What to Look for in an Online Savings Account
Banking has never been so easy and convenient. With a variety of banking services now made available on the internet, online banking serves as a perfect option for the busy people not only the professionals, businessmen and frequent travelers but also the home-based workers and housewives who attend to so many chores as well.
The services offered by banks that have gone online and the purely online banks are actually very similar those offered by the traditional banks. Sometimes, though, there are features and marketing promotions unique only to online banking and not found in the brick-and-mortar banks. Another difference seen is the fewer fees charged on online banking services owing to the reduced overhead expenses of the bank.
One major service that you can avail from internet banking is the online savings account (OSA). This is a savings account which you manage exclusively via the internet. An attractive feature of this account is its high interest rate or annual percentage yield (APY) which is more than what the conventional banks offer. Because of the absence of paperwork and lesser overhead costs, banks have the ability to pass their savings to their customers.
Interest-wise, the rate offered by online savings accounts can compare with stocks and bonds. Other benefits consumers can gain from this type of account are lesser or no monthly or balance maintenance fees at all, no minimum balance required and no lock-up period. Account holders may also link their existing accounts such as a checking account in a traditional bank to their OSAs to allow for an easy transfer of funds when necessary.
Should you wish to have more convenience, you can apply for an online savings account that also provides an ATM card. With the card, you can have direct access to your funds wherever you go and whenever you need instant cash for emergency purposes.
An online savings account is an ideal option for people wanting to invest their money in a safe place during these times when the economies of the world are fluctuating. Apart from its liquidity and convenience, this investment strategy is also risk-free. And since you're dealing with cash here, you are able to lessen the use of credit cards and thereby reduce your debts.
In 2005 alone, reports have it that over 8.5 million people opened an online savings account with some of the major banks in the U.S. It is also projected that the market for online savings account will grow thrice its current size to $400 billion by the year 2010.
Opening an OS should be fast and easy. You only need to fill up the important personal information being asked on the website and the bank will then process your request.
However, before deciding to open an account, it is advisable that you learn more about the bank you choose and the services it offers. Make sure that the company provides a secure website with a 24/7customer support and the bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). You can also opt for a bank that has links with other banks for easy transfer of funds.
Related Tags: banking, online, savings, account
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