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Best Business Checking Accounts

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If you’re starting a business, one of the first steps to take is opening a business checking account. Being able to make transactions and deposit funds is an essential component of actually doing business, after all.

Every business owner will need different things from their checking account, based on factors like how many transactions you make per month and what kind of minimum balance you can manage. However, these are the basic business checking account features you need to look for:

  • Low transaction fees
  • Low minimum opening deposit and minimum balance requirements
  • High interest rates
  • Access to physical bank branches
  • Extensive ATM network

Since finding the right account can be a chore, we’ve compiled a round-up of the best business checking accounts that are currently available. Every month, we review business checking account rates using data from another LendingTree company, DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. We sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions that were not available nationwide and did not meet the five criteria above.

To make the cut, the account needed to have minimal fees, a minimum of 50 transactions per month and the option to waive monthly fees if certain requirements are met. While offering an APY wasn’t a requirement, it was taken into consideration when developing this list.

Best Business Checking Accounts of August 2020

Account NameMinimum Balance to Waive Monthly Fee Number of Transactions Per Month with No ChargeAPY

BlueVine Business Checking

N/A

Unlimited1.00%

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Average daily balance of $5,000

Up to 500.50%

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Average monthly balance of $5,000

Unlimited0.10%

TIAA Bank Business Checking

Daily balance of $5,000

First 200 itemsNone

First Citizens Bank Basic Business Checking

None, but must enroll in paperless statements

Up to 175 itemsNone

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000

UnlimitedNone

nbkc Bank Business Account

N/A

UnlimitedNone

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

Average monthly balance of $15,000

500None

PNC Bank Business Checking

Average monthly collected balance of $500

Up to 150 transactionsNone

BlueVine Business Checking

BlueVine Business Checking

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on BlueVine’s secure website

Internet-based BlueVine is currently offering the most competitive business checking account out there, with a generous APY and no fees. Currently, BlueVine’s Business Checking account doles out an APY of 1.00% if you maintain a balance over $1,000.

Customers of BlueVine’s Business Checking account will also enjoy the account’s minimal fee model, which features no monthly service fees, unlimited transactions with no monthly balance required, no ATM fees at MoneyPass ATMs nationwide and no NSF fees. BlueVine’s banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank.

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited free transactions
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None at MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
  • Number of physical branches: Online-based, with three U.S. branches

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Business Interest Checking

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on Axos Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Axos Bank offers one of the few business checking accounts with minimal fees and a competitive APY, making it one of the best choices out there. Axos Bank’s Business Interest Checking account features an APY of 0.50% on account balances ranging from $0 to $5 million.

There is a $100 minimum required to open an account, and although the bank does charge a monthly maintenance fee of $10, you can waive the fee if you maintain a minimum average daily balance of $5,000. Other attractive features of the Axos Bank Business Interest Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 50 items per month, $0.50 after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, can be we waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited domestic reimbursements
  • Number of physical branches: Online only

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Tailored Checking

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on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Radius Bank is another online-only option that offers a great business checking account. Radius Bank’s Tailored Checking account features an APY of 0.10% on balances over $5,000. Like Axos, there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5,000. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open an account, but no minimum balance requirement after that.

In addition to earning interest, other features of the Radius Bank Tailored Checking account worth noting are:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $10, but can be waived with average monthly balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited ATM reimbursements, excluding international exchange fees)
  • Number of physical branches: One in Boston, otherwise it’s all online

TIAA Bank Business Checking

Small Business Checking - 1st Year Intro Rate

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on TIAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

TIAA Bank offers a number of business checking accounts, ranging from options geared specifically to small businesses, to others tailored for non-profits. The standard Business Checking account is a solid product that ticks a number of boxes for a great, low-fee account. It’s worth noting that there’s a minimum deposit of $1,500 required to open an account, relatively higher than other business checking accounts out there.

It’s worth noting that there’s a minimum deposit of $1,500 required to open an account, relatively higher than other business checking accounts out there. Other business checking accounts offered by TIAA Bank that are worth exploring, depending on your business’s needs, include the Small Business Checking account, which is made for sole proprietors and single owner LLCs and offers an intro APY of 0.40%, and the Business Analysis Checking account.

The TIAA Bank Business Checking account features the following:

  • Transaction fees: First 200 items per month, $0.25 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $14.95, but can be waived with balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: $15 monthly ATM reimbursement (domestic)
  • Number of physical branches: 145

First Citizens Basic Business Checking

Basic Business Checking

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on First Citizens Bank (NC)’s secure website

First Citizens Bank, which has a branch network sprawling across the Southeast and Southwest, and also offers online banking services. First Citizens promotes its Basic Business Checking account as a “favorite starter account” for businesses because of its simplicity and affordability. It’s one of the few banks on this list that doesn’t have any monthly maintenance fees, regardless of the account’s balance, as long as you opt out of paper statements.

With a low minimum deposit requirement of just $100 to open an account and no minimum balance requirements after that, it’s also one of the more accessible checking accounts for businesses that are not flush with cash from the get-go. While the First Citizens Basic Business Checking account doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, it’s a low-fee account with attractive features similar to those offered at big financial institutions:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 175 items per month, $0.50 each after that
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to First Citizens Bank ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 500 branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Spark Business Unlimited Checking

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on Capital One’s secure website

The standout feature of Capital One’s Spark Business Unlimited Checking account is its unlimited transactions, a relatively rare feature for business checking accounts at the other big banks.

The Spark Business Unlimited Checking account requires a pretty hefty balance to waive the monthly service fee of $35. Capital One, however, does offer free overdraft protection with a linked small business deposit account. Other noteworthy features offered by the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $35, can be waived with prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000
  • ATM fees: Free access to 39,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: More than 400

nbkc bank Business Account

Business Account

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on nbkc bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

The nbkc bank Business Account is a no-frills business checking account with competitive incentives, including unlimited transactions. There is no minimum required to open an account, and with no minimum balance requirements, this is a checking account that’s especially accessible for businesses just starting out.

For those who want more from their nbkc bank Business Account services, the bank also offers add-on options for an additional cost, like the Desktop Deposit, which gives you unlimited deposits from your office and unlimited account support. Drawbacks of the nbkc bank Business account include only having a handful of physical bank branches in Kansas and Missouri. However, nbkc primarily presents itself as an online-only bank.

Other standout features of the nbkc bank Business account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to 34,000 MoneyPass ATMs and up to $12 monthly refunds for any ATM’s fees
  • Number of physical branches: 4 total in Kansas and Missouri (it positions itself as an online bank)

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

 Business Advantage Checking

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on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America (BoA) offers a number of business checking accounts, but its Business Advantage Checking account in particular has a number of competitive features. This account does have a relatively steep monthly fee of $29.95, but it gives you several options to avoid that fee. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open the account.

One perk worth highlighting is that you’ll also receive an additional Business Advantage Checking account and an additional Business Advantage Savings account at no extra charge, as well as a $300 credit to new, eligible business credit cards if you make at least $3,000 in new purchases within the first 90 days.

Other standout features of the Bank of America Business Advantage Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 500 transactions per month, $0.45 after that
  • Monthly fee: $29.95, which can be waived in several ways, including maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $15,000, maintaining a combined average monthly balance in linked BoA accounts of $35,000, or spending $2,500 in net new purchases on a BoA business credit card
  • ATM fees: Free access to Bank of America ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 4,000

PNC Bank Business Checking

Business Checking Plus

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on PNC Bank’s secure website

PNC Bank’s Business Checking account is great for budding businesses interested in the checking essentials with minimal fees. There is a minimum deposit of just $100 required to open an account, and the $10 monthly maintenance fee is waived by meeting certain requirements, including maintaining an average, monthly collected balance of just $500.

There are drawbacks of the PNC Bank Business Checking account, though. PNC itself has a relatively nonexistent footprint in the Western region of the U.S., so if you live in that region and want the convenience of a bank with brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll want to take that into consideration.

Other noteworthy features of the PNC Bank Business Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 150 transactions monthly, $0.50 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, waived if you maintain a balance of $500, use a linked PNC business credit card to make a minimum of $500 in eligible purchases or Maintain a linked PNC Merchant Services account and generate a minimum of $500 in qualifying monthly processing deposits
  • ATM fees: Free access to 15,000 PNC ATMs, two reimbursements per statement cycle of non-PNC Bank ATM fees
  • Number of physical branches: 2,400 in Alabama, Delaware, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Business checking accounts vs. personal checking accounts

At first glance, business checking accounts versus personal checking accounts might seem fairly similar. But if you take a closer look, you can understand the key differences. While every account has its differing features, personal checking accounts usually have:

Meanwhile, business checking accounts often have:

  • Monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements to waive them
  • Lower APYs
  • Extra fees for actions ranging from having an excess of transactions to depositing cash
  • More documentation required to open an account
  • The option to order employee debit cards

Why you need a business checking account

If you’re a business owner, you might be wondering why you even have to open a checking account separate from your personal one. After all, personal checking accounts tend to have lower fees, higher APYs and better features. Why not just skip opening one and — when it comes to your checking accounts — mix business with pleasure?

There are several reasons why you should keep your work and personal checking accounts from co-mingling. First and foremost: If you operate your business as a legal entity that is separate from you – say, as an LLC – you’re legally required to keep your personal and business finances separate. Opening a business checking account is the simplest way to do that.

Another reason why you need a checking account for your business is to protect yourself. If you have structured your business entity as a corporation or an LLC, and you have a separate checking account for your business, you and other shareholders’ personal assets are not likely to be seized for damages your company is obligated to pay when filing for bankruptcy.

Benefits of a business checking account

There are a number of other benefits associated with maintaining a business checking account, aside from the obvious ones of following the law and protecting your personal assets. Those benefits can include:

  • Keeping your business records organized. This will make it easier to track your business’s profitability and assess its performance.
  • Simplifying your taxes. By keeping your personal and business checking accounts separate, it will be easier for you to file your taxes accurately and avoid penalties from the IRS. Also, it will make it easier for you to deduct business expenses from your taxes.
  • Being able to accept credit cards as a form of payment, either by setting up a merchant system or credit acceptance system.
  • Being able to allow your employees to use the business checking account.

What you need to open a business checking account

When opening a business checking account, you need more than just a spiffy company name and logo. You’ll typically be required to present the following documents:

  • Employee Identification Number (or Social Security number if it’s a sole proprietorship)
  • Your business’s formation documents
  • Ownership agreements
  • Business license

Opening a business checking account might be one of the first, big business decisions you will make as an entrepreneur. Make sure it’s an informed decision: Do your research, come with questions and be confident about the account you are opening before signing on the dotted line.

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Earning Interest

The Best CD Rates – August 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

 

Reviewed By

If you’re looking for a better yield on your savings and have time to burn, a high-rate CD at an online bank would be a great option. With a CD, you agree to lock up your funds in an account for a specific period of time, and in return the bank offers a higher yield than you’d find on a standard savings account. If you’re not keen on the idea of completely locking your money away for a set amount of time, you may want to consider a no-penalty CD. These accounts give you the benefit of locking down a rate for a set amount of time without requiring you to lock in your money for the length of the term.

CDs are often seen as the next level up after savings for that reason. If you’ve maxed out your savings account with enough funds to see you through the next year or so, it can be wise to start shoveling savings into a CD to maximize your returns.

For the best CD rates in the industry, check out online banks. They tend to offer much better interest rates than traditional banks, thanks to the lack of typical brick-and-mortar costs.

For example, let’s say you find a 12-month CD at a big brick-and-mortar bank that requires a $1,000 minimum deposit and pays 0.05% APY. If you were to open that account with just the minimum, you’d earn 50 cents after a year. Even a bigger deposit of $10,000 would only yield $5 at maturity.

At an online bank, on the other hand, you could earn 2.80% often with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Opening the account with $1,000 would yield $28, while a $10,000 deposit would earn $280 in a year, a much better return on your money no matter how you look at it. (If you would rather get a savings account or money market with no time restriction, look at the best savings accounts or best money market accounts).

Check out MagnifyMoney’s top picks for the best CD rates below.

Do you have a savings goal in mind? Tell us about it!

The best CD rates for August 2020

To find the best CD rates, we look for the banks that consistently offer competitive CD rates month over month. This list is updated weekly and the rates are organized by 1-year rates from highest to lowest. Here are the accounts from top banks with consistently competitive CD rates:

6 months – 6 years: Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 0.60% APY – 1.05% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open

High-yield 12 Month CD from Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the online consumer bank of Goldman Sachs (the large investment bank). Your funds are FDIC insured, and Goldman offers very competitive annual percentage yields (accurate as of 7/9/20). Even better: there is only a $500 minimum deposit. So, if you don’t have enough money to meet the minimum deposit of the other banks on this list, or you are looking for another bank for your savings, GS is a good option. It also doesn’t hurt that they also offer some of the best CD rates in the market today. Here are their rates:

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 months

0.60%

$500

9 months

0.70%

$500

12 months

1.00%

$500

18 months

1.00%

$500

24 months

1.00%

$500

3 years

1.00%

$500

4 years

1.00%

$500

5 years

1.05%

$500

6 years

1.05%

$500

3 months – 5 years: Ally Bank – 0.35% APY – 1.00% APY; $0 minimum deposit to open (higher APY with higher deposit)

12 Month High Yield CD from Ally Bank

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on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Ally is one of the largest internet-only banks in the country. Ally’s former advertising campaign made it very clear: no branches = higher rates. And Ally has consistently paid some of the highest rates in the country across savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs. For savers with fewer funds, Ally is unique. There is no minimum deposit to open a CD. However, if you have more money, you’ll earn more in interest and in some cases, earn a higher APY. And one of our favorite features of Ally: they often (although not always) offer preferential rates on renewal. Far too often banks give the biggest bonuses to new customers, but Ally has done a good job of rewarding its existing customers. All deposits at Ally are FDIC insured up to the legal limit.

3-months:
  • 0.35% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.35% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.35% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
18-months:
  • 0.95% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.95% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.95% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
6-months:
  • 0.50% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.50% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.50% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
3-year:
  • 0.95% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.95% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.95% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
9-months:
  • 0.60% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.60% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.60% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
5-year:
  • 1.00% APY (less than $5k)
  • 1.00% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 1.00% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
12-months:
  • 0.90% APY (less than $5k)
  • 0.90% APY ($5k minimum deposit)
  • 0.90% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
3 months – 10 years: Discover Bank – 0.25% APY – 1.05% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit to open

12 Month CD from Discover Bank

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Discover Bank's website is secure

Discover is best known for cash back credit cards. However, Discover has also quietly built a leading internet bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts and CDs. Discover has invested in a mobile banking app and strong on-shore customer service.Although Discover does not always have the highest rate, it is very close (within basis points) across all durations. If customer service and digital tools (like apps) are important to you, Discover is an excellent consideration. Note: you can even get a CD rate with a duration as short as 3 months. However, you would be better off opening a high yield savings account if you plan on saving the money for less than a year.Keep in mind that all CD terms come with an early withdrawal penalty if you choose to withdraw money before your maturity date. If your Discover CD is less than one year, the penalty is worth three months of simple interest. If the term is between one to three years, the penalty is worth six months of simple interest. Four-year CDs have a penalty that is worth nine months of simple interest. Five year CDs have a penalty that is worth 18 months of simple interest and seven to 10-year CDs have a penalty that is worth 24 months of simple interest.

CD TermAPY
3-months0.25%
6-months0.45%
9-months0.55%
12-months0.90%
18-months0.90%
2-year0.90%
30-months0.95%
3-year0.95%
4-year0.95%
5-year1.05%
7-year1.05%
10-year1.05%
1 year – 5 years: Citizens Access – 0.65% APY – 0.80% APY; $5000 minimum deposit to open

Online 1 Year CD from Citizens Access

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on Citizens Access’s secure website

Member FDIC

Citizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank, N.A., aimed at providing more convenient access to better banking products. Both divisions are headquartered in Providence, R.I. Citizens Bank was founded in 1828 and as of September 2019, had $150 billion in assets.Citizens Access’ online CD accounts require a pretty high opening deposit of $5,000. However, all its terms earn at premium rates, making your savings more worthwhile. Citizens Access also offers an easy opening process to build a CD ladder with them. You’ll need to deposit at least $5,000 in each new CD, though.

When you fund any new Citizens Access CD within 10 days after opening, the bank’s CD Rate Pledge will apply, snagging you the highest interest rate offered by the bank for that CD term within those 10 days. Here are their rates:

CD TermAPY
12 months0.65%
2 years0.65%
3 years0.70%
4 years0.75%
5 years0.80%
1 year – 5 years: Barclays Bank – 0.65%0.65% APY, no minimum deposit to open
Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the world. Although they’re based in London, they do have a U.S. presence and offer competitive rates on their CDs and savings account. Currently, they’re offering some of the highest CD rates in the market, and they have an edge over the rest of the institutions on this list: they don’t require a minimum balance to earn the APY or open an account. Deposit as little or as much as you’d like into a term of your choice and you can start earning interest as long as the account is funded within 14 days of opening the CD. Additionally, your funds are insured through the FDIC.

CD TermAPY
1-year0.65%
2-year0.65%
3-year0.65%
4-year0.65%
5-year0.65%
1 Years – 5 years: Quontic Bank – 1.02% APY – 1.28% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open

12 Month CD from Quontic Bank

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on Quontic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Online bank Quontic Bank offers a wide range of CDs, with term lengths from one year to five years. Currently, its 1-year CD doles out an APY of 1.02%, although its crown jewel is its 5-year CD, which has a high APY of 1.28%. There is a minimum deposit of $500 required for this product.

CD TermAPY
1-year1.02%
3-year1.17%
5-year1.28%
90 days – 5 years: BankUnitedDirect – 0.10% APY – 0.25% APY; $10,000 minimum deposit to open

12 Month CD from BankDirect

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on BankDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

Online bank BankUnitedDirect offers a wide range of CDs, varying in term length from 90 days to five years. Currently, its 1-year CD boasts a competitive APY of 1.11%. However, there is a hefty minimum deposit of $10,000 required for this product.

BankUnitedDirect is the online division of Texas Capital Bank. It offers an array of banking products to consumers online, nationwide.

TermAPY
90 days0.10%
6 months0.50%
12 months0.75%
18 months0.85%
24 months1.00%
30 months0.50%
36 months0.50%
48 months0.25%
60 months0.25%
6 months – 1 year: iGobanking – 0.75% APY – 1.00% APY; $1,000 minimum balance

12 Month iGOCD from iGObanking

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on IGObanking’s secure website

Member FDIC

Online bank iGObanking offers only two CDs — a 6-month and 1-year term — but it features fairly attractive rates. Currently, its 1-year CD doles out an APY of 1.00%, with a minimum deposit of $1,000 required.

Term

APY

3 Months

0.15%

6 Months

0.75%

8 Months

0.15%

9 Months

0.15%

12 Months

1.00%

13 Months

0.15%

15 Months

0.15%

18 Months

0.15%

24 Months

0.15%

29 Months

0.15%

36 Months

0.15%

48 Months

0.15%

60 Months

0.15%

7 Years

0.15%

10 Years

0.15%

6 months – 3 years: LimeLight Bank – 0.70% APY – 1.05% APY; $1,000 minimum deposit to open

12 Month CD from Limelight Bank

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on Limelight Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

The online bank division of Capital Community Bank, LimeLight Bank offers a slew of CDs, ranging in term length from six months to 36 months. Its 1-year CD currently boasts a competitive rate of 0.95% APY, with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Like most CDs, there are penalties associated with early withdrawals from this account.

Term

APY

6 months

0.70%

12 months

0.95%

18 months

0.95%

The best no-penalty CD rates

No-penalty CDs are unique because these accounts allow customers to withdraw from their CD without incurring an early withdrawal penalty. These CDs are an attractive offer to customers as it provides no risk if they choose to withdraw their money early. Here are some of the best no-penalty CD rates that are available nationwide:

7 months – 13 months: Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 0.90% APY – 0.70% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open

7 Month No-Penalty CD from Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

Similar to its regular CDs, you only need a minimum of $500 to deposit into Marcus Goldman Sachs’ no-penalty CDs. This makes these CDs highly attractive to customers with smaller deposits. If you choose to open one of these CDs, you’ll only be locked in for seven days after you fund the account. After the seventh day, you’re free to withdraw your funds, but keep in mind that you’ll need to withdraw the full amount.

These CDs are an excellent option if you want your money to remain liquid or if you want to invest your money into an interest-earning account for a short amount of time. One thing to note is that the 7-month no-penalty CD has a much higher rate than the regular 6-month CD (0.90% APY vs 0.60% APY). The high APY makes Goldman’s 7-month no-penalty CD a fantastic option if you want to earn interest in a short amount of time. Here is Goldman’s full list of no-penalty CD rates:

TermAPYMinimum balance to earn the APY
7-month0.90%
$500
11-month0.80%
$500
13-month0.70%
$500
11 months: Ally Bank – 0.75% APY – 0.75% APY; $0 – $25,000 minimum deposit to earn APY

No Penalty 11 Month CD from Ally Bank

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on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Unlike the other two banks that offer multiple terms, Ally Bank only offers one term on its no-penalty CD. While Ally doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open, it does reward higher balances with higher APYs. This no-penalty CD is great for low-balance individuals who want to keep their money liquid. However, if you’re okay with locking your money into a CD for 12 months, you’re better off going with Ally’s regular 12-month CD as it has a higher APY (0.90% APY vs 0.75% APY) and doesn’t have a certain balance requirement to earn that high rate.

If you still choose to open Ally’s 11-month no-penalty CD and you need to withdraw money before the terms ends, you’ll need to withdraw your funds in full and won’t be able to do so until seven days after funding the account. Here are the tiered rates for Ally’s no-penalty CD:

TermAPYMinimum balance to earn the APY
11 months0.75%None
11 months – 14 months: PurePoint Financial – 0.50% APY – 0.45% APY; $10,000 minimum deposit to open

13 Month Online No-Penalty CD from PurePoint Financial

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on PurePoint Financial’s secure website

Member FDIC

PurePoint Financial is the online division of Union Bank. Both the parent bank and this online division are backed by financial giant, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Under the MUFG Union Bank umbrella, this institution has acquired over $130 billion in assets. As its online division, PurePoint Financial has been able to offer its customers highly competitive rates not only in CDs, but in an online savings account.

Currently, PurePoint Financial is offering an extremely competitive rate of 0.45% on its 13-month no-penalty CD. It also offers an 11-month and a 14-month no-penalty CD, but those two accounts have lower rates than its 13-month no-penalty CD. Keep in mind that you’ll need at least $10,000 to deposit into any of these CDs. If you do choose to withdraw money from this CD before the term is up, you’ll need to withdraw the full amount. You’ll also have to wait seven days after you fund the account to withdraw any of the money. Here’s a full list of PurePoint Financial’s no-penalty CDs.

TermAPYMinimum balance to earn the APY
11-month0.50%$10,000
13-month0.45%$10,000
14-month0.40%$10,000
6 months: Investors eAccess – 0.40% APY; $500 minimum deposit to open

6 Month No Penalty CD from Investors eAccess

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Investors eAccess is the online division of Investors Bank, a large bank headquartered in New Jersey that was established in 1926. The parent bank currently has over $26 billion in assets. The online division was launched earlier this year and decided to introduce itself by offering a strong rate on its inaugural product, the eAccess Money Market account. It seems this online bank is slowly offering different deposit accounts, but one thing that sticks out is that it’s offering these new products with high rates.

Currently, Investors eAccess is offering two types of CDs: a 6-month No-Penalty CD and a 10-month regular CD. The 6-month No-Penalty CD is comes with a strong 0.40% APY. You need at least $500 to open the account and you’re free to withdraw from the principal amount after the first seven calendar days from opening the account without incurring any penalties. If you choose to withdraw the full amount (including any interest earned) before the maturity date, you won’t incur any penalties, but the full withdrawal will close the account. Regardless of how much you choose to withdraw from the account, the bank will send you the funds via an official Bank Check. The check will be made out to the account owner and mailed First Class to the address on file.

TermAPYMinimum balance to earn the APY
6-month0.40%$500

The highest CD rates from banks and credit unions by term

The following banks and credit unions are currently offering the highest CD rates for each term.

Best 1-year CD rates

Best 1-year CD rate from a Credit Union: Communitywide FCU – 1.10% APY, $1,000 minimum balance

12 Month Share Certificate from Communitywide Federal Credit UnionIn exchange for a $1,000 minimum deposit, Communitywide’s 12-month share certificate earns a 1.20% APY. One great feature is flexibility regarding your dividends, which may be compounded in the certificate, deposited to another share certificate, or transferred to another account. Another feature to understand is that there is no automatic renewal of Communitywide’s share certificates, which could be a good thing for savers who like to be reminded to survey the best rates available before rolling over their investments.

For over 50 years, Communitywide Federal Credit Union has provided banking services to the citizens of northern Indiana, and now a completely revamped online and mobile portal brings its great rates to you, wherever you are. Membership in Communitywide FCU is open to members of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or the Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, as well as employees of over 40 companies in the central Midwest region.


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NCUA Insured

Best 1-year CD rate from a National Bank: CFG Bank – 0.95% APY, $500 minimum balance to open

12 Month CD - New Money from CFG Bank CFG Bank offers a number of attractive certificates of deposit, with term lengths ranging from 12 to 60 months. Currently, its crown jewel is its 12-month CD, with an APY of 0.95%. This CD can be opened online or in-person at a bank branch. There is a minimum deposit of $500 required to open an account and earn the APY.

CFG Bank is a privately owned and operated bank located in Baltimore, MD. It offers an array of personal and commercial banking products, and while CFG only has branch locations in Maryland, it offers its products online, nationwide.


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Best 2-year CD rates

Best 2-year CD rate from a Credit Union: State Department FCU – 1.10% APY, $500 minimum deposit

24 Month Certificate from State Department Federal Credit UnionState Department FCU offers an array of CDs, ranging in term length of six months to 60 months. Its 2-year CD has a particularly competitive rate, with a 1.10% APY. This product requires a low minimum deposit of $500, and dividends are compounded daily.

Membership to State Department FCU is open to anyone who also joins the American Consumer Council and opens a savings account at the credit union with just $1.


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Best 2-year CD rate from a National Bank: First Internet Bank of America– 1.01% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

24 Month CD from First Internet Bank First Internet Bank of America boasts a robust rate of 1.46% on its 24-month CD, making it one of the best 2-year CDs currently offered. There is a minimum deposit of just $1,000 required for this account, and there is no monthly maintenance fee.

First Internet Bank has roots dating back to 1999, and it claims to be the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online.


Best 3-year CD rates

Best 3-year CD rate from a Credit Union: Pen Air Federal Credit Union – 1.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

36 Month CD from Pen Air Federal Credit Union Pen Air Federal Credit Union offers a slew of certificates of deposit, with term lengths ranging from just three months to 60 months. Its 3-year CD is certainly worth highlighting, with its 1.40% APY. There is a minimum deposit of just $500 required for this account.

Membership to Pen Air Federal Credit Union is open to anyone who also joins the Friends of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Although Pen Air only has physical locations in Florida and Alabama, it offers its products online, nationwide.


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NCUA Insured

Best 3-year CD rate from a National Bank: Hyperion Bank – 1.15% APY, $500 minimum deposit

36 Month CD from Hyperion BankHyperion Bank offers a large selection of CDs, with terms ranging from 30 days up to 60 months. Currently, its 36-month CD stands out for its 1.15% APY and low minimum deposit of just $500, making it one of the most attractive 3-year CDs currently available.

Based in Philadelphia, Hyperion Bank offers its products and services to consumers online, nationwide.


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Best 4-year CD rates

Best 4-year CD rate from a Credit Union: Connexus Federal Credit Union – 1.46% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

48 Month Certificate from Connexus Credit Union This Wisconsin-based credit union cracks our ranking of the best credit union CD rates for its 48 -month share chertificate’s 1.46% APY. It requires a bit of a hefty minimum deposit of $5,000 to open an account, but its APY is fairly generous compared to its competitors. Anyone can join Connexus by joining the Connexus Association and making a $5 donation.


Best 4-year CD rate from a National Bank: Prime Alliance Bank– 1.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

48 Month CD from Prime Alliance BankPrime Alliance Bank offers CDs ranging from 6 months to five years, but its sweet spot is its 4-year CD offering. Currently, Prime Alliance’s 4-year CD boasts a high APY of 1.25% and a low minimum deposit of just $500.

Prime Alliance was founded in 2004. With one branch in Woods Cross, Utah, the bank still offers its great accounts nationwide virtually.


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Best 5-year CD rates

Best 5-year CD rate from a Credit Union: Generations Credit Union – 1.65% APY, $500 minimum deposit

60 Month CD from Generations Credit Union Generations Credit Union offers an array of certificates of deposit, but its 5-year CD is currently one of the best of its kind, with an APY of1.65%. For this CD, there is a required minimum deposit of $500. While balances up to $49,999 will garner the 1.65% APY, balances of over $50,000 will reap an even higher APY of 2.12%.

Established in 1939, Generations Credit Union is based in Washington. Membership to Generations is open to anyone who also joins the Northwest Energy Coalition and the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, regardless of where they live.


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Best 5-year CD rate from a National Bank: Federal Savings Bank – 1.35% APY, $500 minimum deposit

5 Year Promotional CD - New Money from The Federal Savings Bank The Federal Savings Bank is currently featuring a 1.35% APY for its 5-year CD. There is a low minimum deposit of $500 for this product.

The Federal Savings Bank is a veteran-owned, federally-chartered bank. While the bank only has locations in Illinois, it offers its products nationwide, online.


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The cities that are most likely to use CDs for their savings

We recently looked at the 100 largest U.S. metros to find the cities with the highest percentage of households that own certificates of deposit.

Among the 100 largest U.S. metros, San Francisco came out on top, with 25.4% of households owning certificates of deposit. That’s more a little more than twice as many households, on a percentage basis, than Greensboro, N.C., our bottom-ranked city, where only 12.5% of households own CDs.

Typically, households in large cities are more likely to sock money away in CDs. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. — among the 10 largest metros in the U.S. — all make our list of top 10 cities where people own CDs. There are some exceptions: Odgen, Utah ranks No. 4 in the nation for CD saving: 21.9% of Ogden households have CDs.

Variability in local CD rates may explain some of the differences, as the highest rates available by state can vary by as much as one percentage point. In fact, in Jan. 2019, Utah had the highest average local 1-year CD yield in the country.

Questions to ask before you open a CD

1. How are CDs different from savings accounts?

With a CD, the saver and the bank make stronger commitments. The saver promises to keep the funds in the account for a specified period of time. In exchange, the bank guarantees the interest rate during the term of the CD. The longer the term, the higher the rate – and the higher the penalty for closing the CD early. With a savings account, you’re limited to six withdrawals or transfers per month. Otherwise, you can empty the account at any time without paying a penalty. You can’t lock in the interest rate on a savings account, though, since the bank can change the interest rate at any time.

2. Am I better off keeping my cash in savings?

CDs work best if you’re confident you won’t need to access a certain amount of money for a specified period of time. Let’s say you have $10,000 laying around that you can safely say you won’t need to use for two years. In a high-yield savings account earning 2.45%, you would earn $496.00 over two years with annual interest compounding — and potentially even more, if your bank compounds interest more frequently. If you put that money into a 2.90% 2-year CD, you would earn $588.41 (compounding yearly) once the account matures. The extra interest income is easy money, considering the ease of opening an account online. However, if you think you might need to use the money in the next couple of months, especially if your finances are already a little rocky, a savings account is a much better idea for its better flexibility.

It’s important to note that deposit rates are a bit in flux right now, due to the uncertainty surrounding the federal funds rate (more on that below). But we’re currently seeing some high, favorable interest rates on 1-year CDs, rates that outstrip savings account rates.

If you can afford to part with the funds, “choosing a 1-year CD now does make sense rather than keeping the money in a savings account,” says Ken Tumin, founder of LendingTree-owned DepositAccounts.com. “However, it is possible that 1-year rates could go below some savings account rates.”

That’s why it’s important to compare rates before you sign up for a certain account.

Tumin also notes that there is an added tax benefit to opening a 1-year CD now over a savings account. With a 1-year CD, you can choose to have interest paid at maturity, or in 2020 on accounts opened now. Taxes would be owed on that interest for 2020, but not paid until 2021. Savings accounts, on the other hand, pay out interest each month. So a savings account opened today will generate interest income for the 2019 tax year.

3. What CD term length should I select?

The early withdrawal penalties on CDs can be significant. On a 1-year CD, 90 days’ worth of interest is a typical penalty, although it can reach as high as 180 days. On 2- and 3-year CDs, a 6-month penalty is about average. The impact of the penalty on your return can be significant: if you opened a one-year CD with a 2.65% APY and closed it after six months, you would forfeit half of the interest and earn only 1.32%. You would have been better off with a savings account paying 2.25%.

The worst case scenario is with the longest CDs. 5-year CDs usually have a one-year penalty for taking out funds early. If you open a 5-year CD and close it quickly, you could actually end up losing money.

Given the risk of early withdrawal penalties, it’s important that you’re completely confident that you will not need to withdraw the money early. Check that you already have enough savings in a flexible emergency fund to cover you for the next few years in the event of an accident or surprise trip to urgent care. Ask yourself whether your deposit would be put to better use paying off any debts. If you’re not completely convinced you can sock away that much money for such a commitment, go for a shorter CD term or a savings account.

As of right now, if you’re trying to jump on the best rates and have cash to stash away for years, your best bet is to lock in a 5-year CD to get the best rates possible.

“It doesn’t look like we’ll see another Fed rate hike in the first half of the year,” says Ken Tumin. “In the last month or two, we’re seeing some drops in CD rates.”

However, this downward movement looks like more of a correction being made by banks who may have boosted their CD rates too far too fast, instead of signaling the start of an industry-wide drop in rates.

“We won’t see a big drop until we see signs that the Fed will start cutting rates,” Tumin notes.

Tumin suggests finding long-term CDs with small or mild withdrawal penalties, like Ally. That way, in the event you do need to break into your funds (whether for an emergency or to move to a new, higher rate), you won’t lose the majority of your savings. So while there are still 5-year CDs out there with 3% APY and higher, you’re going to want to lock those in for the long term.

4. Should I consider my local bank or credit union?

The interest rates shown in this article are all from credit unions and online banks that offer products nationally. However, our product database includes traditional banks, community banks and credit unions.

If traditional banks offered better rates, they would have been featured in this article. Internet-only banks have dramatically better interest rates. That should not be surprising — because internet-only banks do not have branches, they are able to pass along their cost savings to you in the form of higher interest rates and lower fees.

If you’re worried about early withdrawal penalties, credit union CDs might be your best bet; on average, they tend to have lower penalties than banks. Pair that with high credit union CD rates, and you’ve got a winning savings combo. (Interestingly, while internet banks tend to offer the best CD rates, they also tend to assess bigger early withdrawal penalties than brick-and-mortar banks.)

How to find the best CD for you

If you don’t find an account that meets your needs in this article, you can use the MagnifyMoney CD tool to find the best rate for your individual needs. Input your zip code, deposit amount and term. The tool will then provide you with CD options, from the highest APY to the lowest.

Even though CDs are traditionally pretty structured, you still have hundreds of options available to you. If your savings goal is years in the future, look closer at longer terms like 5- and even 10-year accounts. If you don’t quite have thousands of dollars to stash away, you can find a bank that requires a lower minimum deposit, if at all. You can also find select no-penalty CDs, which tend to be around one year long or less.

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News

What You Should Consider Before Moving During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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As the country reels with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, people are learning to adjust to a new way of life. For some Americans — particularly those in small apartments in big cities — that means deciding it’s high time for some outdoor space and cheaper digs.

Hannah Lawson, a small business owner in Brooklyn, moved across the country with her partner, Amy, while the virus was still ravaging New York City last spring. For the couple, the stars aligned — Lawson is originally from Portland, Oregon, and her parents had purchased an investment home next door to their own more than a decade ago. With the pandemic effectively ending her parent’s Airbnb business until further notice, it made sense to the whole family for them to start renting the home.

But with flights being canceled and strict stay-at-home guidelines being announced, their move was hardly seamless. The couple ended up staying with Amy’s family in Maine to try to wait out the bulk of the storm.

“We originally were going to move to Portland May 31, but once we had been in Maine for a while and realized the quarantine wasn’t getting better in New York, we decided to leave May 1 instead,” Lawson said.

In this post, we’ll cover…

Ask yourself these 3 questions first

Moving is never a stress-free event, but the coronavirus pandemic has left many, like Lawson and Amy, scurrying to cancel, delay or move up their departure date. Whether or not you were planning to relocate for a job or change of pace, there are new considerations to make before your move gets underway.

Do you need to move right now?

While there are plenty of reasons to move, a new job or sick family member may make it harder to change your plans. However, if you have the flexibility, consider asking for it. Some jobs are well suited for working from home, and your new employer may be willing to let you delay your move without delaying your start date.

How can you plan accordingly?

Lawson’s lease on her Brooklyn apartment was ending, so she and Amy didn’t have the luxury of changing move dates. If you’re in the same boat (or are just determined to make your move regardless) there plenty of factors you need to consider.

Can you tour homes and apartments?

Depending on the location, you might be able to tour homes or apartments in person. If states did have guidelines prohibiting real estate services from operating, many have been lifted. Still, it’s wise to ensure safety precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing, are taken at in-person appointments.

However, if you can’t see a home in person, you’ll have to rely on photos or video tours. This may make it harder to visualize yourself in the home or feel confident in your decision.

Can you find a moving truck?

Moving companies are generally considered an essential service, meaning they can stay open during stay-at-home mandates. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy to come by. Peak moving season is April through September in a regular year, when an estimated 80% of moves take place. So, not only will you have to deal with normal increased demand, but some companies are limiting their services to protect employees from the virus. U-Haul, for example, has remained open nationally, but local hours may be subject to franchisee discretion.

What are the moving company’s health and safety procedures?

Like many businesses, moving companies have updated policies to meet safety standards during the pandemic. When looking for estimates from moving companies, ask a representative detailed questions about their procedures, like whether or not movers will be provided with masks or gloves.

If you’re renting a truck, make sure the company has instituted proper cleaning procedures. To be safe, consider bringing some disinfecting wipes with you to wipe down the interior of the vehicle when you pick it up. Some companies, such as Clutter, are also offering contactless services, like curbside pickup.

How hard will selling a home during the pandemic be?

While the procedures for buying and selling a home during the pandemic have changed pretty dramatically, the market is still abuzz with shoppers. Realtor John McClintock recalled being unable to go about business as usual for over a month due to Pennsylvania’s shutdown restrictions, but once they were in the clear “the floodgates opened.”

While real estate agents have been unable to host traditional open houses, buyers have still more or less been chomping at the bit to see the homes for sale. McClintock also estimates his firm sold around 50 homes while only showing virtually. Once in-person showings reopened, sales continued to rebound.

How can you minimize health risks?

Follow local guidance when you’re shopping for supplies and wear a mask when you need to go to stores. Utilize contactless delivery when possible and keep a safe distance from others when you can’t. And although used boxes would have been great for your budget, it’s safer to use new supplies to limit the risk of contamination.

How much will moving cost?

The national average cost for a local move (under 100 miles) is around $1,200. The cost of your move will depend on a number of factors beginning with the size of your move and the distance you are traveling. Whether you use professional help or do it yourself, those two factors can give you a sense of how much it will cost to move. In general, fewer belongings and shorter distance traveled will mean a cheaper move. But the total cost will ultimately depend on how you move it all.

Skipping professional services can save hundreds of dollars while helping to prevent possible spread of disease amid the ongoing pandemic. With fears of an economic recession and how that can impact retirement savings, doing what you can to keep some money in your pocket may provide a welcome peace of mind.

Do you trust your instincts?

If you’re feeling uneasy about moving during the pandemic, consider rescheduling. Your health and the health of those around you should be a priority. You certainly won’t be the only one putting a major life decision on hold. If there is nothing forcing you to move during this time, it’s probably best to sit tight. It’s a constantly evolving situation, and even waiting a few weeks, like Lawson and Amy, could make a difference.

7 ways to minimize exposure during your move

Visiting an open house might look a little different for the foreseeable future. McClintock noted how Realtors in his area have been instructed to turn on all lights and leave all doors open among other details to keep homes safe and sanitary during sales.

Use these tips to minimize your chances of getting sick or getting others sick while you’re moving.

1. Follow CDC guidelines for preventing contraction and spread

By now, we at least have a better idea of how the virus spreads than we did a few months ago. For example, contrary to popular belief, it is far less likely that you will contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface than coming in close contact with an infected person. The CDC strongly recommends wearing a mask in situations where you cannot practice social distancing — such as if you have a couple of movers working in your home.

There are still plenty of uncertain factors, but your best bet is to follow guidelines set by the experts to avoid contracting COVID-19. Wear a mask when you need to go to stores and make sure to wash your hands frequently.

2. Skip the movers

If you’re able to use roommates, partners, family members or loyal friends to help you move, it’s cheaper and may be safer to do so. While you should ensure any moving company you use would take the same safety precautions as your friends and family, it’s recommended to minimize contact with people outside of your home. Speak with the company beforehand so you know they will be taking adequate safety measures.

3. Request virtual processes

For steps in the moving process that might traditionally require in-person appointments, such as tours, appraisals and paperwork signing, request that they be done virtually. While many companies have offered this service or required it based on government regulations, it can’t hurt to ask if it’s not presented as an option.

4. Provide personal protective equipment to anyone coming to help you

Should you require help from movers or invite friends to help out, provide masks and hand sanitizer to ensure anyone entering your home is able to take precautions. Even if the moving company says its associates will bring their own protective equipment, it’s best to be prepared in case someone forgets a mask.

5. Weigh your travel options carefully

Several factors confirmed Lawson and Amy’s decision to fly rather than drive to Portland, including a furry friend. Your decision might involve cost, distance or availability, but you should consider all options available. A road trip might be safer than flying if you don’t have to make a ton of stops. But driving across the country would mean stopping at hotels, gas stations and restaurants, which could increase the possibility of exposure.

6. Settle in safely

The pandemic is happening everywhere, even in your new hometown. Ensure you are following any local guidelines for quarantining if you are coming from an area with a higher infection rate.

While you might be eager to explore your new surroundings, remember to avoid crowded indoor areas such as bars and restaurants. Reach out to new neighbors with a postcard or other contactless greeting rather than visiting in person. If you need to change financial institutions, consider looking for local banks or credit unions that are offering some kind of relief during the pandemic.

7. Delay your move if you feel sick

Should you start to feel any of the COVID-19 symptoms or any other illness while you’re preparing to relocate, delay your plans. Exerting tons of energy packing and moving boxes will make it harder for you to get better. Plus, any time you leave your home, you risk getting others sick.

While it might be difficult with deadlines, your health should always come first. Take care of yourself and help stop the virus in its tracks.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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