Best Rates for Savings & Deposits in the US

MoneyRates.com Senior Financial Analyst, CFA
January 27, 2014

America's Best Rates 2013 Q4: Yields continue declining (with some exceptions)

Last year ended on a familiar note for deposit account customers: Savings and money market rates fell yet again, according to the latest research by MoneyRates.com. However, there were exceptions to this trend that demonstrated how diverse this market is, and how it can reward consumers who actively shop for the best deals.

Each quarter MoneyRates.com conducts its America's Best Rates Survey, which looks at interest rates on savings accounts and money market accounts. To gauge which banks consistently offer competitive rates, the survey tracks rate levels throughout the quarter. Though average savings and money market rates fell during the fourth quarter, the survey highlights ways that consumers can buck the trend and find higher rates through smart shopping.

Deposit rates in 2013

While 2013 will be remembered as the year that some interest rates, such as mortgage rates and bond yields, finally broke their falling trends and started to rise, savings and money market accounts remained mired near zero throughout the year. Pushing these rates higher will likely require stronger and more consistent growth than the economy has managed so far.

Moving into 2014, it remains important not just to look at overall national averages, but also specific banks and categories. When deposit rates turn around, it will probably happen with a few leaders at the vanguard, rather than the entire industry moving as one. The following lists identify banks that appear likely to lead the way upward.

America's best savings account rates

Below are the 10 highest savings account rates in the America's Best Rates survey for the fourth quarter of 2013:

Bank

Savings account rate

1st place

Doral Bank (ABR platinum medal winner)

0.940 percent

2nd place

Capital One Bank (ABR gold medal winner)

0.904 percent

3rd place (tie)

Barclays Bank (ABR silver medal winner)

0.900 percent

3rd place (tie)

GE Capital Bank (ABR silver medal winner)

0.900 percent

5th place (tie)

American Express Bank (ABR bronze medal winner)

0.850 percent

5th place (tie)

FNBO Direct (ABR bronze medal winner)

0.850 percent

7th place

Ally Bank

0.849 percent

8th place

CIT Bank

0.845 percent

9th place

GE Capital Retail Bank

0.840 percent

10th place

Discover Bank

0.804 percent

(Note: Despite their similar names, GE Capital Bank and GE Capital Retail Bank are separate institutions.)

The above list is very similar to the top 10 from the third quarter, with the notable exception that Capital One Bank entered the fray in the fourth quarter, surging all the way to second place.

These top rates are four to five times as high as the average savings account rate in the survey, which was 0.179 percent. This average was down a little from the third quarter average of 0.185 percent, marking the second consecutive quarter that savings account rates fell.

Online accounts continue to maintain a significant advantage over the rates on traditional branch-based accounts. The average online savings account rate was 0.539 percent, compared with just 0.138 for traditional savings accounts. Most of all though, the disparity between the top rates and the averages underscores the importance of active rate shopping.

America's best money market rates

Below are the 10 highest money market account rates in the America's Best Rates survey for the fourth quarter of 2013:

Bank

Money market account rate

1st place

Doral Bank (ABR platinum medal winner)

0.940 percent

2nd place

Sallie Mae Bank (ABR gold medal winner)

0.900 percent

3rd place

Mutual of Omaha Bank (ABR silver medal winner)

0.850 percent

4th place

Ally Bank (ABR bronze medal winner)

0.849 percent

5th place

GE Capital Retail Bank

0.822 percent

6th place

Nationwide Bank

0.735 percent

7th place

Discover Bank

0.700 percent

8th place

EverBank

0.610 percent

9th place

OneWest Bank

0.500 percent

10th place

Zions Bank

0.450 percent

The accounts and ranks listed above are identical to those on the third-quarter list, though some of the rates have changed slightly. This underscores the value of active rate shopping -- though money market rates are subject to change at any time, banks that have a strategy of offering higher rates tend to consistently rise to the top of the survey. Chances are that a consumer choosing from this group of banks will continue to receive one of the most competitive rates available in the foreseeable future.

Like savings account rates, money market rates overall declined during the fourth quarter, from an average of 0.161 percent to 0.156 percent. Here too, there was an advantage on average to choosing an online-based account: The average online money market rate during the fourth quarter was 0.590 percent, compared to an average of 0.130 percent for traditional, branch-based money market accounts.

Methodology and outlook

The MoneyRates.com survey of America's Best Rates is based on an index of 100 banks, including the top 50 retail banks by deposit size, plus 50 smaller banks. Rankings are based on an average of rates offered throughout the most recent calendar quarter, a methodology that emphasizes consistency over temporary promotional rates.

What was striking about bank rates in 2013 was that mortgage rates rose significantly while deposit rates were little changed. Conditions are in place for this trend to continue, especially since the Federal Reserve announced in December that it would begin easing up on its program to lower long-term rates, while extending its probable timeframe for keeping short-term rates near zero.

It would take substantial economic improvement to push short-term rates higher, and a weak December employment report was yet another setback on the path toward a stronger economy.

MoneyRates Featured Savings Rates
 Account Type
 Amount

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

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Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.87%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • No minimum deposit to open.
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  • Member FDIC.

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $100

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

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Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • No Minimum Balance
  • No Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • FDIC Insured

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.75%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

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Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $5000

0.85%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Easy to open. Easy to fund. Easy to manage.
  • Free online banking and eStatements.
  • National network of free ATMs.

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $25000

0.95%APY

Rates as of 4/17/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Built on the heritage of over 100 years.
  • Member FDIC.

Rates / APY terms above are current as of the date indicated. These quotes are from banks, credit unions and thrifts, some of which have paid for a link to their website. Bank, thrift and credit union deposits are insured by the FDIC or NCUA. Contact the bank for the terms and conditions that may apply to you. Rates are subject to change without notice and may not be the same at all branches.

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