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July 2020's Best Savings Accounts

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Finding the Best Savings Accounts

The best savings accounts are those which grow your money, give you the freedom to do with it as you like and don’t cost a lot to maintain. At SmartAsset, we analyzed many different savings accounts to find the top overall options, as well as others which are the best for people in specific situations. 

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
First Foundation Bank First Foundation Bank logo Read More 1.20% $1,000
  • Fantastic APY
  • No monthly maintenance fees
Varo Bank Varo Bank logo Read More 1.21% $0
  • No monthly fees
  • APY can be upgraded
  • $0.01 minimum to earn APY
Synchrony Synchrony logo Read More 1.05% $0
  • Good interest-earning potential
  • No monthly fees
Comenity Direct Comenity Direct logo Read More 1.10% $100
  • Terrific APY
  • No monthly fees
American Express National Bank American Express National Bank logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Can be linked with external accounts
  • $1 minimum to earn APY
  • Sponsored
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • No fees or minimums
  • Wide selection of accounts
UFB Direct UFB Direct logo Read More 1.00% $0
  • Great APY
  • No monthly fees
Axos Bank Axos Bank logo Read More 1.10% $250
  • No monthly fees
  • Free ATM card
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Marcus by Goldman Sachs logo Read More 1.05% $0
  • Great set of savings options
  • No minimums or fees
Live Oak Bank Live Oak Bank logo Read More 1.35% $0
  • Solid APY
  • Strong mobile apps
Ally Bank Ally Bank logo Read More 1.10% $0
  • Strong customer service
  • Mobile app with check deposit
HSBC HSBC logo Read More 1.01% $1
  • Plenty of mobile/online banking features
  • No monthly fees

How We Determine the Best Savings Accounts

SmartAsset’s team of personal finance experts rounded up an exhaustive list of savings accounts at many different banks. We scored each on their APY, minimum balances, monthly fees, customer support, product offerings and customer experience. Accounts are listed in the order that their scores ranked at the time of writing.

First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account

Online Savings Account

Through its Online Savings Account, First Foundation Bank is now offering one of the top APYs on a savings account in the U.S. The account is paired with a 1.20% APY, which is in the upper echelon of savings account rates. Even better, this rate is eligible to be applied to any balances of just $0.01 and above. The only caveat: You need to have at least $1,000 ready to deposit when you open your account.

Some savings accounts have fees that can eat into your interest earnings, negating the benefits of a high savings rate. However, the Online Savings Account from First Foundation Bank is not one of them. In fact, the account is completely free of fees, which means you can keep every dollar you earn.

Like any online bank, First Foundation provides an online banking website and Apple and Android mobile apps for its customers. All of the features you’d expect are available through these offerings, such as your account information and check images, person-to-person and account-to-account money transfers, online bill pay and more.

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

Varo is a unique bank, as the entirety of its services are only accessible through its mobile banking platforms. But if you’re willing to manage your money on your smartphone, you’ll get the chance to open some strong accounts. The Varo Savings Account is perhaps its best offering, as it boasts a 1.21% APY with no monthly fees. There is a minimum of $0.01 required to begin earning interest, but after that, there are no balance requirements to earn the base APY.

Additionally, Varo provides an opportunity for account holders to boost their APY to a significantly higher 2.80%. To earn this upgrade, you’ll need to meet the following three requirements:

  • Keep your account balance at or below $10,000
  • Use your Varo debit card for at least five purchases in a calendar month
  • Receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits in a calendar month

To help you save more, Varo has integrated two automatic savings features into this account. The first is “Save Your Pay,” which takes a percentage of each direct deposit you receive and transfers it to your savings balance. The other is “Save Your Change,” which rounds up each transaction you make to the nearest dollar and adds that to your savings balance.

As you might expect from a mobile-only bank, Varo’s Apple and Android apps are top-notch. On the Apple app store, the app holds a rating of 4.8 stars, while Android users rate it at 4.6 stars. If you need help from a real person, Varo’s customer service hotline can be reached seven days a week.

Synchrony High Yield Savings

High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank has one of the better savings accounts available today. Its central feature is a 1.05% APY, which is one of the better rates on the market. There's no minimum with this account, making it a viable option for just about anyone. Beyond that, there are no monthly fees that will eat into your earnings.

Synchrony offers a rare set of features for a savings account, as it provides account holders with an ATM card and fee-free ATM access to thousands of machines throughout the U.S. and abroad. It does so through two ATM networks, Plus and Accel, giving it a more robust selection than some other online banks. However, Synchrony has the drawback of not accepting cash deposits.

Synchrony's mobile app is also very highly rated, which is a major benefit for any online bank. Through the app, customers can set up Touch ID and Face ID login, deposit checks remotely, live chat with a customer service representative, check their balances and more. The app is available on both the Apple and Android platforms.

Comenity Direct High-Yield Savings Account

High-Yield Savings Account

Comenity Direct's High-Yield Savings Account is a simple savings option that features one of the top APYs on the market. More specifically, account holders will receive a 1.10% APY with interest that both compounds and accrues on a daily basis. This interest rate will apply to virtually all balances, as Comenity Direct has placed a high $10 million cap on the account.

When it comes to fees, there is very little to worry about with this account. In fact, there are no monthly maintenance fees, online statement fees, ACH transfer fees or incoming wire transfer fees. There is a minimum deposit amount, though it should be fairly easy for most people to meet: Prospective account holders are required to deposit at least $100 upon opening their account.

Comenity Direct has a solid selection of mobile banking services for its customers. Through the Apple and Android versions of the app, you'll be able to deposit checks remotely, transfer funds, keep an eye on your account transactions, set up Touch ID login and more. The app also allows customers to personalize their account with notes and tags to make tracking transactions easier.

American Express® Personal Savings

Personal Savings

American Express® is most well-known as a credit card company, but it has some significant banking offerings as well, with its Personal Savings account boasting a 1.00% Annual Percentage Yield, with no minimum deposit to open the account, but a minimum of $1 required to receive the APY. American Express does not charge a monthly fee for this account either, which means everything you save will remain in your account.

The mobile and web banking platforms at American Express are the only ways you can manage your account, as it’s a branchless, online bank. Through these mediums, you can check the balances and transaction histories of both your American Express bank and credit card accounts. You can also link up to three outside bank accounts to Personal Savings, allowing you to seamlessly send money between them.

American Express National Bank is a savings-only financial institution. That means you can only open savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs), with no checking account offerings. So if you want a checking account under the same roof as your savings account, Amex might not be a good choice.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings

360 Performance Savings

The 360 Performance Savings account from Capital One has a 1.00% APY. You can fund the account with any amount of money, and there are no monthly fees of any kind - maintenance or otherwise. The account also comes with an automatic savings plan that allows you to set aside a specific amount of money on a timeline that works for you. As your savings balance builds, you can take advantage of Capital One’s “My Savings Goals” feature to track how close you are to reaching your objectives.

Although Capital One has branch locations in eight states and Washington, D.C., this specific account is online-only. Therefore, you cannot manage your account in-person. However, if you choose to do all of your banking with Capital One, the above may not be a major issue for you.

The bank has all the perks of any major financial institution, as it offers checking accounts, teen and kids accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and more. If you need access to an ATM, Capital One has thousands of fee-free machines throughout the U.S.

Between the Apple and Android app stores, the Capital One mobile banking app has received an average rating of around 4.7 stars out of 5 across well over one million customer reviews. Mobile check deposit, account statements, transaction histories and online bill pay are all included features.

UFB Direct High Yield Savings

UFB High Yield Savings

UFB Direct is an online- and mobile-only bank that offers one of the top savings rates on the market through its High Yield Savings account. The account boasts a 1.00% APY, a rate that’s accessible for any accounts that are at least $10,000 in size. Unfortunately, if your balance is below $10,000, the account will become non-interest-bearing. But if you can break that threshold and maintain a high balance, the returns you’ll receive are some of the best available.

Like many of the top online savings accounts, UFB Direct has eliminated all minimum opening deposit requirements and monthly maintenance fees for this account. Just remember that you still need to maintain at least a $10,000 balance to access the aforementioned 1.00% APY. So even though you can open and maintain an account with very little money, you won’t get any interest from the account.

Generally speaking, checking accounts are meant for consistent transactions, while savings accounts like this one are not intended for frequent withdrawals. Despite this, UFB Direct provides account holders with a free debit card when they open their account. This could be especially valuable for this account, as there is no branch access with an online bank like UFB.

Axos Bank High Yield Savings Account

Axos High Yield Savings Account

As an online-only financial institution, Axos Bank does not operate any branch locations. However, one of the benefits of Axos' web-based setup is that it can offer high interest rates. The High Yield Savings Account from Axos comes with a 1.10% APY, which is a rate that will apply to all balances. To help you retain what you earn in interest, the bank does not charge any monthly maintenance fees.

A common drawback of digital banks is that funds can be difficult to access due to the inherent lack of branch locations. In this case, though, Axos Bank provides High Yield Savings Account customers with a free ATM card to make withdrawals easier.

If you're interested in opening a High Yield Savings Account with Axos, you'll need to have at least $250 ready to deposit. While this isn't an extraordinary requirement given the typically sizable nature of a savings account, it's still more than some of the other banks on this list call for.

Marcus Online Savings Account

Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has become one of the top banks in the U.S. when it comes to savings rates, and its Online Savings Account doesn’t disappoint. The offering comes with a 1.05% APY, giving it one of the best rates right now. There's also no minimum balance necessary to get this APY, as the 1.05% rate will apply to any size balance. Marcus does have a maximum balance limit on its accounts, though it’s one few savers will hit: $1 million. The Marcus Online Savings Account has no monthly maintenance fees whatsoever.

True to its reputation as a savings-focused bank, Marcus has a number of strong certificate of deposit (CD) offerings. The bank has CD terms that range in length from six months to six years, with great rates available for each of them. Although the savings benefits of Marcus are clear, the bank does not have any checking accounts available. So if you’d like the ability to make frequent withdrawals, you’ll have to open a checking account at a different bank.

Live Oak Bank Online Savings Account

Online Savings Account

Live Oak Bank, which has traditionally been known for its business banking and loan services, now has a top-tier consumer savings account on the market. In fact, its Online Savings Account has a sizable 1.35% APY, which equates to $135 in annual interest earnings on a $10,000 deposit. That rate alone is a great reason to consider this account.

This savings account has no monthly service fees, which means all of your earnings should stay in your pocket. In addition, the account has no minimum opening deposit, and account holders are only required to maintain a $0.01 balance to access the 1.35% APY.

You won’t have any branch access when you open an Online Savings Account with Live Oak Bank, as it is an entirely online financial institution. Therefore, the vast majority of your account management will be done through Live Oak’s Apple and Android mobile apps and its website. Features available through these platforms include detailed histories of your account balances and past transactions, mobile check deposit, online money transfers and direct customer service. You can even link your outside bank accounts in the app so you can view all of your balances in a single place.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Online Savings Account

At Ally Bank, you get a savings account with a relatively high interest rate and a platform that makes it easy to control your money. Ally Bank currently offers a 1.10% APY that compounds daily. However, if your APY is what's most important to you, you will be able to find higher rates at other banks. 

What sets Ally apart from some of the other banks we reviewed is its customer experience. With Ally you do not need a minimum deposit or minimum balance to open an account. You also do not have to worry about monthly maintenance or hidden fees. Further, depositing, withdrawing and sending money is simple at Ally. The mobile app is easy to use and comes with 24/7 chat support if you have any issues.

You can open up a free checking account when you open your savings account and transfer money between the two. From your checking account, you can withdraw money by using an ATM or a debit card. You can make free withdrawals at any of the 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs throughout the country.

The main downside to Ally Bank is that it is a fully online bank, so you cannot drive to your nearest Ally Bank location because those do not exist. The bank also does not accept cash deposits, so if you find yourself frequently depositing cash or visiting a brick-and-mortar bank location, banks with branches may be better for you.

HSBC Direct Savings

Direct Savings

Direct Savings from HSBC is an online savings account that comes with a great 1.01% APY. All you need is $1 to open this account, so virtually anyone can get started saving immediately. You don't need to worry about losing your savings to monthly fees either, as HSBC doesn't charge any with this account. Additionally, the 1.01% APY applies to all balances regardless of whether you’ve saved $20 or $20,000.

Although HSBC operates around 200 branches throughout the U.S., Direct Savings account holders cannot manage their account anywhere but through their computer and mobile device. Because of this, the HSBC mobile app and online banking website will become customers’ lifeline to their accounts. HSBC doesn’t include a debit card with this account either, so ATM withdrawals are out of the question.

Despite the web-centric nature of HSBC, its mobile app has not fared well in terms of user reviews. Across 80,000 reviews between the Apple and Android app stores, the app holds an average rating of about 2.7 stars out of 5. Its features include mobile check deposit, eStatements with seven years of extended access, online money transfers between in-house and outside accounts, online bill pay and more.

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Best Places for Women to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where working women have the greatest opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places for women to save.

Rank County Median Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where in the country do women have the greatest opportunity to build savings? To answer that question, SmartAsset analyzed county-level data on female income, tax rates and cost of living.

Specifically, we looked at the income women earned working full-time over a period of 12 months. We used federal and state tax rates to calculate the median after-tax income in each location. Then we subtracted the cost of living in that county. The cost of living value is an aggregate of several average expenses, including food, transportation, housing and medical costs and comes from the MIT Living Wage Study. The difference represents the amount of money women could potentially put into savings.

Finally, we ranked the counties by that amount. Places with the largest difference between after-tax income and cost of living represented the places where women have the best opportunity to build their savings.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study