Whether you’re saving for a down payment on a house or an emergency fund, where you stash that cash is almost as important as actually setting the money aside. Beyond a basic savings account, all savings options aren’t created equal—they vary in interest rates and how often you can access your money.

Here are four common savings accounts and information to help you better decide which best suits you.

High-Yield Savings Account

Take your basic savings account, add higher-than-average interest rates and you’ve got a High-Yield Savings Account. These accounts typically require a higher opening deposit and monthly minimum balance, but they also give you more flexibility to make withdrawals. And they often are from online banks, so there is no physical branch to visit, but you can use an ATM card and online banking.

When to consider: Simply growing your savings over time faster than you would in a personal savings account, or for a specific short-term savings goal, such as buying a car.

FDIC insured: Yes, up to applicable limits.

Money Market Account

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This is a savings account that lets you write a limited number checks from it, but also often has a higher minimum monthly balance requirement than a traditional savings or checking account. The interest rate is typically more than a basic savings account but less than a High-Yield Savings Account.

When to consider: A Money Market Account is a smart place to store a large chunk of money, like an emergency savings fund—you can even write a check directly from the account to cover an unexpected expense.

FDIC insured: Yes, up to applicable limits.

Certificate of Deposit

These are very different from savings accounts. Certificates of Deposit—or CDs—usually earn a specific interest rate over a predetermined number of months or years. You can’t access your money during that time without paying a penalty. The longer the term of your CD, the higher the interest rate you’ll earn.

When to consider: If you have a long-term savings goal—such as funding your middle schooler’s college fund—and don’t mind losing free access to your money while you save.

FDIC insured: Yes, up to applicable limits.

IRA Savings and IRA CDs

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) lets you save for retirement—and get tax breaks. With an IRA Savings Account, you can start saving money toward retirement, contributing money whenever you desire. You’ll earn interest but won’t immediately be charged taxes on it. Once you have enough money saved, you can open an IRA CD, which has a higher minimum opening deposit. Like a regular CD, your retirement savings will be unavailable without penalty for a set number of months or years. For CDs, you can choose between Roth IRAs (where your taxes are taken out up front) and Traditional IRAs (where your taxes are taken out when you withdraw the money after retirement).

When to consider: When you want to supplement your savings accounts with one specifically for retirement. An IRA Savings account is ideal if you want to contribute small amounts over time toward retirement rather than a large sum upfront.

FDIC insured: Yes, up to applicable limits.

Stash Your Cash

Review your savings account options with the experts at AAA Banking.

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