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Standout online savings accounts of 2018

There are a lot of savings accounts out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options — good and bad — and then confidently choose one. Social scientists call this “information overload”. We call it inconvenient.

There are a lot of savings accounts out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options and then pick one.

To make the search easier, we created this shortlist of standout picks from our partners. And with competitive APYs, rock-bottom fees and more, these savings accounts offer something for everyone. Check out the offers, from our partners, and start earning interest today.

Bank

APY

Monthly fee

Details

Synchrony Bank

NerdWallet rating

at Synchrony Bank

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APY

1.75%

With $1 minimum balance
Member, FDIC

$0

Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • Access to tons of ATMs

Cons

  • No checking account available
  • Only one physical branch

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Barclays

NerdWallet rating

at Barclays

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APY

1.75%

With $1 minimum balance
Member, FDIC

$0

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Low insufficient funds fee

Cons

  • No checking account, ATM network or app
  • No physical branches

View Details

American Express National Bank

NerdWallet rating

at American Express National Bank

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APY

1.75%

With $1 minimum balance
Member, FDIC

$0

Pros

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
  • 24/7 account access via phone or web

Cons

  • No checking account option
  • Mobile app only for credit card holders

View Details

Capital One

NerdWallet rating

at Capital One

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APY

1.75%

With $10000 minimum balance
Member, FDIC

$0

Learn more about the Money Market Account.

View Details

Building an emergency fund

Emergency funds don’t get enough credit. They’re useful to literally everyone and protect you from falling into debt when “life happens”. Think: blown transmission, a surprise vet bill or even losing a job. Experts recommend having 3-6 months of living expenses in your fund. And because the money needs to be available at last notice — but might sit around for quite a while — a high-interest savings account is one of the best accounts you can use.

Why online banks dominate the list

The two most important factors for virtually every bank-shopper are APYs and maintenance fees (since they have the biggest impact on your bottom line). And, as it happens, online banks are offering massive APYs — as much as 20x the average APY* — plus, they also offer rock-bottom maintenance fees.

*20x more interest based on the national average annual percentage yield ("APY") of 0.07% (as reported by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as of March 5, 2018) as compared to online banks with interest-bearing savings account APYs of 1.45% or more. Estimated annual earnings result assumes principal and interest remain on deposit for one year and interest rates and APY do not change. Estimated annual earnings are for informational purposes only. Interest rates and APY are subject to change and specific results cannot be guaranteed.

EXAMPLE OF POTENTIAL SAVINGS

To earn $197 in interest, we assumed a $5,000 balance maintained for three years and a 1.30% APY compounding annually. This is a massive increase from the average savings account APY which is only 0.06% APY.

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We regularly update our list of savings accounts as they introduce new features and offers.