Money in the Bank

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With the economy still struggling to reach a good pace, knowing where to put money has become a greater priority than ever. Knowing which the best banks are will help you put your money in a safe place and help it earn a bit as well.

A lot of financial institutions have folded or taken a hit due to the financial crisis. Recovery however should be on the way as interest rates for loans will be lower as banks scramble to recover their performance and encourage more people to borrow and invest.

For your choice of banks to join, you should keep in mind that your savings account is a means of steady and safe earnings. It must be generally risk free, so while it may not earn much, you can be sure that even in several years to come it will be safe.

The advent of online banking has changed the game for many institutions. Several new banks have focused solely on their online existence while even traditional banks have created online savings options. The list below of top financial companies shows the different choices for banks to join and a short description of each one.   

The Best Online Banks to Join

6. CIT Bank

CIT Bank LogoCredit:

CIT Bank is an established bank with an online savings division. CIT's High Yield Savings account earns an interest rate for savings at 0.9%. One of their great features is how they offer many free elements such as free maintence, free incoming transfers, free mail checks.  Even better you can start your account with a minimum of $100.  They have maintained a great standing reputation with consumers in the industry. I am claiming this to be the number 6 pick for one of the best banks in the online world.

5. Discover Bank

Discover Bank LogoCredit: Discover

As we have all known Discover as a credit card company, they now also offer online banking. Discover has received many great reviews as its savings rates are competitive from 0.8% to 0.9%, depending on the deposit.  There areis no monthly minimum which is great for any new accounts, or any maintenance fees; however, it does have a $500 opening deposit.  Although, to receive great returns for a savings account, having to put in an opening deposit this size is to your benefit.  

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4. ING Direct

ING Direct LogoCredit: Direct – a devision of Capital One bank is a pioneer in online banking. ING direct offers a high interest Orange savings account with a 0.75% interest. As they have been established in the online banking world means they are very easy to work with.  They focus on "No Fees, No Minimums, Nothing Stand in your way".  Its a great savings for any age.  They also have a Kids Savings Account that can help bring your child into the later years with a solid financial education.  

3. Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae Bank Savings AccountCredit: Sallie Mae BankSallie Mae is surprisingly a top contender among online banks.  In addition to them being a student loan outfit, they are offering a strong option for anyone wanting to get a High Yield Savings Account.  Currently they have a 0.85% rate on their savings account with many benefits that include no minimum balance and no monthly fees.

2. Barclays Bank of Delaware

Barclays Bank LogoCredit: Barclay BankBarclay Bank of Delaware offers a powerful 1.0% for their High Yield Savings Account.  In addition there are no minimum fees for any high yield savings account, no minimum for first time deposits and no maintenance fees.  A very attractive financial company that is catching eyes across the board for best financial companies.

1. Ally Bank

Ally Online BankCredit: Ally Bank is the number one pick for you to join.  It has been quoted "Best Online Bank" two years in a row.  Ally's online savings bank that received superb ratings from customers. Its interest rates for savings near 1% per year, and the certificate of deposit rates are even better. Perhaps one of the best banks to join now and hold on to.  Between Barclay and Ally, the main difference that separates them is the customer service and online reviews received for overall service performance.

It can be justified that based on this list, online banks are the best banks to join. Some people however are still more comfortable with the traditional type of banks where they can personally speak and interact with managers and tellers. The choice of banks to join will still remain with the customer in the end. But to help you choose the best banks to join, you can read the next section to know what makes a good bank to join.

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What Makes A Good Bank to Join!

  • Interest Rate for Savings – interest rates for savings generally tend to be lower than other forms of investment, but remain a good option for putting away money for ready use. Most offline banks will offer much less than 1% while online banks have it steady at around 1%. The best banks for you in this case will definitely be the one that will perform higher in terms of interest.
  • Greater Rate of Returns – rate of return on equity are a way of measuring bank performance and stability. Rates of return on equity show how much investors can make out of a bank. It doesn’t mean however that a high rate is automatically good. Higher rates will usually mean higher risks in investments. A stable and steady rate and performance is usually desired for savings banks.
  • FDIC insured – the FDIC is a federal insurance arm which covers all member banks for up to $250,000 per depositor. Make sure the bank has this so your deposit is protected from the banks that go out of business. For your decision of banks to join, this factor is a definite must.
  • Online vs. Offline Savings – online banks are virtual banks which do not work in the traditional buildings that “offline” banks do. Basically, an online bank manages its money wirelessly. This creates less overhead as they don’t need to maintain large spaces, and they can outsource a lot of other operations such as customer services. Online banks will usually generate more yield on savings accounts.

Although having a local bank account or a traditional bank account has its perks if you’d still like to use a local ATM service though. Otherwise when you need money from an online bank, you can still receive a debit card for that bank and use an ATM; although you may have to pay for a ATM transaction fee.  In the end, you want your money to work for you.