NerdWallet’s Best Savings Accounts, Winter 2014
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: GE Capital Bank1.05% APY*
GE Capital's Online Savings is one of our favorites because of its consistently top-notch savings yield, with no required minimum balance to boot. It's perfect for the "set-it-and-forget-it" style saver, who plans to use an online account primarily to stash an emergency fund or short-term savings while interest does some work for you. GE Capital's online calculators are handy to check out how much you'll save and earn in interest over time provided you continue to make regular contributions to the account. You can also browse their articles for savings tips and tricks. GE Capital doesn't currently offer mobile or online check deposits, so the best way to open your account is by linking an existing one at another bank.
Best account for tech-savvy savers: Ally Bank Online Savings0.99% 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 Savings0.85% 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 Savings0.80% 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