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We know that comparing the pros and cons of multiple investment services can be confusing. Our product reviews help you simplify the process by providing side-by-side evaluations of only the best choices available. The roundups weigh a broad selection of variables for each company’s product, with a special focus on fees and customer experience.

The variables we focus on will depend on audience and product type. For example, the ranking of our Best Brokers for Beginners places the emphasis on brokerage accounts with low account minimums and broad investment product offerings, while our Best Discount Brokers review places greater weight on low trading fees.

For all of the products we recommend, we evaluate three categories of variables: fees, product features and customer experience.

  • Fees: Nobody likes giving away money. Highlighting services with the lowest fees is a key objective when evaluating any financial service. Getting the best return on your investments also means minimizing the fees you need to pay.Variables: stock trading fees, option trading fees, management fees, account opening and closing fees, transfer fees, margin fees, among others.
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Joshua Rowe-Heupler
Joshua Rowe-Heupler |

Joshua Rowe-Heupler is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Joshua here

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Best of

Best Business Checking Accounts

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.

If you’re starting a business, one of the first steps to take is opening a business checking account. Being able to make transactions and deposit funds is an essential component of actually doing business, after all.

Every business owner will need different things from their checking account, based on factors like how many transactions you make per month and what kind of minimum balance you can manage. However, these are the basic business checking account features you need to look for:

  • Low transaction fees
  • Low minimum opening deposit and minimum balance requirements
  • High interest rates
  • Access to physical bank branches
  • Extensive ATM network

Since finding the right account can be a chore, we’ve compiled a round-up of the best business checking accounts that are currently available. Every month, we review business checking account rates using data from another LendingTree company, DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. We sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions that were not available nationwide and did not meet the five criteria above.

To make the cut, the account needed to have minimal fees, a minimum of 50 transactions per month and the option to waive monthly fees if certain requirements are met. While offering an APY wasn’t a requirement, it was taken into consideration when developing this list.

Best Business Checking Accounts of November 2019

Account NameMinimum Balance to Waive Monthly Fee Number of Transactions Per Month with No ChargeAPY

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Average daily balance of $5,000

Up to 500.80%

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Average monthly balance of $5,000

Unlimited0.75%

TIAA Bank Business Checking

Daily balance of $5,000

First 200 itemsNone

Chase Total Business Checking

Daily balance of $1,500

100None

First Citizens Bank Basic Business Checking

N/A

Up to 175 itemsNone

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000

UnlimitedNone

nbkc Bank Business Account

N/A

UnlimitedNone

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

Average monthly balance of $15,000

First 500 itemsNone

PNC Bank Business Checking

Average monthly collected balance of $500

Up to 150 transactionsNone

Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Axos Bank

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Axos Bank offers one of the few business checking accounts with minimal fees and a competitive APY, making it one of the best choices out there. Axos Bank’s Business Interest Checking account features an APY of 0.80% on account balances ranging from $0 to $5 million.

There is a $100 minimum required to open an account, and although the bank does charge a monthly maintenance fee of $1, you can waive the fee if you maintain a minimum average daily balance of $5,000. Other attractive features of the Axos Bank Business Interest Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 50 items per month, $0.50 after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, can be we waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited domestic reimbursements
  • Number of physical branches: Online only

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Radius Bank

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on Radius Bank’s secure website

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Radius Bank is another online-only option that offers a great business checking account. Radius Bank’s Tailored Checking account features an APY of 0.75% on balances over $5,000. Like Axos, there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5,000. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open an account, but no minimum balance requirement after that.

In addition to earning interest, other features of the Radius Bank Tailored Checking account worth noting are:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $10, but can be waived with average monthly balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: Unlimited ATM reimbursements, excluding international exchange fees)
  • Number of physical branches: One in Boston, otherwise it’s all online

TIAA Bank Business Checking

TIAA Bank

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on TIAA Bank’s secure website

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TIAA Bank offers a number of business checking accounts, ranging from options geared specifically to small businesses, to others tailored for non-profits. The standard Business Checking account is a solid product that ticks a number of boxes for a great, low-fee account. It’s worth noting that there’s a minimum deposit of $1,500 required to open an account, relatively higher than other business checking accounts out there.

TIAA Bank offers three other business checking accounts that are worth exploring, depending on your business’ needs. The Small Business Checking account is for sole proprietors and single owner LLCs, Non-Profit Checking is a low-fee option exclusively for non-profit enterprises, and there is a Business Analysis Checking account.

The TIAA Bank Business Checking account features the following:

  • Transaction fees: First 200 items per month, $0.25 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $14.95, but can be waived with balance of $5,000
  • ATM fees: $15 monthly ATM reimbursement (domestic)
  • Number of physical branches: 145

Chase Bank Total Business Checking

Chase Bank

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

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Chase Bank’s Total Business Checking account offers the confidence that comes with banking with one of the largest banks in the U.S., with its extensive branch network and deep bench of deposit and lending products. Chase charges a $15 monthly service fee for this account, but there are ways you can waive it, including maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500.

Other standout features that come with the Chase Total Business Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: 100 transactions per month, $0.40 each after that.
  • Monthly fee: $15, can be waived if you maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500, or if you maintain a Chase Private Client Checking account or a Sapphire Personal Checking account
  • ATM fees: No fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals (ATM owner fees still apply)
  • Number of physical branches: Nearly 5,000

First Citizens Basic Business Checking

First Citizens Bank (NC)

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First Citizens Bank, which has a branch network sprawling across the Southeast and Southwest, and also offers online banking services. First Citizens promotes its Basic Business Checking account as a “favorite starter account” for businesses because of its simplicity and affordability. It’s one of the few banks on this list that doesn’t have any monthly maintenance fees, regardless of the account’s balance, as long as you opt out of paper statements.

With a low minimum deposit requirement of just $100 to open an account and no minimum balance requirements after that, it’s also one of the more accessible checking accounts for businesses that are not flush with cash from the get-go. While the First Citizens Basic Business Checking account doesn’t offer many bells and whistles, it’s a low-fee account with attractive features similar to those offered at big financial institutions:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 175 items per month, $0.40 each after that
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to First Citizens Bank ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 500 branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Capital One

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The standout feature of Capital One’s Spark Business Unlimited Checking account is its unlimited transactions, a relatively rare feature for business checking accounts at the other big banks.

There is a minimum deposit of $250 required open a Spark Business Unlimited Checking account, and it requires a pretty hefty balance to waive the monthly service fee of $35. Capital One, however, does offer overdraft protection with a linked small business deposit account. Other noteworthy features offered by the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: $35, can be waived with prior 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000
  • ATM fees: Free access to 39,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 700

nbkc bank Business Account

nbkc bank

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on nbkc bank’s secure website

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The nbkc bank Business Account is a no-frills business checking account with competitive incentives, including unlimited transactions. With a minimum of just $5 required to open an account, and no minimum balance requirements, this is a checking account that’s especially accessible for businesses just starting out.

For those who want more from their nbkc bank Business Account services, the bank also offers add-on options for an additional cost, like the Desktop Deposit, which gives you unlimited deposits from your office and unlimited account support. Drawbacks of the nbkc bank Business account include only having a handful of physical bank branches in Kansas and Missouri. However, nbkc primarily presents itself as an online-only bank.

Other standout features of the nbkc bank Business account include:

  • Transaction fees: Unlimited transactions
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free access to 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs and up to $12 monthly refunds for any ATMs fees
  • Number of physical branches: 4 total in Kansas and Missouri (it positions itself as an online bank)

Bank of America Business Advantage Checking

Bank of America

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Bank of America (BoA) offers a number of business checking accounts, but its Business Advantage Checking account in particular has a number of competitive features. This account does have a relatively steep monthly fee of $29.95, but it gives you several options to forgo that fee. There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to open the account.

One perk worth highlighting is that you’ll also receive an additional Business Advantage Checking account and an additional Business Advantage Savings account at no extra charge, as well as a $300 credit to new, eligible business credit cards if you make at least $3,000 in new purchases within the first 90 days.

Other standout features of the Bank of America Business Advantage Checking account include:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 500 transactions per month, $0.45 after that
  • Monthly fee: $29.95, waived by maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $15,000, maintaining a combined average monthly balance in linked BoA accounts of $35,000, or spending $2,500 in net new purchases on a BoA business credit card
  • ATM fees: Free access to Bank of America ATMs
  • Number of physical branches: Over 4,000

PNC Bank Business Checking

PNC Bank

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on PNC Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

PNC Bank’s Business Checking account is great for budding businesses interested in the checking essentials with minimal fees. There is a minimum deposit of just $100 required to open an account, and clients can waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee by meeting certain requirements, including maintaining an average, monthly collected balance of just $500.

There are drawbacks of the PNC Bank Business Checking account, though. PNC itself has a relatively nonexistent footprint in the Western region of the U.S., so if you live in that region and want the convenience of a bank with brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll want to take that into consideration.

Other noteworthy features of the PNC Bank Business Checking account are:

  • Transaction fees: Up to 150 transactions monthly, $0.50 each after that
  • Monthly fee: $10, waived if you maintain a balance of $500, use a linked PNC business credit card to make a minimum of $500 in eligible purchases or Maintain a linked PNC Merchant Services account and generate a minimum of $500 in qualifying monthly processing deposits
  • ATM fees: Free access to 15,000 PNC ATMs, two reimbursements per statement cycle of non-PNC Bank ATM fees
  • Number of physical branches: 2,400 in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Business checking accounts vs. personal checking accounts

At first glance, business checking accounts versus personal checking accounts might seem fairly similar. But if you take a closer look, you can understand the key differences. While every account has its differing features, personal checking accounts usually have:

Meanwhile, business checking often have:

  • Monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements to waive them
  • Lower APYs
  • Extra fees for actions ranging from having an excess of transactions to depositing cash
  • More documentation required to open an account
  • The option to order employee debit cards

Why you need a business checking account

If you’re a business owner, you might be wondering why you even have to open a checking account separate from your personal one. After all, personal checking accounts tend to have lower fees, higher APYs and better features. Why not just skip opening one and — when it comes to your checking accounts — mix business with pleasure?

There are several reasons why you should keep your work and personal checking accounts from co-mingling. First and foremost: If you operate your business as a legal entity that is separate from you – say, as an LLC – you’re legally required to keep your personal and business finances separate. Opening a business checking account is the simplest way to do that.

Another reason why you need a checking account for your business is to protect yourself. If you have structured your business entity as a corporation or an LLC, and you have a separate checking account for your business — you and other shareholders’ personal assets are not likely to be seized for damages your company is obligated to pay when filing for bankruptcy.

Benefits of a business checking account

There are a number of other benefits associated with maintaining a business checking account, aside from the obvious ones of following the law and protecting your personal assets. Those benefits can include:

  • Keeping your business records organized. This will make it easier to track your business’ profitability and assess its performance.
  • Simplifying your taxes. By keeping your personal and business checking accounts separate, it will be easier for you to file your taxes accurately and avoid penalties from the IRS. Also, it will make it easier for you to deduct business expenses from your taxes.
  • Being able to accept credit cards as a form of payment, either by setting up a merchant system or credit acceptance system.
  • Being able to allow your employees to use the business checking account.

What you need to open a business checking account

When opening a business checking account, you need more than just a spiffy company name and logo. You’ll typically be required to present the following documents:

  • Employee Identification Number (or Social Security number if it’s a sole proprietorship)
  • Your business’ formation documents
  • Ownership agreements
  • Business license

Opening a business checking account might be one of the first, big business decisions you will make as an entrepreneur. Make sure it’s an informed decision: Do your research, come with questions and be confident about the account you are opening before signing on the dotted line.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Berger
Sarah Berger |

Sarah Berger is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah here

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The Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts in November 2019

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.

The Best Online Savings Accounts

Updated November 15, 2019

There are no excuses for sticking with a low-rate savings account these days. Online savings accounts provide consumers with interest rates that are way above those offered by conventional banks. The best online savings accounts can easily earn you an APY of 1.70% or greater, while the average rate offered by a traditional brick-and-mortar bank remains at a paltry 0.27%.

If you’re still skeptical about switching to an online bank, consider the facts. Your funds are just as safe stashed with an FDIC-insured online bank as they would be with the bank branch on Main Street, and you’re likely to get better technical support with an online-only bank website and app. Many offer round-the-clock customer support and online chat features that make it easy to resolve issues without needing to visit a branch in person. Along with higher rates, you may end up saving on the cost of the account. With lower overhead costs, online banks typically charge lower fees.

Every month we review and compile the best savings account offers from online banks. Our ranking factors in features such as a higher-than-average interest rate, no minimum balance requirement, and superior ATM access.

1. High Rate: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 1.70% APY, no minimum balance (but no ATM access)

High-yield Online Savings Account from Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the consumer bank of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, offers a 1.70% APY on deposits. There isn’t a minimum balance requirement to earn the APY and there are no transaction fees. Upon opening the account, you can deposit funds via electronic transfer, wire transfer, or deposit by check. You can get access to your funds via electronic transfer or wire transfer. Goldman has been investing heavily in Marcus, its online consumer bank. Marcus is already offering some of the best savings accounts and personal loans in the market, and further expansion is expected. The savings account has consistently been paying one of the highest rates in the market. With a 1.70% APY, you can get one of the highest rates in the market from a well-known brand. The maximum deposit is $1,000,000 and deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 limit.

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on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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2. High Rate: Barclays Bank – 1.80% APY, no minimum balance

Online Savings Account from BarclaysBarclays is a large, old British bank, based in London and with more than 325 years of history. Although Barclays is huge in the United Kingdom, it is a challenger brand in the US. Barclays offers savings products with highly competitive rates. These deposits are used to fund their rapidly growing American credit card business. The online savings account has a 1.80% APY with no minimum balance to open and no monthly fees. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to the legal limit. The Barclays website has a good look and feel. And you can have the confidence of keeping your money with one of the world’s largest and oldest universal banks.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 1.90% APY, no minimum balance, (and ATM access)

High Yield Savings from Synchrony BankSynchrony Bank pays a healthy 1.90% APY. There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. In addition to the great rate, you can get an ATM card. Most internet-only banks require you to transfer funds electronically, which can take a few days. If you ever need quick access to your funds, the ATM card makes access easy. You might not recognize the Synchrony brand in the banking space, but it is a large, well-capitalized business. Synchrony used to be a part of General Electric (GE), and was spun out as a separate company. Unfortunately, the digital experience is not the best, but they now have a mobile banking app.

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on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. High Rate: Capital One – 1.80% APY, no minimum balance

360 Performance Savings from Capital OneA consistent rate leader for its deposit accounts, Capital One now offers its 360 Performance Savings. With a 1.80% APY on all balances and no monthly fee, you get a chance to boost your savings uninterrupted. There are no minimum balances required to open or maintain the account, either.

Capital One is able to offer higher rates and lower (to no!) fees on this online savings account compared to traditional in-branch offerings. Still, you can head to a Capital One branch or Capital One Café to open a new 360 Performance Savings account, if you prefer. You cannot use an ATM to withdraw or deposit funds, but you can visit a branch, call the bank or make your own online transfer. You can access all accounts on your mobile device through the Capital One app, as well.

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on Capital One’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. High Rate: American Express National Bank – 1.75% APY, no minimum balance (and no fees)

High Yield Savings Account from American Express National BankOur sponsored advertiser, American Express National Bank, offers a Personal Savings account, which earns a 1.75% variable Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 11/7/2019. The account charges no monthly fees and requires no minimum deposit, making it an affordable account to open. You must fund your account within 60 days of applying for the account, and the FDIC insures your deposits up to $250,000. Overall, the account is a great option for anyone who wants the flexibility of earning a high interest rate on a sum of money you’ve stashed away, minus the withdrawal restrictions of a certificate deposit.

LEARN MORE Secured

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Partner Offer

Member FDIC

6. Favorite Online Package: Ally Bank – 1.70% APY, no minimum balance and you can get a free checking account

Online Savings Account from Ally BankAlly is a bank without branches that had been consistently paying high interest rates on savings accounts. While Ally is still offering rates way above what brick-and-mortar banks are offering, it seems this online bank no longer wants to be seen as the online bank with the most competitive rates. The current APY on Ally’s savings account is 1.70%. Although Ally has dropped its rate significantly, we still favor this online bank. It doesn’t require a minimum balance to earn the APY and, even better, you can open a free checking account (also with no minimum balance requirement and eligible for the 1% cash back offer). This makes access to your savings account incredibly easy – because you can transfer funds online (or via the app) and have immediate access via checks, debit cards and ATMs. With an Ally account, you will have access to their full suite of expanding (and market-leading) products such as CDs, money market account, checking account, and IRA accounts.

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on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. High Rate: Vio Bank – 2.07% APY, $100 to open

High Yield Online Savings Account from Vio BankVio Bank is the online division of MidFirst Bank, a national private financial institution with over $16 billion in assets. Vio Bank was recently created and is not yet as established as Marcus, Barclays, American Express, Synchrony, and Ally Bank. However, this online bank launched its High Yield Online Savings account with a strong APY (at the time of its launch) and has been consistently competitive since it launched. It’s currently offering an outstanding 2.07% APY on all balances. You only need $100 to open the account. You can fund the account via ACH.

There are a few limitations to keep in mind: incoming ACHs take anywhere between two to five business days to post and the online bank may place a hold your ACH for two or three business days. When you’re ready to transfer funds out of the account, you’ll be limited to $5,000 per outgoing ACH. You’ll also be limited to transferring an aggregate monthly total of $20,000 via outgoing ACHs. As is with every other savings account, you’ll also be limited to making six withdrawals per monthly statement cycle. The good news (aside from the high APY) is that Vio Bank doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee. Vio Bank also has a mobile banking app where you can conveniently manage your accounts on-the-go. Also, its website is mobile friendly so it should be fairly easy to do your online banking from a smart phone, as well. We think this online bank is very promising and hope it continues to offer one of the best savings account rates in the nation.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Vio Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

8. High Rate: HSBC Direct – 2.05% APY, $1 minimum to open, no minimum balance to earn APY

HSBC Direct Savings from HSBC DirectHSBC Direct is the online division of financial giant, HSBC Bank. Based on the amount of assets HSBC Bank has acquired to date, it is the 14th largest bank in the U.S. While HSBC Direct may sound like a new player to the online banking game, this division was actually around prior to the 2008 financial crisis and offered extremely competitive rates. After the financial crisis, the bank renamed the online division to HSBC Advance and slowly started to decrease its online savings account rates, much like other online banks were doing around that time.

Fortunately, HSBC has decided to reenter the online banking space. Since the initial launch in July of 2018, the bank has consistently increased its HSBC Direct Savings Account rate from 1.70% APY to 2.05% APY. You only need $1 to open the account and the APY will be applied to any balance below $2 million. You may fund the account via ACH transfer and the account can be opened online. You will have to deposit new money to the account, which means that you cannot be a member of the HSBC Group in the United States. The account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee and all deposits are FDIC insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on HSBC Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

9. High Rate: Betterment – up to 1.85% APY, $10 minimum to open

Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve - Promo Rate from BettermentBetterment is an investment company and one of the best robo-advisors. Since its creation, the mission of this company has always been to empower its customers to make the most of their money. With this mission in mind, the online brokerage decided to offer a high-yield savings account with an outstanding rate. While this account is not like your typical online savings account, it does come up with an outstanding rate – especially if you take advantage of the promotional rate. How is it different from other savings accounts? For one, Betterment is not a bank and is not FDIC insured. Fortunately, the company has partnered with a number of banks to offer FDIC insurance to accountholders. Essentially, your funds are deposited with the partner banks and will be insured up to $250,000 at each partner bank. One big benefit that Betterment is currently offering is the ability to opt out of depositing your money at a specific bank.

If you’re comfortable with the way this account is structured, you’ll be rewarded with an APY that is up to 1.85%. There is a catch, however, to earn the highest rate. In order to earn the 1.85% APY, you’ll need to join Betterment’s waiting list for the checking product. That’s it! Once you join the list, you’ll be awarded the 1.85% APY through the end of 2019 as long as you stay on the waiting list. If you choose to not join the waiting list, you’ll still earn a great APY of 1.60%. You only need $10 to open the account and there isn’t a minimum balance amount to earn the APY. One thing to note about the promotional and regular APYs – they are still variable rates. Betterment has the right to lower or raise the rates at any time. What Betterment is guaranteeing with the promotional rate is that it will always be 25 basis points above the regular APY. This guarantee will last for the remainder of 2019.

This account doesn’t come with any maintenance fees and you can transfer money from the Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve account as many times as you want. If you choose to withdraw money from this account, it’ll be transferred to your linked checking account within 1 to 2 business days. While these types of emerging cash management accounts may not be for everyone, we do feel like they deserve a place on this list due to their outstanding rates.

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on Betterment’s secure website

FDIC Insured

10. High Rate: CIT – 1.85% APY, $100 to open

Savings Builder from CIT BankCIT is a very large bank that you probably never heard of. It has more than $50 billion of assets and makes loans (and leases) to middle market companies and small businesses. To fund those loans, CIT operates an internet-only bank that pays some of the highest interest rates in the country. While CIT isn’t as big as other online banks, they’re currently offering a very healthy APY of 1.85% on their Savings Builder account. You only need $100 to open the account, but you’ll need to meet one of two requirements to earn the high rate. We really like the options that CIT Bank has put in place to earn this high APY. The two ways to continue earning this high rate are:

  1. Make a monthly deposit of $100 or more into this account
  2. Maintain a daily balance of $25,000 or more

Even better: there aren’t any monthly maintenance fees and interest compounds daily. Deposits are FDIC insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

11. High Rate: CIBC Bank USA – 1.85% APY, $1,000 to open

CIBC Agility Savings - Online Only from CIBC USACIBC Bank USA is the U.S. division of a Canadian based bank. This division was established in 1991 and has since acquired over $27 billion in assets. Currently, CIBC Bank USA is offering an online-only savings account with a competitive APY of 1.85%. You’ll only need $1,000 to open the account. While there isn’t a monthly maintenance fee, you may be charged $10 if you make more than six transactions per statement cycle. CBIC Bank USA does have a mobile banking app, but make sure that you download the app for the U.S., not Canada.

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on CIBC USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

12. High Rate: Citizens Access – 1.85% APY, $5,000 minimum balance amount

Online Savings Account from Citizens AccessCitizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank. This division was recently created to provide the best savings rates to consumers. While the online division is brand new, the bank its backed by isn’t. Citizens Bank has been around for a while and has grown to have over $122 billion in assets. While you need to deposit and maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 to earn the 1.85% APY, you’ll be funding an account that comes with no fees. If your balance happens to fall below $5,000, the APY will drop to 0.25%. One downside to this online-only bank is that they don’t currently have a mobile banking app. This means that you’ll have to do all of your banking through their website. Luckily, their website is mobile-friendly.

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on Citizens Access’s secure website

Member FDIC

13. Unique Bank + Highest Overall Rate: Fitness Bank – 2.60% APY, $100 minimum to open

Fitness Savings (12,500+ Steps) from FitnessBankFitness Bank is unique and new online bank. It’s a division of Affinity Bank, which has been around since 2002 and has acquired over $318 million in assets. Affinity Bank decided to launch a concept like no other to reward actively fit individuals with the highest APY currently available. While most institutions choose to offer tiered rates based on balance amounts, Fitness Bank offers tiered rates based on the average number of steps you take on a daily basis. To earn the high 2.60% APY, you’ll need to take an average of 12,500 steps or more per day. If you only take an average of 10,000 to 12,499 steps per day, you’ll earn an APY of 2.34% (which is still a great APY). You’ll earn 1.75% APY if you take an average of 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day. Taking an average of 5,000 to 7,499 steps per day will qualify you for an APY of 1.25%. Finally, if you take anywhere between 0 to 4,999 steps on average per day, you’ll only earn 0.50%.

Fitness Bank will track your steps by requiring you to download its Step Tracker app. The bank will then calculate your average steps from the previous month to determine which tier you qualify for. Once the bank determines which rate your activity qualifies you for, you will continue earning that rate for an entire month until the bank recalculates your activity. The activity requirement will be waived for the first month so that you can get your app all set up and start logging in some steps. For this first month, you’ll automatically earn the 2.60% APY.

In terms of actual money, you will need at least $100 to open the account and you’ll need to maintain this balance to waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee. The bank does impose a limit on the amount of money you’re able to transfer in and out of the account via ACH. You cannot transfer more than $15,000 per day in or out of the account. You also cannot exceed more than six certain withdrawals or you’ll incur an excessive withdrawal fee of $10 for each additional withdrawal. In addition to the Step Tracker app, Fitness Bank has a mobile banking app to manage your account.

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Member FDIC

14. High Rate: First Foundation Bank – 2.00% APY, $1,000 to open

Online Savings Account - New Money Only from First Foundation BankFirst Foundation Bank officially launched in 2008, but its leadership has been in the financial services industry since 1990. This bank was established by the same group that leads the Keller Group, a wealth management firm. The bank has grown to acquire over $6 billion in assets. In October, this bank launched an Online Savings Account with a high APY of 2.00%. You’ll need to have a balance of at least $1,000 in order to open that account and you’ll need to maintain that amount in order to earn the high APY. If your balance falls below $1,000, the APY will drop to 1.00%. This account doesn’t have a monthly service fee.

While Regulation D applies to this account, First Foundation Bank will provide an ATM card if you request one from the bank. The bank will reimburse ATM fees from other banks and ATM operators up to $20. There is a limit to the amount of money that you can withdraw. If you’re withdrawing from an ATM, the bank sets a daily limit of $500. The daily point-of-sale limit is $1,500. If you’re transferring money online or via ACH, the daily limit is $5,000 and the monthly limit is $10,000. If you need to transfer more than the preset limits, you’re able to call the bank and request that they increase the limit. The bank allows you to maintain the account online and through their mobile banking app.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

15. High Rate: BrioDirect – 2.20% APY, $25 minimum balance amount

High-Yield Savings from BrioDirectBrioDirect is powered by Sterling National Bank, which is a large bank in New York with over $29 billion in assets. This online brand recently launched with a high 2.20% APY. You only need $25 to open the account and you’ll need to maintain at least this amount on a daily basis to earn the APY. This account doesn’t have a monthly service fee and can be funded via ACH, wire transfer, or check. There are limitations to the amount of money you can transfer in and out via ACH. BrioDirect limits incoming ACH transfers to $500,000. The bank limits outgoing ACH transfers to $25,000 per transaction and a total of $125,000 per month. You are able to link as many external bank accounts as you’d like to this account. You can also initiate ACH deposits and withdrawals from other banks. You can manage this account online or from Sterling National Bank’s mobile app.

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on BrioDirect’s secure website

FDIC Insured

16. High Rate: SFGI Direct – 2.27% APY, $500 to open

SFGI Direct Savings Account from SFGI DirectSFGI Direct is Summit Community Bank’s online division. They currently have more than $2 billion of assets and is privately owned by Summit Financial Group, Inc. SFGI is FDIC insured through Summit Community Bank, so deposits are protected up to the legal limit. They are currently offering a good rate of 2.27% on balances of $1 or greater. You’ll have to deposit a minimum of $500 in order to open the account, but you can’t make an initial deposit greater than $25,000. After you make your initial deposit, you’re able to add as much money as you’d like to the account. While they do offer a good rate on an online savings account, their online experience is lacking. Their website feels dated and they don’t appear to have a mobile banking app.

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Member FDIC

17. High Rate: Prime Alliance Bank – 2.22% APY, $10,000 minimum balance amount

Personal Savings Account from Prime Alliance BankPrime Alliance Bank was established in 2004 to provide financial assistance to local businesses and residents. However, through its online banking platform, it’s now able to reach more customers while keeping that local bank service. Today, it’s grown to acquire over $455 million in assets. While the bank’s Personal Savings Account doesn’t require a minimum amount to open the account, you will need to have at least $10,000 in the account to earn the high APY of 2.22%. If your balance is below the amount, you’ll earn 1.96% APY. This account doesn’t have a monthly service fee. You’re able to request an ATM card and withdraw as much as you need from an ATM, but the account is limited to six certain withdrawals and transfers due to federal regulations. You’re able to maintain the account online or through the bank’s mobile app.

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on Prime Alliance Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

18. High Rates on two savings accounts: Customers Bank – 1.95% or 1.95% APY, $5,000 or $25,000 to open depending on account

High-Yield Savings Account from Customers BankCustomers Bank was established in 1997 and has grown to be known as a “super-community bank” in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and New England. The bank has over $9 billion in assets, making it a mid-sized bank. Currently, Customers Bank is offering two outstanding rates on two different accounts. Its Digital Savings Account requires a minimum deposit and balance of $5,000 to earn a high rate of 1.95%. This account doesn’t have any monthly fees. You can open this account here.

If you have $25,000 to deposit, the High-Yield Savings Account is a better fit for you. If you can deposit and maintain a minimum of $25,000 into the account, this bank will reward you with a 1.95% APY. You’ll have to maintain this balance to continue earning the high rate. You must fund the account within 30 days of receiving application approval. This account doesn’t come with any monthly fees.

A few items to be aware of: these accounts don’t come with checks or a debit card. Customers Bank does have ACH transfer limitations of $5,000 per day and $50,000 per statement cycle. You can easily open these accounts online and manage the account via Customer Bank’s website or mobile banking app. Deposits are FDIC-insured.

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on Customers Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

19. High Rate: Comenity Direct – 2.15% APY, $100 minimum to open

High-Yield Savings Account from Comenity DirectComenity Direct is the online division of Comenity Capital Bank. Comenity Capital Bank has been around since 1989 and has acquired over $9 billion in assets. Comenity Capital Bank launched this online division in the middle of April 2019 and came into the savings space with a high-yield savings account earning 2.15% APY. While you need $100 to open the account, you can earn the high rate with a balance as small as $1 and as big as $10 million. Comenity Direct’s High-Yield Savings Account doesn’t place limits on ACH transfers.This account doesn’t have any monthly fees and the bank doesn’t charge a fee if you attempt to withdraw from this account more than six times. If you do try to withdraw from the account a seventh time within the same statement cycle, Comenity Bank reserves the right to either deny or reject the withdrawal and may even close the account. While this is mainly a fee-free savings account, there are a few fees that may be charged if you request paper statements, a paper check withdrawal, and an outgoing wire transfer. Comenity Direct does have a mobile banking app for your convenience. This is one of the best high-yield savings accounts currently being offered, but keep in mind that this online division is brand new. When it comes to accounts with variable rates, we prefer to stick with more established banks with consistently competitive rates.

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on Comenity Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

20. For Small Balance Savers Digital Federal Credit Union – 6.17% APY up to $1k

Primary Savings from Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) currently offers a nice account for people who are just starting to save. You can earn an APY of 6.17% with their Primary Savings Account. You will only earn that rate on deposits up to $1,000. Once you have more than $1k, you should consider other accounts on this list. It is a credit union – and your deposits are insured by the NCUA up to the legal limit. Anyone can join the credit union by donating to one of their participating organizations such as Reach Out for Schools, which has a membership fee of $10. You’ll be able to join one their participating organizations when you go to open your account with DCU. DCU is also part of a nationwide CO-OP network that allows their members to have access to shared branches and surcharge-free ATMs throughout the U.S.

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on Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

How to find the right savings account for you

  • Focus on rates, but 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 online 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, compare, compare. 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.
  • Carefully consider CDs. CDs allow savers to earn more on their savings by agreeing to lock up their funds for a set period of time. With CDs, you make your initial deposit at a set APY and wait for the CD term to mature. With most CDs, you can’t touch the original deposit amount before maturity without paying a penalty. Since CDs are less liquid than a standard savings account, they’re good for setting aside money you won’t need to access in the near term. Typically, we recommend using CDs for long-term goals, like accumulating a down payment for a home.

How the Fed impacts online savings rates

The interest rates offered by banks are tied to the federal funds rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). This includes the deposit account rates that grow your money in savings and other deposit accounts. When the federal funds rate rises, you might see that reflected in the deposit interest rates at most banks.

As the Fed hiked rates over recent years, online banks were far quicker to raise their rates in turn than traditional banks. Just look at the average APY offered by big banks — 0.26% vs. 1.52% on average for online banks as of December 2018.

We’ve enjoyed successive Fed rate hikes for the last few years, but the trend is waning. As we continue into 2019, the odds of a rate hike this year have reached zero. The Fed did nothing at its January meeting, and didn’t raise rates at the March meeting either.

The bleak federal funds rate outlook doesn’t necessarily mean that banks will start slashing their own deposit account rates. Online banks are extremely competitive and need to remain so if they want to maintain their edge.

In the January Goldman Sachs earnings call, Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President and CFO Stephen M. Scherr noted it has no plans to walk back on rates for its online savings account Marcus, aiming to keep its rank among the top savings rates in the country.

We heard much of the same from fellow online bank Ally Bank, whose CFO Jennifer LaClair said during its January earnings call that it’s still important to take the “competitive landscape” into account.

Still, other earnings calls indicated that banks are in as much of a holding pattern as consumers are. When asked about the bank’s deposit rate outlook in the event of a Fed rate slowdown, Bank of America CFO Paul Donofrio noted, “At some point, the broader retail rates will rise. We just don’t know when. So, I think we’re just going to have to wait and see.”

As for what that all means to you, chances are that if you keep your deposits with an online bank, you’ll still get the most competitive rates regardless of a Fed pause or rate decrease. You might see an overall decrease in online savings rates (moreso in the competitive rate-chasing CD space), but they’ll still outperform most brick-and-mortar rates any day.

The bottom line

So what’s a saver to do? At the end of the day, you want the account that makes the most sense for you. Choose the one that lets you save and manage your money in the best ways possible. The most efficient way to consistently grow your money is to open an online savings account. These accounts will offer the best interest rates compared to brick-and-mortar banks, no matter where the federal funds rate goes this year — plus, they’re easily accessible in case of emergency. If you don’t need immediate access to your money and you have some extra cash lying around, open a high-yield CD as a more long-term savings alternative.

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LaTisha Styles
LaTisha Styles |

LaTisha Styles is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email LaTisha at [email protected]

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here