When you’ve got a little extra money to put away but don’t want to risk it in investments, a savings account is a good choice. But don’t run right to your regular bank. First, take a look at online savings.
Because online banks don’t need to maintain physical branches, they can offer a higher interest rate on your cash. The national average for savings accounts is 0.09%, while the best online savings vehicles pay nearly 2% APY.
These accounts rival money market accounts in terms of return. And most of them offer both impressive terms and clean online interfaces that are easy to navigate.
Varo is an FDIC member online bank offering a robust 1.92% interest on your savings account – and it goes up to 2.80% if you meet certain qualifications.
You will need to first have a checking account at Varo in order to get your savings account, but there are no monthly fees or minimum balances associated. Deposit checks right through the app, or deposit cash at one of 90,000 retail locations. Varo also handles direct deposits.
That’s key because in order to bump your interest rate up to 2.80%, you’ll need to have direct deposits that add up to at least $1,000 made every month. You’ll also need to make at least 5 purchases with your Varo debit card each month (easy) and maintain a balance of no more than $50,000 (no minimum).
Varo also has a couple of great automatic savings tools. One allows you to have a designated percentage of your checking account automatically transferred to savings each month. Another automatically rounds every purchase up to the nearest dollar and deposits the change into your savings. Both are optional, user controlled services.
This savings account is a great high yield option if you have at least $5,000 to park. That’s the minimum balance, but if you can maintain it, you’ll get an interest rate of 1.85%.
You can set up your account in about 5 minutes and don’t need to have any other account with Citizens Access if you don’t want to. There are no fees associated with any part of using the service.
Deposits may be made by check through the app or via direct deposit from your employer. You can also transfer money from other accounts into your Citizens Access account. However, this bank does not accept cash deposits or wire transfers. Member FDIC.
From CIBC Bank comes a savings vehicle that’s a little easier to start than the Citizens Access product but still pays 1.85% interest.
This account requires a $1,000 opening deposit, but after that you only need to maintain a .01 balance to keep it open. Of course, the more money you keep in there, the higher your interest payments.
There are no monthly fees to bank with CIBC, and you don’t need to have a checking account first. Your deposits are protected by FDIC insurance up to applicable limits.
To make deposits, you can set up direct deposit or transfer money from another financial institution. However, to deposit a check, you’ll need to mail it in.
CIT Bank offers up to 1.75% interest on their Savings Builder accounts, but you’ll need to agree to one of two funding options to get that rate.
The first choice is to maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 – not so easy for folks who are starting smaller. The second choice is to make a $100 initial deposit and commit to at least one additional deposit every month of at least $100.
If you do have $25K to sock away all at once, you will be eligible for a $100 bonus if that money isn’t touched for 105 days. Earn a $200 bonus if you have $50K to open the account.
There are no account opening or maintenance fees. Deposits can be made via the mobile app, ACH funds transfer, incoming wire, or by mailing a check. Member FDIC.
The good folks at Discover offer a savings account with 1.60% interest. That’s lower than other banks on our list, but this is an account that’s ideal for people who are starting from zero. There is no minimum deposit required to open your account, nor any minimum balance to maintain or monthly fee to pay.
Of course, if you do have $15,000 available to open your account, you’ll get a $150 bonus. For $25,000 the bonus goes up to $200.
Discover’s mobile app is robust and allows you to deposit checks, pay bills, transfer money, and even find no-fee ATMs nearby. Discover is partnered with Zelle for sending and receiving money via text or email.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
With a savings account from Marcus you will receive 1.70% interest on your money, with no minimum balance, monthly fees, or transaction fees.
While you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance, your account has a maximum balance of one million dollars. But with that kind of scratch, you really should be investing it!
You can open the account in minutes with a simple online application form, and then link another account for transferring money. You don’t need to put money into the account right away, but if you maintain a zero balance for 60 straight days, the bank reserves the right to close the account.
The mobile app makes it easy to check your balance, move money, and see how much interest you’ve earned. However, you can’t deposit checks online; they’ll need to be mailed in.
Are you ready to make your money work harder for you? A good online savings account pays interest far above that offered by a traditional bank. And because each of these accounts makes it super easy to link your existing accounts, you won’t have to work harder to save.
The best online account for you depends on how much money you have to open the account and whether it’s important to be able to deposit checks through a mobile app or get cash out at ATMs. Whatever your particular savings goals, there’s an online savings account to support them.
Disclaimer: All the information presented is valid on the time of the posting, but isn’t guaranteed to be actual at later stages. Banks may change the rates. Please look up their websites for up-to-date data.