Advertising Disclosure


Popular Posts

The Best Savings Accounts in February 2019


Written by Lauren Perez and Ken Tumin

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, statements, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors' alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any provider of the products listed below.

Nowadays, saving money in an account at many big banks is just about as useful as stashing it under your mattress if you’re looking to earn returns. Not only have rates on deposit accounts at traditional banks barely budged in the last few years — despite a wave of rate hikes from the Fed — but they often penalize customers with fees for everything from carrying a balance under a certain amount or daring to use an out-of-network ATM.

Online banks are a different story. Without the cost of maintaining physical branches to contend with, online banks get to pass those savings to consumers in the form of higher rates and fewer fees.

It can be easy to ignore the benefits of an online savings account, if only to avoid the slight hassle of moving your money from one bank to the next. But why pass up the chance to earn more money at no real extra cost to you? Moving money to and from an online account can often be as easy as initiating an electronic transfer. Online banks tend to offer robust mobile and online portals with 24/7 customer support to make up for lack of a physical branch presence.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out the best online savings accounts below.


All rates are current as of 2/5/2019


The best national online savings accounts


How we chose the best national online savings accounts

To find the best online savings accounts among our partners, we took a few important factors into account:

  • High interest rate: We honed in on the highest APYs offered on an online savings account to ensure high returns.
  • No monthly fee: None of the above accounts charge a monthly fee. This allows your money to grow undisturbed by pesky bank charges.
  • Low minimum deposit: A top online savings account should have a low (or $0 minimum deposit) so a wider selection of customers can take advantage of the account.

#1 CIT Bank

The CIT Bank Savings Builder account offers two ways to earn at its highly competitive interest rate. For one, you can deposit at least $100 into the account each month. This is a great option for dedicated savers. If you’re not that consistent with your savings but can maintain a high balance, you can choose to keep at least $25,000 in the account at all times to earn the higher rate.

You are required to open the account with at least $100. All customers are given an introductory period (from the day of account opening to the first business day of the month after account opening) to make a qualifying deposit of at least $100 after account opening. During this time, the account’s higher interest rate will apply. If you don’t meet either requirement by the end of the introductory period, however, your interest rate and APY drop more than a full percentage point.

CIT Bank was founded in 1908 in St. Louis, and has grown over the years. It includes OneWest Bank, a Southern California branch bank.

2.45% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#2 Vio Bank

Founded in August 2018, Vio Bank offers one of the best online savings accounts by maintaining one of the highest rates in the industry. The bank even promises to watch the competition to ensure you always get the best rate with Vio. Its High Yield Online Savings Account requires a $100 minimum opening deposit. After you make your initial deposit, you can earn according to the high interest rate no matter your balance.

The account does not charge a monthly fee. Be sure to keep your account withdrawals limited to six per statement cycle. Each additional withdrawal will incur a $10 fee.

Vio is the online bank venture of MidFirst Bank, which currently maintains $16 billion in assets.

2.39% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

on Vio Bank's website


#3 Citizens Access

Citizens Access is the online banking venture of brick-and-mortar Citizens Bank, which has been around for around 190 years. Citizens Access operates entirely digitally, though, with no branch access to your accounts. Its Online Savings offers a competitive rate, but only for balances above $5,000. You’ll need at least $5,000 to open the account in the first place, so as long as you maintain that balance, you’ll earn at the high rate. Any account balance below that will earn at significantly lower rate more comparable to typical brick-and-mortar rates.

The Online Savings account doesn’t charge a monthly service fee.

2.35% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

on Citizens Access's website


#4 PurePoint Financial

With the same rate as Citizens Access, PurePoint Financial falls a little behind due to its high $10,000 deposit and balance requirement. Its competitive rate only applies to balances of $10,000 and over. Lower balances will earn at a significantly lower rate, making the account less beneficial for those who can’t meet the minimum amount. There is no monthly fee on the account.

While entirely online, the division of PurePoint Financial is backed by MUFG Union Bank, N.A., which can trace its banking roots back 150 years.

2.35% APY

MIN TO EARN: $10,000

Learn More

#5 Goldman Sachs Bank USA

The Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, is a simple and straightforward account. It grows your money at a rate that consistently competes with its competitors. You don’t need a certain balance to open this account, but you will need at least $1 to start earning interest. There is no monthly service fee nor other transaction fees.

2.25% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

Ken’s top online savings accounts

Ken's methodology for choosing the best savings accounts

To choose my five best online savings accounts, I took a few important factors into account:

  • History of high interest rates: My top picks have a history of offering competitive rates for multiple years. They don’t play games by offering the best rates only on promotional accounts, new accounts or at new websites.
  • Functional online account management: All of my picks have an online account management system that allows for large electronic fund transfers to and from your accounts at other banks. Many also allow you to manage your beneficiaries online.
  • Beneficiaries and trust accounts: How easy banks make the process of designating multiple beneficiaries was also a factor in my picks. In addition, banks that allowed trust accounts were ranked higher.
  • Other Features: Fees, wire transfer policies and ATM access were just a few of the factors considered.

#1 PurePoint Financial

PurePoint Financial has maintained very competitive rates on its Online Savings Account since PurePoint Financial was launched in early 2017. PurePoint Financial is a division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., which is a large western regional bank better known as Union Bank.

One shortcoming of the PurePoint Financial Online Savings Account is a $10,000 minimum balance that’s required to earn the top rate. The rate for balances under $10,000 is low. Consequently, this account is only suitable for those who intend to maintain a $10,000 minimum balance. Since PurePoint Financial has been able to maintain higher rates than online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements, I consider this shortcoming a reasonable trade-off for those looking to maximize yield. On the positive side, there is no monthly service fee regardless of the minimum balance.

In regards to managing the Online Savings Account online, PurePoint Financial ranks high. The online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers on amounts up to $250k. That’s larger than what’s allowed at many other online banks. Before transfers can take place, a link to an external account must be established using the online system. Up to ten external accounts can be linked which is an above-average number. The online system can also be used to add, remove and change beneficiaries for an account.

In addition to individual and joint accounts, the Online Savings Account can be opened as a personal trust account. This is often not possible at other online banks.

One shortcoming is the lack of ATM access.

2.35% APY

MIN TO EARN: $10,000

Learn More

#2 Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Goldman Sachs Bank USA has maintained very competitive rates on its High-yield Online Savings Account since it acquired the internet deposit business from GE Capital Bank in April 2016. During this time, the rates of the Online Savings Account have been in the high range for online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements.

The Online Savings Account has no rate tiers and requires only a $1 minimum balance to earn the stated APY. Goldman Sachs Bank USA is very fee friendly. Not only is there no monthly service fee, but there are also no transaction fees. This includes wire transfers. There are no fees for sending or receiving wire transfers. Most banks charge a fee when you send a wire transfer.

In regards to managing the Online Savings Account online, Goldman Sachs Bank USA ranks high. The online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers on amounts up to $125k for withdrawals and with no limit for deposits (as long as maximum balance limits are maintained). That’s larger than what’s allowed at many other online banks. Before transfers can take place, a link to an external account must be established using the online system. Up to four external accounts can be linked which is an average number.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA does have a couple of shortcomings. There is no ATM access, and accounts cannot be opened in the names of trusts.

2.25% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#3 Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank has maintained very competitive rates on its High Yield Savings Account since Synchrony Financial was spun off from GE Capital in 2014. During this time, the rates of the High Yield Savings Account have been in the high range for online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements.

The High Yield Savings Account has no minimum balance requirements. All balances earn the stated APY. Synchrony Bank is fee friendly. There are no monthly service fees. One of the few fees that do exist applies to outgoing wire transfers. This is a $25 fee unless a customer qualifies for Diamond status. There is no fee for incoming wire transfers.

Unlike many online savings accounts, Synchrony Bank offers ATM access. Synchrony doesn’t charge a fee when customers use the ATMs of other banks. In addition, Synchrony Bank will refund ATM fees charged by other banks, up to $5 per statement cycle.

In regards to managing the High Yield Savings Account online, Synchrony Bank ranks high. The online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers on amounts up to $250k for withdrawals and up to $500k for deposits. Those are higher limits than the limits of many other online banks. Before transfers can take place, a link to an external account must be established using the online system. Up to ten external accounts can be linked which is an above-average number.

In addition to individual and joint accounts, the High Yield Savings Account can be opened as an IRA or trust account. This is often not possible at other online banks. The online application can accommodate up to four beneficiaries per account. Paper form must be used to add, remove or change beneficiaries after the account is opened.

2.25% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

on Synchrony Bank's website


#4 Barclays

Barclays has maintained very competitive rates on its Online Savings Account since Barclays launched the online banking service in early 2012. During this time, the rates of the Online Savings Account have been in the high range for online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements.

The Online Savings Account has no minimum balance requirements. All balances earn the stated APY. Barclays is fee friendly with no monthly service fees.

In regards to managing the Online Savings Account online, Barclays ranks high. The online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers on amounts up to $250k. That’s larger than what’s allowed at many other online banks. Before transfers can take place, a link to an external account must be established using the online system. Up to three external accounts can be linked which is an average number. The online system can also be used to add, remove and change beneficiaries for an account.

Barclays does have a few shortcomings. There is no ATM access. Incoming or outgoing wire transfers are not possible. Lastly, Barclays does not offer trust accounts.

2.20% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

on Barclays' website


#5 American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account has a long history. I first wrote about the account in 2009. During that time, the account has always had competitive rates compared to other online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements.

In addition to not having monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, wire transfers, both incoming and outgoing, are free. Most banks charge a fee when you send a wire transfer.

In regards to managing the Personal Savings Account online, American Express National Bank ranks high. The online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers on any amount. It’s rare for online banks to allow transfers without size limitations. Before transfers can take place, a link to an external account must be established using the online system. Up to three external accounts can be linked which is an average number. The online system can also be used to add, remove and change beneficiaries for an account.

American Express National Bank does have a couple of shortcomings. There is no ATM access, and accounts cannot be opened in the names of trusts.

2.10% APY

MIN TO EARN: $1

Learn More

The highest savings account rates


There are certain institutions that will offer an incredibly high savings account rate only to take it away or drop the rate incredibly low. Some of the accounts listed below are from institutions that don't have a great track record or require a high balance amount to earn the APY, but others offer reliability and consistency. While we do advise that you do further research before opening one of these savings accounts, these institutions have the highest savings rates currently available. Please keep in mind that this list does not include money market accounts. There may be money market accounts with higher rates than the accounts listed below, but we've listed the top ten highest rates for savings accounts only. If you'd like to see our full list of the highest bank account rates, you'll want to check out our Bank Account Interest Rates Summary.

The highest savings account rates

InstitutionRatesAccount Name
North American Savings Bank2.53% ($50k), 0.10% (up to $50k)High Rate SavingsLearn More
CIT Bank2.45% ($25k or $100 monthly deposit)
1.17% (up to $25k)
Savings BuilderLearn More
MySavingsDirect2.40% (no minimum)MySavings AccountLearn More
CIBC USA2.39% (up to $1m)CIBC Agility Savings - Online OnlyLearn More
Vio Bank2.39% ($100)High Yield Online Savings AccountLearn More
USALLIANCE Financial2.36% ($500)High Dividend SavingsLearn More
Popular Direct2.36% ($5,000)Popular Direct Plus Savings AccountLearn More
PurePoint Financial2.35% ($10,000)Online SavingsLearn More
Citizens Access2.35% ($5,000)Online Savings AccountLearn More
Salem Five Direct2.30% (up to $1m), 0.05% ($1m+)eOne SavingsLearn More

What to consider when choosing the best online savings account


When committing to a bank, you may want some peace of mind knowing your deposits won’t go to waste over the years. Online bank rates have been on the rise since 2014, with a steep incline starting after a Fed rate hike in June 2017 and continuing through to the latest rate increase in Dec. 2018. While online savings rates are looking promising, the same isn’t true for brick-and-mortar institutions, however, which still earn at an average 0.26%, according to our data.

For a better rate outlook, you could consider opening a certificate of deposit (CD), or two. Average savings rates haven’t responded the most positively to the recent series of Fed rate hikes, thanks to traditional big banks keep their rates low. Average CD rates, on the other hand, have seen an increase in response to the rate hikes. Since CDs lock in your rate for a few months or years at a time, you can use these accounts to take better advantage of the high-rate climate. Once your CD term matures, a new rate may apply, so you’ll have to check whether you’re still getting the best rate deal.

Related Pages: savings accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks
Comments


#1 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
ddbrege
ddbrege   |     |   Comment #2
Ken and Lauren, I just thought you might like to know following your short write up prior to the online bank comparisons you noted the date for your rates and I'm certain you meant to write 2019 and not 2018.
Keep up the good work and enjoy the week.
NYCDoug
NYCDoug   |     |   Comment #3
Specifically, what needs corrections is: "All rates are current as of 1/15/2018"
LaurenPerez
LaurenPerez   |     |   Comment #4
Thank you both for the heads up! The date has been updated.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #6
My picks differ a bit:
1. EBSB Direct for the highest rate 2.5%, low balance requirement to maintain rate($5,000) and the ability to link multiple accounts for ACH.
2. AllAmerica/Redneck Bank Although not the highest rate at the moment(2.25%) they consistently have remained at or near the top of the rate charts for years without having to switch accounts. No minimum balance requirement to maintain interest rate. Good customer service and the ability to link a massive amount of external accounts for ACH makes this a great choice for a hub account.
Adam
Adam   |     |   Comment #7
EBSB pulled their 2.5% rate.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #8
Not for those who already have the account we are still earning 2.5%. They already brought the deal back once for anyone who missed it the first time.
Carpline
Carpline   |     |   Comment #9
If you live in Massachusetts, East Boston Savings Bank is still offer the 2.50% APY on the High Yield Statement Savings account, but I think it has to be opened in-branch.
Svensk
Svensk   |     |   Comment #19
EBSB also provides additional Massachusetts deposit insurance, which they tell me, is unlimited.......
Roundtown
Roundtown   |     |   Comment #12
AllAmerica/Redneck Bank has as you say had among the top rates as I have been a customer for perhaps six years. There is a maximum of $50k on the account after which it drops down to a much lower rate.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #27
You can have 2 accounts with one login at Redneck/All America so the real cap is $100,000 and $200,000 with spouse. so basically the cap is a non-issue.
Svensk
Svensk   |     |   Comment #17
And free checking, too!
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #22
A don't forget a website right out of the 1970s.

LOL
HighYield
HighYield   |     |   Comment #10
Not the highest rates, but PurePoint Financial gets high marks for having one of the best websites. And a very simple and user-friendly account page. ACH transfers are quick and easy to set up. Customer service, if needed, is very efficient. (And they sent me a nice card during the Holidays.) They will always be in my top three of online banks.
D. Ramsey Follower
D. Ramsey Follower   |     |   Comment #11
Why is Customers Bank not mentioned as equal to Marcus with 2.25% for their Ascent account? I learned about them here and they guarantee the rate through sometime in 2019.

Just wondering
Mak
Mak   |     |   Comment #15
I have a checking account at Chase but I use VMMXX prime money market at Vanguard which pays 2.46% and Marcus bank... I keep most of my cash at Vanguard and when I have to write a check I transfer the funds to Chase.
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #23
Is that because the amount of your checks do not exceed $250? Vanguard check writing requires checks to be for at least $250.
Mak
Mak   |     |   Comment #24
#23 ...No, actually my wife pays all the bills and I think she does most of it online but I'm not sure.... I don't have any checks from Vanguard, didn't even know they offered them and wouldn't use them even if they did.
Health 1
Health 1   |     |   Comment #29
You are at 2.31 after their expense ratio of 0.16 (or 2.37/0.10 for Admiral's shares).
111
111   |     |   Comment #38
No, that's incorrect. Look here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-day_SEC_yield) to see that management fees are subtracted out BEFORE the 7-day yield is calculated.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #25
What we are seeing are not rate leaders overall, but of their paid advertisers. A smaller universe.

Their biweekly lists are more inclusive.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #26
For those that have not seen it, Ally raised their savings rate to 2.20%.

https://www.ally.com/bank/online-savings-account/
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #28
Also Ally Demand notes finally hiked their rates as well 2.27% for the top tier now.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   Comment #30
Would like to ask a question about opening Ally accounts.
When you first opened your account, did you find that your monthly statement date was the same as your account opening date? CSR said that would be true. Anyone can confirm for me?
Stanley R
Stanley R   |     |   Comment #31
absolutely not! never heard of such a thing. Last Day of the MONTH!
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #34
Stanley, why give false answers like that? You clearly do not know.

While some may be on the end of the month, Ally is not. Unless you happened to open the account on the last day of the month.
dollarsncents
dollarsncents   |     |   Comment #32
Don't know about Ally, I don't have an account with them. However, another major CU with which my wife and I have accounts with, that is how the monthly statements are dated. We each have different monthly cycle end dates.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #33
Mine at Ally is the 25th. Mine at All American is the 20th.

Can't figure any reason why the CSR will lie.

I don't recall what date I opened the account on over 10 years ago.

But my dates remain the same every month. With credit cards, many will change if you ask them to.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   Comment #36
#31
Actually double checked. Statement is synced with account opening .
DOA
DOA   |     |   Comment #37
Ditto Ricochet. Even though I never noticed it before you mentioned it, you are exactly right on those statement dates.
Ricochet
Ricochet   |     |   Comment #35
Thank you for your input . I don't recall my opening date but the statements close on the 20th with Ally. It does make Reg D somewhat difficult to manage, but can't change it.
I think may open 2nd account at end of month to jive it with transfers I make.
8832
8832   |     |   Comment #39
My Ally statements also close on the 20th for all my Ally accounts that were all opened randomly some years apart.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #40
My Ally statement date has always been the 25th. (cannot recall what date my account was opened because it was long ago)

AAs is the 20th except in certain instances. This month, it was the 22nd because the 20th was a sunday and the 21st was a holiday.

Most other banks & cu's are on calendar months. I think.
Pinto
Pinto   |     |   Comment #41
More problems with web-editing. This February article has inserted old January comments from the previous January article.
#42 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#43 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
RandRose
RandRose   |     |   Comment #45
All America Bank is now paying 2.50% for online money market savings that you can write checks with if you have the need. They are always at or near the top of paying the best rates with no strings attached.

Real persons who are pleasant and knowledgeable actually answer the phones in customer service. You never have to navigate an automated voice system. https://allamerica.bank/personal/banking/checking/mega-money-market-checking

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.