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NerdWallet’s Best Savings Accounts, Winter 2015

When it comes to earning interest and keeping your excess cash safe, a savings account is one of the simplest options out there. Unfortunately, national average savings account rates are devastatingly low.  So don’t take for granted that your current bank will have the best account or the highest interest rate. Unlike a checking account, you shouldn’t need to access the money on a regular basis, so choose an account based on the best yield and features, rather than the most convenient location. For more information, try our savings account search tool to find the highest rates at a bank or credit union near you.

Best savings account for a top-notch yield: Barclays Online Savings

1.00% APY*
The Barclays Online Savings account offers one of the highest interest rates around, so if yield is your primary concern then Barclays is a solid choice. Anyone can open an account with as little as a dollar, so there's also little barrier to entry - round up the change in your couch cushion and put it to use! To sweeten the deal, you can sit back and relax knowing that there are no monthly fees or minimum balances as a Barclays Online Savings customer. Finally, deposits are easily made from linked checking or savings accounts, which means that you can put your savings plan on autopilot.

Best account for tech-savvy savers: Ally Bank Online Savings

0.99% APY*
For the more tech savvy saver, Ally’s Online Savings account is a great option. Their mobile app allows you to easily manage your account, view transactions, deposit checks, and more. Their savings account has no monthly fees or minimum required balances, and the same holds true for their related accounts like Ally Interest Checking. Finally, Ally’s savings yield is consistently one of the best rates around, so you can watch your spare cash grow quickly.

Best community bank savings account: Radius Bank High-Yield Savings

0.85% APY*
Radius Bank is a community bank with locations in Massachusetts and New York, but savers can take advantage of their top-notch account from anywhere in the U.S. by opening online. Radius' High-Yield Savings account offers a yield that's over 10 times the national average for balances over $2,500, but even if your balance drops below that amount, there's no need to freak out. You'll still earn a small amount of interest and won't have to face any monthly fees. If you don't live near a Radius Bank branch but still want to open an account, just use their mobile banking app to deposit checks!

Best credit union savings account: Alliant Credit Union Regular Savings

0.90% APY*
Alliant's core savings account is a great option for credit union members looking to earn higher interest rates. The account offers a yield that approaches the rate at many online banks, and just $5 is required to get started. You can easily access your cash or make deposits at any of over 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Finally, like a bank, your deposits are of course federally insured by the NCUA. You can qualify for membership in a number of ways, including your location, your employer, or membership to partnering organizations.
* Rates updated weekly

  • Neil

    Now I see you have replaced it with Synchrony

    • Neil

      Now it’s back to UFB Direct!

  • SFboy

    This sounds fantastic! Thank you very much!