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Compare the best accounts to save up for Christmas

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


Fact checked

A Christmas savings account allows you to automatically save for the holidays so you’ll have no trouble playing Santa when the time comes. But they usually have lower interest rates than $0-fee savings accounts. If you think you’ll be tempted to spend your money before the holidays roll around, then you may like the restrictiveness of a Christmas savings account. We did the research and selected the top five picks for the best Christmas savings accounts out there.

Consumers Credit Union Logo

Consumers Credit Union Christmas Savings account

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Interest compounding: Monthly
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0

Security Service Federal Credit Union Logo

Security Service Federal Credit Union Club Savings account

  • APY: 0.10%
  • Interest compounding: Daily
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5

Pen Air Federal Credit Union Logo

Pen Air Christmas Club account

  • APY: 0.70%
  • Interest compounding: Monthly
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25

American Bank & Trust Logo

American Bank & Trust Christmas Club account

  • APY: 0.30%
  • Interest compounding: Quarterly
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10

Consumers Credit Union Logo

Consumers Credit Union Holiday Club Savings account

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Interest compounding: Monthly
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5

How did we choose the best Christmas savings 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.

What’s changed in 2020?

In previous years we’ve listed general savings accounts that could optionally be used to save for the holidays. In 2020, we curated a list of the five best Christmas savings accounts that are specifically designed to help you save for the most magical time of the year.

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.


  • Can compel you to save. If you find it difficult to leave your money be, you’ll like that access isn’t easy before the term is up.
  • Can help you avoid credit. 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.


  • Penalties for early access. You’ll pay a penalty of up to about $20 or experience an account closure for accessing your money too early, even if for an emergency.
  • May not be necessary. Your average $0-fee savings account provides many of the same benefits — interest and monthly automatic transfers — without the limitations.
  • 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 rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open More info
American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings
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Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account
  • 1.25% on balances of $25,000+ or set up a direct deposit of $100+ each month
  • 1.06% on balances of $0 to $24,999
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No account opening or maintenance fees. Daily compounding interest. Earn one of the nation's top rates
Discover Online Savings Account
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Take advantage of a high-interest online savings account with no fees, no minimums and more.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
  • 1.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
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A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
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Earn a competitive rate with a balance higher than $10,000.
BBVA Money Market
  • 0.75% on balances of $10,000+
  • 0.05% on balances of $0 to $9,999
$15 per month
(can be waived)
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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.

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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. But they usually have lower interest rates than $0-fee savings accounts and you can’t access your money until a certain time. If you won’t be tempted to spend your money on other things, you’ll want to compare more options and go with a $0-fee savings account instead.

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