Best Online Savings Accounts USA: Where to Put Your Money
A savings account is an easy, risk-free way to grow your money. Unlike checking accounts, which allow frequent withdrawals, savings accounts offer a secure location to hold any money you do not need immediate access to – think emergency fund or money you’re setting aside for a large purchase in the future (a house, a car, a wedding, buying your mom something nice for being your mom). In exchange for holding your money, banks pay you interest, which can be compounded and added to your account, sometimes as frequently as once a month (or daily) depending on the bank. In other words, your money will literally increase just by sitting in the account.
We’ve put together a list of the best online savings accounts to help you determine which one works for your needs.
Save now, benefit later.
What to Look for in an Online Savings Account
An online savings account is a great option if you are looking for a hassle-free way to stash and grow your cash. There are a few key factors to consider when selecting the best online savings account:
Annual Percentage Yield
To maximize the interest earned you want to look for an account with a high APY. Many online savings accounts are able to offer higher APY’s because they don’t have the same overhead as banks with lots of physical branches.
Minimum Balance Requirements
Some banks require that a minimum balance be maintained in order to avoid fees and earn interest. However, there are plenty of high yield online saving accounts that have no minimum deposit or balance requirement.
Monthly Maintenance or Service Fees
The best online savings accounts have no monthly service fees or overdraft fees, and in some cases, they even offer ATM fee reimbursement. Look for an account that has no or low monthly fees to maximize your earnings.
To protect your funds you want to select an account that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the National Credit Union Administration (if you select a savings account with a credit union).
Pros & Cons of Online Savings Accounts
Pros: The Good Stuff
Many offer or low monthly maintenance fees
Mobile apps with special digital savings tools and features
Longer hours of operation and sometimes 24/7 call centers
Funds can be transferred electronically
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Limited or no physical branches
No in-person customer service
ATM fees and sometimes limited ATM accessibility
Best Savings Accounts for Americans
If you compare banks and credit unions, you will likely notice credit unions often offer higher interest rates. Alliant’s online savings account offers .75% APY and while it’s not the highest on our list, it still exceeds the national average. However, this account does require a minimum balance of $100.
If you are considering a credit union this online savings account is still a great option, it offers convenient access to over 80,000 ATMs and reimburses associated fees. Additionally, you can open multiple supplemental accounts (up to 19) to help manage your money.
If you are looking for an online savings account with a moderately high annual percentage yield and brick-and-mortar accessibility, HSBC might be a good option for you. There are no monthly fees and the APY is .50% with a minimum $1 balance.
However, the mobile app is not as advanced as some of the competitors, and the physical locations are limited to certain states. Overall, if you are interested in online banking for the convenience that comes with remote access there are better options for online savings accounts.
The best online savings account should offer a high annual percentage yield, great customer service, and minimal fees and balance requirements. Ally’s online savings account checks all these boxes. Plus, at .80%, the APY is higher than many competing savings accounts, and there is no monthly service fee or minimum balance required to get the full rate.
The Ally Banking mobile app is another standout feature that allows customers to seamlessly make deposits, pay bills, and access live chat support.
This online savings account is the perfect choice if you are saving for a specific goal (or goals)– it features up to 10 different saving “buckets” that you can name and divide your money among.
Higher than average interest rates and no minimum deposit are two of the reasons this London-based bank makes our list of the best online savings accounts. While the large financial institution services millions with branches worldwide, its US division is limited to online only.
However, the .80% APY, low fees, secure access to your funds online 24/7, and the option to deposit checks electronically through the website make it worthwhile since you don’t need a physical location to do your banking. Additionally, customer service is available every day (including weekends) should you have any questions.
While the bank does not offer checking accounts to US-based clients, they do offer competitive rates on online CDs.
5. American Express National Bank
Although American Express is most known for the perks offered via credit cards, the national bank also offers competitive high yield savings accounts. The American Express Personal Savings Account has a .80% APY, only requires a minimum balance of $1 to earn the full interest, and there are no maintenance fees or minimum deposits required to open an account. As with all savings accounts on our list, AMEX is FDIC insured so there is no risk of the bank losing your money.
Unfortunately, American Express does not offer checking accounts, so that means no ATMs or the ability to deposit cash. To make a deposit you must link it to an existing bank account or mail a check. However, direct deposit is also an option. The mobile app is also not available for savings accounts currently.
Overall, American Express offers a good high-yield low fee savings account.
6. Discover Bank
Discover offers a hassle-free online savings account with no minimum balance requirements or fees. That means zero hidden fees including monthly maintenance, insufficient funds, stop payment order, or excessive withdraw (meaning you won’t be penalized if you occasionally exceed limitations).
However, it’s the high APY at .80% and minimal requirements (any amount $1 and over qualifies for the full interest rate) that make it a pick for the best online savings account. Additionally, interest compounds daily meaning your money starts growing right away. The Discover online savings account also offers 24/7 customer service, and a state-of-the-art mobile app allowing customers to electronically deposit checks, monitor account activity, and transfer funds.
Overall, this high-yield account is a great option for anyone looking to grow their money with minimal fees or fuss.
7. Captial One
The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account offers a 0.65% APY interest rate which is high compared to the .06% national average. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Open an account with as little as $0 and earn the full interest rate on whatever amount you deposit no matter how large or small.
Moreover, this online bank has physical full-service branches and Capital One Cafes scattered throughout the country for those who prefer an in-person banking experience. Although this savings account does not offer an ATM card, you can pair it with a Capital One 360 checking account which allows ATM access. Otherwise, options for deposit include the mobile app, wire transfer, and electronic funds transfer.
Overall, Capital One 360 is a great option if you are looking for a low fee, high-interest rate online savings account. As Jennifer Garner and Samuel L. Jackson asked us in ads, What’s in your wallet? Hopefully big savings.
8. Marcus by Goldmen Sachs
When compared with some of the largest US banks, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers one of the highest APY’s at .80%. Surprisingly, there are no minimum deposit requirements to open an account, as long as a deposit is made within 60 days. That’s not all, the award-winning online savings account can be linked with other bank accounts for transfers and allows same day transfers up to $100,000.
There are no monthly maintenance fees but that doesn’t stop Goldman Sachs from providing top quality customer service, all calls received during normal business hours are answered by a member of the US service team (instead of an automated system – a real person! Wow.). Funds can be deposited through electronic funds transfer, wire transfer, direct deposit, and mailed check.
Unfortunately, mobile deposits are not available at this time and there are no physical branch locations, but if those are not of high importance to you, this high-yield online savings account is a great option.
In terms of accessibility, Citibank offers cutting edge mobile apps and online tools in addition to physical branches across the country. While this online savings account offers a very low APY, just .04% (lower than the national average), they do try to compensate for it by offering sign-up bonuses. However, a minimum balance of $500 must be maintained in order to waive the monthly maintenance fee.
If you don’t need physical access to your savings account or an ATM there are plenty of online banking options with better APYs. But if you already have a Citibank checking account, or if in-person customer service is a priority for you, Citibank has over 700 brick-and-mortar locations and over 60,000 ATMs across the country.
8. Citizens Access
This online-only bank offers simple and secure savings with a higher than average interest rate, FDIC Insurance, and zero fees (for anything). The .80% APY is high in terms of online savings but there is a $5,000 minimum deposit required to open an account. And with no physical locations, there are only three options to make deposits, online funds transfer, mail-in check deposit, or direct deposit.
If you are looking for an online bank with a high-yield, low fees, and minimal requirements -- there are plenty of other online savings accounts that offer the same APY without requiring such a large deposit to receive the full rate. And let’s be real here, in this economic climate, $5,000 may be very hard to come by.
Now that you’ve read about the top online savings accounts, we suggest you pick the one that meets your needs. Your money’s not going to save itself!
Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend keeping any money you have set aside for a rainy day or are saving for a large purchase in an online saving account with a high APY. All banks have different requirements that must be met and maintained to receive interest and avoid fees. Some have a minimum balance requirement ranging anywhere from $0 - $1000+, others require a monthly min deposit – so you will want to select your account accordingly.
As long as your online savings account is insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) your money is safe even if your financial institution goes under. This is the same level of protection offered at any brick-and-mortar FDIC insured bank – typically funds up to $250,000 per person (and account) are fully covered.
This will vary depending on the bank and the market. Online savings accounts are a great option because many of them offer a high APY (annual percentage yield) – typically the higher the yield the more your money will grow. However, the amount of money you deposit (and maintain) in your account can have an effect as well.
When it comes to digital savings accounts, you’ll notice the term “high yield” floating around. Simply put, high yield savings accounts offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. They are called as such because they produce a greater return on your money.