What the Fed Rate Announcement Means for Savings Accounts

With no change to the federal funds rate — the target range remains between 5.25% and 5.50% — savers are unlikely to see large rate swings, but small rate changes in consumer accounts are still possible.
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When is the next Fed meeting?

The Federal Open Market Committee's next meeting is July 30-31, 2024. This is the next scheduled time that the FOMC could modify the federal funds rate.

Federal Reserve officials completed a two-day meeting on June 12 and announced there would be no increase to the federal funds rate

Federal Reserve. Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement. Accessed Jun 12, 2024.
. This is the seventh consecutive pause announced by the Fed since September 2023. The Fed’s decision to keep rates steady is markedly different from the first part of last year, when there were four rate increases between February and July 2023. Those bumps followed seven consecutive rate increases in 2022.

With no rate change this time around — the target range remains between 5.25% and 5.50% — savers are unlikely to see large rate swings. But small rate changes in consumer accounts are still possible.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Today’s high savings rates may not last forever. Take advantage of them while you can with a federally insured high-yield savings account.

Will savings rates go up?

In a higher rate environment, banks raise annual percentage yields on savings accounts to attract new customers. This puts competitive pressure on other institutions to increase their rates. If one bank starts, others are likely to follow. Without a federal funds rate increase, banks may not make big APY moves. But even with today’s pause, they could still adjust yields slightly to get an edge on the competition, so it’s possible your savings rate could increase. It’s also possible that, with the rate stuck at this level, you may see some drops.

Will savings rates go down?

With no federal funds rate movement again, small rate decreases are also a possibility. In fact, between March and May, a number of high-yield savings accounts had small APY dips. The yields are still much higher than average, but more rate slips could still occur.

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What is the federal funds rate?

The federal funds rate, or the “Fed rate,” is the interest rate that banks charge each other to borrow money overnight. According to the Federal Reserve, institutions borrow money and lend from their reserves after hours in order to meet regulatory requirements and to be ready to manage market conditions.

The funds rate is set by the Federal Open Market Committee, which the Federal Reserve uses to help adjust monetary policy based on economic conditions.

For example, raising rates can help ease inflation: A higher federal funds rate generally leads to higher rates for loans or credit cards.

This means households may be less willing to borrow money, which could lead to less spending and result in lower prices and less inflation.

Higher federal funds rates also have implications for those who invest in loans and loan-backed securities, such as bonds. In an elevated rate environment like the one we’ve been in for the last year or so, bonds that were purchased previously, when rates were lower, tend to have less value than newer bonds that pay more interest. If you have a portfolio of lower-interest bonds and decide to sell them before maturity (say, you need extra cash to pay bills), you’d likely have to sell them at a loss.

Elevated interest rates and bank failures

The same interest rate risk can also apply to banks that hold bonds as part of their portfolios. On March 8, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, announced that it sold a large portion of its bonds at a loss of $1.8 billion. Reportedly, the bank’s announcement led to a sense of panic that caused clients to pull their deposits out of the bank (what’s also called a bank run), ultimately leading to SVB’s collapse.

Since SVB’s failure, more banks have collapsed. Two notable failures are Signature Bank, based in New York, and San-Francisco-based First Republic Bank. Those financial institutions also reportedly faced problems competing in a higher-rate environment, with subsequent substantial withdrawals from customers.

Does the Fed rate affect FDIC insurance?

The federal funds rate is a separate subject from federal insurance, which allows bank customers to access their deposits in the event of a bank failure. Some accounts at banks, such as savings accounts, are typically federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category (joint owners or a single owner, for example), per insured bank. If a bank fails, depositors can still access their money, up to the insured amounts.

If earning higher rates in your savings account means your balance will go above federal insurance limits, consider one of these strategies for protecting your money if you’re banking over $250,000. » Want to dig deeper? Read more about FDIC insurance at banks and NCUA insurance at credit unions

Take advantage by choosing a high-yield account

Any time there’s a Fed rate announcement, it’s a good idea to check the interest rate on your savings accounts and shop around to see if there are better options. Not every bank will follow others in lifting its rates. Some consistently offer a low APY of around 0.01%, and the national average savings account rate is only 0.45%, according to the FDIC.

But online savings accounts tend to offer better rates — many times higher than that average — because institutions who offer these accounts don't have to operate expensive brick-and-mortar branches and can pass the savings on to customers in the form of higher rates and low (or no) fees.

Do high-yield savings account rates change?

High-yield savings account rates are variable and can change at any time. This is true for accounts with any kind of rate — whether it's low or average or high. But the best savings accounts tend to offer consistently higher rates compared to their competition. A higher APY can make a visible contribution to your bank balance. Say you have $10,000 in a savings account that earns a low 0.01% APY, which is typical for large banks. After a year, that balance would earn only about a dollar in interest. But put that amount in a high-yield savings account that earns a 4% APY, and it would earn more than $400 after a year. That interest would also earn interest over time, a feature known as compound interest. High-yield savings accounts may not make you rich, but you’ll automatically earn much more than you would with a lower rate option.

» Want to learn more about how APY changes are measured? Read our primer on basis points

Use a savings calculator to determine what your bank balance can be with different APYs and see how your money could grow.

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See how APYs have moved at high-yield accounts versus regular accounts

July 2024

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Online institutions

Ally, Member FDIC.

4.20% APY.

4.20% APY.

4.20% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.35% APY.

4.35% APY.

4.35% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.00% APY.

3.85% APY.

3.75% APY.

3.75% APY.

3.40% APY.

3.40% APY.

3.30% APY.

3.30% APY.

3.00% APY.

2.35% APY.

1.85% APY.

1.85% APY.

1.25% APY.

1.00% APY.

0.60% APY.

CIT Bank, Member FDIC.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

5.05% APY.

4.95% APY.

4.85% APY.

4.75% APY.

4.50% APY.

4.05% APY.

4.05% APY.

4.05% APY.

3.85% APY.

3.60% APY.

3.00% APY.

2.10% APY.

2.10% APY.

1.90% APY.

1.20% APY.

0.90% APY.

LendingClub, Member FDIC.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

5.00% APY.

4.65% APY.

4.65% APY.

4.50% APY.

4.50% APY.

4.50% APY.

4.50% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.25% APY.

4.00% APY.

4.00% APY.

4.00% APY.

3.60% APY.

3.25% APY.

3.12% APY.

2.07% APY.

2.07% APY.

2.07% APY.

1.26% APY.

0.85% APY.

National brick-and-mortar banks

Bank of America, Member FDIC.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

Chase Bank, Member FDIC.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

0.01% APY.

With inflation, why put money in any savings account?

Inflation erodes spending power, since it means goods and services are more expensive than they were previously. So when the inflation rate is considerably higher than the average national savings account rate — as it has been for more than two years — it may seem that parking money in a savings account isn’t beneficial.

But the larger reason for saving cash is to have easy access to money in case you need it quickly, say, for an unexpected car repair expense. Setting aside funds for financial emergencies can help prevent you from going into debt, which can be costly, especially when interest rates rise.

Having at least three to six months’ worth of expenses tucked away in an emergency savings fund is ideal, but anything you can put away would help, and it adds up. For example, if you put $10 a week into savings and don’t have to dip into the funds, it’ll add up to more than $500 after a year. And having that money earn interest is a bonus way to have your dollars work for you.

If you have a fully funded emergency savings account, and you have extra cash that you don’t need to access right away, it may be worth looking at other short-term options to grow your money. Some certificates of deposit, for example, earn a better yield than even the best savings accounts. This is the case even though many of the best CD rates today are a bit lower than they were at the beginning of the year. With a CD, you will need to leave the money parked in the account for a predetermined time period — a year or more, for example. For longer-term goals, such as retirement, it makes sense to look into investing.

The federal funds rate is worth paying attention to. In a high rate environment, loans are generally more costly, but savings accounts can earn higher yields. For those who have little or no debt and can contribute to savings, this environment could be a financial opportunity.

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