These days, there is a plethora of different bank accounts on the market from which to choose. Whether it’s a checking or savings account, you’ll find enough varieties of each to make your head spin. Among the savings accounts available is something called an instant access savings account. This type of account is currently only available in the U.K. This account provides the account holder with the ease of access of a checking account and the interest rate of a savings account. These accounts typically require a minimum balance, from as low as $50 to as high as $5,000.
Until recently, savings accounts were primarily used to accrue interest, while checking accounts gave people instant access to their cash. With the advent of high-interest checking and instant access savings accounts, that paradigm has been turned on its head.
Typically, an instant access savings account will have an interest rate similar to that of a normal savings account. While not quite as high as a high-interest savings account, instant access savings accounts provide a middle-of-the-road interest rate that could add up to significant savings if your account balance is high enough. In addition, some accounts let you choose to take interest payments on a monthly or yearly basis.
Where’s The Money?
Like a checking account, instant access savings accounts allow you to withdraw money using an ATM card. Some accounts put no limit on the amount of withdrawals you can make in a month, while others limit you to a given number, usually six.
Instant access savings accounts do not allow you to directly debit from them using a debit card or similar offering. They are convenient in that they give you instant access to cash but not to the level that you can achieve with a checking account.
An instant access savings account is best employed in combination with other accounts you may have. For example, you can link your checking account to your instant access savings account and keep the bulk of your funds in that account, which will allow you to save more money in the long run.
If you have the money to spread around, you can add a high-interest savings account to your portfolio and keep some money in that account, while maintaining an emergency reserve in your instant access savings account. With today’s flexible financial instruments, it’s easy to find a particular combination of accounts that works best for you and your family.
Instant access savings accounts can be a worthy addition to your account portfolio. They earn much more interest than a checking account, while providing you with instant access to your money. Although their interest rates do not approach the levels of high-interest savings accounts, this is offset by the convenience of this type of account. The most effective solution might be to form a combination of the various checking and savings accounts, ensuring that you save the maximum amount possible, while still having easy access to your money when you need it.