Why 69% of Americans Are Missing Out on Free Money

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Asier Romero / Shutterstock.com

Few financial mistakes are worse than leaving free money on the table. Yet, millions of us apparently are doing just that.

Bankrate.com recently surveyed 60 federally insured savings accounts and money market accounts and discovered that 27% of them pay a yield of at least 2%.

Even better, these accounts are all available nationwide, have no monthly fee, and require no minimum deposit or minimum balance.

Unfortunately, though, 69% of Americans remain stuck with accounts that pay less than 2% — and 24% of those savers do not earn any interest at all.

That is a shame, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. He explains:

“It doesn’t matter how little you’ve saved or where you live, you can and should be earning a competitive return on your savings.”

Bankrate says just 14% of people earn more than 2% on their savings. So, for millions of American savers, opportunity awaits.

How to earn a better return

Money Talks News managing editor Karla Bowsher and her husband once were among the legions of savers not earning as much as on their savings as they could or should.

So — as she explains in “How I Boosted My Savings Account Rate by 413 Percent” — Bowsher did the sensible thing and looked for a better rate:

“We moved our savings account from a major national bank that was giving us an annual percentage yield (APY) of about 0.3 percent, to an online bank that was offering an APY of about 1 percent at that time. So, right there we more than tripled our rate of return.”

Several years — and Federal Reserve rate hikes — later, the same online savings account now earns 2.2%, Bowsher says.

You also can find a savings account that will make you richer. If you use a free online resource like Money Talks News’ account search tool, you can spare yourself having to comparison shop

Right now, you will find companies such as Citi, Goldman Sachs and Capital One that are all paying at least 2% on savings accounts or money market accounts. Also check out CIT Bank, which offers one of the highest rates — 2.4%.

Once you find an account you like, make the switch. The process is easy, and we offer tips in “How to Switch Banks in 5 Steps.”

Have you looked for a better savings account rate? Share your experience — and what you learned — in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.