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High-Yield Savings: Could You Get More Out of Your Savings Account?

High-Yield Savings vs regular savings accounts

In today's fast-paced world, managing your finances wisely is crucial, and one key aspect of financial planning is optimizing your savings. While having a savings account is a great start, unlocking the full potential of your hard-earned money may also involve exploring high-yield savings account options. In this guide, we'll delve into the ins and outs of high-yield savings to help you make a more informed decision when considering this savings strategy.


What Is a Yield on a Savings Account

In finance, “yield” means a rate you earn on an investment you’ve made — essentially the opposite of you paying interest to an institution for them loaning you money. When you deposit money into a savings account, the bank pays you a small percentage over time as a reward for letting them use your funds while you keep them saved at that institution. This percentage is called the yield. The higher the Annual Percentage Yield (APY), the more money you can earn over time while your funds are deposited there. It's like a little bonus that adds up and helps your savings grow!


So What Does High-Yield Mean?

A high-yield savings account is like a regular savings account, but with some key differences: it offers a higher interest rate on the money you deposit compared to a standard savings account, as long as you meet certain requirements. In simpler terms, when you keep your money in this type of account, it’s possible to earn more interest over time as compared to a regular savings account. People often use high-yield savings accounts to set aside money for future goals, emergencies, or other planned expenses for which they won’t need money right away.

For those who qualify, high-yield savings accounts can offer higher returns than standard savings accounts while at the same time usually exposing your money to less risk than other investment options. Remember, though: any kind of investing involves risk, even in a savings account.


How Do I Qualify for a High-Yield Savings Account?

To qualify for a high-yield savings account, individuals typically need to meet certain criteria set by the financial institution providing the account. 

These criteria usually include depositing a minimum amount of money to open the account, maintaining a minimum balance, and/or meeting specific deposit requirements. Additionally, some high-yield savings accounts may have age restrictions, requiring the account holder to be a certain age, which could vary depending on the financial institution. If you’d like to learn more about available high-yield savings options, we’ve included a few resources below:


It's important to note that the specific qualifications may vary from one bank to another, so it's a good idea to carefully review the terms and conditions of the account they are interested in and make sure they suit your individual needs.


What Are the Risks with High-Yield Savings Accounts?

A key to understanding most investments is to remember that opportunities with higher potential for return typically involve much higher risk, as well. Lower-risk options typically won’t give you as much of a return on your investment.

In the case of higher-yield savings accounts, the qualifications and requirements we mentioned above are used to help mitigate the additional risk to the financial institution and to ensure that the institution itself is able to benefit from higher balances in your account that will help outweigh their costs when it comes to paying you a higher rate of yield. This means that, for the most part, the risk to you as an investor in a high-yield savings account can be somewhat similar to those of regular savings accounts. 

In general, anyone looking into high-yield savings accounts should be aware of the following:

  • Interest rates often fluctuate. Most high-yield saving accounts involve variable rates of yield, which means that the rate of return on your investment will vary based on market behavior. Ups and downs may benefit you or bring your rate down closer to what you’d expect from a regular savings account, so you’ll need to be prepared to ride out those fluctuations as appropriate for your financial picture.

  • Minimum balance requirements must be met and maintained in order to earn the higher yield, in many cases. This means you’ll be limited on how much you can withdraw.

  • Number of withdrawals may be limited. Many high-yield accounts encourage investors to keep as much money in their accounts as possible at all times, and to do so they discourage money movement out of the account.

And of course, while savings accounts with banks and credit unions that are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Association (NCUA) insured are able to provide loss protection for your deposits up to a certain maximum amount, if you plan to keep more money in these accounts than will be insured, you’ll need to be aware that the amount above FDIC or NCUA insurance allowances will be at risk if something catastrophic happens to the bank and its ability to produce the funds in your account upon your request.


The Bottom Line On High-yield Savings

High-yield savings accounts can present an excellent opportunity for qualifying individuals looking to optimize their savings strategy. By leveraging higher interest rates it’s possible to watch your money grow more quickly, which can bring you closer to your financial goals as long as the potential risks are considered and planned for. If you’d like to explore high-yield savings options but have questions about how this type of account may fit into your financial picture and goals, we’d love to help!

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