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6 in 10 Millennials Postponed Financial Milestones Due to COVID-19

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The coronavirus pandemic has turned many lives upside down, from immense job loss to the postponement of major life milestones like buying a home or getting married. In fact, a new survey by MagnifyMoney found that almost half of Americans have had to postpone a milestone due to the pandemic.

We asked Americans whether they had to put off any financial milestones because of the COVID-19 outbreak. While many answered yes, their milestones and reasons for postponement varied greatly. Some respondents even met their milestones sooner.

Key findings

  • Nearly 50% of consumers have postponed financial milestones due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Most commonly, Americans had to postpone buying a car (14%), buying a home (13%) and paying off debt (11%).
  • Nearly 6 out of every 10 millennial respondents have had to postpone a financial milestone.
    • The next hardest-hit generation was Gen Z, of whom 55% faced postponements, followed by 50% of Gen X. Just 27% of baby boomers postponed a milestone.
  • The most commonly postponed milestones varied by generation.
    • Gen Z and millennials were more likely to put off buying a home (15% and 18%, respectively), while buying a new car was the top milestone postponed by Gen X and baby boomers (16% and 9%, respectively).
  • Two-thirds of those who were furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic have postponed a financial milestone, compared with just 27% of those whose income was not impacted.
    • However, those who kept their jobs but saw their salary or hours cut were actually the most likely to put off a milestone, at 72%.
  • Almost half (49%) of those who postponed a milestone still expect to reach that goal before 2020 is over, with an optimistic 13% hoping to reach it by the end of the summer.
    • Meanwhile, 28% think they’ll meet their milestone instead in 2021, and 10% said their milestone is on hold until at least 2022. A little over 1% believe they’ll never reach their milestone.
  • On the other hand, 29% of consumers have reached a financial milestone sooner due to the pandemic environment.
    • Of this group, most respondents bought a house earlier than planned (8%), followed by paying off debt earlier (5%) and getting engaged earlier (4%).
    • The largest group of respondents (28%) cited additional income from the CARES Act relief check as the main reason for reaching their milestone sooner.
    • It’s worth noting that for each milestone, the percentage of respondents who met them sooner was still less than the percentage who postponed them.

Who is getting hit the hardest?

By generation, millennials and Gen Zers are getting hit the hardest when it comes to postponing milestones. These two generations had the highest percentages of postponements for each of four different milestones.

  • Mostly millennials were forced to postpone buying a house, getting married, having a baby and going to college or graduate school.
  • Meanwhile, mostly Gen Z said they’d postponed getting engaged along with getting a house, moving out of their current city, changing jobs and retiring.
  • Gen X got hit the hardest when it came to buying a car and paying off debt.
  • Baby boomers, on the other hand, were largely unbothered by postponed milestones. Almost 75% of baby boomers didn’t have to postpone a milestone. The largest percentage that was affected (9%) had to delay buying a car.

Consumers’ likelihood of postponing financial milestones due to the coronavirus pandemic varied little by income.

  • About half of those making between $50,000 and $99,999 per year had to put off a money-related goal, as did 56% of those whose annual income is between $25,000 and $49,999 and 49% of those earning $100,000 or more.
  • On the other hand, just 42% of consumers making less than $25,000 postponed a milestone, which is the lowest number of any income bracket.

More than a tenth of those whose salary or hours were reduced due to the pandemic have now put off finding a new job.

  • This compares with the mere 4% of those whose income wasn’t impacted at all.

While most of our respondents haven’t had to put off getting married, many know couples who did.

  • A quarter of survey respondents have been invited to a wedding that’s now been postponed, canceled or turned into a virtual event. That jumps to 31% of millennial participants.

Financial turbulence due to the pandemic postponed milestones

On the whole, respondents marked loss of income and general economic uncertainty as their main reasons for postponing milestones.

By generation, Gen X was most likely to worry about these top two reasons, with 38% affected by loss of income and 37% citing general economic uncertainty.

  • Millennials closely followed in these categories, with 36% of those affected citing loss of income and 33% pointing to general economic uncertainty.
  • Meanwhile, mostly Gen Z cited health reasons and shifting priorities as their main reasons for postponing milestones.

Respondents who make less than $25,000 per year were most likely to be affected by loss of income, at 48%. The next most affected cohort (45%) was those who earn between $35,000 and $49,999.

  • Those who make $75,000 and over were more concerned with general economic uncertainty.
  • Of all income levels, those who earned $100,000 or more cited health reasons as their main reason for milestone postponement.

Methodology

MagnifyMoney commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,020 Americans, with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population. We defined generations as the following ages in 2020:

  • Gen Z are ages 18 to 23
  • Millennials are ages 24 to 39
  • Gen X are ages 40 to 54
  • Baby boomers are ages 55 to 74

The survey was fielded June 12-15, 2020.

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Banking

Best Savings Accounts

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Interest rates on savings accounts vary greatly, which means you need to shop around to find your best rate available. As of April 2020, you won’t find a rate higher than 2%, although rate leaders still beat out the month’s average savings account rate, which is around 0.24%. To make it easier for you to get the best possible return on your savings no matter the times, we check rates daily at more than 5,000 U.S. banks and credit unions.

A savings account is a key component of everyone’s financial life, but everybody needs something a little different from their savings account. That might mean you want to maximize your interest earnings, while others might need easy branch access. For that reason, we’ve outlined the best savings accounts in several different categories to better help you find the right one for your preferences.

So whether you’re shopping around for a new savings account or you need to open one for the first time, this comprehensive guide should help you get started. Below, you’ll find the best savings accounts to choose from, and a full brief on every aspect of selecting the right account for your needs.

Rates are accurate as of July 6 2020

Best Savings Account Rates from Top Online Banks

Some people really put an emphasis on banking with a well-known, dependable bank that offers high rates and great features. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the big online banks that have had competitive rates for two consecutive years and either don’t require a minimum deposit amount or have a low minimum deposit amount requirement.

1. Ally Bank – 1.00% APY, no minimum deposit to open account

Online Savings Account from Ally Bank

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on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Ally Bank traces its history back to 1919, when it was GMAC, a division of GM designed to help auto dealers finance and maintain their inventory. It became Ally Bank 90 years later in 2009 and now offers a range of financial products well beyond auto loans.

Today’s Online Savings Account rate may not be the highest we’ve seen from Ally Bank, but it has remained a top competitor nonetheless. Its 1.00% APY will still yield solid savings and requires no minimum deposit to get started. There’s no monthly fee here, either, which allows your savings to grow effortlessly. Ally Bank is relatively low on fees and maintains transparency around the fees it does charge — these include outgoing domestic wires, paid overdraft items and excessive transactions.

As an online bank, Ally Bank doesn’t allow for cash deposits to be made into its Online Savings Account, though you can still deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit and make online, wire and mail transfers in and out of the account. You can also make transfers out of your account over the phone and by requesting a check. Online transfers between Ally Bank accounts are immediate, while transfers between Ally Bank and non-Ally accounts take three business days. Free next-day transfers are available to select customers depending on account tenure, account activity and transfer activity.

Ally Bank offers an extensive and helpful mobile app that allows you to make deposits, pay your bills, transfer money, find in-network ATMs and view your balances and transactions. You can download the app on various platforms including Android, iOS and Windows.

2. Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 1.05% APY, no minimum deposit to open account

High-yield Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a brand of Goldman Sachs that powers the bank’s online savings accounts, as well as its personal loans. Marcus launched its online savings account in 2016 with a competitive rate (at the time). While savings rates have fluctuated, continue to do so, this online brand has continued to offer a consistently competitive rate on its savings account. Today, the bank is offering a 1.05% Annual Percentage Yield, accurate as of 7/9/2020. There isn’t a minimum deposit amount or balance requirement to earn the APY — plus, this account doesn’t come with any monthly fees either.

Deleted: You can easily fund the account by either transferring your funds directly from a linked external bank account, setting up direct deposit, sending a check or sending a domestic wire transfer. While you can deposit as much as $1 million per account, you’ll only be able to transfer a maximum of $125,000 per outgoing transfer when initiated online. Marcus does give you the option to call its customer service number if you need to withdraw more than that amount. Keep in mind that you’ll be limited to making six certain withdrawals or transfers per statement period.

Deleted: Only Apple device users can benefit from Marcus’ mobile app at this time. The online bank also joined forces with Clarity Money, a personal finance app from Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Through Clarity Money, you’ll be able to monitor your account and manage your finances in a simple way.

3. Synchrony Bank – 1.05% APY, no minimum deposit to open account

Synchrony Bank, a subsidiary of Synchrony Financial, has been around since 1932. The bank’s history is deeply rooted in the credit card industry, but it’s done a great job establishing itself as a top online bank over the years.

Back in 2014, having a savings account that offered a 1.00% APY was rare, but Synchrony Bank made a mark by offering this rate. Since then, it has consistently offered one of the top savings account rates in the market; currently, it is offering a 1.05% APY. There isn’t a minimum deposit requirement to open the account or earn the APY. There are also no monthly fees.

You can fund this savings account in a number of ways: ACH, mobile check deposit, direct deposit, wire transfer or a mailed check. Incoming transfers will typically take three business days to post unless you initiated the transfer after 10 p.m. EST.

One really big perk of this account is that it comes with an ATM card, as Synchrony is partnered with the Accel network for ATM access. You are limited to withdrawing a maximum of $1,000 per day, and if you use an out-of-network ATM domestically, Synchrony will refund you up to $5 per statement cycle.

Synchrony Bank also has a mobile app for your convenience.

4. American Express National Bank – 1.00% APY, no minimum deposit amount

High Yield Savings Account from American Express National Bank

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on American Express National Bank’s secure website

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Member FDIC

While this institution was established in 1989, American Express National Bank can trace its roots back to 1850 when its parent company, American Express, was originally founded. Not unlike Barclays, American Express is widely known for its credit card products.

With our sponsored advertiser, American Express National Bank, you can also open deposit accounts like its Personal Savings Account. Luckily for banking customers, the account historically offers good rates that consistently land it in top rankings. Today, you can take advantage of its 1.00% variable Annual Percentage Yield (APY) with any deposit amount. The account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, nor any fees for wires or to deposit checks.

This high yield savings account does not come with an ATM/debit card or checks. You can deposit money by mailing a check and make online transfers to and from your account. When pulling funds from your external bank, it will take five business days to appear in your account when you initiate the transfer from your Personal Savings account, and one to three when you initiate through your external account. Sending funds from your Personal Savings Account will take one to three business days no matter which side you initiate from. American Express Personal Savings is accessible online only; it does not have a mobile app.

5. Capital One — 1.00% APY, no minimum deposit to open account

Turn to Capital One 360 for Capital One Bank’s more competitive rates. As an online-only operation, Capital One 360 accounts provide savers with higher deposit rates for better savings. They’re not just a flash in the pan either; Capital One remains one of our top picks for their consistently competitive rates.

The Capital One 360 Performance Savings earns a 1.00% APY on all balances. There’s no monthly fee, so your savings can grow in peace without the bank taking out a chunk. You can open the account with any deposit amount that works for you, as there is no minimum deposit nor balance requirement.

Capital One 360 accounts can be managed easily online, on the bank’s mobile app or at a Capital One Cafe or branch.

Best Rates from New Online Savings Accounts

Over the last year or so, there have been several new online banks being created by bigger banks or big banks introducing new online savings options. This list includes those banks that have either launched within the last two years or introduced a brand-new savings account with consistently high rates within the last two years.

1. Vio Bank – 1.11% APY, $100 minimum deposit to open account

High Yield Online Savings Account from Vio Bank

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on Vio Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Vio Bank is an online division of MidFirst Bank which was founded in 1911.

Vio Bank has certainly been a recent stand-out candidate for its competitively high rates on its CDs as well as its High Yield Online Savings Account. It currently earns 1.11% APY and compounds interest daily for better savings. Plus, there’s no monthly fee. You will need at least $100 to open the account. It’s better to stick to electronic statements here, because paper statements cost $7 each.

Vio Bank doesn’t provide debit cards or check writing capabilities on its High Yield Online Savings Account or any other accounts. Instead, you’ll have to make online ACH transfers. Deposits into the account may take five or more business days. You’re limited to $25,000 daily and $100,000 monthly on transfers to and from external accounts initiated by Vio Bank. There aren’t any limits on transfers initiated outside, though. You can fund your High Yield Online Savings Account by mailing a check, depositing a check on mobile or sending an incoming wire.

In addition to its online presence, Vio Bank extends itself to a mobile app, as well, which allows you to manage your accounts and make transfers on the go. It is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

2. CIBC USA – 1.15% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit to open account

CIBC Agility Savings - Online Only from CIBC USA

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on CIBC USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

The online-only CIBC Agility™ Online Savings Account offers a competitive 1.15% APY on all balances, although you’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account and get started. It does not charge a monthly fee, so your savings can keep growing uninterrupted.

To withdraw funds from your account, you can make transfers between accounts (both internal and external) or submit a request in writing for a check to be issued in your name. To deposit money, you can also make ACH transfers or send a cashier’s or personal check to CIBC USA in either the bank’s name or your name. Check deposits are placed on a 10-day hold.

As a little background, CIBC, or Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, began as two Toronto-based banks: The Canadian Bank of Commerce (founded in 1867) and the Imperial Bank of Canada (founded in 1875). The two banks merged in 1961, and CIBC expanded into the U.S. in 1991 with CIBC U.S. Its headquarters is in Chicago, and you can find CIBC USA locations across Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

3. HSBC Direct – 1.01% APY, $1 minimum deposit to open account

HSBC Direct Savings from HSBC Direct

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on HSBC Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

HSBC Direct is the online-only offering from HSBC Bank USA, which traces its history back to the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited established in 1865. As part of HSBC Bank USA, the HSBC Direct Savings account earns a competitive 1.01% APY on all balances. You must open an account with at least $1 in new money, meaning funds that are not already on deposit with HSBC. There is no monthly fee to worry about here.

As an added perk, HSBC Direct provides Money Management Tools that are designed to help you manage your money, set goals and stick to a budget. This includes email alerts for bills, low balances and fees; customizable goals; and a tool to compare income versus spending.

When you have an HSBC US account, you can pay bills and make transfers and other payments in the Move Money section. Transfers in and out of the account typically take three to five business days to clear. Deposits into the account are limited to $3,000 daily and $5,000 monthly. An ATM or debit card is not included with this account.
Take advantage of the HSBC Mobile Banking App for further accessibility, like mobile check deposit. You can find it in the App Store and Google Play.

4. Citizens Access – 1.00% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit to open account

Online Savings Account from Citizens Access

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on Citizens Access’s secure website

Member FDIC

Citizens Access is the online-only branch of Citizens Bank, a Providence, R.I.-based bank founded in 1871.

Unlike its other competitors, Citizens Access has a bit of a higher minimum deposit to open its Online Savings Account, requiring $5,000. If you can meet that threshold, you can start earning at its 1.00% APY, but balances under $5,000 will drop to 0.25% APY. Citizens Access boasts zero fees, including for monthly maintenance.

To make a deposit into the Online Savings Account, you can make an online funds transfer or deposit a check through the mail or mobile check deposit; withdrawals are made in the same ways. When moving money from your Online Savings Account, it can take two to three business days for the funds to post in the external account.

Citizens Access doesn’t have a mobile app, but the website is designed to be easily accessible on mobile, including mobile check deposit capabilities.

5. BrioDirect – 0.95% APY, $25 minimum deposit to open account

High-Yield Savings from BrioDirect

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on BrioDirect’s secure website

FDIC Insured

For the next best high-yield savings rate, head to BrioDirect, which doesn’t require any physical commitment from you. BrioDirect is an online brand of Sterling National Bank, founded in 1888, which manages and holds your accounts.

You can open a BrioDirect High-Yield Savings account with just $25. You’ll also need to maintain at least $25 in the account to earn the 0.95% APY. There is no monthly fee, and the only other posted fees are a $10 excessive transaction charge and a $35 overdraft/insufficient funds fee.

You can transfer money between your BrioDirect savings account and other accounts using the bank’s External Transfers feature online or by calling the bank. You can also fund the account by wiring the money or sending a check.

There isn’t a BrioDirect-branded mobile app, but you can use Sterling’s Personal Mobile Banking app to manage your accounts.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts

If the feature you care about the most is the rate a bank offers on a savings account, this list is for you. These banks are currently offering the highest savings account rates.

1. Vio Bank — 1.11% APY, $100 minimum deposit

High Yield Online Savings Account from Vio Bank

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on Vio Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Vio Bank is a division of MidFirst Bank, which is based in Oklahoma City. Vio Bank deposits are considered MidFirst Bank deposits for purposes of FDIC coverage.
A new leader in the savings account space, Vio Bank offers 1.11% APY on all High Yield Online Savings balances. You need at least $100 to open the account. There is no monthly fee, although paper statements cost $7 each.

To access a Vio Bank account, you can make online ACH transfers. Vio Bank limits transfers to and from external accounts to $25,000 daily and $100,000 monthly when initiated through Vio Bank. Transfers initiated through external accounts are not limited. You can fund your High Yield Online Savings Account by mailing a check, depositing a check on mobile or sending an incoming wire. Deposits may take up to five days to post.

Vio Bank is accessible online and through its mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

2. FitnessBank – 1.20% APY, $100 minimum deposit to open account

Fitness Savings (12,500+ Steps) from FitnessBank

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on FitnessBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Personal goals often revolve around health and money and Fitness Bank seeks to seamlessly bring those together. Fitness Bank is a division of Affinity Bank, which was founded in 2002.

The Fitness Savings Account earns interest on balances over $100. The exact APY you earn on your Fitness Savings Account depends on your average daily step count which is calculated each month. The top rate of 1.20% APY is reserved for customers who log 12,500 steps or more. The rate drops to 1.19% APY for an average daily step count between 10,000 to 12,499; to 1.09% APY for 7,500 to 9,999 steps; and to 1.00% APY for 5,000 to 7,499 steps. Finally, the rate plummets to 0.75% APY if you’re logging 4,999 or fewer steps. When you open a new account and have at least $100, the account will have an initial APY of 1.20% until the rate adjustment date after the first full month.

You need at least $100 to open a new Fitness Savings Account. You must also maintain a $100 minimum average daily balance in order to waive the $10 maintenance fee. There is no fee for incoming wires. You can deposit money into your account through online transfers, which typically take three to five days to post.

To track your steps, you will need to download the FitnessBank Step Tracker app. Then you can link it with your Garmin, FitBit, Apple Health or Google Play.

3. First Foundation Bank — 1.20% APY, $1,000 minimum

Online Savings Account - New Money Only from First Foundation Bank

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Founded in 1990, First Foundation Bank is headquartered in Irvine, Ca. and has 20 locations in California, Hawaii and Nevada.

First Foundation Bank’s Online Savings account sets itself apart from the bank’s other offerings with its competitive 1.20% APY on balances $1,000 and over. Balances under that earn 1.00% APY. You’ll need to open a new account with at least $1,000 in new money, or money not already held on deposit with the bank.

You can access your Online Savings account online and on mobile to pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money and more.

4. SFGI Direct — 1.16% APY, $1 minimum balance

SFGI Direct is an online division of Summit Community Bank, which provides FDIC insurance on any SFGI Direct deposits. Summit Community Bank is headquartered in Moorefield, W.V.

Open an SFGI Direct Savings account with just $500 and start earning interest at 1.16% APY with just $1. There is no monthly fee on the account.

SFGI Direct can be accessed online. You can set up online transfers in and out of the Savings account directly within your account.

5. CIBC Bank USA — 1.15% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit to open account

CIBC Agility Savings - Online Only from CIBC USA

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on CIBC USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

CIBC U.S. is the U.S. banking arm of Toronto-based CIBC, which offers a wide variety of banking and financial services. CIBC U.S. is headquartered in Chicago and was established in 1991.

The CIBC Agility Account is an online-only savings account that earns at a more competitive rate than its regular accounts. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account, but all balances earn interest. There is no monthly fee on the account.

You can access your Agility online savings account online and through CIBC’s mobile app. To deposit money, you can use ACH transfers, direct deposit or send a check to CIBC Bank USA. You can make withdrawals by setting up a transfer to another account, whether an external one or another CIBC account, or by making a written request for a check to be sent to you.

Best Savings Account Bonus Offers

Some banks offer cash bonuses to bring in new customers. There are often requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for these bonuses, so you’ll want to pay attention to those prior to applying. This list includes banks offer bonuses for opening a savings account.

1. Citibank – $700 bonus with $50,000 minimum deposit

Citibank Account Package

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on Citi’s secure website

Member FDIC

Citibank got its start way back in 1812 as the City Bank of New York. Part of the larger Citigroup, Citibank offers customers deposit, lending and investing products for both individuals and businesses. Citi has a physical presence in 98 countries, including in 12 U.S. states plus Washington D.C. Citibank’s headquarters are located in Sioux Falls, S.D.

You have until January 5, 2021 to snag this huge $700 bonus offer from Citibank. To earn the bonus, open a Citi Priority Account Package and deposit at least $50,000 in new money within 30 days of opening the new account. New money means the funds must be held outside of Citibank to qualify. You must maintain at least $50,000 between the checking and savings accounts in the Package for 60 consecutive calendar days to qualify.

The Citi Priority Account Package charges a $30 monthly fee, which you can waive by keeping a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible linked accounts. As a premium account, the Citi Priority Account Package includes access to Citi Personal Wealth Management, relationship rates, free and unlimited checks and more. Its Interest Checking account earns 0.03% APY and the Citi Savings account earns between 0.04% and 0.15% APY, depending on your balance. Higher balances earn higher rates.

2. Citibank – $400 bonus with $15,000 minimum deposit

Citibank Account Package

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on Citi’s secure website

Member FDIC

Based in Sioux Falls, S.D., Citi traces its history back to New York City in 1812. Snag a $400 reward from Citibank by being a new customer and opening a Citibank Account Package by January 5, 2021. Deposit at least $15,000 in either the checking or savings account within the package within 30 days of opening the account. The money must be new to Citibank and kept across both accounts for 60 days.

The Citibank Account package includes both the checking and savings account. There is a $25 monthly fee which you can waive with a $10,000 minimum balance across both accounts. The checking account earns a 0.01% APY, and the savings account will earn between 0.04% and 0.13%, depending on your balance. Citibank offers a mobile app to access your accounts.

3. PNC Bank – Up to $350 bonus with $5,000 direct deposits

PNC Bank – Up to $350 bonus with $5,000 from PNC

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on PNC’s secure website

PNC Bank was established way back in 1804. The bank is based in Wilmington, Del. and has branches in 21 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to its personal deposit accounts, PNC Bank also offers loan and investment products, as well as services for businesses.

PNC Bank offers the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus to new Virtual Wallet customers who open new PNC accounts on this page. These three separate offers end on July 31, 2020:

  • To earn $300, open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Select and receive at least $5,000 in total direct deposits.
  • To earn $200, open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and receive at least $2,000 in total direct deposits.
  • To earn $50, open a new Virtual Wallet account and receive at least $500 in total direct deposits.

Note that you can earn only one bonus. Whichever bonus you shoot for, you must also make at least 10 purchases with your PNC Bank Visa Debit Card. All requirements must be met within the first 60 days after account opening.

Only new PNC Bank customers are eligible for these offers, which excludes those who currently own an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account, have closed an account within the past 90 days or have been paid a promotional bonus in the past 12 months.

Performance Select charges a $25 waivable monthly fee. It includes a checking account that earns 0.01% APY and a savings account that earns 0.10% APY, with the opportunity for higher relationship rates. Performance Spend charges a $15 waivable monthly fee and earns 0.01% APY on primary checking account balances of $2,000 or more, while its second checking component earns 0.01% on all balances. Its Growth savings component earns 0.10% APY, or higher rates for relationship accounts. Virtual Wallet charges a $7 waivable monthly fee and includes a non-interest-bearing checking account, another checking account that earns 0.01% APY and a savings account that earns 0.10% APY, with relationship rate potential.

4. Chase – Up to $350 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit and direct deposit in a qualifying checking account

Chase Savings from Chase Bank

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Established way back in 1824, Chase is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It has a presence in 33 states and Washington D.C.

Another checking and savings mix-and-match bonus, you have until October 14, 2020 to open a new Chase Total Checking account. Once it’s open, setting up direct deposit will snag you a $200 bonus. Earn another $150 when you open a Chase Savings account and deposit at least $10,000 in new money within 20 business days. You must also maintain that balance for at least 90 days.

The accounts themselves aren’t too remarkable. The Chase Total Checking account charges a $12 monthly fee unless you have direct deposits totaling $500 or more, a minimum $1,500 balance at the beginning of each day or a $5,000 average beginning day balance in combined account balances. The Chase Savings account also charges a fee, $5 per month, that you can waive with a minimum $300 balance at the beginning of each day, at least one repeating automatic transfer of at least $25 or more from your personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid® Card, a linked Chase College Checking account for Overdraft Protection, an account owner younger than 18 or a qualifying linked account. Chase provides users with a mobile app to manage accounts.

5. Regions Bank — Up to $100 bonus with $10 monthly minimum deposit

LifeGreen Savings account from Regions Bank

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on Regions Bank’s secure website

Established in 1928, Regions Bank is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. It has offices in 15 states and offers banking, investing and borrowing products for individuals and businesses, both small and large.

The Regions Bank LifeGreen Savings account offers a 1% annual bonus up to $100. You can earn this bonus by setting up an automatic transfer of at least $10 from a Regions checking account to the LifeGreen Savings account at least 10 of the 12 months before your account opening anniversary. The bonus amount is based on the average monthly balance for the 12 calendar months before your anniversary.

You must have a Regions checking account to open a LifeGreen Savings account. There is no monthly fee. You need at least $50 to open the account online, or $5 if you open at a branch and set up an automatic recurring monthly transfer from your Regions checking account. You can use this account as overdraft protection for your checking account. The LifeGreen Savings account is limited to three outgoing transfers per statement cycle; each excess transaction will cost $3.

Best Savings Account Rates from Credit Unions

Some people prefer to do their banking with credit unions because of the member benefits that extend beyond the deposit accounts. This list includes credit unions that currently offer the best savings account rates for low and high depositors.

1. Digital Federal Credit Union – 6.17% APY, up to $1,000 account balance

Chartered in 1979, Digital Federal Credit Union is based in Marlborough, Mass. and is the largest credit union headquartered in New England by asset size. Eligibility for DCU membership is based on your family relationship to a current member, the company you work for or retired from, an organization you belong to or a community you’re a member of (where you live, worship, attend school, etc).

DCU offers its members a whopping 6.17% APY on its Primary Savings account. However, this high APY applies to the first $1,000 in your account. Everything over that will earn 0.25% APY. The account requires a $5 opening deposit and balance to maintain membership. There is no monthly service fee.

Transfers through DCU’s Payment Center impose a minimum amount of $0.01 and maximum amount of $2,500.

DCU offers account access through branches (both DCU and CO-OP), online, at ATMS and over the phone. There is no mobile app.

2. Blue Federal Credit Union — 5.00% APY, $25 minimum deposit

Accelerated Savings from Blue Federal Credit Union

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Blue Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Blue Federal Credit Union formed in 2016, as a merger of Wyoming-chartered Warren Federal Credit Union and Colorado-based Community Financial Credit Union. Blue has locations in Colorado and Wyoming, as well as thousands more CO-OP Shared Branches around the country.With a Blue Federal Credit Union Accelerated Savings account, it’s best to keep a maximum of $1,000 in the account. Balances between $25 to $1,000 maintain the high rate of 5.00% APY, while anything over $1,000 drops to 0.10% APY. To earn dividends at all, you must maintain a $25 minimum balance and make a transfer of at least $5 per month into the account. Dividends are calculated daily and paid monthly.Blue Federal Credit Union is accessible in person, over its 24/7 call center phone line, online and on mobile.

3. St. Mary’s Bank — 5.00% APY, $25 minimum deposit

Rainy Day Savings from St. Mary's Bank

SEE DETAILS Secured

on St. Mary's Bank’s secure website

Founded in 1908, St. Mary’s Bank is headquartered in Manchester, N.H. It was the first credit union founded in America, known then as St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association. All its locations are in New Hampshire, but membership is open to anyone who purchases one share of capital stock for $5.

For higher-than-usual savings at St. Mary’s Bank, look to its Rainy Day Savings account. It gives a big 5.00% APY boost to balances $25 – $499. Balances between $500 and $999 earn 3.00% APY, remaining competitive, but balances $1,000 and over drop to a mere 0.05% APY. To earn interest, you must make a monthly automatic transfer of at least $25 from direct deposit or a St. Mary’s Bank checking account.

Almost quite literally meant for rainy day savings, this account limits you to one free withdrawal per month. Each subsequent withdrawal will cost $2. There is no monthly fee on the account.

St. Mary’s Bank is accessible online, over the phone, at branches and through its free mobile banking app, available for Android and Apple devices.

4. PenFed Credit Union — 1.00% APY, $5 minimum deposit to open

PenFed Credit Union was founded in 1935. It has financial centers around the country, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa. You can join PenFed if you are employed, retired or honorably discharged from organizations like the Coast Guard or Army or are a member of organizations like the American Red Cross or American Society of Military Comptrollers. You may also be able to join if you don’t fall under those categories, depending on the credit union’s discretion.

PenFed’s high-earning account is its Premium Online Savings Account, which requires at least $5 to open. Plus, there’s no monthly fee and its competitive rate applies to all balances.

You can access the Premium Online Savings Account online. There is no ATM access. As for transfers, you’re limited to $50,000 in incoming transfers and $25,000 in outgoing transfers that you initiate at PenFed. To deposit or withdraw funds outside of this limit, you can request a wire transfer.

5. Quorum Federal Credit Union – 0.75% APY, no minimum deposit to open account

HighQ from Quorum Federal Credit Union

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Quorum Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Quorum was chartered in 1977 and is based in Purchase, N.Y. Quorum Federal Credit Union membership is open to employees and retirees of select employee groups and individuals associated with affiliated groups and associations.

Earn 0.75% APY with the HighQ Savings account, no matter your balance. There’s no minimum deposit requirement, either. There is no monthly fee when you elect for eStatements; otherwise, paper statements will incur a $10 monthly fee.

In addition to online and ACH transfers, you can deposit money into your Quorum account through mobile check deposit and deposit-taking ATMs and Shared Service Centers. Transferring money from an external account can take up to three business days.

The Quorum mobile app allows you to manage your accounts and deposit checks on the go and is available for both Android and iOS.

Methodology

To find the best savings accounts, MagnifyMoney looks at over 6,000 financial institutions each week, from small community banks and credit unions to traditional brick-and-mortar banks to new online banks.

Savings account rates: We heavily weighted the APYs offered by each bank in terms of both magnitude and consistency. Higher savings rates were prioritized over lower rates. Due to the variable rates on savings accounts, we also gave additional consideration to banks that were known to maintain competitive rates over longer periods of time.

Minimum deposit and balance requirements: To ensure accessibility to all customers, we focused on banks that welcome deposits of all sizes, where the ideal banks in this category have minimum balance and deposit requirements of $0.

Bank account fees: Unnecessary fees can eat into your long-term savings in a major way. Banks that offered low or no fees were given priority in this category over banks that are known to charge account maintenance fees, service charges and other surcharges.

Customer service: We considered overall customer satisfaction and bank reputation when weighing each bank performance in this category. While each customer’s experience varies, we looked at relative feedback each bank received at the national level based on data sourced from consumer advocates like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau. Banks that failed to meet minimum standards of performance were excluded.

What should I know about savings accounts?

It’s easy to take your savings account for granted, setting up automatic deposits and forgetting about it. But there’s a lot more to savings accounts that you should know.

Read on to find out more about how savings accounts work, how many savings accounts you should have and more.

What is a savings account

The definition of a savings account is a deposit account that earns interest and allows six “convenient” withdrawals per statement cycle. This limit applies to telephonic transfers, preauthorized and automatic transfers and withdrawals and transfers made by check, debit card or another similar method. Savings accounts are offered by traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online banks, credit unions and other financial institutions.

Deposits held in savings accounts at banks are typically insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), while credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). When looking for the best savings account, always choose an institution insured by either the FDIC or the NCUA. This protects your savings account with the backing of the U.S. Federal Government in the event that your bank fails.

How do savings accounts work

Savings accounts are interest-bearing deposit accounts that hold your money safely and securely with a financial institution. They are liquid, meaning you can withdraw your money at any time you choose. However, due to the limitations of the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, savings accounts only allow six convenient transfers and withdrawals per statement cycle. Exceeding this limit will typically result in a fee for each additional transaction.

While almost all savings accounts earn interest, the earnings may vary depending on what type of bank you choose.

When should I use a savings account

You can use a savings account to house your emergency fund as well as any cash you don’t need to cover your monthly spending habits. Savings accounts are highly liquid and easy to access when you need them — certificates of deposit (CDs) and investment accounts are much less liquid — but still earns more interest than regular checking accounts.

Savings accounts are most often used for general savings, and they’re a much better choice than keeping all of your money in a checking account. A savings account with a competitive rate lets your money grow by earning a strong interest rate. Still, it’s always best to keep a financial cushion in your checking account, to cover expenses and avoid overdrafts.

Separate savings accounts are a great way to meet multiple financial goals. For example, you could save funds for future college tuition costs in one savings account, and money for your next vacation in a separate savings account.

How to choose the right savings account for you

When shopping for the best savings account, your first consideration should be an account’s interest rate. If you’re going to let your money sit somewhere, you want to make it a worthwhile investment. Second, check for fees — there’s no use earning a lot in savings if that’s just going to be taken away by pesky fees. Finally, consider broadening your horizons so you can weigh all your options.

Compare offers to get the best savings rate. Use our savings account comparison tool to calculate how much you could earn with different accounts. You can filter by ZIP code and size, which can help large-balance savers find better options than no-minimum options.

Don’t forget about fees. Snagging the highest interest rate isn’t always your best bet. You also want to ensure the whole account helps you earn consistent returns. For example, a high-rate savings account might reset to a lower APY after an introductory period. Perhaps the best rate requires a balance that’s too high or too low for your needs. And watch out for monthly fees that could eat into your savings.

Compare options beyond banks. It’s easy to keep a savings account with the bank your family has banked with for generations. But you could be missing out on incredible savings by ignoring new banks and even credit unions.

Think beyond your savings rate. Don’t let yourself get stuck focusing solely on rates. Most banks complement their savings accounts with a contingent of other account types, like checking or CD products. Do you work with cash a lot or require specialized services like obtaining cashiers checks or want access to a checkbook? The online banks who typically offer the highest APYs may fall short in these categories.

What are the different types of savings accounts

Financial institutions offer a few different varieties of savings accounts. For instance, a money market account is technically a type of savings account under Regulation D, but it’s often marketed under its own name.

Certain labels are applied to savings accounts to differentiate features or ownership types. For example, an online savings account is just a standard savings account that’s available online. Likewise, a high-yield savings account is simply a standard savings account that earns a high interest rate.

Differences in account ownership do not change the way savings accounts function — withdrawal limits and interest rates remain the same. That said, there are a few details worth highlighting when it comes to savings account ownership types:

Individual savings account: This is a savings account for one person. No one else can access funds saved in the account unless the savings account holder authorizes it. You may see savings accounts marketed with other labels like “high yield” or “online” savings accounts, but they all fall underneath the same umbrella of “individual savings accounts”.

High yield savings account: These savings accounts focus on offering the highest savings rates. They are offered by a number of online, local, and national banking institutions. The higher rates on these accounts may be offset by a limited selection of banking services. You can read more about these in our review of the best high yield savings accounts.

Online savings account: These savings accounts focus on ease of access with 24/7 access to online banking and they often overlap with high yield savings accounts. It may be difficult to deposit/withdraw cash and checks with online savings accounts, due to their limited ATM networks and lack of physical branches.

Joint savings account: With a joint savings account, two or more people share equal access to funds saved in the account. These are distinct from individual savings accounts.

Custodial account: These accounts let a designated custodian manage funds for the benefit of a minor, who then assumes ownership of the account when they turn 18 or 21 years old, depending on the state. Common custodial accounts are associated with UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) and UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) agreements. These are functionally distinct from individual savings accounts.

Payable on Death (POD) account: This type lets the account owner choose beneficiaries who inherit the funds saved in the account after the owner passes away. These are functionally distinct from individual savings accounts.

Determining which is the best savings account for you can be a difficult decision and will depend on your individual needs. However, there’s no real limit to the number of savings accounts that you can open; take some time to shop around to find a savings account that combines the highest rates, greatest convenience and still fits your unique needs.

What are the typical fees associated with savings accounts?

The main fee you should look out for when shopping for any bank account is the pesky monthly service fee. These fees are charged for simply owning an account, and can range from as little as $5 to as much as $25, depending on the institution and the account.

Another common fee associated with savings accounts is the excessive transaction fee. This fee is charged each time you go over the legal limit of six transfers per statement cycle, and usually runs around $10. Some institutions, like Synchrony, do not charge an excessive transaction fee; however, they will close the account if an account holder makes excessive transactions more than occasionally.

You should also watch out for a paper statement fee. Technically this is not a monthly service fee, but many institutions charge you on a monthly basis if you choose to receive paper statements in addition to electronic statements. Some savings accounts have done away with paper statements altogether; check with your bank to confirm their terms and conditions.

Should I have a savings account at the same bank as my checking account?

You certainly could choose to keep your savings account at the same bank as your checking account for convenience’s sake, but that doesn’t mean you should. Your savings deserve the best interest rate available, which earns you the highest possible return. If you keep your checking account with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, you’re not likely to find the best savings account rates at the same institution.

To get the best return on your savings possible, open a savings account with a competitive APY. These accounts are most often found at online banks, but a handful of brick-and-mortar institutions have started offering high-rate savings accounts that outearn their regular savings accounts by a mile.

It’s not that there aren’t any advantages to keeping a savings account at the same institution as your checking account — you do get slightly quicker transfers between the accounts, and you can see both accounts in a single app dashboard. If these benefits are important to you, check out Ally Bank, Discover Bank or Capital One 360. They offer competitive rates on both savings and checking, and Capital One 360 also has the benefit of branches in select states.

Savings Account FAQs

Your money is safe in a savings account as long as you bank with a reputable, insured institution. Your money is protected in case of bank failure by the FDIC for bank deposits or by the NCUA for credit union deposits. Your money should also be protected by safety measures taken by each institution, like firewalls, encryption, antivirus and anti-fraud detection and more. If you want to know more about the systems your bank has in place, you can typically find the information on their website or by giving them a call. It’s a good idea to take safety and privacy into account when shopping for the best savings account.

Savings account rates are one of the most important features when looking for an account. If your money is going to sit in an account, you might as well make it worth your while by growing it at a competitive rate. It’s important to note that institutions tend to reserve the right to change their rates at any time, without warning. Luckily, there are institutions that notify you of upcoming changes, especially if it’s a substantial rate change. Each institution’s level of transparency and communication is something to consider when shopping around for the best savings account. Looking at an institutions historical rate changes will allow you to choose a bank that has consistently high rates.

The choice between bank and credit union is largely based on personal preference. Credit unions tend to be more community-focused than banks. You’re a member of a credit union, not a customer, so credit union members often have a say in credit union governance matters and elections. Plus, credit unions are often based around a specific geographic area, so you can build relationships with employees and fellow members.

You have to pay taxes on your savings account (and other deposit accounts) if you earned $10 or more in interest per year.Your bank will send you (and the IRS) a copy of Form 1099-INT if you meet or exceed this interest earnings threshold. If you don’t receive a 1099-INT from your bank, but earned $10 or more in interest, you’ll still need to report the earnings on your tax return.

Interest earnings are considered regular income for tax purposes. If you earned more than $1,500 in interest, you’ll need to detail the sources of that income on Schedule B of Form 1040.

You may wish to open multiple savings accounts if you’re an individual with over $250,000 in savings. The FDIC and NCUA insurance only cover your bank accounts at the institution level. If you have an amount that exceeds the $250,000 insurance limit, you should spread your money out between multiple banks.This means that even if you have multiple savings accounts at the same bank, they would all be subject to the same $250,000 insurance limit. However, if you were to open multiple savings accounts across different institutions, you would be guaranteed up to $250,000 at each bank. This would allow all your money to be FDIC- or NCUA-insured.

Technically, there’s nothing stopping you from opening as many savings accounts as you want. However, this can get pretty cluttered and you can lose track of all your finances easily if you’re not careful. Make sure you’re getting the best savings rates for each account you open by shopping around.

You usually can open two or more savings accounts at the same bank, depending on the bank’s own policies. Each account will have its own account number. This tactic can be good for separating different savings goals. Oftentimes, banks can offer more than one type of account which can fit different needs. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get the best rates at the same bank. It’s still a good idea to shop across multiple banks to find the best savings account that suits your needs.

You can make ACH transfers and wire transfers from a savings account. If your account includes a debit/ATM card or checks, you can also make payments via those methods. Still, don’t forget that savings accounts are limited to six transfers and withdrawals per statement cycle. If you exceed these limits, you run the risk of incurring excessive withdrawal fees or having your savings account closed altogether.

Most savings accounts don’t include a debit or ATM card, which limits your ability to make in-person purchases. However, you can set up an ACH or wire transfer with your savings account number and bank routing number to send money for a purchase.

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Banking

List of Banks and Credit Unions Offering COVID-19 Relief

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

Millions of Americans are struggling with changes to their work hours and incomes. In response, many banks and credit unions are offering relief packages, often waiving certain fees or granting expedited services. Although not listed below, community banks may offer an even stronger support system to those financially impacted.

We will continue to update this page regularly.

List of banks and credit unions offering relief to customers affected by COVID-19

Alliant Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Alliant Credit Union does not currently have a COVID-related information page available on its website. However, according to an Alliant representative, the credit union is working with members on a case-by-case basis to remove deposit-related account fees.

Ally Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Online-only Ally Bank currently has an expansive COVID-19 relief plan, especially in comparison to other banks. The bank has outlined measures to help customers, employees and communities.

Until July 18, 2020, Ally Bank deposits customers can benefit from waived overdraft fees; free expedited checks and debit cards; and refunded excessive transaction fees on your savings or money market accounts.

Transfers and online payments remain uninterrupted. Plus, Ally Bank has made it faster to deposit checks of $50,000 or less online with Ally eCheck deposit. You can still use mobile deposit via the Ally Mobile app.

American Express

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

American Express has not released any specific COVID-19 relief plans to help its Personal Savings banking customers at this time.

Customers of the online-only bank can continue to access their accounts online. They can also call customer service at 1-800-446-6307 — just beware that wait times may be longer than usual.

Bank of America

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Bank of America’s COVID-19 response is to urge customers who are facing financial hardship to contact a representative to request refunds for fees on overdrafts, non-sufficient funds and monthly maintenance. Customers may also use the bank’s virtual assistant, Erica, to get answers to any questions, including those that are coronavirus-related.

Bank of America also encourages its customers to turn to mobile and online banking first, both of which allow you to check your account status, pay bills and deposit checks.

Bank of America financial centers remain open, although at modified hours and with longer reported wait times. It helps to check a Bank of America financial center’s hours or confirm which branches offer drive-thru ATMs or tellers or video conferencing. Branches have “enhanced, daily cleanings” and “other measures to limit the risk of exposure, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

BBVA

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

BBVA has dialed back its relief offerings related to COVID-19 hardship. Banking customers can request overdraft fee refunds by calling 1-844-228-1872.

Select BBVA locations are reopening lobbies with provided hand sanitizer, signage and floor markers for social distancing, plexiglass shields and enhanced cleaning. No more than five customers at a time are allowed inside a branch, and BBVA bankers will wear masks and gloves. The bank asks that customers wear masks, and use the drive-thru if experiencing symptoms or believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Banking center lobbies that have not fully reopened may still be accessed via appointment by calling your banker or banking center. BBVA Online Banking and the BBVA Mobile Banking App are also available to you 24/7.

BMO Harris

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Under its financial relief program, BMO Harris asks deposit account customers with questions about account fees to send them a message. Customers can expect a response within 2 business days.

You can also call the bank’s Customer Contact Center at 1-888-340-2265. If you need assistance with your credit card account — whether to report a lost or stolen debit card, activate a debit card or reset your BMO Digital Banking password — bankers are available 24/7.

Select BMO branches are reopening by appointment only, while drive-up service remains available at most branches.

Capital One

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Capital One is waiving its out-of-network ATM fee. It won’t reimburse you for a third-party surcharge, though.

If you are facing financial difficulties, you can contact Capital One and a representative can help to find a solution for you. Note that customer service wait times are likely longer than usual right now.

Capital One has temporarily closed select branches that do not have drive-thru tellers or protective glass at teller counters. Branches that do have those features will remain open via those outlets and are being disinfected per CDC guidelines. Tellers may still assist customers in the lobby in special circumstances. Capital One ATMs remain open 24/7. Capital One also strongly encourages its customers to use the Capital One mobile app or online banking to make payments, check balances and deposit checks.

Charles Schwab

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Charles Schwab has no specific measures in place to provide relief aid to its banking customers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Schwab branches are temporarily closed and will remain so until local, state and federal government recommendations indicate it is safe to reopen. Still, you can contact a branch directly by phone to reach a representative. Schwab also encourages customers to go digital by completing tasks online or via its mobile app, which includes check-depositing capabilities.

Chase

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

In light of the pandemic, Chase Bank customers are encouraged to use the Chase Mobile app and online banking to complete their account-related tasks. Chase asks that those who need help because of COVID-19 reach out to a representative, though you may experience wait times that are longer than usual.

Most Chase branches are now open during normal business hours although you may want to check a branch’s status online or on the Chase Mobile app. Chase branches and ATMs are being cleaned with EPA-approved disinfectants and branches now include plexiglass dividers and hand sanitizer. Chase asks customers to wear masks, maintain six feet of distance and stay home if you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or are feeling sick.

On a wider scale, JPMorgan Chase pledged $50 million to nonprofit organizations to help support “healthcare, food and other humanitarian relief” efforts globally; community partners; and small businesses in the U.S., China and Europe.

Citibank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citibank is waiving fees for monthly account service, safe deposit boxes and non-Citi ATM usage, as well as CD early withdrawal penalties.

Citibank also asks that those affected by COVID-19 contact the bank for assistance, although wait times may be longer than usual. If you already work with a personal banker or financial advisor through Citibank, you can contact them directly during their regular business hours. You can also text “App” to 692-484 to avoid call wait times and Citi will direct you to its digital tools or automated response system or send you a link to message a representative in the Citi Mobile App.

Select Citibank branches are closed and those that are open are operating under temporarily limited hours and undergoing “daily cleaning procedures … on high-touch surfaces,” providing hand sanitizer and practicing CDC recommendations like social distancing. You can also access your accounts and funds via the Citi Mobile app, the Citibank website and Citi ATMs on a 24/7 basis.

Citizens Access

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citizens Access encourages customers to contact its Customer Care team through a a secure message through your online account or by calling a representative at 1-888-201-6505, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. You can expect a secure message response within one to three days; wait times on the phone will also be longer.

As Citizens Access has no physical branches, you can always access your account online, both on desktop and your mobile browser. The bank does not have a mobile app.

Citizens Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Citizens Bank deposit account customers can expect overdraft fee waivers, service charge reversal and penalty-free early CD withdrawals, as part of the bank’s COVID-19 relief response. Customers with checking, savings and CD accounts can call customer service at 1-800-922-9999 Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time. If you want to open a new account over the phone, you can call 1-877-360-2472.

Citizens Bank branches remain open, but hours may vary by state and region. Branches now have enhanced maintenance and cleaning practices.

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Digital Federal Credit Union offers an extensive financial relief program, which is available to its members in any financial rut, not just during this pandemic. Until further notice, DCU is offering unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and forgoing all overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees. Those who need to borrow money during this time may take out a personal loan from DCU, which won’t require payments for 60 days on loans opened after March 25, 2020.

All DCU branch lobbies are open by appointment only, though some branches remain open through their drive-up teller windows, which can help you with normal transactions and are open at normal hours. You can check your branch status and hours here.

Otherwise, you can access your account 24/7 via online banking and the DCU mobile app. You can also send an email for non-urgent requests, which are typically answered in two business days, or you can call customer service, though it is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes that may result in much longer wait times.

Discover

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Discover has “support in place for qualified Discover customers who experience hardship” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although it is unclear what qualifies customers to receive this support, a Discover representative adds that “Discover customers may receive assistance related to payments, fees and interest.”

Discover Online Banking customers can call 1-800-347-7000 (TTY/TDD 1-800-347-7454) any time to reach a Discover representative for assistance. You also can continue to access your accounts online or via the Discover mobile app.

Fifth Third Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Fifth Third Bank deposit account customers can request hardship assistance through online banking or by calling 1-800-972-3030 during business hours.

Fifth Third branches are reopening; you can check your branch’s status here. Fifth Third will implement enhanced cleaning and safety measures including clear panels at teller lines, floor markers, fewer teller lines and masks on employees. Fifth Third also asks that you bring your government-issued photo ID when visiting a branch.

You can still schedule a phone or in-branch appointment or visit a branch’s drive-thru window for simple transactions. For most other services, like checking balances or ACH transfers, you can use the bank’s website or mobile app.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Customers of Marcus by Goldman Sachs can make penalty-free withdrawals from regular CDs at this time, as a direct response to COVID-19. You can do so by calling 1-855-730-7283. Marcus contact centers are operating virtually, with temporary hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

You can still access your Marcus accounts online. Apple device users can also benefit from the Marcus mobile app.

KeyBank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Select KeyBank customers “may be eligible for immediate help,”which can include “waiving certain service charges on KeyBank checking and savings accounts.”

Almost all KeyBank branches have reopened. Customers who are age 65 or older or have a health condition are asked to contact a branch to set up an appointment for in-branch banking. Branches will have hand sanitizer, plexiglass barriers at teller windows and desks, floor markers for social distancing and masks on team members. KeyBank also asks customers to wear masks as well.

You can always access your accounts online and through KeyBank’s mobile app, which KeyBank encourages you use if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call KeyBank’s 24/7 customer service line at 1-800-539-2968, though be aware that there are currently longer hold times than usual.

The KeyBank Foundation has also made an initial $1 million commitment to “support vulnerable individuals, small businesses and neighborhoods.”

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

During this time, Navy Federal Credit Union members can withdraw from certificates before maturity without penalty; get free overnight shipping on cashier’s checks and debit cards; deposit up to $50,000 per day via mobile deposit; and withdraw up to $1,000 per day from non-Navy Federal ATMs (the $1,000 daily limit on Navy Federal ATMs remains).

Members can also take advantage of the credit union’s OOPS overdraft protection for all checking accounts, which offers no fee on overdraft transactions of less than $5 and caps overdraft charges at three per day. Members with OOPS can request a refund for the $20 overdraft fee charged and for non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees by sending a secure message through your account.

Most Navy Federal branches have reopened, and over 100 branches open an hour early for high-risk and senior customers. Branches have increased disinfectant and social distancing practices in place. You can check the status of your local branch here or on the Navy Federal Mobile app, where you can also find accessible ATMs.

PenFed Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

PenFed Credit Union is not offering specific relief measures for its deposit account members in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Select PenFed financial centers are temporarily closed, while others are operating on adjusted hours. Saturday drive-thru service at open financial centers only includes everyday financial transactions like cash withdrawals and loan payments.

PenFed encourages customers to contact their local branch for information about updated hours and services, which you can also check online on the bank’s locations page and COVID-19 information page. You also can access your accounts for several services online and on the PenFed mobile app.

PNC Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

PNC Bankcustomers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 should call 1-888-762-2265, which is available 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Virtual Wallet customers may call 1-800-352-2255, available during the same hours.

If you are eligible for assistance, a PNC representative will discuss your options with you, which include waiving or refunding fees on deposit accounts (and other products). Qualified customers can also take out an emergency hardship loan “at a low rate.” PNC did not make it clear how it determines eligibility for assistance, but it stressed that customers should call for help.

Select PNC branches remain open with limited hours and access, while others are open by appointment only. Drive-up window services are also in service where available. Open branches will have clear panels at teller lines and in offices, floor markers, face coverings on bankers and heightened cleaning processes.

You can use PNC’s branch locator to check the status of a branch and to find a branch that offers essential appointments, made available for safe deposit box access, loan closings or other banking services that you cannot make otherwise. PNC is also still widely accessible via online, mobile and voice banking.

State Employees’ Credit Union

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

State Employees’ Credit Uniondoes not have specific relief plans in place for its deposit account customers, although its loan customers can seek assistance in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Members can contact a representative through a secure message when logged into their account, by calling your local branch or by calling 24/7 Member Services at 888-732-8562 to “discuss how they can help.” Note that Member Services is experiencing high call volumes between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.

SECU branches are back open for in-person service, although the credit union encourages members to continue to use drive-thru, online, mobile and telephone services when possible. SECU will limit the number of individuals allowed in a branch at one time and will require both employees and members wear a face covering while in a branch. Branches also have floor markings for social distancing, acrylic shields, sanitizer, gloves and regularly scheduled cleaning.

TD Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

TD Bank encourages customers affected by COVID-19 to call 1-888-751-9000 to see how the bank can support you as it says it “may be able to provide some financial relief.” Of course, wait times are uncharacteristically long at this time.

Assistance options offered by TD Bank will depend on your situation and request but may include fee refunds, early, penalty-free access to CDs and payment extensions. The bank’s customer assistance offers continue to evolve as well, according to a bank representative.

Most TD Bank branches are temporarily closed or operating via drive-thru only. At TD Bank drive-thrus, you can make deposits, withdrawals and payments; cash checks; get a bank check or money order; and make business deposits or coin orders. Branches with open lobbies are available by appointment only. Lobbies will also have virtual check-in, limited capacity, floor stickers for social distancing, plexiglass screens and required face coverings in applicable states and cities.

TD Bank ATMs are still accessible, as is its website and banking app.

TIAA Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

As part of the bank’s coronavirus relief response, TIAA Bank deposit account customers can benefit from waived fees for wire transfers, ATM transactions and insufficient funds.TIAA has also increased debit and cash withdrawal limits.

TIAA Bank financial centers have all moved to drive-thru tellers only. Those that don’t have a drive-thru window will see clients through appointment only. You can set up an appointment by calling your local financial center.

You may also easily manage your TIAA Bank accounts online and through the TIAA mobile app. To speak with a representative, banking customers may call 1-888-882-3837 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, although wait times are abnormally long.

Truist (formerly BB&T and SunTrust)

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Truist, the result of a recent merger between BB&T and SunTrust, does not offer any relief related to its deposit accounts.

For further assistance, Truist encourages heritage BB&T clients to call 1-800-226-5228 and heritage SunTrust clients to call 1-877-820-2103. Watch out for long wait times, however, which customers have reported on social media.

Local BB&T and SunTrust branch hours and services are temporarily moving to drive-thru teller services only, appointment-only in-person visits and select branch closures. Customers still have 24/7 access to ATMs as well as online, mobile and telephone banking.

Truist has also established a $25 million Truist Cares initiative, which will provide funding to the CDC Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine; local United Way organizations; and grants to Truist’s community partners.

U.S. Bank

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

U.S. Bank has suspended fees related to excessive withdrawals. Deposits customers who have been financially affected by COVID-19 should call the bank at 1-888-287-7817 for assistance.

U.S. Bank branch operations are temporarily reduced, and the bank encourages customers to use drive-up windows instead of going inside a branch. You can check your local branch’s hours and status online. Otherwise, you can still access your U.S. Bank accounts on the bank’s mobile app, by phone or on its website.

Wells Fargo

  • Waives ATM fees
  • Waives overdraft/NSF fees
  • Waives excessive transaction fees
  • Waives early CD withdrawal penalty

Wells Fargo has said it will offer fee waivers for customers who contact the company. On a larger scale, the Wells Fargo Foundation has pledged up to $6.25 million in donations “to support domestic and global response to the COVID-19 and to aid public health relief efforts.” This includes funding “at the local level,” as well as for the national CDC and the International Medical Corps.

Wells Fargo branches are cautiously reopening with adjusted hours and safety practices. The bank suggests you make an appointment if you want to see a banker to avoid longer wait times. Wells Fargo also asks that customers wear masks and do not visit a branch or office if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. Wells Fargo call centers still remain open, though they are experiencing higher-than-normal call volume and longer wait times.

You can also access your accounts online and on the Wells Fargo Mobile app, where you can deposit checks, move money and more. Wells Fargo also reminds customers that they can use contactless cards or digital wallets for payments.

Additional bank and federal advisories for customers

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) have temporarily extended unlimited insurance. Thanks to the CARES Act, your bank and credit union deposits are wholly insured through Dec. 31, 2020. Typically, an individual is covered up to $250,000 per account type, with increased FDIC insurance for joint ownership or beneficiaries. This temporary extension means you don’t have to worry about losing any of your money in a checking, savings, CD or money market account in the event of a bank or credit union failure.

The Federal Reserve has temporarily amended Regulation D to allow for more than six withdrawals from savings accounts. One way that Regulation D differentiates savings accounts from checking accounts is by limiting savings accounts to six “convenient” transfers per month. This includes pre-authorized and automatic transfers; telephone transfers; and withdrawals and transfers made by check, debit card or a similar method. For now, you don’t have to worry about this limitation.

Less “convenient” transfers which are not included in that otherwise limited category are those made in person at the bank, by mail, at an ATM or over the phone when you receive the withdrawal via a check in the mail.

Typically, going over the “convenient” transfers limit would result in an excessive transaction fee charged by the bank. With the Fed’s latest change, your bank may also waive their excessive transaction fees as further COVID-19 relief.

Many institutions are warning customers about keeping their information and money safe from fraudsters. Unfortunately, scams and phishing attempts are cropping up to take advantage of this crisis. Be wary of phone calls, emails and texts from suspicious senders who ask for personal or account information, and avoid clicking on links in emails and texts. When in doubt, head to your institution’s official website to verify your bank’s contact information, or log into your account to access its secure messaging system.

Government relief and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

American taxpayers and business owners may also get some relief from the U.S. government’s $2 trillion financial relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in late March.
Find out how you can benefit from the relief package below.

One-time stimulus checks

Taxpayers’ long-awaited direct payments, or recovery rebates, will be determined by their most recent tax return. For many, this will be your 2019 tax return, since we have yet to file taxes for 2020. If you have not yet filed your 2019 tax return, the government will turn to your 2018 return instead.

How much you’ll get: For individuals, the plan will provide one-time direct payments of $1,200 ($2,400 for joint returns) to those with an annual income of $75,000 or less. Payments will decrease incrementally for those who made more than $75,000 and will stop altogether for individuals who earned more than $99,000. Individuals will also receive an additional $500 per child. You can use our stimulus check calculator to determine your payment amount.

What to do to get your stimulus check: For most taxpayers, there’s no need to sign up. All you need is a valid Social Security number to receive these relief rebates. Depending on what you requested on your tax return, the IRS will send the payment either via direct deposit or a paper check.

  • If you receive Social Security retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance or Railroad Retirement benefits, the IRS will use the information on your 1099 Social Security forms (Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099) to determine your payments. Individuals who qualify with these forms will only receive additional payments for dependents at this time if they registered their dependents via the IRS’ Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool by April 22, 2020. Otherwise, the additional $500 payment per eligible dependent will be paid in association with your tax filing for tax year 2020.
  • Other eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents may use the IRS’ Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool. You can use this tool to submit your most recent banking information to the IRS for faster payment. You are eligible to use this tool if you had a gross income of $12,200 or less ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 and were not required to file, nor planned to file, a federal income tax return for 2019. You will have to submit your current mailing address, an email address and valid Social Security number, in addition to other personal and identifying information.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and veterans who receive veterans disability compensation, pension or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and who did not file a tax return for either 2018 or 2019, may also use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool, as these groups are not yet automatically eligible for economic impact payments.

When the stimulus checks will arrive: The IRS began sending out payments the week of April 13, 2020. You can expect your payment to come sooner if you have direct deposit set up on your tax return or submitted your bank account information via the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool.

You can track your payment with the IRS Get My Payment tool. This tool indicates the status of your payment, including the date your payment is scheduled to be direct deposited or mailed. Get My Payment will also provide eligible individuals a chance to submit their bank account information for direct deposit. If your check has already been scheduled for delivery, this feature will not work, so it’s best to take advantage of it as soon as possible

Fastest ways to get your stimulus check: The fastest way to get your stimulus check is via direct deposit to your bank account from the IRS. If your address or bank account information has changed since 2018, file your 2019 tax return as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.

Taxpayers with prepaid accounts can also receive the government COVID-19 stimulus checks, thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) relaxing rules around the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), which typically prohibits individuals from opening new accounts to receive government benefits. So if you have a prepaid account, you may want to provide the IRS with your account information via the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool as soon as possible so you can receive your stimulus payment faster.

What to know about taxes and stimulus checks: These recovery rebates are considered advanced tax credits for 2020 and should not be taxed for most. Since the payment amounts are determined based on your previous tax returns, however, the payments could be subject to adjustment if you earned more or less this year compared to prior years.

For example, if you received too large of a rebate proportionate to your most recent income, you could end up owing back the excess. However, it is so far expected that taxpayers will not have to return or pay tax on any portion of these rebates, regardless of income changes. If you receive a payment that is too low, you also may be able to receive a tax credit from your 2020 taxes to make up the difference.

Expanded unemployment benefits

For starters, individuals who have found themselves unable to work as a result of COVID-19, including those who are sick, quarantined or taking care of family members, will be able to collect unemployment, extending those benefits beyond those who were fired or laid off.

The CARES Act has also included self-employed individuals under this provision, meaning freelancers, gig workers and contractors may also collect unemployment during this time. Also included are people seeking part-time work; workers whose unemployment benefits have run out already; clergy and employees of religious organizations; and individuals whose work history would not typically be sufficient.

The stimulus bill will also add $600 on top of existing unemployment benefits (currently averaging about $300 a week) for four months and extend unemployment insurance by 13 weeks. The bill will also ensure that workers maintain their full salaries if they lose their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This additional funding will come from the federal government rather than from states and employers, who typically fund unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are still taxable under current law, which the stimulus bill does not account for. So if you are able, you may want to elect for tax withholding now, so you don’t get hit with a big bill at tax time.

How to file for unemployment: Unemployment insurance is done by state, so you will file for unemployment in the state where you last worked. If you worked in multiple states, you can apply in any one of those states. You can check your state’s benefits and eligibility requirements here.

The fastest and safest way to apply for unemployment at this time is via your state’s unemployment website or over the phone. However, given that millions of Americans have recently found themselves unemployed, you may face unusually long wait times when contacting unemployment offices. Perhaps visit your state’s website during off hours.

When you file for unemployment, you’ll have to provide your personal information, including your name, contact information, Social Security number and bank account information, if you have one, for direct deposits. You will also have to provide information about your last place of employment, including your past employer’s name and contact information, the last date you worked, the reason you’re not working anymore and your previous earnings.

Some states may require you to “certify for benefits” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, which requires you to prove your continued eligibility for unemployment benefits. This often includes showing that you are willing and able to work and that you are actively looking for employment. Some states may waive this requirement during this time.

Eased penalties around retirement account withdrawals

The bill also allows those affected by COVID-19 to withdraw up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts, including your 401(k) and IRAs, without facing the 10% early withdrawal penalty that typically applies when you make withdrawals when you are under the age of 59 ½. You will still have to pay income taxes on your withdrawals, though these taxes will now be due over the course of three years instead of immediately. Additionally, the bill waives required minimum distributions (RMDs) for select retirement plans for this year.

Qualified individuals include those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a spouse or dependent who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as those who have been laid off, quarantined, furloughed or faced reduced hours due to the pandemic. This applies through Dec. 31, 2020.

Even though the bill allows it, withdrawing from your retirement accounts before you’ve actually hit retirement is generally not the best plan — especially if you’re already close to retiring. By doing so, you run the high risk of hurting the nest egg that you’ve worked hard to build for retirement. Still, this may be the only source of money available to many right now.

Small business relief

The stimulus plan includes $425 billion for the Federal Reserve to leverage for emergency loans to distressed companies and $75 billion for industry-specific loans. Despite previous claims from President Trump that he alone would choose which businesses received aid, this lending system will fall under oversight by an inspector general and a congressionally-appointed panel.

The spending package also provides $350 billion that will go toward lending programs for small businesses, but only those that keep their payrolls steady through the crisis. There is also a reward for small businesses that keep their workers in the form of federally-guaranteed loans that will be forgiven if the employer continues to pay its workers throughout this time of crisis.

Additionally, the plan allocates $130 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments.

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