These days, there is a lot of interest in interest. With the Federal Funds Rate (the interest rate that banks pay each other for overnight lending) at less than 0.5% and a typical savings account interest rate of less than 0.1%, it is difficult for savers to get a fair return on their dollar. In response, some savers have taken to investing in the stock market or buying real estate, but these can both be risky ventures.
One approach to getting a higher interest rate on your savings is using an online, high-yield checking account. High yield checking accounts offer interest rates of up to 3% in exchange for depositing a sum of money and following some rules. Here are some of the best high-interest checking accounts available online in spring of 2016:
Northpointe Bank’s Ultimate Account offers one of the highest interest rates in the checking account world. Northpointe’s customers get an interest rate of 5% on balances of up to $5000.
In order to get this incredible interest rate, customers must complete a few requirements each month. First, they must enroll in online statements; no bank wants to both pay a high interest rate and pay to mail paper statements. Second, customers must use the bank’s debit card at least 15 times per month, with a total amount charged of at least $500. Finally, customers must set up a monthly direct deposit or automatic withdrawal of $100 or more. Northpointe bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Lake Michigan Credit Union
This swiftly growing northern credit union’s Max Checking product pays interest at a rate of 3% on the first $15,000 of deposits. In order to receive this high interest rate, customers must sign up for Max Checking and meet a few requirements each month.
First, customers must have a monthly direct deposit. This can be a deposit of wages, social security, rent income or income from another source. Second, customers must use the Lake Michigan debit card 10 times per month. Lake Michigan wants to make sure that you actively use their checking account; one way to complete this requirement is by putting the debit card in your wallet and using it for miscellaneous everyday purchases. The third requirement is that customers log in to their accounts four times per month. Finally, customers must sign up for online statements. Lake Michigan Credit Union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Consumers Credit Union
Consumers Credit Union offers a high yield checking account which can pay interest of up to 4.59% on balances of up to $20,000. There are several interest rate tiers for this account. Customers who make 12 debit card purchases per month, receive electronic statements, and access online banking and have one direct deposit per month get interest of 3.09% on balances of up to $10,000.
Customers can increase their interest rate to 3.59% and the balance covered to $15,000 by opening a Consumers Credit Union Visa card and charging $500 per month to it. Customers can access the highest tier of interest, 4.59% on balances of up to $20,000 by charging $1000 per month to the credit union’s Visa card. Its best not to wait until the end of the month before making charges to meet requirements. Charges must fully clear the account within the target month to be considered. Consumers Credit Union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
With interest rates so low, it is difficult for savers to get a decent return on their money. Fortunately, high-yield checking accounts give motivated savers a way of making over 4% interest on tens of thousands of dollars. The interest rates and terms described here are subject to change. In addition to a new checking account, consider a high interest rate savings account or a certificate of deposit.