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Do you have a pile of cash just sitting in your checking account? Your money could be making you money — a few hundred bucks or more annually –– if you put it in a high-yield checking account.
Bankrate recently canvassed 56 federally insured banks and credit unions across the United States that offer high-yield checking accounts. Although the average yield was 1.65 percent, Bankrate did find 21 accounts where your money will earn 2 percent or more.
Though 1.65 percent interest may not sound like a very big payoff, it’s a sizable step up from the measly 0.11 percent yield offered on many average money market accounts these days.
“The reason consumers look to high-yield checking accounts are the yields they pay. Even in this low rate environment, consumers can generate hundreds of dollars in interest earnings per year with these accounts,” Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride explained in a press release.
Although switching to a high-yield checking account may seem like a no-brainer, you need to educate yourself on the limitations and requirements of such accounts before you sign up.
For example, many accounts aren’t available nationwide. And high-yield checking accounts typically have balance caps and require a minimum number of debit card transactions per month. Bankrate said many accounts also require you to receive your checking statements electronically, set up a direct deposit to go into the account and sign up for online bill pay.
“Failing to meet the requirements in a given month will trigger a much lower default interest rate,” Bankrate explains. “The average default rate is only 0.06 percent, so it’s important to be mindful that account terms are met.”
Click here to see how different financial institutions’ high-yield checking accounts stack up. The Bankrate table includes the accounts’ interest rates, restrictions and requirements.
Do you have a high-yield checking account? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.