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Find the Best Savings Accounts in Florida

Find out which savings accounts are the best offerings from Florida banks and compare them to the top online savings accounts when it comes to rates and fees.

Florida is home to nearly 21 million Americans, each of whom needs access to banking services.

One of the most commonly used banking services is the savings account, so many banks have target Floridian customers with their savings account offerings.

If you live in Florida and want to open a savings account, learn about the options available to you.

Largest Banks in Florida

The largest banks in Florida, by deposits, are:

  • TIAA Direct
  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
  • Suntrust Bank
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Regions Bank
  • BB&T
  • TD Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank

This list may include a combination of national and smaller, local banks.

If you want to open a savings account, we recommend that you consider one of the following banks.

  • BBVA
  • Bank OZK
  • Centennial Bank

You might also consider an online bank or a local credit union, as each offers its own benefits and disadvantages.

Online Savings Accounts Available Nationwide

Though you might find the idea of using a local bank appealing, do your due diligence and consider all the options.

Online savings accounts can be used anywhere in the U.S., and often offer better deals.

Low fees, great rates

One large advantage of online banks is that they are much cheaper to run than traditional banks are.

By avoiding the costs associated with operating ATMs and bank branches, online banks can keep costs down.

They tend to pass those savings on to customers in the form of low fees and high interest rates.

Out of sight, out of mind

Online banks are great for savings accounts because they are out of sight and out of mind.

When you drive by your local bank branch, you may be reminded of your growing savings account balance.

Online banks don’t have physical locations that can trigger those reminders. Online banks are great for set it and forget it savings because you’ll be less tempted to spend your savings on things you don’t need.

Better mobile experience

Online banks only have one way to interact with their customers: their online experience.

Traditional banks will offer online and mobile banking services but don’t have to invest as much in them because customers can always visit a branch.

Online banks have to offer all of their services online, so they tend to have the best, easiest to use apps and websites.

Online banks are just as safe

With the rise in online fraud, many people are worried about trusting their money to an online bank.

In reality, online banks are just as safe as any other, thanks to insurance from the FDIC.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was founded after the Great Depression began. Its goal was to restore confidence in the banking system. It does this by insuring the balance of checking and savings accounts.

If you make a deposit at a bank that later is unable to return your money, the FDIC will reimburse you for the loss, up to a limit of $250,000 per account ownership type.

So long as you don’t let your balance exceed this amount, you cannot lose the money you’ve saved at an online bank.

Which Florida Banks Offer Strong Savings Options?

Savings accounts at national banks tend to offer the same interest rates and charge the same fees, regardless of where you live.

That means that someone from Florida could have the same account as someone from Oregon or New Hampshire.

If you travel a lot, that can be convenient, but choosing a local Florida bank gets you access to services tailored to Floridians’ needs.

Local banks can also offer personalized services and higher interest rates than national chains do.

BBVA ClearConnect Savings

The BBVA ClearConnect savings account combines low fees with the ability to earn interest.

Many banks have begun charging service fees to offset the costs of managing savings and checking accounts. Usually, it is possible to avoid these fees by maintaining a high balance or making a specific number of transactions.

One of the large draws of the BBVA ClearConnect savings account is that it does not charge any maintenance fees. You simply leave your money in the account and let it grow, without worrying that fees will cause your balance to drop.

When you need to get your money out of the account, BBVA offers an ATM card that doesn’t charge a fee, so long as you make your withdrawal at a BBVA ATM.

If you have a checking account at BBVA, you can sign up for automatic overdraft transfers from your ClearConnect savings account.

If you ever overdraft your checking account, money will be automatically transferred from your savings to your checking account. That lets you avoid having your card declined, and costly overdraft fees.

Bank OZK Personal Savings Account

The Bank OZK personal savings account offers a low minimum balance and easy access to your savings with a free ATM card.

This account does charge a monthly fee of $3 if you let your account balance fall below $100. If your balance remains above $100 through the whole month, you will not be charged any maintenance fees.

If you also have a Bank OZK checking account, you can sign up for the bank’s My Change Keeper service. This service helps you save by transferring money to your savings account every time you make a debit card purchase.

You can decide to round your purchase to the next dollar, round up and add a dollar or more, or simply add a few dollars to each charge. The extra money will be automatically moved to your savings account. This can help you build your savings without having to spend time thinking about it.

Centennial Bank Personal Savings Account

Centennial Bank’s personal savings account is a relatively basic account that gives you the opportunity to grow your savings.

You must make a minimum deposit of $100 to open the account, and must maintain a balance of that size to avoid monthly fees. If you let your balance fall below $100, you’ll begin incurring $3 monthly service charges.

One other fee to watch out for is the excessive transaction fee. You can make up to six withdrawals from the account each month, free of charge. Each withdrawal after that will incur a $5 fee.

If you have a Centennial Bank checking account, this account offers overdraft transfers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Local Banks

Local banks have the advantage of being able to offer personalized services.

Over time, the people at your bank will get to know you and can help you meet your personal goals. It also makes it easy to get your questions answered since you can walk into any branch to get help with your account.

National bank chains have more trouble offering that level of familiarity and personalization.

Their biggest benefit is that economies of scale let larger banks charge lower fees. Small, local banks sometimes charge higher fees just to stay afloat.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Savings Accounts from Local Banks

Benefits Drawbacks
  • Lower fees than national banks (but not always)
  • Personal service for account management
  • Smaller branch and ATM networks
  • Interest rates are not the highest available

What Kind of Account is Right for You?

When deciding on whether you should open an account at a local bank or an online bank, ask yourself these questions.

How often do you visit a branch of your current bank? If you visit it regularly and enjoy the experience, you might want to continue using a local bank.

Are you good with technology? Online banks require a familiarity with smartphones and the internet. If you struggle to keep up with changing technology, an online bank might not be the right choice for you.

Are you willing to pay for the ability to visit a branch of your bank? Online accounts charge lower fees and pay more interest. Will you accept the higher fees and lower returns just for the ability to visit a physical location?

Most Important Features in a Savings Account

Choosing the right savings account can be difficult, but it is important. Compare these factors when comparing different savings accounts.

Interest rate

Savings accounts let you keep your money in a safe place and earn some return on your money.

Look for the account that pays the most interest.

Choosing an account with a lower rate is like passing up on free money.

Fees

Many savings accounts charge maintenance fees that quickly outstrip the interest the account pays.

Look for accounts that don’t charge any fees. At worst, choose an account with fee waiver requirements you can easily meet.

Accessing your money

While you hope that you won’t need access to your savings on short notice, sometimes emergencies happen. When they do, you want to be able to get to your money quickly.

Local banks excel at this since you can just walk into your local branch.

Online banks may impose daily withdrawal limits, making it difficult to make large withdrawals when you need to.

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