Updated February 5, 2019
After years of low interest rates, there is a pricing war happening for online savings accounts. Long gone are the days of 0.01% APY. If you are willing to open an online savings account (which is FDIC insured), you can now easily get a 2.25% APY or higher. Interest rates are only increasing online: traditional brick and mortar banks continue to pay very low rates. A typical savings account at a big bank only pays 0.01% APY.
The best online banks 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 (and this post is updated regularly).
1. High Rate: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 2.25% APY, no minimum balance (but no ATM access)
Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the consumer bank of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, offers a 2.25% APY on deposits. There is no minimum balance and there are 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. Goldman has been investing heavily in Marcus, its online consumer bank. Marcus is already offering some of the best savings accounts and personal loans in the market, and further expansion is expected. The savings account has consistently been paying one of the highest rates in the market. With a 2.25% APY, you can get one of the highest rates in the market from a well-known brand. The maximum deposit is $1,000,000 and deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 limit.
on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website
2. High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 2.25% APY, no minimum balance (and ATM access)
on Synchrony Bank’s secure website
3. Top Choice: Ally Bank – 2.20% APY, no minimum balance and you can get 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 2.20% APY. Even better, you can open a free checking account (also with no minimum balance requirement and eligible for the 1% cash back offer). 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. With an Ally account, you will have access to their full suite of expanding (and market-leading) products.
on Ally Bank’s secure website
4. High Rate: Barclays Bank – 2.20% APY, no minimum balance
Barclays is a large, old British bank, based in London and with more than 325 years of history. Although Barclays is huge in the United Kingdom, it is a challenger brand in the US. Barclays offers savings products with highly competitive rates. These deposits are used to fund their rapidly growing American credit card business. The online savings account has a 2.20% APY with no minimum balance to open and no monthly fees. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to the legal limit. The Barclays website has a good look and feel. And you can have the confidence of keeping your money with one of the world’s largest and oldest universal banks.
on Barclays’s secure website
5. High Rate: American Express National Bank – 2.10% APY, no minimum balance (and no fees)
Our sponsored advertiser, American Express National Bank, offers a Personal Savings account, which earns a 2.10% variable APY. The account charges no monthly fees and requires no minimum deposit, making it an affordable account to open. You must fund your account within 60 days of applying for the account, and the FDIC insures your deposits up to $250,000. Overall, the account is a great option for anyone who wants the flexibility of earning a high interest rate on a sum of money you’ve stashed away, minus the withdrawal restrictions of a certificate deposit.
on American Express National Bank’s secure website
6. High Rate: CIT – 2.45% APY, $100 to open
CIT is a very large bank that you probably never heard of. It has more than $50 billion of assets and makes loans (and leases) to middle market companies and small businesses. To fund those loans, CIT operates an internet-only bank that pays some of the highest interest rates in the country. They’re currently offering a very healthy APY of 2.45% on their Savings Builder account. You only need $100 to open the account, but you’ll need to meet one of two requirements to earn the high rate. We really like the options that CIT Bank has put in place to earn this high APY. The two ways to continue earning this high rate are:
- Make a monthly deposit of $100 or more into this account
- Maintain a daily balance of $25,000 or more
Even better: there aren’t any monthly maintenance fees and interest compounds daily. Deposits are FDIC insured.
7. High Rate: Vio Bank – 2.41% APY, $100 to open
There are a few limitations to keep in mind: incoming ACHs take anywhere between two to five business days to post and the online bank may place a hold your ACH for two or three business days. When you’re ready to transfer funds out of the account, you’ll be limited to $2,000 per outgoing ACH. You’ll also be limited to transferring an aggregate monthly total of $6,000 via outgoing ACHs. As is with every other savings account, you’ll also be limited to making six withdrawals per monthly statement cycle. The good news (aside from the high APY) is that Vio Bank doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee. You’ll have to do all of your banking online for the time being as this online bank doesn’t currently have a mobile banking app, but according to the website, it’s coming soon. Fortunately, Vio Bank’s website is mobile friendly so it should be fairly easy to do your online bank from a smart phone.
8. High Rate: Citizens Access – 2.35% APY, $5,000 minimum balance amount
on Citizens Access’s secure website
9. High Rate: PurePoint Financial – 2.35% APY, $10,000 to open
PurePoint Financial is a division of the MUFG Union Bank, N.A., otherwise known as Union Bank. Together, PurePoint Financial and Union Bank have over $120 billion dollars in assets and are powered by one of the largest financial groups in the world, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). PurePoint Financial’s online savings account currently has an APY of 2.35% with an opening deposit amount of $10,000. You’ll also have to maintain that balance to earn the APY. If the balance falls below $10,000, the APY will drop to 0.25%. The only fee associated with this account is as a result of making more than six transactions per month. If this happens, a $10 Excess Activity Fee will be applied to your account. PurePoint Financial allows you to safely manage your account online via your computer or mobile phone, but they don’t have a mobile app just yet.
on PurePoint Financial’s secure website
10. High Rate: HSBC Direct – 2.22% APY, $1 minimum to open, no minimum balance to earn APY
HSBC Direct is the online division of financial giant, HSBC Bank. Based on the amount of assets HSBC Bank has acquired to date, it is the 14th largest bank in the U.S. While HSBC Direct may sound like a new player to the online banking game, this division was actually around prior to the 2008 financial crisis and offered extremely competitive rates. After the financial crisis, the bank renamed the online division to HSBC Advance and slowly started to decrease its online savings account rates, much like other online banks were doing around that time.
Fortunately, HSBC has decided to reenter the online banking space. Since the initial launch in July of 2018, the bank has consistently increased its HSBC Direct Savings Account rate from 1.70% APY to 2.22% APY. You only need $1 to open the account and the APY will be applied to any balance below $2 million. You may fund the account via ACH transfer and the account can be opened online. You will have to deposit new money to the account, which means that you cannot be a member of the HSBC Group in the United States. The account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee and all deposits are FDIC insured.
on HSBC Direct’s secure website
11. High Rate: CIBC Bank USA – 2.39%, $1,000 to open
CIBC Bank USA is the U.S. division of a Canadian based bank. This division was established in 1991 and has since acquired over $27 billion in assets. Currently, CIBC Bank USA is offering an online-only savings account with a competitive APY of 2.39%. You’ll only need $1,000 to open the account. While there isn’t a monthly maintenance fee, you may be charged $10 if you make more than six transactions per statement cycle. CBIC Bank USA does have a mobile banking app, but make sure that you download the app for the U.S., not Canada.
12. High Rate: Popular Direct – 2.36% APY, $5,000 to open
Popular Direct, the online bank of Banco Popular North America, is currently offering an outstanding APY of 2.36% on their Popular Direct Plus Savings Account. You’ll need $5,000 to open this account and you’ll have to maintain a daily end of day balance of $500 to avoid the $4 monthly service fee. 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. Your deposits are FDIC insured. Popular Direct has a mobile banking app and provides account holders with access to online banking.
13. High Rate: Salem Five Direct – 2.30% APY, $100 to open – Be aware of transfer limitations
Salem Five Direct is the online bank division of Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, a community bank based in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem has been around for more than 150 years and all deposits are insured by the FDIC up to the legal limit. You only need $100 to open this account, and there are no monthly maintenance fees. However, they do have a few limitations to be aware of. First, according to their online banking agreement, Salem Five Direct limits the dollar amount of their External Transfers to $5,000 per transaction, $5,000 in aggregate per day, and $20,000 in aggregate per month. So, if you decide to have more than one account with them, like their money market account, they’ll look at the aggregate amount of External Transfers conducted from both the savings account and money market account. Second, account holders are limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle due to Federal Regulations. If you exceed the six withdrawal limit, they’ll charge you $10 per additional transaction. Finally, the web and mobile experiences are not great. But, if you give them a call (which we have done), you will get friendly service from a community bank. While this bank does offer one of the best rates for an online savings account, we want you to be aware of their limitations.
14. High Rate From A Credit Union: USALLIANCE Financial – 2.36% APY, $500 minimum to open
USALLIANCE Financial was founded by a group of IBM employees in 1966. Initially, the credit union only served employees of IBM, but today the credit union serves anyone who is a member of or willing to join certain associations or charitable organizations such as the American Consumer Council. Other ways to join include living, working, or worshiping in a qualifying location, being related to an existing member, being an employee of certain participating companies, or being affiliated with Columbia University or Manhattanville College. Once you become a member of the credit union, you’ll have the opportunity to open USALLIANCE Financial’s High Dividend Savings account with a small deposit amount of $500. This account is currently earning 2.36% APY. This account doesn’t have any monthly maintenance fees, but the credit union will charge $5 per withdrawal made using this account. This will only apply if you request an ATM card and withdraw money from an ATM. In addition to online banking, USALLIANCE Financial offers a mobile banking app so you can conveniently manage your account on-the-go.
15. Runner-Up: For Small Balance Savers – Digital Federal Credit Union – 6.17% APY up to $1k
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) currently offers a nice account for people who are just starting to save. You can earn an APY of 6.17% with their Primary Savings Account. You will only earn that rate on deposits up to $1,000. Once you have more than $1k, you should consider other accounts on this list. It is a credit union – and your deposits are insured by the NCUA up to the legal limit. Anyone can join the credit union by donating to one of their participating organizations such as Reach Out for Schools, which has a membership fee of $10. You’ll be able to join one their participating organizations when you go to open your account with DCU. DCU is also part of a nationwide CO-OP network that allows their members to have access to shared branches and surcharge-free ATMs throughout the U.S.
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!
You can learn more about how our site is financed here.
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Barclays 12 Month Online CD
Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD
Barclays Online Savings Account
American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account
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