Monday, January 21, 2008

Online Savings. Which Account is Best?

I know you have seen plenty of banner and TV ads for high yield savings accounts. But which is best?

1. Do your homework. In other words, look at the fine print. Some accounts require that you put a minimum deposit in the account, not touch the money for a certain period, etc.

2. Accessibility. Some people want to access their money quickly through either checks, atm, wire transfers, etc. The best accounts are ones that don't charge for any of those. Keep in mind the beauty of the online savings accounts is that you are choosing a bank that is either far from your hometown or strickly an online bank. Weigh that risk that you might only be able to make deposits that are in checking accounts or direct deposits. I am sure this isn't a problem for most but some people still deal strickly in cash and paychecks, so an online only account might not be the best move for you.

Here are the popular online high yield accounts:

E*Trade: 5.05% APY, no fees, $1 minimum deposit, link to other bank accounts with free transfers.

ING Direct Orange Account: 4.20% APY, no fees, no minimum.

HSBC Direct: 4.50% APY, no fees, since it is a bank it can link with other accounts but you pay the fees for transfer, $1 minimum deposit.

Personally, I picked E*Trade for my savings. It gives me the ability to move my money from savings to checking or my stock market account (which I also have on E*Trade) for free. This is huge for all of you. Avoid banking fees as much as you can, this is where they really make their money. Also, E*Trade gives you the best APY. The only way you are going to be letting your money make money is by picking the big earner. It is the same in all sides of your investments (stocks, savings, checking, etc.).

No comments: