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Best savings accounts of March 2020
Find the best savings account to make your money work harder for you.
We’ve reviewed nearly 100 savings accounts to give you a breakdown of 2020’s best savings accounts — whether you’re on the lookout for the strongest rates, fed up with fees or simply want a bank you can trust.
- 1.70% APY
- No monthly fee
- No minimum balance
Editor's pick: American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
- Around-the-clock online and phone support
- No fees to hassle with
- FDIC insured
What’s in this guide?
Barclays Online Savings
Best for no fees or minimum deposit
- 1.6% APY. This account’s APY is higher than the national average, which is 0.09%.
- No minimum balance. You’re not required to keep a certain amount in your Barclays Online Savings account.
- No maintenance fees. You won’t pay any monthly fees with this account.
- Excessive transaction fee. You’ll pay $5each time you go over the monthly six transaction withdrawal limit.
- No cash deposits. This account doesn’t support cash deposits or withdrawals. Instead, you must electronically transfer funds to and from a linked bank account.
- Five-day hold on deposits. There’s a five-day hold on all funds deposited into your Barclays Online Savings account.
Capital One 360 Performance Savings
Best for signup bonuses
- Up to $500 signup bonus. Use code NEW500 and get a $100 bonus when you deposit at least $10,000, $200 when you deposit $20,000, $300 when you deposit $30,000, $400 when you deposit $40,000 or $500 when you deposit $50,000 within 10 days of account opening. You’ll need to maintain that daily average balance for at least 90 days.
- Minimal fees. You won’t pay a dime to maintain the account.
- Automatic Savings Plan. Set up automatic transfers from your other Capital One accounts to speed up your savings.
- Costly outbound wires. You’ll pay $30 to process domestic outbound wires.
- Cap on transactions. Due to federal regulation, you’re limited to six monthly transactions. Capital One may close your account if you exceed this limit.
Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve
Best for unlimited monthly withdrawals
- No withdrawal limits. Unlike most savings accounts that are limited to six withdrawals a month, the Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve account has unlimited withdrawals.
- Insures funds up to $1 million. Betterment insures deposits up to $1 million while other institutions only insure funds up to $250,000.
- One way to access funds. The only way to withdrawal or deposit money is through an ACH transfer with an external bank.
- No joint accounts. Betterment doesn’t support accounts with more than one owner.
- No direct deposits. You can’t set up direct deposits for this account.
Synchrony High Yield Savings
Best for ATM access
- Free ATM card. Access your money at any time with a free ATM card.
- 1.7% APY. Your money earns a solid 1.7% APY.
- No excessive transaction fee. Unlike most banks, Synchrony doesn’t charge a fee when you make more than six monthly withdrawals.
- Limited transactions. Although Synchrony doesn’t charge an excessive transaction fee, it still reserves the right to close your account if you go over the six monthly transaction limit.
- Daily withdrawal limits. There’s a $1,000 daily limit on ATM withdrawals and a $500 daily limit at point-of-sale locations.
- Limited in-person support. Synchrony has one branch location in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
HSBC Direct Savings
Best for high rates
- 1.7% APY. Grow your money even faster with an APY that’s 23x more than the national average.
- No monthly fees. You won’t pay any monthly fees to maintain your HSBC Direct Savings account.
- 24/7 live chat. Chat with a customer support representative anytime you need assistance.
- No ATM access. This account is online-only, so you can’t access your money from an ATM.
- Closing fee. You’ll pay a $25 fee if you close your account within 180 days of opening.
- Wire transfer fee. You’ll pay $15 for each incoming wire transfer.
Capital One Kids Savings Account
Best for kids
- 0.6% APY. Earn a solid 0.6% APY on all account balances.
- No minimum balance requirements. Open this account with as little or as much money as you’d like.
- Special features. Kids can set savings goals and parents can set up automatic savings plans for their kids’ allowances.
- Online only. You can only open this account online.
- Limited support. You can’t live chat for assistance outside of business hours and phone support is limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
How did we choose the best accounts?
All savings accounts serve the same purpose, but some accounts do a better job at helping you reach your savings goals. Since fees, access and other variables can all affect the way you save, we analyzed a number of savings accounts to determine the best ones. In doing so, we considered factors like annual percentage yield (APY), monthly fees, minimum deposit requirements, minimum balances to earn interest and signup bonuses.
What’s changed in 2020?
We added a list of the top best savings accounts, so you can easily compare pros and cons to find the right one for you.
American Express’ High Yield Savings account did not make our 2020 list because of its APY drop. It went from 1.90% in 2019 to 1.70% in 2020. While Betterment’s APY decreased from 2.44% APY, it remained on our list for its 1.78% rate and unlimited withdrawals.
Compare high-yield savings accounts
Benefits of the best savings accounts
There are so many savings options out there, it can be hard to determine how to pick the best for your savings style. Here are the benefits to look for:
- A $0 minimum deposit. With some savings accounts, you can open the account with a low, or even no, initial deposit. Some accounts don’t require a minimum monthly balance requirement to earn interest or avoid fees.
- No monthly fees. Thanks to competition, you’ll find that many banks waive monthly maintenance or account-keeping fees.
- Set it and forget it. Savings accounts allow you to grow your money without thinking about it. You can make one large deposit and let it earn interest, or schedule payments into your account to help it grow.
- Transfer funds. With the growing popularity of mobile and internet banking, look for banks that let you easily transfer money between your savings and other bank accounts.
- Protect other accounts. A great feature of some savings accounts is their ability to protect against overdrafts for a linked checking account. If the checking account runs out of money, you’ll simply draw the funds from the savings account without any penalty.
Think about the ways you save money. Do you need access to your accounts or do you want to tuck a large chunk of money away for the future? Match your savings style to the points below to help you choose the best savings account type for your situation.
This account is great for beginner savers. Consider a basic savings account if you’re okay with regularly moving money between accounts and you want the security of a bank you’re familiar with and can visit. This is a “Set it and forget it” option.
This option is ideal for experienced and advanced savers. If you want a better rate of return on your money, make regular deposits and don’t intend to make frequent withdrawals, you should consider this option.
If you are a business owner or are self-employed, a business savings account could be a good option. This account allows you to separate your business and personal transactions. However, you won’t have access to your savings.
If you are an investor and cash management is part of your investment strategy, you may want to consider a money market account. This account allows you to earn a high interest rate but it usually requires you to maintain high balances.
This account is great for long-term savers. If you want a guaranteed interest rate and don’t need access to your savings, a CD could be a good way to save.
What are the biggest drawbacks of savings accounts?
Savings accounts are a great place to start growing your money, but they’re not without drawbacks:
- Limited accessibility. Federal law limits the amount of activity you can have in your savings account to six transactions per month, and most accounts don’t come with a debit or ATM card.
- Minimal return on investment. Savings account interest rates often hover around the rate of inflation. If your account has a variable interest rate, you may lose out if the federal rate drops. To earn a better return on your money, look beyond savings accounts.
- Fees. If you don’t meet the terms of your savings account, such as monthly minimum deposits, you may get hit with fees.
- Introductory rates don’t last. Keep in mind that if you opened an account with a special offer or promotion with a higher interest rate it will expire at the end of the introductory period.
Is it best to have separate or joint savings accounts?
Joint accounts are a great way to reach joint financial goals. Generally, joint accounts allow up to two account holders, but some providers allow for even more. Before opening a joint savings account, consider if it’s right for your financial situation.
Pros of joint savings accounts
- See lower fees and more interest with a high balance.
- Less legal complications if a partner dies.
- Easier to manage household budgeting and long-term goals.
- Create accountability between you both.
- Easier to reach higher minimum deposits for bigger savings.
Cons of joint savings accounts
- Have less financial independence.
- Could create communication issues around spending.
- Creates complications in a separation or divorce.
- Tough to divide funds for individual costs like a car accident or expensive hobby.
Beyond savings accounts
When interest rates are low, where can you get the best return for your money? If the best high-interest savings accounts aren’t enough or don’t fit your financial goals, there are other ways of getting the most out of your money.
Consider these other ways to save:
- Whole life insurance. If you want to save up for a major purchase or save for retirement, you can put your money into the cash value portion of a whole life insurance policy. If you need access to cash, you can withdraw it, borrow against your policy, surrender the policy or even sell it. Some policies can consistently pay more than 5% interest on the cash value. Universal life insurance policies offer the potential for even greater returns because they focus more on investments.
- Health savings account. If you want to save up specifically for medical expenses, a health savings account can provide tax advantages for any money you put into it, and your savings roll over from one year to the next. However, to open an account, you’ll also need a high-deductible health insurance policy, and you’ll pay a penalty if you spend the money on anything unrelated to medical expenses.
- College savings account. Often called a 529 plan, college savings accounts provide tax advantages for money saved up for future education expenses. But if the money is spent on anything else, taxes and penalties may apply.
- Bonds or other investments. If you’re interested in higher rates of return and are willing to accept more risk, you could consider investing in government or corporate bonds. There are no guarantees with bonds, but they’re less volatile than stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. Either the government or company whose bonds you buy pays them back with interest or it’ll default on them.
How to get the most out of your savings account
- Maintain a minimum balance. Some accounts may require you to hold a monthly minimum balance to earn a higher rate or to avoid a fee. Make sure you maintain that balance to see your savings grow.
- Monitor account activity. Take advantage of your online or mobile app to monitor your activity and stay on top of any unexpected charges or fees.
- Rates. Decide whether your rate is enough or if it’s worth shopping around for other savings accounts with higher interest rates.
- Consider investing. After your savings account has grown, you may want to consider other types of investments. Money market accounts and CDs can provide better returns than standard savings accounts, whereas mutual funds, stocks and other investments can offer even greater potential.
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