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.
|Varo Bank Read More||1.21%||$0|| |
|First Foundation Bank Read More||1.00%||$1,000|| |
|Synchrony Read More||0.75%||$0|| |
|Discover Bank Read More||0.95%||$0|| |
|Chime Read More||1.00%||$0|| |
|Axos Bank Read More||0.90%||$250|| |
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs Read More||0.80%||$0|| |
|American Express National Bank Read More||1.00%||$0|| |
|Capital One Read More||0.80%||$0|| |
|Ally Bank Read More||1.00%||$0|| |
|CIBC Bank USA Read More||1.05%||$1,000|| |
|PenFed Read More||0.90%||$5|| |
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.
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 each 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 out of 5, 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.
First Foundation Bank 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 1.00% 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.
Synchrony High Yield Savings
Synchrony Bank has one of the better savings accounts available today. Its central feature is a 0.75% APY, which is one of the better rates on the market. There are no minimum 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 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.
Discover Online Savings Account
With a 0.95% APY, Discover Bank’s Online Savings Account comes in near the top of the market. Interest rates at Discover also compound daily, maximizing your earnings potential. The account has no monthly fees, ensuring that every dollar you save will stay in your pocket. There’s also no minimum opening deposit, which makes the account accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
As an online/mobile-only bank, customers can interact with their Discover account through its online banking website or with its Apple and Android mobile banking apps. Current account holders are apparently happy with the bank’s app, as it holds a 4.5-star rating on the Google Play store and a 4.8-star rating on the Apple app store. Account features include Face ID login, customer service chat via text message, free FICO® scores, 24/7 account balances and transaction histories, mobile check deposit and more.
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 1.00% 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 150,000 customer reviews, while more than 140,000 Android customers gave it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
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 0.90% 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
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 0.80% APY, giving it one of the best rates right now. There's also no minimum balance necessary to get this APY, as the 0.80% 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.
American Express® Personal Savings
American Express® is most well-known as a credit card company, but it has some significant banking offerings as well. In fact, its Personal Savings account boasts a 1.00% APY, 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), so there are 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
The 360 Performance Savings account from Capital One has a 0.80% 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 two million customer reviews. Mobile check deposit, account statements, transaction histories and online bill pay are all included features.
Ally Bank 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 1.00% 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 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.
CIBC Bank USA Agility Online Savings Account
The U.S. branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is called CIBC Bank USA, and its Agility Online Savings Account provides one of the best rates on the market. As long as you can meet the account’s $1,000 minimum opening deposit, you’ll gain access to a 1.05% APY. Beyond that, there are no monthly fees to eat away at your interest-based earnings.
The CIBC Bank USA mobile banking app is available for both Apple and Android users. Through this app, you can view account balances and transaction histories, send and receive money, pay your bills, deposit checks remotely and more. However, despite these plentiful features, the app has scored poorly on the Apple and Android app stores, with Apple users rating the app at 1.8 stars out of 5 and Android users rating it 3.2 stars out of 5.
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 0.90% 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 employed by the U.S. government or another qualifying organization. However, if none of these apply to you, you can become a member by belonging to certain organizations or living in eligible areas.