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10 Best Savings Accounts of January 2020

Margarette BurnetteJanuary 2, 2020

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Summary of Best Savings Accounts of January 2020

BankAPYLearn More
American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

1.65%

With $100 minimum balance

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

at Varo,

Member, FDIC

1.92%

With $0 minimum balance

at Varo,

Member, FDIC

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.95%

With $0 minimum balance

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

BankAPYLearn More
American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

1.65%

With $100 minimum balance

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

at Varo,

Member, FDIC

1.92%

With $0 minimum balance

at Varo,

Member, FDIC

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.95%

With $0 minimum balance

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Beyond credit cards, American Express offers a standout savings account with a high rate of 1.70% Annual Percentage Yield (as of 12/12/19). You don’t have to worry about any monthly fees or minimum balances, and phone support is available 24/7. You can link up to three accounts you have at other banks to make online transfers. The banking experience isn’t designed for frequent transactions, so no checks or ATM or debit cards come with the account. Check deposits can only be mailed.

Read Full Review
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The Wall Street firm’s online bank has a strong savings option with the high rate of 1.70% APY and no minimum balance requirement to start earning interest. Its online CDs also have top yields (see our list of best CD rates).

 

You can access the account on the bank website and contact customer support via online live chat or by phone seven days a week. Since there’s no mobile app, check deposits must be mailed, so this account is easiest to use when linked to an external bank account for online transfers.

Read Full Review
Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

APY

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This online-only division of East Coast-based Citizens Bank has impressive rates for savings and certificates of deposit. Citizens Access’ savings account offers 1.85% APY and doesn’t charge any fees. The required minimum to open is $5,000, which is steeper than some online banks, and if the balance drops below that, the APY drops as well. The easy-to-use website is mobile-friendly, allowing check deposits, but there is no mobile app.

Read Full Review
CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

APY

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

CIBC U.S., which is the U.S. division of Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, has a savings account with one of the most competitive rates around. There are no monthly fees, and you can access online tools and calculators to help you plan savings goals, such as savings for a new home.

 

You will need $1,000 to open an account, but the same stellar rate applies (up to $1,000,000), even if you make a withdrawal that causes the balance dip below $1,000. There is a $20 fee if you close the account and withdraw the funds from CIBC within 90 days.

Read Full Review
Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Saving money is easy at Barclays, the online U.S. division of a global financial company. There are no minimums, no maintenance fees and a top-notch rate of 1.70% APY for its Online Savings account. You can transfer money to and from another bank and view Barclays accounts on its website and mobile app, as well as deposit checks on the app. Phone service is available every day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Read Full Review
Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account has no monthly fee, and you can earn the same high rate (1.70% APY) across all balances. It also has a mobile app and useful digital tools to help you track savings goals and set up an automatic savings plan. Unlike other high- yield savings accounts, you can access your account at a Capital One bank branch, or grab a cup of coffee and speak to a financial professional at a Capital One cafe. Capital One also offers an online interest checking account with no monthly fees.

Read Full Review

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

APY

1.65%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Alliant’s High-Rate Savings combines a great rate with low fees and high-quality digital tools, such as a budgeting feature on its mobile app. The online credit union’s other perks include free access to over 80,000 ATMs nationwide and 24/7 customer support over the phone.

 

You can take advantage of the 1.65% annual percentage yield, and skip paper statements to avoid a $1 monthly fee. Anyone can be eligible to join by becoming a member of its partner charity, Foster Care to Success. (This means Alliant will donate $5 on your behalf.) Though the credit union does not have a broad branch network, it does operate a branch at its Chicago headquarters. If the account is closed within 90 days of opening, there is a $10 early account closing fee.

Read Full Review
Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Why we like it

The interest rate for Discover Online Savings account is among the highest at 1.70% APY, and there are no fees, which means there are no monthly fees, no overdraft fees and there is no minimum amount to open an account. And there’s a bonus, if you’re eligible.

 

Discover says: “To get your $150 or $200 bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 2/3/20, 11:59 p.m. ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW120 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 2/17/20, 11:59 p.m. ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200. What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 3/2/20. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice."

See Discover's website for more details.

Read Full Review
Varo Savings Account

at Varo,

Member, FDIC

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

APY

1.92%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Varo,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

With no minimum to open, you need just a penny to start earning 1.92% APY. There is also no monthly fee. If you sign up for monthly direct deposits of at least $1,000 and make at least five debit card purchases a month in a linked Varo Bank account, you can earn 2.80% APY on up to $50,000. You also can set up automated savings plans with the linked account. For example, there is an option to round up Varo Bank spending transactions to the nearest dollar, and transfer the extra to Varo Savings.

Read Full Review
Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

APY

1.95%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Vio Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This savings account has a top-of-the-line rate at 1.95% APY across all balances. You need just $100 to open the account, and there are no monthly fees. Vio Bank is an online division of Oklahoma-based MidFirst Bank, and the savings account is available nationally. Though it’s an online-only account, you can reach customer support by phone seven days a week, with extended hours on weekdays.

Read Full Review

What do the best savings accounts look like?

The best savings account interest rates are close to 2.00% or higher. At a brick-and-mortar bank, you'll often find savings rates closer to the national average, which is currently 0.09%.

If you have a $5,000 savings balance, choosing an account that pays 1.80% will earn you more than $90 in a year, while an account paying you the average would earn less than $5. The difference increases the more you deposit and the longer you keep it in the account.

What monthly fees do the best savings accounts charge?

The best savings accounts typically don’t charge monthly fees. You make your deposit and watch your balance grow as your money earns interest.

» Find out how your savings could add up with NerdWallet’s compound interest calculator.

Why are all of NerdWallet's picks for best savings accounts online?

It's easy to find a savings account at your local bank, but if you want to earn a high rate and pay the lowest fees, you should consider storing your savings online. Without the added expenses of large branch networks, online banks are able to offer more favorable returns than national brick-and-mortar banks.

» Learn more about NerdWallet's favorite high-yield online savings accounts.

Can savings accounts lose money?

No. Unlike investment accounts, savings accounts are guaranteed not to lose money — provided your money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration. Whatever you put in an FDIC- or NCUA-insured account will stay there, unless your account charges fees (and, of course, unless you withdraw money).

Why should I care about the best savings account rates?

If you have money left in your checking account each month — or you can adjust your budget so that you do — you should have a savings account with a high rate. (Again, think around 2.00%.) It's always helpful to have money set aside for emergencies, and it'll earn you much more in an account that pays one of the best savings account rates than in a checking account.

Just make sure you can keep enough in your savings account to avoid monthly fees. Most online savings accounts don't charge these, but many traditional accounts do.

Do the best savings account interest rates change over time?

Yes, rates are variable and can change over time. The accounts featured in this article are among those with the consistently highest rates.

When do savings rates change?

Banks and credit unions generally don’t change savings rates on an hourly, daily or even monthly basis. In fact, it’s common to see APYs remain the same for several months. 

It’s important to note, however, that rates are variable and theoretically can change at any time. In addition, many banks will change their rates based on what their competitors are doing. You will often see groups of banks increase or decrease their APYs at around the same time, especially if the Federal Reserve recently hiked or cut rates.

To get the best yield for your money, it’s a good idea to check out the best savings rates on a regular basis — at least once a month.

Savings account terms you need to know:

Savings account: A deposit account from a bank or credit union that earns interest.

Interest: Money a bank pays into an account over time.

Compound interest: Compound interest is the interest you earn on both your original money and on the interest you keep accumulating. In an account that pays compound interest, the return is added to the original principal at the end of every compounding period, typically daily or monthly. Each time interest is calculated and added to the account, the larger balance earns more interest.

Annual percentage yield: The annual percentage yield, or APY, is the amount of interest an account earns in a year. The calculation is based on the account’s interest rate and the number of times interest is paid during the year.

» Read more about 10 essential banking terms you need to know.

Are there other ways to earn high savings rates besides a savings account?

Yes. Here are a few options:

Money market accounts: These accounts are a type of savings account, but they might have higher minimum balances and offer perks such as check-writing, which not all savings accounts do.

Certificates of deposit: These accounts lock your balance away for a specified period of time — often between one year and five years — in exchange for a higher interest rate. But if you withdraw any money during the term, you'll typically have to pay a penalty. CDs are also covered by FDIC insurance.

Mutual funds: If you have a 401(k) through your job or an individual retirement account, or IRA, odds are you are putting some of your money in mutual funds. These are a type of investment that holds a little bit of many different types of stocks. Mutual funds are not covered by FDIC or NCUA insurance, and you can lose money on them — but you'll also typically earn a higher rate of return than you would on a savings account. They're best for long-term savings goals, such as retirement.

» Find out more about your savings account options.

Is savings account interest taxable?

Yes. Technically, all savings account interest is taxable, but your bank probably won't send you a form reporting it unless you've earned more than $10. So if you have a high-yield savings account, you're much more likely to pay taxes on your interest. You'll pay at your normal tax rate.

More top choices for the best savings accounts

Here are eight more attractive choices for savings. These banks may have a higher balance requirement to earn interest — even if there is a low minimum to open the account — or a slightly lower APY. But when you're shopping for the account that fits you best, they're worth a look.

  • Nationwide Bank, 1.90% savings APY, $100 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • UFB Direct, 1.90% savings APY, no minimum to open account (read full review).
  • HSBC, 2.00% savings APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Ally Bank, 1.60% APY with no minimum to open (read full review).
  • Synchrony, 1.80% savings APY with no minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Sallie Mae, 1.70% savings APY, no minimum to open account (read full review).
  • E-Trade, 1.75% savings APY,  no minimum to open account.
  • FNBO Direct, 1.75% savings APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).

» Interested in getting money from banks? See NerdWallet's best bank account promotions and bonuses

Last updated on January 2, 2020

Methodology

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions surveyed are: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, Simple, State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions

Frequently asked questions

A savings account holds money that you don’t need for daily spending. Unlike most checking accounts, savings accounts earn interest — that’s money the bank adds to your account just for keeping it with the institution. The higher your bank’s savings account interest rate, the faster your balance will grow. You can find accounts with the highest rates in NerdWallet's list of the best savings accounts.

You can deposit your money at your financial institution through cash, check or bank transfer, and it will safely earn interest while it is in your account. With savings accounts, money is insured up to $250,000 per depositor, so your funds are safe.

Yes. All of the best savings accounts in NerdWallet's analysis are insured, just like bank accounts at national institutions. Most are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and others are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Both cover up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution and per account type, in case your bank fails.