By Cameron Huddleston, Columnist
Year after year, Americans' top financial resolution is to save more. Yet, a recent GOBankingRates survey found that the majority of adults have less than $1,000 in a savings account, which means they might not have a financial cushion to cover emergencies or cash to cover things such as travel and holiday spending.
Perhaps 2016 will be the year that more people stick to their savings goals, however. For the annual Best Banks survey, GOBankingRates identified the top 10 savings accounts in the U.S. These banks offer the highest rates, lowest fees and other attractive features to help you save money.
Best: MySavingsDirect MySavings Account
Why: This no-fee, no-minimums account had the highest APY on this list -- 1.10% APY -- at the time data was aggregated for the survey in October and November of 2015. Since then, it has changed to 1.00% APY, but it still tops this list because of low fees and other perks.
Review: The MySavingsDirect MySavings Account doesn't have a minimum deposit or balance requirement, nor does it have any fees or service charges. The APY on this online savings account -- and the other online accounts on this list -- trumps the rates offered at traditional brick-and-mortar banks. And the account earns interest no matter the balance. The MySavings account automatically links with a designated checking account so you can transfer funds between the two easily.
How to open: You can open an account online at MySavingsDirect.com. You'll need to provide personal information, including your driver's license number. To fund your account, you'll need your checking account and routing numbers.
Banks That Rounded Out the Top 10
Ally Bank Online Savings Account
Why: There's no monthly maintenance fee or minimum deposit retirement on this account, which has a 1.00% APY.
Review: The Ally Bank Online Savings Account offers a competitive 1.00% APY, doesn't charge a monthly service fee or have a minimum deposit or balance requirement. You can transfer funds to the account from other Ally or non-Ally accounts by wire transfer, direct deposit, mailing a check or with Ally eCheck Deposit through the bank's mobile app.
How to open: You can open an account online at Ally.com. You'll need to provide personal information, including your date of birth, Social Security number and valid ID.
Related: 10 Best Online Banks of 2016
Barclays Bank Online Savings Account
Why: This online-only account from Barclays Bank features a 1.00% APY, no monthly maintenance fee or minimum deposit requirement and tools to help you save.
Review: With the Barclays Bank Online Savings Account, you can make online transfers to and from other accounts, sign up for direct deposit and have 24/7 access to your money. You also can use the remote deposit feature to upload pictures of checks from a computer or mobile device. Barclays also offers a Savings Assistant tool that lets you set savings goals and calculates how long it will take you to reach them.
How to open: You can open an account online at BarclaysUS.com by providing some personal information and transferring funds electronically from another account, mailing a check, arranging for direct deposit or using remote deposit.
Keep Reading: Will You Have Money in Your Savings Account in 2016?
iGOBanking.com High Interest Savings
Why: This iGOBanking.com account also offers a 1.00% APY and no fees or minimums to maintain.
Review: The iGOBanking High Interest Savings Account doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee or require a minimum deposit or balance. The 1.00% APY is competitive compared with other online-only savings accounts. You can use iGObanking Flexible Deposit to deposit checks to your account with a computer or mobile device.
How to open: You can open an account online at iGoBanking.com. You'll need your Social Security number, valid ID, previous home address if you lived in your current location less than two years and your current bank account and routing number to transfer funds electronically to your new account.
CIT Bank High Yield Savings
Why: This account offers competitive rates but also has a $100 minimum deposit requirement.
Review: At the time GOBankingRates aggregated the data for the 2016 rankings, the CIT Bank High Yield Savings account was offering a 1.05% APY; however, the rate now is 1.00% APY. The account doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee or require a minimum balance, but it does require a minimum deposit of $100. You can have 24/7 access to your account online and on your mobile device.
How to open: You can open an account online at BankOnCIT.com. You'll need your Social Security number, driver's license or state-issued ID and bank account number to transfer funds electronically.
Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings
Why: The 1.05% APY on this account is appealing, but its fees and a minimum balance requirement can be drawbacks.
Review: The Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account offers a higher rate than other accounts in GOBankingRates' 2016 Best Banks rankings, but the $5 monthly service fee that's charged if your balance drops below $30 can eat into your returns. But if you maintain the minimum balance requirement, your money can grow a little faster with this account thanks to the 1.05% APY. The account also comes with an ATM card, so you can access your money easily.
How to open: You can open an account online at SynchronyBank.com. You'll need to provide your date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license or state ID card number and bank account and routing numbers to transfer funds electronically to Synchrony.
American Express Bank High Yield Savings Account
Why: At 0.90%, the APY on this account is slightly lower than on other accounts in this top 10, but there's no minimum deposit requirement or monthly maintenance fee.
Review: The American Express Bank High Yield Savings Account offers many of the perks that other accounts in this top 10 group have -- including 24/7 online access, no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum deposit requirement. You can link the account with your current bank accounts and set up recurring transfers to build your savings.
How to open: You can open an account online at AmericanExpress.com. You'll need to provide personal information, including your date of birth, Social Security number and email address. To fund your account, you can mail a check or transfer money electronically from another account.
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account
Why: The Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account requires a $5 minimum deposit to open. It offers a competitive 0.90% APY, but the account won't earn interest until you have a balance of at least $100.
Review: There is no monthly maintenance fee, but there is one drawback: You can't transfer funds from a Bank5 Connect savings account to external bank accounts -- only to Bank5 Connect checking accounts. However, you can get a debit card linked to your account.
How to open: You can open an account online at Bank5Connect.com. You'll need your Social Security number, valid ID and previous home address if you've lived at your current address for less than two years. You can fund the account the account with a credit card, debit card, checking account or savings account.
Capital One 360 Savings
Why: This account offers a 0.75% APY with no fees or minimum deposit requirement.
Review: The Capital One 360 Savings account lets you set savings goals and track your success. And you can set up automatic transfers from a checking account to reach your goals. You also can deposit checks into the account using the bank's free mobile app.
How to open: You can open an account online at CapitalOne.com or by calling 800-289-1992. You'll need a check from an existing account to fund your new account electronically.
FNBO Direct Online Savings
Why: There are no monthly fees or balance requirements, but there is a $1 minimum deposit to open this account.
Review: The FNBO Direct Online Savings account has climbed slightly to 0.95% APY from 0.75% APY when GOBankingRates aggregated the data for the 2016 rankings, making the rate more appealing. You can use Popmoney to transfer funds from the account to other people, and you can set up recurring deposits from other accounts into this online savings account.
How to open: You can open an account online at FNBODirect.com with a minimum deposit of $1. You'll need your Social Security or tax ID number, valid ID, employment information and information about any loans or mortgages you have to confirm your identity. You'll also need your current bank account and routing numbers to transfer funds electronically to your new account.
|Bank||Account||Minimum Deposit to Open||Monthly Maintenance Fee||Minimum Balance Required||APY|
||High Interest Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.00%|
||Online Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.00%|
||Online Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.00%|
||High Interest Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.00%|
||High Yield Savings||$100.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.00%|
||High Yield Savings Account||$0.00||$5.00||$30.00||1.05%|
||High Yield Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.90%|
||High Interest Savings Account||$10.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.90%|
||360 Savings Account||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.75%|
Rates are current as of Jan. 12, 2016.
Methodology: To compile its list of the top 120 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC's list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 120 banks includes 90 brick-and-mortar banks and 30 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.
Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Savings Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank's basic, personal savings account from most to least favorable for the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the savings account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee and (4) annual percentage yield. APY was weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score. In the case of a 10th-place tie, GOBankingRates used the APY as the tiebreaker.
Data was compiled via the GOBankingRates interest rate database and verified against the individual institutions' websites between Oct. 29 and Nov. 23, 2015. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. 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. 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 banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2016 survey are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.
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