BEST SAVINGS ACCOUNT INTEREST RATES IN GEORGIA: JUNE 2024

Vault’s Viewpoint: Overview of the Best High-Yield Savings Rates in Georgia

Georgia United Credit Union High Earning Savings

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Why We Chose It

Georgia United Credit Union offers a highly attractive 3.75% APY on its savings account, which is quite competitive, especially for being a brick-and-mortar bank. While there is a minimum balance required, it’s just $5.

Pros

  • Low minimum deposit required
  • Can avoid monthly fees by keeping at least $5 in your account
  • Fair number of branch locations serving Georgians

Cons

  • Dividends are compounded and credited monthly instead of daily
  • Only two free withdrawals a month

BrioDirect High-Yield Savings

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Why We Chose It

BrioDirect is an online-only bank available to Georgians who are looking for a very competitive interest rate. Currently, its high-yield savings features a 5.30% APY and no account maintenance fees. Keep in mind that you need at least $5,000 to open an account.

Pros

  • Only need to keep a $25 balance to maintain the account
  • No monthly account fees
  • Can apply and manage account online

Cons

  • High minimum deposit to open the account
  • Only savings accounts and CDs are available
  • Customer service support is only reachable by phone

Century Bank of Georgia High Yield Savings

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Why We Chose It

Century Bank of Georgia’s high-yield savings account APY isn’t as high as the others on this list, but it is higher than the national average. This option makes sense only if you’re also willing to open a checking account since you only get the 1.01% APY if you make at least 10 transactions per month through your linked Century Bank of Georgia checking account.

Pros

  • Has Georgia branches in Cartersville and Rockmart
  • Monthly account fee can be waived if the $200 monthly minimum is met
  • Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly

Cons

  • Must pair it with a checking account to earn the higher APY
  • Only two withdrawals per month
  • Few branch locations

Milli Bank Savings

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Why We Chose It

Milli Bank is an online-only bank that offers an attractive 4.75% APY, no minimum account balances or minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees. There’s also a “Jars” feature, which allows you to set aside money for specific goals, like a vacation or a down payment.

Pros

  • No minimum account balances
  • No monthly fees
  • Savings features such as “jars” and “roundups” to automate savings

Cons

  • No CDs or money market accounts
  • No branch access
  • Can’t write or deposit checks

How Much Can You Earn With a Savings Account in Georgia?

You might be daydreaming about 7% interest savings accounts. If that feels like a unicorn, it is. Currently, savings account rates max out in the 5% to 6% range.

Parking your money in an account with the best savings interest rates in Georgia can help you maximize your savings and grow your money effectively—and efficiently. While interest rates are subject to change with the market, finding a bank or credit union that typically offers a competitive rate will help you get the most from a savings account.

The more you can stash away, the more it can grow. Also, it’s important to be mindful of fees, such as monthly account fees, ATM fees, insufficient funds fees, paper statement fees and inactivity fees. Some accounts might charge you a fee if you don’t hit the monthly threshold for the minimum number of transactions.

Let’s look at your estimated earnings after one year with each of the accounts listed above, assuming a $10,000 opening deposit.

How To Open a Savings Account in Georgia

Once you’ve done your homework and decided a high-yield savings account is a good fit, you can follow these steps to open a savings account:

  1. Do your research. Poke around to see which savings accounts in Georgia offer the best APYs, low- or no-fee accounts and terms that match your needs and preferences. What is customer support like? What’s the mobile banking experience like? Also, check online reviews to see what existing customers say about the financial institution.
  2. Open an account. Once you’ve picked the savings account you’d like to open, you’ll need to apply. This typically requires filling out a short application online, in person at a branch or over the phone. You’ll need to provide basic information such as your name, mailing address, contact information, social security number and a valid government-issued ID.
  3. Fund the account. If the savings account requires a minimum balance to open, you’ll need to move some funds over. This can be done by writing a check, going inside a branch and depositing cash or making an electronic transfer.
  4. Find ways to minimize fees. The lower your fees, the more interest earnings you get to keep. Simple moves like keeping your account active and opting for paperless statements can nix fees.
  5. Continue your savings efforts. To grow your money and march steadily toward your savings goals, keep the savings in your account. Consider setting up direct deposits. Putting your savings goals on autopilot means less waffling over whether you can afford to save. If you have less “fun” money, you’ll find ways to stay within your budget.

Tips for Getting the Best Savings Rates in Georgia

With so many options, landing the best savings interest rates in Georgia can feel a tad overwhelming. Here, we’ll walk you through how to make your selection step by step:

Look at the APYs

When doing your homework on savings accounts in Georgia, there’s a lot of information to wade through. You’ll want to focus first on the APYs. While Newsweek Vault reports the average savings account rate as 0.58%, you can find higher rates with a variety of institutions. The higher the APY, the faster your money grows.

Mull Over Terms and Fees

Besides interest rates, consider other terms and fees. For instance, a bank or credit union in Georgia might offer an attractive interest rate on its savings account but require a high minimum to open or a high balance to keep the account open.

There might also be monthly fees, ATM fees, insufficient funds fees, overdraft fees, wire transfer fees and inactivity fees. Fees can eat up any interest you earn, so be sure you’re not going to be incurring any kind of regular fees.

Explore Online-Only Banks

The best online banks tend to have higher interest rates because they can save on the operating costs associated with brick-and-mortar locations. They can then pass those savings on to the customer in the form of higher APYs.

Consider Credit Unions and Community Banks

This might come as a surprise, but credit unions and regional banks can also offer some of the best savings interest rates in Georgia. There are several reasons for this: Credit unions are usually driven by a mission to serve their residents and local communities. Plus, credit unions are non-profits owned by their members, meaning their profits go back into their membership in the form of the best savings rates.

Look for Ways to Snag the Best Rates

Some banks and credit unions offer the best savings rates or waive fees if you keep a minimum balance in the account or link your savings account to another one of their financial products.

Alternatives to a Savings Account

While a savings account is a safe, low-risk way to keep your money stashed away for emergency funds and other financial goals, other options exist to maximize your savings. Let’s take a look at a few:

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a popular choice for parking your funds for a while. Like a savings account, CDs are secure and low-risk. CD rates are typically higher than those of standard savings accounts, though you have to lock in your funds for the CD’s term length. A downside of a CD is that if you need to withdraw money before the maturity date, you’re subject to an early withdrawal penalty.

While CDs offer less flexibility than a standard savings account, you can typically choose from CDs with different maturity dates. The rates and terms available are specific to the bank or credit union.

Money Market Account

In some ways, a money market account (MMA) combines the higher interest rates of a high-yield savings account with the check-writing capabilities of a checking account. And like a standard savings account, you can access your money market account funds whenever you like.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Fees Should Georgians Watch Out for With High-Interest Savings Accounts?

Georgians should watch out for fees for monthly account maintenance, paper statements and insufficient funds. Your bank or credit union might also charge a fee if you exceed the monthly withdrawal or transfer limit. Being clued in on any bank fees can help prevent triggering them.

Are There Any Georgia-Specific Regulations Affecting High-Interest Savings Accounts?

There are no Georgia laws regulating interest rates on high-yield savings accounts.

How Frequently Do Interest Rates on High-Interest Savings Accounts Change in Georgia?

Most high-interest savings accounts have a variable rate, meaning the APY can go up and down anytime. Rates on high-interest savings accounts typically can change after the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee convenes to change the federal funds rate. As the interest rate is tied to how much your money grows in a savings account, you’ll want to monitor any rate changes.

The post Best Savings Account Interest Rates in Georgia: June 2024 first appeared on Newsweek Vault.

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