Which Savings Account is Right For You?
Typically, experts recommend setting aside enough money to pay 3 to 6 months’ expenses in an emergency fund. But where should you put that money?
You want it to remain accessible and safe, so a low-risk option is the best solution, but you also want to receive at least a small return. A savings account is a great way to keep your money secure while generating an Annual Percentage Yield (APY*).
The question is, how should you decide which savings account is right for you? The answer is not as simple as you might think. There are many factors to consider when looking for the right savings account for your needs. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
Annual Percentage Yield (APY*)
The first thing to consider is the savings account’s APY*. When you meet account qualifications, an APY* is the real rate earned on a savings deposit considering the effect of compounding interest. Banks offer different interest rates and APYs*, so researching accounts can ensure you’re receiving the best possible return.
SouthEast Bank offers a Bonus Rate Savings account1 with a 2.01% APY* on balances up to $10,000. By enrolling in eStatements and making 20 Round Up Savings transactions2, customers may earn this competitive APY*.
Many types of savings accounts have restrictions. These can include minimum balance restrictions, withdrawal restrictions and even age restrictions (specifically accounts designed for senior citizens or students).
Minimum balances are the most common. A minimum balance is the amount you must maintain in your account. If you fail to do so, your bank may charge you a fee, and you will not be eligible to receive the best interest rates. Minimum balances vary depending on the account.
Some accounts also have withdrawal limitations, which may cause you to wonder how you’ll access your money. Fortunately, the withdrawal limitations are not doing away with withdrawals entirely. They simply limit the number of withdrawals allowed within specified time frames.
Many savings accounts with withdrawal restrictions offer higher interest rates, and if you’re looking for an account that rewards long-term savings, then withdrawal restrictions are less of a concern. Withdrawal restrictions are another great way to incentivize saving.
Event- or Holiday-Based Savings
Many banks also offer accounts for specific purposes, like vacation and holidays. You deposit money throughout the year and earn a small percentage yield, then when it’s time, you withdraw your money. It’s a great way to make a big trip or great holiday achievable. These accounts don’t do away with withdrawals, but they discourage them by charging fees for withdrawals before the end of the savings term. That’s why they’re great for saving toward a specific event, but not the perfect fit for something time-sensitive like an emergency fund.
As mentioned earlier, banks will levy fees if certain requirements are not met, so it’s important to know how to avoid such fees, as well as how much the fees are. Fortunately, fees are generally easy to avoid, and banks make their account requirements clear so you can stay away from any unnecessary fees.
Some accounts incur a service charge for holding your money; however, these charges can usually be avoided by maintaining a minimum balance. So the decision rests with you, do the account benefits outweigh the service charges? It’s an important question to ask.
To stand out from other savings accounts, many banks offer additional incentives to customers. For example, SouthEast Bank’s Bonus Rate Savings account holders may choose to participate in the bank’s Round Up Savings2 program. Each time you make a qualifying debit transaction, SouthEast Bank will round up the amount of the transaction to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference from your checking account to your designated account.
Savings accounts are versatile and accessible, and most importantly, they make saving easy and rewarding. Pay attention to the above factors, and you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect savings account for your needs.
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Terms and Conditions:
*APY = annual percentage yield. Rates subject to change. Rates are accurate as of 04/09/2021.
1To earn the bonus rate, the account holder must have a SouthEast Bank checking account, the Bonus Rate Savings account must be enrolled in eStatements and 15 Round Up Savings transactions2 must occur. If all qualifications are met during the statement cycle, 2.01% APY will be applied on the balances up to $10,000 and .20% APY on balances over $10,000 will be credited. If bonus qualifications are not met during the statement cycle, the account will earn 0.05% APY. Unlimited withdrawals at teller window or ATM and 6 pre-authorized withdrawals per month at no charge, including checks, ACH debits and online banking transfers; $3 fee for each thereafter. Fees may reduce earnings. Limit one Bonus Rate Savings account per primary owner tax ID. Rates are accurate as of 4.09.21 Rates are variable and subject to change after account opening.
2Upon enrollment in Round Up Savings, SouthEast Bank will round up your qualifying transactions to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference from your checking account to your designated account. Qualifying transactions include point of sale or online purchases using the SouthEast Bank debit card. Both signature and pin transactions made with debit cards qualify for Round Up Savings. ATM and cash-only transactions do not qualify for Round Up Savings. All debit cards connected to the checking account will round up to your savings account. You must be an account owner on each checking and savings account you enroll. Round up amounts will be transferred separately throughout the day.