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The Top Interest Savings Accounts for 2021

4 minute read

Cora Walker

By Cora Walker

Every time the new year rolls around, it’s natural to start thinking how you can optimize your finances. A high-yield savings account is a foundational step for long-term financial growth and freedom. If you already have one, that’s great. However, it’s always good to be looking around for institutions that might have better options than your current bank or credit union.

Financial savviness often requires jumping on a new opportunity — even if it means stepping away from what you know. It’s also possible you’re looking to divide funds. Or maybe you finally have enough extra money to put some into savings for the first time in your life. Both are exciting prospects!

We want to help you take the first step in your quest to save more and save smarter. This is a quick list of the top interest savings accounts in the U.S. right now. We’re not just basing that on Annual Percentage Yield (APY), either. While the APY is important, it’s not the only important factor when you entrust you money with a bank. When compiling this list, we also considered additional factors. They includes other services, FDIC insurance, online reviews, and minimum balance.

Please keep in mind that since APYs can change any time. However, these numbers are pulled from top financial institutions as of January 2021.

Ally Bank

APY: 0.50%
Minimum Balance: $0

Ally Bank comes with a less well-known name but a lot of user-friendliness. With no added fees or monthly minimums, they make it as easy as possible for you to store, grow, and access your funds. An APY of 0.50% is highly competitive with many of the larger institutions on this list. Even better, you can open an account and start depositing 100% remotely. Ally Bank also offers Amazon Alexa integration, allowing you to move money between accounts just by asking your Alexa suite device. They also offer CDs, checking accounts, IRA savings options, and 24/7 remote support.

One potential downside is that Ally Bank has no physical locations. So you cannot deposit money at an ATM or visit a branch. You’ll need to arrange a wire transfer from another institution, direct deposit from your employer, or mail a physical check to their offices in Philadelphia.

American Express Savings

APY: 0.50%
Minimum Balance: $0

With American Express’s personal savings option, you have the stability of a large, trusted brand and an APY of 0.50%. Since American Express is very established, they also have more to invest in education. You’ll find many articles on good financial strategies on their website. They also have 24/7 support.

Another fantastic benefit is that AmEx allows up to nine withdrawals per month. Most financial institutions only allow six withdrawals per month from a savings account. That can sometimes make it difficult to budget out money in smaller portions or pay for an unexpected expense.

While AmEx is a great option for personal savings and credit, they don’t really have a functional checking option. That’s a bit of a downside if you wanted a one stop shop for your banking. They do offer prepaid debit cards, but don’t confuse those with debit cards that are linked directly to a checking account. If you rely on your debit card a lot, you’ll likely need to double up with another provider.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

APY: 0.50%
Minimum Balance: $0

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the banking arm of — you guessed it — investment firm Goldman Sachs. They offer a savings account sporting a 0.50% APY, which is equivalent to the previous two entries on this list. However, it’s still about 10x higher than the current national average APY of 0.05%. Marcus also has CDs and loan options.

However, like Amex, you’ll be hard pressed to find a checking option. While Marcus does make it easy to link to other financial institutions, this option might be best suited if you are opening a second savings account. This account is great if you are unlikely to need access to your money for day-to-day purchases.

Vio Bank

APY: 0.66%
Minimum Balance: $100

At easily the highest APY on this list, Vio Bank is extremely competitive. They are also extremely focused on what they are best at — CDs, high-yield savings accounts, and staying 100% online. With a trusted banking brand behind them in the form of MidFirst Bank, Vio brings much of the usability and security of traditional banking to a niche online platform. That combination is a great option for some folks.

Despite this unbeatable APY, there are a couple downsides. Vio does not have a checking service, which unfortunately means they cannot be a one-stop shop for all your online banking needs. They require a minimum $100 deposit to open an account, something to consider if you’re just starting saving.

If you only have a little bit of money on hand to lock up in savings (but at least $100), Vio Bank is a great option to start growing your savings.

Our Top Choice: Axos Bank

APY: 0.61%
Minimum Balance: $0

Axos Bank is the second wholly online banking experience on our list. However, a couple things are pushing it into first place for us. Axos’s High Yield Savings Account has an APY in the same category as Vio at 0.61%. However, they don’t require a minimum deposit in order to open an account. That makes it easier for you to start saving immediately. They also have checking accounts at 1.25% APY and business accounts. Overall, that makes them a better option for anyone who prefers to get all their online banking done in one place.

As with Vio, they have no physical locations. That has both benefits and drawbacks. But with a great APY and convenient, forward-thinking features that put digital natives first, Axos easily claims the top spot on our list.

Saving Money in a Piggy Bank

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Cora Walker

Contributor

Cora is a Northwest-based writer and editor who wants to make information as accessible as possible in the internet age. Video games are this writer’s primary vice. With a degree from the University of Washington as well as 5+ years of experience in web writing and publishing, Cora is here to share financial tips from experts and talk about good habits.

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