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Checking Accounts That Make You Save

By manybanking.com Staff
Finding strategies to help you save more money is particularly important in this uneasy economy. Establishing a respectable emergency savings protection fund should be a main priority in the event of a lost job, unexpected medical bills or other unforeseen expenses. With many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, however, finding even a few extra dollars a month to save can be increasingly difficult.

Category Product: 
Interest Checking
Category Finance: 
Personal Finance
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BAC
WB
Keywords: 
Interest Checking, Checking Account, Savings Account, Bank of America, Wachovia, Interest Bearing Account, Interest Rate, APY
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By manybanking.com Staff
Finding strategies to help you save more money is particularly important in this uneasy economy. Establishing a respectable emergency savings protection fund should be a main priority in the event of a lost job, unexpected medical bills or other unforeseen expenses. With many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, however, finding even a few extra dollars a month to save can be increasingly difficult.

Your choice of checking accounts can affect how much money you save, and there are a variety of options from which to choose.  Similar to a savings account, interest-bearing checking accounts allow you to earn interest on your money.  However, with .16% being the current national average, Interest rates on these accounts can be quite low, though your money is still easily accessible.

Checking accounts that incorporate an automatic savings feature, however, offer a better alternative. These accounts can help you save in increments in a separate account while barely noticing the difference in usable income. The two most notable programs come from Bank of America (Stock Quote:  BAC) and Wachovia (Stock Quote: WB).

With Bank of America’s innovative “Keep the Change” program, each purchase you make with your debit card is rounded to the nearest dollar and the difference is then transferred into your savings account. For example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $3.52 using your debit card, $0.48 would automatically transfer from your checking account into your savings account, keeping in mind that the maximum amount that can be transferred is $0.99. As an additional benefit, Bank of America will match 100% of your Keep the Change savings for the first three months. After that, they will match 5% each year up to $250.

Similar in style is Wachovia’s “Way2Save” program, where $1 is transferred from your checking account to your Way2Save savings account each time you make a debit purchase, pay bills online or set up automatic checking debits. Additionally, you have the option of scheduling a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. As an added bonus, the program includes a guaranteed 5% APY for the first year and a 5% bonus reward.

When comparing the two programs, it’s clear that Wachovia’s Way2Save program provides a greater opportunity to save, more in part because a larger amount is transferred each time.  Additionally, Way2Save makes transfers for both online and automatic debits as well as debit card purchases, while Keep the Change is strictly for debit cards. The guaranteed 5% APY with Way2Save is also attractive, particularly if you utilize the monthly automatic transfer feature. However, the smaller transfer amounts with Keep the Change may appeal more to those who might not be able to afford a larger amount.

Though automatic savings plans can in fact help you save, they can also make keeping track of your checking account or household budget a little more difficult. Failing to include the transferred amount when reconciling your expenses could lead you to overestimate your account balance, inadvertently causing you to overdraw your account.

—For more ways to save, spend, invest and borrow, visit MainStreet.com.

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Your choice of checking accounts can affect how much money you save, and there are a variety of options from which to choose.  Similar to a savings account, interest-bearing checking accounts allow you to earn interest on your money.  However, with .16% being the current national average, Interest rates on these accounts can be quite low, though your money is still easily accessible.

Checking accounts that incorporate an automatic savings feature, however, offer a better alternative. These accounts can help you save in increments in a separate account while barely noticing the difference in usable income. The two most notable programs come from Bank of America (Stock Quote:  BAC) and Wachovia (Stock Quote: WB).

With Bank of America’s innovative “Keep the Change” program, each purchase you make with your debit card is rounded to the nearest dollar and the difference is then transferred into your savings account. For example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $3.52 using your debit card, $0.48 would automatically transfer from your checking account into your savings account, keeping in mind that the maximum amount that can be transferred is $0.99. As an additional benefit, Bank of America will match 100% of your Keep the Change savings for the first three months. After that, they will match 5% each year up to $250.

Similar in style is Wachovia’s “Way2Save” program, where $1 is transferred from your checking account to your Way2Save savings account each time you make a debit purchase, pay bills online or set up automatic checking debits. Additionally, you have the option of scheduling a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. As an added bonus, the program includes a guaranteed 5% APY for the first year and a 5% bonus reward.

When comparing the two programs, it’s clear that Wachovia’s Way2Save program provides a greater opportunity to save, more in part because a larger amount is transferred each time.  Additionally, Way2Save makes transfers for both online and automatic debits as well as debit card purchases, while Keep the Change is strictly for debit cards. The guaranteed 5% APY with Way2Save is also attractive, particularly if you utilize the monthly automatic transfer feature. However, the smaller transfer amounts with Keep the Change may appeal more to those who might not be able to afford a larger amount.

Though automatic savings plans can in fact help you save, they can also make keeping track of your checking account or household budget a little more difficult. Failing to include the transferred amount when reconciling your expenses could lead you to overestimate your account balance, inadvertently causing you to overdraw your account.

—For more ways to save, spend, invest and borrow, visit MainStreet.com.

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