Best Savings Accounts of 2020

Low fees and high yields push these savings accounts to the top.

In the era of online banking, competition among savings accounts has become fierce. Many banks offer free savings accounts that come with a host of features, including high interest rates. To help consumers sort through the countless available options, GOBankingRates identified the Best Savings Accounts of 2020 based on the following factors:

  • Minimum deposit to open the savings account
  • Monthly maintenance fee on the account
  • Minimum balance required to avoid a fee
  • Annual percentage yield

If you’re looking for specific information about the Best Savings Accounts of 2020, you can jump ahead to your section of interest:

Here are GOBankingRates’ Best Savings Accounts of 2020:

The Best Savings Accounts of 2020
Bank
AccountMinimum DepositService FeeMinimum BalanceAPYBalance To Avoid Fees
Barclays BankOnline Savings Account$0$0$01.80%$0
Marcus by Goldman Sachs logo 2017Marcus by Goldman SachsOnline Savings$0$0$01.70%$0
Synchrony BankHigh-Yield Savings1 cent$0$01.80%$0
FNBO DirectOnline Savings Account$1$0$01.80%$0
CIBC U.S.CIBC Agility Savings$1,000$0$01.85%$0.01
Ally BankOnline Savings Account$0$0$01.70%$0
American Express National Bank, Member FDICHigh-Yield Savings$0$0$01.75%$0
Capital OneCapital One360 Performance Savings$0$0$01.80%$0
Discover BankOnline Savings Account$0$0$01.70%$0
iGObanking.comHigh-Interest Savings$0$0$01.80%$0
Sallie Mae BankHigh-Yield Savings$0$0$01.75%$0

Best Savings Accounts of 2020

Generally speaking, savings accounts don’t offer as many features as checking accounts, which makes it easier to choose the best ones. The ideal savings account will have no fees, no minimums and a high APY. Each of the accounts below excels in these areas, so you should be able to find a good option here no matter what you’re looking for. Many of the banks are perennial winners and holdovers from the GOBankingRates Best Savings Accounts 2019 list. Read on for a more detailed overview of each account so you can decide which one best suits you.

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Barclays Bank: Online Savings Account

Why We Like It: This global bank advertises rates that are 21 times the national average, coming in at a high 1.90% APY. No minimum balances or fees make the package even sweeter. 

Benefits: 

  • Online transfers
  • Secure, 24/7 access
  • No maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements

Drawbacks:

  • No ATM card access

Fees: $0

Minimum Deposit: $0

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

APY: 1.80%

How To Open an Account: You can open a Barclays Bank savings account online with your Social Security number and external bank information.

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Online Savings

Why We Like It: Goldman Sachs is one of the most well-known names in banking, and its consumer division Marcus offers a user-friendly, no-fee, high-interest savings account. Its customer service is U.S.-based.

Benefits: 

  • Backed by an industry-leading Wall Street firm
  • Easy to link other bank accounts online for incoming and outgoing transfers
  • One of the best savings account rates available
  • No fees

Drawbacks: 

  • No ATM card access

Fees: $0

Minimum Deposit: $0

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

APY: 1.70%

How To Open an Account: It’s easy to open a Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account online. You’ll need to provide personal and employment information, including your Social Security number and date of birth, and you’ll have to agree to various Marcus disclosures.

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Related: How To Open a Bank Account Online


Synchrony Bank: High-Yield Savings

Why We Like It: Synchrony Bank offers one of the highest yields available in a savings account, all with no fees or minimum balance requirements.

Benefits: 

  • Easy withdrawals via an ATM card, online or by phone
  • No fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • 24/7 online and mobile banking

Drawbacks:

  • Subject to closure if account balance remains at $0 for more than 60 days

Fees: $0

Minimum Deposit: 1 cent

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

APY: 1.80%

How To Open an Account: You can open a Synchrony Bank account online with standard information, such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number. Once you select your product, link a bank account and agree to the terms, you’ll be on your way.

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FNBO Direct: Online Savings Account

Why We Like It: A free account with a high interest rate is what most online savers seek. FNBO Direct provides that with a 1.90% APY in a secure account, requiring just $1 to open.

Benefits: 

  • First-class online security
  • Easy way to send and receive funds via PopMoney
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirement

Drawbacks:

  • $1 minimum to open an account

Fees: $0

Minimum Deposit: $1

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

APY: 1.80%

How To Open an Account: The FNBO Direct online account application is a bit more involved than that at other banks, and it will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. You’ll have to provide personal and financial information, confirm your identity, complete a signature card and fund your account to get through the process.

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    CIBC U.S.: CIBC Agility Savings

    Why We Like It: CIBC has a high minimum deposit, but it’s worth it — the bank currently pays a 1.85% APY.

    Benefits:

    • No monthly fees
    • High APY
    • 24/7 online access with mobile banking app

    Drawbacks:

    • High minimum deposit to open

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $1,000

    Minimum Balance: $0.01

    Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

    APY: 1.85%

    How To Open an Account: You can open an account online with your Social Security number, employment information, U.S. driver’s license or ID and current home address. You must be 18 years or older to open an account.

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    Ally Bank: Online Savings Account

    Why We Like It: Ally is a perennial winner when it comes to its online savings account, boasting 24/7 customer service with a live person, no fees and high yields.

    Benefits: 

    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum balance requirements
    • 24/7 customer service with a live person
    • Free official/cashier’s checks

    Drawbacks:

    • No cash deposits

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $0

    Minimum Balance: $0

    Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

    APY: 1.70%

    How To Open an Account: You can open an account online at Ally in five minutes or less. You’ll need a Social Security or tax ID number, a U.S. residential street address, your birth date and legal name. You can also call customer service 24/7 at 877-247-ALLY (2559).

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    American Express National Bank: High-Yield Savings

    Why We Like It: One of the most respected global financial services firms, American Express National Bank, Member FDIC, offers a fee-free savings account with one of the best yields available.

    Benefits: 

    • Firm known for worldwide assistance and customer support
    • 24/7 online access
    • Direct deposit available
    • Can link to accounts at other institutions

    Drawbacks:

    • No complimentary online checking account

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $0

    Minimum Balance: $0

    Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

    APY: 1.75%

    How To Open an Account: You can apply for an American Express® Personal Savings account online or by phone at 800-446-6307. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, email address, home address, phone number and bank routing and account numbers.

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    Capital One: 360 Performance Savings

    Why We Like It: The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account is a great example of an easy-to-use, high-yield account with no fees or minimums.

    Benefits: 

    • High APY on all balances
    • Top-rated mobile app with 24/7 account access
    • Digital savings tools, including automatic transfers
    • Mobile check deposit
    • No minimums to open or maintain

    Drawbacks:

    • No mail deposits available

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $0

    Minimum Balance: $0

    Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

    APY: 1.80%

    How To Open an Account: You can open a Capital One 360 account online in about five minutes.

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    Discover Bank: Online Savings Account

    Why We Like It: In addition to offering high yields and no fees, the Discover Bank Online Savings account also provides a promotion of up to $200 for new deposits.

    Benefits: 

    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No charges for official checks or incoming wire transfers
    • No overdraft fee
    • Sign-up promotion

    Drawbacks:

    • Can find higher APYs at other banks

      Fees: $0

      Minimum Deposit: $0

      Minimum Balance: $0

      Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

      APY: 1.70%

      How To Open an Account: Provide your address, phone number, email and Social Security number to open a Discover savings account online. To fund the account, you can either send a check or transfer funds from your existing bank. You can also open an account over the phone at 800-347-7000.

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      iGOBanking.com: High-Interest Savings

      Why We Like It: As the name implies, iGObanking.com is an internet-based bank that’s all about convenience, yields and low prices. The bank’s high-interest savings account is just part of an overall slate of offerings that includes other high-paying online products. 

      Benefits: 

      • Easy-to-use online interface and mobile app
      • No fees
      • No minimums

      Drawbacks:

      • Not the highest available APY

      Fees: $0

      Minimum Deposit: $0

      Minimum Balance: $0

      Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

      APY: 1.80%

      How To Open an Account: You can open your iGObanking.com account online in about 10 minutes. You’ll need a valid form of ID, a Social Security number, a previous home address if you’ve lived at your current residence for less than two years, a current U.S. bank account with its routing number and information on your joint applicant, if applicable.

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      Sallie Mae Bank: High-Yield Savings

      Why We Like It: Sallie Mae Bank made its way into the top 10 by virtue of its no-fee, no-minimum, high-yield savings account.

      Benefits: 

      • No monthly fees
      • No minimum balance requirement
      • Easy online account management

      Drawbacks:

      • Not the highest APY available

      Fees: $0

      Minimum Deposit: $0

      Minimum Balance: $0

      Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

      APY: 1.75%

      How To Open an Account: The process for opening an account is simple via the Sallie Mae website. Use your email address to start the application, then provide personal and financial information before funding your account.

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      Tips for Choosing the Best Savings Account

      A savings account is usually a simple parking place for money that’s being accumulated toward a goal, such as an emergency fund or a vacation. As such, savings accounts don’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles that other accounts might offer. What you should really look for in a savings account is security, a high yield, no fees and easy access to your funds.

      Since most savings accounts have the same Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance and many charge no fees, the deciding factor might come down to two simple acronyms: APY and ATM. You’ll want an account with a high APY, and you’ll also want an account that doesn’t charge fees to access your funds at an ATM. It’s up to you to decide which of these is a priority, but they are not mutually exclusive. Many of the accounts on this list offer both high yields and no ATM fees, so your search might be shorter than you think.

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      Savings Accounts vs. Money Market Accounts

      Savings accounts and money market accounts are both places to hold your money, but they serve different purposes and typically offer different terms.

      Read More: What’s the Difference Between Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts?

      Money market accounts are generally designed to be more accessible, and they often come with check-writing capabilities. Money market accounts also typically pay higher yields than savings accounts but might require higher minimum balances. Savings accounts are for customers who don’t need frequent access to their funds but want to earn the highest yields available, preferably in a no-fee wrapper.

      Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of online savings accounts:

      Advantages of a Savings Account 

      • Access to cash via ATMs: Some savings accounts offer you access to your cash anywhere in the world via an ATM network.
      • Access to online and mobile banking: The vast majority of modern savings accounts offer the ability to check your account information via your smartphone or the web.
      • FDIC insurance: Savings accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per covered bank.

      Disadvantages of a Savings Account

      • Not particularly liquid: Although you can usually access your savings account via an ATM, certain savings account transactions — including pre-authorized, automatic, check or debit card transactions — are limited to six withdrawals per month by federal law. 
      • Accounts generally have some type of fees: Most modern online savings accounts don’t charge monthly maintenance fees, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely free of fees. Most still have fees for certain transactions, such as wire transfers, overdrafts or out-of-network ATM transactions.
      • ATM withdrawal limitations: If you’re withdrawing money from your savings account at an ATM, you may only be able to access a few hundred dollars per day, depending on the rules of your particular bank. If you’re banking at an online-only institution, you won’t even be able to go into a branch to take out additional funds.
      • May have minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees: Although there are many banks that offer free savings accounts, they might come with restrictions. You may need to maintain a certain minimum balance to keep your account “free” — or even keep your account open at all.

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      Summary

      There is no one bank account that is right for every consumer. However, once you decide on the banking features that are the most important to you, it’s easy to filter through the options and find a good selection of banks to choose from. While interest rates in the United States are currently among the lowest in the world, you can still find plenty of good, safe yields from the accounts on the list above, mostly for little or no cost.

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      FAQ

      The concept behind savings accounts is simple: Deposit your money, and earn interest. However, there are still many common questions regarding savings accounts, particularly online-only banks. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about savings accounts.

      What Is a Savings Account?

      A savings account is an insured place where you can earn interest on your invested funds. Features and benefits, along with fees and yields, may vary from institution to institution.

      How Does a Savings Account Work?

      A savings account is merely a holding place for money. Generally, you won’t make many withdrawals from your savings account; you’ll make deposits as you build toward a short-term savings goal. Some banks may offer ATM access to a savings account, but others will require you to transfer money to a checking account to withdraw it.  

      What Is a Savings Account Used For?

      A savings account is generally used for short-term savings, such as an emergency fund or the down payment on a house. 

      Can I Open a Savings Account With No Money?

      Each individual bank sets its own account minimum, but many online savings accounts come free of charge. Ally Bank, for example, has no minimum required balance to open an account and no monthly maintenance fees. 

      Related: How To Close a Savings Account for Free

      What Is a Free Savings Account?

      In the competitive world of financial services, many savings accounts — particularly from online banks — are now free of monthly maintenance fees. However, even with “free” savings accounts, you may face fees for certain transactions, such as overdrafts or excessive withdrawals.   

      Can I Get Free Money From Opening a Savings Account?

      Although promotions are more common with checking accounts, some banks, such as Discover, do offer bonus payments if you open accounts with a certain minimum balance.

      Learn More: Best New Bank Promotions and Bonuses

      What Is the Limit of a Savings Account?

      Most banks don’t limit the amount that you can deposit into your savings account. However, there are some real-world limitations that you should be aware of. For starters, FDIC insurance only covers the first $250,000 you deposit into a savings account at a single institution, so you’ll want to spread out your accounts if you have more than that saved. Next, some banks lower the interest rate that they pay on larger deposits, so make sure you’re getting the most out of your savings. Lastly, if you’re just using your savings account as an emergency fund, you might want to consider other investments that can help you get a higher return on your money, since most people don’t need $250,000 stored in an emergency fund.

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      More From GOBankingRates

        Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the Best Savings Accounts of 2020 based on the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the savings account, (2) monthly maintenance fee on the account, (3) minimum balance required to avoid a fee and (4) annual percentage yield. Rates are subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 3, 2019. GOBankingRates’ rankings for the Best Banks of 2020 were based on rates and other information compiled from individual institutions’ websites and/or conversations with representatives from the financial institutions throughout September 2019 and October 2019. All rates and other information pertaining to each account listed in the article were last verified in November 2019. All costs, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of each financial institution. For more information, see the complete methodology for the rankings.

        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.

        About the Author

        After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.