3 things to consider when you're deciding which savings account to open

Which savings account should I open

Tempura/Getty Images

Looking for a savings account?

  • When shopping for a new savings account, look for a high-yield savings account that helps your money grow. It's the same as a traditional savings account, but offers interest on your cash. 
  • Find a bank account that's fee-free, easy to use, and offers a high interest rate - or, even better, all three. 
  • See Business Insider's rankings of the best high-yield savings accounts in 2020 »

In the market for a savings account? Three main considerations can help you decide which one you should open: a convenient experience, fee-free banking, and the ability to earn interest on your money.

The best savings account is usually one that accrues interest. There's really no reason not to opt for a high-yield savings account over a traditional savings account. After all, there's virtually no difference between the two, other than the fact that one helps you grow your money by earning a small amount of interest. About 75% of Americans don't yet have a high yield savings account, and that means they're leaving free money on the table.

To choose the one that's right for you, consider what you really want out of your savings account. Do you need ATM access or a good mobile app experience? Or, can't stand paying maintenance fees? Each bank's account has different strong points. Here are three important factors for choosing a high-yield savings account:

1. A great online app experience and convenient access

What does convenience mean to you, when it comes to a savings account? Is it a friendly app? The ability to use the ATM down the street? An account at the bank you've patronized for years - or one at an entirely different bank, to make your money harder to access (and therefore spend) on a whim?

Most high-yield savings accounts are through online-only banks and apps. That means that a good experience on the web and on mobile are critical. To make the most of your account, you'll want to choose one that's convenient for you.

  • Online-only bank Ally does this well, thanks to its easy-to-navigate online platform.
  • Although its account is technically a cash account, banking service Wealthfront also has a good mobile and online experience, and took the "best overall" spot in Business Insider's high-yield savings account list for 2020.
  • Synchrony Bank is also notable for the convenience factor. It doesn't charge any ATM fees on its end, and gives a $5 reimbursement each month for any fees charged by the ATM companies. Many high-yield savings accounts don't offer ATM access at all.

Get the details »

2. Fee-free saving with no maintenance fees

The point of a high-yield savings account is to be earning money, not spending it on fees. Luckily, there are many options that can help your money grow each month without a fee. None of the accounts included in this article have monthly fees. That said, these three banks are some of the best for fee-free saving. 

  • Wealthfront's high-yield cash account is another trusted choice for fee-free saving, and also offers a consistently competitive rate.  
  • Ally Bank is another safe bet for fee-free saving, with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum deposit to start your account. It's very transparent about fees on its website, too. 
  • The CIT Bank Savings Builder account has no monthly maintenance fees or any other fees. The only fee it charges is for wire transfers.

Get the details »

3. A high interest rate

You want your money to earn as much as possible, and choosing an account with the high interest rate can help you do that. Because high-yield savings accounts aren't invested, they usually earn between 1.5% and 2% interest - not enough to make you rich, but considerably more than the typical savings account.

It's worth noting that interest rates can change, so it's not worth basing your decision solely on the interest rate. But if you're deciding between accounts that are convenient and fee-free, you'll want to take a look at the interest rates to break a tie.

  • Brio Bank took the top spot on our high-yield savings account list for interest rate. 
  • Investing app Betterment also tends to maintain high interest rates, and is usually neck-in-neck with close competitor Wealthfront. 
  • That said, Wealthfront's high-yield savings account is a close third and offers consistently high rates. 

Get the details »

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

{{}}

Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.