Savings Account

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What is a 'Savings Account'

A savings account is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution that provides principal security and a modest interest rate. Depending on the specific type of savings account, the account holder may not be able to write checks from the account (without incurring extra fees or expenses) and the account is likely to have a limited number of free transfers/transactions. Savings account funds are considered one of the most liquid investments outside of demand accounts and cash. In contrast to savings accounts, checking accounts allow you to write checks and use electronic debit to access your funds inside the account. Savings accounts are generally for money that you don't intend to use for daily expenses. To open a savings account, simply go down to your local bank with proper identification and ask to open an account.

BREAKING DOWN 'Savings Account'

Because savings accounts almost always pay lower interest rates than Treasury bills and certificates of deposit, they should not be used for long-term holding periods. Their main advantages are liquidity and superior rates compared to checking accounts. Most modern savings accounts offer access to funds through visits to a local branch, over the internet and through automated teller machines.

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