Best Online Savings Accounts
A Comparison of High-Yield Online Savings Accounts
Saving money lies at the foundation of any financial plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started by saving a few bucks a month or if you’re aggressively putting money aside for the down payment on a house, the simple act of putting money aside instead of spending it all will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. This is why it’s important to begin saving today even if it feels as if you don’t have any money to save. When you start, it isn’t about how much you can save, but the act of saving itself. Over time this becomes a habit and when your finances improve you’ll already be in a position to easily put a little more money away. And over time your savings account will grow and provide the positive reinforcement you need to help you keep at it.
In the past you had to do a little work to get started with a savings account. It usually meant going into a local bank branch or credit union, sitting down with a banker who tries to sell you other services, and you end up wasting the better part of your afternoon. On top of that, you then had to usually meet certain requirements to ensure you weren’t getting stuck with fees, you’d have to work around bank hours, or go find an ATM when you needed to make a deposit or withdrawal, and deal with virtually no interest. Thankfully, those days are over. Today we are fortunate enough to have plenty of online banks to choose from. In this electronic world you can open an account in 10 minutes from anywhere in the world, access your account 24 hours a day, and almost instantly transfer money from bank to bank with the click of a mouse. Even better, because these online banks don’t have a lot of overhead in the way of branches to maintain they can pass the savings on to you in the way of higher interest rates.
CiT Bank has recently started offering some of the best rates in the industry. Opening an online savings account can be done in minutes with a minimum of $100. If you maintain a balance of $25,000 or more you’re eligible for their premium interest rate which is a very attractive offer. In addition to the great rates you’ll be sure to encounter some of the best customers service and account security in the industry.
Another solid option is Ally Bank. A relative newcomer in the past few years, they continue to offer very attractive savings rates. Like other online banks, their savings accounts come with a zero minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees. In fact, you can even open an Ally account without depositing a single dollar. So if you’re just looking to get an account setup and ready for future deposits this is a great way to go. Ally also has pretty good customer service, so if you’re in need of help, it’s there for you. Not only that, but they offer a wide array of CDs of different terms that usually far outperform your local bank rates.
FNBO Direct is another bank I’ve used for some time because they also stay competitive with interest rates. Similar to Zions, FNBO is a bank that’s been around forever–over 150 years to be exact. You may recognize their old name of First National Bank of Omaha. They got into the online savings business a few years ago and have been a strong player ever since. I’ve never had any problems with them and their account setup and management is very easy to navigate. FDIC insured.
If you want a rate guarantee , EverBank has one. They promise your rates will always be in the top 5% of competitive accounts at leading banks. In fact, they offer one of the highest rates out there at the moment. They even offer a very nice bonus for new customers that can give you a rate that’s double many other banks initially, so that’s worth checking out. The same goes for their CDs. The one slight downside is they have a $1,500 minimum deposit to open an account, but that’s still quite low considering the rates and bonus. So if you already have some money to save, EverBank is probably the best bet.
To finish off this list I wanted to add Perkstreet, which is a little different. This isn’t an online savings account, but it’s just as good, if not better. Instead, it’s a FDIC insured checking account like you’re used to, but with one major benefit. The debit card for the account offers cash back rewards. Not just any cash back, but up to 5% cash back on regular purchases. And here’s the real exciting thing–you can even get 2% cash back on debit transactions. If you have a rewards debit card now you probably know that usually you have to run the transaction as credit to get any rewards. Not with Perkstreet. So, why not get cash back on your daily purchases and then deposit the rewards in one of the high-yield savings accounts above? That’s a win-win!
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