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Is now a good time to open a high-yield savings account?

In today's high interest rate environment it makes sense to open a high-yield savings account. Getty Images

Although inflation and the Fed's attempts to moderate it have caused interest rates to jump significantly in recent months, the news hasn't been all bad. In fact, savers can benefit from today's high rates. While higher rates have led to concerns and delays in the homebuying sector, they have significantly raised the appeal of traditional deposit vehicles like certificates of deposit (CD) and high-yield savings accounts. 

Like any financial product or service, however, there are better times to open these accounts than others. You don't want to open it too late and miss out on higher interest rates, but you don't want to open it too early and earn a negligible return. So is now a good time to open a high-yield savings account or should you wait and put your money elsewhere? That's what we will discuss in this article.

If you think you could benefit from opening a high-yield savings account, explore your options here now to see how much more you could be earning.

Is now a good time to open a high-yield savings account?

Here are three reasons why now is a good time to open a high-yield savings account.

Rates are high

Recent activity by the Federal Reserve has led to a significant increase in interest rates for high-yield savings accounts. If you shop around and are willing to use an online bank you can potentially secure an account with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 3.5% to 5% or even higher. Compare that to the 0.37% average interest rate you can get by leaving your money in a regular savings account and it's clear that you're losing money by not making the change to a high-yield account. 

How much money are you leaving on the table by not making the shift? Let's say you deposit $5,000 into a regular account. After 12 months you would have a new balance of $5,018.50. But if you put that same amount into a high-yield account you'd have $5,175.00 over the same time frame (at the 3.5% interest rate). The more you deposit the more you'll make (and the more your interest will compound over time).

Explore your high-yield savings account options now and start earning more interest!

Rates could drop

While rates are high now, they may not stay that way for long. Interest rates on high-yield savings accounts are variable, so the high rate you can secure by opening your account currently may not last forever. So if you want to get the most out of your money it pays to act quickly.

That said, in today's economy it's not likely that interest rates on high-yield accounts will drop precipitously, either. 

"We likely will not see continued increases like we have in the past 6-12 months, but decreases are not likely either," Devin Carroll, owner and lead advisor at Carroll Advisory Group, recently told CBS News. "In the short term, rates are likely to stay level or increase slightly. I am not expecting any large swings in prevailing rates," Carroll said.

What you don't want to do is wait for rates to increase even more and lose the window of opportunity to make more money on your account now. So consider taking advantage of today's rate environment while it's still advantageous.

Accounts are secure

Unlike stock investing or other places where you may elect to put your money, you won't lose money with a high-yield savings account. Your principle will remain secure (assuming you don't make any withdrawals). The only thing that may change will be the interest rate — you may make more or less interest but you won't lose any money. That said, you won't necessarily earn the same returns as you would on riskier investments. But that may be OK considering the volatility in the market. If you're looking for a safe place to deposit your money with no risk of losing it, a high-yield savings account may be right for you now.

The bottom line

High-yield savings accounts offer a great way to store and grow your money. In today's high interest rate environment, they're particularly worthwhile to open. Interest rates are exponentially higher than what they were just a few years ago, although they could drop in the upcoming months and years — making now an opportune time to act. And if you're cautious about losing any more money than you already have, these accounts could be a safe way to protect your money from additional volatility. 

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