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The Best Savings Account with a History of Top Rates


After reading this NYT Bucks blog post, I thought it was time to provide an update on my list of the best online savings accounts. This NYT blog post used Bankrate's quarterly rankings to come up with a list of savings accounts that have a history of staying competitive. One problem I see is that they included 3 banks that have failed. Also, I don't know how M&T Bank, NA qualified. Their online savings accounts have been paying only 0.50% for a while (both at mandtbank.com and at onbank.com).

I've been following a few nationally available savings accounts for the last year in an attempt to identify the savings accounts with the best chance of staying competitive. In addition to top rates, I consider financial health and account features like ACH bank-to-bank transfer service.

My last review was in December. I'm afraid only one has remained on top. Here's the updated list:


Bank/Credit Union 12/22/09 APY 2/25/10 APY

2/25/10 Bankrate Rating

Alliant Credit Union 2.00% 2.00% 3 stars
Discover Bank Savings 1.75% 1.35% 5 stars
CNB BankDirect 1.70% 1.35% 4 stars
1st Constitution Direct 1.50% 1.25% 4 stars

Alliant Credit Union is the clear winner with a 2.00% APY. In addition, readers have reported that this will continue through March. Refer to my Alliant review for more details about the credit union and the savings account.

CNB BankDirect and Discover Bank are tied for second with a 1.35% APY savings account. With Discover Bank's new account center, I would give them the edge (see my Discover Bank review). Also, existing customers are currently receiving a higher savings account rate (around 1.60%).

CNB BankDirect is the internet division of The Citizens National Bank of Bluffton, Ohio. It's a small bank with only $419 million in deposits. As a comparison, Discover Bank has $33.5 billion in deposits. CNB BankDirect launched in the summer of 2008 and in the fall of 2008 began offering a 4% intro yield guaranteed for 6 months. They held to their guarantee, and they have remained very competitive until recently (see review).

1st Constitution Direct is at the bottom with a 1.25% APY. Even their 3-month intro rate is only 1.25% APY. I first reported on their savings account in June 2008 when the 3-month intro rate was 4.00% APY with a standard rate of 3.25% APY.

I think it's time for a new list. What is your pick for the best savings account?

Related Pages: savings account, Alliant Credit Union, Washington, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay, Discover Bank, Salisbury, 1st Constitution Bank, New York, Philadelphia, CNB Bank Direct, Fort Wayne, Dayton, Toledo, Lima

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Hal   |     |   Comment #2
Bank of Internet's High Yield Savings = APY 1..50%
Marshall Warner
Marshall Warner   |     |   Comment #3
ClearSky Accounts by Chesapeake Bank has been competitive over the last year,  currently at 1.55% APY,  a four star rated bank.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
discover make me sick. i opened 5 cds and transfer the money at the same time on Feb 21st. 1-year rate was 1.7%. 3 of them (3-year,4-year,5-year) deposited on Feb 22. But the 1-year cd deposited on Feb 23rd. when the money deposited to the CD acount on Feb 23rd, the rate had changed to 1.6%. this is rediculous. 

why?why dont they deposit the money at the same time? i mean can they change it without noticed since i had transfered already.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Hal - #2,

you are right, american express online saving APY is 1.5%. and capital one is 1.45
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
i know that it has kind of annoying restrictions but SmartyPig's rate has remained strikingly competitive now for a long time. it's currently 2.01 and has been since at least the fall
flagator   |     |   Comment #7
I like SFGI Direct 1.85%, Chesapeake Clear Sky 1.55% and the newSCB&T ReadySaver 2.00%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Anonymous #4 - I do not believe they can chage the rate AFTER the account was opened, regardless of when the funds were deposoted. Do you have anything to prove the APY/Rrate given at the time you opened the account? I would question this practice if you do.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Re: Bank of Internet:

It is true that this bank historically has paid above-average rates (e.g., 1.50%). I have an account there, but I suggest steering clear of this bank for three reasons:

1) Security: Its sign-in system doesn't ask the extra test questions that most online banks are asking, meaning it would seem comparatively easy to break into this bank's website. My sense is the bank's online security system is in need of serious updating.

2) Website: It's an antiquated website that needs an overhaul to bring it into this century. Amazingly, you can't start an electronic funds transfer into/out of the bank from its website. (To send money in or pull it out, you have to do the transfer at another bank's website; that is, at another bank that you have linked to Bank of Internet.)

3) Customer service: Very poor. If you're used to slick things like Ally's 24/7 phone centers and live chat, you will be sorely disappointed with Bank of Internet.
Hal   |     |   Comment #10
Though I agree with the "Anonymous" comments (above) about Bank of Internet (especially having no ACH), I have been with them for over three years and have had no problems with them.  When contacted, they bend over backwards to help.  I too prefer the services at Ally (formerly GAMC - I've been with them for over four years), However, I also prefer Bank of Internet's rates over Ally's.
Bill from DKK
Bill from DKK   |     |   Comment #11
America Net Bank's Mega Money Market is still paying 2.00% APY up to $35k, and has been for over a year.