The 11 Best Savings Accounts: APYs, Fees, etc Compared

A savings account can help you prepare for your financial future and emergencies. It can also help you earn a bit of extra money — especially if you choose high-yield savings with an above-average interest rate. Below, we list the best savings accounts, considering the following factors:

  • What is the Annual Percentage Yield (APY)? The APY is the rate at which your account will earn interest; the higher the APY, the more you’ll earn. The best savings accounts offer APYs of around 1% to 2% — much higher than the FDIC’s national average, which is 0.06% at the time of this writing.
  • Is the account fee-free or low-fee? Accounts with no or few fees allow you to keep your money and put it toward your emergency fund or another savings goal rather than spending it on monthly account maintenance and other services. While not all of the banks in our list below are entirely fee-free, those that do charge fees for things like excessive transactions do not require a monthly service charge.
  • Can you manage the account entirely online? Online account management allows you the convenience of making transfers, deposits, or other transactions on any day of the week and at any time, directly from your computer or phone.
  • Does the account require a minimum balance or minimum deposit? The best accounts either don’t require a minimum balance or have a low minimum balance, so you don’t have to worry about being penalized for using your own money if you need to withdraw funds.
  • Is there a sign-up bonus? While sign-up bonuses are not as common for savings accounts as they are for other financial accounts (such as credit cards), some banks do offer cash bonuses when you open an account and meet certain conditions. While a sign-up bonus shouldn’t make or break your decision, it is a perk to keep in mind when you’re deciding between similar accounts.

We’ve Done the Comparing For You — Here’s What We Recommend

All of the savings accounts on our list allow you the opportunity to earn a higher-than-average APY and pay little to no fees to own the account. However, in particular, we recommend the Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings account, which has one of the highest APYs on our list, is fee-free, and has no minimum balance or opening deposit.

Note that Vio Bank’s High Yield Savings account has the highest APY on our list, but charges fees for things like stop payment orders and excessive transactions and requires a $100 opening deposit.

Comparison Table: The Best Savings Accounts

Below, we’ve compiled a table comparing the best savings accounts available now. Click on the account name or scroll to the list below for more information about each bank’s fees and policies. To gather this information, we contacted customer service representatives for the banks and viewed their account disclosure documents online.

Account APY Fee-free? Sign-Up Bonus Minimum Balance Can be managed entirely online? Find out more:
American Express Personal Savings 1.00% Yes None $1 YesAmerican Express
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings 1.05% Yes None None YesMarcus by Goldman Sachs
Vio Bank High Yield Savings 1.11% No None None YesVio Bank
Discover Bank Online Savings 0.95% Yes None None YesDiscover Bank
Capital One 360 Performance Savings 1.00% Yes None None YesCapital One
Barclays Online Savings 0.80% No None None YesBarclays
Ally Online Savings 1.00% No None None YesAlly
Axos Bank High-Yield Savings 0.90% Yes None None YesAxos Bank
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Online Savings 0.75% No None $5 to keep open and $100 to earn interest YesAlliant Credit Union
Sallie Mae Bank High-Yield Savings 0.90% No None None YesSallie Mae Bank
CIT Bank Savings Builder 0.79% to 0.95% Yes Up to $300 $25,000 balance or $100 in monthly deposits to earn upper-tier interest YesCIT Bank (paid partner link)

The List of the Best Savings Accounts

Note: The list below is ordered “best first” based on a combination of high APY, low fees, and low minimum balance.

1. Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings

  • APY: 1.05%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

2. Vio Bank High Yield Savings

  • APY: 1.11%
  • Fee-free? No; there is no monthly service fee, but Vio Bank does charge for paper statements, excessive transactions, stop payments, outgoing wire transfers, and other services.
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None (Note: The Vio Bank High Yield Savings account requires a $100 opening deposit.)
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

3. Ally Online Savings

  • APY: 1.00%
  • Fee-free? No; there are no monthly maintenance fees, but Ally charges fees for overdrafts, excessive transactions, and other services.
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

4. Capital One 360 Performance Savings

  • APY: 1.00%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

5. American Express Personal Savings

  • APY: 1.00%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: $1
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

6. Discover Bank Online Savings

  • APY: 0.95%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

7. Axos Bank High-Yield Savings

  • APY: 0.90%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None (Note: The Axos Bank High-Yield Savings account does require an opening deposit of $250.)
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more (paid partner link)

8. Barclays Online Savings

  • APY: 0.80%
  • Fee-free? No; Barclays does not charge a monthly maintenance fee, but does charge for excessive transactions, returned deposits, non-sufficient funds, and other services.
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

9. CIT Bank Savings Builder

  • APY: 0.79% to 0.95%
  • Fee-free? Yes
  • Sign-up bonus: $150 for new Savings Builder accounts with deposits of $25,000 to $49,999 and $300 for new Savings Builder accounts with deposits $50,000 or more; must use CIT Bank’s bonus enrollment page and promo code
  • Minimum balance: None for base interest tier; $25,000 or at least $100 in monthly deposits to earn upper-tier interest (Note: The CIT Savings Builder also requires an opening deposit of $100.)
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more (paid partner link)

10. Sallie Mae Bank High-Yield Savings

  • APY: 0.90%
  • Fee-free? No; Sallie Mae Bank does not charge a monthly fee but charges for returned checks and excessive transactions.
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

11. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Online Savings Account

  • APY: 0.75%
  • Fee-free?┬áNo; charges fees for things like stop payments, non-sufficient funds, and dormant accounts
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Minimum balance: $5 to keep open and $100 to earn interest
  • Can be managed entirely online? Yes
  • Find out more

More Information

Looking to switch or create a checking account, too? See our comparison of the best checking accounts. We also detail what you need to open an account and how to open a bank account.