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 or a way to save for your child's future, we've looked at a range of options that perform best in each category. These are the best savings accounts currently available.
- Best Savings Account Rates
- Best Online Savings Accounts
- Best Savings Account for Kids
- Best Savings Account Offer
Best Savings Account Rates
High interest rates are important to growing your savings over time, but only the best banks offer rates that are high enough to make their accounts worthwhile. The average savings rate may be relatively low these days, but we found the best savings products currently available and took a closer look at their fees and conditions.
Best Rate on Lower Balances: 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 account deal you'll find for lower balances.
|APY||Opening Min.||Monthly Fee||Cost to Qualify|
|5.12% on first $1,000||$5||$0||$10|
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 1.40% APY.
There are disadvantages to saving with DCU: although it offers worldwide account 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 account that's over $1,000 will earn just 0.05% APY. If you have a lot more saved up, you should consider opening a second high-yield savings option.
Best Rate Overall: DollarSavingsDirect Dollar Savings
We chose the Dollar Savings Account as the best savings account for most people because of its relatively high rate and lack of maximum deposit limits.
|APY||Opening Min.||Monthly Fee||Balance for APY|
While DollarSavingsDirect doesn't match DCU's 5.12% APY, it yields 1.40% APY on any amount you save, making it the superior choice for anyone with over $3,600 in their savings balance. At that point, DCU will cut its savings interest rate down to 0.05%, and your balance will start to earn a higher overall return with the Dollar Savings Account.
The Dollar Savings Account itself comes with no minimum balance and no monthly fee, ensuring that all of your savings will go towards earning additional interest. As the online division of Emigrant Bank, DollarSavingsDirect allows customers to access and manage the Dollar Savings Account through their web services, which will electronically link the savings balance to whichever checking account you use to make your first deposit.
Best Online Savings Accounts
While it may be a little strange to imagine banking without a physical bank, online-only banks can offer good rates and lower fees on savings accounts, thanks to their lower operating costs.
Best Online Savings Account: CIT High Yield Savings
CIT High Yield Savings offers 1.35% on balances up to $250,000, making it one of the strongest online savings rates you can find for any balance level.
|APY||Min. for APY||Min. to Open||Monthly Fee|
|1.35% on up to $250,000||$0||$100||$0|
Like most online accounts, CIT High Yield Savings won't come with in-person services at a branch. CIT Bank limits your withdrawal options to electronic transfers ordered by phone or initiated online through the bank's website, and while these services are free they may increase the time it takes to access your funds. However, CIT does provide a mobile app to perform additional account management, something other online savings accounts often lack.
High Online Savings Rate: GS Bank Online Savings
GS Bank may not have a diverse set of deposit accounts, but the 1.30% APY on GS Bank Online Savings beats most competitor offerings by a significant margin. It also charges no monthly maintenance fees and requires no minimum balance to open, making this an extremely affordable savings option for anyone.
|APY||Opening Min.||Monthly Fee||Balance for APY|
However, the high rate and minimal fees come at a price: GS Bank has no physical branches, no ATM access and no dedicated mobile app. Your only option to deposit, withdraw or check your balance is to use GS Bank's online banking portal, accessible through any browser. If you have a checking account that allows free and easy electronic transfers to other banks, then this savings account works well as a secondary addition to boost your income from interest.
Best Long-Term Savings Account: Barclays Dream Account
Despite having a limit on monthly deposits, the Barclays Dream Account's unique bonus on earned interest makes it an excellent long-term option for your savings. Although it comes with a $1,000 monthly limit on deposits, the Barclays Dream Account offers a bonus of 2.5% on 6 months of earned interest if you make zero withdrawals, and another 2.5% if you make at least 1 deposit in each of those 6 months.
|APY||Bonus on Earned Interest||Monthly Fee||Monthly Deposit Limit|
Assuming you deposit the maximum $1,000 over six months, you would earn $18.41 on total deposits of $6,000. If you make no withdrawals, you would receive the full 5% bonus on that interest, bringing total interest earned to $19.33. While this figure isn't exactly staggering, it's still one of the best deals you will currently find on insured deposit accounts other than certificates of deposit (CDs), which impose strict penalties that effectively take back your earned interest on early withdrawals.
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.
|APY||Min. to Open||Bonus on 18th Birthday||Monthly Deposit for Bonus|
There are some challenging conditions to receiving the $1,000 bonus. You must deposit at least $25 or $50 each month, and the balance must also grow by $25 or $50 each month, meaning that missing a 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 mediocre at best, the optimal approach is to deposit the minimum $25 or $50 required to earn the bonus while avoiding withdrawals entirely.
Best Savings Account with a 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.
|APY||Opening Min.||Monthly Fee||Sign-up Bonus|
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.
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|
|Lower Balances||DCU Primary Savings||5.12%||$0|
|Best Rate Overall||DollarSavingsDirect Dollar Savings||1.40%||$0|
|Online Savings||CIT High Yield Savings||1.35%||$100|
|High Online Rate||GS Bank Online Savings||1.30%||$0|
|Long-Term Saving||Barclays Dream Account||1.20%||$0|
|Saving for Kids||Citizens Bank CollegeSaver||0.05%||$25 - $50|
|Earning a Bonus||Chase Savings||0.01%||$25|
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.
A Comprehensive List of Savings Accounts
You can also use this list of the savings accounts we've researched as a starting point for your own search. Keep in mind that rates can vary by location, even for the same product.
|Account||APY||APY Minimum Balance||Monthly Fee|
|DCU Primary Savings||5.12%||$0||$0|
|DollarSavingsDirect Dollar Savings||1.40%||$0||$0|
|CIT Bank High Yield Savings||1.35%||$0||$0|
|Barclays Dream Account||1.30%||$0||$0|
|Barclays Online Savings||1.30%||$0||$0|
|GS Bank Online Savings||1.30%||$0||$0|
|Synchrony High Yield Savings||1.30%||$0||$0|
|American Express Personal Savings||1.25%||$0||$0|
|Ally Online Savings||1.20%||$0||$0|
|Discover Online Savings||1.20%||$0||$0|
|Radius High-Yield Savings||1.20%||$2,500||$0|
|Sallie Mae Bank SmartyPig||1.15%||$10,000||$0|
|Bank of Internet Smart Savings||1.05%||$0||$0|
|Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings||0.90%||$100||$0|
|Capital One 360 Savings||0.75%||$0||$0|