Checking & Savings

Save money - or earn more - by picking the best checking account or best savings account for your needs. Cut back on unnecessary fees and find the best rates.


  • Savings bonds often pay more, with less tax, than savings accounts
    Savings bonds aren't just for kids; they can provide anyone with a low risk investment alternative to savings accounts, CDs or high-yield checking accounts, and are less restrictive than you might think. Plus, they often pay higher interest rates [...]
  • Get paid just for opening an account
    Online banks and the websites of many major banks will sometimes offer free money just for signing up for an account online, and/or referring a friend. Always check before you open the account; once you do it's usually too late to collect. You can [...]
  • Cut out the fees from your account for services you don't need
    There's no sense paying for something you don't want or need, so look over your bank statement to see where you are getting hit with fees and contact your bank to get rid of them. Some examples include "check image fees" (for seeing cancelled [...]
  • Watch your interest rate
    Other than CDs which lock in an interest rate for a specified period of time, most of the other basic savings accounts, such as money market and "high yield" savings, have interest rates that can fluctuate. It's worth taking a look at the current [...]
  • Choose your bank wisely, but don't ignore online banks
    Online banks cost less to operate than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, and most of them pass those expense savings along to the customer in the form of higher interest rates. This is usually true of online banks that are affiliated with larger [...]
  • "Teaser rates" can yield quick profits, just not as much as it seems
    Introductory rates such as "Earn 3.00% for 3 months" can yield an initial bonus, just keep in mind what your rate will be after the trial period is over. If you are willing to move your money around and are not worried about the impact to your [...]
  • Avoid ATM fees by taking your cash out while you make a purchase
    Many stores, particularly supermarkets, will offer you the chance to take out cash via your debit card when you make a purchase. This can be a fee-free way to access your funds instead of paying ATM fees. Sometimes all it takes is a small purchase, [...]
  • Save money on stamps with online bill payments
    Many banks offer online bill payments for free, and will often even mail the letters for you. You can specify the day to make the payment so you can still balance your checkbook the way you like. Plus you can setup alerts and/or auto payments to [...]
  • Save on checks by buying online
    The checks you buy from a reputable online site or mail-order company are perfectly valid; you just need to provide the account details which appear on your current checks. You can save 50% or more this way versus buying from your own bank. Options [...]
  • Keep your kids away from bank fees, look for free accounts
    Paying fees on a small child's savings account will wipe out any potential gains, so ask your bank if they have fee-free account for kids with no minimums, or if your status with the bank is enough to get the fees waived for them. In particular make [...]
  • Ask your bank if you qualify for any special deals, or sign up to get them
    Banks may offer better rates to shareholders, senior citizens, employees of certain companies and members of certain affiliated groups. Ask your banker what types of deals are out there and whether you qualify - you might be surprised to find out [...]
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