Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Highest Yield Online Savings Accounts from the Strongest Banks


With the current financial turmoil, several readers have requested that I highlight financially strong banks. So I've put together a list of online savings accounts with the following attributes:
  • Bank has at least a 4-star rating (sound) at
  • Savings account yield is at least 3.50% APY
  • No minimum balance requirements or monthly fees
  • ACH electronic transfer service
It's important to note that Bankrate's Safe & Sound ratings are based on 6/30/08 data. The ratings can change each quarter. The FDIC has its own confidential ratings, so I would still recommend staying under the FDIC limits.

There's no guarantee that the high rates will continue so I've included the link and date of my first review for each account. You can use these to review their rate histories.

One important feature of online savings accounts is the capability to initiate electronic transfers (via ACH) to your other accounts. This makes it easy to fund the account and to transfer the money out if rates should happen to fall. The quality of the ACH service can vary. The best ACH services provide fast transfers (1 day), allow multiple links to other accounts and have no signficant limits to transfer amounts. Unfortunately, the only way one can tell about ACH speed is from user experience. I included ACH speed in the list below for the older accounts. For other ACH features, refer to the account reviews.

If rates do fall, you don't want to be forced to leave a substantial amount in the account to avoid fees. You can close the account, but if rates go up in the future, it'll be more time consuming to take advantage of it. So another feature that all of these accounts share are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.

Note: Full disclosure, the link to FNBO Direct goes through an ad network. If you sign up through this link, I receive a commission.

Update 10/23/08: FNBO Direct decreased its yield from 3.50% to 3.25% APY. CNBBankDirect ended its 6mo guarantee. Updated its account review.
Update 10/03/08: OnBank decreased its yield from 3.75% to 3.60% APY.
Update 9/29/08: OnBank increased its yield from 3.50% to 3.75% APY.
Update 9/23/08: CNB BankDirect just came out with a 4% APY promo. Yield had been 3.50% APY.

  Tags: savings account

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