The Best High Yield Online Savings Accounts of 2014

The Best High Yield Online Savings AccountsI spend a lot of time talking about the need to have your money in a high-interest or high yield online savings account, so I thought it was time I put together a list of the top high yield online savings accounts.

This is by no means a complete list of the accounts out there. It’s just the one’s I’ve had some experience with. I will link to this post from the home page and periodically update this listing with new accounts that I find and all the rate changes that take place.

Bank
Rate (APY)
Minimum
Additional Info
0.90%
No Minimum
GE Capital Bank Review
0.90%
No Minimum
Ally Bank Review
EverBank Logo
0.86%
$1,500
EverBank Review
FNBO Direct Logo
0.75%
No Minimum
FNBO Direct Review
0.75%
No Minimum
Capital One 360 Review

The rates are constantly changing, so don’t focus on that too much. One thing to note though is that any of these accounts would be great compared to the savings accounts held at traditional brick and mortar type institutions. And don’t forget that all of these high yield online savings accounts are FDIC insured, unlike peer lending or the stock market.

There are many of these accounts now available across the web. All contain different features, both positive and negative. But most, if not all, are FDIC insured, contain no fees, and pay an interest rate significantly better than traditional savings accounts. You should definitely find one that’s right for you and get started saving. And don’t just consider this list. These are just some of my favorites.

PT’s Recommendation (My Online Bank of Choice)

high yield online savings accounts - Capital One 360Capital One 360- Capital One 360 is, in my opinion, the reigning leader in online savings because of their great website, excellent customer service, and multitude of other financial products. They offer a great savings account, a $50 bonus to get started, 360 checking account, as well as debit cards to access your money. Like others, there is no minimum to open an account and they extend their services into CDs. They also have mortgages, life insurance, and low-cost investing through their ShareBuilder product. They are also FDIC insured, and have no crazy fees.

I’ve been banking with Capital One 360 for several years now and I’ve been completely happy with the savings account. So much so that I made them my primary bank, opening up a checking account there and also doing some investing using ShareBuilder.

GE Capital BankGE Capital Bank – New to our list, GE Capital Bank has the best savings rate of any bank above.  0.90% APY may not sound like a victory, but these days it is.  The minimum to open your account and maintain this interest rate is just $1 and GE Capital (currently) does not offer any other deposit products at this time.   The rate is good enough where I’m going to open up an account and give these guys a shot.

high yield online savings accounts - Discover BankDiscover Bank – Most people don’t realize that Discover also has an online bank. They started offering the online Savings account in the Summer of 2009, and they have a really good offering. The offer one of the better rates. They have an initial deposit requirement of $500. They have no excessive fees of any kind and they are FDIC Insured. In addition to the savings account, they have a really attractive set of CDs, and their one-of-a-kind IRA CDs.

high yield online savings accounts - Ally BankAlly Bank – Ally Bank is one of the newest faces in the online banking world. Although, they are really just a re-brand. They used to be GMAC bank. Either way, they offer some pretty nice services aimed at treating their customers responsibly (you’ve seen the commercials). They have both a savings and an interest checking account. They also offer some of the best CDs available today. Not just because of rates, but because of their flexibility. They have a no penalty CD and a one-time rate adjustment CD. They are FDIC insured and charge no ridiculous fees.

high yield online savings accounts - FNBO DirectFNBO Direct – FNBO Direct is a product of the very old and stable First National Bank of Omaha. That’s where Warren Buffet lives. That’s got to be a good sign right? Anyway, they offer a nice, FDIC-insured savings account with a leading interest rate. There is no minimum to open a savings account. They also have a bill pay (checking) account, certificates of deposit (CDs), ATM card, credit card, and now a debit card. Their website is very user friendly, but maybe not as easy to maneuver as others. They are FDIC Insured and void of any bad fees.

high yield online savings accounts - EverBank LogoEverBank – EverBank has a great interest rate. They have an initial deposit requirement of $1,500, but their account, both online and mobile have no surprise fees. This account is FDIC insured and gives you the ability to make six withdrawals each month. One of the best features of this account is the check deposit by scanner feature. No other online bank offers this service.

Why We Need High Yield Online Savings Accounts

I love the online savings account. It has so many uses. Mainly it will simply help you start saving more of your money. When I first started getting passionate about my finances and making changes with managing my money, one of the first things I did was open up an online savings account. Here’s why I did and some of the benefits to having one. Hopefully this list will convince you to open one up of your own.

Put Your Savings Behind a Wall - Since these high yield online savings accounts are usually online-only, getting to your funds isn’t as easy as say a regular savings account, where you can walk into the bank, or move the money in a second to a checking account using an online feature. Online banks don’t have physical locations. To get your savings in and out of these account, you’ll typically need to transfer your money to another bank and then make a withdrawal and or use the ATM. I know this sounds like a negative. But it isn’t. Your savings is money you should only need for emergencies or for a short-term savings goal. It wouldn’t kill you to have a 2-3 day barrier to getting your money (learn why this takes so long). I’ve found that this barrier often dissuades me from spending money that I shouldn’t, or keeps me from raiding the emergency fund for something frivolous. So you see, this faux-wall to your savings actually helps you to save more in the long run.

No Fees or Minimums to Worry About – Let’s face it. The big guys on the banking block have run the show for far too long. A Chase checking and savings account can cost you hundreds in stupid fees every year. There’s no reason you should put up with ridiculous fees and minimums from banks, just so you can lend them your money. They should be paying you. But they can’t because they are fat and bloated and need your money and fees to cover their fat cat expenses. Don’t play that game any longer. Move to an online bank where you can enjoy a fee-free environment.

High Interest / High Yield – If you do like I did for so long and keep your savings in a regular savings account like Bank of America or Chase, you will earn a very small amount of interest on your savings. Typically this is something like 0.10%. That stinks. That won’t even allow you to keep up with inflation. Boo. With a high interest online savings account, you can earn much more. Look at the rate chart above to see the current annual percentage yield on these accounts. These rates also fluctuate with the LIBOR rate,so when interest rates start to rise again, you’ll see these rates shoot back up. I remember when the rates were something like 5.00%. Wow!

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Last Edited: July 14, 2014 @ 8:34 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. MrsRefney says:

    When I first joined ING, it was around 4%. How I miss those days…

    I was actually going to email you today about high interest savings accts. When did you start reading minds??? :)

  2. MrsRefney – Yeah, I hate to see these rates now. Just another way us responsible folks are getting the short end in this economy.

    Oh, and high-interest savings is always on my mind. ;)

  3. Should this list also include High-yield Money Market accounts? Over recent months, the Capital One MM account (with no minimums) has had a higher rate than the Capital One Savings account. Once you get over $10k, it makes sense to move that to a Capital One Savings acct (minimum to achiever higher rate).

    RBJ

  4. Charles Schwab has a 2% savings account right now- my friend told me about it and I recently filled out the pw to open one myself.

    • @Sarah – You got me really excited!  However, I just called Schwab and that would be 0.2% (not 2.0%) – how big a difference it makes where the decimal is… :-) I recently opened a FDIC Money Market savings account at Sallie Mae’s banking division.  The rate started at 1.05%, but has since dropped to 0.95% (still not bad).  There are no minimum balance requirements.  And you can open as many savings accounts as you like, so we use them for all of our different savings goals.  @ptmoney thanks for the CITBank tip – I like anything over 1% these days!!

  5. @RBJ – Good points. I will consider MMAs if I ever add another section to this list.

    @Sarah – I use Schwab for my 401K. Thanks for the tip.

  6. I have used Emigrant Direct for years and their current rate is 1.65%. Their site is very easy to use and you can have multiple accounts with one log-in to help separate your different savings categories.

  7. dollarsavingsdirect.com. 2.05%, $1500 minimum. VERY easy to use. I beleive it is a part of Emigrant Bank, which as far as I know is different than Emigrant Direct.

  8. I’ve added Schwab, EmigrantDirect, and Dollar Savings Direct.

  9. AParish says:

    GMAC bank has 2.23%. Etrade is now down to .95% as of today, 5/8/09. When I joined Etrade less than a year ago, it was at 5%.

  10. thom young says:

    ING is the best, although their rates have gone down, they provide good services

  11. I agree, thom. We use ING DIRECT pretty exclusively now. I have a BOA account just for making check deposits.

  12. Rate Watcher says:

    Looks like the best online savings account out there today is SFGI Direct at 2.25%. Beats my Onbank account which dropped below 1%

  13. Emigrant Direct is currently at 1.1% It was 1.4% 6 months ago and has decreased since then.

  14. I have checking accounts at 2 small banks that each pay just over 3%. Both the EZ Rewards Checking at Crow River Bank in Delano, MN and the Power Checking at BankWest in Rockford, MN are completely free checking accounts. There is no minimum balance and the 3+% rate is paid on any balance less than $25,000. The only requirements are: to access online banking and receive electronic statements, have one automatic (electronic) deposit or one ACH automatic debit (ie, automatic payment of a utility bill) and make 10 purchases with the free debit card you receive. There is no minimum purchase, so you can charge little things like lunch at McDonald’s or any small purchase. The requirements must be met each statement cycle to receive the higher interest rate. If you don’t meet the requirements, you receive a lower rate for that cycle. ATM fees are reimbursed as long as you meet the above requirements for each statement cycle. There is unlimited check writing too. It’s a great deal.

  15. Can you really still call them high-yield when they are so low?

    • Excellent point, Jared. Compared to 2004 levels, these rates aren’t high. But when you compare them to BOA and Chase checking, they are at least 3 times higher, which is still significant in my book. If you also consider that these banks are virtually fee free compared to those brick and mortar types, the differences really show up. Still, you make a good point about interest rates. It’s hard to get anything for your money these days. I know many people have turned to reward checking, and riskier products like peer lending, and even the stock market to find better returns for their savings.

  16. SmartyPig is going down to .70 by December 9 :(

  17. Given what must be huge profit margin for banks between these savings rates and their lending rates, can anyone tell me why there is not more competition between these savings rates ? Ie why not more competitive upward pressure in these rates ?

  18. Given what must be huge profit margin for banks between these savings rates and their lending rates, can anyone tell me why there is not more competition between these savings rates ? Ie why not more competitive upward pressure in these rates ?

  19. I have ING Direct and SallieMae accounts (don’t forget about SallieMae!).  SallieMae has offered rates equal to or better than ING Direct for a while, but now they’re basically the same.  However, I closed my ING Direct account once Capital One took over — Capital One is a relentless marketer that fills up my mailbox with unending offers, and I don’t want to deal with that or them.  I would keep an eye on ING Direct with Capital One in charge!!

  20. I have ING Direct and SallieMae accounts (don’t forget about SallieMae!).  SallieMae has offered rates equal to or better than ING Direct for a while, but now they’re basically the same.  However, I closed my ING Direct account once Capital One took over — Capital One is a relentless marketer that fills up my mailbox with unending offers, and I don’t want to deal with that or them.  I would keep an eye on ING Direct with Capital One in charge!!

  21. Martin Harrs says:

    TIAA Direct has an FDIC online insured savings account for 1.25%! TIAA-CREF is the largest non-profit money manager for the academic community in the US known for great service.

    •  @Martin Harrs I was fortunate to open an account a week before they suspended new account openings for the high yield savings.

  22. Martin Harrs says:

    TIAA Direct has an FDIC online insured savings account for 1.25%! TIAA-CREF is the largest non-profit money manager for the academic community in the US known for great service.

  23. First Internet Bank (FirstIB.com) also offers check deposits by scanner (not only EverBank).

  24. With the inflation at 3.5% is there any local or foreign Online bank that gives an yield higher than the inflation rate?
    Frank, IL, USA

  25. frank
    With the inflation at 3.5% is there any local or foreign Online bank that gives an yield higher than the inflation rate?
    Frank, IL, USA
     

  26. Have any opinion on the features/functionality of the banks that have the higher rates?  meaning, things like transfer times, fund hold times, quality of web or mobile interface, or customer service?  I am having a hard time choosing between Amex, Barclays, CIT, and Ally because all their rates are relatively similar but I get conflicting reviews online with regard to the other aspects.  Speed of bank transfers (in and out) and quality of web site (meaning able to complete most activities yourself) are my top requirements.

  27. Good info! 
    Only one suggestion – could you also identify which banks also have IRAs?
     
    Thanks,
    Matt Poskonka  

  28. Thanks – one other thing that I would be interested to know but most people don’t talk about is what their ACH transfer limits are.  I’m not just referring to the number of withdrawals (I’m aware that it’s six per month), but the actual amount they allow you to transfer per month/transaction.  I read that some banks have a fairly low transfer limit, which could be a problem if I ever need to transfer a substantial amount of money back to my linked checking account within a short period of time.  For example I’ve been saving money for a house in one of these accounts, and I would hate it if I come across a house I like and they don’t let me transfer the required amount for the down payment.

    • I spoke to TIAA. Their 5k a day limits are for ACH pushes; no limits for ACH pulls from another bank.

  29. best online website builder says:

    I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of info that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  30. Thanks man. Trying to find a good savings account is hard these days.

  31. Wow, is this some kind of a joke?!? What happened to interest rates of 12%?  Does that not exist anymore?
    Investing with an interest rate of 0.9% is not much better than sticking money in a piggy bank.
    Very discouraging.

  32. I’m just still blown away….how on earth is 0.9 considered high yield? 
    I was reading Dave Ramsey and all excited about saving a bunch of money  and then come to find Highest interest rates less than even 1%.
    Disgusted.

  33. JRobMac You can thank for federal officials for it. On the bright side, your mortgage rate is less than 4%.