Pretty much every bank out there has a savings account option, but you can typically earn much more interest on your savings by having your money in an online bank account. Since the bank can avoid expenses like ATM’s, they can pass some of that savings to you in the form of high interest rates. Below are a list of some of the better offers as of December 2017.
The best savings accounts offer high interest, access to ATM’s, and no minimum balance fees.
Synchrony Bank pays 1.30% APY. There is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fee, and the option to get an ATM card. Unlike most internet-only banks which require you to transfer funds electronically and can take a few days, the ATM card offer with Synchrony allows you to access your funds immediately.
Pros: No minimum balance, no monthly fee, ATM access
Cons: No app for phone, sub-par digital experience.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA, the consumer bank of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, offers a 1.30% APY on deposits. There is no minimum balance and there are no transaction fees. Upon opening the account you can deposit funds via electronic transfer, wire transfer or deposit by check. You can get access to your funds via electronic transfer or wire transfer. Goldman has consistently been paying one of the highest rates in the market, and has a big appetite to keep growing the business.
Pros: No minimum balance, no transaction fee, comfort of well-known brand.
Cons: No ATM access
Barclays bank offers no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and 1.30% APY. This is the account I have. You can transfer your money into or out of your Barclays savings account easily online, set up recurring automatic transfers or direct deposits and access your money when you need to 24/7.
Pros: No minimum balance, no monthly fees, easy transfer, comfort of well-known brand
Cons: No ATM Access
Ally has no minimum balance requirement and will pay 1.25% APY. Ally also offers you the ability to open a free checking account (also with no minimum balance requirement). This makes access to your savings account incredibly easy – because you can transfer funds online (or via the app) and have immediate access via checks, debit cards and ATMs.
Pros: No minimum balance, checks, debit card, ATM access, Mobil app
Cons: 0.05% less APY
PRO TIP We recommend doing your research and choosing a high interest online bank, then making a few savings accounts in order to help you save for what you need. It is helpful to make rules for yourself regarding accounts, such as once money goes in, it cannot come out unless for the express purpose the account was made for. For instance:
Rainy Day/ Emergency savings: Place automatic deposits into this account until it has reached the correct amount that you can pay for at least 3 months of living expenses. This includes rent/ mortgage, bills, transportation and food. if you ever find yourself out of a job, you will be happy you have a cushion.
Real Estate: Want to buy property? You are going to need enough for a down payment. You should definitely place some money in the stock market, but to be certain that you have the money you need, start a real estate savings account asap.
Travel: Saving for a big trip? Set up an automatic deposit for a few dollars a month into a travel savings account. When you get “bonus” money of some kind, such as from work, a product rebate, or a scratch ticket, you can choose to put larger amounts in to your travel savings to reach your goal.