Updated January 5, 2017
Are you a super saver? Sure, anyone can save money in a typical savings account. A typical savings account often comes packaged or suggested with your checking account from a local bank branch and only pays 0.01%. These savings accounts usually don’t offer the best terms or interest rates, which is why it’s best to keep shopping around.
The best accounts offer perks like no minimum balance, ATM access and much higher interest rates than the average savings account. Here are the best online savings accounts so you can super charge your savings.
1. Top Choice: Ally Bank – 1.00% APY, no minimum balance and a free checking account
Ally is a bank without branches that has consistently been paying high interest rates on savings accounts. Ally has no minimum balance requirement and will pay 1.00% APY. Even better, you can open a free checking account (also with no minimum balance requirement). This makes access to your savings account incredibly easy – because you can transfer funds online (or via the app) and have immediate access via checks, debit cards and ATMs.
2. Top Rate: Barclays Bank – 1.00% APY, No minimum balance and no monthly fees
Barclays Bank is one of the largest banks in the world, and it is based in London. In the United States, Barclays operates a very large credit card business (Barclaycard). If you have an American Airlines credit card, you might have a Barclaycard. In order to fund its card business, Barclays raises deposits online. You can earn a 1.00% APY return, which is one of the best rates out there. You do not have to pay a monthly fee, there is no minimum deposit and Barclays has a great digital experience. Even though this is a British bank, your deposits are FDIC insured.
3. Top Rate: Synchrony Bank – 1.05% APY, No minimum balance and ATM access
Synchrony Bank pays a healthy 1.05% APY. There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. What makes this account unique is the ATM card. Most internet-only banks require you to transfer funds electronically, which can take a few days. If you ever need quick access to your funds, the ATM card makes access easy. You might not recognize the Synchrony brand, but it is a large, well-capitalized business. Synchrony used to be a part of General Electric (GE), and was spun out as a separate company. Unfortunately the digital experience is not the best, and there is no app.
4. Highest Rate Without A Minimum: Goldman Sachs Bank – 1.05% APY, no minimum balance (and no ATM access)
GS Bank, the new consumer bank of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, now offers a 1.05% interest rate on deposits. There is no minimum balance and no transaction fees. Upon opening the account you can deposit funds via electronic transfer, wire transfer or deposit by check. You can get access to your funds via electronic transfer or wire transfer.
The maximum deposit is $250,000.
5. Highest Rate From A Credit Union: Alliant – 1.00%, $5 to open and ATM access.
People love credit unions. Because credit unions are owned by their members, you can get a higher interest rate on your savings (and lower interest rates when you borrow). Alliant is one of the best credit unions in the country, offering some of the best rates on your savings. In addition, Alliant has a great website and digital experience. Anyone can join the credit union and you only need $5 to open the account.
6. Best With A Checking Account (Runner-Up): Discover Bank – 0.95%, $500 initial deposit but NO minimum balance
Discover Bank is famous for its credit cards. But it also has an online consumer bank. The savings account pays 0.95%. Although there is an initial deposit of $500 required, there is no on-going minimum deposit requirement. You can link your savings account to the Discover checking account, and the savings account will provide free overdraft protection. The checking account has no monthly fees. But what makes the checking account unique is the ability to earn up to $120 of rewards per year when you use your checking account. You can earn $0.10 of rewards every time you use your debit card, write a check or pay a bill online.
7. Highest Overall Rate: Popular Direct – 1.15%, $5,000 to open & $500 minimum
You need at least $5,000 to open this account. You will be charged a $4 monthly fee if your balance falls below $500. This account does not come with an ATM card. In order to access your money, you would need to transfer funds to and from an existing checking account via an ACH transfer, which can take a few days. Popular Direct is the online bank of Banco Popular North America. Your deposits are FDIC insured. This interest rate can be changed at any time, and on existing balances. This is the highest rate at the moment, but Popular is a new entrant. We do worry (and have seen this happen before) that a bank launches with a high interest rate, and then reduces the rate after a few months. We will have to see how long this rate remains, or if it is just a teaser rate.
8. Good Rate And Low Minimum: SalemFive Direct – 1.10%, $100 minimum
You need $100 to open this account. But once the account is open, there is no minimum balance and no monthly fee charged. Unlike many other banks, SalemFive guarantees the interest rate until January 1, 2017. There is no ATM card with this account, but you can access your funds via electronic transfer.
Runner-Up: SFGI – 1.06%, $1 minimum
You only need $1 to open an account at SFGI, which is a division of Summit Community Bank. Summit operates 15 branches across Virginia and West Virginia. The bank created the online account (through SFGI Direct) to raise more deposits nationally. All deposits are FDIC insured.
How to Find the Right Account For You
Take a moment to calculate how much you could earn using our free saving account comparison tool. Enter your zip code and how much you have to save and you’ll see the best savings accounts for you and save more this year. If you have a large balance, the tool might find better options than the no minimum balance options we’ve listed here.
If you are willing to lock your money into a longer term, consider a certificate of deposit. You can find the best CD rates here.
Your money deserves more than 0.01%. At that rate you’re basically giving a free loan to the bank, not a favor they’d return to you!
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