You’ve probably always thought that if you want to earn interest on your money, you move it to a savings account. Your checking account is just for paying bills and the like, right? Not anymore.
With the rise of online banks that don’t have the overhead of brick-and-mortar locations, the competition for your checking dollars has gotten fierce. One of the big benefits of this battle is that many banks are now offering interest-yielding checking accounts. And while you may not rake in giant interest rates, you can definitely earn a little something on that money — and why wouldn’t you?
How We Picked the 6 Best Checking Accounts That Pay Interest
Our methodology for this list is simple: According to the FDIC, the average interest rate for interest-bearing checking accounts is currently 0.03%. So, we looked for accounts that came in around that range or higher. (Note: APR fluctuates over time, so a lower rate now could rise in the future.)Beyond the interest rate, we looked at what else the account brings to the table. We gave preference to those accounts that don’t have maintenance fees or high minimum balances and that offer ATM fee reimbursement.
The 6 Best High-Interest Checking Accounts for May 2021
Here are the six best high-interest checking accounts where you can use your money and make a little money at the same time.
One of the highest interest rates we’ve found for an online checking account is from SoFi Money. That checking account earns you 0.25% APY, or annual percentage yield, which is percent in interest (including compound interest) you’ll earn on your money in a year.
SoFi Money takes a number of steps to make the transition to online banking easy:
ATMs: With automatic reimbursement of ATM fees, you can use just about any ATM anywhere for free.
Overdraft Protection: This feature is new. SoFi Money members who meet certain criteria and accidentally spend more than they have in their account will be covered up to $50 with no fees.
Website: SoFi’s website and mobile apps have detailed FAQs, and they make it simple and easy for you to find any information you want.
Read our full Sofi Money review.
2. NBKC Personal Checking
The NBKC Personal Checking Account offers 0.25% interest on all balances and has no minimum balance requirement. It also features $0 overdraft and non-sufficient funds charges, so if you tend to overextend your money, you won’t get dinged.
Do you use ATMs? NBKC Personal Checking also offers up to $12 monthly to refund those pesky ATM fees.
3. Memory Bank
You may not have heard of Memory Bank. Or maybe you did and you just forgot. (Get it?) Anyhoo, Memory Bank’s EarnMore Checking Account is another option for a high-interest checking account with 0.02% APY.
Memory Bank is a great choice for those of us who like the perks of online banking, but also want to know that we can get personal service when we need it. They offer live support by phone, email or online chat. That can be a great benefit when you just need to ask a quick question, but don’t want to get stuck on an automated phone system for an hour.
4. Capital One 360
The real beauty of the Capital One 360 Checking Account is the pure ease of its online banking setup. Both the website and the app are remarkably intuitive. Plus, you won’t have any minimum balance or fees to deal with.
The base APY right now for the Capital One 360 is 0.1%, which is a respectable three times the national average.
5. Charles Schwab
OK, when you think Charles Schwab, you probably don’t think about checking accounts. That could change. Its High Yield Investor Checking is a free account that earns 0.03% APY on your balance.
It also features unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide. That’s pretty cool if you travel a lot.
This account has no minimum balance, no minimum opening deposit and no maintenance fees.
There is one catch: You need to have a Schwab One brokerage account linked to your checking to avoid maintenance fees. It may not be for everybody, but if you already invest, why not take advantage of it?
6. Ally Interest Checking Account
As the name suggests, you’ll earn interest with the Ally Interest Checking Account. For balances under $15,000, you’ll earn 0.1%, which isn’t all that remarkable.
But, if you tend to have $15,000 or more on hand, you can earn 0.25%. While 0.25% may not seem like much, that’s about eight times the national average for checking accounts that pay interest.
Ally’s Interest Checking really makes its mark with the other perks. The account has:
No maintenance fees.
No minimum balance requirement.
No minimum opening deposit.
Easy online access.
Another nice perk is that Ally will reimburse you for up to $10 worth of ATM fees charged by other banks per statement cycle.
Check out our current list of bank promotions for a chance to gain a monetary bonus when signing up for a new bank account.
How to Choose a High-Interest Checking Account
If you’re thinking about moving to a high-interest checking account, take a few things into consideration.
Look for accounts that won’t negate those interest earnings by charging you fees. However, if you will carry a high balance, it may be worth paying a small fee to get a better interest rate. Do the math.
Keep an eye on minimum balance requirements. We focused on accounts that don’t require a minimum balance, but if you know that you’ll consistently have at least $1,000 in your account at all times, you may want to shop around a bit more. There may be a great deal out there.
Look at the requirements. Maybe you don’t use your debit card that much or you don’t want to have direct deposit. Choose an account that fits with the way you like to use your account.
Keep ATMs in mind if you use them. It’s 2021, and you shouldn’t have to pay those fees. There are too many banks that are willing to cover those for you.
The app. If you do a lot of banking on your phone, make sure the bank you choose has a solid banking app. Once you find the checking account that checks all the right boxes for you and how you like to use your account, sign up and start earning money on your money already.
Most of us have probably taken a deep, exasperated breath while surveying our homes, wondering how we managed to accumulate so much clutter. But there might be a way to turn that clutter into cash. It comes down to one word: Craigslist.
8 Tips for Selling on Craigslist
Selling on Craigslist seems easy, but it requires some know-how to get the intended result and money in your wallet. We scoured the Internet for the best tips.
So list that chair you’ve always hated. We’re here to help you find success and sell more of your items on Craigslist.
1. Take Photos That Work
Ever seen a Craigslist listing with an object you can’t quite make out? Is that a nightstand or a coffee table? Are they selling the whole dining room table set or just one chair?
A good photo can make your listing stand out while a bad photo has the potential to shut down any business. Take a good photo by posing your object in a well-lit spot, whether it’s in natural light or a warm artificial glow, and focus on the details that make your object special. Only photograph what you’re selling — leave extraneous things out of the picture.
2. It’s In the Details
Your listing can’t simply be a photo and the name of the object. You need a description and any relevant details — think dimensions or number of items or even age of the item, if relevant. It’s ideal for your listing to answer all of the questions a potential buyer might have so they don’t have time to really agonize over their purchase.
3. Tell the Truth
That being said, it’s important to be honest in your listing. If your couch has stains or your wooden dresser is chipped, add images that show the damage. Point that out to potential buyers in your description. People will be more likely to buy an item when they feel they are getting an upfront understanding of it.
One example: do not post the catalogue image of your piece of furniture from when it was brand new. (People do this.) Take a photo of your furniture piece as is — after all, that’s what you’re selling.
4. Be Simple
While you should absolutely share relevant details, there’s no need to tell the story of how your kids bounced around on these couch cushions or how the table was passed down in the family generation after generation. Potential buyers know they’re browsing for a used object, but they don’t want the legacy that comes with it. They want it to feel like their own.
And stick to simplicity in your listing title. Potential buyers often search for specific objects — trash cans or mirrors — and they likely won’t be searching with various adjectives.
5. Offer Delivery
Potential buyers love it when Craigslist sellers offer delivery. It’s an added perk and makes things easier, especially when the site caters to people from all over. Make sure to add a higher cost for delivery — whatever seems worth it to you based on location — and be safe. Bring someone along with you when you go to deliver.
6. The Price is Right
It really does boil down to whether the asking price is right. Craigslist is known for sellers that practically give items away, so it’s better to price your listing lower rather than higher. Interest is always key, and if you price it too high, you may have no takers.
But make sure you price your item at a level with which you’re comfortable. It’s not worth giving something away if it has sentimental value and you think it can go for more.
7. Reach Out to Your Network
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. If you think you might know someone in your social network — whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or more — who might be interested in what you’re selling, share it on those forums.
And better yet, if you have a specific buyer in mind, feel free to be direct and share your listing with friends and family. If it doesn’t work for them, they may know the right person.
8. Always Be Safe
Always remember that you are dealing with strangers online on Craigslist. If someone is coming to your house or you are going to theirs, have a friend with you. Don’t assume that you will be fine if you are alone. Entering a stranger’s house or allowing a stranger to enter yours always comes with risk. It’s better to be prepared and meet in a public place if that is the only way the meeting can take place.
Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times.
These days, more and more employees are working from home on a regular basis. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics says that about 2.8% of the total workforce work from home at least half time. Nearly all U.S. workers say they’d like to work from home at least part-time, and about half the workforce say they could work remotely at least some of the time.
But what if you’re not one the lucky ones who stumbles into a job that already allows working from home, whether sometimes or on a regular basis? In this case, you might need to convince your boss that working from home is a good idea.
And, in fact, working from home is a good idea, much of the time. It can actually save you money, and it can reduce your overall stress level. And if you’re like many people, you might actually get more done in less time when you’re working from home.
Get It Now
But those arguments, especially the ones that are mostly beneficial to your personal life, may not be enough to convince your boss to let you work from home. Here are four more convincing arguments to try:
1. Better Productivity
Working from home isn’t a good fit for all jobs, but for some types, studies show that working from home actually increases productivity.
2. Reduced Overhead Costs
Outfitting an employee with an office or even cubicle comes with overhead costs. Not to mention all that water you flush down the toilet on bathroom breaks! In fact, many large employers started moving employees to work from home positions specifically to reduce overhead costs. (Of course, you’ll be taking on some of those costs by working from home — increased electricity and water usage can eat into your savings on commuting. You can try some of these easy penny pinching tips to help offset those costs.
3. Fewer Sick Days
Having the ability to work from home often curbs the number of sick days you take. You might not drag yourself into the office when you’re feeling under the weather, but you may opt to work as normal from your comfortable couch. Your fellow employees will appreciate fewer germs, anyway.
4. At-Home Workers Are Happier (& Stay Longer)
If working from home is really important to you, and if you’re in a field where it’s common, you may be more likely to stay in your job for the long term if you are allowed some flexibility to work from home. You don’t necessarily need to tell your boss this, but you can show that employees who work from home are happier in their jobs.
Making Your Proposal & Pulling It Off
Now that you’ve got some arguments in your back pocket, how do you go about actually asking your boss to let you work from home? Here are a few steps to take:
1. Create a Formal Proposal
Don’t just approach working from home by the seat of your pants, especially if it’s not already a common practice in your workplace. Instead, create a formal proposal for what working from home would look like for you.
What tasks would you accomplish at home? How would you handle meetings and phone calls? Would you be available during certain hours online? How would you keep track of the tasks that you’re working on at home? What sort of accountability system could you build in?
Put all this into writing. When in doubt, talk to someone else with a job similar to yours who works from home. See what kind of arrangements they have with their employers, and go from there. If others in your organization work from home, talk to them about their written work plans, too.
2. Pre-empt Your Boss’s Concerns
When you’re creating your proposal, try to think about it from your boss’s perspective. What concerns will he or she likely have? You know this person best as a supervisor, so you can likely anticipate how the conversation will go.
Again, talk to others in your organization who work from home sometimes or regularly, and use that as a jumping off point. You’ll want to work those points into your written proposal, preferably, or at least address them in your conversation with your boss.
3. Propose a Trial Run
Don’t just jump in and ask to switch your in-office job to a full-time, work-from-home position. Instead, propose a trial. You may want to propose a part-time work from home schedule of one to three days per week at first. And you should also suggest trying to work from home for a period of thirty to ninety days before you and your boss formally evaluate the situation.
Starting with a trial period can help make working from home more palatable. Plus, if you’ve never worked from home before, you may find that a blended schedule of in-office and at-home actually suits you better than working from home full-time.
4. Be Flexible
Go into the conversation with your boss with goals and a proposal, but be willing to take his or her feedback into account, too. Be flexible in what you’re asking for, and be prepared to give up ground if that’s what you need to get your foot in the door. Maybe your three days a week goes to two, or your 90-day trial goes to 30. It’s still a start!
5. What Else Can You Give Up?
Oftentimes, people who really want to work from home are willing to take a pay cut to do so, or at least forgo a big raise. This means that evaluation time can be a good time to ask for work-from-home privileges. If you get a great review and are offered a raise, consider counter-offering a smaller raise with the ability to work remotely part-time.
Maybe you’re not willing to give up a raise, but you have other privileges you could lay on the table in order to work from home. Or maybe you feel you’ll be so much more productive at home that you can tackle additional responsibilities. Either way, you could give a little to get a little in this conversation.
6. Prove You Can Do It
Finally, when you do get to work from home, don’t take advantage of the situation. Put 100% into your work each day, and set up your lifestyle so that you’re more productive than ever. Keep track of your goals, metrics, and to-do lists, so that if there’s ever a question of whether or not you can work from home well, you’ve got data to back up your answer.
[Editor’s note: It’s also a good idea to keep track of your financial goals. One way to do that is to check your credit scores. Credit.com’s credit report summary offers a free credit score, updated every 14 days, plus tools that help you establish a plan for how to improve your scores.]
Storing your cash in a duffel bag under the bed has its perks — immediate access when you need it and the feeling of completely controlling your own finances.
But hoarding hard-earned money in your own home puts it at risk of theft or loss to natural disasters, and it’s doing you no favors in terms of interest.
Savings accounts at an FDIC-insured bank, on the other hand, keep your money secure and can earn you more money in the process.
Nowadays, the best savings accounts are typically with online banks due to higher interest rates, but brick-and-mortar banks still have some (though not many) benefits.
So which savings account should you choose? We’ve ranked the very best savings accounts available today to get you started.
What is a Savings Account?
A savings account is a bank account where you store your money until you need it. To see a detailed explanation to how it differs from a traditional checking account, visit our checking vs savings account comparison.
The best savings accounts are secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000. That means that if you store your money with a bank and it goes under, you won’t lose your money.
Savings accounts are perfect for achieving your savings goals — for a car, a house, a wedding, vacations, you name it. More importantly, they are the best tool to build your emergency fund.
Most experts agree your emergency savings should total six months’ worth of necessary expenses in the case of job loss or another unpredictable emergency. Necessary expenses might include rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, medical bills, utilities and groceries.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t have six months’ worth saved up. It takes time to build up your savings. Even if you can deposit $50 a month, you will eventually reach your goal.
One thing a savings account is not is an investment account. Savings accounts have historically low interest rates (or APY — annual percentage yield), but they are inherently low risk.
After you have padded your savings account with enough cash to cover emergency expenses and your other savings goals, your money is better spent on investments like IRAs, 401(k)s and stocks.
Common alternatives to savings accounts include certificates of deposit (CDs), where you store your money for a fixed term for a slightly higher interest rate, and money market accounts, which typically offer a higher APY but have significantly higher minimum balance requirements.
So just how much interest will you earn in a savings account? That depends on the amount you’ve saved and your APY.
Online Banks vs. Brick-and-Mortar Banks
Before the advent of the internet, brick-and-mortar banks (and credit unions) were the only place to store your money, if not in your duffel bag.
But over the last couple decades, online banks have transformed the way we think of safely storing our money, and because of their low overhead (fewer staff and few or no physical locations), they can offer much better interest rates on savings accounts.
Pros of Online Savings Accounts
When online savings accounts first surfaced, bank customers were hesitant to store their money with companies they had never heard of and were fearful of internet security issues.
Today, many of these same customers now see far more pros to online savings accounts than their traditional physical banks.
Higher Interest Rates
This is easily the most important distinction between brick-and-mortar banks and online banks. The national average APY for a savings account is 0.70%, but many brick-and-mortar banks offer just 0.01% interest rates on their savings accounts.
Online banks, on the other hand, tend to offer savings rates that are better — sometimes a lot better
Online banks are always open. The most competitive online banks offer around-the-clock service over the phone or online, and typically have more user-friendly apps and websites.
Some national banks and credit unions may offer 24/7 service, but their physical locations are typically limited to the 9-to-5 business hours.
Pros of Brick-and-Mortar Savings Accounts
There are advantages to brick-and-mortar banks. However, if these benefits do not hold massive weight for you, we highly recommend an online savings account.
Easy Access to Account Funds
Emergencies wait for no one. If you have an unexpected need for $10,000, it would be nice to be able to immediately access that.
Many online savings accounts take several days to get you your funds via ACH deposit or a written check, though wait times for ACH deposits have dramatically decreased in recent years.
(You can also speed up the process by opening a checking account with your online bank or choosing an online savings account with ATM benefits. Prioritize online banks that offer free checking accounts or ATM convenience cards.)
Brick-and-mortar banks, however, can allow major withdrawals at any of their locations. No waiting necessary.
Some people prefer to resolve their issues over the phone or online, but many others find comfort in face-to-face communication. By opening a savings account with a bank that offers physical locations, you’ll be able to get in-person help from financial experts during regular business hours.
… And a Toss-Up
When it comes to access to ATMs, there is no clear winner. Obviously, brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions offer ATMs at all their locations, where you can easily withdraw your money.
Many online banks, however, offer fee-free withdrawals at select ATMs, and the best online banks will reimburse you for fees incurred out of network.
Best Savings Accounts of May 2021, Ranked
So what are the best savings accounts of May 2021? That depends on what you value most.
In determining our top nine, we reviewed more than 20 popular savings accounts and considered what elements seem to be most universally important:
Best savings rates
Stellar mobile app and/or web experience
Convenience of transfers (easy access to funds)
We considered only savings accounts that were FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured and had no monthly fees.
Because physical branch access is becoming increasingly less important, all accounts on our list are online or hybrid (online with some brick-and-mortar bank locations).
So what didn’t we consider when making our list that you might also want to look for?
Bonuses: Because banks regularly add, remove or replace their bonuses, we did not include them in our criteria. If you’re stuck between two or three comparable savings accounts, see which one offers the best sign-on bonus. We highly recommend checking out our current bank promotions list to help earn bonus cash or incentives when signing up for a new savings account.
Customer service: Quality of customer service is subjective. Read reviews and ask friends and family about their experiences when considering banks.
To truly determine how you feel about the level and quality of customer service, give the bank a call and ask some questions about the account. From that interaction, you should be able to feel out how much each bank values customers and prospects.
1. Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings Account
We ranked Synchrony’s account as the very best savings account of May 2021 because it has the perfect combination of the most important elements of a bank.
Monthly fees: None.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: None.
ATM card: No fee for in-network ATMs, $5 monthly reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
Access to funds: ATM, electronic transfer to an external account, wire transfer or a paper check in the mail.
Mobile app: Yes. At the time of this writing, the app has a 4.5 rating on the App Store and 3.7 on Google Play.
Details: Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account.
2. CIT Savings Builder Account
CIT Savings Builder is another solid account option, but you have to meet certain conditions to earn it:
APY: To earn up to 0.40% APY, either your account needs $25,000 in it, or you must make a monthly minimum deposit of $100 to the account. The latter option should be more feasible and is a good incentive to save each month.
Minimum balance requirement: $100.
Additional fee for withdrawals: None.
ATM card: None.
Access to funds: Electronic transfer, wire transfer (free if you have $25,000 or more in the account) or paper check.
Mobile app: Yes. At the time of writing, the app has a 4.6 rating on the App Store and 4.2 on Google Play.
Details: CIT Savings Builder.
3. Ally Online Savings Account
Though savings accounts are different from checking accounts — and thus should not be thought of as a place to quickly and easily get money — Ally does make it easier than most to access your funds when you need them. Just open a free checking account (ranked 5th in the best online checking accounts of 2020), and you can easily transfer your money over.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: After the six permitted withdrawals a month, you’ll pay $10 per transfer with Ally.
ATM card: None.
Access to funds: You can transfer money via direct deposit, electronic transfer, wire transfer or paper check.
Mobile app: Ally’s mobile app is highly rated at 4.7 stars on the App Store and 3.7 on Google Play.
Details: Ally Online Savings account.
4. Alliant High-Rate Savings Account
The Alliant High-Rate Savings account is offered via the Alliant Credit Union, so instead of FDIC insurance, it carries insurance through the National Credit Union Administration, but the benefits are the same.
Because it is a credit union, joining Alliant can be a little more challenging. You need to fulfill one of these four requirements:
Be a current or retired employee of a business that is partnered with Alliant.
Have an immediate family member or domestic partner who banks with Alliant.
Be a member of an Alliant-related organization/association.
Become a member of Foster Care to Success, Alliant’s partner charity.
Live in one of the communities near the Alliant headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
APY: 0.55%. You need an average daily balance of $100 for the APY to kick in.
Minimum balance requirement: $5.
Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.
ATM card: Money access is super convenient with a free ATM convenience card that qualifies at more than 80,000 ATMs nationwide.
Access to funds: If you live in the Chicago area, you’ll even have access to brick-and-mortar locations.
Mobile app: It’s got a solid app (4.7 on the App Store and 4.6 on Google Play)
Details: Alliant High-Rate Savings account
5. Discover Savings Account
The Discover Savings account offers a substantial APY and easy access to funds via a rewards checking account.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: The bank may refuse to pay transactions that exceed the six monthly permitted withdrawals.
ATM card: While Discover doesn’t offer an ATM card for its FDIC-insured savings account, you can sign up for the Discover Cashback Debit (it’s free!), which earns up to 1% cash back on up to $3,000 a month.
Access to funds: The linked debit account provides an easy way to transfer funds; otherwise, you can rely on electronic transfers, wire transfers and paper checks.
Mobile app: Discover’s app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.5 rating on Google Play.
Details: Discover Savings account
Learn more: Discover Bank review
6. Capital One 360 Savings Account
While it’s certainly not the savings account with the best interest rate, it makes up for it with no monthly fees, easy integration with other Capital One 360 accounts (including a checking account for easy funds transfer) and a killer app.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on six federally regulated withdrawals.
ATM card: None.
Access to funds: If you don’t open a linked checking account for the easy ATM access, you can still access your funds via the traditional (but slower) means.
Mobile app: In 2018, the Capital One 360 mobile app was ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction in the banking category for the second year in a row in J.D. Power’s U.S. Banking App Satisfaction Study.
The app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.7 rating on Google Play.
Details: Capital One 360 Savings account
7. Barclays Online Savings Account
Barclays has its cons, like challenging access to funds, but its high APY and strong mobile app earned it a spot on this list.
APY: Barclays is one of three banks on this list to offer the competitive 0.40% APY.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: Withdrawals that exceed the monthly limit will result in a fee.
ATM card: None.
Access to funds: You can deposit and withdraw funds in a number of ways, through direct deposit, an electronic transfer, paper check and more.
Mobile app: Yes, but the Barclays US Online Savings mobile app is not the most user-friendly based on its ratings: a 3.7 on the App Store and a 2.4 on Google Play.
Details: Barclays Online Savings account
Learn more: Barclay’s Bank review
8. American Express Personal Savings Account
You might rely on American Express for your credit card, but the bank offers an online savings account worth your consideration as well.
Minimum balance requirement: $1.
Additional fee for withdrawals: Hard limit on nine withdrawals, though this is more than most of its competitors.
ATM card: A major drawback of the American Express account is the lack of ATM card.
Access to funds: Electronic transfer, wire transfer and paper check are the only ways to access your money.
Mobile app: It currently has a 4.9 rating on the App Store and a 4.2 rating on Google Play.
Details: American Express Personal savings account
9. Marcus Online Savings Account by Goldman Sachs Account
Our final online savings account is by Goldman Sachs. It offers a competitive APY and fairly new mobile app.
Minimum balance requirement: None.
Additional fee for withdrawals: Due to a change in federal law, Goldman Sachs currently doesn’t impose a limit on withdrawals.
ATM card: None.
Access to funds: Withdrawals are limited to electronic transfer and wire transfer (you also cannot deposit checks via the app).
Mobile app: Yes. It has a 4.9 rating on the App Store and a 3.9 rating on Google Play.
Details: Marcus Online Savings Account
6 Tips for Choosing a Savings Account
You should be aware that banks can change interest rates, develop better apps and update their bonuses, so it is important to understand how to determine the best savings account for yourself.
Here are a few tips:
1. Consider Your Needs
We prioritized high savings rates, ease of funds transfer and mobile apps in our rankings, but maybe for you, two-factor authentication and customer service are top considerations.
Build your own ranking system based on your top two or three criteria. You won’t find a perfect bank that offers everything, but at the very least, you’ll find banks that can meet all of your top needs.
2. Stick With Online
Put your money in an online savings account, unless you have a good reason not to, such as a high interest savings account at a brick-and-mortar credit union or a regular need to get in-person help.
3. Save Only With Insured Banks
Do not put your money into any bank that is not insured by the FDIC. Or, if you go the credit union route, make sure it is insured by the NCUA. We did not include any banks on our list that were not insured.
4. Don’t Be Tempted by Sign-on Bonuses Alone
Earning cash for starting an account with a bank feels awesome, but don’t let the appeal of $100 now prevent you from putting your savings into an account that will earn you $500 over a couple years.
5. Find a No-fee Account
Be wary of accounts with monthly maintenance fees, statement fees or any other miscellaneous charges. You’re more likely to find these fees with a brick-and-mortar bank.
Ideally, find a bank that has an associated free checking account for easy and fast funds transfers.
6. Read the Fine Print
Know what you are signing before you sign it.
If an APY sounds too good to be true, it’s possible there are strings attached — or that the rate is only temporary.
Ask questions and do research when you are confused by any of the terms and conditions, and don’t deposit your savings until you are satisfied with the agreement.
If you live in California, you’re likely all too familiar with summer blackouts. When the energy grid gets overloaded, dirty power plants need to turn on to keep everybody’s air conditioners running. If the grid is especially overworked, this can cause a blackout. This happens way too often and affects millions of Californians.
But a company called OhmConnect wants to help. It’s handing out free smart thermostats — and cash — to people in California who agree to try out its free service. Not only do you get these perks, but you’re also helping prevent these blackouts with hardly any effort. All you need to do is connect your utility account.
Here’s how it works: OhmConnect will send you a text message during high-energy-usage times and ask you to dial down your energy for about an hour. That’s it! If you have a smart thermostat, you can let it tick up a few degrees automatically with the help of OhmConnect. And if you don’t, now’s your chance to get one for free.
Smart thermostat or not — the more you do, the more money you can make.
For example, we talked to one woman, Tanya Williams, who recently earned an extra $1,700 in one year with OhmConnect — more than $140 a month. A few evenings each week, the 45-year-old stay-at-home mom shut down her home’s electrical panel and took the kids to the pool, or just played board games. Talk about easy money.
What you choose to do is up to you: You can grill dinner outside, go for a bike ride or even just play games on your phone. So long as you use less energy during these “OhmHours,” your earnings will add up.
How much energy can skipping a load of laundry or playing a board game really save?
Well, when you and your neighbors dial your energy usage back at the same time, you reduce the stress on the grid. OhmConnect says this reduction could equal more than two times the amount of energy that would have prevented 2020’s blackouts.
OhmConnect is free to join and costs nothing to participate. To get started, you’ll simply need your email and ZIP code and then to connect your utility account. Get connected, and you’ll be on your way to help end blackouts and make money.
Sign up here to get your free smart thermostat, which can handle some of your energy savings automatically and could earn you $350 a year, plus prizes and gift cards.
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
The cost of insurance can be a big hit to your personal bottom line. That’s especially true when you consider all the types of coverage you may need to pay for, including auto, health, and life insurance plans. Here are some tips for how to budget for insurance without compromising your lifestyle.
Steps for Budgeting for Insurance
In addition to being legally required in many instances, insurance is often a good investment for your wallet and your peace of mind. The expense of insurance can actually save you money in the long run.
Budgeting for insurance may seem complicated, but it really comes down to two simple actions: First, decide what type of insurance you need. Then, start budgeting for it. Here are five steps for incorporating insurance into your personal finances.
1. Decide how much insurance you need
For each type of insurance you decide to get, you’ll need to decide how much coverage to buy. When it comes to insurance, cost shouldn’t be the only factor in your purchase decision. Instead, think critically about how much coverage you need. If you’re not sure how much insurance or what type to get, consider talking with an insurance agent for advice.
Do you need your homeowner’s insurance to include liability in case someone else is injured on your property? Is term life or whole life insurance better for your situation? Who needs to be covered by your auto insurance?
2. Get quotes from agents or online
Once you know what type of insurance you want and how much coverage you need, get some quotes. Shop around and get quotes from multiple companies. Remember to compare the coverage and not just the premium price—you might find that you’re getting a much better value when paying only a little more a month with one company over another.
3. Find out what the payment schedule is
Discuss the payment schedule before you agree to an insurance policy. It’s common for auto insurance companies to offer a significant discount if you can pay for six months of insurance at a time, for example. Here are some common pay schedule options for various types of coverage.
Home Insurance: Paid annually or biannually, often out of escrow if you have a current mortgage
Car insurance: Paid every six months or monthly
Life insurance: Paid monthly
Health insurance: Paid monthly or via pretax deductions from your paycheck if the coverage is through your employer
Understanding the payment schedule will help you budget for insurance more effectively.
4. Set aside enough money monthly
However you plan to pay for insurance, break the amount down into a monthly budgeted amount. For example, if your home insurance is $900 every six months, set aside $150 every month. It’s much easier to budget for $150 than it is to come up with $900 all at once.
5. “Pay” the bill monthly
If you do pay monthly, go ahead and budget so that you can pay your insurance bill at least a week before it’s due. That leaves you plenty of wiggle room if something ever comes up.
If you don’t pay monthly, act like you do. Move the monthly budgeted amount into a savings account and don’t touch it. Act like it’s not there so you’re not tempted to use it on something else and risk not having the money when the bill comes due.
How to Budget for Different Types of Insurance
Trying to include a large insurance expense in an already tight budget can be difficult. Here are some tips for making various types of insurance potentially more affordable so they are easier to budget for.
The average American pays around $2,388 per year on auto insurance. But your actual expense can vary widely depending on your age, state of residence, type of car, credit score, and many other factors. Here are some tips for saving money on car insurance.
Increase your deductible. You may need to shell out a bit more in the event of an accident, but you can save a lot of money on your premiums.
Ask about discounts if you’re married, have multiple cars, are buying different types of insurance from the same company, or are a good driver. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for students with good grades.
Lower your liability amounts. This can reduce premiums, but you should ensure that it’s a good move for you financially overall.
According to numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2018, the average amount people were contributing to their employer-sponsored health care plans each year was $1,186 for single coverage. You don’t have to pay that much for health insurance, though. Some ways you can save on this expense, especially if you’re purchasing as an individual through the marketplace, include:
Buy a plan with a higher deductible.
Enter all your income data into the marketplace application form to see if you qualify for subsidies or credits.
Apply for Medicaid if you’re eligible.
The cost of life insurance depends heavily on your age, the type of insurance, and how much you’re purchasing. If you’re young, you might want to buy a whole-life policy that you can pay for now and still have when you’re older. If you’re older, you may want to opt for term life insurance, which is cheaper than other types.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
One of the reasons insurance costs might be lower is because the company sees you as less of a risk. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance may be cheaper for those that invest in security measures such as home security systems.
The Bottom Line on How to Budget for Insurance
You can get discounts and great deals on insurance if you’re willing to do your research. But, in most cases, insurance may still be a sizeable expense. Planning ahead and budgeting every month for these expenses is one of the best ways to ensure you can afford the coverage you need.
And since your insurance costs are sometimes impacted by your credit score, make sure you’re keeping up on all your other bills and reviewing your credit reports regularly.
DISCLAIMER. The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to be, legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only.
If you’ve ever heard of Medi-Share, you might be intrigued by its promises to cover your health care costs.
Curious? We looked into the details to find out how Medi-Share works — and whether it’s a good option. Here’s our honest, unbiased review of the program.
What Is Medi-Share?
Medi-Share is a health-care sharing ministry made up of members united by their faith.
This program and similar medical-sharing ministries rely on their members to take care of one another through financial contributions, as well as prayer.
The details work much like typical health insurance. Like having a deductible, members choose an amount they’ll contribute as a household before they can submit bills to the community for payment assistance.
A monthly share payment works like a premium, ensuring your eligibility for assistance, should you need it.
There’s no guarantee your medical expenses will be covered through Medi-Share, and there are plenty of exemptions to consider before you apply.
But if you’re particularly religious — and healthy — you may want to consider this alternative to traditional health insurance.
How Much Does Medi-Share Cost?
First, the up-front costs: It costs $50 to apply, and you’ll pay a $120 one-time member fee with your first monthly payment. You’ll pay another one-time fee of $2 to set up your “sharing account.”
As for your monthly payment options, Medi-Share’s system is sort of like choosing a health insurance deductible and monthly premium.
As an example, we calculated costs for a 30-year-old woman in Florida seeking membership for herself only. Share amounts change annually, based on the oldest member of the household.
If she chose a $12,000 annual household portion — the amount of medical bills the member must pay out of pocket before being eligible for sharing — her standard monthly share would be $118.
If she met certain health and fitness requirements, she could qualify for a Healthy Monthly Share, which would lower her cost to $115 per month.
As a Medi-Share member, when you need medical care and visit a Medi-Share provider, you pay $35 for doctor visits and hospitalizations, and $200 for emergency room visits. Telemedicine visits do not cost anything.
You submit the rest of your bills to Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) for payment consideration.
Christian Care Ministry, which operates Medi-Share, is a 501(c)3, but your payments aren’t tax-deductible.
Do You Need to Be Religious to Use Medi-Share?
Just as Medi-Share embraces the idea of a community of members supporting one another, it also believes in having a membership that embraces Christian lifestyles.
“Medi-Share members and their dollars do not pay for abortions, drug addictions, or any other unbiblical lifestyles,” according to the website.
Medi-Share also assumes that if you’re willing to take care of your Christian community by sharing the burden of medical bills, you’ll do your best to take pretty good care of yourself.
Some health conditions, like heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes, put applicants in the mandatory Health Partnership Program, which pairs you with a health coach and costs an extra $99 per month.
What if You Have an Ongoing Health Condition?
While Medi-Share might be an appealing option if you’re healthy, anyone who suffers from a chronic health issue is probably better off turning to an ACA health insurance program for coverage.
“The primary purpose of Medi-Share is to help share members’ burdens,” the program explains. “Burdens are those unexpected medical bills you are unable to plan for (ie. broken bones, cancer, etc). Low monthly share amounts enable you to budget for your family’s routine care, which can be planned.”
Prescription drugs can be eligible for cost-sharing, but only for up to six months for the lifetime of the member.
Behavioral and mental health care are also ineligible for coverage. This includes psychiatric or psychological care, as well as “counseling or care for learning deficiencies or behavioral problems,” such as ADD or autism.
But here’s the big catch: Routine health screenings aren’t eligible for cost-sharing either.
Well-patient care like annual physicals, pap smears and well-child checkups aren’t included. Dental and vision care aren’t eligible, either.
For instance, if your doctor recommends getting a colonoscopy because you’ve reached a certain age, you can’t submit the test for Medi-Share payment. If you have symptoms warranting the same test, the program might grant payment.
So, Is Medi-Share Legit?
Here’s our conclusion: Medi-Share isn’t a scam.
It’s totally legal and there’s a strong membership base to support it and similar programs.
But it’s likely not the most affordable health care option for most people. The ideal candidate for Medi-Share is in excellent health and also has a robust savings account to pay out of pocket for routine medical care.
One risk: Medi-Share and other cost-sharing programs aren’t subject to regulation like typical ACA programs.
So while a typical health insurance benefits booklet might clearly explain what’s covered and guarantee coverage up to a certain amount or percentage, Medi-Share participants might not be able to figure out ahead of time which medical bills will be paid by the program.
While Medi-Share probably isn’t the best financial choice for most people, it does serve as an option for anyone who doesn’t have access to a job-sponsored health insurance plan or who finds individual ACA coverage options prohibitively expensive.
As parents, it can be overwhelming to think about everything we need to teach our kids — whether it’s showing them how to cross the street safely, introducing them to the alphabet or teaching them to ride a bike.
But unfortunately, money still seems to be a taboo educational topic — even among families.
A survey conducted by The Penny Hoarder found that among those who didn’t talk about money management at home, almost a third earn less than $50,000. But for those who did talk about money, just 18% earn less than $50,000 a year.
And 40% of people who did not discuss finances growing up currently have no savings at all. That figure drops by more than half among those who did receive early financial education at home.
And unfortunately, kids often don’t get to learn money management topics in school, either. Only 21 states require personal finance education in order to graduate high school, according to the Council for Economic Education.
That leaves it up to parents when it comes to teaching kids about money. Discovering how much you know about money — you can test your own knowledge with this handy financial literacy quiz — is an important first step.
But don’t put off teaching your child about finances until you think you have all the answers.
Fortunately, even if you aren’t a financial whiz, we’re here to help so you can look like the expert — at least in your kids’ eyes.
5 Ways to Teach Kids About Money
Teaching your kids about money lessons is essential for raising adults who are comfortable talking about and handling their money
By following these tips, you can create a solid financial foundation for your kids (and you might learn a thing or two along the way).
1. Talk About Family Finances
We’re not suggesting that you study your financial spreadsheets with your kids for a family fun night, but your children can’t get comfortable talking about money until they know you’re comfortable talking about it.
By setting up a consistent family budget meeting — you don’t have to call it that if the b-word scares/bores everyone — your gang can get in the habit of discussing topics like how much money it takes to keep your household functioning and why it’s important to plan for big purchases.
If kids get the opportunity to give their input — and no, they don’t get the deciding vote, even if they outnumber you — it will empower them to take responsibility for how the household spends its money.
It can start with something simple like: We have $50 extra spending money this month. Would you rather go to a drive-in theater or save the money so that next month we could go on a camping trip?
2. Show Them Why Saving Pays
Your child’s method of saving will evolve as they get older, but teaching the basic value of setting aside money will help them avoid the temptation to make an impulse buy each time they have money in their hands.
Use Real Dollars and Coins
Using physical cash and coins is great for helping younger children understand the concept, as it allows them to see how their nickels and dimes (and dollars) can really add up.
You can start out by teaching kids to budget their money — consider using one piggy bank for savings, another for spending and a third for giving.
Open a Bank Account
When they’re ready, you can take the next step by opening a bank account for your child. Many banks have accounts specifically for minors if their parents also bank there, which can help your children save on fees that banks may charge for regular accounts.
If your child values something more than money — like screen time — use that to help reinforce the savings concept. Give them an “allowance” of minutes that they can work to earn more of.
By bringing them along to a physical location to open their bank account, you’ll help your kids become more comfortable dealing with financial tools and institutions. That way, banks won’t seem as intimidating when your kids open their own accounts as adults.
Teach Them About Compound Interest
Additionally, use their savings accounts as an opportunity to teach kids about compound interest — a basic financial concept that explains how your money can grow by earning interest on the interest.
If the numbers on the account don’t pile up fast enough to impart the lesson (or you need a little more help understanding the concept), check out this video about how compound interest works — it uses candy to teach the concept in a much more appetizing way.
3. Let Them Learn the Value of Their Money
Getting your children to value their money can give them a head start on money management skills.
It starts with understanding where the money comes from (the ATM doesn’t count).
Whether you pay them an allowance, they receive money as gifts from relatives or they’re making their own money (yes, even a lemonade stand business counts), your children will better understand how much a dollar is worth if they learn how to budget their money early on.
If you have a teen who’s thinking about bigger purchases like a car or college tuition, let them use their summer break to make extra money — check out these ideas for jobs for teens.
Accounting for each dollar allows a child to learn decision-making skills that will prepare them for later in life when they’re parcelling out their paycheck.
Ask them questions like: Is it worth doing an extra chore to have their pick in the candy aisle at the grocery store? By giving them the power to make that decision, your children will be able to apply the same money concepts when deciding as an adult whether it’s worth working an extra shift to buy those new shoes or taking on a side gig to pay to build an emergency fund.
4. Don’t Let Investing Be Only for the Rich
Your kids don’t need to become the next Warren Buffett to learn the value of investing. And they don’t need to be rich to start (and neither do you).
No matter what their age, kids can learn about growing wealth by investing a small portion of their money. We recommend starting with a very small amount since there is, of course, a risk that their investment could lose value. It’s a tough lesson, but one that’s easier to accept if your child lost a week’s allowance rather than a lifetime savings.
And investing doesn’t require a large cash outlay to start, especially if you work with a brokerage that allows you to open a custodial account and invest in fractional shares.
For just a few dollars, your kids can pick a couple of companies that make their favorite toys or movies, then check the stock price each week to see how their investment is faring.
If your family is the competitive type, let every member invest in a different stock and see whose stock grew the most at the end of a year.
5. Don’t Make Debt a Four-Letter Word
You want to protect your kids from all the bad things, so if you don’t talk about debt, they won’t end up in it, right?
Maybe. But probably not. Giving them the tools to understand debt is a better way to avoid bad debt and responsibly handle the good debt that they’ll face in their lifetime.
Differentiate Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
So how can you teach kids the difference between bad and good debt? Remember these two factors:
What’s the interest rate?
What’s the value of the item they’re going into debt for?
As a general rule, if you’re borrowing money at a higher rate than you can earn by investing, that’s bad. The S&P 500 has a historical average annual rate of 7%, so that’s typically the benchmark experts use for deciding how much of a return you could expert on an investment.
For example, if a credit card charges 18% interest, you can’t reasonably expect to get those kinds of returns on investments, so that’s a bad debt. However, if you get a mortgage with a 3% interest rate, there’s a good chance you could invest that money and make more in interest.
It’s also important to teach kids that bad debt vs. good debt involves the types of things and events that they’d want to use the credit for. Borrowing money to buy a candy bar? Bad debt. Borrowing money to invest in a mower so you can start making money cutting the neighbor’s lawns? Good debt (since they’ll in theory be using that borrowed money to make more money).
Get Real About Student Loans
One of the biggest decisions kids will have to make early on in regards to debt is whether to take out student loans. Start talking to your teens early about how student loan debt could affect their lives after college.
Although it can be a very personal decision, encourage them to consider the costs and benefits of student loan debt. For instance, is the private, out-of-state school with the gorgeous campus worth the debt burden if they’re getting an education degree?
If the plan is for your teenagers to cover the cost of tuition themselves, help them discover the different options for paying for college — besides their parents and student loans.
Teaching your kids early about how to use debt and credit lines responsibly — perhaps by adding them as an authorized user — will let them see the benefits of building a solid financial foundation.
And if all this is a little much for your youngest kids to understand, you can introduce this money lesson with one of these debt free charts.
Start by deciding on a bigger purchase your child wants but doesn’t have enough cash for yet — but small enough that they can “pay it off” in a few weeks or months. Each time they make a “payment” to you, they can color in another section of the chart.
By the end, they’ll have a better understanding of what it means to pay off debt, and you’ll have another piece of art to hang on the refrigerator. Win-win.
TIffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Dana Sitar contributed to this post.
There’s no doubt about it, landing your dream job is a process.
After sending out your polished resume, completing an online application, and even giving that first interview your best shot — you typically still won’t know whether you impressed the interviewers. The post-interview gray period is often the most stressful part of the job application process, and depending on how many times you’ve gone through it, can also be the most frustrating.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do to gain more insight into your job application and find out more about your prospects of being hired. It all starts with the follow-up email.
How to Follow Up After an Interview
So if you’re ready to put this maddening wait period behind you, keep reading for tips on how to follow up after an interview. It’s all part of the interview process and as important as a cover letter and connecting with the hiring manager.
1. Contact the Right Person at the Right Time
Never underestimate the power of contacting the right person at the right time. This often-repeated adage is one of the best ways to get started mapping out your interview follow-up email. And determining who you reach out to (and when) is arguably the most important item on this list.
A good rule of thumb is to reach out to the highest-ranking person you’ve interacted with. Say you had a series of three interviews: one with a recruiter, one with a hiring manager, and one with a prospective team member. In this scenario, you’d want to reach back out to the hiring manager directly, since they’re ultimately the one making decisions about your candidacy.
A key point here is to make sure you reach out at the right time.
If you were given a date by which you’d hear back, wait a full day or two after that to circle back. If you weren’t given a date, wait a full week after your interview before checking in (and remember to ask about their “hiring timeframe” during your next interview).
2. Say Thank You
If you haven’t sent a post-interview thank you note yet, now’s the time to express your gratitude. While it’s always a good idea to send a thank you email directly after your interview, we understand that things can happen. Even if you did send a thank you note, you can still add something into your opener like “thanks again for taking the time.” This will go a long way with busy hiring managers, and make them more likely to respond to your message in a timely manner.
3. Express Continued Interest
After determining who to contact, and thanking them, it’s time to mention your continued interest in the position. While your ongoing interest is assumed, it’s still nice to reiterate why you want the job and to inquire about next steps. This might be something as simple as, “I’m still very interested in moving forward and becoming a member of your growing team,” or even “I’m still interested in moving forward and getting started with X project.” Pick something simple and truthful to emphasize your enthusiasm for the new opportunity, and include a sentence or two about it in your note.
4. Ask for an Update
With these formalities out of the way, you’re ready to get to the meat and potatoes of your letter — and ask for that update. This step is often the hardest one, but don’t overthink it. Depending on the circumstances of the job interview, you might reiterate the timeline you were given and use that as a segue to form your question. For example:
“You mentioned you’d be making a decision by (date), so I just wanted to check in and see if you have any updates.” If a date wasn’t given, you should still stick to the same casual tone when posing your question, and you might even consider adding some sort of explanation for why you’re reaching out now. “I know things move fast in X industry, so I just wanted to check in and see if you have any updates.”
Keeping things casual and non-demanding (and placing your inquiry after other introductory formalities) will make for a much more pleasant reading experience for your interviewer. No matter how busy they are (or aren’t), your interviewer will appreciate that you continue to respect their time, even via email. The thing to remember is that everyone’s been through this process — including the interviewers. They know how hard it is to wait to hear back on a new job, which will make them appreciate your courteous approach even more.
5. Putting It All Together
With these components in mind, it’s time to put your letter together. Much like a thank you email (or any post-interview correspondence), keep things short, sweet, and on the same level of formality as your interview. What do we mean by this? Well, if you called your interviewer by their first name during the interview, feel free to do so in your email as well.
Every correspondence you have before being offered the job should still be considered as part of the interview stage, because technically it is. Beyond your qualifications for the job itself, your hiring manager will want to see that you’re a good social fit for their team. Which is why calling them “Mr.” or “Mrs.” after you’ve been established on a first-name basis isn’t really polite — it’s just awkward. Don’t invent formality where there isn’t any. Instead, focus on reading the social cues you’re getting from your interviewer, then mirror them.
The Final Word
Following up after a job interview is scary, no matter how many times you do it. Just remember that everyone does it, and if they don’t, they should. While companies and hiring managers probably have a timeline in their heads, you likely have one as well — especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while. By writing a courteous and confident follow-up email, you’re simply asking for something you have every right to know, so don’t be shy. Keep your chin up and keep going.
Tiffani Sherman is a Florida-based freelance reporter with more than 25 years of experience writing about finance, health, travel and other topics.
Delivery jobs are no longer limited to the Post Office and the boxy brown trucks of UPS.
Thousands of delivery gigs, which stem from a plethora of on-demand delivery apps, are available nationwide. Delivery services have been booming during the pandemic, creating a surge in demand for delivery workers. The vast majority of delivery app jobs are categorized as 1099, which means the workers are independent contractors.
Requirements are overall very low. In many cases, all you need to start earning are a valid driver’s license and a functioning car with proper auto insurance.
But the reality of delivery work is tough. In addition to the work itself, apps glitch, customers stiff on tips and cars deteriorate. Pay can vary based on a number of factors outside of your control. And, depending on location, you may earn less than minimum wage.
Despite the downsides, many drivers love the work and find delivery apps a flexible source of extra money in the short-term. Each app works a little differently. We analyzed the top ones, looking at wages, frequency of pay, job and vehicle requirements, dress code, driver reviews and more to help you choose the best delivery app for your next side gig.
Delivery App Jobs
Here are the top contenders for package-delivery gigs. Generally speaking, these delivery jobs require larger vehicles because of the potential size of some orders. Some heavy lifting may be required.
Package delivery is the latest in a long list of industries the e-commerce giant has upended. Currently, delivery gigs with Amazon Flex are among the highest paying, as the company says hourly wages range between $18 and $25 depending on your area. Through efficiency and good tips, it’s possible to earn more.
Flex requires you to sign up for shifts, aka “blocks,” for most deliveries. Blocks typically run four hours at a time, unless the shift is specifically for Prime Now packages. Those blocks are shorter.
Insured four-door sedans or SUVs are required for most Flex packages. For Prime Now blocks, smaller cars are allowed. To apply, you must be at least 21 years old. No dress code or special materials are required to start delivering.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.
Dispatch is an on-demand package delivery app marketed toward businesses. The service is currently available in 48 major cities and metropolitan areas.
According to Glassdoor reviews, drivers report earning between $14 and $16 an hour. Dispatch pays weekly through an app called Stripe, provides supplemental auto insurance and reimburses tolls along the delivery route.
You must be at least 23 years old to qualify. Your vehicle just needs to be in “fair condition.” Once accepted, Dispatch will send you a branded badge and hat that are required during deliveries.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.5 out of 5.
Postmates is well known for food delivery, but most store-bought goods and packages are fair game too.
All models of cars are welcomed as long as they’re insured. You can also deliver on a bicycle if you prefer. Wages vary based on location, demand and quantity of deliveries per hour, but Glassdoor says the average salary is $17 an hour . Hourly rates aren’t guaranteed by Postmates, but tips go 100% to the drivers.
Postmates services more than 600,000 restaurants and stores in every state. The company doesn’t provide supplemental auto insurance and doesn’t require any dress code.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
Uber recently acquired Postmates, but for now, nothing changes for couriers.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.
Food Delivery App Jobs
Many well-known delivery apps specialize in food delivery. Here’s how they work.
BiteSquad transitioned its delivery drivers to independent-contractor status in February 2020 after Waitr bought out the company. (BiteSquad workers were previously hired as W-2 employees.).
As a BiteSquad driver, you’ll be required to wear a branded hat and shirt on the job. BiteSquad supplies your clothing, but you’ll need to purchase a hot bag.
Because of the strict dress code and shift-based work, delivering for other apps while scheduled with BiteSquad isn’t realistic. Delivery jobs are available in 14 states. All you’ll need are an insured, reliable vehicle and a clean driving record.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.
Overall, Dasher requirements are low. The minimum age is 18, you need a driver’s license and you can deliver with any mode of transportation — a properly insured vehicle, a scooter or a bicycle. There’s no dress code, and the company provides a hot bag for free. Payment is on a weekly basis, or you can access your funds early through Fast Pay for a fee.
DoorDash is available in all 50 states.
As of September 2019, all Dashers (DoorDash drivers) receive 100% of their tips, plus an increase in their base-pay per order. DoorDash also acquired food-delivery company Caviar and has been combining the services. Through the DoorDash app, drivers can choose orders through either Caviar or DoorDash. The driver app for Caviar no longer exists and is now channeled through the Dasher app.
In August 2020, DoorDash announced it’s offering grocery-delivery services in a handful of major cities in the Midwest and along the West Coast — adding to the ways Dashers can earn.
Glassdoor review: 4.0 out of 5.
GrubHub operates in more than 4,000 cities. Depending on the location, the company guarantees hourly wages. Drivers tend to earn around $12 to $15 an hour, and they get to keep 100% of their tips. GrubHub pays weekly.
Wages can be accessed early through Grubhub Instant Cash Out and a partnership with Chase Bank. If you have a Chase bank account, the early cash-out service is free, otherwise it’s 50 cents per transaction.
Auto insurance and a reliable vehicle are required, and drivers must be 19 or older. There’s no dress code. While the company recommends its drivers use a hot bag for deliveries, it doesn’t provide one.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.9 out of 5.
You only need to be the legal driving age of your state, plus have one year of driving experience, to deliver for Uber Eats.
A two- or four-door vehicle is required, as is auto insurance. Uber provides additional coverage with a $1,000 deductible. And in some regions, scooters and bicycles are accepted.
You’ll earn around $10 to $15 an hour and get to keep all of your tips. Payment comes automatically every week, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early with Instant Pay. You’ll need a hot bag for deliveries, but the company doesn’t provide one.
A notable perk: Drivers can switch between Uber and Uber Eats on the same app.
Uber Eats operates in all 50 states.
Glassdoor reviews: 4.0out of 5.
Grocery Delivery App Jobs
Delivering groceries can be a little more time consuming and laborious than delivering food or packages. Typically, these gigs involve an extra step: shopping for the items. You’ll also need to be able to lift and carry heavy loads.
But the extra effort could pay off through better tips.
Instacart offers part-time W-2 jobs as well as independent delivery gigs.
The part-time positions don’t have a delivery component, they’re in-store only. In-store shoppers work in partner grocery stores, readying orders for delivery.
Full-service shoppers are independent contractors who, depending on the order, shop as well. Full-service shoppers report earning between $10 and $14 an hour and keep all their tips. Instacart pays weekly.
To become a full-service shopper, you’ll need a reliable vehicle with auto insurance. Instacart doesn’t provide additional insurance coverage or insulated bags. No dress code is required.
Gigs are available in all 50 states.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.
To start delivering with Shipt, you’ll need to be 18 or older and drive an insured vehicle from 1997 or later. Shipt says shoppers earn an average of $22 an hour, depending on location, and you’ll pocket all of your tips.
Shipt pays every week via direct deposit, but you can’t access your funds before then.
A branded Shipt shirt is the only uniform requirement, which the company provides for free. Reusable grocery and insulated bags are on you, though.
Glassdoor reviews: 4.0out of 5.
GoPuff is a new general-store delivery service that currently operates in more than 500 cities in 40 states. In most locations, services are available 24/7, which means the delivery gigs are too.
There’s no shopping involved because the goods come from local GoPuff warehouses that aren’t customer-facing. Warehouse employees schedule your shifts and prepare orders for you.
You must be at least 21 years old and have an insured vehicle (any model) to deliver for GoPuff. Drivers typically earn $10 to $14 an hour and keep 100% of their tips. GoPuff guarantees an hourly minimum wage that varies by location.
A paid alcohol-delivery training course is required in some areas.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.4 out of 5.
Adam Hardy is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Staff writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors updated this post for 2021.