Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Online 2019
Banking

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Online 2019

EPF Last Update: May 13, 2019
View All Studies

With interest rates currently stuck in neutral, the search for yield among investors has become even more difficult. And while capital market participants have to endure increased volatility to earn a higher return, we have a list of savings options that can help grow your money without taking any risk.

To present the most valuable options, we first analyzed savings account offerings from several online banks. Next, we narrowed our recommended list to those that offer the highest interest rate and provide the most favorable account terms. Moreover, only one of our recommended institutions requires a minimum balance greater than $1, and all of the online banks on our list have at least a 2.20% APY and charge zero monthly fees.

 

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Online of 2019

 

Marcus: By Goldman Sachs

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $1
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

As a subsidiary of one of the most prestigious investment banks on Wall Street, Marcus By Goldman Sachs offers brand-power few can rival. And by offering an extremely competitive 2.25% APY, this online bank provides a great avenue to park your money.

To set up deposits or make withdrawals, you first need to link your Marcus account to an external bank account. You can use any checking, savings or investment account you currently own. Deposits can also be made using a domestic wire transfer or by mailing a check.

A great feature of a Marcus savings account is interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. With compounding interest, it ensures your savings balance grows as quickly as possible.

 

Citizens Access

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.35%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $5,000
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

With a 2.35% APY, Citizens Access offers one of the highest savings yields in the marketplace today. However, the main downside is the minimum balance requirement. But, if you’re able to meet the $5,000 minimum, Citizens Access offers a 10 basis point (0.10%) increase that – when compounded – adds up over time.

Just like Marcus above, interest at Citizens Access is compounded daily and credit to your account monthly. But be aware, the 2.35% APY is variable and can increase or decrease without notice.

 

HSBC Direct Savings

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $1
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

Offering a 2.25% APY, HSBC Direct Savings also includes several account add-ons that complement its competitive yield. When becoming a new client, you receive 24/7 access to your online savings account, which includes live chat assistance. Moreover, all customers receive access to HSBC’s Money Management Tools that help organize your finances and create savings goals.

There you can:

  • Track your savings progress by comparing your average monthly income to your average monthly spending
  • Create email alerts to notify you about important dates or savings milestones
  • Create custom goals to help you plan for specific savings objectives

The one minor drawback of HSBC Direct Savings is – instead of daily – interest is compounded and paid monthly.

 

Synchrony High Yield Savings

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $1
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

As another attractive savings option, Synchrony High Yield Savings offers a 2.25% APY. There are also no minimum balance requirements and zero monthly fees.

To make an initial deposit or execute a withdrawal, you have plenty of options to choose from:

  • You can make an internal transfer from another Synchrony Bank Account
  • You can transfer funds from an external account using an electronic funds transfer (EFT)
  • You can use its mobile check deposit service and add funds using your smartphone or tablet
  • You can set up direct deposit
  • You can initiate a wire transfer
  • You can mail them a personal check

Just like the options above – excluding HSBC – interest at Synchrony is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. As a side benefit, the bank also reimburses ATM fees up to $5.00 per statement cycle. On its own, Synchrony does not charge any ATM fees, however fees charged by external ATM owners/operators will qualify for reimbursement.

 

FNBO Direct Online Savings

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $1
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

As an acronym for First National Bank of Omaha, FNBO Direct Online Savings offers a 2.25% APY and has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. As an added benefit, you also receive access to FNBO’s Popmoney service. Here, you can send mobile and email payments directly from your online savings account which removes the hassle of writing checks.

Other account features include:

  • You can access your funds anywhere and anytime using the FNBO mobile app
  • You can make purchases using Apple Pay, Visa Checkout or Samsung Pay
  • You can set up direct deposit

As well, there are no fees when you use ATMs operated by FNBO (branded with the Circle One logo), but fees may apply when using external ATMs. Also – like HSBC above – FNBO interest is compounded and paid monthly.

 

Barclays Online Savings

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.20%
  • Minimum Balance Required: $1
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0

With an APY that’s slightly below the competition, Barclays Online Savings offers a 2.20% interest rate with no minimum balance requirements and zero monthly fees.

However, as an online branch of a name you know and trust, Barclays Online Savings also provides:

  • Secure 24/7 online access to your funds
  • Online transfers to and from other banks
  • Direct deposit to make saving simple an easy

As well, customers also receive access to Barclay’s online savings tools, which help you plan and keep track of your savings goals.

 

How Do Online High-Yield Savings Rates Compare to Traditional Bank Savings Rates?

If you open a traditional brick-and-mortar savings account – at institutions such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citibank – you’ll notice their APYs barely keep your money above water.

Through or research, we compiled statistics on average savings account interest rates across all major traditional banks within the United States.

For an in-depth look, check out our full study on Average Savings Account Interest Rates 2019 and Average Bank Interest Rates 2019. There, we also complied data on the best checking account and certificate of deposit (CD) interest rates.

For now though, take a look at a sample of our findings:

 

Bank Name:Average Savings Rate:
Bank of America0.045%
Wells Fargo0.03%
Citibank0.04%
Chase Bank0.01%
HSBC0.01%
US Bank0.01%
SunTrust0.01%
PNC Bank0.01%
Huntington National0.02%
TD Bank0.05%
Capital One1%

 

As you can see, savings rates at traditional banks are rather pedestrian. Moreover, with the current national average savings rate – as of April 15, 2019 – currently sitting at 0.10%, traditional banks have little incentive to raise their yields.

So why is there such a divergence between traditional and online banks?

Well, it all comes down to costs.

Traditional banks incur significant overhead expenses from operating their vast network of branches. Expenses like rent, utilities, labor costs and insurance. Conversely, online banks run a much leaner operation. There are no physical branches and they operate with minimal staff. As such, these cost savings provide them with more leeway to offer higher interest rates.

 

How Often Can I Make Withdrawals From My Online High-Yield Savings Account? 

To ensure compliance with the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, all online high-yield savings accounts limit withdrawals to six per month. These include online withdrawals, telephone transfers and overdraft protection transfers.

If you exceed the limit of six per month, you can be charged an excess withdrawal fee. If the behavior continues, the institution reserves the right to close your account.

Keep in mind though, there are ways around the limit. By making the majority of your withdrawals through an ATM or bank teller, you can access your funds while still maintaining compliance because these transactions do not count toward your six per month.

 

Is My Online High-Yield Savings Account FDIC Insured?

Absolutely. All balances held within the accounts listed above are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

And what is the FDIC?

As an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, the FDIC promotes public confidence by guaranteeing deposits in case a member institution defaults. The agency also examines and supervises roughly 4,000 banks and savings institutions to ensure operational safety.

 

How We Conducted the Study

To present the most accurate information, we went directly to the source. We combed through the official websites of several online banks, then narrowed our results to institutions that offer the highest savings yield and the most favorable account terms.

As well, our study uses the most up-to-date statistics as of April 18, 2019.

 

Conclusion

With national average savings rates barely above record lows, online banks provide the only avenue to earn competitive interest. With several institutions offering a 2.25% APY – and even more if you maintain a minimum balance – online banks allow your money to keep pace with inflation while still proving the same FDIC protection as traditional banks.

So, if you’re looking for a short-term investing solution that makes the most out of your money, the institutions above are a great place to start.

Elite Personal Finance

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