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.
|Chime Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|First Foundation Bank Read More||0.60%||$1,000|| |
|Varo Bank Read More||0.40%||$0|| |
|TAB Bank Read More||0.65%||$0|| |
|Vio Bank Read More||0.57%||$100|| |
|Synchrony Read More||0.60%||$0|| |
|Discover Bank Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|American Express National Bank Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|Axos Bank Read More||0.61%||$250|| |
|Ally Bank Read More||0.50%||$0|| |
|Quorum Federal Credit Union Read More||0.40%||$0|| |
|PenFed Read More||0.55%||$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.
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 160,000 customer reviews, while more than 150,000 Android customers gave it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.
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 0.60% 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 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 0.40% APY with no monthly fees. You can also earn up to 2.80% APY if you meet certain requirements:
- 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 $10,000 for the calendar month
There's a minimum of $0.01 needed to begin earning interest, but after that, there are no balance requirements to earn the rates above. 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.
TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account
TAB Bank’s High-Yield Savings account offers a 0.65% 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 4.8 stars and 4.5 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.
Vio Bank 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 0.57% 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 3.2 stars out of 5. Available features include detailed account balances, long-term transaction histories, mobile money transfers, check deposits and more.
Synchrony High Yield Savings
Synchrony Bank has one of the better savings accounts available today. Its central feature is a 0.60% 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.
Discover Online Savings Account
With a 0.50% APY, Discover Bank’s Online Savings Account comes with a decent interest rate. These rates 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.
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
American Express® is most well-known as a credit card company, but it has some significant banking offerings as well. In fact, its High Yield Savings Account account boasts an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.50%, 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.
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 0.61% 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.
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 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.
Quorum HighQ Savings
Quorum Federal Credit Union has been around since 1934. Perhaps its top account is the Quorum HighQ Savings account, which features a 0.40% APY. While this is a strong rate in today’s banking environment, the account also boasts no monthly maintenance fees, minimum deposits or minimum balances. There is a $10 monthly fee for paper statements, though switching to online statements will get rid of that charge.
As Quorum is a credit union, you’ll need to become a member in order to open the HighQ Savings account. Luckily, it’s actually fairly easy to join Quorum. For starters, anyone who’s related to a current member is eligible for membership. You can also join if you work for an eligible company. If neither of those stipulations work for you, you can also join an eligible organization, though a donation to that organization may also be required.
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 0.55% 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.