2011 High-Yield Checking Survey
High-yield checking
5 low-risk ways to earn higher interest

2011 High-Yield Checking Survey » 5 low-risk ways to earn higher interest

Become a rate-chaser
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Become a rate-chaser

If you have cash to park in a bank, be a rate-chaser these days. You don't need to have a jumbo account to earn higher interest anymore.

Even just switching savings accounts can tack a full percentage point onto your earnings, says Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. "That's an easy way to boost return," he says.

But there are other low-risk instruments you can tap, including rewards checking, low-penalty certificates of deposit and bank incentives.

It can take some scouting. Big banks usually don't offer big rates these days. "Sometimes you can get better deals at community banks and credit unions," says Ken Tumin, a financial blogger who writes about deposit accounts. For example, two-thirds of the banks offering rewards checking are community-based, he says.

One word of caution: Don't choose a higher rate over safety. Make sure your money is insured, Tumin says. Banks are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and most credit unions by the National Credit Union Administration.

Here's the lowdown on some low-risk ways to boost your rates.




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