Should You Bother Looking for a Better Savings Account When Interest Rates Are So Low?

The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool

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The other day, I looked at my annual savings account statement and sighed at the total amount of interest I earned in 2021 (spoiler alert: it wasn't a lot). The truth is these days, savings accounts aren't paying much interest at all. And while interest rates could rise in 2022 as an indirect reaction to the Federal Reserve raising its rates, the reality is they may still not end up being much to write home about.

If you're not thrilled with your current savings account, you may be wondering if you should bother spending the time to find a better one. After all, even if you do manage to get a higher interest rate on your savings, that bump will most likely be minimal given the rates available right now.

But remember, a higher interest rate on your savings is only one potential perk you might reap if you switch from one bank to another . It could pay to look for a different savings account to benefit from these things.

1. ATM access

Some savings accounts offer better access to your money than others. If you tend to need cash a lot, finding a savings account with better ATM access could make your life easier. It could also save you money, because if you commonly access cash via out-of-network ATMs, you could end up losing a lot of money to fees.

2. No maintenance fees

Many savings accounts don't charge a monthly maintenance fee, but some do, or they charge one if your balance falls below a certain level. If you're paying a maintenance fee, it makes sense to try to find a bank that won't charge you one.

3. A great mobile app and online experience

Even if your savings account is at a brick-and-mortar bank, you probably have online access to your account. But if your bank's website isn't easy to navigate or crashes often, that's reason enough to consider making a switch. Along these lines, if your bank's mobile app leaves much to be desired, you may want to move your money over to a bank with a more user-friendly app.

4. Great customer service

Whether you do your banking online or in person, you deserve a great experience. If you're not happy with the service you get from your bank, whether due to long wait times, unhelpful customer service representatives, or a combination of the two, then it may be time to find a new place for your money.

It's true savings accounts today aren't paying much interest across the board. And so it may not be worth it to spend a lot of time searching for a higher interest rate that may, in fact, only leave you with an extra $5 or $10 this year. That said, there are other benefits to look at outside of the interest rate on your savings. It could pay to find a bank that offers a better experience on a whole.

A safe haven for your cash

In uncertain times, it’s a savvy move to ensure your money is safe. But many Americans are missing an opportunity to safeguard their money and are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account.

You can rest in peace putting your money into one of the best online savings accounts where your money is FDIC insured. Best yet, The Ascent’s top online savings accounts picks dish out a whopping 8x more interest than the national average.

Click here to instantly access our fully-vetted top picks .

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