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These High-Yield Saving Accounts Offer More Bang For Your Buck

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Want to learn how to get the most out of your savings? Upgrade your life and your finances by opening a high-yield savings account. According to the FDIC, the average national interest rate on savings accounts is presently 0.04%. This national average includes savings account holders with average to larger account balances. Before the Great Recession, local banks offered rates that were larger than 3%, but that is not the current reality.

These days you're more likely to find a better interest rate for your savings accounts at an online bank, plus these banks usually provide higher interest rates independent of your account balances. Below is a list of 7 online banks that offer some of the highest interest rates and benefits around.

1. Varo

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Varo

Varo helps you to save money effortlessly and boasts an insanely high APY of up to 3%, which is higher than the majority of high-yield savings accounts. You don't even need a minimum balance to open an account and there aren't any fees. It's hard to beat Varo's benefits.

Initially, a savings account holder earns 0.2% APY, but that number can quickly rise to a 3% APY when at least five qualifying purchases are made using the Varo Bank Visa Debit Card and account holders receive total direct deposits of $1,000 or more. The only catch is your account balance can not exceed $5,000 for the entire calendar month.

2. Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union's (CCU) high-yield savings account or "Smart Saver" account gives you the potential to earn 1.50% APY, as long as you have a CCU checking account. But, you're required to deposit a $500 minimum into your CCU checking account every month. If you don't want to be bothered with the checking account, you can still open a CCU checking account and earn 0.25% APY.

Unfortunately, there are a few fees and requirements for their high-yield savings account. The Smart Saver account requires a minimum deposit of $50 and a maximum deposit of $1,000 into your savings account monthly. The fees to become a Consumers Credit Union member and open accounts through their credit union is an extremely low fee of $5 per member.

3. SmartyPig

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SmartyPig

SmartyPig by Sallie Mae is a free-of-charge piggy bank that helps you to save for financial goals, like retirement, vacays, or holiday gifts. SmartyPig offers great APY rates, so you can crush your savings goals quicker. Earn up to 0.70% APY if you have under $10,000 in your savings account, and 0.45% APY if you have over $10,000 in your account.

The best part is that there are no fees to join, no fees to save, no fees to withdraw, no minimum fee and you can open multiple savings accounts for specific savings goals!

4. Nationwide by Axos Bank

Nationwide by Axos Bank provides a 0.70% APY when you have a "My Savings" account and a checking account through their bank. But, if you don't have a checking account through them, you can still benefit from a 0.40% APY on your savings account.

Fortunately, with Nationwide, you don't have to worry about any pesky fees because the online bank doesn't have any monthly maintenance fees, nor a minimum balance requirement after the initial $100 deposit.

5. Ally Bank

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Ally Bank

Ally Bank allows you to divvy up your savings to reach separate financial goals, without the hassle of multiple bank accounts. Also, they offer a 0.50% APY when you have at least $5,000 deposited. Assign portions of your savings for up to 10 savings buckets in your online accounts, while still earning interest on your total balance. Ally Bank makes it easy to save by offering automatic recurring transfers from your checking into your savings account.

Even though Ally Bank provides incredible features, it still offers zero dollars in monthly maintenance fees and doesn't require a minimum opening deposit. Although, it's good to note that you can only make 6 transactions a month before you're charged $10 per transaction.

6. Synchrony Bank

Save for tomorrow with Synchrony Bank's high yield savings account that offers 0.40% APY. They provide convenient withdrawals because they're a bank that never closes, so you can bank anywhere and anytime.

Head over to their website where they have a free calculator that will calculate your high-yield savings earning potential in comparison to other major banks. Synchrony Bank has no minimum balance requirement and no withdrawal fees. If you need to withdraw from an out-of-network ATM, they'll even refund you up to $5.

7. Vio Bank

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Vio Bank

Vio Bank currently provides high yield savings accounts with a strong 0.57% APY, but they claim to adjust this to stay competitive. To open a saving account, there is a $100 minimum initial deposit. If you need access to your account frequently, this may not be the account for you, since you're only allowed six withdrawals every month before you're charged $10 for each withdrawal. But, if you're looking for an account with no monthly fee, then Vio Bank could be your perfect match.

Online savings accounts offer higher interest rates to increase your savings, but they lack physical branches. Keep in mind banks that aren't online do not offer rates that can keep up with inflation as online savings accounts can. It's up to you to determine if the trade-off is worth it.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Tempura/Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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