When I was a kid, I used to get a $10 allowance each week and was actually paid for good grades in elementary school. My mom noticed my fast accumulation of cash so she took me to her bank and opened a savings account for me.

Back then, banks issued a small savings account booklet (which I was excited to get) that was stamped with my deposit each week from the teller. I loved seeing those stamps and watching my money grow!

Since I was just a kid, I had no idea if I was earning any interest or if I needed to pay fees to maintain the account, but my excuse was that I was a kid and relied on my mom to handle those things.

In hindsight, my mom knew nothing about interest or fees, and most likely the account earned very little in interest each month. While it was great I was saving money, I was losing out because I wasn’t making the most of my money.

Does this sound familiar? If you’re still using a big bank savings account, you’re losing out on passive income you could be earning with a higher-paying account.

No More Excuses

Maybe you’re reluctant to move from your big bank because it’s too much work, or you’re unsure which bank to choose. While it does take some work to move accounts over, once you do it, you’ll have peace of mind that your money will make you more money.

Most of the savings accounts on this list offer 18 to 22X more interest than what the big banks offer! Currently, the going savings rate at top online banks is about 1.50%.

A Bank of America or Wells Fargo savings account only gives 0.01% APY. Other big banks aren’t that much better.

Don’t Trust Banks?

Perhaps you’re skeptical about online banks or don’t trust them. All the banks mentioned on this list are FDIC insured, which means if something bad happens and your bank goes under, you’ll get up to $250,000 of your money back. Online banks are becoming highly competitive, offering simple, low or no-fee savings accounts that come with a solid interest rate.


What to Consider When Picking a Savings Account

So, how do you decide which one is best for you? The APY and fees are most important, but banks can change their APY without any notice, so beyond the interest rate, the following questions should be given weight when choosing an account:

  • How readily is their customer service is available?
  • Do they require a minimum balance to maintain the account?
  • Is their website user-friendly and easy to navigate?
  • Are there any extra benefits or perks?

If you’re making savings a priority this year or want to switch from your big bank, take a look at the best high yield savings accounts and the perks they offer.

The Best High Yield Savings Accounts of 2018

1. CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings

What we like:

  • 1.55% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • Mobile app and deposit

Heads up:

  • $100 minimum to open the account

CIT Bank has their Premier High Yield Savings that currently earns 1.55% in interest. The account doesn’t have any maintenance fees and you can easily check balances and make deposits via the mobile app.

You need at least $100 as your initial opening deposit to sign up.

In addition to the Premier High Yield Savings, they offer various CDs, including Jumbo CDs and a high yield Money Market account. Their Money Market account earns 1.85% APY and is a great way to earn even more interest on your money.

2. Beam

Beam is not quite the same the other accounts on this list, because funds are actually held in Demand Deposit Account, not a savings account.

The funds you put in your account through Beam are actually stored with Evolve Bank and Trust, which is an FDIC-insured bank.

Because Beam is all online, you can earn between 2% and 4% APY on your funds with Beam!

3. Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

What we like:

  • 1.55% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit
  • Free ATMs that have a Plus or ACCEL logo
  • Mobile app and deposit

Formerly known as GE Bank, Synchrony Bank is another bank to consider for its high-interest savings that earns 1.55%.

The account is free to open and maintain, and you can easily track your deposits and see your transactions through the mobile app.

Synchrony Bank offers perks for opening an account based on your balances and length of time you’ve been a customer. The benefits are based on a tiered status, similar to credit card rewards, and starts from Basic to Diamond.

Here are the tiers:

  • Basic: Less than $10,000
  • Silver: $10,000-$49,999.99
  • Gold: $50,000-$99,999.99
  • Platinum: $100,000-$249,999.99
  • Diamond $250,000+

Depending on which status tier you’re in, benefits include:

  • Complimentary identity theft resolution services
  • Discounts for travel
  • Receive up to three free wire transfers per statement cycle

The Synchrony Bank website is very easy to navigate and features a handy savings calculator that will give you an idea of how much you can save.

4. 360 Savings by Capital One®

What we like:

  • 1.00% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit to open
  • Great for tracking goals (digital tools, apps)

Heads up:

  • Outgoing domestic wire transfer fee: $30
  • A statement copy charge of $5 per statement may be charged for statements generated within the last 2 years

Capital One® 360 has a savings account that earns 1.00% on all balances and doesn’t charge a maintenance fee or balance requirement to keep the account open. You can open up to 25 accounts between the savings account and their Money Market account.

This means you can easily set up your savings subaccounts based on your goals.

For example, you may have three savings-based goals, including a holiday fund, vacation, fund and emergency fund and automatically deposit money into all three each month automatically from your checking account.

Capital One® 360 also has locations in many large cities that are a hybrid of a bank, cafe, and workspace. You can go there and learn more about their products and services, get a cup of coffee and hang out.

5. Barclays Online Savings

What we like:

  • APY 1.50%
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit to open

British-based international bank Barclays has an online savings account that has a 1.5% APY, no minimum balances to open and zero fees to maintain it each month.

When you visit the Barclay Online Savings website, you can take advantage of a free resource called Savings Assistant. This tool helps you calculate how much you’d like to save based on a particular goal, how much you can contribute each month, and how much that savings goal costs.

I tested it out and put in “retirement” as the goal, with $1,000,000 as the cost and a monthly contribution of $2,000. When I hit “calculate,” it said I’d need to save for 29 years and 10 months to reach a million. (Obviously, there are way better options to save for your retirement, outside of only having a savings account!)

If you want trust the name of a big bank like Barclays but want a competitive rate for savings, this is a great choice.

6. Discover Online Savings Account

What we like:

  • APY 1.50%
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit to open
  • Mobile app and deposit

Heads up:

  • Excessive withdrawal fee: $15 (you’ll get charged if you take money out of your account more than six times a month)
  • Wire transfer fee: $30

Like many of their credit card products that have great rewards and perks, Discover Bank offers a robust savings account that easily keeps up with the competition.

Their savings account has an APY of 1.50% with no minimums to open and no monthly fees.

In my opinion, Discover stands out and is worth considering because of their easy-to-use, information-packed website that tells you right on the homepage what fees are involved with opening an account.

They also have a savings account guide that gives you an overview of what to expect if you open an account with them.

7. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

What we like:

  • 1.50% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • Named Best Standalone account for savings by Money Magazine

Heads up:

  • $1 Minimum deposit to open

Investment banking company Goldman Sachs joins this list for a solid online savings account called Marcus savings account, and has no fees and requires a minimum deposit of $1 to open.

They have a simple savings calculator on their website that shows you how much interest you’d earn with them vs a big bank.

For example, I put $10,000 with a recurring deposit of $100 on a weekly basis. In five years, I would make $1,761, instead of the national average (another name for big banks), which would yield $334. That’s a difference of $1,427.

8. Ally Online Savings

What we like:

  • APY 1.45%
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit
  • Free ATMs at Allpoint®, plus get up to $10 reimbursements per statement for non-Allpoint® ATMs
  • Mobile app and deposit

Heads up:

  • Excessive withdrawal fee: $10
  • Outgoing wire transfer fee: $15

I’m impartial to Ally Bank because I have an online savings account with them. While their APY is slightly lower than the others on this list, I think Ally Bank has a lot to offer, including really competent customer service agents and a simple, user-friendly website.

Make deposits via electronic transfer, mobile check deposit, direct deposit, or mail. You can also link up to 20 external accounts to your savings account.

Ally has solid customer reviews and has many bells and whistles, such as being able to connect Alexa to your account so you can easily ask what your balance is in your savings and other accounts, such as checking or money market.

9. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

What we like:

  • 1.50% APY
  • $5 account minimum to open but they reimburse you
  • 80K+ ATMs in-network

Heads up:

  • Interest rate is for balances of over $100
  • No maintenance fees if you choose e-statements
  • Paper statement fee: $1 per statement
  • Domestic wire transfer fee: $25

Alliant Credit Union has their High-Rate Savings that gives you a 1.50% return on your money.

In order to avoid monthly fees, you need to select eStatements, and you can make deposits and withdrawals at thousands of ATMs nationwide, which is convenient when you need to make a cash deposit.

You can open up to 19 supplemental accounts to set your savings goals and the initial deposit is $5, but you get it back from them.

They were also given awards for the best savings account from NerdWallet and Wallethub, with plenty of positive reviews from customers too.

10. American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account

What we like:

  • 1.45% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • $0 Minimum deposit

American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account earns 1.45% and has no monthly fees and no minimums. They offer convenience and flexibility by allowing you to easily link your existing checking accounts seamlessly and allow you to link up to three accounts.

Similar to Discover’s site, American Express has a very thorough website that covers a ton of questions and details, like what to expect when linking your external accounts to your American Express® High Yield Savings Account.

However, they don’t readily list any fees that are associated with the account on their website, like Discover does.

Their customer service is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

11. Radius Bank High-Yield Savings

What we like:

  • 1.30% APY
  • $0 Maintenance fees
  • Free ATM usage at SUM logo machines
  • Their checking account also earns 0.85% APY

Heads up:

  • 1.30 APY only applies to balances of up to $2,500 and higher
  • Minimum opening deposit $10

While Radius Bank’s APY on their savings only applies to balances of over $2,500, they may be worth considering if you’re looking for a savings and checking at the same bank, as their checking earns 0.85% interest.  

Radius Hybrid checking has a decent interest rate of 0.85%, in addition to not having any maintenance fees. The minimum balance required to open a checking or savings is $10.

For their savings, anything lower than a balance of $2,500 will only 0.05%, so it may be worth opening the account after you’ve saved up at least that amount.

How to Decide on the Best Savings Account

As you can see from the list, many of the savings accounts offered by the most competitive banks are similar in APY, have no fees and even provide you with calculators to determine how much you need to meet your goals.

Is a reputable name brand important to you? If so, you might want to go with Barclays, American Express or Discover. But, if you want stellar customer service that’s U.S.-based, try Ally Bank. Finally, if you want a checking account that earns interest in addition to savings, Radius Bank might be your best bet.

What’s the most important thing to you when it comes to a savings account? Leave a comment and let us know.

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