The Best Savings Accounts of 2018
When you look for the best savings account, it's easiest to start by determining what makes it the best choice for your specific situation. Whether that means a high interest rate, strong bonus, or a way to save for your child's future, we've looked at a range of the best savings account options in each category.
Best Savings Account Bonus: Chase Savings
Chase's promotional offer of $150 for new savings account holders gives you the best opportunity to start off your savings plan with a boost. A savings account with a bonus is a rare sight in today’s market. You can add another $200 to this bonus by also signing up for a checking account. Setting up a checking account at the same bank as your savings account gives you options for automatic savings transfers as well as overdraft protection. Chase also ranks as one of our best banks for checking accounts.
While Chase's sign-up bonus is not the largest available in absolute terms, Chase Bank only requires a balance of $300 each day to avoid monthly fees. The only larger sign-up bonuses we found for deposit accounts involved higher minimum balances for waiving the same fees. Since there's little point to chasing a sign-up bonus only to give it back in monthly fees you can't avoid, Chase's current offer represents an optimal choice for most consumers.
Best Online Savings Account: CIT Premier High Yield Savings
Banks that offer the highest savings account rates often keep up with each other as rates increase, but only a few provide dedicated banking apps to manage your account. The CIT Premier High Yield Savings Account currently offers 1.55%—a figure nearly equal to the Dollar Savings Account below. In addition, CIT Bank offers a mobile app which you can use to check your savings balance and schedule transfers.
While CIT Bank has no monthly fees and no minimum required to earn interest, the bank's lack of checking account products means that you'll have to bank at two places in order to access the high rate. Still, the availability of a mobile app on this high-yield account makes it our top choice for people who want on-demand account management as well as a good rate of return.
Best Savings Interest Rate: Dollar Savings Account
At 1.80% APY, the Dollar Savings Account Account currently has the best interest rate among online savings accounts. This free account also comes with no minimum balance, which ensures that your savings won't be impacted by maintenance costs.
While DollarSavingsDirect doesn't match DCU's 5.12% APY, it yields 1.80% APY on any amount you save, making it the superior choice for anyone with more than a few thousand dollars in their savings balance. At that point, DCU's reduced rate for higher balances will start to drag your earnings down relative to the Dollar Savings Account Account.
DollarSavingsDirect allows customers to access and manage their accounts through their website, which will electronically link the savings balance to whichever checking account you use to make your first deposit. This makes up for the fact that the bank doesn't offer any checking services to complement its high savings rate.
Best Savings Account for Kids: Citizens Bank CollegeSaver
If you want to establish a savings account for your child, Citizens Bank offers a bonus of $1,000, credited to the balance shortly after your child's 18th birthday—an impressive offer given today's low interest rates. You can get the best value out of this account if you open it before your child turns 6; opening the account for a child 6 or older requires $500 and doubles the monthly minimums.
You must meet some challenging conditions to receive the $1,000 bonus. You'll need to deposit at least $25 or $50 every month until your child turns 18, and the balance must also grow by $25 or $50 each month—which means you can't simply take the money back out after a deposit. Missing a monthly deposit or withdrawing too much results in forfeiting the bonus. Given these rules, and given the fact that the account's 0.05% rate is below average, the best approach is to deposit the minimum required to earn the bonus while avoiding withdrawals entirely.
Best Credit Union Savings Account: DCU Primary Savings
The 5.12% APY you can earn on the first $1,000 in a DCU Primary Savings Account is the best savings deal you'll find among credit unions.
Although DCU is a credit union with membership requirements, anyone can qualify with a $10 donation to one of its nonprofit partners. Considering you'll earn at least $51.24 in interest each year, that's a price worth paying —especially compared to other savings options, which peak around 1.50% APY.
There are disadvantages to saving with DCU: although it offers worldwide access through its ATM, online and mobile services, branches can only be found in parts of Massachusetts and Georgia. In addition, any amount in your balance that goes over $1,000 will earn just 0.05% APY. If you're a more dedicated saver, this limit means that you'll need to have at least one other high-yield savings option to go with your DCU Primary Savings Account.
Summary of Best Savings Accounts
Here are all of the savings accounts we looked at above, listed together with a summary of their most relevant features and fees.
|Best For…||Savings Account||APY||Minimum to Open|
|Sign-up Bonus||Chase Savings||0.01%||$100.00|
|Online Savings||CIT Premier High Yield Savings||1.55%||$100.00|
|Best APY||Dollar Savings Account||1.80%||$1.00|
|Credit Unions||DCU Primary Savings||5.12%||$100.00|
|Kids Savings||Citizens Bank CollegeSaver||0.05%||$25–$50|
Finding Other Savings Account Options
These are just a few of the many savings accounts available to any consumer. Thanks to the growth of online banking, you can find a wealth of information on accounts with interest rates that generally stay far above the average for brick-and-mortar savings accounts. For example, our savings rate comparison tool lets you look at the best online savings accounts side-by-side. Since online banking is relatively new and still growing, it's likely that you'll find a diverse set of choices available, including money market accounts. While this might make comparison shopping a bit more challenging, you can always use our analyses above as a guide for evaluating your choices.