The safest place to grow your savings are accounts such as CDs, money market accounts and even checking and savings accounts. These accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000, so your money is safe. Guaranteed.
Saving with flexibility
With savings and checking accounts, the advantages are obvious: You have immediate and unconditional access to your money, and minimum balances are low. OCCU’s Remarkable Checking pays 2.00% APY on balances up to $20,000* if monthly qualifications are met: making 12 debit card charges a month, maintaining active enrollment in eStatements and completing at least one automatic deposit each month. This works best if you need the flexibility of having access to your money and also plan to use it actively each month.
A savings or money market account at OCCU works best if you want to keep your money separate from a checking account. You’ll still earn interest on the balance, and you don’t have any qualifications to meet.
Savings with bigger rewards
A CD is a savings account that grows at a high, guaranteed savings rates but doesn’t expose your money to the risk of the fluctuating stock market. With CDs, you can earn higher interest if you’re willing to forgo access to your money for terms ranging from six months to five years. The longer the term, generally the larger the return. However, withdrawing money early means paying a penalty.
At OCCU, regular certificate accounts require a minimum deposit of $500. Jumbo certificate accounts require a deposit of at least $100,000 but pay higher interest rates than a regular certificate.
Making the most of CDs
CDs with bump-up options allow you to get a one-time interest rate bump if market rates increase. You can make an extra deposit once during your 24- or 48-month term.
You can also structure your CD investments to maximize access to funds by creating a CD ladder. By investing in a series of CDs with different maturity dates, you will have access to a portion of your money annually without penalties.
Other savings options
Financial institutions sometimes offer special rates on savings and checking accounts and CDs that will beat those offered by investments higher on the risk/return scale. It’s worth comparing rates before committing your money.
*2.00% annual percentage yield offered on Remarkable Checking applies to the first $20,000 and .20% APY on balances greater than $20,000 subject to the following qualifying factors (the “Qualifying Factors”) being met during each statement cycle: i) 12 debit card transactions must clear through your account during the cycle; ii) one direct deposit or other ACH credit or withdrawal must clear through your account during the cycle; iii) maintain active enrollment in eStatements during the cycle. If one or more of the Qualifying Factors are not met, you will receive default interest of .05% APY for that statement cycle. APYs effective 01/01/2019 and subject to change at any time. Fees could reduce earnings.