Sallie Mae Bank Review: Savings and CDs
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Overall bank rating
- CD rates
- Money market
- Banking experience
Sallie Mae Bank offers competitive savings rates, and it won’t drain your account with fees. Its website is easy to navigate, but the bank has limited customer service hours and making a phone call is the main way to get in touch.
Best for: Those who want strong savings rates without monthly fees, don’t need a checking account and aren’t likely to need customer service.
- Solid rates on savings and CDs.
- No minimum opening deposit on savings or money market accounts.
- No monthly fees.
- Limited customer service hours and options.
- You’ll need another bank to fund your account.
- Doesn't offer checking accounts.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Sallie Mae Bank offers multiple savings options, including a high-yield savings account, a money market account and SmartyPig, an interest-paying account with goal tracking. You don’t need a minimum deposit to open the SmartyPig account, but you’ll have to make some kind of deposit to earn interest.
You can move money into your savings account with an electronic transfer or a check only, so you need at least one additional account at another institution to fund it.
5.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Sallie Mae Bank offers CDs in a variety of term lengths, from six months to five years. They pay from 4.40% for terms shorter than one year to 4.00% APY.
You’ll have to pay in $2,500 to get a CD from Sallie Mae Bank. This is on the high end, considering you can find online banks with lower or even no minimum deposit requirements.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
The Sallie Mae Money Market Account is not factored into the overall institution’s rating because its savings account is a strong option for the average consumer, but if you are in the market for an MMA — say you want a savings account that also has check-writing privileges, for example — it is worth a look. It has no minimum balance and no monthly fees, and earns a strong APY. You can read more about this type of account in our primer on money market accounts and our comparison between MMAs and savings accounts.
» Want more MMA options? See NerdWallet’s list of top money market accounts
As with most online banks, you shouldn’t expect to do your banking at a branch with Sallie Mae — it just has one, in Salt Lake City.
Sallie Mae’s products are all easy to find on its website and rates are clearly spelled out. But to get in touch with the bank, you’ll likely have to use its automated chat feature or make a call, and customer service hours are limited to weekdays. Sallie Mae Bank’s app gets decent ratings from Android users and high ratings from iOS users.
How does Sallie Mae Bank compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.