Improving Your Bottom Line – Shopping Around for Better Bank Rates

Written by: Mike Valles

For many people today, being able to save as much money as possible is important. After all, there just isn’t any good reason to throw it away. It may surprise you, however, to know that many people are losing cash unnecessarily by settling for too little interest on their checking accounts. A little shopping around for better bank rates could easily resolve the problem and improve your bottom line.

Websites showing bank rates on checking accounts can easily be found online. One of them, Money-Rates.com, shows you  bank rates starting with the banks with the highest rates at the top, decreasing in rates as you move down the page. By seeing these numbers, you will be able to determine quickly whether or not your current checking account interest rate is higher or lower than the numbers shown on the charts.

Observe the Minimum Amounts

Before pulling your money out of your current checking account because of the better interest rate another bank offers, be sure to look at the terms. Currently, the best interest rate has a requirement of a $100,000 deposit and minimum balance of that much, too. If you drop below the minimum balance you lose the better interest rates. Other banks may have an interest rate almost as high, but they require a minimum balance of $25,000.

Consider Introductory Offers

A few banks have an Introductory Offer that may last for six months. This could give you another .25 percent interest during the length of the offer. Others may give you a gift of $50 or so just for opening a checking account with savings. Before you open the account, however, be sure that you understand how much money is needed to open the account with in order to get the offered interest rate. Some banks also require that you make a minimum number of debits with your card per month – or you lose the special interest rate.

Watch Out for Fees

It is not good enough to ensure that the interest rate that you obtain on your checking account is the best around. Many banks add various fees for the littlest services, meaning that you may actually be getting less interest than you think. It is not uncommon for banks to charge fees for using the ATM. Bankrate.com also mentions that you need to make sure that there are several locations in your area; otherwise, you may be using other banks’ ATM’s and having to pay a hefty fee to do so. Other charges may be added for overdrafts, low balances, inactivity, cashing checks, and more.

Minimize Money in Checking – Invest the Rest

According to the Wall Street Journal, it is recommended that you only keep as much money in your checking account as is needed for that month’s bills. By keeping the amount of cash low, it will enable you to put more cash into higher interest bearing accounts, such as CD’s or mutual funds.

Finding the best bank rates on checking accounts with savings by shopping around can add some serious money to your bottom line. Be sure to investigate all the details first, and then compare with other banks before making your decision.


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