If you are looking for a high APR savings account, you have to make sure you understand what that means. APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. If you are looking for a savings account that will make you more money in interest, you can use many sites online to narrow down which banks you should be looking at. It’s important for you to remember that a high interest rate, while important, is only part of the story.
There are many aspects involved when you open a savings account online or offline. To make the best choice for you and your financial needs and goals, it’s important that you consider several factors before you settle on a particular bank.
I’ve listed some of the most important things to consider. This is only a partial list, but it should be enough to get you in the right mindset and hopefully come up with other questions.
1. Don’t assume that since an online bank is a ‘known’ bank and you’ve seen their commercials that you don’t need to protect yourself by carefully reading any disclosures they give you. That is a mistake so many people make. While you probably won’t get ripped off, it’s easy to sign up at a bank and find some unexpected surprises in the form of unexpected fees. Make sure you fully understand how much and how many fees you will have to pay. Even if a bank has a great interest rate it may not be the best choice for you if they’re going to ‘nickel and dime’ you to death with a bunch of fees.
You will also need to find out whether or not you need to maintain a minimum balance, and if so, what amount is required.
2. How accessible is your money going to be? Again, even if the bank has a great rate it won’t be any good if you have a hard time getting to your money when you need it. You want to be able to easily access your money. Most online banks will use ATM’s as a way for their customers to get their money. Make sure you find out what ATM’s the bank uses and whether or not you have easy access to those ATM’s in your area.
It’s also important to find out what transaction fees you will incur when you use an ATM.
3. Can you link multiple accounts? Having the ability to easily, and quickly, transfer money from one account, say a checking account, into another account, like a savings account, is a great benefit. It can make managing your money much more efficient, so make sure you ask if this feature is available at any bank you are considering opening an account with.
So when you’re interested in opening a high APR savings account, don’t forget that a high interest rate is nice but you want to make sure that whatever account you open has all the features you need for your financial goals as well as your lifestyle.