Citizens Bank Review: CDs, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Citizens Bank
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Although Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation, it only got its start relatively recently, in 2005. Since then, it has become the largest bank in Rhode Island (where it’s headquartered) and opened over 1,200 local branches along the East Coast and in the Midwest.

We wanted to know: How do the deposit accounts at Citizens Bank stack up with the competition? What are the hidden “gotchas” and what do you need to know before opening an account?

The interest rates that Citizens Bank offers on its deposit accounts vary according to where you live. So, to make things simple, we’ll compare their rates across accounts in the 02903 zip code (Providence, R.I.) where its headquarters is located. To find out the rates in your area, click on the link “Specify Your Location” on their homepage.

All rates are current as of Jan. 2, 2018.

Citizens Bank CD Rates

Citizens Bank offers limited options for CDs and very low rates unless you also have an existing premium account with them.

 

12-Month Breakable CD

14-Month CD

48-Month CD

Standard APY

0.05%

0.10%

0.10%

APY with Platinum Checking

0.10%

1.15%

1.55%

APY with Platinum Plus Checking

0.20%

1.40%

1.70%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for the 14 and 48 month CDs and $10,000 for the 12 month CD
  • How interest is compounded: Interest is calculated based off of your daily balance, then tallied up and deposited into your account monthly.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: $50 plus whichever of the following two options is less:
        1. 180 days’ worth of interest on the withdrawn amount
        2. Half of the remaining interest you would have earned
  • Grace period: Your CD will automatically roll over to another CD with the same term. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw or add funds without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

12-Month Breakable CD

The bar for opening this CD is set very high: You’ll need to come to the table with at least $10,000. In return, you will earn interest, but at very low rates even if you qualify for a higher rate by also holding a platinum-level checking account.

One of the benefits of this account is that you’re allowed to make one full or partial withdrawal of your cash during its 12-month term without paying an early-withdrawal penalty. If you think you might need to withdraw the cash before the term ends, this may be a wise choice.

14-Month CD

This CD is much more accessible for people with smaller amounts of cash because it only requires one tenth of the money as the 12-month breakable CD. The rate for this CD is also a lot better — but only if you have an existing Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking Account.

48-Month CD

This CD is interesting. It’s also fairly accessible for people with smaller opening deposits. However, unless you have one of the Platinum checking accounts, there’s no real incentive to open a 48-month CD over a 14-month CD because the rates are exactly the same.

In fact, if these two CDs pay the same interest rate for non-Platinum checking account members, it’s probably better to stick with the 14-month CD because you’ll earn exactly the same interest rate and you’ll get more frequent access to your money if you need it.

How Citizens Bank CD rates compare

Citizens Bank clearly wants you to be a Platinum Checking Account member, and these CDs only make sense if you are one. The rates offered for Platinum Checking Account holders on their 14-month and 48-month CDs are actually slightly better than national averages.

Otherwise, if you’re just walking into this bank off the street (or logging in), pass this one up. You can earn much better CD rates elsewhere without the checking account requirements.

How to get a Citizens Bank CD

If you decide a Citizens Bank CD is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check, or a credit or debit card, but heads up: If you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Checking Account Options

The checking accounts at Citizens Bank offer few benefits in exchange for high fees and requirements — however, they may be useful if earning higher rates on another product is your endgame.

One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: None.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.99
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Citizens Bank will waive the fee if you’re a minor, or if you have at least one deposit into your account each statement period.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to seven per day).

Even though this is Citizens Bank’s most basic-level checking account, it isn’t one you can walk away from and leave on autopilot. You’ll need to make at least one deposit into the account each statement period in order to avoid the exorbitant $9.99 monthly fee.

Not only that, but it will cost you to use this account anyway — at least indirectly. Checks do not come free with this account. You’ll need to pay at least $9.99 for an order of checks if you want to, you know, write checks from your checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $25,000 across all of your Citizens Bank investment and deposit accounts.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is Citizens Bank’s lowest premium-level checking account. If you have this account, you can qualify for higher rates on CDs, savings accounts, and money market accounts, a 0.125% discount on a mortgage, and waived fees for things like paper statements or stop check orders. Plus, you’ll get free checks. You can also earn interest with this account, albeit at a very low level.

In return, Citizens Bank wants you to keep a fairly high amount of cash with them in deposit and investment accounts. Make sure you can commit to this so you don’t have to face the high $25 monthly fee.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking™

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,999

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts, plus one of the following two requirements: either deposit at least $5,000 per month into your account, or keep at least $10,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is basically the same account as the lower-level Citizens Bank Platinum Checking account with one extra bonus: a slightly higher, but still overall lackluster, interest rate.

In return for this higher interest rate you’ll need to jump through a few extra hoops (in addition to having at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts): keep an average of at least $10,000 in your checking account, or deposit at least $5,000 into your checking account each statement period.

How Citizens Bank checking accounts compare

Most checking accounts at large national banks set the bar fairly high to waive their outrageous monthly fees in return for low interest rates. Citizens Bank is no exception. Rather than using this account for its low interest rate, however, think outside the box: You actually can earn some decent rates on CDs if you hold one of the Platinum checking accounts.

If you can meet the requirements on these Platinum checking accounts, want to earn higher rates on CDs, and if Citizens Bank is convenient for you to work with, then this bank might make sense for you.

However, it’s still possible to find higher interest rates with fewer pesky requirements by opening a checking account with one of these online banks.

How to get a Citizens Bank checking account

If you decide a Citizens Bank Checking Account is right for you, good news: it only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Savings Account Options

Citizens Bank does offer savings accounts with some neat features, but they’re still plagued with low interest rates and potentially high fees.

GoalTrack Savings®

GoalTrack Savings is a savings reward program that you can enroll in with any savings account, except for the CollegeSaver and Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings accounts. If you enroll in this program, you have to make a pledge: I will save X dollars each month for X months.

If you reach your goal, Citizens Bank will reward you with a gift card to certain merchants such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Hyatt, or Pizza Hut. The amount of the gift card may be as follows:

Months

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$199

$200-$399

$400+

8-11

Discount at a merchant

$5

$5

$10

$20

12-17

$5

$5

$10

$20

$40

18-23

$5

$10

$20

$40

$75

24-35

$10

$20

$40

$75

$100

36+

$20

$40

$75

$100

$250

Green Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $4.99
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Fee is waived for the first four months of account opening. After that, the fee is waived if you keep an average of at least $200 in your account every day.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

Citizens Bank’s Green Savings account is their most basic savings account. It’s also their only savings account to charge a fee, which you can avoid as long as you keep a small amount of cash ($200) in this account.

That means that this account isn’t meant to ever be drained completely lest you face the pesky monthly fee. Make sure you take that into account — i.e., if you’re saving for a specific goal, you’ll need to bump up your savings target by $200 to leave enough in this account after you withdraw the cash.

Citizens Bank Platinum Savings™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account comes standard with Citizens Bank’s Platinum Checking account. Although this account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, the checking account does: $25, unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

The benefits of this savings account aren’t much greater than Green Savings, which you can open without a demanding checking account. Thus, we only recommend this account if you’re interested in the Platinum Checking account anyway.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,000

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This is Citizens Bank’s most premium-level savings account. It also comes standard with a Platinum Checking account, meaning that you’ll have to pay a $25 monthly fee for that account as well unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

In return, you get slightly higher savings account rates, as well as higher rates on things like CDs and money market accounts.

CollegeSaver®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 if your child is under 6 years old. $500 if your child is 6-12 years old.
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: If your child is under 6 years old, you’ll need to deposit $25 per month until his or her 18th birthday. If your child is between 6 to 12 years old, you’ll need to deposit $50 per month until his or her 18th birthday.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re looking to save up some extra cash for your kid’s college bill, the CollegeSaver account might be able to help. Be warned, though: it does have some steep requirements. You’ll have to commit to depositing at least $25 into the account ($50 if your child is between ages 6-12) every single month until their 18th birthday. If you can do this, you’ll get a nice bonus: When your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will throw an extra $1,000 into your savings account.

This is a nice idea, but unfortunately this account still doesn’t earn much interest — just 0.05% APY. If saving for your kid’s college is a priority, you may be better off investing that money in a tax-advantaged savings account such as a 529 plan or a Coverdell account.

Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: $100
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re saving for a house, you might want to consider the Citizens Bank HomeBuyer program. If you can commit to saving $100 per month for 36 months straight, you can get a $1,000 credit toward the closing costs on a Citizens Bank mortgage (assuming you qualify). You also get a free pass to skip one monthly deposit per year without losing eligibility for the $1,000 credit.

If you do earn the credit, be prepared to use it fairly soon: You have another 36 months after you earn the credit to complete the purchase of a home, or lose it.

This sounds like a good plan (and it very well may be), but remember: Just because you get a $1,000 credit at the start of your mortgage doesn’t mean it’ll be cheaper in the long run.

Who knows what mortgage interest rates Citizens Bank will be charging three years from now and whether they’ll be competitive or not. You might end up saving $1,000 now only to shell out thousands more later.

How Citizens Bank savings accounts compare

While we do like some of the unique savings accounts that Citizens Bank offers (specifically the savings accounts for college and home down payments), we think that the interest rates offered are still very low.

Furthermore, their savings accounts either come with unnecessarily high fees, or are linked to checking accounts that do have high fees.

Unless there’s something really tying you to Citizens Bank, we think that you can earn a lot more and pay a lot less with other online savings accounts.

How to get a Citizens Bank Savings account

If you decide a Citizens Bank savings account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but once again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Money Market Account Options

The rates you can earn on these money market accounts are generally rock-bottom, unless you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the premium-level accounts.

Personal Money Market

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account also comes with checks, however watch out: You can only use the checks up to three times per month without incurring an excessive transaction fee. Like savings accounts, you’ll also be limited to just six transactions per month according to Federal Regulation D rules. If you go over, you’ll have to pay a $15 transaction fee.

If you end up paying this fee more than three times in a year (or “significantly exceed these transaction limits in any one statement cycle,” as stated in Citizens Bank’s Fees and Features Guide), your account may be automatically downgraded into a non-interest-bearing checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.03%

1.10%

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

You are eligible to open this account if you have a Platinum Checking account. Like the other premium-level savings accounts, this account has no monthly maintenance fee of its own, but its linked Platinum Checking account does.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.05%

1.35%

0.25%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.10% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

If you have a Citizens Bank Platinum Plus checking account, you’re eligible to open this corresponding money market account as well. Normally, the rates are very low (0.10% APY), however, if you have enough cash to take advantage of the promotional offer (meaning you have $25,000 stashed somewhere outside of Citizens Bank that you bring in to open a new account), you can earn much more interest.

How Citizens Bank’s Money Market accounts compare

If you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts, you can actually earn pretty decent rates. Unfortunately, most people may have a difficult time earning them because you need to deposit at least $25,000 from another non-Citizens Bank account, and the rates only last until November 30th.

If you’re looking to maximize the interest rates you receive on a money market account, you can find better rates with money market accounts from other institutions.

How to get a Citizens Bank Money Market account

If you decide a Citizens Bank money market account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank IRA Options

These retirement savings vessels are light on information—make sure you do your research before choosing to open an account.

IRA CDs

Citizens Bank offers some less-touted IRA CD options, including terms ranging from one to 120 months. You can get started with one of their IRA CDs with a deposit as small as $250. There is no monthly account maintenance fee.

The interest rates on these IRA CDs are not advertised on their website, however, so you’ll need to contact the bank directly if you’d like to open an IRA CD.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA CD

If you’re interested in getting a Citizens Bank IRA CD, make sure you do your homework first by calling the bank or visiting them in person to verify the rates and term options for their different CDs.

If you’re looking for a good benchmark to compare the rates, check out other IRA CD options.

IRA Savings

Citizens Bank also offers an IRA Savings account, however they offer just about as much information on it as with their IRA CDs (that is to say, very little).

You can open an IRA Savings account with any amount you wish. Your first four months with this account are free, but after that you’ll need to pay a $4.99 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep at least $200 in your account.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA savings account

Again, if you’re interested in this account you’ll need to either call Citizens Bank or visit a branch to get the information you need to make an informed decision. Specifically, you’ll need to inquire about the interest rate being offered and whether there are any fees associated with the account.

Overall review of Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank does offer some niceties with their accounts. In particular, we like the monetary bonuses they throw in for the CollegeSaver and HomeBuyer Savings accounts, in addition to their GoalTrack gift card bonuses. These rewards may provide just enough incentive if you’re looking to stick to your savings goals.

However, we are not excited about the rates that they offer and the amount of fee baggage that these accounts come with. In this day and age, it’s very easy to find a bank that doesn’t hang you high and dry with fees.

The only reason we can see recommending Citizens Bank is if you want to use an in-person branch exclusively and if Citizens Bank is the closest bank to you. Otherwise, we’d skip past this one in favor of something better.

The post Citizens Bank Review: CDs, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

TD Bank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

td bank review
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TD Bank got an early start in the 1850s. Today, it’s one of the largest banks in the nation. Even though it’s a nationwide bank, you can really go into a physical branch only if you live along the East Coast. If you are that lucky, you can take your pick from over 1,200 branches, many of which have convenient extended hours during the week and on weekends.

People living in the Midwest and on the West coast will have to suffice with online-only banking. But, rest assured, they still make it easy: they maintain a 24/7 customer service line if you do need to chat with a real person.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about TD Bank’s deposit accounts in this article. One important note: TD Bank’s rates vary depending on where you live. To compare apples to apples, we’ll look at the rates from Cherry Hill, N.J., which is where TD Bank is headquartered. However, we recommend checking your local rates when deciding whether these accounts are right for you. All rates are current as of Jan. 3, 2018.

TD Bank Savings Accounts

TD Simple Savings account

Simply low savings for a fee-heavy savings account.

[Chart-TDSimpleSavingsaccount]

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0 ($300 to waive monthly maintenance fee)

[/Chart-TDSimpleSavingsaccount]
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 ($4 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $300 in your account
    2. Have a linked TD student checking account
    3. Be under age 18 or over age 62
    4. Transfer at least $25 per month from a TD Bank account and have a linked TD Bank personal checking account (but this will only waive the fee for 12 months)
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM; $3 for non-TD ATMs (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

You’ll need to keep an eye out for fees with this account. It’s not hard to waive the monthly account fee if you keep it stocked full of savings (which is how you should use a savings account, after all), but if you decide to empty the account, you’ll have to pay this steep monthly fee. Furthermore, the rates offered are very low, especially when compared with savings accounts at other banks.

Opening a Simple Savings account with TD Bank takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Preferred Savings account

Moderate interest rates for high-balance savers.

[Chart-TDPreferredSavingsaccount]
 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M – $9,999,999.99

$10M+

APY with standard rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with bump rate

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

[/Chart-TDPreferredSavingsaccount]
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 ($14 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

TD Bank does offer semi-OK returns for their Preferred Savings account, with a catch: You’ll need to keep a lot of money in it. Otherwise, you’ll face a hefty monthly account fee that will wipe away your earnings.

For example, let’s say that you have $15,000 in your account. That’s $5,000 under the $20,000 threshold needed to waive the $15 monthly fee. If you receive the rate bump for having another eligible TD Bank account, you’ll earn $1.25 in interest that month — meaning you’ll lose $13.75 after paying the monthly account maintenance fee.

You can qualify for the higher bump rates by also having one of the following types of accounts with TD Bank and making three transactions per month with it: a mortgage, a home equity loan, a credit card, or a personal or small business checking account.

Opening a Preferred Savings account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

How TD Bank’s savings accounts compare

TD Bank’s savings accounts are pretty lackluster. They carry the potential for a lot of fees and for very little return.

Their Preferred Savings account in particular does offer high earning potential with interest rates up to five times greater than the national average. But you’ll need to have heavy pockets to be able to reach those levels, in addition to meeting a list of other requirements to waive the monthly fee and be eligible for these high interest rates.

Most people probably won’t be able to reach these high interest rates. But there’s good news: There are many other high-interest savings accounts that offer better rates without so much fine print holding you back.

TD Bank Checking Accounts

TD Premier Checking account

Earn low interest rates for keeping a high balance in your checking account.

[Chart-TDPremierCheckingaccount]

Minimum Balance Amount

$0.01 - $2,499.99

$2,500 - $49,999.99

$50k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY

0.00%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

[/Chart-TDPremierCheckingaccount]
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re looking to earn interest on the money held within your checking account, you might consider this account. Just be careful: you’ll need to keep a pretty high balance to a) earn any interest at all, and b) avoid the high monthly account fee.

A few minor side benefits of having this account also include things like free bank checks and money orders, and no service charge for more obscure things like stop payments on checks, incoming wire transfers and paper statements. You’ll also get a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you decide to apply for a home equity line of credit.

If high interest rates on your checking account with less fees are what you’re after, there are actually many other better online checking accounts to choose from.

Opening a Premier Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Convenience Checking account

A standard-level checking account — but stay vigilant for high fees.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $100 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you can’t keep the required $2,500 in your checking account to waive the monthly fee for the TD Premier Checking account, consider this one. You still need to keep some cash in this account to waive the $15 monthly fee, but at $100, it’s much more manageable.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to sacrifice earning any return on your funds with this account, since it pays no interest. But there still are some minor perks that come with this account. You’ll get a discount on your first order of checks, and discounts on TD Bank home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Opening a Convenience Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Simple Checking account

Simply high fees for a basic-level checking account.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.99
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

As far as checking accounts go, this isn’t really a good one. It charges a high monthly account fee and there’s no way to waive the fee. That’s a bit ridiculous with so many free checking accounts.

The only reason you might choose this checking account is if you can’t afford to keep the minimum $100 deposit in the TD convenience checking account to waive that monthly account fee. But if you’re not able to do that, you’ll pay out $100 in fees in a little over a year with this account anyway, so what’s the point?

You do get minor perks as with the other accounts — a discount on your first order of checks, and a discount on a home loan or home equity line of credit — but let’s be honest: That’s probably not going to save you a whole lot of money.

Opening a Simple Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Relationship Checking account

Small earnings for big account requirements.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in all of your TD Bank accounts combined (including checking, savings, loans, etc — but not credit cards).
  • ATM fees: None.
  • ATM fee refunds: You can be refunded for any ATM surcharges (the money the ATM’s owner charges) if you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to 5 items per day.

If you have existing deposit (savings, checking, or CDs) or loan accounts with TD Bank, you can actually leverage them to earn at least something on the money in your checking account. It’s not much — 0.03% APY — but it’s still better than nothing.

This account also comes with a discount on home loans and home equity lines of credit, You’ll also get a few more perks than with their other checking accounts, such as free checks (not just a discount), free services that normally come with high fees (such as a stop payment order, overdraft transfers or money orders), and a fee waiver for another checking account and a savings account.

In return, just keep a close eye on your accounts to make sure you are meeting the requirements to waive the monthly fee. $25 per month is not a fee you want to pay.

Opening a Relationship Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD 60 Plus Checking account

A great checking account for seniors, but keep an eye on the account balance.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.05% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $250 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re over age 60, you are eligible for this account. TD Bank has generously waived many of its high fees for some account services. You’ll get free money orders, free checks and free paper statements. This account also comes with the standard rate discounts on home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Plus you’ll earn interest on your balance. Not a lot of interest, but 0.05% APY is better than 0.00% APY.

We recommend this account only if you can keep at least $250 in your account to waive the monthly fee. Otherwise, the $10 monthly fee will wipe out any interest you’ll earn.

Opening a 60 Plus Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Student Checking account

A no-frills student checking account with no monthly fee.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This is perhaps one of TD Bank’s best checking accounts, but only because it’s the only one not to come with a monthly account maintenance fee. Full-time students under age 24 are eligible to open this account. (You’ll need a joint checking account with a parent if you’re under age 18). This account will automatically transfer over to a Convenience Checking account after your 24th birthday or five years from the account opening, whichever occurs first.

You won’t earn any interest on this account, but you will get some other benefits. If you link a TD Simple Savings account alongside this checking account, you won’t have to pay the $5 monthly fee for the savings account. You’ll also get a discount on your first box of checks. You can even get a discount on a home loan or a home equity line of credit, but as a student, are you really likely to use that?

Opening a Student Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch. You’ll also need to provide either your student ID or a student loan bill or receipt to prove you’re actually a student.

How TD Bank’s checking accounts compare

TD Bank does offer a lot of different types of checking accounts. This is nice because it offers you a wider range of ways to avoid their notorious account fees — and there are many to watch out for.

Plus, many of these accounts don’t even earn any interest, and when they do, the minimum balance requirements are often far above what you’d likely be keeping in a checking account anyway. If you’re looking for the best checking account possible, you’d be better off looking elsewhere unless you really are attached the TD Bank.

TD Bank CD Rates

TD Choice CDs

Moderate returns if you have a TD Bank Checking account.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

TD Bank’s Choice CDs are their standard line of CDs. You’ll need at least $250 to invest in them, which is a pretty low requirement and makes saving accessible for most people. Of course, you’ll earn higher rates if you put in much larger amounts of cash. You can also earn higher “bump rates” if you hold a checking account with TD Bank. You’ll also earn higher rates for larger deposits and longer terms.

Just be aware when you’re choosing longer terms, however, that you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you do need to take that cash out early. You also can’t take out your cash at all for the first seven days after you initially open your CD. Early withdrawal penalties depend on the original term of the CD and are as follows:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

Once you open your account, you can’t add any more funds until the CD’s term is over. When that happens, your CD will automatically renew to another one of the same length with whatever the current interest rate is. But you have 10 days after this happens to decide what to do with it — withdraw the cash penalty-free, add in more funds or just let the CD continue.

Opening a Choice CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD No-Catch CDs

Moderate returns that give you the flexibility of making a free withdrawal once per term.

CD Term

APY

6 months

0.15%

12 months

0.20%

If the idea of having your money locked away makes you a little queasy, the No-Catch CD might be a good choice for you. It’s currently only offered in two term lengths — six and 12 months. Once per term, you’re allowed to make one withdrawal without paying an early withdrawal penalty if you need the cash. But remember, you can only make a withdrawal after the account has been open for at least seven days. If you need to make more than one withdrawal, you’ll pay a penalty for each additional transaction.

This will save you from paying a penalty of three months’ worth of interest (for the six-month CD) or six months’ worth of interest (for the 12-month CD). In return for this advantage, you’ll get a slightly lower return on the 12-month CD than the normal TD Choice CD (without the higher bump rates, that is). The interest rate is currently the same for the six-month Choice CD.

Just as with the TD Choice CD, you can open a TD No-Catch CD with at least $250. After the CD matures, it’ll roll over into another CD of the same term length (but with the current interest rate), and you’ll get 10 days to withdraw the money, add funds or let it continue in the current CD.

Opening a No-Catch CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Step Rate CDs

Higher rates over time with more frequent penalty-free access to your cash.

CD Term

APY

3 years

Year 1: 0.25%
Year 2: 0.30%
Year 3: 0.45%
Composite: 0.33%

5 years

Year 1: 0.35%
Year 2: 0.40%
Year 3: 0.55%
Year 4: 0.70%
Year 5: 1.19%
Composite: 0.64%

If you really want frequent penalty-free access to your cash but want higher rates than the No-Catch CDs offer, consider the Step Rate CDs. You can open them with as little as $250.

These CDs will allow you to make one penalty-free withdrawal per year during a 10-day window around your account’s anniversary. If you make a withdrawal outside of these windows, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty of 12 months’ worth of interest (for a three-year CD), or 24 months’ worth of interest (for a five-year CD).

If you leave some or all of your money in the account on each anniversary, you’ll be rewarded with sequentially higher interest rates until the term of the CD ends. When that happens, it’ll automatically roll over into a 12-month Step Rate CD with the current interest rate of the day. But you’ll still have another 10-day window where you can add or withdraw funds or let the CD investment continue.

How TD Bank’s CDs compare

TD Bank does offer a nice suite of CDs that allow you more frequent access to your money. This is especially helpful for folks who want to earn higher rates than their paltry savings and checking accounts (when interest is even earned at all), but still want to be able to get their money on a more frequent basis if needed.

Compared with other banks, however, the interest rates offered on these CDs are fairly low. If higher interest rates are what you’re after, consider these CD accounts with higher rates.

TD Bank IRA Accounts

TD Simple Savings IRA

Guaranteed low rates on your retirement savings.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

The TD Simple Savings IRA account is the mirror image of its regular TD Simple Savings account, but in an IRA form. And, just like the regular TD Simple Savings account, it earns peanuts for interest.

Its saving grace is that the monthly maintenance fee is waived for the IRA version of this account (which would normally cost you up to $5 per month). You’ll also need at least $300 to open this account, making it more accessible if you’re just starting to save for retirement and don’t have a lot of cash yet.

Another disadvantage of this account is that you can only open them in a local branch — so, if you’re not near any branches, this account will be unavailable to you.

TD Preferred Savings IRA

Higher (but still low) rates for having larger balances and linked TD accounts.

 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M - $9,999,999.99

$10M +

APY with Standard Rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with Bump Rates

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

If you’d still like to save for your retirement using a plain-vanilla savings account but want to earn slightly higher rates, the TD Preferred Savings IRA might be for you. You’ll need at least $20,000 to open an account, but there are no monthly maintenance fees.

You can also earn higher interest rates in two ways. First, you’ll earn more by keeping larger balances in your account (the highest rates are offered on balances between $100,000 and $9,999,999). Second, you can earn higher “bump rates” if you have a another linked TD Bank account, such as a checking account, or even a mortgage or a credit card.

As with the rest of their retirement savings account, you can only open this account by going to a local branch in-person. You cannot open this account online or over the phone, so you’re out of luck if you don’t have a local branch near you.

TD Choice IRA CDs

Getting warmer… but still pretty low rates on an IRA CD.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

These CDs are also the mirror image of their regular TD Choice CD accounts, but in an IRA form. You can also open these CDs with a minimum $250 deposit, but of course you’ll earn higher rates if you put more money in. Still, if you’re just starting out and you really want a TD Bank IRA, this is one of your lowest-barrier options. You can also earn higher rates if you own another TD Bank checking account.

If you need to withdraw the money before the term is up, you’ll face the following early withdrawal penalties depending on the original term length of the IRA CD:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

To open this IRA CD you’ll need to go into a local TD Bank branch in person. No phone or online options exist for those away from a local branch, unfortunately.

TD IRA Add-Vantage CD

Term

APY

12 months

0.25%

One of the disadvantages of CDs is that you generally can’t add more money to them once they get started. That’s a real pain if you do come into some more money and want to take advantage of the higher rates that CDs offer. This is especially true if you’re relying on CDs as a part of your retirement savings strategy.

The TD IRA Add-Vantage CD adds a neat little feature to get around this. You can deposit more money into the account at any time, as long as you follow these two rules:

  1. You can only add money in $500 increments
  2. You can’t make more than $250,000 in deposits during the CD’s term

Thus, this IRA CD functions generally like a savings account, except you can’t withdraw your money but once per year due to the sole 12-month CD term offered. If you do withdraw the money, you’ll face an early withdrawal penalty of six months’ worth of interest.

This CD is also only available to people who can visit a local branch to open an account. You’re out of luck if you don’t live near a TD Bank branch, unfortunately.

How TD Bank’s IRA CDs Compare

The trend in low rates for TD Bank’s accounts continues. These rates are all-around low compared with the best IRA CD rates out there.

CDs already offer notoriously low returns compared with more mainstream IRA investments like mutual funds and stocks (which in general offer nonguaranteed average returns of 7.0% per year), and that’s especially the case here. If you’re relying on TD Bank’s IRAs as your primary retirement strategy, you won’t get very far.

TD Bank Money Market Accounts

TD Growth Money Market account

Earn similar rates to TD’s Preferred Savings account, but with a lower minimum balance.

 

$0.01 - $999.99

$1k - $1,999.99

$2k - $4,999.99

$5k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY with Qualified Amount

0.05%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.35%

APY without Qualified Amount

0.03%

0.03%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.30%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (or $11 if you sign up for online statements only).
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,000 in your account, or be age 62 or older.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This account offers a nice balance between the lower balance requirements of the TD Simple Savings account and the higher rates of the TD Preferred Savings account. You only need a $2,000 minimum balance to waive the monthly fee (compared to the Preferred Savings’ $20,000 minimum balance to waive that account’s fee).

You’re also eligible to receive a higher rate if

  1. You have a linked TD Bank account
  2. You use it to make at least a $50 recurring monthly deposit into this account

How TD Bank’s Money Market account compares

Again, TD Bank comes up well short when compared with the best money market account rates available today. Plus, you need a fairly high opening deposit to even get access to this account.

This leaves savers who are just getting started high and dry, since all TD Bank offers for these folks is their Simple Savings account that offers a miniscule interest rate (and a minimum $300 deposit to avoid the monthly fee, to boot).

Overall review

We do like TD Bank’s ease of access if you’re looking to visit an in-person branch. Their local branches generally offer good hours and are open seven days per week. But for folks who don’t live near a local branch — and that’s most of the country — you’re kind of out of luck aside from the 24-hour customer service line. And if you want to open an IRA, you’re again out of luck since this must be done in person.

Furthermore, you’ll need to keep large balances in most of TD Bank’s accounts to waive high monthly fees. In return for this, you get rock-bottom interest rates. If you want to use TD Bank, we recommend you come with a hefty amount of cash.

In general, we’re left feeling rather unimpressed with these products. You can get much better rates and terms on every single one of these accounts elsewhere, without being tricked into paying out a boatload of banking fees.

The post TD Bank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Review of Live Oak Bank’s Deposit Rates

Review of Live Oak Bank
iStock

Chances are you haven’t heard of Live Oak Bank. After all, this lender, based mostly on the web, has only been around since 2008, and it mostly focuses on giving out small business loans to businesses in specific industries, such as veterinary practices or craft breweries.

That’s no reason to pass it up for your personal banking needs, however. In fact, this little gem of a bank has one of the best-kept secrets in the personal banking world: it has one of the highest savings account interest rates you’ll find from an online bank. (More on that below.) And, most of its other personal deposit accounts offer relatively high rates as well.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at its deposit accounts to see if they’re right for you.

How Live Oak Bank rates compare

Live Oak Bank is right on par with the current highest CD rates.

This bank’s minimum deposit requirements also seem to be right on par with other bank’s minimum deposit requirements. The current best CDs out there have minimum deposit requirements both above and below Live Oak Bank’s $2,500 benchmark.

[Chart-LiveOakBankCdRates]

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6-month CD

1.40%

$2,500

1-year CD

1.80%

$2,500

18-month CD

1.85%

$2,500

2-year CD

2.00%

$2,500

3-year CD

2.10%

$2,500

4-year CD

2.20%

$2,500

5-year CD

2.40%

$2,500

[/Chart-LiveOakBankCdRates]

Rates current as of Jan. 2, 2018.

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s CDs?

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to open these accounts. It’s a relatively straightforward process to open a CD: Simply complete the forms online, provide any needed documentation (such as your current bank account details), and wait for an account approval. Once your account is open, you can transfer over your deposit, where it will be held for five days before officially launching your CD.

If you need to take out your deposit early, bad news: As with many CDs, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty at Live Oak Bank. If your original CD term was for six months, one year or 18 months, you’ll be charged 90 days’ worth of interest. If your original CD term was for longer than that, you’ll be charged a higher rate of 180 days’ worth of interest.

If you are able to resist the urge to withdraw your money early, congratulations! Your CD will automatically renew into a second CD with the same term length. However, don’t panic if that’s not what you want: You have up to 10 days after the CD has matured to withdraw your money penalty-free and park it in your own bank account (whether it’s with Live Oak Bank or not).

APY

Minimum Deposit

1.50%

Up to $5 million

(but only up to $250,000 is FDIC-insured)

Rates current as of Jan. 2, 2018.

How do Live Oak Bank’s savings accounts compare?

When it comes to the best savings accounts with high interest rates, Live Oak Bank is right up there. This means that Live Oak Bank is lowering the bar and allowing anyone to take advantage of these high interest rates, no matter how much is in his or her pocket right now.

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s savings account?

Live Oak Bank wants you to use your savings account, and use it often, which is one reason why it has no monthly maintenance fee. If there is no activity on your account for 24 months and your balance is less than $10.01, Live Oak Bank will take the remainder of your balance as a Dormant Account Fee and close your account.

Getting money into a Live Oak Bank savings account from an external bank account can take a little bit of time depending on how you do it. If you request the money through Live Oak Bank’s online portal, the funds won’t be available for up to five or six business days. But if you opt instead to send the money to Live Oak Bank from your current bank, the money will be available as soon as it’s received. Your Live Oak Bank savings account will start earning interest as soon as the money posts to your account.

You can easily withdraw your money at any time via ACH transfer. Simply log into your Live Oak Bank savings account and electronically transfer it to whichever bank account you wish. It’ll be available in two to three business days.

You are limited to making just six transactions (deposits or withdrawals) per month with this savings account. That’s not a Live Oak Bank thing; that’s a federal regulation imposed upon savings accounts in the U.S. If you absolutely can’t wait until next month to make another deposit or withdrawal past your allotted six per month, you’ll be charged a $10 transaction fee for each additional action.

Overall review of Live Oak Bank

It’s easy to overlook Live Oak Bank for other larger, more established consumer banks like Ally or Discover Bank. But Live Oak has some of the best CD rates around, and the best savings account available on the market today.

Lest you be scared away by its smaller name, consider this: This tiny-but-growing bank is getting rave reviews from customers and employees alike. It carries an “A” health rating, and has a top-notch online banking portal. About the only thing missing is a checking account to let you seamlessly do all of your daily banking with this great company.

The post Review of Live Oak Bank’s Deposit Rates appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

What’s the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?

Source: iStock

If you’re shopping around for your next credit card, chances are you might come across a charge card. It can sometimes be difficult to know the difference unless you know the telltale signs. And if you choose the wrong kind and don’t use it correctly, you could end up in a world of financial trouble.

Charge cards aren’t too much different from credit cards, but there are a few key things you need to know.

What is a charge card?

As with a credit card, you use a charge card to make purchases and pay the balance off later. Here’s the biggest difference: Unlike credit cards, which let you keep a revolving balance from month to month, a charge card requires you to pay off the balance in full by your bill’s due date. You cannot make a big purchase and pay it off over time.

Charge cards also have no preset spending limit. This doesn’t mean that it has no spending limit. Rather, your actual spending limit can change quite often depending on how much you’re using the card, if you have any late payments on your record, etc.

At MagnifyMoney, we recommend you always pay off your credit card statement balance in full each month. If that’s something you already do, you’d find using a charge card is pretty much the same as using a credit card. However, there are a few differences that might make you want to choose one type of card over the other.

Pros and cons of using a charge card

Pro: You’re required to pay off the balance in full

One of the biggest advantages of a charge card is that you are required to pay it off in full each month. If you’re the type of person who has a hard time maintaining the discipline to do this normally, using a charge card might force you to develop this good habit. And because you will pay off the balance in full each month, you’ll never pay any interest charges and you won’t rack up any debt.

Con: You’re required to pay off the balance in full

Paying off your bill in full each month is a huge advantage, but it can also be a disadvantage. Yes, it’ll keep you out of debt, and you won’t have to pay interest charges, but if you’re relying on the card as a source of emergency funds, you’ll be better served with a credit card that’ll let you carry a balance from month to month if a very expensive emergency pops up.

Pro: Many charge cards come with a smokin’ hot rewards program

For example, as of this writing, the Platinum Card® from American Express gives you $15 in Uber credits each month (plus a $20 bonus in December), a $200 airline credit each calendar year, and a 60,000-point sign-up bonus if you spend $5,000 within the first three months, among numerous other perks. There are, of course, credit cards that offer similarly attractive rewards.

Con: Charge cards often carry high fees

Again, we’ll use the Platinum Card® from American Express as an example: It carries a $550 annual fee. The cheapest card from Amex is the American Express® Green Card that has a $95 annual fee, though Amex waives it the first year. And if you make a late payment or fail to pay your bill in full? You could be slapped with a late fee of (up to $38 on the aforementioned Platinum Card), and it’ll go down as a negative mark on your credit report.

Con: There aren’t a lot of charge-card options

You may be sensing a trend — American Express is among the last major credit card issuers to offer charge cards. That means your choices of charge cards are already limited — you can choose from just three cards: American Express® Green Card, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and the Platinum Card® from American Express. American Express isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, so you’ll want to make sure you have a backup when you’re out shopping, just in case it isn’t accepted.

Pro: A charge card helps you build credit

Charge cards can also help you build credit, and you don’t need to go into debt to do it. As long as you pay on time, the account will be listed on your credit report as an example of your positive payment history — the most important aspect of your credit score. And for newer scoring models, charge cards won’t affect your credit utilization ratio — the second most important factor in determining your credit score. That’s because American Express reports its charge cards as “open” lines of credit, as opposed to a revolving line of credit, and FICO does not factor open lines of credit into its credit utilization calculation.

But that’s not always the case. Rod Griffin, the director of public education at Experian (one of the major credit reporting agencies), said some credit scores treat open credit lines like revolving accounts. “Newer scoring systems are more likely to differentiate between the two than older credit scoring systems,” he said. “Your credit report almost certainly will not show a zero balance for the charge card if you use it and could affect your utilization rate.”

With newer scoring models that don’t factor open credit lines into your credit utilization ratio, that means making a big purchase (and paying it off at the end of the month) won’t have any effect on your credit score, nor will it lower your credit utilization ratio if you have other credit card debt. (A credit card also helps you build credit, but you may find yourself tempted to carry a balance.) Checking your credit score regularly will help you understand how your charge card use affects your credit standing.

Con: A changing spending limit can be bothersome

If you want to make a big purchase or it’s getting toward the end of the month, the only way to know for sure if you have any credit left is to log in to your account and check. Still, you shouldn’t be using your charge card willy-nilly to buy Learjets and mansions anyway, so as long as you keep your spending under control, it’s unlikely you’ll go over your limit.

The bottom line

Charge cards do have their quirks. But as long as you keep your spending within a reasonable range for your lifestyle and pay off your bill in full each month (as you should do with a normal credit card anyway), a charge card can be a useful tool in your financial arsenal.

The post What’s the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card? appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

7 Ways to Save Money That Could End Up Backfiring

Saving money is a noble goal. It can even become addictive, like a game. But if you’re not careful, your savings strategies might lead you to spend more money in the long run.

These seven stories will help remind you to always keep your long-term savings goal in mind. That way you aren’t blindsided by short-term “savings.”

Couponing

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Who hasn’t been enamored with the “Extreme Couponing” TV show, where people get carloads of groceries for free? They make coupons seem like the equivalent of cash dollars — but the only way you can use those dollars is to spend money first. This sets up a snag where overzealous consumers can easily be tricked into spending more money than they otherwise would have in the quest of using the Holy Coupon and their “savings.”

Kendal Perez, a savings expert with Coupon Sherpa, has some tips: “Coupons, Groupons, and vouchers of any kind that save you money on products, services, or experiences you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in are ones you should stay away from. Instead of clipping ‘interesting’ coupons from the Sunday circular or browsing Groupon when you’re bored, look for coupons on items you already intend to buy.”

Trying to save too much money

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Joseph Hogue, a chartered financial analyst and personal finance blogger, was in a familiar trap in his first professional job: He hated it and wanted to leave. So he tried saving up all of his cash so he could retire early.

“I fell into the financial equivalent of yo-yo dieting,” he says. He would take on as much work as possible before becoming burned out and blowing all of his hard-earned money in a spending spree.

He learned the hard way that it’s not enough just to make and save a ton of money. You also need to pace yourself, set realistic goals, and reward yourself along the way. Hogue’s advice? “Find something outside of work you enjoy doing to make all the effort and saving worthwhile.”

Growing your own vegetables

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Growing your own vegetables doesn’t seem like it would cost much money. Just throw some seeds in the ground and add water, right? Wrong.

Once you factor in everything you need to grow a garden — tools, soil amendments, fences, plants, hoses, etc. — costs can quickly spiral out of control. Still, you have to be careful about cutting corners. Joshua Crum, a personal finance blogger, found this out firsthand when he forgot to include wild-animal-proof fencing in his calculations. “I spent around $100 and tons of work on a garden. Wild animals came and ate everything I planted.”

If gardening is your thing, see if you can reduce your expenses by buying used equipment instead of new. Also consider planting cost-effective vegetables for the maximum return for your buck.

Not reading the fine print on a purchase

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There are a ton of ways to save money if you keep your eyes open. Receipt-scanning apps, rebates, sales, coupons, store loyalty cards — it’s a long list. The catch is that you have to carefully read the fine print so you can meet the requirements. Before you make a purchase with the intent of getting a rebate or some other discount, make sure you understand the terms and will actually benefit from the deal.

Mindy Jensen, community manager at BiggerPockets, recently found this out. She bought a ream of paper, expecting to use a rebate to have another free ream of paper shipped to her house. “I didn’t read the fine print, and the return was in the form of a store credit. I almost never shop there, so it was kind of a waste.”

In another incident she bought a bottle of alcohol specifically for a $5 rebate. “I have gotten in the habit of saying ‘No, thank you’ to receipts at the store, to save paper and the environment.” When she got home, she was stunned: “Guess what you need in order to get the rebate? A receipt. Of course, I felt like an idiot for not getting the receipt; having a proof that you purchased the product is a basic tenet to getting a rebate.”

Skimping on insurance

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No one likes paying their monthly insurance premium — until it comes time to make a claim.

According to Neil Richardson from the auto insurance comparison site The Zebra, getting just the minimum liability protection for your state “is simply too little financial protection to cover a number of common car insurance claims scenarios. People end up with huge bills because they wanted to save a few dollars off their premium.”

MagnifyMoney recommends checking what insurance options are available with your insurance broker. Ask yourself: Would you be able to fully cover the cost of any unfortunate events outside of the minimum coverage? If not, you might need to reconsider your insurance coverage.

Skipping doctor visits

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Going to the doctor is about as fun as stubbing your toe, not to mention being expensive. It’s pretty tempting to save some money by diagnosing yourself over the internet. Sometimes this works out, but it can have costly consequences if it doesn’t.

Abigail Perry, a personal finance blogger, once felt a urinary tract infection coming on but decided to treat it herself. It quickly turned into lower back pain, which was her signal that it was becoming more serious. She eventually ended up spending $75 to go to the emergency room, when a visit to her regular doctor would have had a $0 copay.

Perry’s advice is to “just go to the doctor. And if you can’t get an appointment there, find an urgent care clinic [rather than going to the emergency room, if possible]. Just be sure to bring a good book and a charge cord.”

Buying in bulk

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Smart shoppers know that the best way to save money is by looking at the per-unit price of each food item. This often means buying food in bulk. Even smarter shoppers know to take into account an item’s shelf life, so they can plan to use it before it goes bad.

But there’s more to it than that, like making sure you actually need what you’re buying. For example, Lisa Torres, a retired high school teacher, buys several boxes of Popsicles at a time when they go on sale during the hot New Hampshire summers. Buying Popsicles in bulk seems like a logical choice, because she’s going through a lot of them and they’ll keep for months. But Torres also likes buying fresh fruit in the summer, when some of her favorites are in season. When her family has both options as a snack, they tend to choose the Popsicles.

“The healthy fruit in the fridge goes bad because we are eating Popsicles instead of fruit,” she says. “And next week I have to buy more Popsicles.” Torres says she’s still working on making better buying decisions so she doesn’t waste food or money.

When buying in bulk, it’s always best to stop and think about whether you’ll be able to use all of the product, as well as if you have any alternatives at home. By keeping tabs on what you have at home and taking a minute to think before every purchase, you can successfully navigate these common savings pitfalls.

The post 7 Ways to Save Money That Could End Up Backfiring appeared first on MagnifyMoney.