Why Do People Stash Money in Low Rate Accounts?

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Someone, please answer this question! Why do the masses still stash their money in low rate savings accounts from the big banks like BofA, Citibank, and Chase? There is a big difference between their rates and the market leaders.

I wanted to kick off my inaugural post by asking a question. Bank of America, Citibank, and all of the other big banks open far more accounts than their higher interest rate online brethren. Why then do these banks have 100X the deposits of the online banks? Why do most people stash their cash in a lower rate account? Especially cash that they aren't going to touch for awhile. I can understand wanting my checking account at BofA, but I'd want my savings and CD money earning the highest rate possible. Let's take a look at the difference.

According to the BestCashCow savings rate charts, the highest rate for a $1 minimum deposit account is FNBO at 6%. FNBO is FDIC insured and is actually the online group of the First National Bank of Omaha, which has been around for the last 150 years. Your money is safe there, at least up to $100,000.

A quick check on the BofA site shows that their regular savings rate, with a minimum balance of $300 has a whopping rate of .2% APY. Yes, you read that correctly, .2%. That's a full 5.8% below FNBO.

Okay, so BofA likes to reward their rich customers with better rates. Let's see what some of those premium savings accounts yield. I looked for a better yielding account but couldn't find one so finally settled on their high end checking account. The rate there was .05% APY. You read that right.

Countrywide is the biggest bank on the chart at 5.4% while HSBC is further down at 5.05%.

Clearly the big banks don't want our deposit money. Either that or they expect that that we will keep money in low rate accounts either because of convenience or sheer laziness.

So, one of the easiest ways you can make some easy money is to get off your duff and take a look at the other rates out there.