Right now putting money in a bank (or stashing it under your mattress) has regained popularity because of the instability of the stock market. Since I’m sure we are all in agreement that a bank makes more sense than a mattress, let’s talk about what’s out there.
Every bank has different options and the important thing to do is compare interest rates and types of accounts offered. It is very important to read the small print under the fantastic offer. For example , one bank was offering a very high interest rate for a checking account but it required using a debit card a minimum of 5 times per month and banking online. If that doesn’t fit your lifestyle….then it’s not a great deal for you.
Play private detective and check out the bank that is offering an unbelievable interest rate on a Certificate Of Deposit. First make sure that your money is Federally Insured (it will usually state it in the ad but ask for proof) and then find out how long they have been in business and whether or not they have a good reputation. All that can be easily researched online. If the offer is too good to be true…there is usually a catch or two.
Once you have found a bank to deposit your money with continue to research the competition. Let’s say you put your money into a money market account with a decent interest rate and you see that the bank down the road is running a legitimate special with better interest rates. Call your bank and ask them to match it. Be prepared with the information and offer to fax it to them if necessary. Understand that once banks have your money they are not going to call you up and offer you more interest.
No matter what your financial status is…Be in control of your money.