Financial Products

Banks, credit unions and even the government offer a variety of financial products that can help you save. Find out which one is right for your goals.

Type of Product

SAVINGS ACCOUNT (bank); SHARE ACCOUNT (credit union)

Minimum Initial Deposit

Usually $25-100 but make certain monthly fees are not charged for small balances

Yield

Usually 0.2-0.5%

Safety

Government-insured*

Access to Funds

Immediate

Where to Purchase

At any bank, thrift, or credit union

How to Purchase

In person, online, or by phone

How to Make Deposits

Through tellers, ATMs, or automatic monthly transfer from checking account

Other Features

At many institutions, minimum balance of $100-500 is required to avoid monthly fees or automatic transfers of $5 - $25 a month.

Type of Product Online Savings Account
Minimum Initial Deposit As low as $1 at some institutions
Yield Usually 0.10-2.0%
Safety Government-insured*
Access to Funds Immediate
Where to Purchase At any bank, thrift, or credit union
How to Purchase In person, online, or by phone
How to Make Deposits By transferring money from a checking account, or through direct deposit.
Other Features Confirm that the online institution is insured.
Type of Product CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT (bank); SHARE CERTIFICATE (credit union)
Minimum Initial Deposit At most institutions, at least $500
Yield Usually 0.05-1.5%
Safety Government-insured*
Access to Funds Immediate but interest penalty
Where to Purchase At any bank, thrift, or credit union
How to Purchase In person, online, or by phone
Other Features Certain financial institution will notify you when CD matures
Type of Product U.S. SAVINGS BOND, SERIES EE

Minimum Initial Deposit

As low as $25 ($50 for payroll deduction)

Yield

Usually 1.5%

Safety

Government-guaranteed

Access to Funds

After first 12 months, immediate access but loss of 3 months interest

Where to Purchase

The U.S. Treasury www.treasurydirect.gov

How to Purchase

Through www.treasurydirect.gov where savers can buy electronic (no paper) savings bonds for themselves or as gifts for others.

How to Make Deposits

www.treasurydirect.gov allows periodic deposit or checking account deductions to purchase bonds

Other Features

Cash in after 30 years (no more interest earned after held 30 years)
Type of Product U.S. SAVINGS BOND, SERIES I (with inflation protection)

Minimum Initial Deposit

As low as $25

Yield

Usually 0-2%
Safety Government-guaranteed

Access to Funds

After first 12 months, immediate access but loss of 3 months interest

Where to Purchase

The U.S. Treasurywww.treasurydirect.gov

How to Purchase

Through www.treasurydirect.gov where savers can buy electronic (no paper) savings bonds for themselves or as gifts for others.

How to Make Deposits

www.treasurydirect.gov allows periodic deposit or checking account deductions to purchase bonds

Other Features

Cash in after 30 years (no more interest earned after held 30 years)

Type of Product

Money Market Account

Minimum Initial Deposit

As low as $250 at some institutions

Yield

Usually 0.10-2.0%

Safety

Government-insured*

Access to Funds

Immediate access

Where to Purchase

In person, online, or by phone

How to Purchase

Ask for a Money Market Account

* Accounts at some credit unions are privately insured.

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General - 54 Ways to Save

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