NerdWallet’s Best Savings Accounts, Spring 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 bonus: Chase Savings ($100 bonus)

If cold-hard cash is what motivates you, look no further than a Chase Savings account for an easy up-front bonus. To earn a $100 bonus, you’ll need to open a Chase Savings account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 days and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days. As one of the biggest banks in the nation, you’ll also have easy access to your account from thousands of branch and ATM locations. Not to mention, you can use services such as Chase QuickDeposit to deposit checks from anywhere, and Chase QuickPay to pay your friends.

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.

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!
* Rates updated weekly

  • Neil

    Now I see you have replaced it with Synchrony

    • Neil

      Now it’s back to UFB Direct!

      • Neil

        Now its Barclays!

  • SFboy

    This sounds fantastic! Thank you very much!

  • Montgomery

    The only downside is that the rate is variable and can change after you’ve opened your account…not sure how much it can change and how much it will change.

    • David Kuntschik

      true, but it has been 1.05% since I opened it in September 2014, so 7 months isnt too bad

      • egern

        I’m considering GE Capital or Barclays as those have the highest APY I’ve seen. Your point on the variable rate is a good one… is Barclays not the same issue? It says in the fine print that rates can change any time without any notice. How should I choose the right one?

  • The #hustle Blog

    They just dropped to .75% as of today, 4/1

  • Michael

    The more savings you have the more it will be worth it to switch. The switching costs are pretty low, in that your time is really the only thing you’d be paying for.

  • Bob Carroll

    Salem Five bank has 1.1% right now.

  • agunrunner

    is it really worth saving for 1%,inflation is killing your money its time the feds raised rates

  • Abbie Cheng

    is the additional 2.5% over the whole account? or only the money that you put in for the last 6 months?

    • Joseph

      2.5% on the interest you’ve earned