Advertisement
Saving

Where to Stash Your Cash Now

These days, it helps to look for a little extra yield.

The yields you earn at safe places to stash your savings are dismal, and they probably won’t improve for at least a couple of years as the Federal Reserve holds down short-term rates to boost the economy. The options below, all of which are federally insured, are among the top-yielding accounts in the U.S. You can also search for accounts nationwide and in your region at sites such as Bankrate.com, DepositAccounts.com and NerdWallet.com.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Easy access. Fee-free money market deposit accounts and savings accounts are typically good places for your emergency fund or for cash that you may need in a hurry. The Sallie Mae Money Market account pays 1.05% with no minimum-balance requirement and no monthly fee. Earn 1% with a Barclays Online Savings account with no minimum balance or monthly fee. The no-fee AbleBanking Money Market account ($1,000 to open an account) offers a 0.96% yield, plus the bank will donate an extra 0.25% of your balance to a charity of your choice each year (the bank also donates $25 for each new customer).

Interest checking. The Lake Michigan Credit Union Max Checking account pays 3% on balances of up to $15,000 (join with a $5 donation to the West Michigan chapter of the ALS Association and a $5 minimum deposit in a savings account). You must set up a direct deposit, make ten debit card purchases monthly, and sign up for online statements and notices.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The ABCO Federal Credit Union’s Premiere Checking account has similar requirements and pays 2.52% on up to $25,000. To become a member, join the American Consumer Council (free) and pay a $10 application fee to open a savings account with a $10 minimum.

Longer-term savings. Certificates of deposit pay higher rates than money market and savings accounts, but it’s best not to lock up all your cash in a long-term CD in case interest rates rise down the road (see Global Economy Back From the Brink). Building a CD ladder -- that is, spreading your money over CDs of varying maturities -- is one way to make sure you can move some of your savings to higher-yielding accounts. Consider high-yielding CDs with terms of three years or less. Melrose Credit Union (join with a one-time $1 membership fee and a $25 minimum deposit in a savings account) recently paid 1.46% on a three-year CD with a $5,000 minimum deposit.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Another option: high-yield CDs with minimal early-withdrawal penalties. You’ll lose only the previous 60 days’ worth of interest if you withdraw early from an Ally Bank High Yield Cer­tificate of Deposit. The five-year CD recently yielded 1.64%. (For more on CDs, see Better CD Rates for Repeat Customers.)

I-bonds, which are savings bonds tied to the consumer price index, are worth considering. They currently yield 1.76% -- com­bining a guaranteed rate (currently 0%), which is fixed for the life of the bond, and an inflation-based rate that adjusts each May and Nov­ember. You may withdraw the money after one year, but you’ll lose the previous three months’ interest if you do it before the bond’s five-year maturity. An in­dividual may buy from $25 to $10,000 in I-bonds per calendar year at www.treasurydirect.gov.

This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much could it save you?
August 13, 2020
8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas
retirement

8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas

From the mountains to the beaches, North Carolina and South Carolina offer retirees plenty of incentives.
August 14, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020

Recommended

8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas
retirement

8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas

From the mountains to the beaches, North Carolina and South Carolina offer retirees plenty of incentives.
August 14, 2020
An Advocate for End-of-Life Care
Caregiving

An Advocate for End-of-Life Care

Without a health care proxy, your written instructions for future medical care may not be carried out if you become incapacitated.
August 14, 2020
Get the Most from a Zoom Meeting with Your Financial Adviser
retirement planning

Get the Most from a Zoom Meeting with Your Financial Adviser

Done right, virtual financial planning meetings can be just as productive (or even more so!) than in-person ones.
August 11, 2020
Drawing Down Retirement Savings in a Pandemic
Coronavirus and Your Money

Drawing Down Retirement Savings in a Pandemic

Tapping the right accounts at the right time matters. Knowing how much a retiree can spend each year without running out of savings in old age is even…
August 7, 2020