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What Types Of Savings Accounts Are There, And Which Is Best For You?

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith is a financial writing specialist with a wealth of experience in creating technical financial content and persuasive sales pages. With her expertise in financial storytelling, she has helped numerous businesses and organizations expand their reach and achieve their growth objectives.

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Does Closing a Bank Account Hurt My Credit?
Table of Contents

Savings accounts are bank accounts that allow individuals to save money and earn interest on those deposits. They come in various types; the best ones for you will depend on your needs and goals.

Takeaway Points

  • Savings accounts are a safe and convenient way to save money and reach financial goals.
  • There are several types of savings accounts available, each with its own unique features and benefits.
  • When deciding on a specific savings account, compare the interest rates and fees offered by different financial institutions.

Why Put My Money In A Savings Account?

Saving money is crucial for achieving financial stability and reaching your long-term goals. Yet, according to a 2021 survey, only 68% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency.

This emphasizes the significance of developing a savings strategy and the advantages of using a savings account to meet your financial objectives. Consider the following benefits of putting your money in a savings account:

  • Earn Interest: One of the biggest benefits of a savings account is that it allows you to earn interest on your deposited funds. Interest rates vary depending on the type of savings account and the financial institution, but even a small interest rate can add up over time.
  • Safe and Secure: Savings accounts are FDIC-insured, meaning that your deposited funds are protected up to $250,000 in case of bank failure. This provides peace of mind and security for your savings.
  • Easy Access: With a savings account, you can easily access your funds through ATM withdrawals or online banking. This makes it easy to use your savings for emergencies or to make planned purchases.
  • Encourages Saving: Having a separate account for savings can help you develop a habit of saving money regularly. It also helps you to set financial goals and track your progress towards achieving them.

Traditional Savings Accounts

Traditional savings accounts are offered by most banks and credit unions and are designed to provide a safe and secure place to store your money, either for short or long term savings goals.

They are also a great option for those just starting to save, as they typically have low minimum balance requirements and make it easy to access funds.

Pros Cons
  • Low minimum balance requirements
  • Low-interest rates
  • Easy access to funds for emergencies
  • Limited earning potential
  • Low-risk place to store money

Planning a vacation? We give you an overview of the best savings accounts for vacation and travel.

High-Yield Savings Accounts

High-yield savings accounts (HYSAs) are just like traditional savings accounts, except they offer higher interest rates.

If you’d like to grow your savings faster, an HYSA might be a great option for you. However, it’s important to note that these accounts also have some trade-offs.

Pros Cons
  • Higher interest rates
  • Higher minimum balance requirements
  • Great way to grow savings faster
  • Safe and secure place to
  • Limited access to funds
  • Possibly withdrawal fees

Ready to learn more? Take a look at our guide on the best high-yield savings accounts.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a type of savings account where you deposit a specific amount of money for a fixed term, usually ranging from a few months to several years.

They offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, making them a great option for those who want to earn a higher return on their savings. However, it’s important to know the early withdrawal penalties before opening a CD account.

Pros Cons
  • Higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts
  • Penalties for early withdrawal
  • Fixed term ensures a predictable return
  • Limited access to funds
  • Locked-in for a fixed term

Looking to open a CD? Check out the best CD rates on the market.

Money Market Accounts

A money market account is a type of savings account that typically offers higher interest rates than traditional ones.

They are similar to high-yield savings accounts in that they offer the opportunity to earn a higher return on your savings, but they also come with some unique features.

Pros Cons
  • Tiered interest rates that increase with the balance of the account
  • Limited check-writing and debit card capabilities
  • Higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts
  • Minimum balance requirement
  • Possibly fees for not maintaining the minimum balance

Piqued your interest? Take a look at the best money market accounts available.

Online Savings Accounts

Online savings accounts are savings accounts offered by online-only banks. They are similar to traditional savings accounts, but often offer higher interest rates and lower fees.

These accounts are accessed and managed through the bank’s website or mobile app, making them a convenient option for those who prefer to do their banking online.

Pros Cons
  • Higher interest rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks
  • Limited access to physical branches
  • Lower fees
  • Limited access to certain banking services
  • Convenient online and mobile access
  • Potentially longer wait times for customer service

Cash Management Accounts

Cash management accounts are a type of financial product that combines features of both checking and savings accounts.

They offer many of the same features as traditional checking accounts, such as check-writing and debit card capabilities, but they also come with some unique features.

Cash management accounts offer features like budgeting tools, savings goals, and the ability to invest in stocks and bonds.

Pros Cons
  • Combines features of checking and savings accounts
  • May have higher fees than traditional checking accounts
  • Higher interest rates than traditional checking accounts
  • Limited access to certain banking services
  • Additional features such as budgeting tools and savings goals
  • Potentially longer wait times for customer service

Specialty Savings Accounts

In addition to traditional savings accounts, money market accounts, and others, several specialty savings accounts are available. These types of accounts are designed for specific purposes or to meet the needs of specific groups of people:

  • Christmas Club Accounts: These accounts are designed to help you save money for holiday expenses. Deposits are made throughout the year, and the funds are typically made available in the fall, just in time for holiday shopping.
  • Vacation Club Accounts: Similar to Christmas club accounts, these accounts are designed to help you save money for a specific purpose – in this case, a vacation. Deposits can be made throughout the year, and the funds are typically made available at a specific time, such as the summer.
  • First-time Homebuyer Accounts: These accounts are meant for first-time homebuyers and typically offer special incentives and benefits, such as lower closing costs or matching funds.
  • Student Savings Accounts: They are designed specifically for students and may offer special features such as no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.
  • Health Savings Accounts: Meant for medical expenses that you can only open if you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). It has tax advantages and contribution limits, making it ideal for people with high medical expenses.

IRAs And Roth IRAs

IRAs and Roth IRAs are retirement investment accounts that allow you to save and invest money for your golden years.

Traditional IRAs offer tax-deductible contributions, which can lower your taxable income for the year, but you’ll pay taxes on your withdrawals in retirement.

Roth IRAs, on the other hand, require contributions with after-tax dollars, so you won’t receive an immediate tax break, but you can make tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

Pros Cons
  • Many investment potions available
  • Withdrawals before age 59 1/2 may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty
  • Earnings grow tax-free
  • Contribution limits may be lower than other types of retirement accounts
  • Flexible contribution options
  • Contributions are limited to earned income

Conclusion: Which Savings Account Is Right for You?

When choosing a savings account, you should consider your individual financial needs and goals. If you are looking to save for a short-term goal and need easy access to your funds, a traditional savings account may be the best option.

Grace Lemire, Personal Finance Expert

It’s also important to consider your comfortability with each type of account. Ultimately, while you may earn a bit more in an interest-bearing account, it won’t be the financial change that makes you a millionaire. If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain account, it’s best not to use it.

A high-yield savings account may be the way to go if you have a larger sum of money to save and are looking for a higher interest rate. Before opening an account, it’s also a good idea to compare the interest rates and fees offered by different financial institutions.

Delve deeper with our guide on how to open a savings account.

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