Savings accounts used to be lousy ways to make money from your money. But that’s when they consisted mostly of passbook-type accounts that your grandmother held. And while there are places where you might earn higher returns, savings accounts can now be part of the mix. Thanks mostly to the popularity of online savings accounts and the higher yields and bonuses they offer, it’s possible to make some money with a savings account.
Seek out high-interest savings accounts. All accounts are required to disclose their rates, so comparing them won’t be hard. You may find that the accounts with the potential to make you the most money are online. Look specifically for accounts described as high-yield accounts. These are savings accounts with ultra-competitive rates.
Look for an account that offers a bonus for opening the account. Some high-interest savings account will offer a one-time bonus for opening the account, which is a great way to boost your earnings. Some will even allow you to earn additional bonuses for referring others -- even another family member, like your spouse or partner. These offers often have conditions, like opening the account with a certain dollar amount, arranging for a regular direct deposit to the account, or keeping the account open for a certain period of time. Compare the various offers to see which one will put the most money in your pocket.
Open the account. This process will vary depending on the account you chose, but you will probably find yourself required to do this online. And that’s good news for most of you. According the American Bankers Association, more bank customers prefer Internet banking over any other method, and the numbers are rising. But be prepared when you sit down to log on. To open a savings account online, you will need basic information like your Social Security number and the routing number and account number for the bank account from which your initial funds are being transferred.
Fund the account in a way that works with your financial goals. The more money you can funnel into a high-interest savings account, the more money you will make from it. But make sure that the amount of money you’re putting into the account is consistent with your plans for that money. A savings account is a great place to put money that you may need to get at quickly, such as an emergency fund. It’s also a great place to save for purchases that you will be making within the next year, such as a car or house.
Julie Mayfield began her freelance writing career in 2006 and has written extensively for eHow. She is also the Business and Entrepreneurs Feature Writer at Xomba.com. Julie has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Kansas.