Bankrate’s guide to choosing the right savings rate

banks with best saving interest rates 800x400 1

Banks with physical locations usually have lower rates than online banks. Usually, that’s because they have lower overhead costs.

Online banks usually offer higher rates to get your money.

If you want a higher interest rate and a secure account, bank online with an FDIC-insured bank.

Keep an eye on the FDIC’s guidelines.

Guide to choosing the banks with best saving interest rates

  • Savings rates of the best banks
  • & tips for finding an excellent savings account
  • Frequently asked questions about savings accounts
  • Benefits and risks of saving
  • Money market accounts, savings accounts, and mutual funds
  • Summary of the best savings accounts

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Due to Bankrate’s forty-year history of publishing financial media, you can trust its financial analysis.

Since its inception in 1976, Bankrate has been on the internet as Bank Rate Monitor.

Bankrate is used by hundreds of leading publications. The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, CNBC, and Bloomberg trust Bankrate’s sources of financial information and rates.

banks with best saving interest rates of October 2021

Best online savings accounts and rates of October 2021

Bankrate has compiled a list of the top online banks offering savings account rates, including:

In this table, the yield percentages are for September 30, 2021. Usually every two weeks, Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information. APYs may be periodically updated by our editorial team after they have been last updated, so they may differ from last time. Products may vary by region.

Read More: What are Wells Fargo interest rates, How It Compares

1. banks with best saving interest rates Comenity Direct 

Savings interest rates from Comenity

0.55% APY, $100 minimum to open account (no ATM access) In April 2019, Comenity Direct launched its High-Yield Savings Account, which was established in 2018. Comenity Capital Bank owns the Comenity Direct brand. The most popular credit card programs offered by Comenity Bank include cobranded, private-label, and business cards. Comenity Bank and Comenity Capital Bank are partnering with more than 160 retailers for these credit cards.

Comenity Direct offers an annual percentage yield of 1.5%. A customer service representative is available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. CST. The office is open on weekends and most holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. Customer service is also available through Comenity Direct’s mobile app, which lets you deposit and withdraw money, contact customer service, and check your balance.

If you want an account without ATMs, look for one without an ATM card. With this account, ACH transfers are free.

2. banks with best saving interest rates Vio Bank

Best savings rate from Vio Bank

0.51% APY, $100 minimum balance to open (no ATM access), The Vio Bank is an online bank that was formed in 2018 as a division of MidFirst Bank. Founded in 1911, MidFirst Bank has been FDIC-insured since 1934. High Yield Online Savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit are available at Vio Bank.

Vio Bank’s highest yielding online savings accounts are among the best on the market. The rate is applicable to all balances. There is only a $100 opening deposit. There are no monthly fees. Domestic and international wire transfers are free. In addition, there are no external transfer fees. For domestic wire transfers, there is a $30 fee.

You’ll be charged $5 per month for paper statements. Each withdrawal you make after six during your monthly statement cycle will cost you $10.

3.banks with best saving interest rates Ally Bank

High-yield savings from Ally Bank

0.50% APY, no minimum balance required for APY, and a free checking account (no access to ATMs).

In 2004, Ally Bank opened its doors in Sandy, Utah. In 2009, GMAC Bank became Ally Bank. According to the bank’s annual report for 2020, there are 2.3 million deposit accounts.

With Ally eCheck Deposit, you can deposit checks remotely. Online Savings Accounts are also free. Ally Bank also provides live support 24 hours a day.

This account does not allow you to deposit cash, unlike many online banks. If you only have the Online Savings Account, you cannot get an ATM or debit card. You can deposit up to $250,000 per day and $50,000 per month via eCheck Deposit.

4. banks with best saving interest rates Citibank

high-interest savings from citibank

0.50% APY, $0 minimum opening deposit/$1 minimum for APY (ATM access), Citigroup’s retail arm, Citizens Bank, recently introduced the Citi Accelerate savings account. The account rates offered by some of the nation’s largest banks differ significantly from the savings rates. Account opening does not require a minimum balance or APY. In some markets, however, the APY is not available.

If you’re a Citi customer or looking for a bank with a national presence, you might want to check out this high-yield savings account. You can earn one of the highest APYs at a big bank, and the minimum balance requirement is not applicable, so anyone can begin saving right away.

There is a $4.50 monthly service charge for Citi Accelerate Savings accounts if you open a Basic or Access package. If you maintain a balance of at least $500 in any of these packages, you can avoid paying the monthly fee.

5. banks with best saving interest rates Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Savings account from marcus by goldman sachs

0.50% APY, no minimum balance to earn APY (no ATM access) The well-known investment firm opened its consumer banking unit, Marcus, under Goldman Sachs. The company has gained a reputation for offering competitive rates. A Marcus account is easy to open, and money can be transferred easily between Marcus accounts.

No minimum deposit is required to open or earn the APY at Marcus. From debt consolidation to home improvements, Marcus offers savings products and a range of personal loans.

Savings accounts from Marcus feature easy-to-meet requirements, online banking, and high interest rates. Account transactions are free of charge, and you can access your account at any time. The store’s customer service department is open every day of the week.

Marcus’ savings account is open to anyone, as there is no minimum balance requirement. Goldman Sachs has released an app that makes it easier to schedule deposits to your account using Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Marcus does not have any branches. It does not offer checking accounts either, so liquidity options are limited.

6. banks with best saving interest rates Synchrony Bank

Best savings rate from synchrony bank

0.50% APY, no minimum balance needed for APY (ATM access), Savings, money market, and CD accounts are available through Synchrony Bank. It is able to offer higher rates to the customer because of its low overhead costs. Generally speaking, its deposit products pay among the best rates available. Additionally, Synchrony’s customer service department is highly rated and available seven days a week by phone or online chat.

Customers receive many perks, including complimentary identity theft resolution, travel discounts, and concierge services. The Diamond plan even gives you a dedicated customer service number. Additionally, you are eligible for three free wire transfers per statement cycle and unlimited ATM reimbursements.

Synchrony Bank does not offer checking accounts. The bank does not provide comprehensive services. Therefore, if you want liquidity, you should stash your cash elsewhere.

7. banks with best saving interest rates Popular Direct

0.45% APY, $5,000 minimum balance needed for APY (no ATM access), Accounts are opened through Popular Bank for Popular Direct Ultimate Savings. Popular Bank was established in 1999, according to the FDIC.

Popular Direct offers a competitive APY on its Ultimate Savings account, which debuted in July 2019. Checks can be deposited into Popular Direct Plus Savings accounts using a mobile device.

One of the things to watch out for with Popular Direct is its high minimum balance requirement. Some banks also require higher deposits. ACH transfers are available with a Popular Direct savings account, but ATM cards are not.

You should keep in mind some fees. You will be charged $25 if you close your account within 180 days. If your balance falls below $500 during your statement cycle, you will be charged $4.

8. banks with best saving interest rates American Express National Bank

Best savings account from american express bank

0.40% APY, no minimum balance needed for APY (no ATM access), The most popular product of American Express is credit cards. Savings accounts are also available. This account has no monthly fees, and it can also be linked to another bank account. The company also offers CDs.

The American Express savings account has a good rate of return. It doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement or monthly fees. Connect your current bank account if you want to access outside accounts from one place.

American Express doesn’t offer checking accounts, so you need to open one at another bank. It’s an online bank with no physical locations. Mobile apps are only for credit card customers.

9. banks with best saving interest rates Barclays Bank

Savings interest rates from barclays

0.40% APY, no minimum balance needed for APY (no ATM access),In addition to its credit cards, Barclays offers consistently high rates on its savings products. The company only offers products online in the U.S. The savings account from Barclays offers a competitive rate.

Online savings accounts at Barclays provide a very competitive interest rate, no minimum opening balance, 24/7 fund access, online transfers, and direct deposit. Additionally, Barclays offers a mobile savings app where you can also deposit or transfer money.

Barclays isn’t the best option if you want a full-service bank. ATMs aren’t available, there aren’t any branches. If you enjoy online banking, this is the bank for you. You can also save at an external institution.

10.banks with best saving interest rates Capital One

Best Savings rates from capital one 360

0.40% APY, no minimum balance needed for APY, In addition to offering credit cards, Capital One offers a variety of banking and lending products. Capital One also offers CDs, a savings IRA, and a checking account in addition to the 360 Performance Savings account, which was launched in September 2019.

Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings account is fee-free, and you do not need to maintain a minimum balance to open it. In addition, there is no minimum balance requirement, and all balances earn the same APY.

Savings accounts offered by online banks generally offer higher yields than savings accounts offered by other banks.

11. banks with best saving interest rates Discover Bank

Best savings rate from discover bank logo

0.40% APY, no minimum balance needed for APY (no ATM access), Since 2007, Discover Bank has offered online deposit products. Among other products, Discover provides credit cards. It also offers savings accounts, money market accounts, checking accounts, and CDs.

The Discover Online Savings Account does not offer the highest interest rate. Its APY is very competitive, and it doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open and there is no monthly fee.

Benefits: Discover Bank is a good option if you’re looking for an online bank that offers the most popular deposit products.

There aren’t many online banks that offer checking, money market, savings, and CD accounts. Discover Bank does and its products are competitive in each category. Its savings accounts also offer competitive interest rates. If you want your checking and savings at the same online bank, Discover Bank might be right for you. might be for you.

What to watch for: The APY on the Discover Bank Online Savings Account is consistent. But you can find higher-yielding accounts.

12. banks with best saving interest rates Citizens Access

Best savings account from citizens access

0.40% APY, $5,000 minimum balance to earn APY (no ATM access), Citizens Bank’s online banking division is called Citizens Access. It offers high-yield CDs and an online savings account with terms between six months and five years. Both accounts have no maintenance fees.

Citizens Access’ savings account offers a competitive yield. It is fee-free as well.

A $5,000 minimum balance is required for the highest APY. If you sign into your Citizens Access account on your phone, you can deposit a check even without a mobile app. You also won’t receive an APY on balances under $5,000.

13. banks with best saving interest rates PurePoint Financial

high-yield savings from purepoint financial

0.40% APY, $10,000 minimum balance to earn APY (no ATM access), MUFG Union Bank NA’s PurePoint Financial is consistently ranked among the best savings accounts. Savings accounts with higher minimum balance requirements are not recommended for those who are just getting started.

Online Savings accounts from PurePoint do not charge a monthly fee. The account pays interest monthly. The savings account offered by PurePoint has one of the highest APYs in the industry.

You will earn 0.1 percent a year if your balance drops below $10,000. PurePoint doesn’t provide ATM cards for its online savings accounts. The company doesn’t offer a mobile app. There is no mobile app. It does, however, have mobile banking via the web browser on your phone – as well as mobile check deposit.

14. banks with best saving interest rates CIT Bank

High-yield savings from cit bank

up to 0.40% APY, $25,000 minimum balance or $100/month deposit to earn APY (no ATM access)

CIT Bank is the oldest direct bank in the nation and is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc., the oldest financial holding company in the country.

CIT offers competitive yields on its accounts, as well as a few options for savers. Saves Builder gives you a competitive APY if you deposit at least $100 a month.

You can earn the highest APY in two ways. You’ll need a minimum balance of $25,000, or you can start with $100 and deposit $100 a month. When your balance drops below $25,000 or if you don’t make regular deposits of at least $100, you’ll earn a much lower variable rate.

On or before the 15th, if you didn’t make a qualifying deposit of $100 after opening your account, you’d get the APY. According to when you open your account, you’ll get a higher or lower APY.

Read More: What are the best interest rates for savings accounts in 2022?

How to find the best savings account

Make sure you have sufficient funds to open the account (if you do not have any) and maintain the minimum balance requirement (if any). Check if there are fees for the account. Even if it’s a high-yield account, the maintenance fee can take some money out of your account.

What’s the good news? With the right account, you can earn a high APY without paying expensive fees. Here are some other benefits of a high-yield savings account:

  • A high APY will give you the best return on your savings. Even if that account isn’t right for you, there are plenty of other banks with better rates. Online banks have lower overhead costs than brick-and-mortar banks, so they usually have the best rates.
  • You can find no-fee accounts here. If there are fees, make sure you qualify for the waiver.
  • You can withdraw and deposit: Savings accounts grow your money. You need access to your money, though. Most banks let you withdraw and deposit. You can use Zelle to send money to your friends through an app. At some banks, you can use ATM cards to get your money.
  • You should have your money in FDIC-insured accounts. Find out if your bank is FDIC-insured and if you’re within the guidelines.
  • You can get a bonus from some banks if you open a new account.e to fund youIt might mean borrowing money from someone else to fund your account.

Important online savings account terminology

  • Interest earned over time is added to the principal to calculate compound interest. This is usually done on a daily or monthly basis. Savings grow faster as a result.
  • You earn money when you place your funds in a bank account.
  • The interest rate measures the effect of compounding, but does not take into account the effect of time.
  • Annual percentage yields (APY) take into account the effects of compounding throughout the year. Consider comparing yields rather than interest rates. High APYs mean more income from your money.
  • Savings accounts must maintain a minimum balance to avoid paying monthly maintenance fees.
  • Money market accounts are savings accounts with ATM cards that can be used for ATM withdrawals and/or checks. Check out our money market account reviews here.

What is a savings account?

Banks and credit unions offer savings accounts. Federally insured accounts usually pay interest, but often at a lower rate than government-insured certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings accounts generally offer a lower interest rate in exchange for being more liquid, offering up to six withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle (and possibly more). In the event of an unforeseen expense, savings accounts are a great place to stash money.

The health of your finances is highly dependent on your savings account. Unlike CDs, a savings account doesn’t have a set maturity date. Consequently, an emergency fund should be kept there.

Our savings products are designed to preserve your principal while ensuring safety. Savings accounts at banks are insured by the FDIC to a minimum of $250,000, and those at (National Credit Union Administration) NCUA credit unions, which are covered by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

Is money safe in a savings account?

Savings accounts at FDIC banks and NCUA credit unions are safe if the balance doesn’t exceed the deposit insurance limit. The FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, and per ownership category. NCUA-insured credit unions are required to offer share insurance of $250,000 per owner, per credit union, per account category.

What are the different types of savings accounts?

There are generally only one type of savings account. The best APY doesn’t always go with accounts called high-yield savings accounts. A savings deposit can also be a money market account.

Some banks offer children’s savings accounts. Other institutions might offer one account for everyone, but you can title it so that it works as a custodial account.

To name an account owner, you have a few options. Not every bank allows all options. Check out these examples.

  • Personal accounts belong to a single person. Other people can’t access them. You can make an exception if you have a power of attorney.
  • If one joint owner of a joint savings account with survivorship dies, and there are no other beneficiaries, the remaining joint owner gets it.
  • If the account owner passes away, the beneficiaries get the balance if it’s a payable on death account. You have to show proof of the beneficiary’s passing. POD beneficiaries can’t access joint accounts until the last owner passes away.
  • This type of account is typically held by one custodian and one minor under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. Custodians manage accounts for minors until they’re 18 or 21, depending on where they live. Some states offer UTMAs and UGMASs.

You can’t compare one savings account to another. If you look closely at the yields and fees associated with different accounts you’ll notice that many online banks offer higher interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Choose a savings account based on the annual percentage yield, the minimum deposit requirements, and your financial goals. With the highest yielding savings accounts, you’ll also be able to safely withdraw or transfer money every statement period.

How do savings accounts work?

A savings account, which offers a higher APY than a checking account, is a liquid bank account. Savings accounts are liquid because you can access them at any time. Unlike certificates of deposit, this account type can be accessed. Taking your money out of a CD before a certain period has passed, like one year or five years, is usually a penalty.

Taking cash out of a savings account reduces the interest you earn. If you keep your savings as long as possible, compound interest is more powerful. Even small deposits add up over time thanks to compound interest.

Before choosing a savings account, you should compare APYs (because APYs include compound interest earned during the year). With your APYs, you can compare what you’re earning now and what you could earn in the future.ture.

You can calculate the potential earnings from a savings account with our compound interest calculator.

Online savings accounts vs. traditional savings accounts

A savings account offered in a traditional bank and an online bank often has different APYs. Generally speaking, online banks offer better rates. The average rate offered by brick-and-mortar banks is 0.06 percent APY, which is as low as or lower than the national average.

Access to physical branches is another difference. With online banks, customers can access their savings accounts from anywhere and anytime. Since these institutions don’t have any branches, you can’t visit them in person.

The traditional savings account, on the other hand, is offered by brick-and-mortar banks, credit unions, or traditional financial institutions with branch locations and scheduled hours of operation.

Savings account pros & cons: Online bank vs. brick-and-mortar bank

Online BanksBrick-and-Mortar Banks
  • They offer higher yields than the national average.
  • Due to the fact that these banks usually do not operate their own ATMs, they might be a part of a large network of ATMs. Additionally, online banks might have a policy of reimbursing out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Most online banks do not have minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees.
  • The benefit of choosing a local bank is that you can visit the location for personal service.
  • Savings withdrawals can also be made on site.
  • If you travel or live in your local area, there are likely to be quite a few ATM locations.
  • The online bank usually does not have a branch where you can make a withdrawal in person or solve problems.
  • In most cases, you can only make deposits and withdrawals online.
  • Brick-and-mortar banks rarely offer competitive APYs.
  • They may not have hours that are convenient for you.

What to know before opening an account online

If you open an online account, you might need to meet slightly different requirements depending on the bank. Make sure you have the info you need before you open one.

Opening a bank account in the U.S. will likely require your social security number.

Three of the country’s biggest banks have these requirements.

Those who aren’t prepared may have a hard time researching or finding these things.

BankDo you need to scan/submit your driver’s license/photo ID?Do you need to lift a credit freeze/security freeze? (If you have one)Do you need to fund the new account immediately using an existing routing number/account number?
Bank of AmericaNo.Yes.Checking and savings accounts are not available. You can, however, open CDs.
Chaserequires your ID in order to fill out the online application.Yes.It is not. There is a 60-day grace period. If the account is not funded within 60 days, it will be closed.
Wells Fargorequires you to enter this information on the website or take a photo of your ID.Perhaps. You may need to visit a branch.Sure. You must deposit at least $25.

How to deposit and withdraw money from an online savings account

There are no physical branches of online banks where you can withdraw money or deposit funds. Although these institutions continue to offer several methods for carrying out these basic banking operations. You can deposit funds into your online savings account in the following ways:

  • Deposits made by direct deposit
  • through mobile devices
  • at an ATM
  • for mailed-in checks
  • using an electronic transfer
  • by wire

Savings bank accounts are liquid, so you can frequently withdraw them whenever you want – unlike certificates of deposit, which are time deposits with early withdrawal penalties. Your bank should be able to provide yotell you how to withdraw.

ATM cards are available in some bank systems, but debit cards are available in others. AccordBanks may allow electronic transfers between’s checks and official baCashier’s checks and bank checks aren’t the only way to get  is to initiate a wire initiate a wire traway is to wire it.

Most banks let you withdraw money from your online savings account in several ways:

  • Taking cash out of ATMusing debit cardsrd
  • and/or check
  • electmoney transferansfer
  • mail-ior mail-in check

Regulation D limits how many transfers and withdrawals you can make in a calendar month.

Your six-transaction limit includes transfers made online, by check, debit card (though most savings accounts won’t have a debit card), or other similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties.

There’s a limit of six transactions, but some don’t count. An ATM withdrawal, for example, is among the unlimited transactions. Bank accounts, for example, often have some form of ATM accessibility.

Federal Reserve Board officials announced late April 2020 they would amend Reg D to allow consumers to make unlimited withdrawals or deposits from savings accounts. The rules are not required to be suspended, though. You should check with your bank to see if it allows unlimited withdrawals on your savings account.

How frequently do savings account rates change?

Savings yields are at these low levels in part because of a decision made by the Federal Reserve to cut rates to near zero percent in March 2020 to support the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. Banking needs and competitive conditions play a role in where a bank sets its savings rates.

Banks can alter savings rates whenever they want, which means they can change savings rates at any time. A change usually does not warrant switching banks. You may want to consider going to another bank if your current one isn’t consistently providing a competitive yield.

There is no other place in the world of investing where you can get additional return without having to take on risk as a result. You won’t lose money if your money is in a federally insured institution.”

Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, CFA.

It is possible to receive a higher APY in a CD or money market account. In general, you’re rewarded with a higher APY when you put your money into a CD because you’re promising to keep it there for a period of time. If you withdraw from a CD before its term is up, you’ll incur a penalty.

In addition to its variable APY, another disadvantage of savings accounts is that they could decrease or increase. However, this is not true of introductory savings accounts. The bank, however, usually lowers the APY to a standard rate after the introductory period ends. It is a good idea to check the bank’s standard or ongoing APY before signing up for a savings account because of its introductory rate.

How the Fed impacts online savings account rates

Savings account yields are closely related to the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate banks charge each other for overnight loans. If you hear the Federal Reserve lowering rates, keeping them the same or raising them, that means the Fed changed the federal funds rate.ederal funds rate usually affect savings yields.

Savings rates have been on the decline since the summer of 2019. The Fed cut rates three times in 2019, and then made two emergency rate cuts in March 2020 to try and bolster the economy due to the coronavirus. These reductions sent the federal funds rate down to a range of zero to 0.25 percent, prompting banks to lower APYs on savings accounts.

National average interest rates

Currently, the average interest rate for savings accounts is 0.06 percent. The national average is good to know, but you can earn much more than this. Look for savings accounts with low balance requirements and a competitive return on investment.

Should you open a new savings account in 2022?

Should you open a new savings account in 2022

Savings accounts are a great way to separate your money, regardless of the yield. At the moment, rates at online banks are lower than they were in early 2020 and early 2019.

You can’t control that we live in a low-rate environment. But you can try to find a competitive yield. You will still benefit even if it is a small difference. An account with a 0.6 percent annual percentage yield, for instance, would earn approximately $59 more than one with a 0.01 percent annual percentage yield. Savings yields are usually variable, so the high-yield savings account probably won’t offer the same APY throughout the year.

Moreover, the account must remain untouched since you will never withdraw any funds.

What are typical fees associated with a savings account?

If you don’t maintain the minimum balance in your savings account, you may be charged a maintenance fee.

In general, however, you should be able to avoid fees if your balance remains above the minimum. Some savings accounts do not require a minimum balance or require only a $1 minimum balance; APY’s on these accounts are competitive.

Keeping a certain balance in your savings account is the most common way to avoid a monthly fee.

Finding a bank offering similar APY with no minimum balance requirement – or a lower one – may be a better option if the minimum balance requirement is too high.

The best way to avoid these fees that can eat into your interest earnings or principal is to find a savings account without a monthly fee.

Taking cash out of an ATM outside of your bank’s network or an ATM abroad may also incur fees.

The banks may charge a fee for sending wire transfers or purchasing official checks. If you close your savings account before a given time period, your bank may charge you a fee. Generally, these periods are between three and six months.

Be sure to ask the bank if it charges this fee before opening an account.

If you think you’ll be closing the account within six months of opening it, find a savings account with a low minimum balance. Therefore, you can keep your savings account open and continue to save, regardless of how low your balance is.

When should you use a savings account?

You can use a savings account to save for any financial goal, including an emergency fund. This can be done by saving for a down payment on a house, investing in a vacation, or setting aside cash for retirement.

If you are considering opening a new savings account, you may want to consider:

  • You need a place to stash your emergency fund cash.
  • There is a goal that you want to reach financially.
  • Savings should earn you a higher APY.
  • It’s best if you have some liquidity in the account.
  • You’re not earning much interest on your savings account right now.

The majority of people should save for emergencies and have some additional savings. If you have multiple financial goals, you may wish to open separate savings accounts for each. This ensures that the money set aside for one purpose isn’t going to another.

It’s a good idea to deposit some of your surplus money into a savings account, but not all of it. It’s a wise move to save some cash for other investment accounts and investments.

Your savings account should be part of a balanced portfolio that also includes CDs for longer-term funds needed in five years or less, as well as investments like stocks to build your retirement nest egg. Savings accounts are generally for money that might be needed in the short term, and that you don’t want to expose to risk that could result in losing the principal. If you don’t want to touch your money for one, three or five years, CDs are usually a better choice. This is because CDs typically come with early withdrawal penalties if you need to access your funds sooner than the CD term.

A savings account at a bank or credit union has a lower risk profile than some investments, such as stocks. You may earn a higher return on your investment, however, if you take on more risk. However, investing in dividend-paying stocks or bonds that do not meet investment-grade standards, for example, may not be as secure as savings accounts. Variable APYs typically do not fluctuate much in savings accounts.

You should also keep a few extra dollars in your checking account to prevent accidental overdrafts. Place the remaining money you earmark for safety in a savings account once you create that cushion.

It’s not for everyone to have a savings account. Those who do not maintain a minimum balance in a savings account, for example, may have to incur a monthly fee. You can find savings accounts without a minimum balance, so you can select one that suits your needs.

Uses for a savings account

Bankrate’s experts have compiled the following reasons to open a savings account.

  • It is one of the largest expenses a parent faces to provide for the education of his or her child. The process of investing in students should be a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Investing in a savings account is one of the ways to prepare for retirement. This should be part of your retirement plan.
  • Various savings circumstances will require different long-term, mid-term, and short-term plans to achieve savings goals.
  • Establish emergency savings: This is a necessity for any financial planning program. At least six months’ worth of expenses should be covered by this account.
  • Preparation is a major reason to save: You need to save for many reasons. The most important is that you never know what the future will bring.

How to save at different points in your life

Based on your age, Bankrate’s experts have compiled the following articles to help you save.

  • Developing good saving habits in your 20s is a great way to establish a solid foundation for the future.
  • Saving in your 30s: This is an important age when many of us will go through important life events.
  • Savings in your forties: At this age, you should assess how you’ve done previously and whether you need to adjust your saving plan going forward.
  • At this age, saving for health care costs is one thing to consider.

Other high-yield saving options

  • A money market account is a savings account that may allow limited check-writing privileges or access to a debit card.
  • Checking accounts: Checking accounts rarely offer competitive rates. A few checking accounts offer high yields, but they usually have some qualifications other than balance requirements. You might need to have a direct deposit, make a minimum number of debit card transactions, and the high yield may be limited to a certain amount of money.
  • An APY-fixed certificate of deposit offers the same yield over its term. A CD is a way to earn a fixed APY while saving, which makes it better than most savings accounts. There may be a penalty for early withdrawals from CDs.
  • CDs with no penalties might have a lower APY than a regular CD. There are usually no charges for withdrawing money before the end of the term.
  • Mutual funds that pay interest and can be used for checks are money market mutual funds. These funds are not insured by the FDIC.

The difference between a checking and savings account

Checking and savings accounts serve different purposes.

You generally use checking accounts for your ongoing cash flow needs since they allow you to conduct as many transactions as you want. Your paycheck is deposited into a checking account, where you keep your money to pay your bills. Even so, their APY is often low, if they offer one at all.

The purpose of a savings account, on the other hand, is to stash cash. They have limited liquidity, but higher rates of return.

Of course, there are exceptions to those generalizations. An APY of a high-yield savings account is often higher than that of a checking account. In order to earn higher APYs, higher balance limits and transactions minimums are usually required.

Checking and savings accounts differ in the following ways:

  • Checking accounts are intended to be transactional – you can withdraw money frequently and with few restrictions. Unlike a checking account, a savings account does not have as much liquidity – it is designed to store your money for a longer period of time.
  • There are exceptions to the rule, but most checking accounts charge fees for services and slipups like having a low account balance or spending too much. Savings accounts, on the other hand, rarely charge fees.
  • Traditionally, checks rarely pay interest. The yields on savings accounts may not be as high as those on CDs, in the bond market, or in investing in riskier assets, such as stocks.

It’s a good idea to have both a checking and a savings account.

A checking account and a savings account play important roles in your financial life. In a checking account, you can write checks, access your money, and pay your bills. A savings account accumulates money and earns interest.

Should I have a savings account at the same bank I have a checking account?

Your savings account should be at the same bank where you keep your checking account, depending on your financial goals.

For convenience, keep all of your accounts at the same bank. Generally, banks make it easy to transfer money between accounts. Merging multiple accounts at one financial institution can also be more affordable – some banks offer deductions for merged accounts.

You may get lower yields if you keep your savings and checking at the same institution. Banks that offer high yields on savings may not also offer checking accounts.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

An ideal amount of savings would be three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If you have an emergency fund, you should keep at least that much. From there, you can begin to save for more specific goals. Save for a down payment on a house, a car, or a vacation.

Don’t spend your emergency funds on non-emergency purchases by keeping them in a separate savings account. In case of an emergency, you should always have more money in your savings account than you think you will need.

When your account earns a competitive APY, you will not have to worry about overfunding your emergency savings. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be glad you’ve got a little cushion.

Benefits and risks of a savings account

Savings accounts, like all financial instruments, have their advantages and disadvantages. In order to determine if one of these accounts is right for you, you should consider the pros and cons.

The following are some of the benefits of a savings account:

  • An FDIC-insured bank’s savings accounts are federally insured for at least $250,000, making them a good place to stash cash.
  • When needed, you can access your savings in your account. You can only withdraw or transfer money from a savings account six times a year, but you don’t need to sell investments to do so.
  • Invested money earns interest over time. This returns the principal of your deposit over time.
  • A savings account earns more interest than a checking account – and you’ll even find some with a higher yield than a money market account.
  • You can choose from a range of low-fee options including those with a deposit minimum of $1 or no deposit minimum at all. By choosing these low-fee options, you can avoid paying maintenance fees.
  • With an ATM card, you can access your savings at ATMs with many savings accounts. You’ll avoid fees if you use an ATM in the network. You can make six withdrawals per statement cycle or monthly without counting ATM withdrawals.

Here are some of the risks associated with savings accounts:

  • Savings accounts pay interest, but it’s generally lower than the interest you can earn on certificates of deposit and even some money market accounts. It can lead to a big opportunity cost – you may find higher returns somewhere else.
  • Savings accounts have a monthly withdrawal and transfer limit unlike checking accounts. The more withdrawals you make during a month, the higher your withdrawal penalty.
  • Some banks charge a minimum balance fee. Maintenance fees can quickly eat up any interest you earn and your principal, especially if you earn low interest.

Savings account vs. money market account vs. mutual fund

Here’s a quick comparison of the three:

Savings AccountMoney Market AccountMutual Fund
Liquidity You can withdraw money from a savings account at any time. You can withdraw or transfer six times each statement cycle/calendar month. This limit does not apply to ATM withdrawals.You may withdraw money from this account at any time. However, you’re limited to six transfers or withdrawals per calendar month/statement cycle. ATM withdrawals do not count toward your limit.Redeemable shares can be redeemed at any time for their current net asset value.
Accessis sometimes possible with an ATM card, or with a debit card for withdrawals.Banks may allow you to use a debit card or an ATM card with a money market account. You may not be able to write checks with a money market account.Redeeming your shares for the current net asset value is possible at any time.
Earningsare usually higher than a checking account, but rates may be lower than some money market accounts.Savings accounts typically have lower rates than money market accounts.Savings and money market accounts have lower interest rates.
Securitydeposits at FDIC-insured banks are insured by the government up to $250,000 each.A FDIC-insured bank’s accounts are federally insured by the government up to $250,000.These accounts are not insured by the FDIC.
FeesSome accounts don’t require a minimum balance to avoid maintenance fees.Savings accounts generally require a higher minimum balance.These accounts may charge fees, called expense ratios.


Savings accounts that are federally insured are the best. If you hold your money in an FDIC-insured bank, it’s protected by at least $250,000.rtant since the federal governFDIC-insured accounts are important since the federal government backs them.

Savings accounts, money market accounts, and mutual funds are frequently lumped together as “savings”. These accounts have some differences. Money market accounts and savings accounts often have some similarities. Banks and credit unions are both insured up to $250,000 by the government.

A money market account, on the other hand, pays a higher interest rate. With the ability to write checks and use debit cards, money market accounts offer a level of liquidity that is rarely found with savings accounts.

What to consider when applying:

Savings and money market accounts are FDIC-insured, but money market mutual funds are not. Savings accounts and money market accounts are safe places to keep your money since they offer this protection. Mutual funds in the money market are still relatively safe.

Savings accounts and money market accounts do not have early withdrawal penalties, so they are considered liquid accounts. Savings and money market accounts allow you to withdraw or transfer funds up to six times per month. Using an ATM is sometimes possible with these accounts. Check writing privileges may also be limited with money market accountInvesting in money market instruments allows you to redeem shares whenever you like at their current net asset value.

Mutual funds that invest in money markets typically pay less than the best savings and money market accounts.

There are fees associated with all these savings vehicles. You should be able to find a savings or money market account that does not charge maintenance fees because there are accounts with minimal or no minimum balance requirements.

Make sure your money isn’t sitting in a no- or low-interest savings account to prepare for your future. Instead, consider Bankrate’s best online savings accounts.

What are the limits on a savings account?

What are the limits on a savings account

A savings account typically has a limit on how much you can deposit. If you make an initial deposit, make too many deposits at one time, or keep too much money in your account, you might be limited. This is determined by your bank.

Insurance coverage limits are also important. At an FDIC-insured bank, the standard amount of insurance is $250,000. NCUA credit unions offer standard share insurance of $250,000 per owner of a share.

Savings account FAQs

Why do online banks pay more interest?

Banks still pay their savings customers less than 0.06 percent annual percentage yield.

Online banks usually don’t have physical branches and have fewer overhead expenses. Therefore, they can pay more interest to depositors.

Do I have to pay taxes on my savings account?

Savings account interest generally qualifies as taxable income. You must still report interest earned on your tax return even if you didn’t receive a 1099-INT tax form because you earned less than $10 in interest for the year. Savings account interest is taxable according to the IRS. If you earn interest on your savings account, you must file a 1099-INT form with the IRS.

In the event that you are concerned about your tax liability, consider investing your extra funds in another savings or investment vehicle. Saving for your children’s college fund, for instance, can be done through a 529 plan. Neither your child nor his or her savings will be taxed when they are withdrawn to pay tuition. The withdrawal from a 529 account for education expenses is not taxable.

If the interest on their savings affects their taxes, they should consider tax-free bonds and tax-free money markets. The tax-free returns won’t show up on their tax returns, and these options provide higher returns than banks.”

Financial 1 Wealth Management Group founder and president Tatyana Bunich.

How many savings accounts should you have?

The number of accounts you need will determine the price. Many savers may benefit from consolidating their savings accounts. Savings accounts with different purposes may be more beneficial in the long run. You may be able to prevent spending money set aside for emergencies on other, non-emergency expenses, for example, if you do this. Down payment funds may also be kept from being spent.

You can avoid monthly fees by choosing a savings account that does not require a minimum balance or one that you can maintain. Multiple accounts would negate their advantages with monthly fees.

You probably prefer just one account if you prefer simplicity, security, and safety. There will be fewer statements to review, fewer login credentials to remember, and a reduced risk of fraud.

Ronald Guay is the founder and president of Rivermark Wealth Management.

Is it a bad idea to have multiple savings accounts?

Savings accounts for a car or vacation will help you keep track of your financial goals. Moreover, they can inspire more discipline in saving.

You can run into problems if you have too many accounts or if you are unable to keep track of them. Keeping an eye on these accounts is also a good idea in case of fraudulent activity or bank errors. To resolve any of these potential issues, you will need to log into your account frequently.

Many banks allow their customers to have more than one savings account. Some online banks may also allow you to open as many savings accounts as you wish.

Savings accounts, for example, won’t appear on your credit report as they aren’t listed under accounts. Some banks check your credit when you open a deposit account. Your credit score will not be affected by an inquiry on your credit report, according to Experian.

Can I make payments and purchases from my savings account?

Savings accounts can usually be used to make payments. There may be some restrictions on these transactions and, if allowed, they may be governed by Regulation D.

Regulation D restricts you to six transfers or withdrawals from a savings account in any calendar month or four-week statement cycle. Find out what your bank’s policy is. These rules have been relaxed at some banks following a 2020 Fed ruling.

Savings account purchases and withdrawals aren’t as easy as they are with a checking account. Savings accounts, in contrast to checking accounts, do not come with debit cards for making point-of-sale transactions in person or online, for example.

Can I write a check using my savings account?

Savings accounts typically do not offer a checking account. A check can be written against some checking accounts, but not against savings accounts. Money market accounts and savings accounts cannot be accessed through checks. Only money market accounts are able to be accessed through checks.

It is possible to withdraw money from your bank and have the bank issue a bank check, although it is not as simple as writing a check. Your bank may charge you for this service.

In addition to using an ATM, you could send a wire transfer or a person-to-person transfer; deposit the funds into a checking account or money market account that allows you to write checks; or request a cashier’s check or an official bank check. Wire transfers are typically the most expensive option, and official checks may also incur fees.

The average person has how much money in savings?

Approximately 39 percent of Americans, according to Bankrate’s January Financial Security Index survey, say they could cover the cost of a $1,000 car repair or emergency room visit with savings.

American families hold a median of $5,300 in transaction accounts (savings, checking, money market, prepaid debit cards, and call accounts) according to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 survey of consumer finances.

A savings account is essential in case of unexpected events. This is often caused by the loss of employment, medical bills from an illness, or unexpected repairs to a house or automobile. Your savings will come in handy if anything like this happens, since it’s impossible to predict.

Furthermore, saving helps you reach your financial goals. Renting, for example, could help you meet your financial goals. In the end, however, you may wish to purchase a home. It’s time to save – or to increase your savings – so you’ll be better prepared to reach your financial goals in the future.

Recap: Bankrate’s best online savings accounts and rates for October 2021

To recap, here are the top online banks offering the best online savings accounts for October 2021:

  1. High Rate: Comenity Direct – 0.55% APY
  2. High Rate: Vio Bank – 0.51% APY
  3. High Rate: Ally Bank – 0.50% APY
  4. High Rate: Citibank – 0.50% APY
  5. High Rate: Marcus by Goldman Sachs – 0.50% APY
  6. High Rate: Synchrony Bank – 0.50% APY
  7. High Rate: Popular Direct – 0.45% APY
  8. High Rate: American Express National Bank – 0.40% APY
  9. High Rate: Barclays Bank – 0.40% APY
  10. High Rate: Capital One – 0.40% APY
  11. High Rate: Discover Bank – 0.40% APY
  12. High Rate: Citizens Access – 0.40% APY
  13. High Rate: PurePoint Financial – 0.40% APY
  14. High Rate: CIT Bank – up to 0.40% APY

source: Theboomoney