sponsored Listing
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.00/5
APY
2.15%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • Competitive APY
  • No maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No ATM card access

The Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account has proven that it's a competitive online savings account with a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), low fees, and no minimum balance requirements.

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.25/5
APY
2.15%
Min. To Earn APY
$100
  • High APY
  • No maintenance fees
  • Includes a debit card
  • Minimum balance requirement
  • No local branches, online only

A standout online savings account with one of the best APY's we've seen. The savings account also includes a debit card, which is a nice add-on for an account that already outshines many.

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.50/5
APY
2.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$100
  • No monthly fees
  • Strong APY
  • ATM card available
  • Unlimited external transfers
  • Minimum deposit required

A standout online savings account that features a very competitive APY and no monthly fees, though a $100 opening deposit is required.

First Foundation Bank Online Savings

Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Info Icon 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
4.50/5
APY
2.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$1,000
  • No monthly fees on online savings or personal checking accounts
  • Competitive APY on online savings account
  • ATM fee reimbursements
  • Only one online account option
  • Online savings requires a $1,000 initial deposit
  • CDs require a $2,500 minimum deposit
  • Branches in only three states

This account offers a competitive APY and surprisingly easy access to your funds, making it a top choice for anyone who can afford the $1,000 minimum deposit.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account designed to hold funds you don’t plan to spend immediately. It has an annual percentage yield (APY), which dictates how much interest you earn on the money you keep there. You can open one of these with any bank or credit union, and you can usually contribute as much as you’d like to the account.

How does a savings account work?

Banks use savings accounts to encourage people to keep money in the bank. You add your funds by direct deposit, electronic transfer, check, or some other method. In exchange, your bank pays you interest on your money, usually every month.

How much you earn depends in part on your savings account’s APY and on your balance. A higher APY leads to more money in your pocket, and a higher balance often does, too. Sometimes, banks use a tiered APY system where you qualify for a higher APY if you keep more money in the bank.

How do I access my money?

You're free to withdraw your money from a savings account at any time, but accessing your funds isn't always easy. Most savings accounts don't offer check-writing capabilities or a debit card, so you have to first transfer the funds to a checking account before you can use them.

Some banks also impose limits on the number of free monthly withdrawals you can make from your savings account. This used to be required by a federal law known as Regulation D, but the government lifted this early in the COVID-19 pandemic and has yet to reinstate it. You can check with your bank to find out if your savings account has this sort of limitation.

It's also a good idea to ask about monthly fees and balance requirements when deciding on a savings account. Some savings accounts require you to pay a monthly fee if you don't maintain a certain balance, and this can negate all the interest you've earned. Fortunately, many online banks these days offer savings accounts with no maintenance fees.

What does the bank do with my money?

Banks use your savings to fund loans for their customers. Borrowers then pay interest on the loan, and your bank sends some of that interest to your savings account. A larger balance or a higher savings account interest rate results in more interest.

Types of savings accounts

Here’s a look at the common types of savings accounts you’ll run into.

Traditional savings account

Traditional savings accounts are usually offered by brick-and-mortar banks. They are typically pretty easy to open and most let you directly withdraw cash through a nearby bank branch. You can manage your money online as well. But APYs tend to be pretty low, and most of these accounts carry maintenance fees if your balance falls below a certain threshold.

High-yield savings account

High-yield savings accounts are more common with online banks. These are similar to traditional savings accounts, but they offer much higher APYs and most don’t have monthly maintenance fees. This is the best choice for most people who are comfortable handling their basic banking needs online.

Money market account

Money market accounts offer the APYs of a savings account with the easier access of a checking account. Some include check-writing capabilities, a debit card, or both. However, these accounts usually have higher minimum balance requirements than typical savings accounts.

Certificate of deposit (CD) account

Certificates of deposit (CDs) usually offer higher APYs than any of the savings accounts discussed above. But you have to agree not to withdraw your funds for the full CD term. This can be anywhere from a few days to five years or more, depending on the type of CD you open. If you take your money out early, you can face penalties.

Cash management account

Cash management accounts are available through many online brokers. Money you keep in here earns some interest, and you can decide to invest it if you'd like to potentially earn even more later on. Many still give you access to the online banking features you're probably used to. Some of these are FDIC insured, like the bank accounts listed above -- this means you'll get some or all of your money back if the bank fails. But not all of them are. If you keep funds in a non-FDIC insured account and the company goes under, you could lose that money.

Specialty savings account

A specialty savings account is a savings account that's geared at a certain group of people. Kids' savings accounts are a great example. These are designed for minors who may not be able to open a savings account on their own right away.

Other types of specialty savings accounts include:

  • Student savings accounts
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Accounts for specific goals, like Christmas Club savings accounts

Pros and cons of savings accounts

There are advantages and disadvantages that come along with savings accounts. Before deciding if a savings account suits your needs, it's important to consider both.

Pros

  • Earning interest
  • Saving as much as you like
  • Paying bills with automatic bill pay
  • Knowing your money is insured with the FDIC

Cons

  • Monthly maintenance fees (sometimes)
  • No ATM card or checks (usually)
  • Only six free withdrawals per month
  • Fees for extra withdrawals after your first six withdrawals at some banks

What is a high-yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account earns more interest than most other savings accounts. This is known as a higher APY -- or annual percentage yield. The APY on the best high-yield savings accounts can be up to eight times higher than the national average (and sometimes even higher).

High-yield savings accounts are usually found at online banks. Without a large branch network to maintain, these banks are able to pass their savings on to you in the form of higher APYs and lower fees.

Most online savings accounts carry the same FDIC insurance as traditional banks do. But because these banks don't have branches, you often have fewer options for accessing your funds. This shouldn't pose a serious issue for most people, though, as these accounts are intended for saving, not frequent spending.

Learn more about savings account interest rates

Is a high-yield savings account worth it? What is a good interest rate, anyway? If you're asking these questions, you're not alone. Here are some FAQs we've answered about savings account interest rates:

What is the difference between an online savings account and a traditional savings account?

Traditional savings accounts are usually offered by brick-and-mortar banks. Online savings accounts don't have the overhead of running physical branches and so can offer higher interest rates. As such, the best online savings accounts are often high yield. Early on, many bank customers were concerned that hackers might gain access to their information. As a result, online banks attracted deposits by offering interest rates that brick-and-mortar banks couldn't match.

Now, the banking world has turned upside down. Many people prefer the convenience of online banking. Indeed, traditional brick-and-mortar banks have created online systems to give their customers the same online services.

Here are some of the key differences between savings accounts at online and brick-and-mortar banks:

  • Interest rates: The best online banks still offer far better rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, especially on basic savings accounts. Many brick-and-mortar banks pay next to nothing in interest, relying on other features to bring customers in.
  • Hours of operation: Online banks are more convenient for conducting regular business at any time (although hours can vary if you need to talk to a real person). You don't have to worry about branch location hours or what transactions your brick-and-mortar bank will let you do through an ATM.
  • ATM networks: Unlike online banks, brick-and-mortar banks have extensive networks of proprietary ATMs. However, many online banks partner with a nationwide fee-free ATM network or offer ATM fee rebates.
  • Customer service: Online banks typically have call centers that provide service on an extended schedule, and a few give their customers 24/7 support. Some also offer online chat assistance. However, no online bank can match the in-person relationships brick-and-mortar banks offer. These are their main competitive advantage over their internet-focused rivals.
  • Account access: Most online bank transactions require customers to transfer funds electronically. This typically takes a couple of days to complete. Wire transfers are available for more time-critical needs, but you'll often pay an extra fee. When you need quick access to your money and an ATM won't cut it, brick-and-mortar banks let you immediately withdraw as much as you need at a branch.

The type of bank that's best for you depends on which features are most important to you. Unless you really need to be able to visit a branch and speak to a live person, an online bank should be able to satisfy your needs most of the time. Plus, you can earn a higher APY in the process.

The best savings accounts have a high APY, no monthly maintenance fees, and FDIC insurance. Keep those things in mind as you compare your savings account options.

Learn more: Online vs. Brick and Mortar Bank: Which Is Better?

TIP

Is an online savings account FDIC insured?

Every good savings account has to have deposit insurance from the FDIC. This protects covered deposits up to $250,000 against any problem your bank might have, up to and including the complete failure of the entire financial institution. Most online banks, including those that offer the best online savings accounts, are covered by the FDIC.

Savings account terminology

Here are a few key terms to know before you open a savings account. These are important terms for online savings accounts, traditional savings accounts, and high-yield savings accounts.

APY: This stands for "annual percentage yield." People often use this term interchangeably with interest rate, but the two aren't the same. APY takes into account the actual interest rate as well as how often that interest compounds. A higher APY means more interest for you.

Monthly maintenance fee: This is a fee your bank charges to maintain your savings account. Some banks, especially online banks, don't charge this fee, and others will waive it if you meet certain requirements.

Liquidity: Liquidity refers to how easy it is to turn your money into cash. Highly liquid accounts make this simple, while low-liquidity accounts make it a lot more challenging to get cash when you need it.

What should I look for in a savings account?

The best high-yield savings accounts, both online and traditional, will meet the following criteria:

  • FDIC insurance: Most banks offer FDIC insurance. It's unlikely you'll ever use it, but it's risky not to have it. If your bank fails and your funds aren't insured, you lose your money.
  • High APY: APYs fluctuate from bank to bank and over time, so there's no solid definition of a high APY. You don't need the highest rate on the market, but you should choose one that's close to the highest around. This will earn you more interest.
  • Low fees: Fees can eat into your profits and possibly cost you more than you're earning in interest. Check your bank's fee schedule to learn about any costs associated with the account, and avoid a monthly maintenance fee if you can. Also, check to see if there's a minimum balance requirement on the account.
  • Accessibility: Make sure you're comfortable with the ways you can deposit money into your savings account and withdraw it when necessary. You likely also want a bank with an online portal and mobile banking so you can manage your funds remotely.

TIP

How to get extra FDIC insurance

You can get FDIC coverage beyond the $250,000 limit if you spread your money between multiple accounts or multiple banks. For instance, you could get $750,000 in coverage at a single bank by putting money into a joint savings account using your and your spouse's names, and an individual certificate of deposit (CD) in just your name. That's because the $250,000 limit is per depositor, per account category. Spreading the funds across depositors and account categories increases coverage within a single bank.

What should I use a high-yield savings account for?

A savings account is a good place for money you don't need for everyday spending but aren't willing to risk on the stock market. It's a good idea to keep your emergency fund in a savings account, as well as money you're saving toward a large purchase in the next few years. (Tip: Use our emergency fund calculator to help determine how much you should have saved.)

Investing these funds is usually not a good idea. There's a chance you could earn a higher rate on your money, but there's also a risk your investments could lose money, particularly over the short term. You could be forced to sell your assets at a loss when you need money, and even then, it can take time to get the funds. With a savings account, your money's always right there when you need it.

Savings accounts aren't good places for cash you need to access on a day-to-day basis, because withdrawals in excess of six per month could bring fees. They're also not the best choice for money you don't plan to use for decades. That's because savings account interest rates are usually lower than the return you can get on the stock market.

Alternatives to consider

One of these other bank accounts might suit you better if our best savings accounts don't sound like a good fit.

CD accounts: A certificate of deposit (CD) is a special type of savings account that offers a higher interest rate than a high-yield savings account. But it doesn't allow you to access your deposit plus earnings for a set number of months or years (your CD term). If you withdraw your money before this deadline, you'll pay a withdrawal penalty.

Money market accounts: A money market account offers the high interest rate you find with savings accounts and CDs as well as some checking account features. Some offer ATM cards, checks, or both so you can withdraw funds directly from this account. Be aware, you're still limited to six penalty-free withdrawals per month.

Checking accounts: Checking accounts rarely earn interest, and when they do, their rates are usually lower than high-yield savings accounts. But these accounts have no withdrawal restrictions, and most include an ATM card, debit card, and checks for easy access.

Savings vs. checking vs. CDs: Which should you pick?

Choosing the right home for your money is essential if you want to minimize frustration and earn the most interest. This chart provides a quick overview of some of the key features of the best savings accounts, checking accounts, and CDs.

Features Savings accounts Checking accounts CD account
Interest rates Offer higher APYs than most checking accounts and some CDs in exchange for restricted withdrawals Typically offer a low interest rate, if any May offer a better rate than savings or checking accounts in exchange for withdrawal restrictions (depending on the CD term and bank)
Variable or fixed interest rates? Variable Variable Fixed for the CD term
Liquidity Fairly high, but fewer withdrawal options and penalties for excessive withdrawals High -- several deposit options, and no restrictions on withdrawals Depends on the CD type, but typically low, with penalties for early withdrawals
ATM card? Possible, but rare Yes No
Check-writing capabilities? No Yes No

How to open a savings account online or in person

To open a savings account, visit a branch (if your chosen bank has them), or fill out an online application form. You will need to provide some personal information, including:

  • Your address
  • Your Social Security number
  • A government-issued ID, like a driver's license or a passport

If you are opening a joint savings account, both parties will need to provide this information.

Your bank may also require a minimum deposit to open the account. This may be different from the ongoing minimum balance required to avoid monthly maintenance fees. If you're transferring the funds from another bank account, you'll need to know its routing and account number.

FAQs

  • Savings accounts earn interest over time on money you don't plan to spend immediately. How much interest you earn depends on the balance in your savings account and the interest rate. In exchange for this interest, you agree to limit your monthly withdrawals from your savings account.

  • Yes. Savings account funds are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per person per bank, so there's no risk of losing money if your bank goes under. The risk of losing money with a savings account is pretty slim. It could be possible if you incur a lot of fees, your identity is stolen, or a hacker gains access to your bank account.

    As long as you are aware of the fees your bank charges (and ways to avoid them) and you protect your personal and account information, your savings account should only make you money.

  • The best savings accounts have:

    • High APY: The top savings accounts should include a high APY in range with our picks.
    • No monthly maintenance fee: Most of the best savings accounts won't charge a monthly maintenance fee.
    • FDIC insurance: Whether you're putting money aside to build an emergency fund or wanting to earn more interest, security is important.
  • A high-yield savings account is a savings account that offers a much higher APY than average. The national average savings account APY is currently 0.06%, but some high-yield savings accounts offer APYs that are eight times that rate (sometimes even more). This means your savings can grow more quickly.

  • In most banks, $1,000 won't earn much interest, even if you leave it alone for a whole year. For example:

    • If the interest rate is 0.01%, you'll earn about $0.10
    • If the interest rate is 0.05%, you'll earn about $0.50

    Now compare those numbers with a high-yield savings account:

    • If the interest rate is 0.60%, you'll earn about $6.02

    That $6 may not seem like a lot of money, but when it comes to savings, it's a huge difference compared with $0.10. That's because of the magic of compound interest. If you leave your $1,000 in the bank for 30 years at 0.60%, you'll earn $197.16. But if you're only getting 0.01%, your earnings drop to $3. Yes, $3 after 30 years! It's not nothing, but it's awfully close.

    Now imagine how these numbers will compare if you add a few hundred dollars to your balance each year.

    Savings rates can -- and do -- go up and down. Rates are always up to the bank's discretion, and there's no guarantee your bank will raise rates when others do. Changing banks is easy, though, so keep your eye on top savings accounts and consider moving your money if your bank isn't keeping up.

  • These types of accounts often earn more than traditional savings accounts:

    • High-yield savings account
    • Certificate of deposit account
    • Money market account

    Even among these types of accounts, you will find a wide range of interest rates offered. Generally, the highest interest rates are found at credit unions and online-only banks.

    Some banks and credit unions offer tiered interest rates. For example, you might earn a relatively high rate on your first $1,000, and then a smaller rate on the amount above that. Or your bank might pay a modest rate on the first $25,000 and a higher rate on the amount above that. Beginner savers will definitely do better with the first type of account. Once you start building your savings, you can use an online savings calculator to figure out where you'll earn more.

  • Yes, a savings account (especially a high-yield savings account) is a great place for your emergency savings. Here's why:

    Your emergency fund should be easily accessible to you. Keep your emergency savings in an account that allows you to transfer or withdraw money quickly. A certificate of deposit account is not recommended because no one can predict when financial emergencies are going to happen, and you might have to pay a penalty if you withdraw money from a CD before the maturity date.

    Your emergency fund should be protected from losses. It's generally not advisable to put your emergency fund in the stock market or other account that could experience fluctuations, because you wouldn't want the value to be in a dip when you have a financial emergency.

    Your emergency fund should grow. This is why you shouldn't keep your money under the mattress, even if you feel that it would be safe from theft. A high-yield savings account allows you to maximize your earnings. Stashing cash -- or leaving your money in a traditional savings account -- means you forego the opportunity to earn as much as possible in interest.

Ask the experts

Matthew S. Rutledge

Matthew S. Rutledge

Associate Professor of the Practice, Boston College Economics Department

What factors should people consider when choosing the best savings account amidst rising inflation?

Savings accounts are essential -- while investment accounts (401(k)s, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, even crypto wallets) get all the attention, it should be savings accounts that we reach for first when we have a sudden need, such as a job transition or a car or home repair bill. So the most important factor in that kind of rainy-day fund is what economists call "liquidity": how easy it is to access my money and spend it when I need to. We always used to talk about how the most liquid source of savings is a pile of cash under the mattress, with the downside that you'd be sacrificing safety and sanity if you rely upon that option; but these days I'm not sure that cash is even all that useful, especially if you're used to paying your bills online, or rely on online banking rather than the neighborhood brick-and-mortar bank. Instead, it's probably easier to have a bank account that easily links to your checking account and main credit card. It's really hard to tell how fast you'll be able to access your money until you try it, so it's worth practicing on some non-emergency occasions to make sure you know how long the electronic transfers will take and whether there will be any delay in the availability of funds -- that way, when emergencies do pop up, you know exactly how long you have to make payments.

How can savers earn more interest on their money with a savings account?

There are plenty of easily accessible online banks out there that will pay a higher interest rate but still leave your money liquid. But we're not talking about huge interest rates on saving accounts, even with the Fed raising rates more broadly. I suspect we won't see the kinds of interest rates that Boomers and Generation X are used to seeing for a while, because banks are still awash in cash from all the money we weren't spending during the pandemic. So the 0% you get in your checking account isn't so much worse than the 0.5% you might get from a savings account that takes a whole bunch more effort to set up, a bunch of extra steps to access, and maybe a few extra days to wait when you do need the money.

How much money should people put into their savings accounts every month?

The main thing is to have some easily accessible source of savings, no matter how big it is; every little bit helps! It can make a difference when facing even medium-sized car or home repair bills on short notice, without relying on high-interest credit or borrowing from family and friends. One's own risk level also matters: if you drive an old car, or know that your roof is getting up there in age, or work in a job with a lot of volatility in hours or susceptibility to layoff, then you'll need more emergency savings. (Unfortunately that means that the lowest-income households need the most emergency savings, even though they have the least ability to put that savings together. That inequity is why a public policy solution, such as "sidecar" accounts for 401(k)s that allow people to build up accessible savings well before their retirement years, are likely necessary.) Ideally you'd have savings that equals about about six months of consumption, but few people have anywhere near that amount, and it's important not to make that kind of goal seem so out of reach that you just give up and save nothing. So save what you can: even $500 can make a huge difference.

Dr. Jeff Jones

Dr. Jeff Jones

Jeffrey S. Jones, PhD, CFA®, CFP®, CPA (Inactive), Department Head, Finance and General Business Department

What factors should people consider when choosing the best savings account amidst rising inflation?

As inflation rises, interest rates tend to also rise. Savings accounts typically have variable rates of interest that will periodically reset as the level of interest rates change.

How can savers earn more interest on their money with a savings account?

Savings accounts provide a very high level of safety and liquidity, thus they typically do not earn returns that are very high. In real terms (after considering the impact of inflation) the returns on savings accounts are often negative. There are a couple of ways to potentially earn higher rates. One possibility is to look for special promotions. For example, financial institutions may pay a higher rate on a limited balance if a customer satisfies other criteria (such as maintaining a certain balance, engaging in a minimum number of debit card transactions, etc.).

How much money should people put into their savings accounts every month?

People should generally keep a collective balance in their checking and savings accounts equal to three to six months' worth of living expenses. Once this level is achieved, there is little financial value in accumulating funds in a savings account beyond this point (based on the fact that the rates of interest are very low). A person would be better served investing funds in a time deposit (e.g., a certificate of deposit, or CD), or in other financial securities (such as stocks and bonds). When investing in stocks and bonds, however, investors should keep in mind that any anticipated return is not guaranteed on these investments (as is the case with an FDIC insured savings account).

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