Noteworthy Savings Accounts

Finding a good savings account often means searching through financial institutions and account options to pinpoint the one that best suits your needs. While it’s always important to consider the account’s interest rate, you should also be mindful of the account fees and minimum balance requirements; if not, your new account may end up costing you more than it helps you save.

It’s worth noting that online banks tend to offer better interest rates for accounts than traditional, brick-and-mortar banks. These can be a great option if you’re comfortable with completing the majority of your banking tasks digitally, but if you handle a lot of cash or feel you regularly need in-person assistance, you may be better off with a more traditional account.

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Checking and Savings offers customers the chance to earn a competitive APY on their savings deposits (and on checking deposits, too). To qualify, all you need to do is set up recurring monthly direct deposits of your paycheck or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Many bank accounts require a minimum balance or deposit to unlock higher APY yields, yet SoFi offers the same high APY regardless of how much money is deposited into your account each month. Considering most traditional checking accounts don’t aren’t even interest-bearing, this is a serious perk.

CIT Bank Savings Connect

CIT Bank’s Savings Connect offers customers the chance to earn 4.05% APY on their balances, which is well above the national average, and competitive with many of the best high-yield savings accounts on the market.

While many high-yield savings accounts – including some of CIT’s other savings accounts – require customers to complete certain transactions in order to earn the maximum interest rates available, CIT’s Savings Connect account offers its highest rate to all balances, which is a serious plus.

You also won’t be charged a monthly fee with this account; in fact, so long as you avoid sending outgoing wire transfers and having returned deposits, you can use this account absolutely fee-free.

UFB Direct High Rate Savings Account

The UFB Direct High Rate Savings Account stands as one of the best high-yield savings account’s available today. This account’s APY is up to 4.21% on your balances, which is also the maximum interest rate offered by UFB.

With this account, you get many features typical to online savings accounts, such as access to a mobile app, as well as some more unusual perks, like an ATM card. On top of that, there are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance to open your account.

UFB Direct’s banking services are provided through a partnership with Axos Bank. UFB High Rate Savings customers have the ability to access their accounts online, through the UFB Direct mobile app or via the included ATM debit card. If you’d prefer, you also have the option to initiate transactions over the phone or in-person.

Key Features to Look For in a Savings Account

Savings accounts are not a one-size-fits-all product; when selecting one, it’s best to determine what’s most important to you and look for an account that lines up with your needs. 

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a savings account: 

  • APY: Shop around at different banks and find the best rates to maximize your savings efforts. High-yield savings accounts tend to offer higher rates than other deposit accounts. 
  • Opening deposit requirements: A bank or credit union may require you to deposit a specific amount of money to open a savings account. Determine how much you can afford to deposit into a savings account. 
  • Minimum balance requirements: Some savings accounts require you to keep a minimum balance in your account to earn interest or to avoid monthly fees. 
  • Account fees: Some financial institutions charge you a fee to maintain your account each month. Often, you can avoid paying these fees by meeting account requirements such as maintaining a certain balance. Other common fees include excessive transaction fees and wire transfer fees.
  • Accessibility and ease of use: Look for banks that offer multiple ways to manage your account and access funds. Savings accounts generally do not come with a debit card, but you may have ATM access through a linked checking account. Most banks now offer online and mobile banking to address modern banking needs. 

Savings Account FAQ

  • Some banks and credit unions charge monthly fees for managing or servicing your savings account. Sometimes you can get these service charges waived by meeting specific monthly account requirements, which can include:

    – Maintaining a minimum balance
    – Maintaining an average daily balance
    – Depositing a certain amount via direct deposit
    – Linking a debit card
    – Be a child under 18 years of age or a senior citizen
    – Link your savings account to another bank account
    – Link your account to overdraft services
    – A specific number of transactions
    – Setting up recurring autosave transfers from a checking account

    Every bank operates differently and some may not offer a way to waive monthly fees. If that’s the case, you can either pay the fee or find another bank that either doesn’t charge fees or makes it easy to waive them.

  • Individuals generally should have at least one savings account, but there’s no limit to how many you can have. t’s a good idea to have a checking account for everyday expenses and to pay bills and a savings account to save money for later.

    Since savings accounts are a great vehicle for setting aside funds, you can open a savings account for each short-term savings goal you have. What should you save for? Anything that’s important to you that requires money, such as:

    – An emergency fund
    – An upcoming trip or event
    – A down payment on a house
    – Home repairs or renovations
    – A new car or car repairs
    – Home furnishings
    – Self-employment tax
    – A wedding
    – Holiday and birthday gifts
    – Vet bills
    – School supplies
    – A clothing fund

    Having multiple savings accounts allows you to separate funds for each goal, making it less likely for you to use money earmarked for another goal. It also keeps those funds out of your everyday checking account, where it’s likely to get spent.

    Opening several savings accounts has no effect on your credit, unlike opening several credit cards at once. However, you could end up paying multiple monthly fees if your bank charges service fees on its savings accounts or requires you to maintain a minimum balance. Also, the more savings accounts you have, the more accounts you have to manage. It may be challenging to manage multiple accounts.

    Your bank may limit the number of accounts you can have open at one time. Check with your bank on any restrictions that may apply. You can open savings accounts at multiple banks if you need access to additional accounts.

  • You must meet eligibility requirements to open a savings account. Generally, to open a savings account at a bank, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident at least 18 years of age. For children under 18, typically, you must open a joint custodial account with a parent or guardian.

    To verify your identity, banks will ask you to provide personal information including a driver’s license or other government-issued ID, a social security number, and proof of a physical address. If opening a joint savings account, you’ll need to provide this information for both individuals.

    There’s no credit check involved when you apply for a savings account. That doesn’t mean that banks don’t perform due diligence to determine whether to approve or decline your application. ChexSystems is a consumer banking reporting agency that tracks deposit accounts at banks and credit unions. It generates reports for consumers that include reasons past accounts were closed and negative marks such as overdrafts, bounced checks, unpaid negative balances, involuntary account closures and more. Banks and credit unions check your ChexSystems report during the application process to determine if you are a risky customer. If so, they may deny your application.