When it comes to savings account interest rates there is the stated paper rate paid on record, and then there are the practical rates available in terms of overall return. If one just puts his money in a traditional account, then both paper and practice end up wit the same, minimal figure of interest return. However, if a consumer proactively takes advantage of savings accounts with bonuses, then the interest rate in practice can be much higher than that on paper.
Take the example of Capital One 360. This is the current version of ING Direct. As part of the settlement and bailout ING received in the bank massacre due to the U.S. national recession, the Dutch bank corporation ING agreed to sell off its U.S. subsidiary ING Direct. Doing so put the entire Internet bank operation in the hands of credit card issuer, Capital One. Many assumed Capital One would gut the Internet model and leave it a shell of its former self. Much to the credit of Capital One's management, they recognized a good thing, and kept going with ING Direct's strategy of putting banking in the consumer's hands and providing him as many tools as possible to save more.
Currently, Capital One 360 is offering a $50 bonus with the opening of a checking account, which also offers the ability to open a saving account with them as well. Granted, the paper rate of return on the checking account is only 0.20 percent and the savings account is 0.75 percent. However, when one adds on the $50, a minimum deposit of $250 returns 20 percent plus the official interest paid as well. That's pretty darn good for the first year of saving.
All of Capital One 360 checking, savings and CD accounts are insured by the FDIC, so there is no risk to saving.