best savings rates

Beginner’s Guide to Banks with the Best Savings Rates

Everyone’s saving for something, whether it’s a car, a house or just a better future. And it makes sense that you’d want the best savings rates available to get you there.

But it’s no secret that savings rates are at a historic low.

It’s hard to build a retirement fund on a .01% interest rate. These seven accounts help you go one step beyond.

Features of a Great Savings Account

First things first: what makes a bank account with the best savings rates?

Because let’s be honest. You can be a frugal-living rockstar, but it helps when your bank account has your back. Like, a higher interest rate than a few pennies here and there. Or a monthly fee that won’t be more than the account is worth.

You’ve got your eye on the prize. Your savings account should too. Here are four qualities to look for when you’re on the prowl for a good savings account.

Low (or No) Monthly Fee

Remember how hard you cringed last time your Bank of America savings accounts charged a $25 monthly maintenance fee?

Or how your bank account charges monthly fees because you’re below a balance that will take years to achieve?

What if you could dodge the monthly fee altogether?

Yup. No more monthly fees. Just you, living your best saving life.

In fact, the highest monthly fee for the seven accounts listed here is $5.

Yes, you read that right. Just $5. Most of the accounts listed don’t have a monthly fee at all.

Because let’s be honest. Those fees have a way of adding up as time goes on.

Competitive APY

This is the big one.

Like, the part that makes these seven bank accounts qualify for the list of best savings rates.

The highest APY of the lot is 1.50%. Which, when you think about it, is pretty amazing considering that the average APY for a typical savings account is just a fraction of that number.

Plus, that APY will keep getting bigger the more money you put into the savings account.

See that? That qualifies as a win-win situation.

Money doesn’t grow on trees – but it can definitely grow in a high-quality savings account.

Live Help/Mobile Friendly

Given that many of the savings accounts on this list are online-based, it’s kind of important that they have a lot of help to offer you.

Especially if they’re not part of your local ATM network, which would tend to make moving your savings around a smidge more difficult.

This comes both in the form of live help (with a human, available on the phone 24/7) and in the form of a mobile app or mobile-friendly website that won’t make you want to pull your hair out and invest in a Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass every time you log on to check your account.

Bonuses

You’re going to be saving anyway, right?

But what if you could earn bonuses?

It’s like when you work hard at your job and your boss knows you’ve worked hard at your job and, as a consequence, rewards you for the extra effort.

Except, it’s for your savings account.

Who knew you could earn money as a reward for saving money?

What You’ll Need

Of course, opening an account for the best savings rates on the market isn’t just a matter of strolling through the door and signing on the dotted line.

You need to have a few things on hand first (don’t worry, you don’t need to qualify for the Olympics or anything).

To open a new account, you’ll need basic personal details (name, address, email, phone and Social Security number), a government-issued ID, and your current bank’s account and routing numbers.

Banks with the Best Savings Rates

And now, you’re off to the races! Well, off to the bank anyway.

And what a bank trip, indeed. Here are seven awesome bank accounts to check out if you’re ready to get serious about saving for your future.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Unless you’ve been living in a cave with packing peanuts in your ears, you’ve heard of Goldman Sachs.

They’re a big name in the business for a reason – they’re good at what they do.

Marcus is an online bank offshoot of Goldman Sachs. And if you’re out for an APY that’s pure gold, it’s hard to do better than their 1.50% APY. It also has a mere $1 monthly minimum before you can earn interest and no monthly fees.

There are drawbacks, of course: because they’re online, Marcus doesn’t have an ATM network, checking account or mobile app. To put money in, you’ll have to transfer it from an outside account and withdraw it by transferring it back to the other account.

For more on Marcus by Goldman Sachs, read this review.

PurePoint Financial

If you’re looking for a leader in savings rates from a national bank, then you should definitely check out PurePoint Financial.

A division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., PurePoint offers a competitive 1.40% APY and no monthly fees.

Something to keep in mind, though: they have a minimum deposit of $10,000 to open a savings account.

For more on PurePoint Financial, click here.

Barclays

Those who have traveled outside the U.S. are familiar with Barclays, a global financial services company.

Now, they have an online branch offering high-yield savings accounts to customers in the U.S.

Their APY of 1.50% is up there with Goldman Sachs as the most competitive rates on the market. Plus, they have no monthly fees (and no minimum balance requirement, for those still reeling from PurePoint’s minimum deposit number).

They aren’t part of an ATM or bank network, but your savings account can be accessed through a streamlined version of the Barclays website.

For more on Barclays, read this review of their savings account.

Synchrony

If you want the convenience that comes with an ATM network, then Synchrony might be the account you’re looking for.

Synchrony is part of two major ATM networks, which makes it easy for you to deposit and withdraw cash in a hurry. Like, they have more than 2 million ATMs in the U.S. and overseas.

Plus, their APY is a nicely competitive 1.45%. You don’t have to worry about a minimum balance requirement or monthly fees.

And once your balance hits $10,000, you can start earning travel-related discounts. We’d call that an A+ bonus for the world-travelers among us, wouldn’t you?

For more on Synchrony, read this review.

Discover Online Savings

You’ve definitely heard of Discover. You’ve definitely seen Discover cards floating around in circulation, too.

Now, with Discover Online Savings, you can maximize your saving potential while you’re doing your regular banking.

Discover’s APY rate is competitive (1.40%) and offers a lot in the way of stress-free saving. Like no minimum balance requirement, no minimum deposit and no monthly fees.

They even offer a $200 bonus – and who’s going to turn down a spare $200?

Keep in mind, though, that there are certain requirements to qualify for that bonus, especially if you’re already a Discover customer.

For more on Discover, check out this review.

Ally Bank

Maybe you’re getting antsy about the idea that you won’t have a savings account within an ATM network. Maybe you’re hoping that the online experience is stellar enough to make up for the inconvenience of no ATM network.

If so, look no further than Ally Bank.

It has one of the best online banking experiences you can find – the website is highly user-friendly, and its mobile apps are compatible with Apple, Android and Windows phones.

And unlike most of the accounts we’ve listed here, they offer real-time chat support.

Of course, there’s always the APY. Which, at 1.35%, isn’t half bad either.

For more on Ally Bank, check out this review.

Chase

Let’s be honest. If you want a high APY, Chase probably isn’t going to be your first choice.

But if you want stellar customer service and convenience of branch availability, Chase should absolutely be your first choice.

Granted, Chase puts a few other offers on the table to help sweeten the pot. There’s a signup bonus of $150 to new savings customers who maintain a balance of $10,000 for 90 days (offer expires April 16, 2018).

These, as well as it’s stellar user ratings on its mobile apps and customer service, are what make Chase a part of this list.

If you want a traditional, full-service bank with all the conveniences involved, then it’s worth your time to check out Chase.

For more on Chase, read this review.

Make the Best of the Best Savings Rates

And a few other saving tips too.

Check out our blog for all kinds of tips on how to make the most of your money for today and for the future.

For those looking to get smarter with their savings goals, try our post on how to set financial goals (and succeed in keeping them), or our post on the top 10 money management apps to turn your phone into a money-saver.

For those looking to get started investing, you can check out our post on the easy way to get started investing online.

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