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11 best vacation savings accounts of May 2021

Explore your options to help fund your dream vacation savings plans.

Editor's pick for your vacation: Chime Savings

0.5%

APY

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service fees
  • Get your paycheck early with direct deposit
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The best vacation savings account offers built-in goal-tracking tools to help you visualize your progress and stay motivated as you save. It could also be an all-in-one digital bank account that allows you to save now and spend your money later from the same account. We reviewed over 140 digital and savings accounts and compared factors like savings tools, APYs, monthly fees, and availability and curated a list of the 11 best accounts to help bring your vacation savings plans to life.

What’s changed in 2021?

We reviewed our best list to ensure these are still the top accounts to help you save for a vacation. We replaced Simple with One Finance as it’s being discontinued this year. We also added Sallie Mae’s SmartyPig savings account because it acts as a piggy bank for short- and long-term goals.

Closer look at the best vacation savings accounts

These popular accounts have built-in savings tools to keep you motivated and on track as you save for your next vacation. Compare each account’s pros and cons to find the right one for you.

Chime Savings

Chime Savings logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Chime's secure site
0.5%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Have a percentage of your paycheck automatically deposited into your vacation savings account each time you get paid. Every Chime Savings customer gets a checking and savings account. Plus, a suite of financial tools to help you automate your savings.
  • Low fees.Chime Savings doesn't charge most of the fees charged by larger banks, such as monthly maintenance, overdraft, card replacement or foreign transaction fees.
  • Automated savings. Have a percentage of your paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account each time you get paid.
  • Round-up feature. Every time you use your debit card, Chime Savings will round up your purchases to the nearest whole dollar and transfer the money into your savings account.
  • No joint accounts. Chime Savings doesn't support joint accounts, so you can't open this account with a loved one.
  • Required checking account. You'll need to open a Chime Spend account to be eligible for this savings accounts.
  • No 24/7 customer support. Most digital banks are open around the clock, but Chime Savings isn't.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0.01
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

Digit

Digit logo
Finder Rating: 3.4 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Digit's secure site
Up to 0.1%
APY
$5
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
If you're looking for a hands-off way to save, Digit is an automatic savings program that analyzes your spending and deposits an appropriate amount into savings. Plus, you can set up multiple goals to save toward different aspects of your trip.
  • Savings bonus. You'll earn a 0.1% annualized savings bonus after saving with Digit for three consecutive months.
  • No minimums. There are no minimum balance requirements and you can start saving with as little as $0.
  • Automatic savings. Set individual savings goals and Digit will automatically allocate money into each of your accounts.
  • Monthly fee. This service costs $5 a month which adds up to more than $35 a year.
  • Limited support. The only way to get help with your Digit account is by email. There's no phone or live chat support.
Interest compounding Annually
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

Qapital

0.1%
APY
$3
Fees
$10
Min. opening deposit
Create a vacation savings goal, decide how much you want to save each month and Qapital will move money and track your progress for you.
Qapital is a customizable savings account app that lets you round-up your purchases, create spending and saving rules and more. But you'll pay $3 to $12 a month depending on which plan you purchase.
  • 30-day free trial. Try Qapital for free for 30 days and decide if it's the right vacation savings account for you.
  • Savings goals tracker. Create a vacation savings goal, decide how much you want to save each month and Qapital will move money and track your progress for you.
  • Automatic savings. Set up recurring transfers or customize your round-up settings to have money moved into your account when you make certain purchases.
  • Low APY. You'll earn a lowly 0.1% APY. While this is slightly higher than the national average, you can find higher rates at other banks.
  • Monthly service fee. You'll pay anywhere from $3 to $12 a month for Qapital, which could eat into your potential savings.
  • Limited customer support. Qapital customer service isn't available on the weekends and there's no phone support.
Interest compounding Monthly

Citi Accelerate Savings

0.5%
APY
$4.50
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Open a Citi Accelerate Savings account and get access to Citi Financial Tools — a free software that lets you manage your finances, create a budget and track vacation savings goals. Plus, you can link non-Citi accounts and track those too.
  • Competitive APY. You can earn up to 0.5% APY depending on which area you live in.
  • Earn rewards. You'll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards, travel perks and other rewards.
  • No opening deposit. Open this account with as little as $0 and start saving for your next vacation today.
  • Monthly fee. There's a $4.50 monthly fee, but Citi waives it when you keep at least $500 in your account.
  • Limited availability. You can only open this account if you live in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, New York and Virginia.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $20

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

0.5%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Visualize your vacation savings goals by splitting your account balance into buckets, let Ally analyze your checking account and move safe-to-save money into your vacation savings each week. Ally Bank recently rolled out a suite of savings tools to help you organize, automate and boost your savings.
  • Strong APY. Your money grows fast with a 0.5% APY on your total account balance.
  • No fees. You won't pay any monthly service fees when you bank with Ally.
  • Three savings tools. Visualize your savings goals by splitting your account balance into buckets, set up automatic transfers or let Ally analyze your checking account and move safe-to-save money into savings each week.
  • Excess transaction fee. You'll pay $10 each time you make more than 6 outgoing transactions a month.
  • Account closure policy. Ally lets you open this account with $0. But your account will close if it's not funded within 30 days.
  • No cash deposits. Ally is a digital bank, so it doesn't support cash deposits.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $10

Alliant High-Rate Savings

0.55%
APY
$1
Fees
$5
Min. opening deposit
This online savings account encourages you to save with an APY that's higher than most of its competitors. You'll get access to a money management tool that lets you set and track your vacation savings goals on your phone.
  • Competitive APY. Earn 0.55% on any balance above $100.
  • Easy to waive the fee. Sign up for e-statements and you won't pay the monthly fee.
  • Low initial deposit. Alliant will pay for your $5 opening deposit.
  • Minimum balance requirements. You'll need to keep at least $100 in your account to earn interest.
  • ATM withdrawal limit. You can withdraw up to $500 a day from an ATM or $200 a day if you have a ChexSystems record.
  • Membership requirements. You must be a member to open an account. If you fall outside of its field of membership, you can make a $5 donation to Foster Care to Success to qualify.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $100
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit

Capital One 360 Performance Savings

0.4%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
This savings account from Capital One has a strong APY and no monthly fees. Plus, its mobile app helps you create and track your vacation savings goals, check your credit score, manage transactions and more.
  • Competitive APY. You'll earn a solid 0.4% APY on your total account balance.
  • No fees. This account has no fees or minimum balance requirements which means you have more money to put toward your vacation.
  • Digital savings tools. Track your savings goals and set up automatic transfers in the Capital One mobile app.
  • No ATM access. This account doesn't come with an ATM card, so you can't easily withdraw cash when you need it.
  • Outgoing transaction cap. If you repeatedly make more than 6 outgoing transactions a month, Capital One may close your account.
Interest compounding Monthly
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $0

PNC Virtual Wallet

Up to 0.03%
APY
$7
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
PNC Virtual Wallet is made up of three bank accounts: Spend, Reserve and Growth. Each one helps you manage your money and save for short-term and long-term vacation savings goals.
  • Savings tools. PNC gives you a simple way to automate your savings, pinpoint extra money in your budget and track the progress of your vacation savings goals.
  • Sign-up bonuses. Open a PNC Virtual Wallet account and get a $50, $200 or $300 bonus.
  • $7 monthly fee. PNC waives the fee when you make at least $500 in monthly direct deposits, keep a minimum $500 balance in your Spend and Reserve accounts or are at least age 62.
  • Early account closure fee. You'll pay $25 if you close your account within 180 days of opening it.
  • Low APYs. Relationship rates peak at 0.03%, which is much lower than competing accounts.
Interest compounding Monthly

USAA Savings

0.05%
APY
None
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
Those who have a checking and savings account with USAA get access to a free suite of automatic savings tools. USAA can analyze your checking and sweep money into savings to reach your vacation savings goals. But only current or former military members and their family members qualify for membership.
  • No service fees. You won't pay anything to open or maintain this account.
  • Optional ATM card. Access your money for free at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Four ways to save. There are four ways to automate your savings: let USAA analyze your checking and sweep money into savings, set up recurring automatic deposits, send your ATM fee rebates to your savings account or automatically save a portion of your tax refund.
  • Membership requirements. You need to be a current or former member of the military or an eligible family member.
  • Low APYs. You'll earn anywhere from to 0.05% depending on our daily account balance. But you can find much higher rates at other financial institutions.
  • Limited branch locations. USAA has five branch locations, so it may not be ideal if you want to bank in person.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $10

One Finance

Up to 3%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
One Finance earns up to 3% APY — that's $15 for every $500 you save! It's a checking and savings account in one, so you can save up for your vacation, then use the same account to track your spending when it's time to jet set.
  • Organize vacation funds with Pockets. Your account comes with unlimited 'pockets' you can use to save for things like vacations, rent, groceries and more.
  • Two autosave features. Auto-transfer up to 10% of each paycheck into savings. Plus, round up debit card purchases and auto-save the spare change.
  • Up to 3% interest. Earn 1% interest on Save Pocket balances up to $5,000 or $25,000 with direct deposits, plus 3% APY on any money you put in your Auto-Save Pocket through paycheck transfers and card round-ups.
  • No joint accounts. One Finance doesn't offer joint accounts, but you can share as many Pockets as you'd like with a partner or family member.
  • APY requirements. You'll need to set up direct deposits and have 10% of those deposits autosaved each time to qualify for the advertised 3% APY.
  • Line of credit may not be free. One Finance offers a line of credit, but it's only free if you pay it back before the month ends. Otherwise, you're charged a 12% APR.
APY 3%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
ATM transaction fee $0
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Overdraft fee $0

SmartyPig Savings

Up to 0.7%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
SmartyPig Savings by Sallie Mae acts as a virtual piggy bank for all your goals. You can even set up automatic deposits to fund those goals each time you get paid.
  • No fees. You won't have to worry about any monthly or withdrawal fees eating into your vacation funds with the SmartyPig savings account.
  • Competitive APYs. You'll earn 0.7% APY on balances up to $10,000 and 0.45% on balances of $10,000.01 or more.
  • Goal tracking. Create multiple savings goals within your SmartyPig account, then set up automatic deposits to fund those goals each time money hits your account.
  • APY tiers. With most savings accounts, the more you save, the more interest you earn. But your APY with SmartyPig actually drops once your balance hits $10,000.01.
  • Phone support only. The only way to contact Sallie Mae customer service is by phone at 877-751-6884. You can't email or live chat a representative.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

How to choose the best vacation savings account for you

While searching for the best savings account for your vacation, here are a few tips to help you narrow down your options:
  • Look for a high APY. A higher APY can help you reach your savings goals sooner. Aim for the highest you can find.
  • Check what fees you’ll be on the hook for. Monthly fees and other charges can eat into your balance, so try to find accounts with low or easily avoidable fees.
  • Look for signup bonuses and rewards programs. This can give you a head start on saving.
  • Consider what features are offered. Find a savings account that fits your lifestyle, comparing features like automatic savings plans, mobile banking and budgeting tools.
  • Check the terms and conditions before you open the account. Make sure you can meet any conditions or eligibility requirements to earn the advertised bonus or APY.
  • Make sure it offers the kind of access that works for you. Depending on your needs, pick an account that gives you access when you need it, or limits your access so you’re not tempted to dip into your savings too often.

How much should I save for a family vacation?

The cost of your vacation will vary based on its scope. Forbes suggests that you save 10% of your annual income, whereas Twine estimates about $600 for a weekend or $2,000 for a week away for two people.

The destination and length of your stay will directly influence the cost, but here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay:

Daily cost per personNumber of daysNumber of guestsTotal
Costa Rica$6874$1,904
USA$22374$6,244
Spain$12674$3,528
Canada$13574$3,780
Japan$11574$3,220
Mexico$4874$1,344
Ireland$11774$3,276

However, these estimates don’t include the following expenses:

  • Flights
  • Tax
  • Shopping and souvenirs
  • Extra food, drinks and tips
  • Transportation
  • Activities

Best way to start a vacation savings plan

As you’re planning to save for your vacation, consider things like how long you’ll be saving, the length of your trip and whether you’ll need access to your money. Once you’ve homed in on the details of your trip, here are some of the best ways to save:

  • Compare products. If you plan ahead and have a long time to save, you might want to open a CD. You’ll get a higher interest rate in exchange for locking up your money for a period of time.
  • Consider investing apps. Some of the best round up and investing apps like Acorns and Twine can help you reach your goals sooner by investing your spare change or working with your partner.
  • Set up recurring deposits. Consistency is key, so consider setting up recurring deposits into your savings account.
  • Budgeting. Break down your monthly income to find out how much you can put toward your vacation each month.
  • Organize your savings. Set up a separate account for your vacation fund. Or set up multiple accounts for different vacations, so you have a designated spot to save for that trip to Disney and that trip to the mountains.
  • Little contributions add up. Even spare change from everyday purchases or small decisions like packing a lunch can snowball, helping you fund your trip sooner.
  • Track your progress. Visit a branch, log in online or use mobile banking to track your progress and motivate yourself to keep going.
  • Look for incentives. Look for an account that offers a rewards program, travel points or a signup bonus.

What about a vacation savings club?

Savings clubs work just like savings accounts, but they’re structured to help you save toward individual goals. Instead of a general savings account that you pay into occasionally, you’ll make routine contributions into an account with a specific purpose, like a vacation. There are usually set dates when you can open and withdraw from the account and you’ll be penalized if you withdraw early. Plus, some vacation savings clubs offer higher interest rates as an incentive for you to save.

Bottom line

Vacations are a nice way to blow off some steam, but they’re not worth going into debt for. Plan ahead to figure out how much your trip is going to cost and how you’re going to pay for it. Then, compare savings accounts to find an option that works for your financial strategy.

Compare even more accounts for your vacation savings plans

This table highlights other popular savings account options. Type your deposit amount into the table to see how much interest you could earn as you save for your next vacation.

$
$
months
Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
Capital One Kids Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Capital One Kids Savings Account
0.30%
$0
$0
Kids Savings Accounts are fee-free and don’t require a minimum balance.
Alliant Kids Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Alliant Kids Savings Account
0.55%
$1 per month
(can be waived)
$5
This Kids Savings Account has no maintenance fees with e-statements and a high APY with a minimum daily balance of $100.
MySavings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
MySavings Account
0.50%
$0
$0
An online high-interest savings account with no minimum balance or monthly fees.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
A high-interest savings account with no account fees.
CIBC Agility Savings
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
CIBC Agility Savings
0.52%
$0
$1,000
This savings account offers no maintenance fees and a competitive rate.
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