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  How To Maximize Your Interest Earnings  

Earn More From
Your Bank Account

1. Checking account. Interest-bearing checking accounts pay very low interest, require minimum balances, and tend to come with more fees than non-interest-bearing accounts.  It's better to get a free checking account, which is offered by many banks.
2. Savings account. Most banks pay much less interest on a savings account than a Money Market Account, so MMAs are almost always better deals.
3. Money market account (MMA). MMAs are FDIC-insured savings accounts (unlike money market funds, which are not insured.) Most MMAs let you write 3 checks per month. Banks require a minimum balance, usually between $500 and $2,000. Many people settle for mediocre MMA rates offered by a local bank; better offers are listed at BankRate's MMA Rate Search page.
4. Certificates of Deposit. CDs pay slightly higher interest than MMAs, but you'll need to keep your money deposited for a certain period (usually 6 months to a year) or else you'll have to pay a withdrawal penalty. If you find yourself tempted to spend money you've resolved to save, keeping it in CDs can help you be more disciplined.

(Next Gem: A Few Basic Investment Tips)

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