The Best Online Savings Accounts in 2018
Online savings accounts typically come with better rates and fewer fees than traditional savings accounts. Ideally, a savings account should earn interest, receive regular deposits and minimize withdrawals. Online-only banking helps you achieve each of those tasks. Whether you're looking for high interest rates or an account to help organize your savings plan, here are our picks for the best online savings accounts.
Best Online Savings Account Rate: Dollar Savings Account
DollarSavingsDirect's Dollar Savings Account will earn you an annualized percentage yield (APY) of 1.80% for any amount you deposit, making it the best rate currently available on any online savings account. The Dollar Savings Account comes with no required minimum balance rules or monthly fee.
This combination of strong rate and low fees makes the account ideal for growing your savings regardless of how much you've saved so far. However, DollarSavingsDirect doesn't provide any other account options, which means you'll need electronic transfers to link this savings account with a checking account at another institution.
Best Savings Rate With Mobile Banking: CIT Premier High Yield Savings
If you're willing to earn a slightly lower rate in order to get a better mobile banking experience, then you may prefer the CIT Premier High Yield Savings Account. While its 1.55% APY isn't the highest offer we found, it's only a few points behind the top savings rate.
More importantly, CIT Bank offers account management through its mobile banking app as well as its website, enabling you to view your balance and schedule transfers with ease. This is a rare feature among online savings accounts, which mostly focus on maximizing interest rates at the expense of convenient features. CIT Premier High Yield Savings provides a balance between high yields and on-demand banking.
Best Savings Rate With Free Transfers: Marcus Online Savings
The Marcus Online Savings Account at Goldman Sachs Bank USA guarantees 1.70% APY with free wire transfers in and out of the account. This account also comes with zero monthly fees, making it even more advantageous as a savings option. Having free wire transfers means that you'll be able to transfer money between this account and other banks with little to no delay.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA hasn't yet developed a mobile app or connected the Marcus Online Savings Account to an ATM network, which means that all withdrawals and transfers must be arranged online through the bank's website or by 24/7 phone service. Still, the free wire transfers you get with Marcus Online Savings represent a quick and affordable alternative for moving your savings in and out of a high-interest account.
Best Savings Rate With ATM Access: Synchrony High Yield Savings
The Synchrony High Yield Savings Account is one of the very few online savings accounts that enable you to withdraw cash via the bank's ATM network. This makes Synchrony Bank an ideal choice for people who want a better interest rate without sacrificing their ability to access their savings in cash.
All of Synchrony Bank's deposit accounts allow customers to make withdrawals directly from any of the ATMs in the Plus or Accel networks, which you can locate by searching online. The bank's reliance on these third-party ATM partners makes it less convenient than brick-and-mortar competitors like Chase, whose massive network of ATMs is ubiquitous and clearly labeled. Still, it's the combination of the Synchrony High Yield Savings Account's high rate and ATM features in one package that make it a strong option.
Best Savings Rate with Checking: Discover Online Savings
Discover offers both a competitive savings APY and a useful checking account option, making it one of the few online banks where you can access both checking and savings products. Many online banks stay competitive by focusing exclusively on a high-interest savings account product, but Discover provides a wider range of deposit products. This includes not only a checking account with cashback rewards, but also money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
The 0.0165 you earn for any balance in the Discover Online Savings Account isn't quite as high as the best we've found, but it makes up for the small difference with convenient access to the Discover Cashback Checking Account. Since the highest online savings rates are typically found at the smallest, most streamlined online-only banks, consumers rarely get the chance to keep both their daily checking balance and their high-yield savings at one online institution. Discover makes it a simple matter to manage all your deposits with the same app while also earning a strong rate.
Best Online Savings Account for Kids: Capital One 360 Savings
Out of the many online savings accounts specifically offered for children, the Capital One 360 Savings Account carries the highest interest rate at 1.00%, compounded monthly. While this isn't the highest rate among all the accounts we reviewed, Capital One is unique because it also provides a way for children to sign into the account, letting parents use the account as a financial teaching tool. Nevertheless, deposits and withdrawals can only be made by the adult who acts as the joint account-holder.
Summary of Best Online Savings Accounts
We provided a quick summary of the accounts above in case you're having a little trouble deciding among them.
|Best For...||Account Name||APY||Opening Minimum|
|Earning Highest APY||Dollar Savings Account||1.80%||$1.00|
|Mobile Banking||CIT Premier High Yield Savings||1.55%||$100.00|
|Free Wire Transfers||Marcus Online Savings||1.70%||$0.00|
|Access to ATMs||Synchrony High Yield Savings||1.75%||$0.00|
|Checking and Savings||Discover Online Savings||1.65%||$0.00|
|Saving for Kids||Capital One 360 Savings||1.00%||$0.00|
How to Find the Best Online Savings Accounts
When you go looking for online savings accounts, you should begin by estimating how much money you want to deposit and how often you plan to deposit or withdraw from the account. Finding the best interest rate will be somewhat easier once you eliminate savings options that do not match your criteria. Some accounts require that your balance meet a minimum level each day in order to secure the maximum interest rate. A few others drop your rate for making withdrawals too early or too often.
Comparing account fees should also take high priority. While online savings accounts are typically light on fees, you may find that especially high interest rates are sometimes counterbalanced by high monthly fees, which can cancel out your earnings. You can check the fees and rates on different accounts through our savings account tool for a comparison of the best offers.