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Standout High-Yield Online Savings Accounts

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Great interest rates
GS Bank
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at Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

NerdWallet overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Synchrony+Bank
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at Synchrony
Synchrony High Yield Savings

NerdWallet overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

Competitive APY plus great digital experience
Ally+Bank
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at Ally Bank
Ally Online Savings

NerdWallet overall bank rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

Competitive APY plus bonus
Discover
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at Discover
Discover Bank

NerdWallet overall bank rating:

4.0 stars out of 5

 

One advantage of online banks is that they don’t have to maintain expensive branches like traditional brick-and-mortar operations do. With lower costs, online banks often offer better interest rates and lower fees. Many online savings accounts pay annual percentage yields of 1% or more — that’s about 17 times higher than the current national average.

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

Goldman Sachs Bank: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
GS Bank
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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. This newbie 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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Synchrony High Yield Savings: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Synchrony+Bank
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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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Barclays Online Savings: Top interest rate

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
Ally+Bank
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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 1.15% APY (as of 6/30/2017) 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 $100 bonus when you meet certain requirements (including a somewhat hefty $15,000 deposit).

The company says:

“To get your $100 Bonus:

“What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account (OSA) by 8/21/17. Enter Offer Code NW717when applying. Deposit at least $15,000 by 9/5/17.

“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 9/19/17. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice.”

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» 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 May 15, 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