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On October 30, 2017, the FDIC reported .06 was the average rate for a savings account. This rate held for deposits of less than and more than $100,000. With interest rates so slow on savings, you want to shop around to get the best deal.
There are a number of great banking options, mostly online, that offer higher interest rates and annual percentage yields (APYs) than savings accounts at traditional brick-and-mortar banks. A number of investment houses and insurance companies now have bank affiliates. You can put their new offerings to work for you.
- DollarSavingsDirect– DollarSavingsDirect offers a 1.50% APY on its Dollar Savings Account. It advertises a straightforward savings account with no fees or service charges. You need to link up a checking account to transfer money online.
DollarSavingsDirect is a division of Emigrant Bank, a savings bank founded in 1850. While online technology is new, this company is well-established and sells an array of financial products.
- CIT Bank- You earn 1.35% APY on a CIT Bank savings account. The interest rate declines to 1.30% on balances over $250,000; however, you need to explore other savings vehicles if you build up that amount of cash. There is a minimum deposit of $100 to open your account.
CIT advertises no maintenance fees on this type of account. They also tout that you have 24/7 access and the security of an FDIC insured account.
- Barclays- If you’re literally starting from scratch, the Barclays’ online saving account is a great option. They require no minimum deposit to open an account, and there are no monthly maintenance fees.
They offer a 1.30% APY on their online savings account. Barclays offers basic services like direct deposit. They even have online tools such as a Savings Assistant to help you reach financial goals. Barclays is a bank based in London with a nearly 300 year history of providing banking services to customers.
- Goldman Sachs- The world famous investment banking and financial services company offers an online savings account through its GS Bank brand. The interest rate, as of 10/31/17, is 1.29% (for a 1.30% APY). The rate is variable.
GS Bank boasts that this product has no transaction fees. Like other savings accounts, there is no minimum to open the account. GS Bank limits you to six withdrawals per statement cycle.
- Nationwide– Nationwide Bank, an affiliate of the Nationwide Insurance Company, offers a savings account too. It offers a variable interest rate that is currently (10/31/17) 1.29%. Unlike other online savings accounts, this one requires a minimum opening deposit of $25, and you must have a monthly direct deposit of at least $25 or keep a minimum daily balance of $300 to avoid maintenance fees.
Nationwide Bank highlights an array of features associated with its savings account. You get two free non-Nationwide Bank ATM withdrawals per month along with free online statements. You also can use your savings account to cover overdrafts on a Nationwide checking account.
- Synchrony Bank- Synchrony is another bank with savings accounts that earn a 1.30% percentage yield. They also advertise no minimum deposit to get started and no monthly maintenance fees for the account.
Synchrony offers Synchrony Bank Perks when you open a savings account. They have several tiers of perks based on your balance and tenure as a customer. For instance, if you have over $10,000 in your account and you’ve been a customer for over one year, you qualify for certain travel and leisure discounts. Identity theft resolution and ATM fee reimbursements are some of the other perks accessible to some customers.
- PurePoint Financial- If you’re not starting a savings account from scratch, PurePoint Financial is a great option. The minimum deposit for opening an account with this company is $10,000. You earn a strong annual percentage yield of 1.30% on savings.
While PurePoint Financial is not a household name, it is not a fly-by-night outfit. It is a division of MUFG Union Bank, part of Mitsubishi Financial. You can meet with savings professionals in certain markets such as Coral Gables, FL or La Grange, IL (suburban Chicago).
Like many online savings accounts, you can’t send in cash. You must make deposits via mobile deposit, bank transfer, wire transfer, or check. MUFG doesn’t allow you to use your savings account as overdraft protection on one of its checking accounts.
- Ally Bank- Ally Bank offers 1.25% APY on accounts and no minimum balance. Their savings account has no fees for monthly maintenance, online statements, or receiving incoming wire transfers. You can also make unlimited deposits.
Ally advertises its Ally eCheck Deposit feature that allows you to scan and deposit checks electronically. You can withdraw your money in many ways including wire transfer, online funds transfer, telephone transfer, and even a check request. As with all of the other accounts highlighted here, you can withdrawals per statement cycle in accordance with federal law.
- American Express- You probably know of the American Express credit card. The financial services company now has a personal savings account. American Express states that it does not share savings transaction data with the card division.
It offers a healthy 1.25% APY. American Expresses advertises no minimums and monthly fees associated with this account. It is important to note that American Express does not give out an ATM card or debit card with this account.
- Discover Bank- Discover is another well-known brand that entered the online banking space and developed a great product. Discover advertises a 1.20% APY on its savings account. It also requires no minimum deposit to open an account and no monthly fee.
Additionally, there is no minimum balance fee or wire transfer fee with this account. Discover Bank allows you to enroll in overdraft protection. The also advertise a 24/7 call center assistance.
- FNBO Direct- The FNBO Direct Online Savings Account offers a strong 1.10% APY (as of 11/1/17) on this account. It has a small minimum opening deposit of $1. Like many of the other accounts on this list, there are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
FNBO Direct offers a service called Popmoney. It’s their person-to-person payment service. You can split a check with someone by transferring money from your account.
Always Look for the Member FDIC Badge
The FDIC stands for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This agency protects deposit accounts such as savings, checking, certificates of deposit, and money market deposit accounts. The 11 savings accounts mentioned here feature their Member FDIC status on their websites.
The amount of the insurance is $250,000. The FDIC states that this amount is per depositor, per account ownership category (i.e. individual and joint accounts are different), per insured bank. Keep in mind, if you buy stocks, bonds, or other investments, those financial products are NOT covered by the FDIC, even if you buy them from an insured bank.
When you look for an online savings account, make sure to look for the Member FDIC badge on the website. If you want to be extra cautious with your money, go to the FDIC’s website and look up your bank. They have a ‘BankFind’ section under the ‘Deposit Insurance’ tab.
Great New Tools
Online savings is a great option for new savers. Whether you’re literally starting from scratch or you want to set aside say a bonus or small inheritance, there are great options to help you build a savings account.
The online savings accounts featured here showcase APYs many times the national average. They do not have many of the fees associated with savings at a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. These accounts follow rules that limit you to six withdrawals per statement cycle.
The proliferation of mobile technology allows these banks to reduce their overhead and pass the savings on to you in the form of higher yields. If you’re not interested in going to a brick-and-mortar location and meeting with a person, these 11 savings account options are great for you.