Best Online Banks For Savings (August 2022): Barclays vs Marcus vs Ally vs Synchrony vs Alliant vs CIT vs Discover

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Best For…
Highest APY
Checking Option
Ally Bank logo
ATM Access
Discover logo
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Not happy with your local bank’s options for a savings account? The good news is that you don’t have to go with a brick-and-mortar bank these days. Many online-only banks offer high-interest savings accounts and added benefits like no monthly fees, low (or no) minimum balances, easy account transfers, and much more.

As of 2022, interest rates have nearly doubled from years past due to inflation, the potential recession, and higher mortgage rates by the fed, incentivizing people to save. More than ever now is an ideal opportunity to move your “rainy day fund” to a higher-yielding saving account to earn more than sitting in a traditional low-interest checking or savings account.

Unlike most standard banks that offer an interest rate of 0.1% and lower, many online-only options offer lucrative rates as high as 2.0%. And the best of these banks are financially sound, reliable, and trusted by millions of consumers.

Jeff Butler is our financial guru, holding an undergraduate degree in Finance from Malone University. He has a diverse background in small business ownership, accounting, and property management. With his expertise in personal finance, Jeff consults on and reviews our investing and financial content, including this article.

Best Online Savings Accounts

We’ve listed our top picks for the banks with the best savings account rates. All banks in our reviews are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means your deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category.

Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) are accurate as of 7/1/2022. Keep in mind, these rates are variable and may change after the account is open.

Annual Percentage Yield Minimum Deposit & Balance Monthly Maintenance Fee Mobile Check Deposits ATM Access Checking Account
Ally Bank 1% $0 None Checkmark Checkmark via checking Checkmark
Alliant Credit Union 1.05% $100 balance $1 (can be waived) Checkmark Checkmark via checking Checkmark
Barclays Bank 1.10% $0 None Checkmark
CIT Bank 2.1% $100 deposit None Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Citizens Access 1.25% $5,000 balance None Checkmark
Discover Bank 1.10% $0 None Checkmark Checkmark via checking Checkmark
HSBC Relationship 1.10% $1 balance None Checkmark
Marcus by Goldman Sachs 1.20% $0 None
PurePoint Financial 0.40% $10,000 balance None Checkmark
Synchrony 0.55% $0 None Checkmark Checkmark

Highest APY: CIT Bank: 2.1% APY

CIT Bank logo

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CIT Bank is usually your best bet for the highest savings account rates — as long as you can satisfy their requirements. To get their highest rate, you have to maintain a $100 balance. You’ll earn a variable rate if you don’t meet these requirements. They also offer competitive CD rates. CIT Bank is a subsidiary of First Citizens Bank.

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Also offers competitive money market and CD rates
  • Must maintain a balance

Best For Checking: Ally Bank Review: 1% APY

Ally Bank logo

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Formerly GMAC, Ally Bank has millions of online customers in the U.S. They offer very competitive savings account rates with no deposit or balance minimums and no monthly maintenance fees. Ally online banking also offers credit cards and checking and money market accounts with access to ATMs across the U.S.

Pros

Cons

  • No maintenance fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Compounds interest daily
  • Also offers a checking/debit account with nationwide ATM access
  • Can deposit checks via mobile app
  • 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email
  • No branches

Best For ATM Access: Discover Bank: 1.1% APY

Discover logo

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Discover Bank’s savings rates could be your best option if you want to tie your high-yield online savings account to a rewards checking account with access to a large national ATM network. There aren’t many full-service online banks that give you such perks.

Pros

Cons

  • No fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Also offers a checking/debit account with nationwide ATM access
  • Can deposit checks via mobile app
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Direct deposit
  • 24/7 customer support via phone
  • Only one branch location (in Delaware)

Others (Listed Alphabetically)

Alliant Credit Union: 1.05% APY

Alliant Credit Union logo

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Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union offers a high-interest online savings account to members, but becoming a member is easy. All you have to do is donate $5 to their designated charity, Foster Care to Success (and they’ll even pay the donation on your behalf). You must maintain a $100 daily balance, but Alliant affords easy online and mobile banking and access to thousands of ATMs across the U.S. if you also open a checking account.

Pros

Cons

  • Also offers a checking/debit account with nationwide ATM access
  • Can deposit checks via mobile app
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Required to maintain a daily average balance of $100 to get the highest APY
  • $1 monthly maintenance fee (but they waive it if you sign up for eStatements)
  • It’s unclear on their website if you can use a branch location with this account (but there are only a handful in the U.S.)

Barclays U.S. Online Savings: 1.10% APY

Barclays logo

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Barclays Bank has been a banking institution in the U.K. for more than 325 years and has a large global presence. It’s best known in the U.S. for its credit cards, but Barclays also offers strong online savings products for U.S. consumers, including its high-yield savings account and a line of high-interest CDs. Customer service is available via phone only.

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Online transfers to and from other banks
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile apps with check depositing
  • No ATM access and no branches in U.S.
  • Doesn’t offer a checking account

Citizens Access: 1.25% APY

Citizens Access logo

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Citizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank, which is located in more than 13 Eastern states. It offers one of the highest-yield online savings accounts you can find, but the catch is you have to deposit and maintain a $5,000 balance. If you fall below this balance, your APY drops to 0.25%. While they don’t have mobile apps, you can still make check deposits through their mobile-friendly website.

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Can deposit checks via its mobile-friendly website
  • Also offers high CD rates
  • Must deposit and maintain a $5,000 balance to qualify for their highest APY
  • No ATM or branch access
  • Doesn’t offer a checking account

HSBC Premier Relationships Savings: 1.10% APY

HSBC Direct Savings logo

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HSBC Direct is the online division of global giant, HSBC Bank, with over 39 million customers worldwide. They’re also able to give you mobile check depositing. To take advantage of their high APY via Premier Relations Savings account you must open a Premier checking account which requires some hefty minimums including $500 spend monthly, $5,000 in direct deposits and have a mortgage.

Pros

Cons

  • No fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Can deposit checks via mobile app
  • 24/7 live chat assistance
  • Great online tools to help you manage savings goals
  • High minimums and Premiere checking account required

Marcus by Goldman Sacs: APY 1.20%

Marcus by Goldman Sacs logo

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs is one of your best bets for a high-yield savings account with no fees and no minimum balance required — and backed by the well-known investment firm. It consistently offers among the best savings account rates. Marcus also offers strong CD rates for long-term savings and personal loans.

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Customer support 7 days/wk
  • No ATM or branch access
  • No mobile apps
  • Doesn’t offer a checking account
  • Not as many ways to make deposits as some other online banks

PurePoint Financial: 0.40% APY

PurePoint Financial logo

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PurePoint Financial, a division of MUFG Union Bank, isn’t meant for beginning savers — they require a $10,000 deposit and balance to earn their highest APY. Like Citizens Access, your APY drops to 0.25% if your balance falls below this requirement. You can deposit checks via their mobile-friendly website.

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • Can deposit checks via its mobile-friendly website
  • Also offers high CD rates and no-penalty CDs
  • Must deposit and maintain a $10,000 balance to qualify for their highest APY
  • No ATM or branch access
  • Doesn’t offer a checking account

Synchrony: 1.10% APY

Synchrony logo

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If you want a high-yield savings account but worry about the monthly limit of 6 withdrawals or transfers, Synchrony could be the perfect fit. Synchrony gives you their highest APY with no minimums or fees and an ATM card tied directly to your savings account. You’ll incur no fees for using their in-network ATMs (those with Plus or Accel logos). And they reimburse you $5 per month for out-of-network ATM transactions.

Keep in mind; you shouldn’t use a savings account as you would a checking/debit account. This ATM card is intended for easier access to your funds, and Synchrony reserves the right to close your account if you regularly exceed the 6-transaction limit. 

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit/balance
  • Can deposit checks via mobile app and ATM
  • Easy transfers with other linked bank accounts
  • 24/7 access to funds via ATM
  • Customer support 7 days/week via phone and online chat
  • No branches
  • Doesn’t offer a checking account

Need-To-Know Details

Here’s some important information you should know about online savings accounts before you open one.

Making Deposits

Piggybank iconOnline banks vary in the way you can make deposits. All give you the option to mail in checks for deposit, but this is often impractical (and not secure). Fortunately, most allow you to link to your existing checking or other bank account, so you can transfer money into the online savings account.

Some offer a direct deposit option, and some also give you a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site where you can scan a check to make a deposit. And a select few online savings accounts give you in-network ATM depositing. Read our reviews below to find out which banks make deposits easiest.

Withdrawing Funds

It’s important to understand that savings accounts (regardless of whether they’re online or not) aren’t to be used like checking accounts. In fact, there are legal restrictions on how you can use them for regular transactions. Under Regulation D, the U.S. federal law limits you to 6 withdrawals or transfers from savings and money market accounts per calendar month. (Note: this limit doesn’t apply to withdrawals and transfers made at an ATM, by mail, in person at a bank or by phone if the check is mailed to the depositor.)

When you do need to withdraw funds, online savings accounts can vary in how you can access your money. All allow you to make a request in writing or over the phone to have a check mailed to you. Again, this isn’t very practical in many cases.

That’s why it’s important to have your online savings account linked to another account. This allows you to withdraw funds by transferring them from your savings account. But be aware that this could take 2-3 days to post. Most online-only savings accounts don’t give you ATM access unless they offer a separate online checking/debit account. We’ve noted these differences in each review.

Overdraft And Other Fees

Just like any other bank account, you will face fees in certain situations. For example, you’ll incur fees if you overdraft your account, have insufficient funds or a returned deposit, or you exceed the legal limit of withdrawals. These fees can vary widely by the online savings account you choose.

Video: How Does Savings Account Interest Work?

Confused about how your savings account earns you money by just sitting in the bank? Check out this brief video from Discover.

Smart Options For Long-Term Saving

If you haven’t already started putting money away for retirement, you should seriously consider investing in a 401k or IRA retirement plan. Don’t know which type is right for you? Be sure to read our guide to the best retirement plans and tips to get started.

And if you want to start investing but don’t have much capital to go with a traditional financial advisor, consider going with a robo advisor. It’s an excellent option for beginners since these online platforms typically require very minimal funds and you can make changes to your portfolio online 24/7.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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