Compare the best accounts to save up for Christmas

Don't rely on a holiday miracle to help you pay for presents.

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Make regular payments into a savings account so you’ll have no trouble paying Santa when the time comes.

Editor's pick: Chase Savings

  • Get a $150-$350 bonus (terms apply)
  • Access 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
  • Overdraft protection and real-time fraud monitoring

Editor's pick: Chase Savings

Get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 business days and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days. Or get $350 when you open both a Chase Savings and Chase Total Checking account.

  • Use Chase QuickPay® with Zelle® to send money to friends and family easily
  • Apply online in minutes

Take the stress out of the festive season

If you want to start saving for the holidays long in advance, the right tools can help you get there:

  • Christmas club accounts. These short-term savings accounts are offered by many credit unions and some smaller banks. They let you tuck away money each month to save up for the holidays and often have a penalty for withdrawing before November.
  • Christmas savings accounts. If you don’t need a penalty to motivate you to keep your hands off your savings, you can open a new savings account at your bank for your Christmas funds. Some banks even let you open sub accounts within your existing savings account.
  • Christmas savings plans. Decide how much you want to set aside each month and write it into your budget — or have it transferred directly to your savings account as soon as your paycheck is deposited. If budgeting isn’t your strong suit, tools like Cleo or sub accounts can help.
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What are the features of a Christmas club or savings account?

While the basic structure of a Christmas club account or savings account is consistent among the financial institutions that offer them, details in the features make each one unique, including:

  • Interest rate. Even a small difference in interest rate can start to add up over the year.
  • Interest payment frequency. The more frequently interest is compounded, the more you’ll earn.
  • Deposit methods. These can include cash deposits, online transfers and automatic withdrawals from your checking account.
  • Fees. Look for accounts that do not charge any monthly or transaction fees.
  • Penalties. Many Christmas club accounts will charge a penalty if you withdraw your money before November, while traditional savings accounts let you withdraw at any time. Decide if the motivation of a penalty is worth the fees you’ll face if you don’t stick to your savings plan.
  • Accessibility. Look for easily accessible accounts. If you don’t plan to use cash for your Christmas shopping, an account linked to your checking account will let you use your savings with your debit card.
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Pros and cons of a Christmas club account

Opening a Christmas club account instead of using a traditional savings account can help some people save for the holidays, but it isn’t for everyone.

Pros

  • Simplicity. Many credit unions will let you set up automatic deposits to your Christmas account so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Savings. Planning your holiday spending in advance means you won’t have to rely on interest-accruing credit cards to buy presents.
  • Motivation. Penalty fees for withdrawing early can keep you motivated to stay away from your savings before Christmas.

Cons

  • Inflexibility. You may not be able to withdraw from these types of accounts until November without facing fees, interest payment adjustments or other penalties.
  • Interest rates. Christmas club accounts usually offer lower interest rates than online savings accounts or CDs.
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Are there any risks I should be aware of?

Although any deposit up to $250,000 is backed by the US government if you use an FDIC-insured bank or credit union, there are risks to be aware of if you use a Christmas club or savings account.

  • Withdrawal fees. Christmas club accounts may charge fees for withdrawing early, and traditional savings accounts often charge fees for making more than a certain number of withdrawals per month.
  • Low rate of return. Low-risk means low-reward, and savings accounts and Christmas Club accounts will provide a lower rate of return than riskier investments like stocks.

Compare some of the best Christmas savings accounts

Name Product Interest rate (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
1.90%
$0
$0
Earn 20x the national savings account average with no fees or minimums.
1.75%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account.
1.50%
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$25
Earn one of the highest annual percentage yields (APYs) if you live in one of 42 eligible states, and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.
1.85%
$0
$100
A super-high interest rate if you're in the habit of saving at least $100 per month or have $25K in the bank. Earn up to $300 Cash Bonus with a $50K deposit. Open to both current and new customers. Conditions apply
Betterment Everyday Savings
Betterment Everyday Savings
1.85%
$0
$10
This savings account has no account and overdraft fees, plus it requires no minimum balance.
0.01%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$0
Get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 business days and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days. Or get $350 when you open both a Chase Savings and Chase Total Checking account.

Compare up to 4 providers

How did we choose the best accounts?

No matter how far away Christmas may be, a dedicated Christmas savings account could help you prepare for the often-expensive holiday. We narrowed down the best accounts for Christmas saving by considering key factors like incentives to help you save, fees that might get in the way and convenience. That meant digging into account details like interest rates, fees, deposit requirements, access to your money, account features and signup bonuses.

Bottom line

Setting aside money throughout the year can help take the stress out of the holidays — and prevent you from racking up credit card debt. Compare savings accounts and credit unions before deciding what type of account is right for you.

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