With interest rates on the rise, many savings accounts are offering better annual percentage yields (APY) than in years. However, for most regular savings accounts opened at "regular" brick and mortar banks, that rate is still low-ranging from less than 1% in some cases to no higher than 2.5%. You can experience higher APY if you open an online savings account.
Online banking giants like ING, HSB and EmigrantDirect offer online savings accounts that have APYs ranging from 4.15% to 4.65%. But it´s not just the "big guys" of online banking that offer the special rates anymore. Many local and regional banks, in addition to national chains, offer special online savings account rates. You can check your local bank´s online specials to find out whether a special rate is offered. Citibank now offers a 4.75% APY on an online savings account if you have a checking account with Citi.
Using a high yield savings account can help you grow your money a little faster. These are great accounts to sock away a little extra in a manner that accrues little risk. Plus, your assets in the savings account remain liquid, and its easy to monitor your account from your home computer.
Things to watch for
As with all things Internet, a healthy dose of caution is required. Personal info is needed to open an online savings account, so for your protection, make sure that the Web site is reputable and legit. Here are some things to look for to confirm legitimacy:
- The FDIC logo, to make sure you are protected for up to $100,000.
- In the address bar, after the "http," check to see that there is an "s" to indicate a secure Web site. Any page that requests personal information should have an "https" at the front of the address bar.
- Look for some sort of logo that indicates security, such as VeriSign or a picture of a padlock, closed.
You should also make sure your computer´s firewall is activated, and that you have some sort of Internet security software to protect your computer.