Online savings accounts typically offer higher savings rates than traditional banks to attract new customers. But there's another reason online savings accounts can offer higher savings rates and that's due to cheaper operating costs than brick-and-mortar banks.
Online savings accounts can be a great way to put your savings goals on automatic and not think about it. Take advantage of the rising savings rates to grow your money faster.
Top 10 Online Savings Accounts Nationwide
1. CIT Bank Platinum Savings$100 to open account, $5,000 for max APY
The minimum to open the Platinum Savings Account is $100 but you’ll only earn 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more. CIT Bank's mobile app makes it easy to check your balance, move money around, and use mobile deposit to easily deposit checks. There are no monthly service fees and you can deposit checks remotely as well as make transfers easily with the CIT Bank mobile app. Customers enjoy 24/7 customer support.
2. CIT Bank Savings Connect$100 to open account
The minimum to open the Platinum Savings Account is $100 and there is no minimum balance requirement to earn 4.65% APY. Customers are eligible for refunds up to $30 per month in ATM fees. Plus, if you open the eChecking account it comes with a debit card that gives you easy access to your savings when needed.
3. Quontic Bank$100 to open account
Quontic Bank is a digital bank operating in all 50 states with competitive interest rates. The High Yield Savings is one of the nation’s top-paying savings accounts that only requires a $100 minimum deposit to open. Customers don’t have to worry about monthly service fees plus have access to more than 90,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
4. LiveOak Bank$100 to open account
LiveOak Bank Personal Savings grows your money with a competitive 4.15% APY. Customers experience the freedom of a fee-free savings account, with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements. The bank is headquartered in Wilmington, NC but operates online in 50 states.
5. Upgrade$0 to open account, $1,000 for max APY
Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank. Checking and Savings accounts provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC up to $250,000. Customers with balances of $1,000 or more earn an exceptional 4.81% APY with no monthly account fees or transfer fees. Mobile access to your account is available 24/7.
The below high-yield savings accounts (Nos. 6-10) are powered by Raisin, which means that savers’ accounts are opened and managed on the Raisin.com platform with the following features:
- Funds deposited are held by federally insured institutions.
- Customers can get started earning high yields with a minimum $1 opening deposit.
- Customer service team based in New York, NY.
- Enjoy 24/7 online access to your account and funds.
6. The State Exchange Bank$1 to open account through the Raisin platform
The State Exchange Bank Savings Account is a reliable investment, perfect for securing your future and building a safety net for emergencies. Enjoy the added convenience of free online and mobile banking, giving you easy access to manage your savings anytime, anywhere.
7. CloudBank 247$1 to open through the Raisin Platform
CloudBank is a digital-based bank, a division of Third Coast Bank SSB. The savings account is offered through the Raisin platform with deposits federally insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor.
8. Liberty Savings Bank$1 to open through the Raisin Platform
Liberty Savings Bank is headquartered in Ohio since 1889. Liberty Savings Bank offes a wide range of financial products including a high-yield savings account available to people nationwide. The savings account earns one of the highest rates in the United States
9. Western Alliance Bank$1 to open through the Raisin Platform
Western Alliance Bank is an Arizona based commercial bank with assets over $65 billion. The high-yield savings account earns 5.25% APY, and only requires $1 deposit to get started. With no cap on earning, this high-yield savings account stands out as the ultimate choice for growing your money fast.
10. Mission Valley Bank$1 to open through the Raisin Platform
Mission Valley Bank is a full service, independent commercial bank headquartered in Sun Valley, CA with savings accounts available in online in 50 states. The savings account is offered through the Raisin platform. Deposits are federally insured by the FDIC.
How online savings accounts work
Online banks don't have to worry about operating costs related to multiple branch locations. The costs can be passed to customers in the form of high-yield online savings accounts.
The current national savings rate hovers around 0.43% APY but it doesn’t mean your savings goals should be on pause. If you bank at larger financial institutions like Chase or Bank of America, you'll likely earn a measly 0.01% APY.
Here's how it works:
1. Open a savings account online.
An online savings account works by opening an account online and funding the required opening deposit amount. It's really that simple
2. The financial institution pays you interest.
Banks make money by using your money to make loans to other customers. In return, the bank pays you interest on your savings deposits. That's one reason savings account rates are so low. Banks profit when the rate on the money they lend out is higher than the rate they pay customers who deposit money into savings accounts.
3. Your money is protected.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC helps protect insured deposits in the unlikely event, an FDIC-insured financial institution fails. The standard deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.
4. Limited withdrawals with Regulation D
Online savings accounts offer some of the highest APYs, but by law, the number of times you can access your cash each month is limited. As with traditional savings accounts, online high-yield savings account holders can only withdraw or transfer money (including electronic transfers, checks, and wire transfers) out of their account up to six times per month.
A penalty fee will be imposed or your account may be subject to closure if you go over the six times withdrawal limit.
The limit is actually a federal law, known as Regulation D. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Regulation D has been temporarily lifted. At this time, customers can “make an unlimited number of convenient transfers and withdrawals from their savings deposits,” according to a statement by the Federal Reserve Board.
Consider bank sign-up bonus offers
Some banks offer sign-up bonus offers to new customers who open an account and meet certain conditions. Bank bonus offers typically range from $25 up to $500 or more.
There can be requirements to earn a checking account bonus like signing up for direct deposit or making a certain number of debit card purchases or maintaining a minimum balance.
There are a few bank bonus offers that don't require a direct deposit but that can be rare to find.
Bank sign-up bonus offers can be a lucrative alternative to earning savings account interest.
Interest rates on bank accounts are at historic lows, but if you find the best rates possible and avoid high fees along with getting a sign-up bonus, you will give your savings balance a quick boost.
Common online savings account terms
- Balance: Your balance is the amount of money you have in your savings account. It will change depending on if you withdraw cash, make additional contributions or accrue interest on what’s in the account.
- Annual Percentage Yield (APY): The amount of interest an account earns in a year.
- Compound Interest: Compound interest essentially means “interest on the interest.” It's the money your bank pays you on your balance plus the money your interest earns over time, helping your savings grow more quickly. Even with today's low-interest earnings, compound interest over the long term can cause your interest earnings to snowball very quickly to help you build wealth.
- ACH transfer: When you want to make small and frequent payments electronically (direct deposit, automated bill payments, etc.); typically always free but usually takes at least one business day to complete the transfer.
- Wire transfer: When you want to move funds from one bank account to another and have the money be available for use on the same business day.
- Mobile deposit: Using your mobile banking app to scan a photo of the check to have the funds immediately deposited into your account.
- ATM networks: ATMs can either be in-service or out-of-network, depending on which bank you have. When you make a transaction at an ATM that is outside your bank’s network, then a fee will most likely be applied by both the ATM operator and your bank. Many online banks offer unlimited ATM fee reimbursement.
Online savings accounts can be a great way to put your savings goals on automatic and not think about it. Having limited access to your savings can help prevent you from frequently driving to your local bank branch and dipping into your savings.
Grow your money faster with a high-yield savings account through the magic of compound interest. The higher your account balance, the more money you'll earn in compound interest.
Simply plant your money into an online high-yield savings account and watch it grow through the magic of compound interest. The higher your account balance is, the more money you will earn in compound interest over time.