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How I Got the Best Rate on My Savings Account

By Chris Morris

  • PUBLISHED August 08
  • |
  • 3 MINUTE READ

I’d been a customer of my local bank for a long time, but something felt off—my money didn’t seem to be working for me. It was my savings account interest rate, an annual percentage yield (APY) of just 0.05%. It seemed low, so I started to do some simple online research.

Before very long, I found a number of banks that offered better rates, either on a high interest savings account or certificate of deposit. The difference was that I know my bank, and had done business with them for years. That wasn’t the case with most of the banks that I found—especially some of the online savings accounts. So I did some research on the banks I’d found.

That research started with the authority on banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It keeps tabs on financial institutions, letting you know which ones are insured and active, when they were established, whom to contact if you have a problem, along with a list of their locations. That gave me confidence in some of the ones I’d researched so far.

To winnow the list further, I wanted to see what people who do business with some of these banks had to say about them. For that, I visited DepositAccounts.com, which assembles user reviews of banks, and assigns banks an A-through-F ranking based on the bank’s overall health (incorporating capitalization and risk from loans) as well as the interest rates it offers. I was surprised to find more than 200 user reviews waiting for me, which gave me a wide range of feedback.

The online bank I ultimately chose offered a high yield savings account with a rate that was significantly better than what I was receiving from my local bank. For me, that would result in several hundred dollars in interest earned each year. I did a little math and realized if rates didn’t change considerably in the next five years, a $20,000 savings account could earn me as much as $1,500 more than where it was currently.

While I had to invest some time to find a new bank, I’m glad I did so. The results have been both satisfying and profitable.

Chris Morris regularly contributes to national outlets, including Fortune, CNBC.com, Voice of America, Variety and Common Sense Media, and contributes to dozens of other major publications.

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