Find the Best Savings Account
Are you willing to walk for a higher return? There’s an app (and account) for that.
Since the Federal Reserve started pushing down short-term interest rates over the summer, chances are that the rate on your savings account has fallen. If you’re looking for the best possible yield, go to www.depositaccounts.com/savings and select the amount you intend to deposit, as well as your zip code or state. You’ll see a list of the highest-yielding accounts in your area.
One interesting option you’ll find there: the Fitness Bank Savings Account. To get the top rate (2.75%), you must walk an average of at least 12,500 steps a day (10,000 steps if you’re 65 or older). Steps are tallied through a mobile app linked to a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit. You’ll still earn interest if you walk fewer steps—2.5% for 10,000 steps (7,500 for ages 65 and up) and 1.75% for 7,500 steps (5,000 for ages 65 and up). No matter how many steps you log, you have to maintain a balance of $100 or more to avoid a $10 monthly fee.
An account interest rate that is tops today may fall way back in the pack tomorrow. If you’d rather avoid shuffling money from one account to the next, seek out one that consistently offers a strong yield.
Ken Tumin, of DepositAccounts.com, reviewed top-yielding online savings accounts and found that the three with the highest average rate over the past two years are PurePoint Financial Online Savings, with a current 2% rate on a balance of at least $10,000; Live Oak Bank Online Savings, yielding 2% with no minimum required; and the SFGI Direct Savings Account, offering 2.27% with a deposit of at least $1. None of those accounts charges a monthly maintenance fee.
Easy access to your cash. If you want to write checks or make debit card transactions from savings, look into a money market deposit account. The Redneck Bank Mega Money Market (it’s a legitimate bank, despite the unconventional name) recently yielded 2.25%, with no monthly fee or minimum-balance requirement (but a $500 opening deposit), and it comes with a debit card.