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Susan Tompor: How saver's can make the best of falling interest rates

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Federal law limits certain types of telephone and electronic transfers and withdrawals from online savings accounts to six per statement cycle, according to Ally Bank.

So you need to keep a careful watch on how many withdrawals you could be making from an online savings account. Ally Bank, for example, charges $10 per excessive transaction.

Limits would apply to things like online and mobile banking transfers, as well as transfers from your online savings account to another of your Ally bank accounts.

"If you go over this limit, we charge $10 for each of these transactions after the initial six," Ally Bank states.

"If you exceed this limit on more than an occasional basis, we are required to close your Online Savings Account," the bank states online. You can make as many deposit as you'd like or call the bank at any time to request a check made out to you.

Remember, too, the yields on these savings accounts are variable so rates could fall when the Fed cuts rates.


Even though the bank can change those rates on high-yield savings accounts at any time, McBride said, the consumer can readily move their money someplace else at any time, too.

McBride noted that many consumers who just continue to keep their money in a regular savings account could be getting around 0.1% -- or $10 in interest each year on $10,000 in savings.

By contrast, they could be making $200 a year in interest on $10,000 in savings if they find a bank online offering 2% for an online savings account or money market account.

"The issue is not whether your 2.5% account goes to 2.25% or 2% later this year, but rather, why in the world do so many people have their savings in a bank earning 0.1%?" McBride said.


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