Kiplinger's 2008 top picks excellence savings checking accounts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here are Kiplinger's 2008 picks for excellence in savings and checking accounts.

Online Savings Account

FNBO Direct

Earn 3.5 percent on your FDIC-insured savings at You pay just $1 to open an account with no maintenance fees and no minimum-balance requirements. You can link the account to as many as three others, including FNBO's bill-payment account. Use electronic transfers to move your funds and your ATM card to withdraw cash.

Money-Market Account

Express Money Market, Flagstar Bank

Open an FDIC-insured account for $1 at and earn 3.65 percent, with easy access via free checks and a Visa debit card. Also, get free, unlimited ATM withdrawals through the Allpoint and Presto networks. Federal law limits you to six pre-authorized transfers or withdrawals per month.

Checking Account

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking

You don't have to be a Schwab customer to apply for a checking account at The account has no minimums and no ATM or other fees. You get a debit card, standard checks and online bill payment, all free. Best of all, your money earns interest while it sits idle, at 2.2 percent.

Money Market Mutual Fund

Fidelity Cash Reserves Yields are low in the current market, but safety is first-rate if you're looking for a haven to park your cash until the stock market stabilizes. This behemoth has assets of $100 billion, a top-rated portfolio and a large, stable customer base. So it's unlikely that depositors would make significant withdrawals (which could cause the net asset value to drop). Plus, Fidelity has signed up for the new government insurance program. Minimum investment is $2,500, and check-writing is available.

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