Thanks to policies by the Federal Reserve, savings account interest rates are WOEFULLY light. The average saving interest rate is around 0.1%. That is pretty pathetic as an investment return. That said, the purpose of a savings account is NOT for investment purposes!
The purpose of a savings account is for liquidity and capital preservation purposes. It’s inappropriate to compare a savings interest rate return to a stock, bond, structured note, or even a CD. The appropriate comparison to a savings account is another savings account or a checking account.
I’ve currently got about $80,000 in a savings account yielding just 0.2% because I’ve got property taxes to pay, trips to take, and a reserve just in case the stock markets get very ugly so I can invest. The problem is, I hate it when my money isn’t working for me.
It hit me how pathetic my 0.2% savings interest rate is after I noticed just a $197 interest return for the entire year with an average balance of $100,000. As a result, I’m moving my money to CIT Bank for 1.8% as of 2021!
CIT Bank currently offers around a 1.8% savings account interest rate. That’s 5X greater than my current savings account and 10X the national average. I’m not going to get rich off of a 1.8% return, but at least I’ll make over $1,800 in interest a year rather than just $200 with a $100,000 balance.
A CIT Bank account doesn’t require as many fees due to the lack of overhead given it is an online bank. There’s no branch to maintain, so the savings can be passed down to the account holder in the form of fewer fees and a higher interest rate. In fact, CIT Bank doesn’t charge any fees at depending on balance.
Even though this account is basically free to maintain, it still offers one of the most competitive interest rates currently available for comparable accounts.
Do know that the 1% APY is the “Preferred” rate, which you obtain by maintaining a balance of $25,000 or more. The standard rate on the CIT Bank savings account for balances under $25,000 is still 1.8% APY, or 30X the national average.
One of the things that tends to scare people away from online savings accounts is the fact that there’s no physical branch to visit. They wonder how it’s possible to make deposits without putting a check in the mail, or fear that withdrawing money when it’s urgently needed will take too long. While some online savings accounts are definitely less than convenient, the CIT Bank savings account makes transferring money very easy and fast.
By linking an existing checking account to the CIT Bank savings account, you can electronically transfer money in and out of the account whenever you want. The checking account doesn’t have to be a CIT Bank account either. After linking the checking account, call and request an activation of outbound transfer. I’ve got accounts open with multiple banks due to the $250,000 FDIC limit, hence access to cash is quite easy.
You also have the option of requesting a check be mailed to your home by calling. Outgoing wire transfers are also available and free for CIT Bank savings accounts with a balance of $25,000 or greater.
To build wealth, you’ve got to be persistent in looking for the best deals to earn you more and save you more. The internet makes finding the best rates easy. A 1% difference compounded over 30 years makes a huge difference to the amount of money you’ll end up with.
I’ve been sitting on $75,000 cash at 0.2% because I was just too lazy to move money away from my existing bank. Before the internet, it was a pain to move money. Now it just takes several clicks of a button. If someone were to ask me whether I’d like an extra $700 for 10 minutes of work, I would say hell yeah! Now that I’m no longer working, every basis points counts!
The key really is to take stock of all your cash during volatile times and optimize your cash for the best returns possible while you wait. We’re at the tail end of a 7-8 year bull run since 2009. Returns are much harder to come by.
Track Your Net Worth Easily For Free: In order to optimize your finances, you’ve first got to track your finances. I recommend signing up for Personal Capital’s free financial tools so you can track your net worth, analyze your investment portfolios for excessive fees, and run your financials through their amazing Retirement Planning Calculator. Those who come up with a financial plan build much greater wealth over the longer term than those who don’t!
Updated for 2021 and beyond.