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Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts 2017

Banking, Savings Accounts
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If you’re looking for better interest rates and lower fees, online banks tend to beat traditional banks. Here are the best high-yield online savings accounts.

  • Best for interest rate: CIT Bank, 1.35% APY
  • Great for interest rate and rewards program: Synchrony, 1.20% APY
  • Great for interest rate, including CDs: Goldman Sachs Bank, 1.20% APY
  • Great for interest rate and low fees: Barclays, 1.20% APY
  • Best for digital experience and interest rate: Ally, 1.20% APY
  • Best for bonus and interest rate: Discover Bank, 1.15% APY
  • Best for credit union: Alliant Credit Union, 1.11% APY
  • Best for ATM use: Bank5 Connect, 0.90% APY
  • Best for tracking savings goals: Capital One, 0.75% APY

Top interest rates
CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings

Overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Synchrony+Bank
Learn more
at Synchrony
Synchrony High Yield Savings

Overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

GS Bank
Learn more
at Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Barclays
Learn more
at Barclays
Barclays Online Savings

Overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Great interest rate, digital experience
Ally+Bank
Learn more
at Ally Bank
Ally Online Savings

Overall bank rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

Competitive APY plus bonus
Discover
Learn more
at Discover
Discover Bank

Overall bank rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

Top credit union
Alliant+Credit+Union
Learn more
at Alliant
Alliant Credit Union

Overall bank rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

Above par for ATM use
Bank5+Connect
Read full review
on NerdWallet
Bank5 Connect

Overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Great for tracking savings goals
Capital+One
Read full review
on NerdWallet
360 Savings® by Capital One®

Overall bank rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

 

Online banks don’t maintain expensive branches like traditional brick-and-mortar operations do. That enables them to pay annual percentage yields of 1% or more — about 17 times higher than the current national average.

Here are more details on NerdWallet’s top high-yield online savings accounts.

CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
CIT Bank offers a stellar APY of 1.35% on balances of $100,000 or less. If your balance tips over the limit, the rate falls to 1.30%, which still soundly beats the 0.06% national average. There are no fees for the CIT Bank savings account, but there is a minimum opening deposit of $100.
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Synchrony High Yield Savings: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Synchrony+Bank
Learn more
at Synchrony
Synchrony offers an excellent savings account along with the convenience of an ATM card. It pays a 1.20% APY. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement, and you earn a variety of perks, such as discounts on car rentals and hotels and ATM fee reimbursements, for saving more money. The bank maintains a branch in Bridgewater, New Jersey, but otherwise you should expect to conduct your business and get customer support by phone, online or via mobile. For a strong interest rate, easy-to-avoid fees and a rewards program, Synchrony is a good choice.
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Goldman Sachs Bank USA: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
GS Bank
Learn more
at Goldman Sachs Bank USA
If you want to simply park some cash and earn interest, Goldman Sachs Bank USA pays a highly competitive 1.20% APY on savings deposits (as well as strong CD rates for longer-term savings goals). This online bank, an offshoot of Goldman Sachs, charges no fees, and the minimum balance required to earn interest is just $1. The drawbacks: GS Bank has no checking account, ATM network or mobile app. You’ll need an outside bank account for transferring money into and out of the GS Bank savings account.
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Barclays Online Savings: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Barclays
Learn more
at Barclays
Barclays, an online offshoot of the global financial services company, offers U.S. customers a high-yield savings account accessible through a streamlined website. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement, and the nonsufficient-funds fee is a low $5. With a 1.20% APY, the interest rate is among the highest out there. Customer service is available by phone.
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Ally Bank: Great interest rate, digital experience

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Ally+Bank
Learn more
at Ally Bank
Ally Bank has one of the best savings accounts when it comes to the overall digital experience. The website is easy to use, and the bank’s mobile apps are compatible with Apple, Android and Windows phones. It also offers real-time chat support, unlike most of its competitors. The 1.20% APY (as of 9/1/2017) is among the best on the market, and there’s no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement.

Ally is a good choice for people who want a top-tier online experience along with a strong interest rate.
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» MORE: NerdWallet’s best online checking accounts

Discover Bank: Competitive APY plus bonus

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Discover
Learn more
at Discover
Discover Bank has a competitive APY of 1.15%. Additional pluses: no monthly fee, no balance requirement, no minimum opening deposit — and you can earn a $150 or $200 bonus when you meet certain requirements (including a somewhat hefty deposit of $15,000 or $20,000, respectively).

The company says:

“To get your bonus: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 10/02/17. Enter Offer Code NW817 when applying. Deposit a total of at least $15,000 into your account by 10/16/17 to earn a $150 bonus or deposit a total of at least $20,000 into your account by 10/16/17 to earn a $200 bonus. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200 per account.

“What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 10/31/17. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice.”

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Alliant: Top credit union

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Alliant+Credit+Union
Learn more
at Alliant
Although many credit unions limit their membership pretty strictly, Chicago-area Alliant Credit Union is different. People can join with just a $10 charitable donation if they don’t meet any of the other membership criteria. Members can open an Alliant savings account that pays a 1.11% APY on balances of $100 or more. It waives the $1 monthly fee if you choose e-statements. Phone support is available 24/7. There’s a $5 minimum deposit, but Alliant has you covered there: The credit union pays you a $5 bonus when you open an account. If you like the idea of banking with a not-for-profit credit union, Alliant offers exceptionally easy membership terms and a good interest rate.
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Bank5 Connect: Above par for ATM use

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Bank5+Connect
Read full review
on NerdWallet
This no-frills internet bank pays a competitive 0.90% APY with a minimum balance of $100. A $10 deposit is enough to open the account, and there is no monthly fee. The bank’s Android and iOS mobile apps get high marks from app store users. There are no branches, but you can reach customer service by phone, chat and Twitter. If you link your account with a Bank5 Connect checking account, you’ll get a debit card that you can use at thousands of free ATMs and get out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements of up to $15 a month.
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360 Savings by Capital One®: Great for tracking savings goals

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Capital+One
Read full review
on NerdWallet
Capital One’s well-regarded apps and digital tools can help you track your financial goals. A feature called My Savings Goal lets you set a target, like $500 for “holiday gifts.” Plug in the amount you want to set aside each week or each month, and the tool calculates when you’ll reach your goal. Alternatively, set a target date and the tool will calculate the necessary contribution amounts. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. Your deposits earn a variable APY of 0.75%. For balances of $10,000 or higher, Capital One’s money market account pays more — 1.20% APY. If organizing your savings into separate goals sounds like a strategy that would work well for you, Capital One could be a wise choice.
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» MORE: NerdWallet’s best bank account promotions and bonuses

A previous version of this article said that Barclays’ mobile apps were highly rated. Barclays doesn’t have a mobile app for U.S. customers. The story has been corrected.

Jeanne Lee is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: jlee@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @jlee_jeanne. NerdWallet writers Virginia C. McGuire and Devan Goldstein contributed to this report.

Updated August 31, 2017.


METHODOLOGY

To determine the best accounts, we took a close look at over 60 financial institutions: the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry.

Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Bank5 Connect, BankDirect, Bank of America, Bank of Internet, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MemoryBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, People’s United Bank, PNC, Radius Bank, Regions Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Simple, Star One Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, Zero Financial and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions