Finding the Best Online High-Yield Savings Accounts
Online banks, which don’t have the burden of needing to maintain branches, have an edge over traditional banks in terms of the perks and interest rates they can offer. Still, not every online bank may be a good fit for you. At SmartAsset, we took a look at several online banks with high-yield interest rates and determined the best. To see which online high-yield savings account is right for your needs, read on.
|SmartyPig Read More||0.70%||$0|| |
|Affirm Read More||0.65%||$0|| |
|TAB Bank Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|Ally Bank Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|Discover Bank Read More||0.40%||$0|| |
|Synchrony Read More||0.40%||$0|| |
|Capital One Read More||0.40%||$0|| |
|Alliant Credit Union Read More||0.55%||$5|| |
|Varo Bank Read More||0.20%||$0|| |
|Chime Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
How We Determine the Best Online High-Yield Savings Accounts
SmartAsset’s team of personal finance experts rounded up an exhaustive list of different online savings accounts. We scored each on their APY, low fees and an easy to use mobile app for on-the-go banking.
SmartyPig by Sallie Mae
The SmartyPig Account from Sallie Mae is a strong high-yield online savings account with APYs that depend on the balance of your account. Here’s a breakdown of the rates you’ll earn with this account:
- Balances of $2,500 or less: 0.70% APY
- Balances of $2,500 to $10,000: 0.70% APY
- Balances of $10,000 to $50,000: 0.45% APY
- Balances of $50,000 and up: 0.45%
When comparing rates across the current savings market, these APYs are higher than most. However, the account’s perks don’t stop there. All you need to start saving is $0.01 in your account. From there, you won’t be subject to any account minimums or monthly fees. You can also set up automatic deposits from your bank account so that you stay on top of your savings. This account doesn’t provide an ATM card or offer access to mobile check deposit, though.
Affirm Savings Account
The Affirm Savings Account offers one of the best savings rates currently available, as it comes with a no-strings-attached 0.65% APY. This account is available to just about anyone, as Affirm does not have a minimum deposit requirement for prospective account holders. In addition, all of your savings will remain in your account, as you will not have to pay monthly fees of any kind.
You may recognize Affirm as a mobile app that allows customers to take out loans as a way to pay for online shopping transactions through various websites and stores. However, as you can tell from its savings account, the company has recently entered the banking space.
Opening a savings account with Affirm is possible through its Apple and Android mobile app. The app is highly rated on both app stores, as Apple and Android users have rated it 4.9 stars and 4.7 stars out of 5, respectively.
TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account
The TAB Bank High Yield Savings Account boasts one of the highest APYs on the market at 0.50%. It’s quite easy to qualify for this APY, as you only need to maintain a $1 daily balance to earn it. This is unlike similar accounts at some other banks which use tiered APYs, high account minimums or balance caps to limit interest earnings. Account holders also won’t pay monthly maintenance fees, which is always a major benefit.
While TAB doesn’t have any physical locations, its online and mobile banking offerings are quite robust. The bank has highly rated mobile apps and its online user experience is easy to navigate. Through these platforms, you can pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money and more.
You can open this account with any amount of money. If you’re interested in more than just savings, TAB also offers a range of other banking products, such as money market accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and checking accounts.
Ally's Online Savings Account offers a competitive rate of 0.50% with no fees or minimums. However, this account is at its best when it's paired with Ally's checking account. Yes, you can also get a free checking account at Ally, which will make transferring and withdrawing funds much easier. Rather than waiting for money to transfer, you can internally move money between your checking and savings account whenever you please.
Ally’s checking accounts also come with an interest rate of their own. Furthermore, Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per month for out-of-network ATM fees, in addition to having a selection of thousands of in-network ATMs.
Discover Online Savings Account
Discover’s Online Savings Account features a restriction-less 0.40% APY. While you’ll see higher APYs at other financial institutions, Discover stands out for a number of reasons. First, there’s no minimum deposit requirement to open a savings account with Discover. On top of that, you won’t be subject to any monthly minimums or monthly service charges. Interest earned on this account is compounded daily, which can speed up your long-term savings potential.
Discover is an entirely online/mobile bank. So if you’re thinking about delving into online banking, this could be a great account for you. Discover’s mobile app is highly rated, as its website’s user experience and interface is one of the best and most straightforward on the market. You have plenty of options when it comes to your account, as you can transfer money, deposit checks, view your account history and even check your credit score online. Discover offers other banking products as well if you want to open more than just a savings account.
Synchrony High Yield Savings
With the Synchrony High Yield Savings account, you’ll earn a solid 0.40% APY on all balances. There are no minimum requirements and no monthly maintenance fees, as is the case with many online banks. There are certainly accounts out there that will earn a higher interest rate, but with Synchrony you’ll still earn well above the national average, even that of only high-yield accounts.
In addition to there being no monthly fees with this Synchrony account, you can become an account holder with any amount of money. Synchrony doesn’t charge ATM withdrawal fees itself, but there may be fees associated with using a certain ATM. However, account holders can get up to $5 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month.
The Synchrony High Yield Savings account operates entirely online. As a result, the bank doesn’t have any physical branches. While this could be an issue for some prospective customers, you’ll always have the option to contact a representative online or over the phone if you need help with your account.
Capital One 360 Performance Savings
The bank that best marries a high-yield online savings with branch access is Capital One. Banking entirely online can be difficult for some, and Capital One provides a happy medium. Capital One has branches in the Northeast, Texas and Louisiana, and it offers CDs, kids and teen bank accounts, credit cards, IRAs, auto loans and more.
The 0.40% APY attributed to the 360 Performance Savings account is competitive with the highest rates on the market. The account also has no monthly fees and doesn’t require a minimum balance.
Capital One provides customer service seven days a week, so you'll always have access to a representative if you have questions. The bank's mobile app is also well-rated at 4.8 stars out of 5 on the Apple app store and 4.6 stars out of 5 on the Android app store.
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings
The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings account offers a strong interest rate of 0.55%. Like the other accounts on this list, Alliant’s savings account is virtually free, as you only need $5 to open the account. You do, however, need to maintain a balance of at least $100 to earn interest. There are also no monthly fees so long as you opt for eStatements as opposed to paper statements. Accessing your funds is also easy with Alliant, as it has an ATM network of 80,000 machines.
If you don’t live near an Alliant branch, your banking experience will be entirely online. Also, like Ally, you can open up a high-yield checking account that lets you quickly transfer funds. Alliant also has a reliable mobile app that lets you keep track of your funds on the go.
The biggest disadvantage to Alliant is that it is a credit union, which requires membership. As opposed to some credit unions, however, Alliant makes membership fairly easy. The traditional method of becoming a member is to be a part of a recognized organization. But if you are not, you only need to donate $10 to the Foster Care to Success organization.
Varo Savings Account
Varo Bank’s Savings Account is a great option for anyone looking to boost their savings at a higher rate than many other banks. The account’s APY is 0.20%, which easily beats out traditional banks like Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. In order to earn this APY, all you need to do is maintain at least a $0.01 balance in your account. You can also earn up to a 3.00% APY if you meet the following criteria:
- Make at least five qualifying Varo Bank Visa® Debit Card purchases
- Receive $1,000 or more in qualifying total direct deposits
- Do not exceed a daily savings balance of $5,000 for the calendar month
When it comes to fees, Varo's schedule is pretty nonexistent. For example, there are no monthly maintenance fees, no transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, no debit card replacement fees, no ACH transfer fees and more. On the other hand, if you use an ATM outside of the Allpoint network (Varo's partner network), you'll be charged a $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee.
Varo is exclusively an online and mobile bank. Customers can access all account features through either the bank’s highly rated mobile app or over the phone with customer service. To open a Varo Savings Account, all you need to do is first open a Varo Checking Account, which will then unlock your ability to open the savings account and transfer money into it.
Chime High Yield Savings Account
The Chime High Yield Savings Account offers customers a decent 0.50% APY on all balances. In fact, there are no restrictions or requirements to earn this high interest rate. In addition, you won't be subject to any minimum balance or opening deposit requirements, and the only fee you’ll pay is a $2.50 charge if you make a cash withdrawal at an out-of-network ATM.
In order to gain access to this account, you must already have a Chime Spending Account, which is Chime’s version of a checking account. This account also has no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum to open, making it a strong checking option as well.
Chime doesn’t operate any physical locations, so customers will have to be comfortable banking online and on their phone. Luckily, the bank’s mobile app has high ratings on the Apple and Android app stores. You’ll have access to your account at all times, and you can connect with customer service over online chat or by phone.