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4 Ways to Earn More Interest on Your Money

Reap a higher return by stashing your cash in a high-yield savings or checking account, a CD ladder, or a credit union.
May 13, 2019
Banking, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
4 Ways to Earn More Interest on Your Money
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Move your money into a high-yield interest bearing account, and you could earn $100 or more in a year than you would with low rate options. Here is how you can earn more interest and grow your money faster.

1. Switch to a high-interest online savings account

Online banks have no branches, but they generally have lower fees and higher interest rates. Switching a portion of your savings balance to an online bank with high yields will line your pocket with some extra cash. For example, an account that earns 2% interest and has a $5,000 balance will earn about $100 after a year, compared to only $5 for an account with a 0.10% APY.

Compare three online savings options below, or see our list of the best high yield online savings accounts.


NerdWallet bank rating:



NerdWallet bank rating:




NerdWallet bank rating:



APY

2.00%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Excellent CD options



APY

2.15%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Large ATM network



APY

1.90%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Solid CD options



2. Sign up for a high-yield checking account

Some checking accounts have interest rates that are on par with quality savings accounts. Be aware that interest-bearing checking accounts often have hoops to jump through to qualify for the interest, such as linking direct deposit or using a debit card a certain number of times. Avoid accounts with monthly fees so they don’t cut into your earnings.

» Ready to browse some options? See interest-bearing checking accounts

3. Build a CD ladder 

With a “CD ladder,” you divide up your money and put it into several CDs with different term lengths. That way you have greater access to your money but still get the highest CD rates.

» Ready to explore? Here are the highest CD rates of the month

For example, rather than put $10,000 into a one-year CD that you renew every year, you could divide it into five investments of $2,000. You’d then open a one-year CD, a two-year CD, a three-year CD, and so on. After a year, when your first CD matures, you can put that first $2,000 into a new five-year certificate. As each CD matures each year, you’ll repeat the process.

Since five-year CDs have higher APYs, you’ll get good rates, while still keeping your cash accessible.

» Need more detail? Read our explanation on CD ladders

4. Join a credit union

Credit unions often have slightly higher average rates on interest bearing accounts than traditional banks. According to the National Credit Union Administration, credit unions were paying an average of 2.42% on five-year CDs as of March 2019, compared with 1.92% at banks. Contact your local credit union for rates, or browse our list of best credit unions.

Regardless of whether interest rates stay relatively flat or slowly rise, it’s always a good idea to shop around for accounts with the highest interest rates.

Opening a high-yield savings account is a good way to boost your balance. Rates may not be as high as you would prefer — a 5% interest savings account, for example, is unlikely — but you can still grow your money in an interest-bearing account that earns much more than average.

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