Best Savings Accounts of November 2022 - MagnifyMoney
Best

Best Savings Accounts in November 2022

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.
How MagnifyMoney Gets Paid ?
Advertiser Disclosure

Savings accounts are great for storing your cash and earning a little interest — and different savings accounts can be geared toward different goals. Because everyone’s priorities vary, we reviewed hundreds of accounts across our sister site DepositAccounts, financial institution websites and other sources to find the best savings account in several categories.

We ranked accounts higher if they had higher interest rates, fewer fees, higher-rated mobile apps and wider account accessibility. We also prioritized elements of each specific category. Using our unique methodology, our pick for the overall best savings account is Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings.

Best savings accounts in November 2022

CategoryAnnual percentage yield (APY)
Best overallMarcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings3.30% on all balances
Best APY for low balancesAffinity FCU SmartStart Savings3.50% on balances up to $5,000
Best APY for high balancesUFB Elite Savings3.16% on all balances
Best for avoiding feesDiscover Online Savings3.30% on all balances
Best for studentsSoFi Student Checking and Savings3.75% on all balances
Best for automated savingsAlly Online Savings3.40% on all balances
Best for mobile and online bankingCapital One 360 Performance Savings3.40% on all balances
Best for access to cashSynchrony High-Yield Savings3.75% on all balances

Best overall savings account: Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.30% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.8 stars in Apple App Store; 4.4 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: The Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings account stands out for its accessibility (same-day transfers), affordability (very few fees) and APY (much higher than the national average).

You get same-day transfers of up to $100,000 to and from your checking or savings accounts at other banks via the Marcus app or by phone. Highly rated in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the Marcus app allows you to review transactions, monitor transfers and make use of the Marcus Insights tools and trackers.

Get answers from the website’s extensive FAQs or reach customer service 24/7 via chat or phone. If you’re an everyday saver looking to earn a little on your balance and easily access your cash without risking hidden fees, this might be ideal for you.

Best savings account APY for low balances: Affinity Federal Credit Union SmartStart Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • APY: 3.50% on balances up to $5,000
  • Minimum balance to open: $0 (after $5 membership fee)
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.8 stars in Apple App Store; 4.7 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: This account is great for that little stash of cash you’re looking to grow. For any deposits under $5,000, you’ll earn one of the highest APYs in the market. Of course, for balances over $5,000, your APY drops to a tiered rate, but it’s still higher than the national average for savings accounts.

It’s an easy-to-join credit union — you only need to open and maintain a $5 membership eligibility account and make a $5 donation to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education or the Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition.

The mobile app ranks highly in both app stores and has capabilities that most mobile banking apps have — recurring transfers, bill pay, Zelle, mobile deposit, money management tools and more. Customer service is pretty accessible, too: via phone 24/7, a chatbot or live chat with a banker during office hours.

If you don’t mind taking the extra step to apply for membership and plan on maintaining a lower balance, you’ll see the most return with SmartStart Savings.

Best savings account APY for high balances: UFB Elite Savings

SEE DETAILS

on UFB Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.16% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.8 stars in Apple App Store; 4.6 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: You’ll see higher returns for your larger deposits with this account –– without worrying about a minimum balance or monthly fee. The complimentary ATM card gives you access to around 91,000 ATMs nationwide and UFB does not limit the number of transfers you make.

On top of being FDIC insured, UFB Direct claims they’ll cover 100% of any losses due to things like an unlikely break-in, misplaced or lost funds or funds taken out without your permission, which might offer some peace of mind for more substantial balances.

The UFB Direct Mobile app also holds strong ratings for both Apple and Android products, and the online banking portal essentially acts as a full-service bank, allowing you to get quotes and even prequalify for loans or refinancing. You can contact customer service via chat in the app during business hours or contact a banker directly 24/7, apart from certain holidays.

Best savings account for avoiding fees: Discover Online Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Discover’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.30% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.9 stars in Apple App Store; 4.7 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: If fees keep following you around, Discover Online Savings might be the hero you’re looking for. Apart from a $30 service fee for outgoing wire transfers, this account has no fees for:

  • Incoming domestic wire transfers
  • Monthly maintenance
  • Official bank checks
  • Returned items
  • Excessive withdrawals
  • Stop payment
  • Insufficient funds
  • Account closure
  • Account inactivity
  • Peer-to-peer transactions
  • ATM use (since this account doesn’t come with an ATM card)

The Discover Mobile app is pretty popular for both Apple and Android. It lets you monitor your savings, set up alerts, deposit checks, send and transfer money and pay bills. It also appears to work well with a variety of wearable devices.

You can chat with Discover customer service through the app or contact the help center 24/7 by phone. For financial advice, the site’s Modern Money Blog talks about saving, debt resolution, budgeting and other financial topics. If “fee-free” is top-of-mind for you, this account gives you that, plus a decent APY.

Best savings account for students: SoFi Student Checking and Savings

SEE DETAILS

on SoFi Bank, N.A’s secure website

  • APY: 3.75% on all balances (with direct deposit)
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.8 stars in Apple App Store; 4.1 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: Students need to save, too, right? The SoFi Student Checking and Savings account earns the same competitive 3.75% APY as SoFi’s regular checking and savings account when you set up direct deposit. Without direct deposit, you’ll still earn 1.20% APY –– above the national average.

Don’t worry about overdraft fees or fees at 55,000-plus ATMs nationwide –– huge benefits for the student on a budget who’s attending school out of state. And the mobile app lets you monitor your savings and spending, pay friends, deposit checks, set up alerts and organize your savings into vaults with recurring deposits. If you need a banking professional, call or chat with customer support during office hours, and even meet with a career coach or financial planner at no additional cost.

SoFi is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to $30 on this account if you meet certain requirements (like signing up with your .edu email address, adding $10 to your account and spending $100 on your SoFi debit card within the first 30 days of your account).

Best savings account for automated savings: Ally Online Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.40% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.7 stars in Apple App Store; 3.9 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: This account does a good job of removing savings obstacles with several saving features and tools, including:

  • Money buckets: Organize your money into up to 10 savings buckets to visualize your goals and keep them separate. Use the goal tracker to see if you’re on schedule for saving a certain amount by a chosen target date.
  • Recurring transfers: Set automatic transfers from another account to your online savings account, so you can put away money at a pace that’s right for you.
  • Roundups: Round up certain purchases in your Ally Interest Checking accounts to the nearest dollar, and when you earn at least $5, Ally will automatically transfer it to your savings.
  • Surprise savings: Ally analyzes your checking account activity for extra savings opportunities. When it identifies a certain amount –– never over $100 per month –– it then transfers it to your online savings account.

Ally also can help you get past mental blocks when it comes to saving with comprehensive financial education resources. The Ally blog addresses career, college and retirement, but also budgeting, estate planning and finance basics. And you can sign up for Ally Wallet Wise, the bank’s free financial education program or check out their content library tailored to saving during significant phases of life.

If you need more help with your finances, you can call, chat or email support 24/7 and speak to a real banker.

Best savings account for mobile and online banking: Capital One 360 Performance Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Capital One’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.40% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.9 stars in Apple App Store; 4.6 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: Capital One mobile app has excellent ratings for both app stores and offers convenient features and automatic savings tools. It’s also a bonus that this account is offering a decent APY, minimal fees and accessible customer support.

With the mobile app, you can:

  • Pay bills
  • Check your balances
  • Transfer money
  • Manage your accounts
  • Deposit checks
  • Link up Capital One or external accounts
  • Use Zelle®
  • Check your credit score with CreditWise
  • Set up direct deposit
  • Get your paycheck up to two days early
  • Lock or unlock accounts, cards and credit
  • Access statements
  • View transaction history
  • Customize alerts and notifications
  • Track spending
  • Use your virtual card
  • View and redeem rewards

You’ll also have access to Eno within the app –– Capital One’s 24/7 virtual assistant –– and can set up automatic transfers or create multiple performance savings accounts for each of your savings goals. For more customer support, Capital One has a 24/7 interactive phone service or you can speak to a live associate seven days a week during office hours.

Best savings account for access to cash: Synchrony High-Yield Savings

SEE DETAILS

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • APY: 3.75% on all balances
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Mobile app rating: 4.8 stars in Apple App Store; 4.5 stars in Google Play Store

Why we picked it: Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank, but it makes it pretty easy to access the cash in your high-yield savings account. You get a highly-rated mobile app, free ATM card and fee-free access to the bank’s widespread ATM network. You can even combine up to four of your accounts onto a single ATM card — just give the bank a call to set it up.

Synchrony will reimburse you for any out-of-network ATM fees you accrue up to $5 per statement cycle (Diamond tier customers will receive unlimited ATM fee refunds). The ATM cash withdrawal limit is $1,000 per day, with a separate $500 limit per day for ATM point-of-sale transactions.

You can transfer your money online for free from any Synchrony account, or transfer it from a non-Synchrony account that you’ve linked up. There is no fee to receive a wire transfer, but there is a $25 fee to send one (Diamond tier customers receive three wire transfers per statement cycle).

The Synchrony mobile app provides a full-scale view of your accounts, even with a widget for your phone’s home screen to check balances at a glance. You can deposit checks, link up accounts, track spending and activity and chat with a live banker for questions. Otherwise, you can call or chat with an agent on the site during business hours, while the automated customer service line is available 24/7.

Methodology: How we chose the best savings account by category

Using information from our sister site DepositAccounts, financial institution websites and other sources, MagnifyMoney reviewed hundreds of accounts to determine the best savings account for categories important to banking customers. To be considered, accounts must be available across the United States and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

While each category winner is based on particular criteria, we also considered the following features when selecting our accounts. We ranked higher those with:

  • Better-than-average APY, according to FDIC data
  • Automatic savings tools
  • Fewer fees
  • Lower minimum deposits to open
  • Lower minimum daily balance requirements
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Account accessibility

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a part of many people’s financial portfolio. It’s a secure bank account where you can store money that earns interest, growing your balance over time. It’s commonly used to build an emergency fund, save for big life purchases (like a car or a home) or even put away future college funds.

Traditional savings accounts from big banks don’t typically offer the best APY. Online banks tend to have some of the best high-yield rates because they don’t have costs associated with running brick-and-mortar banks.

Typically, there are transaction limits (six per month) on savings accounts, a rule that used to be enforced by the Federal Reserve but has since been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some banks and credit unions still choose to enforce it, so be aware so that you don’t accrue any excess transaction fees by going over the limit.

Ensuring your bank is FDIC insured or your credit union is NCUA insured is important in keeping the funds in your savings account safe. FDIC and NCUA insurance protects deposit accounts funds up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank and per ownership category.

Cheat sheet: savings terms you should know

You’ll see these terms pop up a lot in your search, and if you’re already familiar with them, it never hurts to have a refresher.

  • APY: The rate at which you’ll earn interest on your savings account deposits.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: Also called a monthly service fee and often waivable, this fee is the most common you’ll see. It’s the amount the bank charges to work with them.
  • Minimum balance requirement: Some institutions require you to keep a certain account balance to earn the promoted APY or to keep your account open.
  • Minimum deposit to open: Some institutions require you to deposit a certain amount of money to open the savings account. After that, you may or may not have to maintain a certain balance to keep it open or earn interest.
  • Compounding interest: You earn interest on your principal amount, plus any interest paid. (Another way to say it: You earn interest on your interest.)
  • Liquidity: This refers to cash or any assets you own that can easily be converted to cash. A savings account is fairly liquid, though it can have transaction limits, making it a better fit for longer-term goals.

What to look for in a savings account

Here’s what we recommend looking for when you’re prepared to open an account:

  • High APY: As of October 2022, the national average rate for savings accounts is 0.17%. Anything above that will be an improvement, but with many high-yield savings accounts now offering over 3.00%, a decent APY would likely be anything above 2.00%.
  • Fewer fees: If possible, choose an account with no (or easily waivable) monthly maintenance fees. Ask a banker for more details on other fees that could come up, such as wire transfer fees or fees for peer-to-peer transactions (like Zelle).
  • Lower minimum deposits to open: Based on your budget and savings goals, consider what would be “too much” for a minimum deposit to open the savings account. There are many accounts that don’t require a deposit to open.
  • Lower minimum daily balance requirements: Does the account require a certain balance each day to avoid a fee or to earn interest? This could be inconvenient, but if you know you’ll maintain a certain balance, it may not be a concern.
  • Online and mobile banking: Access to a well-rated app is important for efficient banking. If you care about depositing checks without going to the bank, checking your balance as needed and getting alerts on spending, this should be a priority.
  • Customer service: You may not personally need to speak to a human when you have questions, but it would be nice to have the option to speak to someone during office hours, or have 24/7 access to a message center or chat through the app.
  • Savings tools: Automatic savings tools are a priority for those who need help separating their financial goals into buckets –– or for those who need to passively save. An example: Some accounts round up purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to your savings account.
  • Access to cash: Do you need to access your funds regularly? Choose an account with higher withdrawal limits, an ATM card or free wire transfers. This is where the mobile app comes in handy too.

Frequently asked questions

Savings accounts come with very little risk and give you a secure place (separate from your other finances) to save for longer-term goals and earn interest along the way.

Typically, no. Savings accounts are not designed for frequent transactions (like checking accounts are), so they often do not come with checks or debit cards. But you can make transfers in person at the bank.

After reviewing hundreds of accounts across our sister site DepositAccounts and other financial institution websites, we found that Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings was the best. It has a higher-than-average APY, no monthly maintenance fees, no opening deposit requirement, 24/7 customer service and a highly rated mobile app.