When it comes to the best free savings accounts, you want an account that charges a low fee while earning a high APY – and ideally it comes with a few extra bells and whistles that also encourage you to save more. Ally Bank’s online savings account has it all, which is why it wins the top overall ranking.
Anyone can open a free savings account with Ally and grow their savings faster with the bank’s 1.00% APY and savings boosters like the ability to round up purchases to your savings or have Ally analyze a linked checking account for missed savings opportunities. The online and mobile banking experience is seamless, and you know your money is protected with this account’s FDIC insurance.
Compare the best free savings accounts
|Company||Minimum deposit||APY||Costs||Maximum monthly withdrawals||ATM access|
Ideal for high performance
|$250||Up to 0.61%||None||6||91,000 nationwide|
Ideal for ATM access
Ideal for the long term
|$10||1.60%||None||Without limits||No Network, Unlimited ATM Fee Refunds for Checks|
Great for customer experience
|$0||1.30%||None||Without limits||70,000+ nationwide|
How to Choose the Best Free Savings Accounts
The best free savings accounts should make it easier for you to save. Here are some key features to pay attention to:
- APY: This is the interest you earn on your savings. The higher the APY, the more you will earn, which will help boost your savings.
- Opening deposit: Make sure you have enough money for the required opening deposit. For many free savings accounts, this is $0, but some may require $10, $25, or even $250.
- Monthly fee: Avoid savings accounts that charge monthly maintenance fees, although you can remove them by maintaining a minimum balance. These fees will eat away at your savings instead of making them grow.
- ATM access: Some free savings accounts come with an ATM card, some don’t. An ATM card isn’t a necessary feature if you don’t need immediate and easy access to your savings. But without it, you’ll need to transfer money from your savings to a checking account to access your funds, and that can take a few business days.
- Savings boosters: If you need extra help growing your savings, look for an account that offers savings reminder features. This can include recurring automatic transfers, savings buckets, or the ability to round up your purchases and put change into your savings.
Free savings accounts vs traditional savings accounts
Free savings accounts are often offered by online banks and do not charge any monthly fees. On top of that, they often feature a higher interest rate and lower opening deposit requirements.
Traditional savings accounts are offered by major national banks and usually charge monthly maintenance fees to keep the account open. You can often get a fee waiver by maintaining a minimum balance, but if your balance falls below that requirement for even a month, you’ll be charged a fee. Traditional savings accounts typically offer very low or near zero interest (0.01% APY is common) and have higher opening deposit requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are free savings accounts FDIC insured?
Free savings accounts are FDIC insured, usually up to $250,000. Although this is the norm, some online banks are able to offer a higher level of FDIC assurance by spreading your funds across multiple program banks. For example, if they have your $1 million balance split equally among four program banks that are each FDIC insured up to $250,000, you may be able to get your full $1 million insured. .
Do free savings accounts offer high returns?
Free savings accounts tend to offer higher returns than traditional savings accounts. There are many free savings accounts offering an APY of 0.40% to 0.50%, while traditional savings accounts may only offer around 0.08%
Do free savings accounts offer access to ATMs?
Some free savings accounts offer access to ATMs, but not all. If a free savings account doesn’t offer an ATM card, you can usually open a checking account with that same bank to access the ATM.
While researching this list, we considered over 20 free savings accounts, mostly offered by online banks and credit unions. To narrow it down to the best free savings accounts, we looked for those with the lowest fees and highest rates, plus any extras that might help consumers save more.
We only considered truly free savings accounts, meaning any account that charged monthly maintenance fees was automatically excluded from the list, although it could be waived. Protecting your funds is also important, which is why we’ve only included savings accounts that are FDIC-insured (or NCUA-insured for credit unions).