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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

Featured Savings Rates

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Featured Accounts
DETAILSINSTITUTIONAPYMINMAXPRODUCT
SmartyPig1.00%--SmartyPig Savings
AmericaNet Bank0.90%-$35kMega Money Market
Discover Bank0.85%$500-Discover Bank Online Savings
Alliant Credit Union0.70%--Savings
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of April 18, 2014

Update on My Short List of Top Online Savings Accounts

POSTED ON BY

Since 2008 I've been developing short lists of what I consider to be top savings accounts. My last short list of top savings accounts was in February. In this post, I'll update this short list replacing some old ones that no longer deserve to be on the list with some new ones.

History of Top Rates

The most obvious feature of a top savings account is a top interest rate. However, as we have seen over the years, banks can make drastic changes to their savings account rates. It's not just cutting rates to be inline with the interest rate environment. The banks either started the accounts with teaser rates with no intention to stay competitive or they decided later that it wasn't worth staying competitive (perhaps due to having too much deposits and not enough loans).

One good example of an internet savings account that became uncompetitive is OnBank, the online division of M&T Bank, N.A. It was on my short list in 2008 since it had a top rate with several months of history. However, it quickly became uncompetitive in 2009. In May 2009, the rate had fallen to 0.50%, and the rate is still 0.50%. Even by today's standard, a rate of 0.50% is not competitive for internet savings accounts.

In my short list, the savings account not only has to have a top rate today, but it also must have at least one year of history with competitive rates.

Alliant Credit Union

One institution that has been on my list since last year is Alliant Credit Union which has continued to offer a very competitive savings account yield. The rate is not quite as competitive as it used to be, but it has the longest history by far of any other savings account.

Discover Bank

Discover Bank was also on my list from last year. Its online savings account is not that old. I first reported on it in July 2009. Before that time Discover Bank only offered a money market account with rates that weren't that great. But for more than a year, the savings account rates have held up well. In addition, Discover Bank made a major upgrade to their online banking center with several improvements including to their ACH bank-to-bank transfer service.

Two New Banks

I added two new banks to my list: SmartyPig and AmericaNet/Evantage Bank. AmericaNet and Evantage Bank are actually two separate banks, but they are owned by the same family. Thus, the accounts are virtually identical. Redneck Bank is also part of this group, but new accounts can no longer be opened.

Since these banks have balance caps and are not the typical online savings accounts, I was a little hesitant to add these. However, they both offer top rates, and they both have a history of high rates that's now over two years. The balance cap is likely one reason why they have been able to maintain the high rates. So that is an important feature to consider if a high rate is more important to you than a balance cap.

SmartyPig's balance cap is $50K. If you have a balance over $50K, the entire balance only earns 0.50%. AmericaNet and Evantage Bank have a $35K balance cap. The portion of the balance over $35K earns only 1.00% APY.

Two Banks with Rates That Didn't Hold Up

Two of the banks that were on my list in December and February no longer deserve to be included. CNB Bank Direct's savings account is still fairly competitive with a 1.25% APY, but that's not good enough for the top list. 1st Constitution Direct is now paying only 1.10% APY, and this requires a $10K balance. That definitely doesn't deserve to on the top list.

Other Aspects Besides Rates

For the past lists I've also considered aspects like ACH transfer capabilities. Both Alliant Credit Union and Discover Bank do well in this area. However, Evantage/AmericaNet Bank's ACH transfer capability has many limitations and issues. If you plan have an account at one of these banks, it's best to initiate transfers using another bank (like Discover).

The ratings that I've included in today's list are based on DepositAccounts.com's Bank Health Ratings in which 5 out of 5 is the most healthy bank. This rating is heavily based on the well-known Texas Ratio metric so I've also included the Texas Ratio. The lower the Texas Ratio, the more healthy the bank is. Any bank with a Texas Ratio near or greater than 100% is considered at risk. These metrics are based on 6/30/2010 FDIC data (the latest that's available as of today).

Top Savings Accounts Available Nationwide

 

Bank/Credit Union 12/22/09 APY 2/25/10 APY 10/15/10 APY Health Score & TX Ratio based on 6/30/10 data
SmartyPig (BBVA Compass) 2.01% (no cap) 2.01% (no cap) 1.75% ($50K max) 4/5, 18.17%
AmericaNet & Evantage Bank 2.00% ($35K max) 2.00% ($35K max) 2.00% (1.75% eff 11/18, $35K max) 3/5, 17.99% | 3/5, 11.27%
Alliant Credit Union 2.00% 2.00% 1.35% 4/5, 4.30%
Discover Bank Savings 1.75% 1.35% 1.35% 4/5, 14.57%
Previously on the Top List
CNB Bank Direct 1.70% 1.35% 1.25% 3/5, 19.67%
1st Constitution Direct 1.50% 1.25% 1.10% 4/5, 11.17%

 

Searching for the Best Checking, Savings and Money Market Rates

In addition to savings accounts, you may also want to consider internet checking accounts and high-yield reward checking accounts. For the best rates, please refer to the following:

  Tags: savings account, SmartyPig, Alliant Credit Union, Discover Bank, AmericaNet Bank, Evantage Bank

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Comments
7 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
AmericaNet and EvantageBank and Redneck will be lowing rates around 11/15 per the customer service representative.   I believe the new rate will be 1.7%

2
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Are you sure?  The table above says it's 1.75%....

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It's right on their website when clicking on the mega market account: "Effective November 18, 2010, the interest rate offered on Mega Money Market Checking Accounts will be 1.75%".

2
Comment #5 by Julio (anonymous) posted on
Julio
I have a Discover Bank savings account and they are still paying 1.5% for existing customers.  Only new accounts will get the 1.35% rate.  Discover has consistnetly paid a higer rate to existing customers.  Something to consider about this account.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
> From: "messenger@americanetbank.com" <messenger@americanetbank.com>
> Sent: Mon, October 18, 2010 10:48:35 AM
> Subject: Important Rate Change Notice
>
> Dear Customer:
> Effective November 18, 2010, the interest rate offered on Rewards Checking Accounts will be 3.75% annual percentage yield and Mega Money Market Checking Accounts will be 1.75% annual percentage yeild.
>
> Thank you for choosing AmericaNet Bank!

>

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
From: "messenger@americanetbank.com" <messenger@americanetbank.com>
Sent: Wed, October 20, 2010 5:40:03 PM
Subject: Important Rate Change Notice

Dear Customer:
To clarify our previous email.
Effective November 18, 2010, the interest rate offered on Rewards Checking Accounts will be 3.75% APY* for average daily balances up to $10,000.  Amounts over $10,000 will earn 1.00% APY*.  If requirements are not met your interest rate will be .25% APY*.

Effective November 18, 2010, the interest rate offered on Mega Money Market Checking Accounts will be 1.75% APY* for average daily balances up to $35,000.  Amounts over $35,000 will earn 1.00% APY*.

Thank you for choosing AmericaNet Bank!

*Annual Percentage Yield

1