3 Novel Approaches to Earning Over 5% on Your Deposit Accounts
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3 Novel Approaches to Earning Over 5% on Your Deposit Accounts - 2024

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It isn’t hard to earn 5% on savings today. There are tons of online banks with savings and money market offers at or over that level. You can also find local banks and credit unions that are equally competitive.

Compare online savings rates here.

After a half-generation where savings rates were not near 5%, it is awfully exciting to earn a real return on your cash. Or, at least it should be. Many, however, are seeking more purpose or gratification in their savings and CDs than just a number and the nice yield that comes with it.

Here are our ideas:

1. Open an account that will incentivize you to get in shape

Fitness Bank, a division of Atlanta-based Affinity Bank, offers an account that incentivizes users who record 12,500 average steps per month (10,000 if over 65) with its highest rates. The online savings account, first unveiled in 2019, is now offering 4.75% if you meet step requirements, but customers who also maintain $5,000 in a checking account may be boosted to 5.25% on their savings.

2. Earn Something Other than Savings, Like American Airlines miles

Bask Bank, like many online banks, will give you 5% in their interest savings account. Alternatively, you can earn 2.50 American miles per year per dollar on deposit in Bask’s mileage savings account. Bask has also begun offering extra mileage-earning incentives, including a 2023 summer promotion offering customers an additional 20,000 AA miles if they maintain over $50,000 on deposit for six months. Some customers opt for this frequent flier mile-accruing savings account as Bask produces a 1099-INT that values the miles at only $0.42, but, even so, they should really only do it if they can reliably extract well over 1.50 cents in value from their American Airlines miles. Another bit of good news is that Bask enables customers to easily move cash between accounts, enabling those needing small amounts of miles to get what they may need for their next redemption and go back to earning 5%.

3. Deposit Your Money with A Bank Focused on Reducing Carbon Output

Climate change is undeniable. It is also clear that mankind has the ability to take action today that will avoid the worst impact through substantial investment in wind, solar and water. That ability, as I discussed here, is being significantly impaired by a financial system dominated by very few large banks that are yet unwilling to invest in projects that will quickly render obsolete their carbon emitting long-term project financing. Why not deposit your money in a smaller bank that is committed to renewable energy and energy efficiencies projects? Forbright Bank is one such bank and they are offering a highly competitive one-year CD rate well over 5%.

Compare all CD offers here.

Editor’s Note: Banks that are listed here have advertised in the past on BestCashCow and/or are currently advertising and they are discussed here consistent with our advertising disclosure.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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