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Best savings accounts

High Interest Savings Accounts

by Sheena Leano
Money Rates Columnist
December 21, 2015

Deposit accounts are offering such slim interest these days thanks to historically low rates that it's hard to figure out which account is best. We wanted to make the selection process easier by doing the research for you. We'll keep this page updated but offers can change quickly so always verify details.

Best High Interest Savings Account: Synchrony Bank

Best Current Rate*

Editor’s Take: Synchrony Bank is making a name for itself as an online bank dedicated to helping customers grow their money consistently but also securely. Synchrony Bank customers benefit from high interest savings rates no matter the deposit amount, from $50 to $1 million – a major advantage over banks that may require customers to deposit a certain amount of money to qualify for high yield savings rates. Despite tough competition, Synchrony Bank was the No. 1 best savings account in the second quarter of 2015 in MoneyRates' exclusive America’s Best Rates survey and named the ABR platinum medal winner over other banks.

Deep Dive

Synchrony had a high savings rate of 1.05 percent in the second quarter, higher than many traditional banks, earning it the distinction for the best overall high interest savings account. Synchrony customers can link high yield savings accounts to checking accounts with local banks and transfer money from Synchrony to this external account and vice versa.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $30
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None if you keep your daily average balance over $30
  • Customers can take advantage of free online banking and mobile banking, including mobile check deposit and free transfers from Synchrony and external banks. Note there is a limit of six withdrawals/transfers per statement cycle.

Best Online Savings Account: Ally Bank

Best Current Rate*

Editor’s Take: With an APY higher than many brick-and-mortar bank accounts, Ally offers excellent customer service and interest rates that make it competitive against bigger banks. Ally Bank has racked up numerous awards for its online savings accounts, including the Best Online Bank recognition from Money magazine between 2011 and 2014 and No. 3 best savings account rates for America’s Best Rates Q2 2015. Account management is as convenient as one would expect from an exclusively online bank. Using an Ally account couldn’t be easier.

Deep Dive

Customers benefit from 24/7 access to accounts online, by phone or via Ally’s Live Chat. Ally Bank’s average Q2 2015 interest rate of 0.99 percent earned it an America’s Best Rates award.

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Ally Bank is forgiving when it comes to ATM fees and will reimburse you $10 for non-network ATM fees per statement cycle

Best Savings Account for Goal-Oriented Savers: Barclays Bank

Best Current Rate*

Editor’s Take: True to its name, the Barclays Bank Dream Account can help you fulfill yours by offering a bonus on top of an already high savings account rate. In addition to the chance to earn bonuses, Barclays tools are worth a look, including the Dream Assistant savings calculator. With the right tools and a high interest savings account, you can earn money and stay motivated toward accomplishing your various goals, such as saving for a house or vacation.

Deep Dive

There are two chances to earn bonuses with this account, both of which benefit people who are great savers. You can also easily make transfers between your Barclays savings and other bank accounts. There is no minimum opening deposit required, but you should maintain an account amount that earns you at least 1 cent to have interest posted to account.

  • Earn a bonus of 2.5 percent on interest earned in the past six months if you make a deposits for six months in a row
  • You can get another bonus worth 2.5 percent on interest earned in the past six months if you do not withdraw money for those six straight months
  • You can deposit a maximum of $1,000 a month in the Barclays Dream Account -- perfect for goals in the near-future, such as saving for a home down payment

Best Savings Accounts for Kids: Family Savings Credit Union and Option 1 Credit Union

Family Savings Credit Union

Family Savings Credit Union - best savings accounts for kids

Best Current Rate*

0.20% APY

Editor’s Take: It’s never too soon to teach kids about the power of compounding interest.  As a credit union offering Dollar Dog Kids Club Savings Accounts, Family Savings Credit Union and Option offer attractive savings accounts for customers in Alabama and Georgia. To make saving worth the while and fun, Family Savings offers incentives including competitive dividends, rewards for good grades and events/contests for account holders. Signing up for an account with this credit union is a good way to teach kids about money and rewarding them for being good savers. Your local credit union might offer a similar product. To find a credit union near you, go to the National Credit Union Association. Many also offer accounts for teens.

Deep Dive

It is free to join the Dollar Dog Kids Club with an existing savings account at Family Savings. There is no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirements. Members earn a membership card, a Savings Passbook and the chance to receive free items for joining.

  • Family Savings Dollar Dog Savings accounts are for children 12 and under
  • $5 minimum opening deposit requirement
  • Students 18 years and under can earn up to $14 extra per month for their Dollar Dog Savings accounts for good grades by earning $2 per A and $1 per B

Option 1 Credit Union

Option 1 Credit Union - best savings account for kids

Best Current Rate*

0.10% APY

Editor’s Take: While both Option 1 Credit Union and Family Savings offer Dollar Dog Kids accounts to earn rewards, Option 1 with branches in Michigan has different perks, including incentives even for small deposits to add to high savings rates. Children’s savings accounts Option 1 offer savings rewards for certain deposit amounts. The rewards combined with Option 1’s commitment to creating Money Smart Kids makes this credit union’s savings account offer more than just a larger piggy bank for your children.

Deep Dive

Dollar Dog Kids Club savings accounts are for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Your child will automatically be signed up for the Dollar Dog Kids Savings Account when opening an account

  • Children earn savings incentives for each deposit totaling $10 or above
  • There is a $5 minimum balance for Dollar Dog Savings
  • To open an account, parents should bring their children to a branch and need relevant info, such as their Social Security number.

Best Free Savings Account with Extra Perks: Santander Bank

Santander Bank - best student savings account

Best Current Rate*

0.03% APY

Editor’s Take: The opening deposit requirement for a Santander Bank account is low, but the financial gains account holders could make with a Santander extra20 savings account is high. As a welcomed perk, customers have the opportunity to have $20 per month deposited in their Santander extra20 savings account for the banking they normally do, such as paying their bills. Santander Bank customers also have plenty of choices for access to their account through mobile applications or to get their questions answered through local branches, email or phone.

Deep Dive

To earn extra20 program perks, you have to open an extra20 checking and extra20 savings accounts, but there is no monthly maintenance fee. The savings account comes with fraud protection and option for overdraft protection.

  • There is a minimum opening deposit of $10 for savings accounts
  • You can earn up to $20 per month for using extra20 checking and savings: $10 for $1,500 or more in direct deposits and paying at least two bills with BillPay
  • The money earned for the extra20 program is deposited into your savings account

All accounts listed here, including credit unions, insure deposits up to $250,000. Also good to know: All savings accounts will have a limit of six withdrawals/transfers per month per FDIC rules.

Best IRA Retirement Savings Account: CIT Bank

Best Current Rate*

Editor’s Take: Offering you flexibility and safety when it comes to saving for retirement, CIT Bank offers a variety of deposits products to set up as an individual retirement account, including CDs and high yield savings accounts. With the chance to earn compound interest to continue to grow your retirement savings to meet your financial goals, an IRA account with CIT Bank has the added benefit of no maintenance fees or other charges you might expect with a high yield account at another bank. You can choose between traditional or Roth IRA accounts at CIT to earn either tax-deferred or tax-free savings.

Deep Dive

Your IRA deposits are covered via FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 per insured bank, per depositor so you know your money is safe. You can choose any CIT Bank savings products to be set up as IRAs except for 6-month CDs.

  • Deposits products available as IRAs at the bank include high yield savings, Term CDs, RampUp Plus CDs, RampUp CDs and Jumbo CDs
  • You may incur a penalty from the IRS if you withdraw from your IRA account before reaching the age of 59 1/2, which is applicable to any IRA account
  • Traditional IRAs may be subject to federal income tax and state tax during withdrawal
  • IRA account holders must be at least 18 years old when they open an IRA account with the bank

Don't see your favorite bank on the list?

Found a great savings rate? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll be adding banks, products and more detail in the future.

*Rates may vary based on certain requirements such as a minimum balance or deposit.

Your responses to ‘High Interest Savings Accounts’

Showing 1 comment | Add your comment

22 September 2015 at 12:04 pm

Hi everyone, This is Sheena Leano, your MoneyRates editor -- let us know when you find a great rate for your savings (or other account) or have a bank experience you'd like to share with your fellow savers! We love to hear your feedback! If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and we'll try to point you to the right answer. Thanks for reading, Sheena

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