Best Savings Accounts in 2021

A savings account can be an integral part of planning for your financial future. The best savings accounts bring excellent interest and APY rates, convenient ways to access your funds and a secure way to store your money for your financial future. Compared to checking accounts, the best savings account rates are considerably higher and can deliver meaningful returns. As banks and credit unions compete for your business, the benefits and conveniences offered for savings accounts continue to get better.

In this article

    The 8 best savings accounts of 2021

    ProviderMonthly FeeMin. DepositAPYKey Benefit
    Ally$0$00.50%Buckets to better visualize savings
    Synchrony$0$00.50%ATM card available
    Vio Bank$0$1000.57%Adjusts rates to match competitors
    Marcus by Goldman Sachs$0$00.50%U.S.-based customer support team
    PNC Bank$0$25Varies by locationEasily integratable with virtual wallet
    Citibank$4.50$0Varies by locationAble to write checks
    HSBC$0$10.15%Global banking available
    Capital One$0$00.40%In-branch service available

    The best savings accounts for 2021

    Best savings tools – Ally Bank

    Besides the competitive APY, the available savings tools available for free use through Ally are appealing features.

    Savings APY
    0.50%
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    SimpleScore
    4.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Ally Bank 4.6
    Savings APY 3
    Tools 5
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Support 5
    Product Variety 5

    The buckets program allows you to save for multiple different things at once through the same account. Being able to visualize your savings growth towards multiple goals can be motivating and helpful with financial planning.

    The boost program offers unique ways to increase your savings regularly through recurring transfers or surprise savings. Recurring savings allow you to choose a schedule to consistently add to your savings and your buckets. The surprise savings booster uses artificial intelligence to analyze your spending habits, income and upcoming bills to determine how much you can comfortably add to savings. It works quietly in the background growing your savings for you.

    Best customer perks – Synchrony

    The Synchrony high-yield savings account is jam-packed with benefits and perks for customers looking to plan for their financial futures.

    Savings APY
    0.50%
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    SimpleScore
    4.5 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Synchrony 4.5
    Savings APY 5
    Tools 4
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Support 5
    Product Variety 4

    Accessing your money in a Synchrony savings account is possible digitally or by using a debit card, which is something you generally only see with checking accounts.

    If you do utilize an out of network ATM with your savings account debit card, the bank will refund up to $5 per statement cycle. APY rates are competitive, accounts require no minimum to open and there are no monthly service fees. All around, this is a well-rounded savings account option.

    Vio Bank – Highest APY

    Opening a savings account with Vio Bank will require a minimum $100 deposit, which is higher than the no minimums offered at many other banks and credit unions. In return, though, you’ll be getting one of the highest APYs in the business at 0.57%. If you’re worried about missing out on better rates if the market changes, Vio Bank regularly monitors the competition to make sure it still has some of the best savings account interest rates.

    Opening a savings account through Vio Bank takes less than five minutes, and only requires your Social Security number, driver’s license and mailing address. While there is no monthly fee for using online banking, you will be charged $5 monthly if you request paper statements.

    Best for no fees – Marcus by Goldman Sachs

    Opening and maintaining a savings account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs will cost you nothing to get started and nothing to keep the account open. Couple this with APY rates four times the national average, and you’ve got an appealing option.

    Savings APY
    0.50%
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    SimpleScore
    3.5 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Marcus by Goldman Sachs 3.5
    Savings APY 3
    Tools 4
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Support 5
    Product Variety 2

    For those people looking for great customer service, Marcus has a U.S.-based customer contact center that’s open seven days a week to help with your needs. Additionally, the bank offers extensive personal finance and banking education resources for customers to use to better themselves and better plan for the future. These guides, articles and resources are available 24/7 on the bank’s website for customers or those people interested in joining the bank.

    Best account integration – PNC Bank

    To start, PNC bank has a slightly lower but competitive APY rate of 1.25%, no monthly fee and a minimum deposit to open an account of $25. Unlike Vio Bank, PNC customers who want paper statements will not be charged.

    Savings APY
    Varies by location
    1Y CD Rate
    0.02%
    J.D. Power Rating
    829/1,000
    SimpleScore
    3.2 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore PNC Bank 3.2
    Savings APY 2
    1Y CD APY 2
    Customer Satisfaction 3
    Mobile App 4
    Product Variety 5

    If you’re using any other accounts at PNC Bank, you’ll easily be able to integrate those accounts with your savings through a virtual wallet. The bank advertises that its checking and savings accounts can operate as one virtual wallet making for a more streamlined opportunity to maximize gains. Be aware that the high yield savings account from PNC Bank is not available in all markets, including some of the markets that the bank services with other products. There are additional savings products available in those markets, but those products do not carry as high of an APY.

    Best ATM/branch network – Citibank

    The first thing that stands out about Citibank is the APY rates are considerably lower than some of the competitors.

    Savings APY
    0.50%
    1Y CD Rate
    0.10%
    J.D. Power Rating
    801/1,000
    SimpleScore
    3.8 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Citibank 3.8
    Savings APY 5
    1Y CD APY 3
    Customer Satisfaction 2
    Mobile App 5
    Product Variety 4

    For many looking to passively fund their savings account, this is not ideal. However, if you’re looking to use your savings count more actively, you may enjoy some of the transactional conveniences offered through Citibank.

    Depending on the level of savings account you are approved for, you may get access to waived ATM fees at all non-Citi ATM locations. Customers are also able to write checks from their savings accounts, which helps with easier access to your saved funds. Also, Citibank offers AutoSave, a program to help you link your Citibank checking account with your savings account for simplified savings.

    Best for large accounts – HSBC

    Customers with larger balances will be able to reap the rewards of all of HSBC’s perks.

    Savings APY
    0.15%
    Min. Deposit
    $1
    J.D. Power Rating
    770/1,000
    SimpleScore
    3 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore HSBC 3
    Savings APY 1
    Tools 3
    Customer Satisfaction 1
    Support 5
    Product Variety 5

    HSBC offers three different types of savings accounts for customers to choose from — Premier Savings, Advance Savings, and Everyday Savings. As you move up the tiered accounts, the required minimum balances increase, but so do the APY rates. The minimum balance to earn the top-level rate is $100,000. At $25,000 with the Premier Savings account.

    Best account variety – Capital One

    One of the best savings accounts that checks all the necessary boxes is the Capital One 360 savings account.

    Savings APY
    0.40%
    Min. Deposit
    $0
    J.D. Power Rating
    2/5
    SimpleScore
    4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Capital One 4
    Savings APY 3
    Tools 5
    Customer Satisfaction 2
    Support 5
    Product Variety 5

    Customers get no fees and no account minimums. What is most impressive, though, is that this sky-high APY is available regardless of your balance. So, even if you only have a few bucks to contribute to savings to get started, you’ll be earning 0.40% APY.

    What is a savings account?

    A savings account is an account that an individual holds with a bank or credit union to store money. Savings accounts are designed for a low volume of transactions and have imposed limits of six transactions per month. Compared to checking accounts, savings accounts usually carry higher interest rates and APYs.

    How should I choose the right savings account?

    Choosing the best savings account depends on how often you plan to access your funds and what daily balance you plan to carry. If you’re planning on rarely touching the money in your savings accounts, your selection can be heavily driven by the APY rate you’ll earn. If you do plan on using many of the six allowed transactions per month, you may want to consider other things like the ability to withdraw through an ATM card, the ability to write checks, and the use of technology to make transfers easier.

    When looking at APY rates, ensure you look at the rates for the balance you plan to carry. Some banks and credit unions offer higher rates for higher balances, while others offer the same great rates, whether you have $1 or $100,000 in your savings account.

    Rates accurate as of April 2021

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    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best savings accounts of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

    However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare the savings account offered by Chase, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. However, when we compare the checking account offered by Chase with the checking account SimpleScore metrics, it scores a 4.4 out of 5. We change and tweak the methodologies for different categories based on industry standards to paint a complete picture of products and brands.

    Questions about our methodology?

    Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

    APY

    Savings accounts are meant to earn at least a little interest, which is why we reward brands with higher APYs on savings accounts.

    Savings Tools

    Brands that make it easier to save score higher SimpleScores. We considered tools such as savings buckets, automatic transfers and goal-tracking when comparing this metric.

    Customer satisfaction

    We leveraged J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study and 2020 U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study to rate each brand for customer satisfaction. The higher the satisfaction score, the higher the SimpleScore.

    Customer support

    The savings account providers that have the most channels of customer support score higher than providers that don’t. We considered e-chat, email, phone, mobile app support and social media as channels of support for this metric.

    Additional products

    When it comes to banking, it’s nice to have options. If you want a checking and savings account in one place, that’s great, but we also considered other financial products like MMAs, CDs, IRAs and more. Providers that have more additional products score higher.

    Jason Lee

    Contributing Writer

    Jason Lee is a U.S.-based freelance writer with a passion for writing about dating, banking, tech, personal growth, food and personal finance. As a business owner, relationship strategist, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base and skill sets with the rest of the world. Follow Jason on Facebook here

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Loans Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, and elsewhere.