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Best Online Savings Accounts - Summary for July 2018

Updated on 7/16/18

Online savings accounts represent one of the best guaranteed options for growing your money, especially if you need to maintain access to cash on short notice. Still, not all online savings accounts are created equal.

We’ve rounded up a list of the best online savings account rates in 2018.

We'll also discuss the following:

We obtained the following rates by searching through our comprehensive Personal Savings Accounts list. We set a deposit amount of $25,000 and only included nationwide banks that do not offer local branches. These are the top results for the best online savings account rates.

Although these are the current best rates, make sure to keep an ear to the wind. As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, it’s possible that we’ll see further increases in high-yield online savings account rates as well.

The Best Online Savings Account Rates

Rates are current as of July 16, 2018
InstitutionRatesMinimum to openAccount name
Salem Five Direct2.05% (up to $1m), 0.05% ($1m+)$100eOne Savings
Utah First Federal Credit Union2.00% ($50+)$25Dedicated Savings
Citizens Access2.00% ($5k+), 0.25% (Up to $4,999.99)$5,000Online Savings Account
Northpointe Bank1.95% ($25k-$1,000,100), 1.12% (any amount)$0Ultimate Savings
CIBC USA1.90%$1,000CIBC Agility Savings - Online Only
PurePoint Financial1.90% ($10k+), 0.25% (up to $9,999.99)$10,000Online Savings
Incredible Bank1.88% ($25k+), 1.21% ($2.5-$25k)$2,500Incredible Savings
Radius Bank1.86% ($25k+), 1.50% ($2.5k-$24,999.99), 0.05% ($10-$2,499.99)$100Radius High-Yield Savings
ableBanking1.85%$250Money Market Savings
Popular Direct1.85%$5,000Popular Direct Plus Savings Account
ConnectOne Bank1.82% ($2.5k-$1,000,000.99), 1.01% ($1,000,001+)$2,500OneConnection Savings - Online
MutualOne Bank1.81%$0Online Savings
SFGI Direct1.81%$500SFGI Direct Savings Account
Goldman Sachs Bank USA1.80%$0Online Savings
DollarSavingsDirect1.80%$0Dollar Savings Account
Synchrony Bank1.75%$0High Yield Savings
Ally Bank1.75%$0Online Savings Account
Quorum Federal Credit Union1.75%$0HighQ Savings
Sallie Mae Bank1.75%$0High-Yield Savings
Discover Bank1.75%$0Online Savings
American Express Bank, FSB.1.75%$1High Yield Savings Account
FNBO Direct1.75%$1Online Savings
West End Bank, S.B.1.75%$1Online Savings (New Money Only)
Barclays1.75%$0Online Savings Account
HSBC Direct1.70%$0HSBC Direct Savings
Live Oak Bank1.70% (up to $5m)$0Savings Account
Alliant Credit Union1.70% ($100+)$5High-Rate Savings
Community Bank of Pleasant Hill1.66%$0Premier Money Management Account
Community Bank of Raymore1.66%$0Premier Money Management Account
Goldwater Bank1.65%$0Savings Plus Personal
Amalgamated Bank1.60%$0Give-Bank Savings Account (Online Only)
CIT Bank1.55%$100Premier High Yield Savings
SmartyPig1.55%$0SmartyPig Savings
E*TRADE Bank1.50%$100Premium Savings Account
Communitywide Federal Credit Union1.50%$500High Rate - Quarterly
McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union1.45%$100S3 Prime Savings
Bank of Internet USA1.30%$0Smart Savings Account
Nationwide Bank1.30%$25Savings Account
UFB Direct1.30% ($25k+), 0.20% (up to $25k)$100UFB Premium Savings
Amboy Direct1.26% ($3k-$100k), 0.40% ($300-$3k)$100Personal eSavings Account
Colorado Federal Savings Bank1.25%$1High Yield Savings
Hanscom Federal Credit Union1.25%$25,000Higher-Yield Savings
North American Savings Bank1.16% ($15k-$1.49m), 0.10% ($1.5m+)$15kSuper Saver Account
Wings Financial Credit Union1.11% ($50k+), 1.00% ($10k-$50k), 0.10% (Up to $10k)$0High Yield Savings
Digital Federal Credit Union1.06% ($25k+)$0DCU Ltd Savings
Capital One1.00%$0360 Savings Account
MySavingsDirect1.00%$1MySavings Account
Service Credit Union1.00% ($2.5k+), 0.95% (up to $2.5k)$2.5kSTAR Shares

Savings Account Rate History

We're currently above the national average rates we used to see on savings accounts five years ago, when the average interest rate was 0.200% APY. Since then, we’ve experienced an interest-rate desert, with average rates on savings accounts bottoming out at 0.178% APY in November 2016. Today, the figure’s hovering around 0.221% APY. Although the average rates are rising, you can do significantly better at internet-based banks.

Last year, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the Federal Funds Rate three times to reach 1.00-1.50%. This year, the FOMC raised the Federal Funds Rate once to bring the level to 1.50-1.75%. Banks now seem to be picking up steam in raising interest rates, giving us a much-needed reprieve from ultra-low returns of the past few years.

We’ve seen a consistent upward trend in raising interest rates on savings accounts over the past year, with average interest rates consistently going up. They're not anything to write home about, but what is exciting is that it shows banks are willing to play ball now and compete against each other for higher rates — all of which benefits us as consumers.

As a matter of fact, Citizens Access recently created an online savings account, which locked them into a top spot on our list.

Besides the FOMC interest rate hikes, there’s another reason banks like to raise rates. When they raise rates, they attract new customers and, of course, that means more deposits. Banks use those deposits to fund the loans that they give out. They’re willing to pay deposit account customers a bit more on their money. That’s because the higher the bank’s deposits are, the more they can fund lending to other consumers and generate potentially greater returns in the form of interest payments.

If these trends continue, we’ll see even higher rates throughout 2018.

Why Online Savings Accounts Produce Better Yields

If you’re looking to get maximum returns on your money while still keeping it liquid, an online savings account is definitely the way to go. The way these banks offer the highest interest rates is simple: They keep costs elsewhere low because they aren’t paying for expensive staff and brick-and-mortar locations.

Furthermore, online banks typically come with a less heavy fee structure. Rather than being charged for every little ATM transaction or overdraft, a lot of online banks let those “infractions” slide.

In fact, some online banks will even refund some ATM surcharge fees. This results in even more money back in your pocket at the end of the day.

The Difference Between Savings Accounts and CDs

There are different pros and cons to saving money in a savings account versus a CD. In general, CDs offer higher rates than savings accounts, especially for long-term CDs. That means maximum returns for your cash, especially in today’s low-interest savings account environment. Currently, the average interest rate on a five-year CD is 1.88% APY and although the current highest online savings account has an APY of 2.05%, institutions are starting to offer five-year CDs for 3.30% APY.

That might make you think CDs are the wiser decision, but consider this: Your money is locked away when you deposit money into a CD. You can still get it at any time, but you might have to pay a fee for doing so that can chew up your earnings. There are some no-penalty CDs but their rates may be lower.

If you know you might need access to that cash at any time (such as for an emergency fund), it’s better to save in a regular savings account. CDs are better investment tools for money that you can afford to tuck away and not touch until the term has ended.

Related Pages: savings accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks
RichL40T   |     |   Comment #1
Unless I can't read, the rate at Alliant CU is 1.25%, not 1.35%-

Not to knock the credit union, but this aspect of the post seems inaccurate.
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #6
You are correct. The table has been updated. Thanks.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #26
RichL4OT (re comment #1), I have a savings account at Alliant. I just logged in. My savings account is yielding 1.29%, APY 1.30%.
Cracker   |     |   Comment #2
You need to add the Capital One 360 Money Market account to this list. They are paying 1.3% on balances of $10,000 or more. They do have local branches, but 360 accounts are only available online, not at the branch locations.
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #3
Cracker....What accounts/rates are available at branch locations?
Cracker   |     |   Comment #4
Don't know. I guess you would have to call one to find out. Capital One branches and Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) are still treated separately by Capital One. You can't perform Capital One 360 transactions in a branch. They are completely different computer systems which have never been linked.
abcd   |     |   Comment #11
You can't perform Capital One 360 transactions in a branch.

I have made deposits into my 360 accounts at a branch.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #13
When Capital One took over the ING Direct deposits and created Capital One 360, both sites were accessed separately without being able to transfer money between them. They recently integrated their interface and the prior ING Direct signon process disappeared. Now all Capital One accounts appear on your summary page and you can transfer money between them.
Cracker   |     |   Comment #14
Good to know that they finally consolidated things. Unfortunately for me, the nearest branch is about 400 miles away. I wonder if they still have different rates for branch transactions versus online 360 account rates.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #20
The weird thing is that the B&M rates are not displayed on their site. You only see the online (360) rates on their website. They used to display the in-branch rates along with the Capital One Direct division rates on their website prior to the consolidation with Capital One 360. I still have accounts opened through the branch (and Capital One Direct) and the rates there are much lower than Capital One 360. They have different routing numbers from the Capital One 360 accounts. One of my relatives has an IRA with the in-branch part of Capital One. I asked if the account can be transferred over to Capital One 360 which offers much higher rates. It looks like you have to do a direct transfer between their branches (close one IRA and transfer the balance to another) just as if you were moving it to another bank. The IRA accounts for the in-branch division are not directly connected to the IRA accounts for the Capital One 360.
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #7
The table is only for savings accounts. Money market accounts were excluded. We'll continue to include both in our bi-weekly summaries of the best liquid accounts.
Mario   |     |   Comment #27
Ken, as a long-time reader and follower of your site, I'm curious what motivated the idea to keep a separate monthly summary of online savings accounts.

Personally, I find the bi-weekly list of best liquid accounts much more useful. If an account pays a high interest rate, it makes very little practical difference for me if it is savings, money market, checking, online, or B&M. I also appreciate the ongoing comparison with bank account alternatives you discuss in the liquid accounts summary, such as money market funds!
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #30
Thanks Mario for being a long-time reader. This monthly summary is intended more for new readers to the site who are focused on just savings accounts. As long-time DA readers know, there's little difference between savings accounts and money market accounts. And sometimes banks will call their account a money market account when it's more like a savings account. That's why I'll continue to publish the bi-weekly liquid account summary to highlight the best liquid accounts regardless of how the bank chooses to name the account.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #5
Redneck/All America bank should be right at the top of this list. The cap is actually $70,000/ person and $140,000/ couple. Not to mention they have had a great rate for years now and have maintained it.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #8
I see no MMA's were included. With the same 6 withdrawal per month limit on both savings and money market accounts maybe it would be easier and more practical to put them all in the same category. I'm not seeing any difference between MMA's and regular savings accounts anymore. Could someone explain the distinction if there even is one anymore. On a side note: I don't understand why MMA's are still subject to the 6 withdrawal per month limit as the savings accounts. I think they should still have unlimited check writing/withdrawal privileges as they used to.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #15
For the case of Ally Bank and Synchrony Bank, the MMA has check writing privilege while the savings account do not. Some MMA do not have check writing privilege, so it seems they should not be called MMA accounts. MMA accounts were originally a hybrid between a checking account and a savings account. The 6 withdrawal limit was imposed to prevent you from using them as checking accounts. The non-transfer withdrawals (those done by mail or in person) were allowed to be unlimited back in the 1980s.

The MMA at Ally Bank allows unlimited ATM withdrawals, but does limit certain type of withdrawals to six per month due to Federal law. The limitation appears to apply to withdrawals where the money does not go direct to you. Below is from their website description.

Federal law limits certain types of telephone, check and electronic transfers and withdrawals from money market accounts to 6 per statement cycle. These limited transactions include things like Point of Sale transactions, Online and Mobile Banking transfers, our Overdraft Transfer service, and transfers from your Money Market Account to another of your Ally bank accounts. If you go over this limit, we charge $10 for each of these transactions after the initial 6. If you exceed this limit on more than an occasional basis, we are required to close your Money Market Account. Some transactions are unlimited. You can make as many deposits as you'd like. You can make unlimited ATM withdrawals or call us anytime to request a check made out to you
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #16
Error in my previous sentence.

The non-transfer withdrawals (those NOT done by mail or in person) were allowed to be unlimited back in the 1980s.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #17
Second error to my sentence. The adding of the word NOT was incorrect.

The non-transfer withdrawals (those done by mail or in person) were allowed to be unlimited back in the 1980s and still is unlimited for the most part.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #18
That is very interesting as it was my understanding that it was 6 withdrawals per month of ANY type even in MMA's. I was not aware of any exceptions to this rule. I received a warning on one of my accounts because I went over 6 withdrawals the first month due to them counting those small trial deposits and withdrawals in order to link accounts. I told them that those shouldn't count because they were a necessity in order to link accounts. I'm for going back to the 80's rules myself as I seem to recall unlimited check writing privileges as well. I never ran into a cap back then.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #21
A trial deposit that is then "taken back" by the issuing bank is money going to a third party (not direct to you), so it should count as one of the six limit per month. Any withdrawal going to someone other than you directly counts against the six limit. It would not make sense for MMA to have unlimited check writing privilege because if that were true, then they would be the same as a checking account (why bother to create them in the first place?).
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #23
Well the bank agreed with me and didn't count the trial deposit withdrawals against the 6 per month limit. Banks could just give you those small deposits as they are always less than a dollar and usually less than 50 cents.
Cracker   |     |   Comment #19
There is another transaction type which is unlimited and it surprised me. A transfer from a savings account to make a loan payment does not count against your 6 per month limitation.

I discovered this at a credit union. I paid my credit card with a transfer from savings and it didn't reduce my monthly withdrawal count. If I were to transfer it to a checking account it would. Why the difference? I have no idea.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #22
Savings account may have different rules from MMA accounts. Normally, you cannot write checks with a savings account, so their rules may permit different treatment of withdrawal type. You probably need to read the "fine print" for savings account since they do not have the same limitations like MMA.
CC in CA
CC in CA   |     |   Comment #29
It seems like there is variation among the different institutions regarding what they consider one of the six limited transactions out. Some places seem to allow unlimited ATM withdrawals, and you can go into a shared branch credit union to access a different credit union account--and it doesn't count against the limited six transactions. I can't keep up with who allows what since I have accounts at SO many different credit unions and banks. It's also confusing when I try to determine if an account is a money market SAVINGS account versus a money market CHECKING account. There also seems to be variance among banks/credit unions regarding what they consider their MM account to be. Very foggy and confusing. And, some accounts (savings and money markets) will allow a trial deposit IN but they trial deposit OUT doesn't happen, which seems to indicate that you cannot do in/out transfers from that account. I would just do all of these transactions in and out of a checking account, but I don't want to park large amounts of money in a non-interest-bearing account for very long.
out   |     |   Comment #28
I thought Redneck bank cap is $35,000/person. All America bank too.
Volstagg   |     |   Comment #34
As of Feb 21st, both Redneck and All America raised the limit to $50,000/person.
HollyHolly   |     |   Comment #9
CapOne360 has online savings acct - 1.30%if balance in excess of $10,000. Very easy to use. Money is at your local bank in 2 days.
HollyHolly   |     |   Comment #10
TCF Bank -IL has savings acct paying 1.30% and rate is guaranteed until Dec. 2018. Must put in at least $10,000 to get rate.
CC in CA
CC in CA   |     |   Comment #12
I just noticed tonight that my Discover Bank savings account is now showing as having increased to 1.30% APY. That might have just happened today. Now I will not move money over to Capital One as I had been considering. I like Discover Bank, and this is even more reason for me to keep my liquid money there.
President Winfrey
President Winfrey   |     |   Comment #24
Man, what about moving it to CIT? An extra .25% is worth the ten minutes of your time!!
pwj7050   |     |   Comment #25
For some reason Dollar Savings Direct savings account with a 1.60% APY is not currently listed when querying best savings rates.
klink   |     |   Comment #31
Yea, it was but not now. What's up Ken?
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #33
Dollar Savings Direct rates were under review. When rates are under review, they are temporarily delisted from the tables until they are manually reviewed to ensure accuracy. I expedited the manual review, and they are now being listed in the tables.
Reader   |     |   Comment #32
Any reason why DollarSavingsDirect does not appear in the results when you search personal savings accounts?

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