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.

Best online savings accounts of August 2020

Online accounts are known for their higher interest to help you earn even more on your money.

Updated

Fact checked
Top view of woman at wooden desk with credit card and laptop

Ever wondered what makes an online savings account better than the others? We did the research to determine which accounts are best suited to help you reach your financial goals. Convenience, rates, fees and other perks can all affect your ability to save, so our research involved the following criteria: APY, fees, minimum deposit requirements, customer service options and account features.

Best online savings accounts

Best for ATM access

Synchrony High Yield Savings

Synchrony High Yield Savings logo
Finder Rating: 4.9 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Synchrony's secure site
1.05%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
  • Free ATM card. Unlike most savings accounts, this one comes with a free ATM card for easy withdrawals.
  • 1.05% APY. This competitive APY is higher than most competitor's rates.
  • No fees for more than 6 transactions. Unlike other banks, Synchrony doesn't charge fees when you make more than six transactions a month.
  • Limited transactions. Although Synchrony doesn't charge a fee for excess withdrawals, your account could close if you repeatedly go over the six-transaction limit. Some banks are temporarily waiving the excessive withdrawal limit in light of the coronavirus pandemic, so check with Synchrony to see if this policy is still in place.
  • Withdrawal limits. You can't withdraw more than $1,000 a day at ATMs and $500 at point-of-sale locations.
  • Limited in-person support. Synchrony has one branch location in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $0

Best for no minimum balance requirements

Barclays Online Savings

0.8%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
  • High APY. The Barclays Online Savings account earns interest 20x higher than the national average at 0.8% APY.
  • No maintenance fees. You'll never have to worry about monthly fees with this account.
  • No minimum deposit. Open your Barclays Online Savings account with as little or as much money as you'd like.
  • Excessive transaction fee. You'll pay $5 for every withdrawal you make over the six monthly transaction limit. But this rule could be temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, so contact Barclays for more information.
  • No cash deposits. Similar to most online savings accounts, you can't deposit cash directly into your Barclays account.
  • Five-day hold on deposits. Once you make a deposit, funds will post to your account after five business days.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $5

Best for high APYs

PNC High Yield Savings account

1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
  • High APY. Has one of the highest savings account rates we've seen to date at 1% APY.
  • No minimum balance requirements. Open your PNC account without a monthly deposit, but expect to fund it within 60 days or your account may close.
  • No monthly fees. Your savings can grow uninterrupted thanks to no monthly fees.
  • Limited support. The only way to chat with customer service is by phone or email.
  • Not available in every state. You can only open this account if you live in a state that doesn't have a PNC branch.
Interest compounding Monthly
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $15

Best for low fees

Wealthfront Cash Account

0.35%
APY
None
Fees
$1
Min. opening deposit
  • No fees. Wealthfront has no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Low minimum deposits. Open your account with as little as $1.
  • Earns interest. Offers a 0.35% APY, which is higher than the current national average.
  • Limited access. While it's easy to transfer money from one bank to another, you can't visit an ATM or branch to access your money.
  • No internal transfers. If you have a Wealthfront Investment account, you can't easily transfer money to that account from a Wealthfront Cash account.
  • Lack of other products. Wealthfront doesn't offer any other financial products outside of savings and investment accounts.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

How to choose the best online savings account for you

Here are a few pointers to help you find the best online savings account for your needs:

  • Nail down your priorities when it comes to features. Savings account interest rates fluctuate over time, so you don’t have to go with the bank that offers the highest rate. Instead, focus on one that has a high APY, but features other perks you’re looking for, such as ATM access, savings tools or no minimum balance requirements.
  • Look for an account that comes with as few fees as possible. Little bank fees add up to cost you big money over time. Watch out for accounts that try to nickel and dime you with monthly maintenance, excessive transaction, statement or inactivity fees.
  • Make sure the bank or credit union insures deposits. Never bank somewhere that isn’t insured. This one is non-negotiable. If the institution goes under, you could lose all your savings. Instead, look for a bank that offers FDIC insurance or a credit union with NCUA insurance — both insure deposits up to $250,000.

Types of online savings accounts

There are several types of online savings accounts to choose from:

  • Regular savings account. An interest-bearing bank account that allows up to six transactions a month.
  • High yield savings account. Similar to a regular savings account, but has a higher interest rate and lower fees.
  • Money market account. Comes with checkwriting privileges and earns a higher interest rate than standard savings accounts, but requires a higher minimum balance.
  • IRA accounts. A type of retirement savings account that charges a penalty fee if you need to access the funds before a certain age.
  • CDs. Requires you to lock your money away for a set period of time in exchange for a higher interest rate. You pay a penalty if you need to access the money before it matures.

What’s the difference between an online savings and a regular savings account?

Online savings and regular savings accounts have a few key differences you should keep in mind:

FeaturesOnline savings accountRegular savings account
Lower monthly fees
Higher interest rates
Larger ATM network
More branch locations
Longer customer service hours
Quicker access to your money
Better mobile banking experience
Insured deposits up to $250,000

How do online savings accounts work?

To sign up for an online account, you often need to link an active transaction account — like an everyday checking account at a traditional bank. That’s because most online savings accounts don’t come with a debit card. The only way to access your money is by transferring it to your transaction account, where you can then access it through your bank’s branches and ATMs.

Online accounts don’t usually charge transfer or monthly account fees, offering an inexpensive way to build your savings. With most accounts, interest on your balance is calculated daily and deposited into the account at the start of the following month, but compounding and pay periods vary by bank.

Why do online accounts generally offer stronger interest rates?

Interest rates tend to be higher for online accounts than conventional ones because they don’t require expensive physical branches. By forgoing wages for tellers and branch managers, janitorial staff, utility bills and other expenses, banks can pass the savings on to customers in the form of stronger interest rates.

As with traditional accounts, rates fluctuate according to the federal interest rate, especially if you received an introductory offer that expires after a set period.

Do I get instant access to transferred funds?

It depends. If your online savings account is linked to a transaction account from the same institution, you can generally access transfers instantly. However, if the money comes from another financial organization, it can often take up to three business days for the funds to process into your online account.

Sarah compares processing time for her accounts

Sarah owns accounts across multiple financial institutions. She has a Synchrony Bank savings account that she uses for short-term savings, a separate Synchrony savings account for long-term financial goals and a Marcus by Goldman Sachs online savings account for her long-term nest egg.

When she transfers money between her Synchrony Bank accounts, she sees the transfers complete instantly. However, when she transfers from Marcus to her Synchrony Bank accounts, it can take two business days for the funds to clear. The longer processing time is partly due to increased fraud-prevention measures for transfers among multiple institutions.

Read up on how to open a bank account online

What features do online savings accounts offer?

If you think an online savings account might encourage you to save, compare the features available across accounts to find the right rate and most convenient options for your needs.

What are the pros and cons of online savings accounts?

Consider the benefits and drawbacks of an online savings account before logging on.

The upsides

  • Generally no minimum balance. The majority of online savings accounts remain in good standing no matter how much they hold. Some even allow you to open an account without a deposit. If you’re interested in a bank, ask about terms and conditions before making a decision.
  • Competitive rates.Interest rates on online savings accounts are typically higher than those at your local bank. You may even qualify for a bonus introductory rate.
  • Flexible terms. Deposit what you can and withdraw whenever you’d like. You often don’t need to meet specific terms, though bonus interest rates may require a minimum deposit monthly.

The downsides

  • Must link to a bank account. Although you don’t face many fees, your linked account may charge you to manage transactions.
  • Transfers are slow between banks. If your linked account is with a different bank, your transactions may not be instant.
  • Six-transaction limit. All savings accounts are subject to Regulation D, which imposes fees or fines for exceeding six withdrawals in a month. But this regulation is currently suspended due to COVID-19, so check with your bank to see if they’re temporarily waiving fees.
  • No bank branches or debit cards. Many online savings accounts aren’t supported by physical bank branches or debit cards, which could be inconvenient if you rely on them.

Watch our short explainer video on pros and cons of online savings accounts:

Bottom line

Online savings accounts are notorious for having some of the highest interest rates and lowest fees available on the market. But APYs and fees aren’t the only factors you should look at when choosing an account. Make sure the online savings account you choose has the features and tools you need to reach all your savings goals — such as ATM access or low minimum balance requirements.

Compare even more online savings accounts

There’s no shortage of online savings accounts available today. Use the table to sort popular options by APY, monthly fee, minimum deposit requirements and more.

$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned More info
American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings
1.00%
$0
$0
Go to site
View details
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Discover Online Savings Account
0.95%
$0
$0
Go to site
View details
Take advantage of a high-interest online savings account with no fees, no minimums and more.
CIT Bank Money Market
1.00%
$0
$100
Go to site
View details
A savings account with a higher-than-average rate and minimal fees.
BBVA Money Market

0.45% on $1,000,000+
0.33% on $100,000 to $999,999.99 for 3 months (0.30% after)
0.21% on $10,000 to $49,999 for 3 months (0.15% after)
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$25
Go to site
View details
Earn a promotional APY for your first 3 months and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
0.40%
$0
$100
Go to site
View details
Earn an APY when your balance is higher than $10,000 with this no-monthly-fee savings account.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    GerardJuly 17, 2019

    Do your list of the best online interest savings accounts apply to USD funds as well as CAD funds?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJuly 18, 2019Staff

      Hi Gerard,

      Thank you for your comment.

      U.S bank accounts main currency is the USD. If you want to save for CAD, you can apply for a foreign currency account which most banks can actually offer you. You may refer to this page to read more details about the foreign currency and multicurrency accounts.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

Go to site