Things are changing quickly in the financial life of the United States and the entire world. The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates as of March 2020, which led banks to also reduce yields for savings accounts. With continued unpredictability forecast for the next several months at least, if you are thinking about opening up a savings account soon, don’t hesitate!
To help you choose the best possible account, we have collected a few options that have higher than average yields right now. But that’s not all you need to look at; we have also analyzed the consumer-friendly features that will make that account truly work for you.
1. Vio Bank
If you want a savings account to grow but not touch very often, Vio Bank has just the thing. It offers a fantastic 1.85% interest rate and a low $100 minimum investment to get started. There are no monthly maintenance fees, either, but one downside is the lack of physical bank and ATM locations. You can additionally purchase CDs from Vio, but it does not offer checking accounts.
There are two fees that you’ll need to watch out for, but they aren’t too difficult to avoid. One is a dormant account fee – this means that $5 per month will be assessed after a full year without any deposits to your savings account. The other fee is for more than six withdrawals within a single month. That one will cost you $10 per transaction over six.
2. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
You’ll get a nice 1.70% interest rate on your money when you keep it with Goldman Sachs, and there is no minimum balance to open an account. There are also no monthly service fees. Like all banks, Marcus restricts the number of free withdrawals from your savings account each month to six.
Know that there are no ATM locations for depositing checks, and you can’t do it through the mobile app, either. You’ll have to mail in that check if you want it to go straight to your savings account. However, you may take advantage of free wire transfers or deposit money from other accounts, and this process is pretty seamless.
3. Citizens Access
Citizens Access offers a 1.70% APY on money saved with them. This is yet another online-only bank account, and you may be sensing a theme here. Online banks can provide the best interest rates on their savings vehicles because they don’t have the expense of leasing, maintaining, and staffing brick and mortar locations.
Citizens Access is relatively new, but it is an offshoot of Citizens Bank N. A., which has been in the business for nearly 200 years. You can trust that your money will be safe here, but be prepared to sock away a lot of it: the minimum deposit to start an account is $5,000.
For that reason, this is not an account for people who are starting small and building their savings. But if you find yourself with an unexpected windfall, Citizens Access is a great place to save it. There are no fees associated with the account once you get it going.
4. American Express Personal Savings
American Express knows money, and by saving here you can get an interest rate in line with other online operations. There is no minimum balance and you’ll enjoy 1.70% APY. However, note that while you don’t have to deposit any set amount of money to get started, accounts with a zero balance for 180 days straight will automatically be closed.
There are no monthly fees with this account, but as an online account, there are also no checks or debit cards issued. You can make up to six withdrawals per month by transferring money into another linked account, but there is no limit on the deposits you can make. Checks will need to be deposited by mail.
5. Sallie Mae
This massive student loan provider also has high yield savings accounts and CDs on offer. Though not as high as some others, you will get a solid 1.40% interest on your savings with Sallie Mae. The advertised rate is explicitly variable, though, and can change over the life of your account.
There is no minimum balance to get started, and only one fee associated with the account. This is an excessive withdrawal charge for withdrawals over six per month, and if you regularly exceed this number, Sallie Mae will close your account.
Remember that because Sallie Mae does not offer checking accounts, you’ll need to link another bank account in order to fund your savings.
6. CIT Bank
You can get up to 1.75% interest on a Savings Builder account from CIT Bank, but you will need to commit to regular funding in order to score that rate. It’s not too onerous, though. Just make an opening deposit of $100 and deposit at least $100 each month.
The ongoing deposit requirement is waived for people who can maintain a minimum balance of $25,000, and you will get a $150 bonus if you don’t touch your money for 105 days after deposit. Accounts that top $50,000 are eligible for a $300 bonus.
CIT does not charge any account opening or maintenance fees. One of the nicer features of this online account is that deposits can be made by check via the mobile app. Of course, you can also mail in a check or transfer money from a linked account.
It’s no secret that the global economy is unpredictable at the moment, and interest rates on savings accounts have already fallen in the past month alone. But that just means it is all the more important to save your money for an uncertain future.
Online banks far exceed traditional banks when it comes to interest rates, so start there in your research. And remember, you can always close the account and move your money someplace else if interest rates improve and your current account doesn’t keep pace.