Maximize Your Savings
Published: March 23, 2023
You work hard for your money, but are you putting your money to work for you? Whether you’re building your emergency fund, saving for a big purchase, or getting money together to invest, using the right type of insured savings account can help grow your hard-earned money.
Here we’ll show you what to look for in a savings account as well as the differences between a regular savings account, money market accounts and share certificates.
Benefits of Saving with a Credit Union vs. a Bank
Depositing your money with a credit union is similar to depositing with a bank with one big exception – credit unions typically offer better interest rates than banks. Since credit unions are owned by their members and banks must create a profit for their investors, credit unions can pass those savings back to their members in the form of lower fees and better rates. You’ll earn more for your money going the credit union route.
Much like with a bank, your savings with a credit union are protected. Credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for up to $250,000 per depositor.
View our personal savings options.
3 Types of Savings Accounts
Traditional Savings / “Share” Savings
A basic savings account allows you to deposit and withdraw money at any time. You earn interest on a traditional savings account (commonly called Share Savings accounts with credit unions) only if you keep at least the minimum required amount in the account. If your balance is lower, some banks don’t pay interest and others may charge a fee for holding your money.
Keeping your money in a traditional savings account ensures you’ll earn more than if your money was in a checking account or no account at all, but interest rates on a regular savings account are likely to be the lowest the bank offers.
Traditional savings accounts are great for jump-starting your savings plans or building your emergency fund.
Money Market Accounts
A money market account (MMA) is a savings account that typically pays higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. MMAs usually offer tiered rates, meaning you can earn an even higher rate on large balances or on part of your balance over a certain level.
You’ll likely see a higher minimum required deposit than with a regular savings account. So, if you already have a large amount of money to move over, like for a down payment on a house , that would be a good opportunity to open a money market account. If your account falls below the minimum requirement, you might see some substantial service fees, forfeit your interest, or both.
A share certificate – similar to a certificate of deposit (CD) at a traditional bank - are high-end savings accounts. These will generally pay higher interest rates but come with different regulations. You’ll have a much higher minimum deposit requirement, and you won’t have the quick access to your funds that you would have with a regular savings or money market account.
When you open a share certificate you agree to commit your money for a specific term or period of time. If you withdraw money from the share certificate before it matures when the term ends, you’ll lose some or all the interest you would’ve earned.
Terms can range from three months to five years. The longer the term, the slightly higher the interest rate you may earn. When the share deposit matures, you can roll over the money into another share certificate, transfer your money to a different account or have the credit union send you a check.
Choose the Savings Account That Fits Your Needs
Keeping your money in a savings account helps your funds grow over time. Maximize your savings by opening a regular savings account with a low minimum deposit, a money market account with higher interest, or a share certificate that locks your funds for a specific time but yields the highest return – whichever fits your needs.
Ready to watch your money grow? Open a OneAZ savings account today!
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APR = Annual Percentage Rate