No one has been getting rich stuffing their money into a savings account, and it is bound to get even tougher, as the Federal Reserve shifts further into a rate-cutting mode.
The Federal Reserve announced another rate cut after its two-day policy meeting last month. Further rate cuts could be ahead.
No one has a precise crystal ball for the timing — or the actual rate cuts for that matter — given that the Fed will be heavily influenced by the overall health of the U.S. economy, as well as any slowdown overseas. For consumers, the Fed’s next rate cut would mean a slight break on the cost of borrowing on credit cards and other loans. But savers are going to be making even less interest on money they are keeping at the bank.
Here is a look at how to get a bit more for your money.
If you want to make more money on your money, you are likely going to have to move some money around to another bank. And you must realize that even the best rates are not as good as they were earlier this year. Rates on some high-yielding savings accounts had been as high as 2.25% just a few months ago. But those rates have been coming down as banks began anticipating a round of rate cuts by the Fed.
In early September, online accounts were promoting an annual percentage yield of 2% or higher — including Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Ally Bank (1.9% with no minimum deposit) and Citibank’s Citi Accelerate Savings account (2.21%, available in select markets with no minimum starting balance but a $500 minimum monthly balance required for no monthly fee).
“Many are available with no minimum deposit or with very modest minimum deposits,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
You also need to read the fine print for the rules and fees of any given account. The Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Online savings account has an APY of 2% and there is no minimum deposit to open the account or fees. But if the account is opened and there is no deposit made within 60 days of opening the account, Marcus by Goldman Sachs may close the account.
And don’t try to use an online savings account as a pseudo-checking account. Federal law limits certain types of telephone and electronic transfers and withdrawals from online savings accounts to six per statement cycle, according to Ally Bank. So you need to keep a careful watch on how many withdrawals you could be making from an online savings account. Ally Bank, for example, charges $10 per excessive transaction.
Tompor writes for the Detroit Free Press.