Updated September 2, 2018
After years of low interest rates, there is a pricing war happening for online savings accounts. Long gone are the days of 0.01% APY. If you are willing to open an online savings account (which is FDIC insured), you can now easily get a 1.85% APY or higher. Interest rates are only increasing online: traditional brick and mortar banks continue to pay very low rates. A typical savings account at a big bank only pays 0.01% APY.
The best online banks offer perks like no minimum balance, ATM access and much higher interest rates than the average savings account. Here are the best online savings accounts (and this post is updated regularly).
1. High Rate: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 1.85% APY, no minimum balance (but no ATM access)
Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the consumer bank of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, offers a 1.85% APY on deposits. There is no minimum balance and there are no transaction fees. Upon opening the account, you can deposit funds via electronic transfer, wire transfer, or deposit by check. You can get access to your funds via electronic transfer or wire transfer. Goldman has been investing heavily in Marcus, its online consumer bank. Marcus is already offering some of the best savings accounts and personal loans in the market, and further expansion is expected. The savings account has consistently been paying one of the highest rates in the market. With a 1.85% APY, you can get one of the highest rates in the market from a well-known brand. The maximum deposit is $1,000,000 and deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 limit.
on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website
2. High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 1.85% APY, no minimum balance (and ATM access)
on Synchrony Bank’s secure website
3. High Rate: Barclays Bank – 1.85% APY, no minimum balance
Barclays is a large, old British bank, based in London and with more than 325 years of history. Although Barclays is huge in the United Kingdom, it is a challenger brand in the US. Barclays offers savings products with highly competitive rates. These deposits are used to fund their rapidly growing American credit card business. The online savings account has a 1.85% APY with no minimum balance to open and no monthly fees. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to the legal limit. The Barclays website has a good look and feel. And you can have the confidence of keeping your money with one of the world’s largest and oldest universal banks.
on Barclays’s secure website
4. Top Choice: Ally Bank – 1.85% APY, no minimum balance and you can get a free checking account
Ally is a bank without branches that has consistently been paying high interest rates on savings accounts. Ally has no minimum balance requirement and will pay 1.85% APY. Even better, you can open a free checking account (also with no minimum balance requirement). This makes access to your savings account incredibly easy – because you can transfer funds online (or via the app) and have immediate access via checks, debit cards and ATMs. With an Ally account, you will have access to their full suite of expanding (and market-leading) products.
on Ally Bank’s secure website
5. High Rate: American Express National Bank – 1.80% APY, no minimum balance (and no fees)
Our sponsored advertiser, American Express National Bank, offers a Personal Savings account, which earns a 1.80% variable APY. The account charges no monthly fees and requires no minimum deposit, making it an affordable account to open. You must fund your account within 60 days of applying for the account, and the FDIC insures your deposits up to $250,000. Overall, the account is a great option for anyone who wants the flexibility of earning a high interest rate on a sum of money you’ve stashed away, minus the withdrawal restrictions of a certificate deposit.
on American Express National Bank’s secure website
6. Highest Overall Rate: Northfield Bank – 2.25% APY, $0.01 minimum to open
Note: Northfield Bank is primarily a brick-and-mortar institution that is trying to offer online options to consumers nationwide. A little patience may be required when filling out the online application and funding the account. If you’re not comfortable with depositing funds with an institution that is learning its way through online banking, we recommend choosing a more established online bank found within this list. We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t include this incredibly high-rate online savings account to this list.
7. High Rate: Vio Bank – 2.10% APY, $100 to open
8. High Rate: Salem Five Direct – 2.05% APY, $100 to open
Salem Five Direct is the online bank division of Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, a community bank based in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem has been around for more than 150 years and all deposits are insured by the FDIC up to the legal limit. You only need $100 to open this account, and there are no monthly maintenance fees. However, they do have a few limitations to be aware of. First, according to their online banking agreement, Salem Five Direct limits the dollar amount of their External Transfers to $5,000 per transaction, $5,000 in aggregate per day, and $20,000 in aggregate per month. So, if you decide to have more than one account with them, like their money market account, they’ll look at the aggregate amount of External Transfers conducted from both the savings account and money market account. Second, account holders are limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle due to Federal Regulations. If you exceed the six withdrawal limit, they’ll charge you $10 per additional transaction. Finally, the web and mobile experiences are not great. But, if you give them a call (which we have done), you will get friendly service from a community bank. While this bank does offer one of the best rates for an online savings account, we want you to be aware of their limitations.
9. High Rate: Citizens Access – 2.00% APY, $5,000 minimum balance amount
10. High Rate: Utah First Federal Credit Union – 2.25% APY, $50 minimum balance amount
11. High Rate From A Credit Union: Alliant – 1.80% APY, $5 to open and ATM access.
People love credit unions. Because credit unions are owned by their members, you can get a higher interest rate on your savings (and lower interest rates when you borrow). Alliant is one of the best credit unions in the country, offering some of the best rates on your savings. In addition, Alliant has a great website and digital experience. Anyone can join the credit union and you only need $5 to open the account. Be aware, however, that when you go to apply for this account, Alliant will pull a soft credit inquiry for all applicants. Alliant also mentions that if you have a credit freeze, you won’t be able to apply unless you temporarily release the freeze.
Runner-Up: For Small Balance Savers – Digital Federal Credit Union – 5.12% APY up to $1k
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) currently offers a nice account for people who are just starting to save. You can earn an APY of 5.12% with their Primary Savings Account. You will only earn that rate on deposits up to $1,000. Once you have more than $1k, you should consider other accounts on this list. It is a credit union – and your deposits are insured by the NCUA up to the legal limit. Anyone can join the credit union by donating to one of their participating organizations such as Reach Out for Schools, which has a membership fee of $10. You’ll be able to join one their participating organizations when you go to open your account with DCU. DCU is also part of a nationwide CO-OP network that allows their members to have access to shared branches and surcharge-free ATMs throughout the U.S.
How to Find the Right Account For You
Take a moment to calculate how much you could earn using our free saving account comparison tool. Enter your zip code and how much you have to save and you’ll see the best savings accounts for you and save more this year. If you have a large balance, the tool might find better options than the no minimum balance options we’ve listed here.
If you are willing to lock your money into a longer term, consider a certificate of deposit. You can find the best CD rates here.
Your money deserves more than 0.01%. At that rate you’re basically giving a free loan to the bank, not a favor they’d return to you!
You can learn more about how our site is financed here.
Featured Accounts AD
Synchrony Bank 13 Month CD
Ally Bank High Yield 12-Month CD
HSBC Direct HSBC Direct Savings
Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield Online Savings Account
* Sponsors listed are Member FDIC or NCUA insured.