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3 ways high-yield savings rates could rise in 2024

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It's time to consider whether high-yield savings rates could increase in the new year. May Lim/500px

Interest rates have been at their highest point in years recently, offering significant returns for savers — particularly those who open high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposits (CDs).

Those high rates are a result of recent Federal Reserve moves to quash inflation, however, and with inflation finally moving downward, they might not stick around for long. In fact, many experts project rates will stay at their current level at the start of 2024 and then fall by mid-year.

"I would say it is highly unlikely that rates will go up further in 2024," says Aaron Cirksena, founder and CEO of investment advisory firm MDRN Capital. "They will likely begin to come down at some point in 2024."

That's not a given, though. And in some scenarios, there may be room for higher rates in the new year. 

Learn about the top high-yield savings rates you could get here.

3 ways high-yield savings rates could rise in 2024

If you're concerned about the idea of rates increasing in the new year, here's how experts say that could happen.

If inflation reverses course

Inflation has been moving downward steadily, falling from a peak of 9.1% last year to just over 3% today. Should that trend reverse, though, and inflation start rising again, it could mean higher savings rates are on the horizon. 

It's "extremely unlikely," though, CIrksena says. 

"It now seems like the Fed has kept rates high enough for long enough that inflation has come under control," he says. 

Explore your top high-yield savings account options online here.

If the Federal Reserve increases its benchmark rate again

If inflation does spike again, the Federal Reserve would be forced to increase its benchmark interest rate, which would mean a jump in savings rates, too. 

"Interest rates that we can get on our savings at various banks and savings institutions are directly affected by the Federal Reserve and what it is charging," says Chris Longsworth, host of the radio show "The Money Professor" and owner of The Financial Education Group. "As long as they keep turning up the rates, your savings rates will increase equally and as well."

Again, further rate hikes from the Fed aren't likely. The central bank's most recent projections actually call for three potential rate decreases at some point in 2024. 

"It is incredibly unlikely that inflation numbers could reverse to a degree that the Fed would have to all of a sudden raise rates again, which is the main scenario that would lead to higher savings account rates," Cirksena says.

If the 10-year Treasury rate increases

If yields on 10-year Treasury bonds go up, this could also lead to higher interest rates on CDs and savings accounts, according to Vijay Marolia, chief investment officer at Regal Point Capital Management.

"Most consumer banking and lending rates follow the movements in the U.S, 10-year Treasury rate," Marolia says. "It's probably the most important rate in the world, so unless you see a further rise in the 10-year yield, I would not expect further increases in 2024."

The 10-year Treasury yield has actually been trending downward in recent months, falling from nearly 5% in October to just over 4% today.

Act now before it's too late

While it's certainly possible that interest rates on savings accounts and CDs rise further in 2024, it's not the most likely scenario, according to financial pros. For this reason, you may want to open an account soon to snag today's historically high rates while you still can.

"If you want to maximize your high-yield savings account rate right now, you should get money into one while rates are where they are," Cirksena says. "Don't assume they will stay at current rates throughout 2024."

You might also consider a lengthier CD, as this will lock in those interest rates for a longer time. Just make sure you don't need the money in the near term, as most CDs come with hefty penalties if you withdraw cash early. 

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