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 Interest Rate: Marcus Online Savings

Consider this if you're looking for a high interest rate with no minimums or monthly fees.

APY 2.05%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $1.00
Monthly Fee $0.00

At 2.05% APY, Marcus Online Savings combines a strong interest rate with a high balance limit, making it the best online savings account available. This free account also comes with no minimum balance, which ensures that your savings won't be impacted by maintenance costs.

While Goldman Sachs Bank USA doesn't earn the highest savings account APY on the market, it comes quite close—and crucially, it doesn't put any meaningful upper limit on how much money you can deposit to earn interest. Many other online savings options offer better APYs at first glance, but they also put a cap on how much money you can actually deposit at the advertised rate. Because excess deposits on such accounts typically earn very little interest, it's usually better to choose an account like Marcus Online Savings with a slightly lower APY and no deposit limit.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA 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 compensates somewhat for the fact that Goldman Sachs Bank USA doesn't offer any checking accounts yet.

Best Savings Account Bonus: Chase Savings

Chase offers a bonus of $150 for new savings accounts with a balance of at least $10,000. Compared to other bonuses, this is a strong incentive for new customers who qualify for the balance requirement. You can add another $200 to this bonus by also signing up for a checking account and setting up direct deposit to that 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: Discover Online Savings

Consider this if you're looking for an account that comes with mobile banking and links easily to other accounts.

APY 1.90%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $1.00
Monthly Fee $0.00

We chose Discover Online Savings as the best online savings account thanks to its ability to connect with Discover Bank's online checking account and any Discover credit cards you may have. While this savings account doesn't have the best interest rate, it comes close enough that the added convenience of managing all your bank accounts in one mobile app makes it a great choice overall. Like most online savings accounts, Discover Online Savings has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.

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 Discover Online Savings Account currently offers 1.90%—only slightly less than the Barclays Online Savings—while also providing easy access to transfers between accounts.

Best Savings Account for Kids: Citizens Bank CollegeSaver

Consider this if you're looking for a bonus on your kids' savings account.

APY 0.05%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $0.00
Monthly Fee $0.00

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

Consider this if you plan to put less than a few thousand in savings.

APY 5.12%
Minimum Balance to Earn APY $5.00
Monthly Fee $0.00

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 currently peak around 1.85% 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.

Savings AccountAPYMinimum to Open
Marcus Online Savings2.05%$0.00
Chase Savings0.01%$25.00
Discover Online Savings1.90%$0.00
Citizens Bank CollegeSaver0.05%$25–$50
DCU Primary Savings5.12%$100.00

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.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Senior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who has covered deposit accounts and home loans since 2016. He has contributed insights and opinions to the New York Times and many other publications.

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