Luxury Real Estate

The Battle of the Best Savings Accounts

It’s a well-known fact that interest rates on accounts are incredibly low. In fact, the average savings account is hovering around 0.06%.1 That’s such a far cry from pre-crisis times, it’s shocking.

At rates that low one might ask, “Why even have a savings account? Why don’t I just place my hard-earned under the mattress?” We can’t blame you. However, if you did that you’d be leaving money on the table (or under the mattress). There are much better options out there; savings account options that earn fifteen times the average rate of 0.06%.

We’ve scoured high and low to find the best accounts. In our search, we’ve come across a few that stand above the rest. You’d be in good shape if you had any of these accounts, but after some thorough analysis, one of them truly earns the title of best savings account. Here they are at a glance:

At a Glance: High Yield Savings Accounts & MMAs


We were just as taken aback when we first saw these numbers. 1.20% and 1.00%? Why didn’t I hear of these accounts before I put my money in [large, untrustworthy bank X]? You might be saying to yourself, “Barclays Online Savings is clearly the winner because their APY is slightly higher.”

However, you can’t jump to a conclusion as there are other important factors to consider when opening a savings account. So we’ve broken them each down, piece by piece.

Monthly Minimums

Capital One 360 Money Market and Barclays Online Savings are both “No Fee” banks, meaning neither of them charge a monthly maintence fee, nor do they require a minimum balance in the account. In fact, they don’t even require a deposit to open an account!

Tie: Capital One 360 Money Market and Barclays Online Savings

Bank Reputation

This might not have been very important to us before the financial crisis, but times have changed. We need to feel safe with where we put our hard-earned money. Each of these banks are backed by the maximum allowable FDIC guarantee of $250,000. This means if the bank defaults, the US Government would repay you every penny you had in the account, up to $250,000. Bank of America, Chase, etc. all have this same insurance.

More than just the FDIC insurance, we need reliability and value from our bank. So here is how the top banks fare in terms of reputation:

Despite being a big brand internationally, in America Barclays is a newcomer. That being said they are growing incredibly fast since experts have been raving about their great savings tools and quality customer service.

Capital One 360 has been donned a great bank for those looking to start building their savings. It’s not just the lack of fees, they go a couple steps further by giving you tools to track your savings progress; and for some they even offer a signup bonus (depending on how much you deposit).

This was a really close call, but because of Barclays stellar international reputation and their rapid growth, we had to give them the slight advantage here.

Winner: Barclays Online Savings

Customer Service and Ease of Use

These companies all have good customer service according to online reviews. 3 star reviews don’t sound great for a restaurant, but for an industry that’s really suffering from an image problem, 3 star ratings are some of the best ratings received. Comparatively, Bank of America had 1.6 stars, HSBC had 1.4 stars and Chase came in at 2.5 stars.

So how did we figure this one out? Members of our team personally opened an account in each and compared notes over a two-week period.

All of the banks’ websites are state of the art and incredibly intuitive; and each has an “American English” speaking support team that is very attentive and easy to deal with.

When we compared our notes, there was a slight differentiation as Capital One seemed to be the most responsive and friendly!

Winner: Capital One 360 Money Market

Interest Rate

This one’s easy. At 1.20%, Barclays Online Savings’s interest rate is slightly higher. Even though Barclays Online Savings’s rate is slightly higher, really either of these accounts are huge improvements over what Chase, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo would pay you.

Winner: Barclays Online Savings

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, Capital One 360 offers arguably the best product out there. They have one of the highest interest rates available, virtually no fees, and a great reputation to boot. So after all of the research, Capital One 360 was our winner of the best savings account!

Winner: Capital One 360 Money Market