If you want to make the best investments in 2017, bank at Ally, get a Capital One credit card, and live in Nashville.
Those are some of the biggest recommendations from experts as you look to make the best decisions for your money this year.
Let’s start with the banking. Personal finance website GoBankingRates.com rates the top banks every year and for 2017, broke it down in five categories…
- Best Online Bank
- Best National Bank
- Best Savings Account
- Best Checking Account
- Best CD Account
For the third year in a row, Ally Bank is the best online bank. It was also an editors’ pick for best savings and CDs, and a finalist for best checking.
“Ally offers no-fee checking and savings accounts with some of the highest yields in the GOBankingRates study,” the site says. “Its CD accounts stand out because they have no minimum deposit requirements, and the yields are among the highest in the study.”
Bank5 Connect won best checking account for its high interest — .76 percent APY — which was the highest in the GoBankingRates.com study. Importantly, there are no trade-offs.
“There’s no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement,” the study says. “To open a checking account, many financial institutions require a minimum deposit that can range from as little as $25 to as much as $1,000.” Bank5 Connect requires only $10 to open an account.
For in-person options, TD Bank won for best national bank for its ease in growing savings with no monthly maintenance fees.
“TD Bank has more than 1,300 branch locations in the U.S., and it offers comprehensive, easy-to-use online banking and mobile banking services as well,” the study says.
Looking for long-term investments? Everbank won best CD accounts for the highest yields in the study.
“The 12-month CD offers a 1.30 percent APY, and the 60-month CD has a 2 percent APY. Both require a minimum deposit of $1,000,” the study says.
The best credit cards for 2017
Just like banking, there are a ton of places where you could put your money, but not all of them are created or managed equally.
NerdWallet analyzed the best credit cards available and did the hard work for you. Among the best are:
- Best Flat-Rate Travel Rewards – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Best Bonus Travel Rewards – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back – CitiDouble Cash Card
- Best Bonus Category Cash Back – Chase Freedom
- Best for Everyday Spending – Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
- Best for Balance Transfers – Chase Slate
- Longest 0% APR Period – Citi Simplicity Card
- Best for Fair Credit – Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for Small Business – Capital One Spark Cash for Business
- Best for College Students – Discover it for Students
“With a constantly growing selection of available credit cards, consumers have more options than ever before, and it can be difficult to choose the best card for your needs,” says Kevin Yuann, VP and general manager of credit cards at NerdWallet.
The best places to live in 2017
If you’ve got your money set and your credit cards in order, maybe it’s time for you to make another move — financially and literally. Zillow says Nashville will be the hottest housing market this year.
Zillow looked at areas with fast-rising home values, low unemployment rates, and strong income growth.
“Nashville has moved beyond its country music roots to become a major healthcare employment center,” Zillow says. “Although Nashville is ranked number one, Zillow’s list is largely made up of Western cities.”
The top 10 cities for housing are:
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Provo, Utah
- Orlando, Fla.
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Portland, Ore.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Ogden, Utah
- Sacramento, Calif.
“Jobs and opportunities are increasingly growing in smaller markets away from the coasts,” says Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Mid-size cities like Salt Lake City, Portland, and Nashville are desirable places to live, with good employment opportunities and steady economic growth.”