Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Compare free savings accounts

No fees mean every dollar gets you closer to your financial goals.

Updated

Fact checked

Our pick for digital banking: American Express® High Yield Savings

American Express® High Yield Savings logo

0.6%

APY

  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest compounded daily
  • Minimum deposit to open: $0
Go to site

When you’re saving up for a goal, you don’t want to end up losing any money to fees. Most banks offer free savings accounts — but you have to know how to find them. Here’s what to look for when shopping around for and how to compare free savings account.

How to compare free savings accounts

When weighing the benefits of a free savings account, look at such factors beyond the monthly fee:

  • Interest rates. If you want the highest APY, consider online banks. They have lower overhead than traditional banks, so they tend to offer the highest interest rates with little to no fees.
  • Signup bonuses. Some banks offer introductory bonus rates, extra features, free gifts or other rewards for opening a free savings account with them. Carefully read the conditions of the perk so that you don’t miss out.
  • Account access. Free savings accounts — especially those from online banks — may not come with an ATM card or easy account access. Consider whether your bank offers a mobile app or an extensive network of ATMs and branches for easy access to your money.
  • Miscellaneous fees. Many savings accounts are considered “free” as long as they don’t have a monthly fee. But that doesn’t mean you won’t pay fees for excessive withdrawals, ATMs or transfers. Read the account’s fine print to see what you could be on the hook for.

Compare free savings accounts

Take a quick look at these four free savings accounts or use the table below for a deeper dive. You can compare free savings accounts by sorting the table by APY and minimum deposit. View your favorites side-by-side by clicking the “Compare” box next to each one.

American Express® High Yield Savings logo

American Express® High Yield Savings

★★★★★
CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account logo

CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account

★★★★★
UFB Direct High Yield Savings logo

UFB Direct High Yield Savings

★★★★★
Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve logo

Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve

★★★★★
$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.60%
$0
$0
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

0.50% on $25,000+ or set up a direct deposit of $100+ each month
0.30% on $0 to $24,999
$0
$100
No account opening or maintenance fees. Daily compounding interest. Earn one of the nation's top rates
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
0.40%
$0
$100
Earn an APY when your balance is higher than $10,000 with this no-monthly-fee savings account.
Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve
0.40%
$0
$10
This savings account has no account and overdraft fees, plus it requires no minimum balance.
Synchrony High Yield Savings
0.65%
$0
$0
Earn one of the highest interest rates without the fees.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Where should I open a free savings account?

Free savings accounts can be found at two types of financial institutions:

  • Online banks. Online banks — and online divisions of traditional banks — slash their overhead costs and pass these savings onto you in the form of high APYs and low fees. You’ll typically find the highest rates at online institutions, but you won’t be able to withdraw cash in-person and your account may not come with an ATM card.
  • Brick-and-mortar banks. Free savings accounts from physical banks usually have the lowest APYs. You won’t earn much on your money, but you may be able to withdraw cash at a local branch or using an ATM card.

    What other fees do I need to look out for?

    Savings accounts are designed to help you save money, but you won’t be able to avoid all fees. Depending on your bank, you could face:

    • Transfer fees. Your bank may charge you to transfer money to an account at another bank.
    • Overdraft fees. If a transaction drops your balance below $0, you could be charged a fee.
    • Paper statement fees. Unless you sign up for digital statements, your bank may charge a small fee to mail them.
    • Transaction penalties. Federal law limits the activity you can have in your savings account to six transactions per month. If you exceed that limit, you face fees and even the closing of your account.

    Potential fees with linked checking

    Your bank may require you to link your free savings account to a checking account, which could have monthly fees. When comparing savings accounts, make sure you understand the fees that may come with the checking account you link it to:

    • Monthly service fees. Fees can be as $25 per month, but some accounts waive it if you deposit a specific amount of money into your account monthly. Make sure you can realistically meet any conditions before signing on.
    • Local ATM fees. If you make frequent withdraws, you’ll want to choose an account with a large ATM network. Many big-name banks like Citi and Capital One don’t charge ATM fees.
    • Overseas ATM fees. If you travel a lot for business or pleasure, learn how much you might pay at international ATMs. Some banks, like Bank of America, have large global ATM networks that can help you save.
    • International transaction fees. Charges could be as high as 5% of each transaction you use your card for overseas. Look for a linked checking account that charges low or no international transaction fees.

    How is interest taxed on a free savings account?

    Interest counts as taxable income, which means you’ll need to file a 1099-INT with your annual tax returns. You won’t pay tax on the balance in your account — only on the interest you earned in that year. For example, if your income is taxed at 25% and you earn $200 in interest, you’ll pay $50 in taxes.

    Learn more about income tax and savings accounts.

    Bottom line

    Free savings accounts are a solid option for growing your money. You’ll likely find the highest rates and lowest fees at online banks — but that doesn’t mean you should avoid brick-and-mortar institutions. They may have the accessibility you’re looking for. As always, compare savings accounts until you find one that has features you need to keep on saving.

    Frequently asked questions

    More guides on Finder

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site