Ask Money

Online savings accounts

Chris Farrell Aug 3, 2010

Question: I’m 31 and have a good chunk of cash in an online savings account, saving it for a home down payment. I see at bankrate.com that there are other online FDIC insured accounts that offer up to 0.3% higher interest rates and was thinking of opening another online account. The idea would be that I would move money between the two (or more?) accounts as the interest rates fluctuate between them. Is there any downside to having several online savings accounts and chasing the interest rates this way? Thanks for your advice! Michael, Baltimore, MD

Answer: The main downside is whether it’s worth your time and the effort.

I can’t imagine that you’ll earn much more interest by shifting the money around to take advantage of minor differences in rates, especially once you add in lags before the transferred money clears. I’d rather that you focus on finding a good online account with the kind of service and products you want.

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