Ask yourself: “Why is my bank better than the other banks?” If you don’t really know, you are missing out on free money, plain and simple. So what should you look for in a better savings account?
A good savings account will have (ranked loosely in order of importance):
No Fees- particularly monthly maintenance, incoming wire, other ATM fees etc.
Convenience- A clean website with mobile banking and 24/7 Customer Service
Free Money- Relatively high interest rates, compounded daily
Security: FDIC Insurance and a secure website
No minimum deposit
The federal limit of 6 free non-ATM, non-deposit transactions a month.
Charles Schwab, Capital One, and INGdirect are good banks with accounts that have some of these features. But why settle for some, when you can have them all? Why use a good bank when you can use a great bank?
Ally’s Online Savings Account blows away the competition. Their Money Market Account is identical but with the option of a free Visa debit card and 50 checks. You might want them so you can use your savings account as an auxiliary checking account. (Ally refunds all ATM fees nationwide)
An astute financial expert would observe that Ally's interest rate is higher than giraffe pussy. Compare Ally to a big bank like Chase: Chase gives you a lower interest rate for having $1,000,000 than Ally does for $10. Chase's savings account interest rates are lower than Ally’s checking account interest rates. Most banks don’t even come close.
High interest rates are less important than low fees for those with modest amounts of money. And in this global recession, all interest rates are likely to be rock bottom for a long time. But Ally if you’re going to get money for having money, you might as well get more of it.
Ally is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and has an excellent web interface and customer service.
Now here's the catch: Ally doesn't have any branches. But their customer service is excellent: No more conversations with representatives from Pakistan who can barely speak English. Every time I’ve called I get a white person or better.
Stop getting charged to save money and start getting paid to. You deserve better than incompetent, overpriced banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America.
In the next article, I will discuss checking accounts & credit cards.