The first rule when applying for banking and credit services is to always read the fine print and to understand all of it. Read up, take it home, and analyze it, ask the banking manager questions. The fine print is there for a reason. The charges and requirements contained in there, will affect the savings or added expenses you incur, whenever you bank or use credit.
You can generate savings of more than $100.00 a year, when you select a checking account with a low or no minimum required balance. Request a list of the fees that are applicable to your account and compare with other checking account offers. Read the fine print. See if you qualify for the conditions and stipulations, the bank requires.
Prior to opening a savings or investment account with the bank of your choice, ask the bank and check to see that the account is insured by the federal government (FDIC or NCUA). Otherwise, you will assume 100% of the risk; you may end up risking more rather than saving.
Certificates of deposit or treasury bills or notes. These certificates and notes are accurately called forced savings. They earn above average but only after, they’ve reached a maturity period. If you withdraw before the due date, you’ll incur penalties. This is a competent way to generate savings from funds you have no immediate need for.
Once you’ve selected the type of savings or investment products, compare the rates and fees offered by different institutions. These rates can vary a lot and, over time, can significantly affect interest earnings.
You’ll generate more savings by researching on credit cards. Or you can call a research credit firm that will for a modest fee; send you a list of low-rate credit cards. Use the list to compare the features of each of these credit card companies, according to their interest rates and billing cycles. Is it a 28 day billing cycle, or a monthly one? What are the freebies? Such as Cash back or airline miles offers. Will you use these? You could be paying for these in the form of higher interest rates.
If you have a credit card, practice the habit of paying off your entire bill at months’ end. You generate savings by not paying late payment or over-the-credit-limit fees, which will add up to bigger charges.
If you have a lot of credit cards, consider using only one or two credit cards.
In the long run, your research on banking and credit services, will pay you back well in terms of consistent savings.