11 Best Online Banks for Savings Accounts
If you’re looking to open a savings account or switch from your current bank, you might find yourself overwhelmed by online banking options. Online banks tend to offer higher interest rates and lower fees for savings accounts than traditional banks. But sifting through the best online banks for savings accounts can be tedious.
To help, I’ll run you through some of the top online banks for savings accounts, which happen to be some of the best high-yield savings accounts, as well.
- Overview of the 11 best banks for savings accounts
- Online savings accounts summary
- The bottom line
Overview of the 11 best banks for savings accounts
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||No-fees|
|Ally Bank||High-APY CD options|
|American Express National Bank||Existing AMEX members|
|Capital One||Replacing traditional bank|
|CIT Bank||High-yield savings for frequent depositors|
|Synchrony Bank||ATM access|
|VIO Bank||High-yield, no-frills|
|Axos Bank||High-interest money market accounts|
|Barclays||Sign up bonuses|
|Discover Online Savings||Checking + savings combo|
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Named after Goldman Sachs founder, Marcus Sachs, this online suite of savings products is designed to help consumers make smarter decisions with their money. Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers three competitive savings products that can help you protect and grow your money, but one primary, high yield savings account that’s worth checking out.
Marcus Online Savings Account
This high-yield online savings account features a competitive 0.60% APY (annual percentage yield), no fees or minimum deposit requirements, same-day transfers of $100,000 or less, and 24/7 account access. What I love about the Marcus online savings account is that there are no hidden transaction fees — the terms of this account are straight-forward, unlike some banks.
On the downside, Marcus by Goldman Sachs does not provide a checking account option or ATM access, which means you’ll need an external account to wire transfer your funds.
Marcus also offers a 7-month, no-penalty CD (certificates of deposit) with a 0.55% APY and a 1-year high-yield CD with a 0.65% APY. Their high-yield CD also increases to 0.7% with a 5-year term.
Ally Bank has been one of the top competitive savings account banks in the marketplace since 2009. This online bank offers a variety of savings products, including a high rate savings account, a money market account, and multiple CD options.
Ally Online Savings
Ally’s online savings account offers a competitive 0.60% APY for all balance tiers, no minimum deposit or daily balance requirement, no monthly fees, and 24/7 support. While you can’t access Ally’s savings account from an ATM, Ally also offers an interest checking account you can link to your savings so that you can transfer money with just a few clicks.
I personally love Ally’s mobile app which offers fast and secure login features and easy access to all of your financial accounts and tools. Ally does limit withdrawals from your savings to 6 times per billing cycle, but that’s on par with many online competitors.
Ally also offers a money market account at a competitive 0.50% APY that also offers ATM access. In addition, Ally has three different CDs: a high-yield CD with 0.65% - 1.00% APY (ranging from one to five years), a raise your rate CD at 0.70% APY, and a no-penalty CD at 0.60 APY.
American Express National Bank
American Express may be well known as a credit card provider, but this financial institution is no stranger to the online banking world. American Express National Bank offers both savings accounts and CDs to help make your money go further.
American Express National Bank High-Yield Savings
American Express’s online high-yield savings account is on par with most competitive online banks, at 0.60% APY. Like Goldman Sachs and Ally, American Express also has no minimum deposit requirements, no monthly service fees, and 24/7 account access.
One standout about this particular account is that it offers up to 9 withdrawals per month, which is higher than most competitors. On the downside, American Express National Bank does not have a checking account or ATM option, so you’ll need an outside bank account to transfer money.
American Express National Bank also offers a CD up to 0.55% APY.
You might also know Capital One as a credit card company and auto loan provider, but their services extend beyond these niches. Capital One also offers savings account options with online banking features.
Capital One 360 Performance Savings
Capital One’s online savings account — 360 Performance Savings — offers a 0.50% APY for all balance tiers, no monthly fees, no minimum deposit or account balance requirements, and 24/7 account access.
While Capital One’s APY is below top online competitors, it’s still above the national average. In addition, although Capital One does not offer ATM access for their 360 Performance Savings, they do have brick-and-mortar locations. They also offer a 360 Checking account, which you can access via an ATM and easily transfer money between accounts.
Capital One also offers additional savings options, including an online Kids Savings Account, 360 Traditional IRA Savings, 360 Roth IRA Savings, and three different CD options (ranging from 0.20% to 0.40% APY).
Not to be confused with Citibank, CIT Bank is a top-50 U.S. financial institution offering a variety of online banking solutions for nationwide customers. CIT Bank offers a variety of savings account options, but its main savings account is its Savings Builder.
CIT Savings Builder
The CIT Savings Builder savings account offers 0.30% to 0.50% APY options. To obtain the higher 0.50% APY, you’ll need to maintain a $25,000 balance or deposit $100 or more each month. If you do not meet either of these conditions, you’ll be dropped to a 0.30% APY, which is still higher than many traditional banks, but lower than top online banks. You must also make an initial deposit of at least $100 to open an account.
CIT also has no monthly fees and allows up to 6 withdrawals per month. You cannot access funds through an ATM, but they do offer a CIT checking account you could use to transfer balances. I don’t particularly love the criteria for maintaining a higher APY through CIT Bank, but find the $100 deposit balance per month to be reasonable.
CIT also offers a robust portfolio of additional savings options including a money market account (0.55% APY), term CDs, no-penalty 11-month CD, Jumbo CDs, and RampUp CDs.
Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank that first opened its "doors" in 2003. Synchrony Bank’s mission is to cut out unnecessary fees most banks charge so you can do more with your money and reach your savings goals faster. This bank offers a large selection of savings account options, but its primary online savings account is a high-yield option.
Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings Account
This high-yield savings account offers a top APY, coming in at 0.65%, which is higher than most competitors. This rate is good for all balance tiers and this account requires no minimum deposit or monthly balances, does not have a monthly charge, and allows you to withdraw from your savings account using your debit card at ATMs.
Although Synchrony doesn’t charge a fee to use an ATM, you may be charged by the ATM owner. To help, Synchrony offers a $5 ATM refund per month. Overall, I think Synchrony Bank offers an excellent online savings plan with one of the market’s top rates and absolutely no fees to worry about.
Synchrony Bank also offers a money market account with 0.50% APY, CDs with a 0.60% APY, and two different IRA options.
VIO Bank is another top online financial institution that makes it easy to set up an online savings accounts. VIO Bank specializes in savings accounts, and currently offers no additional products. I’ll walk you through their high-yield savings account below.
VIO Bank High-Yield Savings Account
Right now, VIO Bank has one of the most competitive rates out there — even higher than Synchrony Bank. VIO Bank’s online high-yield savings account has a 0.66% APY on all balances, no monthly fee (if you opt into paperless billing), and up to 6 withdrawals per month.
VIO does require a $100 opening deposit for this account, but the requirements end there.
I love VIO Bank’s commitment to ensuring they are always offering a top APY and how simple the online signup process is. While VIO Bank does require a deposit, I’m glad it’s a relatively low amount.
VIO Bank also offers high-yield CDs with rates ranging from 0.15% - 0.70% APY, depending on your CD terms.
Axos Bank was one of the first online banks to launch, kickstarting online savings in 1999 as Bank of Internet. Today, Axos is still going strong with a full suite of bank account offerings. I’ll run you through Axos’s primary personal savings account below.
Axos High-Yield Savings Account
Axos’s high-yield savings account offers a high 0.61% APY for all balance tiers, requires no monthly fees or balance minimums, and offers top-of-the-line security features. Axos does require an initial $250 deposit, which might be steep if you’re just starting out on your savings journey.
I do love that Axos offers a slightly higher rate than top competitors like Marcus and Ally Bank, and that they’ll provide you with an ATM card upon request to access your savings account at any time.
I’m also a fan of Axos’s many checking account options, which makes it easy to transfer all of your banking services, if you choose to.
Axos also offers a high-yield money market account with 0.60% APY on all balance tiers and CDs (though their 0.20% APY is not impressive).
Barclays is a global financial institution that was first founded in 1896 in London, England. This UK-based bank offers online financial solutions to U.S. citizens, including several different savings accounts.
Barclays Online Savings
Barclays Online Savings account offers a 0.50% APY, no minimum deposit requirements, no monthly balance to maintain, and no monthly maintenance fees. They also offer 24/7 access to your online savings account.
Barclays’ savings account does not offer ATM access, so you’ll need another bank account to transfer money to and from your Barclays account. There are also currently no opening bonuses available, but Barclays frequently updates its site with bonuses and incentives for opening savings accounts.
Barclays also provides CDs that go up to 0.30% APY.
Discover Online Savings
Discover might be well-known as a top credit card provider, but this lending giant also offers online banking tools. Discover provides a plethora of savings account options, but I’ll be specifically reviewing the Discover Online Savings Account below.
Discover Online Savings Account
With a competitive 0.60% APY, 24/7 access to your account, no monthly fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balance requirements, Discover offers one of the best online savings plans around.
While you won’t get ATM access to your account, if you open a Discover online checking account, you can easily transfer funds back and forth.
Discover also offers money market accounts with 0.45% to 0.50% APY and CDs with rates as high as 0.80% APY.
Last but certainly not least is Varo, an online banking solution targeted to millennials looking to safely grow their savings. Varo is well-known for its high-interest savings account, which is well worth looking into.
The Varo Savings account offers one of the highest APYs in the nation, with an impressive 0.81% APY on most balances, and earns you up to 2.80% APY when certain conditions are met each billing period.
Varo also has no monthly fees, no minimum deposits, and provides 24/7 account access. Varo also supplies you with an arsenal of online tools to maximize your savings, such as rounding up purchases from your Varo checking to automatically move to your Varo savings.
On the downside, if you only have a Varo savings account and need to make a cash deposit, you’ll need to go to a retailer that is a Green Dot network member and you’ll likely pay a deposit fee of $4.95.
Online savings accounts summary
|Bank||Minimum Deposit||Monthly Fee||APY%||Sign Up Bonus|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||$0||$0||0.60%||No|
|American Express National Bank||$0||$0||0.60%||No|
|CIT Bank||$100||$0||0.30% - 0.50%||No|
|VIO Bank||$100||$0 ($5 if you opt to be receive statements by mail)||0.66%||No|
|Discover Online Savings||$0||$0||0.60%||No|
|Varo||$0||$0||0.81 - 2.80%||No|
Online savings account FAQs
What is the best online savings account?
There are many excellent online savings accounts, but the best account for you will vary. If you don’t want a minimum deposit, Marcus, Ally Bank, American Express, and Capital One are great options. If you want the highest APYs available, Varo, VIO, and Synchrony Bank are top choices.
How do online savings accounts work?
Online savings accounts work similarly to traditional accounts — they secure your money in an account and allow you to earn interest while it sits. Online savings accounts tend to earn you more interest and charge fewer fees than traditional, brick-and-mortar banks.
Is my money stuck in an online savings account?
If you deposit your money into an online savings account, you can typically withdraw your funds a set number of times per month. If you deposit your money into an online CD, however, you might be limited as to when you can withdraw your funds (i.e. one year, two years, etc).
How do I put money into my online savings account?
Some online savings accounts allow ATM access, so you can deposit cash at its ATM network with no ATM fees. Others might offer deposit accounts and checking accounts, in which you can male a mobile check deposit and then transfer money to your savings accounts. Some online savings account providers might also have branch locations where accountholders can make deposits. Depositing checks electronically via your camera, receiving direct deposits, and transferring from other savings accounts are all additional ways to move money into online savings accounts.
Can you write checks directly from an online savings account?
Most online savings accounts do not allow check writing from your savings account. However, you could transfer money from your savings account to a checking account and write a check once your transfer clears.
Are online banks FDIC-insured?
FDIC insurance is deposit insurance backed by the Federal Reserve, meaning depositor money is protected by the government should anything happen to the bank. All of the banks on this list are member FDIC and protect you up to $250,000.
Pros and cons of online checking accounts
Better interest rates
Online banks don’t have the same overhead as brick and mortar banks, which means they’re able to channel these savings directly into your wallet. Without the high costs of running a traditional bank, online banks are able to offer some of the most competitive savings account interest rates on the market.
Customer support drawbacks
I love that online banks often offer phone, email, and live chat support, but sometimes these forms of communication are not quite as effective as visiting a physical branch to explore your options. Out of these online banks, the only one with in-person branches is Capital One, though most locations remain closed due to the pandemic.
Fewer account fees
Traditional banks often charge a monthly fee to maintain your account and may even charge fees or suspend benefits if you do not meet balance requirements. I’m a big fan of using online banks, particularly for savings accounts, because you can find options with absolutely no fees and minimum balance requirements.
Additional bank accounts may be needed
On the downside, some online banks still make it difficult to get your money into your account. In fact, many require you transfer your money from an existing bank account, which can be difficult if the online bank does not allow ATM deposits and does not offer a checking account. If you’re looking to switch to an online banking model, opt for an account with checking services like Ally Bank, CIT Bank, or Axos, or opt for a savings account that offers ATM services like Synchrony Bank,
Easy signup process
Another plus for opening an online savings account is how quickly you can sign up for a new account. Most online banks have very quick online applications and sign up processes, allowing you to take advantage of your new account within minutes. VIO Bank is a great example of a bank with fast savings account sign up options.
One limitation most online savings accounts have is a set number of times you can withdraw funds from your savings account (typically 6 to 9 times per month). While this can be frustrating, if you’re using your savings account to grow your money, I don’t think these limits will hinder you very often.
Top-of-the-line mobile apps
Lastly, opening an online savings account gains you access to online banking mobile apps, which often have great features you can use to boost your savings. You might find some of these features require an online checking account to gain full access. Varo, for instance, allows you to round up when spending from your checking account and automatically moves the difference into your savings account for you.
The bottom line
Opening an online savings account can help you protect and better grow your money. Online savings accounts have some of the best rates on the market and make it easy to access your funds around the clock. Many online banks also offer a number of savings options, including high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA accounts, and CDs.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the great perks of an online savings account, whether you’re looking to switch your bank accounts to an online model, or just maximize your savings.