Where to Spot Safety and Return on Savings

By Dr. Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, CASLLifestyle and BudgetBankrate.com

Dear Dr. Don, 

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Where can I get the best and safest savings rates? I feel like I need to do a better job of saving and want to get a good return on my money. 

- Walter Wonders

Dear Walter,

That's the kind of question we love to answer here at Bankrate, so thanks for asking it! We've always been focused on helping consumers or savers to find the best combination of safety, convenience and yield.

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I recommend using Bankrate's rate search function. With it you can find the best rate in your market or across the country. Depositors sometimes think there's more safety using a traditional brick-and-mortar bank near their home. But it's actually the bank's capital that mostly determines the safety of money held on deposit, not the physical branch itself.

Bankrate's Safe and Sound ratings will help you check on the safety of a given depository institution. The rate search feature shows the bank's safety rating, or you can use the site to get a more detailed report. Also, having an FDIC- or NCUSIF-insured deposit allows consideration of banks with lower safety ratings, but you can still feel secure knowing that your deposit is safe.

Some credit unions and regional banks may be more competitive with deposit rates. Be sure to broaden your search beyond the largest financial institutions or familiar brand names.

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