What is a Joint Savings Account and Why Should You Care?

Earlier this week I shared a guest post on the benefits of using joint checking accounts. I thought it might be a good follow up to discuss the joint savings account, one of my favorite financial tools.

What is a Joint Savings Account?

A joint savings account is simply a savings account set up by two individuals in order for those two people to access it and benefit from it. From a legal standpoint, both parties generally have equal rights to those assets and can use those funds how they like at any time. I’m sure laws vary by jurisdiction though. Therefore, it’s good to have a high level of trust involved in this relationship.

Who Would Want One?

  • Couples - These accounts are great for couples who want to build financial stability and trust. Often times in a relationship there is no need for each partner to have their own savings account. A joint savings account is perfect for couples. Mrs. PT and I have several joint accounts. We’re saving for a house down payment right now. Our emergency fund is also a joint savings account.
  • Parents and Kids – Parents sometime open a joint savings account for their kids. This past year, I opened one up for little Miss PT. She started saving even before she knows what money is.
  • Friends – In rare occasions, friends or other good acquaintances might want to open up joint accounts if saving toward a specific, short-term goal.

The Benefits of a Joint Savings Account

There are plenty of benefits to having a joint savings account versus striking out on your own. The first is the ability to build up savings faster and reach higher limits quicker. With two people storing away funds, you’ll reach your goals quicker and will be more likely to meet minimum balance requirements from some of the higher paying online savings accounts, like EverBank (which is currently paying the highest interest rate, but essentially requires a $5,000 minimum balance).

Another benefit is the ability for one partner to access the funds if something happens to the other person. The joint savings account also builds up trust and camaraderie towards your financial life. It helps you work as a team. Even if you have separate checking accounts, a joint savings account will provide some relational benefit.

Where to Get a Joint Savings Account

You can open a joint account at a traditional brick and mortar bank. You can also open one up at one of the best online bank account. Here’s a chart showing some of the better online savings account available:

Bank
Rate (APY)
Minimum
Additional Info
0.90%
No Minimum
GE Capital Bank Review
EverBank Logo
0.86%
$1,500
EverBank Review
0.85%
No Minimum
Ally Bank Review
FNBO Direct Logo
0.85%
No Minimum
FNBO Direct Review
0.85%
$500
Discover Bank Review
0.75%
No Minimum
Capital One 360 Review

The process to open the account will generally be a same. Both parties will be required to provide personal information. At a local bank you’ll both likely need to be present at the time of opening the account.

What’s your take? Do you think a joint savings account is a good idea?

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Last Edited: February 26, 2012 @ 4:36 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

2 comments
PT
PT

Totally agree, Lakita. Trust and ground rules are a must.

Lakita (PFJourney)
Lakita (PFJourney)

I think a joint account can be a good idea as long as there is a high level of trust. Also, there needs to be communication and ground rules in place...especially when it comes to withdrawals.