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The Best Savings Accounts in October 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 10/1/2019


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 Vio Bank

While its competitors cut their rates, Vio Bank rises above the rest by increasing their own savings rate, continuing its run as one of the best online savings accounts in the industry. The bank even promises to watch the competition to ensure you always get the best rate with Vio.

Vio’s 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.

Founded in August 2018, Vio is the online bank venture of MidFirst Bank, which currently maintains $16 billion in assets.

2.42% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#2 HSBC Direct

Coming in second is HSBC Direct, which earns its competitive rate on all balances. You must open an account with at least $1 in new money, or money that’s not already held with HSBC. There is no monthly maintenance fee.

HSBC Direct is accessible online and in select U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco and Washington D.C. On a larger scale, HSBC Group operates in 66 countries and territories.

2.20% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#3 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.

2.10% APY

MIN TO EARN: Deposit $100 per month OR maintain a $25k minimum balance

Learn More

#4 Barclays

Barclays consistently remains steady with its competitive rates, especially on its Online Savings account. The account can benefit all kinds of savers as it does not require a minimum deposit or balance to earn interest. There’s no monthly fee here, either, which allows your savings to grow uninterrupted.

Barclays Online Banking, based in Wilmington, Del., operates largely online, but you can still reach a representative over the phone seven days a week. It traces its history back to 1690 London, as part of the larger financial services institution Barclays.

2.00% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#5 Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank closes out our list with its competitive High Yield Savings account. All balances benefit from this rate and there’s no minimum required to open the account, either. There is also no monthly fee. Synchrony provides online, phone and ATM access to your account. Synchrony will also refund up to $5 of domestic ATM fees per month.

Synchrony Bank is the online banking arm of Synchrony.

2.00% 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.

2.00% APY

MIN TO EARN: $10,000

Learn More

#2 Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank’s Savings Account is the youngest account in my picks, but since it launched in the first half of 2017, the Savings Account has consistently offered competitive rates. The rates have remained in the high range for online savings accounts without minimum balance requirements.

The Savings Account has no minimum balance requirement. All balances earn the stated APY. Live Oak Bank does limit a customer’s aggregate balance (total of all consumer accounts) to be no greater than $5 million. There is no monthly maintenance fee.

In regards to managing the Savings Account online, Live Oak Bank 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.

Live Oak Bank does have a few shortcomings. There is no ATM access. Although wire transfers are allowed, a fee is charged, even for incoming wire transfers. Lastly, Live Oak Bank does not offer trust accounts.

2.15% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

Learn More

#3 SFGI Direct

SFGI Direct, a division of Summit Community Bank, has offered consistently competitive rates on its Savings Account since 2009. The online bank keeps things simple with this Savings Account being its only product since it began operation.

The Savings Account requires a $500 minimum deposit to open, but the minimum balance to earn interest is only $1. The only maximum is the total initial deposit, which is limited to $25,000. There is no monthly maintenance fee.

In regards to managing the Savings Account online, SFGI Direct is average. One positive is that the online account management system allows customers to initiate free bank-to-bank electronic funds transfers of any amount. Most online banks limit the size of these transfers, with many banks limiting them to small amounts. One downside is that only one link to an external account is allowed for transfers. Another downside is that the online account management system cannot be used to change beneficiaries. Up to four named beneficiaries can be designated in the online application; however, beneficiary changes requires closing the account and opening a new one.

Additional shortcomings of SFGI Direct include the lack of ATM access, the inability to accept wire transfers and the lack of trust accounts.

2.27% APY

MIN TO EARN: $1

Learn More

#4 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.

2.00% 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.

2.00% APY

MIN TO EARN: $0

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
Fitness Bank2.75% ($100+)Fitness Savings (12,500+ Steps)Learn More
BrioDirect2.46%High-Yield SavingsLearn More
Vio Bank2.42% ($100)High Yield Online Savings AccountLearn More
TAB Bank2.40% ($1+)High Yield SavingsLearn More
Popular Direct2.40% ($5k+)Popular Direct Ultimate Savings AccountLearn More
Customers Bank2.40% ($25k+)High-Yield Savings AccountLearn More
SFGI Direct2.27% ($500+)SFGI Direct Savings AccountLearn More
MySavingsDirect2.25% (no minimum)MySavings AccountLearn More
State Bank of India (IL)2.25% ($500+)Savings Account - US Based ConsumerLearn More
Comenity Direct2.25% ($100 - $10m)High-Yield Savings AccountLearn 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 0.28%, 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.

Comments


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.
Hidden Gem
Hidden Gem   |     |   Comment #58
This list does not include Susequehanna Community Bank's 3.00% APY Eagle Savings account, which is still available nationwide. Granted, they are a small (but stable) community bank, but the 6-month introductory rate of 3.00% is the rate leader, at the moment.

There is a $100k minimum new money deposit and only 1 (free) debit every six months (though you may contact customer support and request that monthly interested is deposited into another account, which is free). Subsequent debits within that 6 month period are $20/each. They do NOT do a hard credit inquiry/pull. They also do NOT count (or charge $20/each for) the small ACH debits which one incurs by linking an external account to their savings account (Ally, in my case). You may initiate external ACH pulls of any amount.

This is far and away the best savings account deal available at the moment, the only "hoop" being the limitation to one free withdrawal (and having to sign and return 3 forms, which can then be uploaded to them, online). I had the paperwork done in 5 minutes and the account funded by the next day, with 3$ interest accrual beginning on the next day, too.

Ken's writeup on this account was from February and the Eagle Premium Savings at 3.00% APY is still available, nationwide: https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/susquehanna-community-bank/offers/

Hope that's helpful. Ken referred to it as a "hidden gem", at the time he wrote about it - and I believe it's still a hidden gem, at 3.00%: https://www.scb.bank/personal/savings-solutions/
JustStartinLife
JustStartinLife   |     |   Comment #64
I would think the biggest hurdle is needing 100k to open the account......
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.
Mooki
Mooki   |     |   Comment #68
Ally just dropped it to 1.90 for me
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.
Bigdaddy
Bigdaddy   |     |   Comment #63
I cant remember what day of the month I opened my Ally account, but my statement date is the 10th of each month.
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.
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
Pinto
Pinto   |     |   Comment #46
Where is "The Best Savings Accounts in March 2019" article which would normally be posted by March 1st?
Pinto
Pinto   |     |   Comment #52
Comments from back in January and February are attached to this March article!
bueller
bueller   |     |   Comment #53
Why are comments from January & February included in this March blog???
health1au
health1au   |     |   Comment #55
Lots of bloggers regurgitate old content and have automated methods of simply updating the publication date to keep the clicks coming.
Flounder
Flounder   |     |   Comment #57
#55...bueller isn't talking about regurgitated article content, he's talking about regurgitated reader comments.
health1au
health1au   |     |   Comment #54
Redneck/AllAmerica bank are at 2.5% as of 5 March 2019. Their website is funky but it works. You can have two accounts (one plain and one with the horse), so the cap is $100K. The two accounts can be accessed from the same site. When you call, a human answers too. They are unfailingly polite.
DA Fan
DA Fan   |     |   Comment #56
For a no frills, bare-bones, very simple account page, and the fastest ACH times I've ever seen, I still like MySavingsDirect.com as a basic online parking place for cash. Currently 2.40%. Their CD rates are horrible for whatever reason, but I've never had any problems with the savings. (Emigrant Bank, been around since the 1850s?)

With that said I'm probably consolidating my finances and moving cash to PurePoint. There I can save and also get CDs for a pretty good rate. And I like the new no penalty 13 month CD.
Philk
Philk   |     |   Comment #60
Curious as to why Investors Bank is not mentioned here. I just opened a 2.5% APR money market account there after learning about it on this website, and it seems to have no minimums.
NYCDoug
NYCDoug   |     |   Comment #61
I don't see your 2.5% money market mentioned here, Phil . . . Where did you find it?
pncusn24
pncusn24   |     |   Comment #62
Thanks, very analysis, helps me to choose proper account and bank to utilize my savings with l.e CIT within 2 weeks of my opening a new account, oops down .05 already now a wait and see, also trouble I have a TABLET not a smart phone or computer spent hours setting (attempting) to get info and or PIN NR ETC, IN ALLOTED TIME GIVEN BUT STILL HANGING IN THERE!!! THANKS, KINDEST REGARDS BOB SR
EarthVisitor007
EarthVisitor007   |     |   Comment #65
Not one credit union on the list? They don't seem to be focusing on a simple savings account, with high rates, and few requirements.
#71 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.

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