2015 marks yet another year of rock-bottom savings rates; it’s frustrating, but not really news to savers who are trying to simply keep pace with inflation. GOBankingRates’ June 2015 savings rate survey found that little has changed in recent months, with average savings account rates at banks and credit unions holding steady at just 0.18% APY.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good: Low-interest rate environments like this one make it a lot easier to spot the outliers. Though average savings rates are, frankly, brutal, the best savings account rates out there are many, many times higher. In fact, our study found that the best savings rate today — which belongs to a Washington credit union — is 33 times the average.
Credit unions seem to be the place to go; eight of the 10 best rates offered by brick-and-mortar institutions belong to credit unions, while the remaining two are found at community banks. Consumers can also find much higher-than-average rates at online-only institutions, whose lack of overhead allows them to offer much better dividends. That’s why today’s average online savings rate — 0.35% APY — is nearly double the average yield at traditional banks.
GOBankingRates rounded up the 10 best savings account rates today at both online-only banks and local financial institutions. Read on to find out where you can get the biggest returns on your money.
Related: 10 Best Savings Accounts of 2015
Top 10 Online Savings Account Rates
1. MySavingsDirect MySavings Account
It’s advertised as “America’s Highest Rate,” and it tops our list of the best rates today. MySavingsDirect offers customers a 1.25% APY on its MySavings Account — nearly four times the online average — with no fees and no minimum deposit requirements.
To open a MySavings Account, visit MySavingsDirect’s website. You’ll need a valid tax ID number, legal address and a checking account at a U.S. bank, which you’ll link to the account to fund it going forward.
2. GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account (tie)
GE Capital Bank’s Online Savings account comes with a 1.05% APY, no transaction fees and no minimum deposit requirements to open. Customers can fund their accounts online by electronic transfer from a valid checking account, over a wire transfer or by mailing in a check.
2. Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account (tie)
Earn 1.05% APY on Synchrony Bank’s High Yield Savings account; it just takes $30 to open — and you should keep that $30 in the account to avoid a $5 monthly maintenance fee. You can open the account at Synchrony’s website; make sure you have your Social Security or tax identification number and a valid ID such as your driver’s license.
4. iGObanking.com High Interest Savings Account (tie)
iGObanking.com’s High Interest Savings Account will earn you 1.00% APY, with no fees, no minimum balances to earn interest and no monthly maintenance charges. Open your account on iGObanking.com and fund it by linking it with another deposit account.
4. Barclays Bank Online Savings Account (tie)
You’ll get a APY from Barclays Bank’s Online Savings Account, which boasts no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balances to open and, as a bonus, tools to help you save, such as the site’s Savings Assistant. You can open an account online and deposit funds via computer, direct deposit, smartphone using remote deposit or by check.
6. Ally Bank Online Savings Account
Ally Bank customers earn 1.60% APY with its Online Savings Account, which has no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum deposit requirements. The account allows you to deposit checks remotely and allows you to schedule transfers up to a year in advance.
7. CIT Bank High Yield Savings Account
With a $100 minimum deposit, customers can open a CIT Bank High Yield Savings account and begin earning a 1.75% APY. The account has no maintenance fees and can be opened online at CIT Bank’s website; make sure you have a U.S. address, Social Security number, driver’s license and check or bank account number to use to fund your new savings account.
8. American Express Bank High-Yield Savings Account (tie)
American Express Bank’s High-Yield Savings Account earns a competitive APY with no fees or minimums. Through the bank’s online portal, you can set up alerts to track your savings, make deposits and withdrawals, and check your balance. You can open an account on the bank’s website and fund it electronically or with a check.
8. Discover Bank Savings Account (tie)
Discover Bank’s Savings Account gives customers a 0.90% APY regardless of balance. There’s no monthly maintenance charge or minimum balance required, but customers will need $500 to open the account, which they can do online.
8. Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account (tie)
Bank5 Connect customers receive a 0.90% APY when they open a High-Interest Savings Account. The product comes with free online and mobile banking and no monthly maintenance fees. Customers can open an account with just a $10 minimum deposit, though the minimum balance to earn interest is $100.
Top 10 Local Bank and Credit Union Savings Rates
1. School Employees Credit Union of Washington Savings Accounts
Seattle-based School Employees Credit Union of Washington offers its members an impressive 6.00% APY on all of its savings accounts, as long as the account holder signs up for direct deposit or payroll deduction as well as e-statements. The 6.00% APY rate applies only to balances up to $500 — amounts in excess of that will earn a 0.10% APY.
Anyone who lives, works, worships, conducts business or attends school in Washington is eligible for membership with the credit union. You can apply for membership on the credit union’s website.
2. Guardian Credit Union RoundUp Savings Account
Members of Alabama’s Guardian Credit Union can earn 5.10% APY with the cooperative’s RoundUp Savings account, which rounds up expenses made on your debit card to the nearest dollar amount and deposits the difference into the savings account.
Guardian Credit Union’s membership field includes everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in a number of Alabama counties, including Montgomery, Butler and Tallapoosa. Visit the credit union’s website for the full list of counties.
3. Darden Credit Union Savings Accounts
Florida’s Darden Credit Union offers members a 5.00% APY on its three main savings accounts — Primary, PlayDough and iSave. This rate applies to balances up to $500. Amounts of $501 and up will earn 0.05%. Membership with the credit union is open to employees of Darden, Orlando Sentinel and Reed Brennan Media, along with their family members.
4. The Bank of Greene County e-Savings Account
Sign up for an e-Savings account at The Bank of Greene County and you’ll get a 4.00% APY on balances up to $1,000; balances over $1,000 earn 0.15% APY. This account does have a monthly fee of $4, but it can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $400. This New York-based bank serves the Hudson Valley region, with branches in Catskill, Hudson, Greenport, Chatham, Germantown and other areas.
5. Digital Federal Credit Union Primary Savings Account (tie)
The Primary Savings account at Digital Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts yields 3.04% APY on the first $500 deposited and 0.05% after that. It just takes $5 to open an account with the cooperative, the largest credit union based in New England, with branches across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
5. First Commerce Credit Union EvenUp Savings Account (tie)
For a 3.04% APY, enroll in an EvenUp Savings Account at First Commerce Credit Union. For every transaction made with your free checking account at the credit union, the amount will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference will be deposited in your EvenUp account. The 3.04% rate applies to balances between $5 and $3,000; the rate drops to 0.05% for balances above $3,000.
Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in a number of counties in Florida — including Baker, Columbia, Gilchrist, Jackson, Lafayette and Washington — and some counties in Georgia.
7. Avadian Credit Union Centsible Savings Account
Centsible Savings account holders at Avadian Credit Union will earn 3.00% APY on all balances over 1 cent, with dividends paid quarterly. You must have a regular savings share account, checking account and debit card with Avadian to enroll. Once you’re enrolled in the savings account, every debit purchase you make will be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount, and the difference will be transferred to your account. The credit union will match 25 percent of your savings for the first 30 days after you open the account.
Membership to the Alabama-based credit union is open to people who live, work, worship or attend school in a number of counties or employees of select employer groups. For a full list of membership requirements, visit the cooperative’s website.
8. Pioneer Mutual Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account
Pioneer Mutual Federal Credit Union offers a 2.78% APY on its Share Savings account. Members can get started with a minimum opening balance of $110. Interest is paid each quarter on balances over $250, and there’s no monthly fee.
The credit union, which is headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, extends membership to Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims belonging to the Momin Community from India.
9. Community First Bank e-Savings Account
Arkansas’ Community First Bank allows customers to earn 2.03% APY through its e-Savings account, which offers this rate on balances up to $15,000; for higher balances, rates are tiered based on deposit amount. The minimum balance to open this account is $50, and customers are required to also open an e-Checking account and fulfill three requirements to earn interest: Make 15 debit card purchases, receive e-statements, and set up at least one direct deposit or ACH transaction.
Community First Bank offers its services to a number of communities throughout Northern Arkansas — check with the institution’s website to see if there’s a branch near you.
10. Houston Police Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account
Earn 2.02% APY at Houston Police Federal Credit Union by opening a Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. The minimum balance to earn the posted rate is $2,500. If your balance is less than that amount — or more than $99,999.99 — you’ll get reduced interest.
The Houston-based credit union offers membership to Houston police officers and police department civilian employees, retired officers, family members and credit union employees.
Ally Bank, Barclays Bank and CIT Bank rates are accurate as of today. All other rates are accurate as of June 19, 2015.
Methodology: Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions’ websites. Annual percentage yield was based on the highest available for a personal account and on the minimum deposit required to open an account. Note that some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. All savings account data was last verified as of June 19, 2015; terms and conditions are subject to change at any time at the discretion of individual financial institutions. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of GOBankingRates alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their personal circumstances.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.