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Best Online Savings Accounts in 2020
The national average interest rate for savings accounts today is a meager 0.09% APY. The lowest interest rates tend to come from the largest financial institutions.
If you’re someone who’s planning on saving for retirement and you’re not interested in touching the money in your savings accounts, then you shouldn’t feel obligated to use a certain account just because it’s associated with your checking account.
The best online savings accounts out there are going to give you plenty of convenience and sizeable interest rates as well. With an online bank, you’re going to do most if not all of your banking on the web.
Don’t let your money sit in an account for decades and earn you practically nothing with a big bank when you could be massively increasing your account’s value with an online account. Continue reading and we’ll walk you through the best online savings accounts of 2020.
Established just a few years ago, Vio Bank is the national online division of MidFirst Bank. MidFirst Bank is an FDIC-insured bank that’s been around since 1911. Vio Bank offers High Yield Online CDs and Savings Accounts to its customers.
The High Yield Online Savings Account from this bank has one of the best yields available. And all balances will receive this APY. It’s important to know that there is a low minimum opening balance requirement of $100.
There are no monthly fees to maintain this account and there’s no charge for incoming international or domestic wire transfers. There are also no fees for incoming or outgoing external transfers. However, it’s going to cost you $30 to send a domestic wire transfer.
If you go twelve months without initiating a transaction, you can expect to be charged a $5 dormant account fee per month. Because of this, you must watch your account. Fees can quickly add up and take away from the interest that you’ve been earning.
You have to make sure that you execute a transaction at least once during the preceding twelve-month period to prevent your account from going dormant. The transaction can be a withdrawal or a deposit.
Another account that was started recently is the High Yield Savings Account by Comenity Direct, which was launched in April of 2019. Comenity Direct is part of Comenity Capital Bank. Comenity Capital Bank is best known for its co-branded business and private label credit card programs.
Comenity Capital Bank and Comenity Bank partner with over 150 retailers around the world on those credit cards. Comenity Direct has a very attractive APY and their customer service representatives are available every day of the week and on most holidays.
There’s also a helpful Comenity Direct mobile app. This lets you make withdrawals and deposits. The app also lets you check your balance and contact customer care, plus it’s available for Android and iOS.
With this account, you won’t get a debit card or ATM card for ATM access. But you can execute ACH transfers for free.
You can open your Popular Direct Ultimate Savings account through Popular Bank. This bank was established in 1999 and is FDIC-insured. They offer a high APY on their Popular Direct Ultimate Savings account, which launched in July of 2019.
Using your mobile device, you can deposit a check into your Popular Direct Plus Savings account.
Compared to some other banks, Popular Direct can be considered to have a relatively high minimum balance requirement – $5,000. However, there are other banks out there that have higher deposit requirements.
While you can make external ACH transfers with a Popular Direct Ultimate Savings account, you won’t get an ATM card. You also need to be aware of some fees. If you close your account within the first six months, you’ll have to pay a $25 fee. And if your balance ever goes below $500, you’ll be charged a fee of $4.
CIT Bank – 1.70% APY
CIT Bank is a nationwide direct bank. It’s also a part of CIT Bank, N.A, which is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc. CIT Group Inc. is a financial holding company that was started in 1908.
This bank offers high yields on their accounts and it offers a few options for savers. With the Savings Builder, you can earn a high APY as long as you make at least $100 in monthly deposits and open the account with at least $100.
If you don’t want to make those monthly deposits but still want the high yield, you can maintain a balance in your account of $25,000. However, if your account balance goes below $25,000 or you don’t make those $100 monthly deposits, then you’re going to receive a much lower interest rate.
WebBank is an FDIC-insured bank with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah and it was established in 1997. With their savings account, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee but you will have to maintain a balance of at least $1,000. This account comes with a high APY and the interest that you earn will be paid to you on the last business day of the month.
It’s important to know that you need to pay a fee of $25 if you want to send an outgoing wire transfer. Thankfully, there are no maintenance fees for this account.
However, if the balance in your account goes below $1,000, then your account will be closed and your money will be returned to you. This is all according to the Terms and Conditions of your WebBank account.
There also isn’t a mobile app for your savings account and you won’t get an ATM card. You also can’t deposit checks into any WebBank accounts. You can only make deposits through a wire transfer or ACH transfer.
You also won’t be able to receive a withdrawal via check from a WebBank account.
American Express National Bank
While most people know American Express for their highly-valued credit cards, they should also be aware of their attractive savings account. This account doesn’t come with any fees and you’re also able to link an external bank account to it. American Express also offers a variety of Certificate of Deposit accounts (CDs).
You get a competitive rate when you open an online savings account with American Express. There’s no minimum balance required and no fees either. And thanks to the fact that you can link other bank accounts, you get an easy solution if you have multiple accounts that you wish to view on one platform.
You should be aware though that American Express doesn’t offer checking accounts. So you’ll need to register with a different bank if you want a checking account.
There are also no physical branch locations for American Express and you can’t do mobile check deposits. The American Express mobile app is meant to be used just by its credit card customers.
Citibank is the retail banking segment of Citigroup. In 2019, they started the high yield savings account known as Citi Accelerate. With this account, you’ll receive a competitive interest rate.
There is also no minimum balance required to receive that APY. However, the APY is only available in certain markets.
One of the perks here is that if you’re already a customer with Citi, or you’re interested in opening an account at a bank that has a wide national presence, this high yield savings account may be very appealing to you. This is one of the best yields for a savings account that you’ll find at a major bank. Plus, the lack of a minimum balance needed to earn that high yield makes it easy for anyone to start saving their money.
It’s important to realize that this account comes with a monthly service charge fee of $4.00 if you open your Citi Accelerate Savings account in an Access or Basic Account package. If you pick one of these packages, then that fee can be waived by maintaining a minimum average monthly balance of $500.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus is the consumer banking segment of the world-renowned investment firm, Goldman Sachs. When you get an account at Marcus, you’ll receive a relatively high APY. They also make it easy at Marcus for you to open an account and transfer money from your savings account to accounts at other banks.
When you open a savings account with Marcus, you won’t have any minimum deposit requirements to open the account. And you only need to have $1 in your account to earn the high-interest rate. You’ll also get a variety of personal loan options, including home improvement as well as debt consolidation.
Not only do you get a high-interest rate, but you also get all of the benefits of an online bank and easy-to-meet requirements when you open a savings account at Marcus. They don’t have any fees for transactions and you can access your account whenever you want to. Plus, their contact center is open every day of the week.
And since your savings account with Marcus doesn’t require a minimum deposit to be opened, anyone can start up an account.
With all that said, Marcus doesn’t have any physical branches and they also don’t offer a mobile app. So if you want to speak with customer support, you’ll have to call them or try to get answers from the FAQ section on the company’s website.
You also can’t open a checking account with Marcus, so your liquidity options are limited.
There are a variety of depository products for clients of Synchrony Bank. This includes several CDs, money market accounts, and a savings account.
As an online bank, the company has manageable overhead costs. This means that they can return their savings to their customers by offering higher interest rates. Their savings account, as well as their other depository products, are often ranked among the top-paying accounts.
They also have a highly reputable customer support department that is available by phone or online chat every day of the week. And as a client of Synchrony Bank, you’ll also get a lot of perks. These perks include leisure and travel discounts and complimentary identity theft resolution.
They’ll even give you a dedicated customer service number as a “Diamond” customer. This is in addition to the unlimited ATM reimbursements and three free wire transfers per statement cycle.
This bank doesn’t offer a checking account and they’re also not a full-service bank. So, if you’re interested in liquidity, then Synchrony Bank may not offer the best savings account option for you.
As a division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., PurePoint Financial consistently ranks among the banks that deliver the highest interest rates for savings accounts. This online savings account isn’t designed for people who are only beginning to save, though. To earn the APY, you need to maintain a minimum balance of $10,000.
However, they don’t charge a monthly service fee. But if you’re account balance ever falls below that $10,000 threshold, you’ll only earn 0.25% APY.
Ally is a bank that doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location with savings accounts that continue to offer higher rates than traditional banks. Within Ally, you will also have access to all of their financial products including a checking account, money market account and investment accounts.
HSBC Direct Online Savings
HSBC has an online savings account that offers a great rate and only a $1 opening deposit required.
Digital Federal Credit Union
DCU is a credit union that offers a higher rate than top online savings accounts on up to a $1,000 balance.
Discover offers an online savings account with an APY that is one of the highest yields for online savings accounts without a monthly balance requirement or any other fees such as stop payment order, excessive withdrawal or monthly maintenance fees.
Which of the Best Online Savings Accounts of 2020 Will You Use?
As we can see, there are a variety of options when trying to find the best online savings accounts. There are accounts for all people, no matter how much money they have saved or plan to save in the future.
Just make sure that when choosing the right account for you, you are aware of all of the fees and balance requirements. Otherwise, you could end up losing money instead of earning it.
It’s a new year, and your chief priority this year — aside from finally shedding those 20 pounds — is to have more than $20 in your savings account.
Your main hurdle, though, is finding the right savings account for your needs. Should you stick with a traditional bank savings account, or should you try an online account?
The reality is, four out of 10 Americans use online banking to manage their money. So, if you’re contemplating banking online, you’re in good company.
Still, the question you may be asking yourself is, are online savings accounts safe?
Here’s a rundown on what you need to know about online savings accounts before signing up for one this year. Let’s get started!
Are online savings accounts safe?
The answer to this question is yes. Here’s why.
As a general rule of thumb, you’re safe to stash your cash in an online savings account at a bank that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In fact, at online banks with FDIC coverage, you can expect your money to be just as safe as it would be at your traditional neighborhood bank.
The FDIC coverage ensures that if your online bank ends up defaulting, you’ll be paid back everything in your account by the government. This applies to any savings account amount no higher than $250,000.
Not sure if a bank has insurance with the FDIC? Simply search for a small emblem on its website. The FDIC also has a BankFind tool for verifying a financial institution’s coverage.
How to gauge safety in online banks?
The majority of online banking institutions take the exact same precautions that big banks do to safeguard your cash when you’re utilizing their online banking services.
In fact, even if you’re using a traditional bank’s online portal, you should check the institution’s security measures to make sure that the bank is worth trusting with your cash.
An online savings accounts that are FDIC-insured is a no-brainer compared to a typical brick and mortar bank. The best online savings accounts can allow you to earn an APY of 1.70% or greater
Protection for online banking users includes browser and network encryption. In addition, look for online savings account providers that use anti-malware and anti-virus protection. The bank should also use firewalls to further protect your funds.
Many banks have also implemented what’s called two-step authentication as needed. Other features designed to further protect your online savings account include frequent fraud reviews, automatic logout, and account monitoring.
Some banks additionally offer their customers access to anti-virus software.
Anti-virus software can block spyware and phishing. It can also identify links that are unsafe. A major benefit of this type of software is that it also automatically updates, so you can count on it to put a halt to the latest online threats.
Offline Transactions May Not Be Worthwhile
In light of the above, it may actually be safer for you to store your money in an online savings account versus in a regular bank savings account. That’s because today’s technological protections provide an extra level of safety that you simply don’t get with paper checks and statements.
Checks and statements are frequently the targets of thieves who like to dumpster dive for information they can then use to engage in fraudulent transactions. Meanwhile, encrypted transactions online require thieves to have more tech skills.
Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Account Safe
In addition to relying on your online banking institution to keep your online savings account safe, you should also take steps to protect your funds.
After all, your online bank can do little to help you if you carelessly release your online savings account information.
So, for starters, if you need to access an online account in public, be sure to do this in as secure a manner as possible. Anti-virus software can provide your computer with the protection you need in public spaces.
Also, don’t be quick to open emails that appear to be from your banking institution yet ask for your account or personal information. The bank shouldn’t be asking you for these details, as it already has them.
If your institution does have to get in touch with you, it will likely do this through its message center in your account’s portal. After all, this is a far more secure way of reaching out to you.
Also, if you plan to use your online bank’s app on your cell phone, make sure that you always have the most recent version. That’s because application developers always produce updates after discovering security gaps that require patches.
Another step to take to protect your online savings account? Take advantage of sign-on capabilities involving your face ID, fingerprint, or two-factor authentication. This will make impersonating you much more challenging for thieves.
How We Can Help Find the Right Savings Account for You
In addition to answering the question “Are online savings accounts safe,” this article can help you find the right high yield savings account for your situation. When you are considering the right savings account, you should look at interest rates in combination with any monthly fees that could hurt your overall savings. You should also beware of introductory APYs that may lower after a certain period of time. As always, it is important to compare savings accounts and be sure to filter by size and zip to help find large-balance savers with better options. Keep in mind, as well, that this is not a checking account where you make a lot of withdrawals. With online banking, you will lose having a relationship with your local bank as there are no physical branches, but, like traditional savings accounts, they will have restrictions on minimum deposit, minimum balance, and withdrawal limits.
What are other options outside of an Online Savings Account?
Money Market Account
Acts as a savings account, but with more access to your money. Most will give you a debit card with ATM access, but the interest rate is typically lower than the higher interest rates of an online savings account.
Certificates of Deposit
A CD is perfect for longer terms savings with higher rates, but also with limitations on when you can take money out, often needing to lock into a long term arrangement such as 5 years.
High Yield Checking Account
This account will give you the ability to access your money frequently, but most checking accounts don’t give you interest and definitely not compared to the high-interest rate of an online savings account.