Find Higher Rates for Your Savings

You'll have to search harder to find decent yields.

Only a few years ago, Internet savings accounts that paid 3.5% were a mouse click away. Now, you’re lucky if you can earn more than 1% on your savings -- unless you tie up your funds for five years. Online banks’ low overhead (they have no branches, after all) used to work to your advantage, but it no longer seems to matter. So you need to do your homework now more than ever to find the best parking place for your funds.

Start by checking out rates for both savings and money market deposit accounts (they are almost equal now) at or Then go to to see what community banks and credit unions are offering (see The Credit Union Advantage). You may earn as much as 4% in a high-yield checking account if you agree to bank online and use your debit card ten to 12 times a month. (For help comparing your options, see How to Find a Local Bank.)

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Senior Reporter, Kiplinger's Personal Finance