Best Savings Account in 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

Looking for ways to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start — especially now that the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates.

Not that traditional banks are racing to raise their own rates in response. Nationally, the average savings account still pays out a paltry 0.09% in interest. When it comes to earning interest on your balance, the best savings accounts are increasingly online — and it’s not even close. For example, Ally Bank offers 2.0% APY — roughly 22 times the national average.

If you want to keep tabs on the lowest rate, check out this tool (below) that includes a list of banks and displays daily rate updates for all the best savings accounts.

The key to finding the best online savings account is to look for rates north of 1% APY – roughly 11 times the national average!

Many of the nation’s biggest banks have rates as low as 0.01%. That’s a hard pill to swallow for savers who expect a safe place to park their cash.

Starting your searches with the online tool above will help you get the lay of the rate land at any given time. Rates change all the time, so interest rate is only one factor to consider — but it is a good starting point. From there, it’s much easier to compare account features to match your preferences.

We took some of the best high-yield savings accounts and analyzed all of their other features to compile this guide. With it, you should be able to find the best savings account for your needs.

Best Savings Account: The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks

  • Best Overall: Ally
  • Best Savings/Checking Combo: Capital One 360
  • Best for No Monthly Fees: HSBC Direct, Synchrony OptimizerPlus, and Barclays
  • Best for High Balances: CIT Bank
  • Best Money Market Savings Account: TIAA Bank

Federally insured by the FDIC
APY: 2.00%

Learn more at Ally Bank

Ally
All-Around Best Savings Account

Ally Bank was one of the first popular online banks, and their competitive online interest rate remains their key to winning consumers’ deposit dollars. Their savings account currently yields 2.00%, which is high by today’s standards.

With Ally Bank, you can deposit checks with the mobile app by taking a picture and link to any number of external accounts to move money around easily. All of these features come with no minimum deposit and no monthly fee.

Why You’ll Like Ally

  • No minimum deposit to open
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Earn a higher rate than traditional savings accounts
  • Deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit℠
  • Grow your money faster with interest compounded daily
  • Your deposits are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law

What to Watch Out For

  • Ally is online only – no physical branches

Best Online Savings Account with No Monthly Fee: HSBC Direct Savings

Member FDIC.
APY: 2.22%

Learn More at HSBC

HSBC Direct Savings
Best Online Savings Account with No Monthly Fee

The HSBC Direct Savings account offers no monthly maintenance fee. What’s more, the minimum deposit to open an account is only $1.00.

HSBC Direct Savings at a Glance

  • Earn 2.22% APY on all balance tiers.
  • No monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum balance to earn APY is $1.
  • Apply online today.
  • Move money quickly and access your funds using online transfers.
  • Depositing checks is as simple as taking a picture with your mobile device using HSBC Mobile Banking.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Please refer to issuer website and application for the most current information. We may be paid for the content on this site.

Best Savings Account/Checking Account Combo: Capital One 360

Federally insured by the FDIC
APY: 1.00%

Capital One 360
Best Savings Account/Checking Account Combo

If you’re looking for an all-around online bank, then Capital One 360 is a great choice. With Capital One 360, you have access to savings, checking, CDs, mortgages, and investment accounts. Additionally, Capital One offers auto loans and credit cards. You can get into more detail by reading our Capital One 360 Review.

With a Capital One 360 Savings Account, you’ll also gain access to other perks. In addition to fee-free savings, Capital One offers an array of online and mobile banking services and tools that can help you keep an eye on your money. However, their 1.0% APY falls on the low end for a mostly online bank.

Why You’ll Like Capital One 360

  • No monthly fees and no account minimums.
  • A great everyday interest rate on your money.
  • The opportunity to earn a tiered sign-up bonus based on the amount of your initial deposit.
  • 24/7 online and mobile account access.
  • Customer service with a live agent.
  • Free ATM access across the country, plus a few dozen Capital One Cafe locations for in-person banking.
  • Easy mobile check deposit with Checkmate.

What to Watch Out For

  • If you’re looking for the highest yield, you’ll find it elsewhere.

Federally insured by the FDIC
APY: 2.05%

Learn More at Synchrony

Synchrony OptimizerPlus
The Best Savings Accounts with No Monthly Fee (tie)

The Synchrony online savings account offers one of the highest yields in the nation at 2.05%. This account carries a monthly fee of $5, which is modest by comparable standards. The fee is waived if you maintain just a $50 average balance per month. OptimizerPlus rewards long-term customers with perks on travel discounts, ATM fee reimbursements, and special rate offers.

Synchrony OptimizerPlus at a Glance

  • Well above average rates.
  • FDIC insured.
  • Free Identity Theft Resolution Services.

Federally insured by the FDIC
APY: 2.25%

Learn More at CIT Bank

CIT Bank
Best Online Savings Account for High Balances

CIT’s savings account offers a tiered interest rate structure, so higher balances earn higher interest. Currently, their industry best 2.25% APR goes to customers who can either maintain a balance of $25,000 or higher in the account or who have less than $25,000 in their account but make monthly deposits of at least $100.

CIT’s lower-tier rates are still some of the best around (1.14% APY for no minimum balance), so if you plan on growing your savings significantly in the near future, it might pay to open this account now and take advantage of the tiered structure as your savings grow. CIT Savings has no monthly fees and requires just $100 to open a new account.

CIT at a Glance

  • Minimum deposit of only $100.
  • Premium rate for accounts with a daily balance of $25,000 or more, or monthly deposits of at least $100.
  • No account opening or monthly maintenance fees.
  • Daily compounding to maximize your earning potential.
  • Make deposits and withdrawals easily by linking to your existing accounts at another bank.
  • Manage your account and view statements online.

Federally insured by the FDIC
APY: 2.05%

Learn More at Barclays

Barclays
The Best Savings Accounts with No Monthly Fee (tie)

Barclays is a relative newcomer to the U.S. online banking market, but they’re actually a British bank that has been around since 1690! Their savings account rate is currently one of the best in the nation, at 2.05%. There’s no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee.

Even with no monthly fee and high rates, Barclays manages some great online banking features like online transfer, external account linking, and remote deposit using your smartphone or home computer scanner.

Barclays at a Glance

  • A rate that’s 23 times better than the national average.
  • No minimum balance and no hidden fees.
  • Link directly to any existing bank account.

tiaa bank money market account - best savings accounts
Federally insured by the FDIC
First-year APY: 2.15%

Learn More at TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank
The Best Money Market Savings Account

TIAA Bank (formerly Everbank) is built to give you a better banking value. Not only do they provide check writing through their money market account, they make a pledge that their rate will always be in the top 5% of competitive bank offers nationwide.

For first-time clients, TIAA Bank offers a 1.1% Bonus Interest Rate for the first six months on all balances, and a promotional yield of 2.15% on balances up to $250,000 for 12 months. You’ll need a whopping $5,000 to open an account, but simply having a positive balance will waive any monthly fee. In the tech department, TIAA Bank delivers mobile check deposit and other features on iOS and Android.

Note: Federal regulations limit the number of electronic, telephone, and check transactions you can make with your Money Market account to six withdrawals per monthly statement cycle.

Why You’ll Like TIAA Bank’s Money Market Account

  • Great bonus rate opportunity.
  • Mobile check deposits.
  • Anywhere, anytime access.
  • 4-star stability.

What to Watch Out For

  • Initial deposit requirement is steep at $5,000.

Where to Look for Savings Account Options

Deregulation has enabled many different types of finance companies to compete for savings deposits. In addition to your traditional local bank, you may be surprised to find that you can open a savings account with one of these types of companies:

  • Auto finance companies (Ally – formerly GMAC)
  • International banks (Barclays)
  • Large commercial finance companies (CIT, GE Capital – now Synchrony)
  • Credit card companies (American Express, Discover)
  • Insurance companies (USAA, Farmers Insurance)
  • Online brokerages (Charles Schwab, Fidelity)
  • Smaller regional banks with internet banking arms (EverBank, now TIAA)
  • Credit unions

Why choose an online savings account?

Today, almost every financial institution with personal banking products has an online presence. People simply want to bank when they want, where they want, and how they want with minimal interference. The best online savings accounts deliver this experience through several key advantages.

Advantages of Online Savings Accounts

Higher yields: Online banks boast less overhead because they don’t need to maintain physical branches. Online banks are able to pass on this savings to their savings account holders in the form of higher interest rates.

A word of caution: These rates can and do change. As with any savings account, banks often run promotions to get you hooked, then lower the rates later. However, the best online savings account will still handily beat out the yield of a traditional bank over the long term.

24/7 access: You can check your balance, update your contact info, make transfers, and order deposit slips at any time. Most online accounts will give you access to your account 24/7, 365 days a year. This enables you to access your information when you want. For more pressing issues, customer support is also usually accessible 24/7, so you can talk to an actual human instead of your computer screen.

Self-maintenance: Why drive to a branch and talk to a banker to transfer money, update personal information, make payments, or check your balance? You can perform all of these functions and more from your computer screen or mobile device without even getting dressed.

Superior online and mobile experience: Many traditional banks have been slow to adopt the best web and mobile features to improve the customer experience online. Because online banks’ users are exclusively on the Internet, greater attention is paid to the usability of the website and mobile tools.

More Banking Guides

If you’re still looking for banking options, here are some other useful guides on other important banking accounts:

Personal Savings Calculator

To help you determine your savings needs, we’ve created this savings calculator that will help you determine your personal savings goals.


How we found the best high-yield savings accounts online

We started our search by first looking at different offers from traditional banks. We then realized that other types of financial institutions also offer savings accounts online, so we expanded the search beyond traditional banks.

Then we started adding filters to our search. First and foremost, we filtered by APY: Any bank not advertising an APY of 1% or better was eliminated from the list.

The best savings accounts ought to stand head and shoulders above the rest, and a 1% APY is more than 10 times the national average.

Our next steps were to add in additional, more granular criteria:

  • We looked for accounts that advertised low monthly fees, plus easy ways to have those fees waived.
  • You’ll notice that not one of the best savings accounts mentioned here carries a mandatory monthly fee. This still left us with many possibilities.
  • We then analyzed other factors, such as lower minimum balances, low administrative fees, and superior mobile tools.

Understanding that rates and banks change over time, we decided to develop situational groupings to display where certain accounts currently held an advantage over others. Mainly, we grouped the best online savings accounts the following criteria:

  1. High balance: We found that some savings accounts were better for people who carried high balances.
  2. No monthly fees for any balance: You shouldn’t have to carry a high balance to avoid a monthly fee!
  3. Check writing ability: Some people like the ability to write a check from their savings account — a great feature to have if your account is online.

From this process, Ally came out as the all-around best for the majority of people. While the Ally Bank Online Savings Account does not have every feature, it has a solid combination of high yield, no fees, low minimum balance, and technical prowess.

Summing Up

If you’ve grown accustomed to a savings account that pays you next to nothing in interest, now might be a good time to re-evaluate and give your money a chance to work for you. There are enough banks offering both great service and good interest rates to justify making a switch.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.