Money Matters: Get more out of your savings account

June 16, 2017 01:30

Sponsored by NEFE

With signs pointing to a strengthening economy, the Federal Reserve is inching up interest rates. The downside is that loans might cost more, but the upside is that you can earn more on your savings. Savings accounts have the advantage of keeping cash liquid, but interest rates have been very low for several years, with many consumer accounts yielding only a tenth to two tenths of a percent. Now, with rates rising, you could see a bigger return. And now may be a good time to shop around, because different banks have different rates, which can add up quickly, especially on bigger balances.

As Consumer Reports explains, it's easy to check rates on interest-bearing accounts using tools from DepositAccounts.com or Bankrate.com. They do put their advertisers near the top of the list, so look closely. Rates may be better at smaller local and regional banks and credit unions, or from online institutions. It's also important to do the math and look beyond the rates. There may be fees than can eat into your profit. You can also consider CDs which are less liquid but can provide better returns.
 
To help your listeners/viewers/readers learn more about earning interest on checking and savings accounts, CDs and other financial vehicles, talk with banks and credit unions in your area to see what they offer. You can compare rates and fees to point out the best deals. And interview a financial planner about how changing interest rates may be a reason to review portfolios, especially for investors in or nearing retirement, to provide a combination of good returns and security.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education
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Stacia Naquin of KPNX-TV entered the 2016 NEFE/RTDNA awards contest with her station's ongoing series of consumer and personal finance stories.