The Best Savings Accounts in Maryland
Maryland is home to more than 6 million Americans and located right next to our nation’s capital.
These factors have combined to make it an important market for the banks of the United States.
Because most of the six million residents of Maryland need bank accounts, the banks that operate in the state compete to draw new customers. Of the many services that banks offer, the savings account is one of the most common.
Savings accounts are designed with two goals in mind. They provide consumers with a safe place to keep their spare cash. They also pay interest, giving people a way to grow their savings over time.
Savings accounts are easy to withdraw money from when compared to investment accounts. That makes them well suited for storage of money you might need in a pinch, such as emergency savings.
If you live in Maryland and want a savings account, this article will discuss some of your options. Taking the time to find the right bank can help you get a great deal on an account.
Largest Banks in Maryland
The largest banks in Maryland, by deposits, are:
- Bank of America
- M&T Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Capital One
- Suntrust Bank
- Sandy Spring Bank
- TD Bank
This list includes a mixture of national and local banks. We recommend that Marylanders consider one of the following banks if they need to open a savings account:
- M&T Bank
- Suntrust Bank
- United Bank
They both offer their own benefits and drawbacks.
Online Savings Accounts are Available Nationwide
Local banks aren’t the only option available to you.
Online banks have become more popular in recent years and they are known for having great savings account offerings.
Many traditional banks have cut interest rates and raised fees in the past decade. This means that customers often wind up paying for the service of having a bank account.
Online banks flip this trend on its head, paying rates ten to one hundred times higher than traditional banks do. They also tend to charge low or no fees.
Lower fees, higher rates
Interest rates and fees can have a massive impact on the value of your savings.
If you leave your money to grow for a few years, even what seems like a small difference can cause a change of hundreds to thousands of dollars in your ending balance.
Don’t forget that brick and mortar banks often charge fees.
If you paid a monthly fee, it could wipe out all of the interest you earned, leaving you with less than you deposited in total.
That’s another reason to choose an online bank.
No minimum deposits
If you don’t have much money to spare but want to start saving, online banks are a great choice.
Many brick and mortar banks require that you have $50 or $100 to deposit to open a new savings accounts.
Most online banks have minimum deposit requirements of $10 or less. Some even let you open an account with just a penny.
Your money is safe
People often perceive online banks as less safe than brick and mortar banks. Admittedly, giving your money to a bank you can’t see can be scary, but online banks are just as safe.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will insure your savings account, up to a limit of $250,000. If you deposit money to an online bank that later goes bankrupt, the FDIC will reimburse you for the lost amount.
The insurance limit applies by account type at a bank.
If you have two personal savings accounts, you’re only protected on up to $250,000 in combined balances.
You can get additional protection by opening a savings account at a different bank or by opening a joint account at the same bank.
Your Best Savings Options at Local Maryland Banks
Local banks offer two major benefits that national banks cannot.
One is that local banks can provide more personalized service.
Think about the difference between visiting a local farmer’s market when compared to going to a huge grocery store. The person at the farmer’s market will get to know you and what kind of foods you like.
They might be able to make recommendations or offer you deals as you get to know each other.
The staff at a local bank will get to know you over time and will be better equipped to provide specialized help.
The second is that local banks specifically target local consumers.
National banks have to meet the needs of people across the country.
Features that are helpful to someone in California may not be useful to people who are in Maryland. A local bank can put its full focus on providing services that meet the needs of local customers and avoid wasting money on services that won’t be used by its customers.
One good reason to work with a national bank is that they offer huge networks of branches and ATMs.
If you travel regularly or wind up moving, you’ll have no trouble using your existing bank account. You might have to pay some ATM fees or change banks if you travel or move and only have an account at a regional bank.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Savings Accounts from Local Banks
M&T Bank e-Money Market
The M&T Bank e-Money Market Account gives consumers the benefits of a fee-free savings account with some of the flexibility of a checking account.
Money Market Accounts are a special type of bank account.
They offer the interest rates of savings accounts with the check-writing ability of checking accounts. They often have higher interest rates than savings accounts because banks have more freedom to invest money you deposit to a money market account.
The increased flexibility and interest is usually compensated for by fees and high minimum deposits. The M&T Bank e-Money Market Account charges no monthly fee.
The only fee to watch out for is a $12.50 withdrawal fee on every withdrawal after the sixth in a month. There’s also no minimum deposit requirement and no minimum balance that you must maintain.
Suntrust Essential Savings Account
The Suntrust Essential Savings Account’s main goal is to be easy to open and easy to use.
This is clearly shown with the account’s minimum deposit and balance requirements.
To open the account, you need to have just a penny. There’s no huge minimum deposit requirement to meet. There’s also no minimum balance. As long as you have a penny in the account, you’ll earn interest.
One fee to watch out for is the $3 monthly paper statement fee. Signing up for electronic statements will let you avoid this fee relatively easily. If you do this, the account won’t carry any monthly fees.
There are some extra features that make the account even more useful. You can sign up for balance alerts to help you avoid overdrawing your account or to help keep track of your goals. You can also set up automatic savings transfers.
United Bank Platinum Savings Account
The United Bank Platinum Savings offers another fee-free way to start saving.
To open the account, you’ll have to make a $50 initial deposit. Once the account is open, there won’t be a minimum balance requirement. There will also be no monthly fee. The only fee to worry about is the $5 excessive transaction fee that applies to each withdrawal after the sixth in a statement period.
You can also request an ATM card attached to the account. You can use it to make withdrawals at any United Bank ATM.