Are you looking for a place to park your savings that will earn a respectable rate of interest, such as 6 or 7 percent? You can stop looking. Nothing close to that exists in this economy. Readily available are savings accounts with 0.5 annual percentage rates or less. And somewhere between dismal and “no way, no how” are a precious few organizations that are offering higher rates without a lot of restrictions, conditions or fees.
ä Wesleyan Investment Foundation. These days, it’s almost impossible to find any financial institution willing to pay 2.5 percent interest on a regular savings account. But that’s exactly what Wesleyan Investment Foundation is offering publicly: rates that are much higher than the best rates offered by banks or credit unions in any kind of savings or money market account. The foundation charges no fees and has no minimum balance requirement, and it takes only $25 to open an account. When an account holder needs to make a withdrawal, money transfers in one day, not three or four, which is common with online savings banks.
Understand that the foundation is not a bank. Accounts are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Wesleyan Investment Foundation is an Indiana-based nonprofit investment corporation. However, it is good to note that the foundation has a capital equity reserve of 17 percent, which is stronger than 99 percent of all banks and approximately double the amount required by the FDIC. Since its inception in 1959, the foundation has honored every depositor’s request for a withdrawal.
The decision for where you park your savings is one you must make for yourself, but know that this humble columnist has the greatest of trust and respect for the Wesleyan Investment Foundation and recommends this fine organization highly. To learn more about the foundation and to open an account online, go to http://www.WIFonline.com.
• American Express Bank. Offering savings accounts with no minimum balance or maintenance requirement and no monthly fees, American Express Bank, fully FDIC-insured, pays a 1.5 annual percentage yield on savings accounts. That’s the best rate available at this time for basic savings accounts in any FDIC-insured bank. Rates increase slightly for accounts with minimum balances of $5,000 or more. Additional information is available at http://www.PersonalSavings.AmericanExpress.com.
• Capital One online banking. If you have at least $2,500 to open a savings account, you can get a 1.55 annual percentage yield at this online bank. Boost your balance to $15,000 or use a Capital One credit card at least once a month and you’ll get a bonus that pushes that rate to 1.7 APY. Learn more about InterestPlus Online Savings at http://www.CapitalOne.com.
• Credit unions. Historically, credit unions pay higher rates on savings accounts than banks. This, of course, will vary greatly from one credit union to another, but it may be worth your efforts to check what credit unions are available to you in your area. For example, Wings Financial Credit Union in Apple Valley, Minn., is offering savings accounts at 1.76 APY to its members.