If you’re like many Americans who are trying to save more money during the economic down turn, you’re going to need a place to put it. You shouldn’t put it in your mattress, and you shouldn’t put it in one of those multi-national mega-banks which will provide you a fraction of a percentage of interest. Instead, go with an online savings account that will give you 2% to 3% interest on your money in today’s market.
Here are some consideration factors:
Hassle – If the account requires you to go through a long, drawn out account process that involves you mailing them in a bunch of forms, you and your wife/husband’s signature(s) and autographs, etc, you should probably just go on to the next bank. These things are designed for convenience, and if the account you’re trying to open is a huge pain, there’s probably something else wrong with that bank too.
Interest Rate – You should make sure that you’re getting a good rate of return on your money. The average rate of return that you will be able to get on your money right now is just about 2.5%. ING Direct is currently offering 2.4% and FNBO Direct is offering 2.6%. If you opt for a CD, you can probably get about 3.00% right now. Make sure that the bank you are with is offering you a good interest rate, and has had a history of higher interest rates than the rest of the market.
Customer Reviews – Read reviews of the bank by their current customers. They will be able to tell you about any technology issues such as server-down time that the banks have had in the past. They’ll also be able to tell you about their experiences and feelings about the bank. Watch out though, customers are more likely to post complaints than rave reviews about banks. It might just be one or two disgruntled customers that are mad because they couldn’t take money out of their account to buy Civil War letters and other memorabilia
Customer Service Options – Your bank should offer you plenty of customer service options, such as the ability to call in if you have a problem or the ability to send them an email and have them write you back.
If you’re saving up for a purchase such as a new flat-screen TV or Charles Schulz art, consider a goal savings account like SmartyPig, otherwise go with a traditional online savings account that offers you a great interest rate and customer service to go with it. If you’re saving up for a purchase such as a new flat-screen TV or Charles Schulz art, consider a goal savings account like SmartyPig, otherwise go with a traditional online savings account that offers you a great interest rate and customer service to go with it.