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December 2021's Best Savings Accounts

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We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure

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
Axos Bank Axos Bank logo Read More 0.61% $250
  • No monthly fees
  • Free ATM card
Chime Chime logo Read More 0.50% $0
  • Simple savings option
  • No monthly fees
Synchrony Synchrony logo Read More 0.50% $0
  • Solid savings option
  • No minimums or monthly fees
Comenity Direct Comenity Direct logo Read More 0.55% $100
  • Strong APY
  • Savings-centric bank
Ally Bank Ally Bank logo Read More 0.50% $0
  • Strong customer service
  • Mobile app with check deposit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Marcus by Goldman Sachs logo Read More 0.50% $0
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balances
Vio Bank Vio Bank logo Read More 0.51% $100
  • Strong interest rate that compounds daily
  • Need $100 to open an account
Discover Bank Discover Bank logo Read More 0.40% $0
  • Intuitive online and mobile features
  • Good APY
TAB Bank TAB Bank logo Read More 0.50% $0
  • Great APY
  • Daily compounding interest rates
PenFed PenFed logo Read More 0.50% $5
  • Good interest rate
  • Low $5 minimum
American Express National Bank, Member FDIC American Express National Bank, Member FDIC logo Read More 0.40% $0
  • No monthly fees
  • Just a $1 minimum to earn APY (0.40% APY is effective as of 3/11/21)
Capital One Capital One logo Read More 0.40% $0
  • Good APY
  • Strong national presence

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.

Axos Bank High Yield Savings

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 0.61% APY, which is a rate that will apply to balances below $25,000. 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.

Chime Savings Account

Chime Savings Account

Chime is an entirely mobile-based bank that offers a savings account and a checking account. The Chime Savings Account comes with a 0.50% APY, which is one of the better rates available today. The account is almost entirely fee-free, as the only fee is a $2.50 cash withdrawal fee if you initiate an out-of-network ATM or over-the-counter transaction.

Chime is billed as an all-in-one bank. As a result, prospective savings account holders cannot gain access to the account unless they also open a Chime Spending Account, which is a checking account. So although there’s no minimum deposit or balance requirements for the Chime Savings Account, the real eligibility stipulation for this account is to open a Chime Spending Account.

A mobile-only bank needs to have a great mobile app, and indeed, Chime’s Apple and Android mobile apps are some of the best on the market. On the Apple app store, it has a 4.8-star out of 5 rating with more than 233,000 customer reviews, while more than 206,000 Android customers gave it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.

Synchrony High Yield Savings

High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank has one of the better savings accounts available today. Its central feature is a 0.50% APY, which is one of the higher rates on the market. There are no minimum deposit requirements with this account, making it a viable option for just about anyone. Beyond that, there are no monthly fees that will eat into your interest 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.

Synchrony's mobile app is also fairly highly rated, which is a 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 to both Apple and Android mobile users.

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 0.55% APY 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. The only downside is that the bank does not offer a checking account, so you'll need to house your checking balance elsewhere.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Online Savings Account

At Ally Bank, you get a savings account with a strong interest rate and a platform that makes it easy to control your money. Ally Bank currently offers a 0.50% APY that compounds daily. But what really 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 bank's 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 at Ally 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 they 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.

Marcus Online Savings Account

Marcus 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 0.50% APY, giving it one of the better rates right now. There's also no minimum balance necessary to get this APY, as the 0.50% 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 too. 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.

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

Vio High Yield Online Savings Account

Vio Bank is a savings-only online and mobile bank. Its premier account offering is its High Yield Online Savings Account, which boasts a 0.51% APY. While there are better rates available than this one, it's still one of the stronger APYs currently on the market. The account has no monthly maintenance fees, which means every bit of interest you earn will stay yours. However, if you choose to keep receiving paper statements, you'll pay $5 a month for them.

If you're interested in opening an account with Vio, you'll need at least $100 ready to deposit. Once your account is open, you'll manage your balance through the bank's online banking website and mobile banking apps. While Apple customers are clearly happy with Vio Bank's mobile app (4.5-star rating out of 5), Android users rate the app at just 3.2 stars out of 5. Available features include detailed account balances, long-term transaction histories, mobile money transfers, check deposits and more.

Discover Online Savings Account

Discover Online Savings Account

The Discover Online Savings Account is a great option for anyone who's looking for a online bank that's easy to use and understand. Savings account holders will earna 0.40% APY on all balances, with no restrictions. This is certainly lower than you might find at other banks, online and not, but Discover has a number of attributes that make it an attractive option. There's no minimum to open an account and there are no monthly services charges or minimum account balance requirements, as you might find at other banks. On top of that, this account compounds interest on a daily basis.

One thing to note and remember about Discover is the fact that it's an online bank with no physical presence. This may make some people uncomfortable, but if you're looking to ease your way into online banking, Discover could be a great fit. The bank is known for it's phenomenal customer service and easy-to-use interface. Discover also offers other financial products, so you can open a checking account or a new credit card all within the same platform.

TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

TAB Bank’s High-Yield Savings account offers a 0.50% APY, which is one of the better rates currently available on the market. Another point in this account’s favor: You only need to maintain a $1 balance to gain access to this rate. That’s in contrast to some accounts which require you to maintain a high minimum balance to get a top APY. There are also no monthly fees associated with this account, so every bit of interest you earn will stay in your hands.

Customers of TAB Bank manage their account balances through either its website or mobile apps. TAB has done a masterful job of creating its Apple and Android mobile offerings, as Apple and Android users have rated them at 4.7 stars and 3.9 stars out of 5, respectively. Features available via these platforms include full balance and transaction histories, inter-account and outside account money transfers, mobile check deposit and online bill pay. 

Unlike some other online banks, TAB has a full range of banking products available for its customers. So if you’re interested in more than just a savings account, you can choose from a selection of checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts and other savings accounts here. For the most part, each of these TAB accounts has strong interest rates in comparison to the rest of the market and does not come with monthly fees or tough-to-meet minimums.

PenFed Premium Online Savings Account

PenFed Premium Online Savings Account

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, more commonly referred to as PenFed, offers an online savings option called the Premium Online Savings Account. For starters, the account has a strong 0.50% APY, which is one of the better rates on the market. There are also no monthly fees with this account.

To become an account holder, all you need to do is deposit $5 when you open your account. However, this minimalistic requirement is contingent on you already being a member of PenFed Credit Union. If you want to become a member, it helps if you are associated with the military (retired, honorably discharged or currently serving) or are employed by the U.S. government or another qualifying organization. However, if none of the above applies to you, you can become a member by belonging to certain organizations or living in eligible areas.

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

American Express® Savings High Yield Savings Account

American Express®, Member FDIC, is most well-known as a credit card company, but it has some significant banking offerings as well. In fact, as of March, 11, 2021, its High Yield Savings Account account boasts an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.40%, with no minimum deposit to open the account. However, there is a $1 minimum required to receive the APY. American Express does not charge a monthly fee for this account, which means everything you save will remain in your balance.

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, 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), so there are no checking account offerings. 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 0.40% 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 a few 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 4.8 stars out of 5 across nearly three million customer reviews. Mobile check deposit, account statements, transaction histories and online bill pay are all included features.

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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.

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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