Woman holding up a jar of cash as she thinks to herself.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a High-Yield Savings Account

August 22, 2023 | Modified: May 14, 2024

In a world of financial uncertainty, finding clever ways to save money and make your hard-earned cash work for you has become more crucial than ever. One effective strategy is opting for a high-yield savings account. These accounts offer a unique opportunity to grow your savings while keeping your funds easily accessible. But with countless options available, how do you choose the right one for your needs? This comprehensive guide to choosing a high-yield savings account will walk you through the essential factors to consider.

Step 1: Understand the Basics of High-Yield Savings Accounts

Before diving into the specifics, one must grasp the fundamentals of high-yield savings accounts. Various financial institutions, including local credit unions, offer these accounts. They differ from traditional savings accounts by offering significantly higher interest rates. These interest rates are often several times greater than what you would get from a standard savings account, allowing your money to grow more rapidly over time. One great example of this is Benchmark FCU’s New Enhanced Ultimate Checking. 

Step 2: Compare Interest Rates

The first and foremost factor to consider when selecting a high-yield savings account is the interest rate. After all, the main goal of opting for such an account is to maximize your savings through interest earnings. Research and compare the interest rates offered by different banks and credit unions. While the rates may fluctuate over time due to economic factors, choosing an account with consistently competitive rates will help your money grow more efficiently. Benchmark FCU currently offers 5.00% APY* on New Enhanced Ultimate Checking Account balances.  

Step 3: Verify NCUA Insurance or FDIC Protection

Safety and security are paramount when it comes to your savings. Most reputable high-yield savings accounts are insured by either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This insurance guarantees that your deposits are protected up to a certain amount if the financial institution faces difficulties. Always ensure that the account you’re considering has this insurance coverage, providing you with peace of mind. Member deposits at Benchmark FCU are insured up to $250,000 by the NCUA.

Step 4: Evaluate Account Accessibility

While the goal of a high-yield savings account is to let your money grow, you may still need access to your funds for emergencies or planned expenses. Assess the accessibility options provided by the account. Look for a financial provider with advanced online banking technology, such as Benchmark FCU. This allows you to conveniently manage your funds through online platforms or mobile apps. Check if the account allows for easy transfers and the availability of ATMs for withdrawals. 

Step 5: Understand Fees and Minimum Balance Requirements

Before finalizing your choice, thoroughly review the fee structure of the high-yield account. While these accounts are designed to help you grow your savings, some may have fees that can eat into your earnings. Standard fees include various maintenance fees and withdrawal fees. Opt for an account that aligns with your financial habits and goals. If you’re starting with a smaller balance, choose an account with a reasonable minimum balance requirement to avoid unnecessary charges. Benchmark FCU’s Ehhanced Ultimate Checking Account features no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance to earn rewards, no minimum deposit to open, and free digital banking.

Step 6: Consider Account Perks and Additional Services when Choosing a High-Yield Savings Account

Beyond the basics, some high-yield savings accounts offer additional perks and services that can enhance your banking experience. These might include features like financial planning tools, cash-back rewards, or even higher interest rates for large balances. 

Step 7: Embrace the Importance of Saving

Choosing a high-yield account like the one at Benchmark FCU isn’t just about comparing numbers and interest rates. It’s also a reminder of the importance of saving money in the first place. Cultivating the discipline to set aside funds for your future needs or goals is a valuable skill. High-yield savings accounts can serve as powerful motivation by showing you the tangible benefits of saving over time.

Selecting a high-yield savings account requires careful consideration of several factors. From interest rates and account accessibility to insurance coverage and fees, each aspect is crucial in maximizing your savings growth. While the financial landscape may evolve, the timeless importance of saving money remains constant. By choosing a high-yield savings account that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle, you’re taking a significant step toward securing your future and achieving your dreams.

Learn more about the benefits of a high-yield savings account in our blog “How to Maximize Your Savings with a High-Yield Savings Account.” 


*APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APYs current as of 5/1/2024. This is a variable rate account, so the yield is subject to change at the Credit Union’s discretion without prior notice. Account package consists of Ultimate Saver and Ultimate Checking Accounts.  If monthly account qualifications are met, earn 5.00% APY up to $50,000 on Ultimate Checking balances with balances greater than $50,000 earning a yield of 3.00% APY. If monthly account qualifications are met, balances in the Ultimate Saver will earn 0.25% APY.  If monthly qualifications are NOT met, Ultimate Checking and Ultimate Saver balances will earn a yield of 0.05% APY. Domestic ATM fees incurred during qualification cycle will be reimbursed up to $10 if monthly qualifications are met. Transfers between accounts do not count as qualifying transactions. Limit one Ultimate Account Package per SSN. 

You are now leaving Benchmark FCU

Benchmark FCU provides links to web sites of other organizations in order to provide visitors with certain information. A link does not constitute an endorsement of content, viewpoint, policies, products or services of that web site. Once you link to another web site not maintained by Benchmark FCU, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that web site, including but not limited to its privacy policy.

You will be redirected to

Click the link above to continue or CANCEL