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Savings Account Finder
Compare APYs, fees and minimums to maximize your savings growth.
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Today’s leading savings accounts offer competitive interest rates, minimal fees, accessibility and protection to keep just about any balance safe and growing. We rolled up our sleeves to review and rate nearly 100 savings accounts to help you compare what’s out there.
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
|Minimum deposit to open||$0|
|New account fee||$0|
|Minimum balance to earn interest||$1|
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This interactive table lets you sort savings accounts by APY, fees and minimum deposit to open. Want to see how much interest you could rack up? Type your initial and monthly deposit amounts into the table and click “Calculate.”
What's in this guide?
- What is a savings account?
- Do I need a savings account?
- Savings account fees and limits
- Why do some savings account have a minimum balance?
- How can I access my money?
- How many savings accounts should I have?
- Pros and cons of savings accounts
- How do I compare savings accounts?
- Types of savings accounts
- What's the difference between a traditional vs. online savings account?
- How do I open a savings account?
- How much should I save?
- Next steps for savings
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
banks or brands
savings accounts reviewed
hours of research
Some of the top savings account providers we compare
What is a savings account?
A savings account is a bank account where you can safely store your money. Savings accounts are federally insured up to $250,000, which means you’ll get your money back in the rare event your financial institution goes under. But they’re more restrictive than checking accounts. You typically don’t get an ATM card or checks and you can’t make more than six outgoing transactions a month due to federal regulation.
The biggest advantage of savings accounts is that they earn interest — often presented as an annual percentage yield (APY). Most savings accounts accrue interest daily and credit the earnings to your account monthly. You can use a savings calculator to estimate how much you’ll earn based on the account’s advertised APY.
Do I need a savings account?
Here are three signs it’s time to get a savings account:
- You’re saving up for an emergency or big purchase. If you’ve got your eyes set on an emergency fund, vacation fund, or a big purchase, then a savings account is for you. You’ll earn interest on your deposits, which means you’ll reach your savings goals faster.
- You want to secure your money against theft or damage. Keeping money at home usually isn’t ideal because it can easily get lost or stolen. Savings accounts are federally insured, so don’t have to worry about losing your money if your bank goes under.
- You’re tempted to spend every dollar. When you keep your money in a savings account, you’re less likely to spend it because it’s out of sight. The distance between your saving and spending money makes it easier to reach your goals. Plus, you’ll earn more interest than you would with a checking account.
Savings accounts are most commonly used for:
- Vacations. You can avoid going into debt by saving up for your next vacation ahead of time.
- Emergencies. Set up a rainy day fund to pay for unexpected car repairs, medical bills, job losses and more.
- Retirement. Setting aside some of your earnings now is the first step to enjoying life in retirement later. After you’re in the habit and have some money to work with, consider delving deeper into retirement planning.
- Major purchases. If you’ve got your eye on a new TV, car, home or furniture, you can set the estimated cost or down payment as your savings goal.
Savings account fees and limits
Here are some common savings account fees and limits to watch out for:
- Monthly fees. Some savings accounts charge you a fee each month for maintaining your account, while others are completely free. If your account has a monthly fee, you can often waive it by meeting certain direct deposit requirements.
- Withdrawal limits. Regulation D prohibits you from making more than six withdrawals a month from your savings account. But withdrawals at an ATM or branch usually don’t count toward this limit.
- Excessive transaction fees. If you go over the six-withdrawal limit, your bank may charge you an excessive transaction fee, usually around $5 or $10.
- ATM fees. If your account comes with ATM card, you usually can’t withdraw more than $500 a day, which is something to keep in mind if you suspect you’ll need more cash than that.
Why do some savings account have a minimum balance?
Some banks require you to meet a minimum deposit requirement in order to get the advertised interest rate. Others will charge monthly fees if you don’t meet the required direct deposit threshold, which can quickly eat into your savings. Read the fine print to see if there are any hidden fees you should be aware of.
How can I access my money?
You can typically make an unlimited number of deposits into your savings account. But withdrawals are limited. Here’s a list of all the ways you can access your money:
- Direct deposit. Have your paycheck or government benefits eletronically deposited into your account.
- Mobile check deposit. Deposit a physical check by snapping a few pictures of it in your bank’s mobile app.
- Deposit or withdrawal at branch. If your bank has in-person locations, you can stop by to make deposits or withdraw money.
- Deposit or withdrawal at ATM. If your savings account comes with an ATM card, you can use it to withdraw cash at any ATM. Depending on your network, you may also be able to deposit cash or checks at an ATM.
- Wire transfer. Deposit and withdraw money through domestic and wire transfers. But expect to pay a fee.
- External bank transfer. Move money electronically to and from your bank accounts using an ACH transfer.
How many savings accounts should I have?
There isn’t a set number of savings accounts you should have. It’s completely up to you. Some people like opening up a separate account for every savings goal, so they’re not tempted to spend the money on other things. Others are comfortable keeping all their money in one place. You may also consider keeping a separate one for you and another one under a joint savings account with your spouse. Do what works best for you.
Some bank accounts — such as Ally Online Savings — let you divide your money out into different categories, so you can visualize your progress toward each goal without having to manage separate accounts.
Pros and cons of savings accounts
Savings accounts can help you tackle your financial goals with unique features, but there are also some limitations to be aware of.
- Competitive APYs. Unlike most checking accounts, savings accounts pay you a competitive rate for keeping your money in the account. That means you can reach your savings goals even quicker when your money is working hard to make you even more money.
- Savings tools. Modern banks are known for offering automated savings tools and free budgeting templates that help you track, manage and automate your financial goals.
- Low account minimums. Most banks let you open a savings account with as little as $0 to $100 — making it easy to open an account today.
- Variable interest rates. If your account has a variable interest rate, your APY could drop in the future — but it could also rise. Interest rates on variable accounts are influence by the economy and the Federal Reserve rate.
- Withdrawal limitations. If you make more than six withdrawals per month, you could be charged fees. Due to the coronavirus, many banks are temporarily suspending this policy, so check with your institution to be sure.
- Watch out for introductory rates. Some accounts offer a higher interest rate for an introductory period. If you sign up for one of these accounts, check what your long-term interest rate will be.
How do I compare savings accounts?
When looking for a savings account, consider the following features:
- High or competitive interest rates. Your interest rate is your reward for allowing your bank to lend out your money. Make your money work hard with the highest interest rate you’re eligible for.
- Low or no fees. Most banks waive monthly fees on savings account as long as you maintain a minimum balance. If you’re paying a monthly fee with your account, it may be time to explore your options.
- Easy to access your money. Accessibility depends on your preferences and personal savings goals. A basic savings account allows you to take out money nearly instantly, while you’ll pay a penalty to withdraw a money from a CD that hasn’t yet matured.
- Rewards for consistent savings. If you find your savings balance building up but at a less-than-average rate, it could be time to switch to a high-yield or other account.
- Minimum and maximum account balances. Some accounts will penalize you if your balance is below or above a certain threshold. Make sure the account you choose is the right fit for the nest egg you’re tucking away.
- Account requirements. Some savings accounts will require a linked checking account. Credit union accounts can require you to work at a specific place, live in a specific area or meet other membership requirements.
Types of savings accounts
There are at least 12 types of savings accounts, including:
Type of savings
|Savings accounts||Based on our experience reviewing and rating more than 80 savings accounts, this is our curated list of the best overall picks.|
|High-interest savings accounts||When a great interest rate is at the top of your list, these are the accounts to pick from.|
|Online savings accounts||Without the cost burden of brick-and-mortar branches, online savings accounts can offer higher interest rates without the fees.|
|Free savings accounts||Avoid the monthly fees that eat away at your savings by going with one that’s completely free.|
|Money savings apps||Get a little help setting money aside with these innovative apps that automate saving.|
|Credit union savings||Put your money in the hands of a financial institution whose owners are its customers.|
|Christmas accounts||These are savings accounts that you generally can’t access until November. They generally don’t offer high interest rates, but can be a useful way to set money aside for the holidays.|
|Business savings accounts||Put your business on the path to meeting its financial goals with an account tailored to the business world.|
|Kids savings accounts||Help your kids learn the habit of saving early in life with an account fit for them.|
|Student savings accounts||Graduate your student’s savings account to one that can handle high school and college.|
What’s the difference between a traditional vs. online savings account?
Traditional and online savings accounts are both designed to help you save money, but there are some key differences between the two.
|Higher APY||Fewer fees||More branch access||ATM access||Federally insured|
How do I open a savings account?
How you’ll apply for a savings account depends on the financial institution.Generally, you can visit a branch or apply online using the steps below:
- Start the application process online or in-person.
- Fill in your personal information, including your full name, contact information, Social Security number, date of birth and government-issued ID, like your driver’s license or passport.
- Agree to the terms and conditions and certify your tax status.
- Answer a few short questions to verify your identity.
- Fund your new account through an online transfer, check or cash deposit.
How much should I save?
The amount of money you accumulate in your savings account will vary depending on your goals. Here are a few popular reasons for saving money and how much financial experts generally recommend saving across each category.
- Vacations: Up to 10% of your annual income.
- Emergencies: Three to six months of basic living expenses.
- Retirement: At least 15% of pre-tax income, including employer matches.
- Major purchases: Enough to cover the estimated cost or down payment.
Guides for specific savings goals
Next steps for savings
Looking for more ways to save? These accounts can be used in conjunction with savings accounts or as alternatives depending on your needs:
- Spend and save accounts. Some digital banks offer two-in-one accounts designed for spending and saving. If you don’t want to have separate checking and savings accounts, this could be a good alternative.
- Money market accounts. Not to be mistaken with a money market fund, a money market account is a high-yield savings account that usually comes with checks and a debit card.
- Automated savings apps. There are several different types of automatic savings apps you can use to fund your savings goals without lifting a finger.
- Budgeting apps. These apps help you budget for your future goals and save. Some even negotiate fees and bills for you.
After you’ve narrowed down the savings account that’s right for your needs and budget, get the most out of it with our easy tips.
- Keep transactions to a minimum. You’re typically limited to six withdrawals a month. If you need access to your money, avoid the limit by withdrawing at a branch or ATM.
- Set up automatic deposits. Many institutions allow you to make automatic deposits from other accounts, paychecks and more. Choose an amount that works for your finances, and adjust it as your budget and finances change.
- Consider other accounts. Basic savings accounts are a solid start to building a nest egg. But once you’ve got some money put aside, other options might better help you organize your money and reach your goals, like money market accounts or CDs.
- Keep an eye on interest and fees. Interest rates and fees change over time, which makes monitoring your account a must.
- Consider adding family to your account. Maximize your savings by adding a spouse, child or other family member to your account.
Savings accounts are one of many tools you can leverage to reach your financial goals. They include everyday savings accounts offering low fixed interest to high-interest money market accounts that offer limited checks. For each, the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow.
Each type of savings account is designed to serve a different financial need. And with so many options at your disposal, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option to find the best fit for you. If you know what features you’re looking for, check out the top 10 lists we’ve put together in our guide to the best savings accounts.
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