Savings Rate Index – January 2013 - NerdWallet
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Savings Rate Index – January 2013

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The national average savings rate has once again dipped slightly, a disappointing fact for those resolving to save more money in 2013. Fortunately, the top online banks were not among those cutting their savings yields this month, so savers may still turn to Ally or others for shelter in this poor interest rate environment. Credit unions also fare better than banks on average, but not quite as much as we would hope.

National Average: 0.14% APY

  • Banks: 0.12% APY (-0.01%)
  • Credit Unions: 0.16% APY (-0.01%)
  • Online Banks: 0.52% APY

Big Banks

The biggest national banks are all offering yields of just 0.01% on a basic savings account. Those who have any intention of earning interest on their deposits should instead consider a credit union, community bank or online savings account. As an alternative, savers who can part with their money for long periods at a time might find CDs to be a better option.

Online Banks

Savings accounts at online banks have higher yields than many short-term CDs, making them a viable option for anyone who wants to earn a respectable rate without forfeiting too much liquidity. There have been no rate cuts at the top online banks since our last index, but we have added the US branch of British bank Barclays to our index. They currently offer an online savings account topping out at 1.00% APY.

Credit Unions

Credit union savings accounts can often outperform other those available at other types of institutions. The overall average CU savings yield declined just a bit this month, but the top accounts remain highly competitive. We’ve listed some of the top CU accounts below Remember that credit unions have eligibility restrictions, so make sure you meet the requirements to join.

Savings image via shutterstock