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Best Savings Rates December 2018

Dec. 3, 2018
Banking, Banking Basics, Banks & Credit Unions, Savings Accounts
how-to-make-quick-money-online
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The best savings rates can help you grow your money faster. Whether you’re saving for a new adventure, or building an emergency fund, it’s smart to take advantage of high-yield savings options. They can have interest rates over 20 times higher than the national average of 0.09%.

» Want high rates plus highly rated mobile apps? See our best savings accounts

Here are some of the highest rates on regular savings and money market accounts for December.

Best savings rates
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Citizens Access

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings

3.5 NerdWallet rating
American Express National Bank

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

American Express High-Yield Savings

4.0 NerdWallet rating
CIT Bank

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Builder

4.0 NerdWallet rating
HSBC

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

HSBC Direct Savings

3.5 NerdWallet rating
  • HSBC Direct Savings 2.05% APY
  • $1 minimum deposit; see more details
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

Discover Online Savings

4.5 NerdWallet rating
Barclays

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Synchrony High Yield Savings

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Ally Online Savings

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 2.05% APY

$1 minimum to earn rate

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Rate: This online bank’s high-yield savings earns a place in the top ranks because of its rate.
Requirements: You need $1 for the rate to apply, and there’s no opening minimum.
Fees: No monthly fee.
Additional note: This bank doesn’t have a mobile app or ATM access.

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Citizens Access, 2.25% APY

$5,000 minimum to open

Citizens Access

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Rate: Citizens Bank’s new online-only division has launched a savings option with a top rate. But if your balance drops below $5,000, the rate falls to 0.25% APY.
Requirements: Having $5,000 is crucial to opening the account and keeping the high rate.
Fees: None.
Additional note: There’s no mobile app, but you can deposit checks from your phone using a web browser.

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American Express National Bank, 2.00% APY

No minimum to open

American Express National Bank

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC


Rate: American Express National Bank offers an online savings account with a competitive rate.
Requirements: There’s no minimum deposit to open.
Fees: There’s no monthly fee.
Additional note: This account doesn’t come with access to ATMs, a debit card or a mobile app. The bank’s mobile app is primarily for American Express credit card holders.

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CIT Bank, 2.25% APY

$100 minimum to open

CIT Bank

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

Rate: CIT’s Savings Builder savings account has an impressive 2.25% APY if you make a deposit of at least $100 each month. With the minimum opening deposit of $100, that adds up to about $1,317 over the course of a year. (Total up your savings with our compound interest calculator.) You can also earn the high rate by having a balance of at least $25,000. If you’re not able to meet those requirements, the rate falls to 1.14%. CIT Bank also has a money market account that has the same $100 minimum deposit without the required monthly deposits and earns 1.85% APY.
Requirements: Minimum $100 deposit, and monthly $100 deposits to earn the highest rate on the Savings Builder account.
Fees: No monthly fee or daily minimum balance requirements.
Additional note: The online bank has a regular high-yield savings account with the same minimum deposit. It earns a lower rate but has no monthly deposit requirements and is also competitive with other high-yield savings accounts.

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HSBC, 2.05% APY

$1 minimum to open

HSBC

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

Rate: HSBC Direct Savings, from the online division of the large international bank, earns a competitive yield.
Requirements: You need $1 to open.
Fees: There’s no monthly fee.
Additional note: The savings account comes with a set of online tools that let you set savings goals and track income over time.

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Discover, 2.00% APY

No minimum to open

Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC


Rate: Discover’s online savings account has a stellar rate right up there with accounts at other online banks.
Requirements: There’s no minimum to open.
Fees: No monthly fee.
Additional notes: Offers a fee forgiveness program, which waives one fee each year, such as an excessive withdrawal, insufficient funds or stop payment charge.

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Barclays, 2.05% APY

No minimum to open

Barclays

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC


Rate: Barclays makes it easy to earn a savings rate competitive with online money market accounts.
Requirements: None. You can open the account with any amount.
Fees: No monthly fee.
Additional note: If you move out more money than you have available in the account, there’s a $5 nonsufficient funds fee. This is lower than fees many brick-and-mortar banks charge, which are around $34.

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Synchrony Bank, 2.05% APY

No minimum to open


Rate: This is one of the highest rates for a savings account without a minimum opening deposit.
Requirements: None. You can fund with any amount and the rate will apply.
Fees: No monthly fee.
Additional note: The account comes with ATM access and $5 reimbursements for domestic out-of-network ATM fees per month.

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Bank5 Connect, 2.05% APY

$100 minimum to open

Rate: Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Savings Account pays 2.05% APY on balances of $100 or more.
Requirements: Minimum $100 deposit to open.
Fees: No monthly maintenance fees.
Additional note: Bank5 Connect has a checking account with no monthly fees. It earns a very competitive 0.76% APY, also on balances of at least $100.

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Ally, 2.00% APY

No minimum to open


Rate: Ally’s competitive savings account rate compares well with other online banks.
Requirements: There’s no minimum to open.
Fees: No monthly fee.
Additional note: If you exceed six online withdrawals or transfers in a month, there’s a $10 fee. The bank has above average mobile app ratings and 24/7 customer service.

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Also worth considering

Several brick-and-mortar banks have online bank divisions with savings rates that may be higher than those of bigger, online banks. Consider the options below if you’re set on the highest rates — but note that you’ll sacrifice some convenience: There tend to be inactivity or minimum balance fees, and the mobile apps, if available, aren’t generally well-received.

Vio Bank, 2.35% APY

$100 minimum to open

Rate: At 2.35% APY, the rate is one of the best available.
Requirements: No minimum balance is required to earn interest.
Fees: There are no monthly fees.
Additional note: Vio Bank is an online division of Oklahoma-based MidFirst bank. Its High Yield Savings is available nationally, but its mobile apps receive reviews of 2.0 stars or fewer out of five.

Salem Five Direct, 2.05% APY

$100 minimum to open

Rate: Salem Five Direct, online counterpart to the over 160-year-old Salem Five bank, offers a rate that’s hard to match, 2.05%. This is competitive with both money market accounts and certificates of deposits.
Requirements: You just need $100 to open.
Fees: The eOne Savings has no monthly fee or minimum balance, but a $5 inactivity fee is charged if the balance is below $250 and no account activity takes place for a year. It’s best for online banking even if you’re close to one of the parent bank locations: A transaction at a Massachusetts branch with this online account costs $9.95.
Additional note: The bank’s mobile apps receive 2.4 stars or fewer out of five.

FNBO Direct, 2.00% APY

$1 minimum to open

Rate: This online bank, part of the family-owned First National Bank of Nebraska, makes it easy to earn a high rate.
Requirements: You need just $1 to open an Online Savings account, and there is no minimum required to earn interest.
Fees: The account has no monthly fee.
Additional note: The bank’s iOS and Android apps don’t receive top ratings, and some users noted recently that they couldn’t transfer money on the app.

» Want to find high rates without fees? See our best online savings accounts

Summary: Best Savings Account Rates December 2018

BankAPY
Vio Bank2.35% APY with $100 minimum
CIT Bank2.25% APY with $100 minimum
Citizens Access2.25% APY with $5,000 minimum deposit
Bank5 Connect2.05% APY with $100 minimum
Salem Five Direct2.05% APY with $100 minimum
HSBC2.05% APY with $1 minimum deposit
FNBO Direct 2.00% APY with no minimum
Marcus by Goldman Sachs2.05% APY with no minimum
Barclays2.05% APY with no minimum
Synchrony Bank2.05% APY with no minimum
Ally Bank2.00% APY with no minimum
American Express National Bank2.00% APY with no minimum
Discover Bank 2.00% APY with no minimum

METHODOLOGY

We included easy-to-join financial institutions with the highest rates for regular savings accounts and money market accounts currently listed in NerdWallet’s savings rates tool. Where the tool requested a ZIP code and minimum deposit requirement, we used 94103 and $10,000, respectively. We also included select standout rates from other trusted online financial institutions that we have reviewed. Higher rates might be available elsewhere.


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