Top 12 best banks with high yield savings and checking accounts

The Best Rated Banks in 2015

What are the factors you consider when searching for the best banks to bank with?

Are banks with "no fees" at the top of your list?

What about banks that provide added value (i.e., perks)? Would you consider this an extremely important factor for finding and choosing a best bank to bank with?

For example, in regards to added value, a lot of individuals consider high yield savings, high yield checking accounts, and ATM fee refunds as important "added value" factors when searching for the best bank to open an account.

With this article, we are presenting a list of the top rated banks in 2015.

In addition, we aim to review some of the important factors that you should consider before signing up with bank.

 
Top 12 best banks to bank with | No fees, high yield savings, checking accounts, ATM refunds
 
Below is the list of 2015's top banks that provide some of the best high-interest-paying online accounts.

The list is followed by a comparison table, and below that we have provided links to the respective detailed overview pages of the selected "best banks to use in 2015".

  1. Ally Bank
  2. American Express
  3. Bank of Internet USA
  4. CapitalOne
  5. CiTBank
  6. Discover
  7. EverBank
  8. FNBO Direct
  9. GE Capital Bank
  10. Lake Michigan Credit Union
  11. SallieMae Bank
  12. Synchrony Bank

You can also check out: Barclays Online Banking and Savings ReviewBarclays currently offers a 1% APY on its online savings account, which is a higher interest rate than what is offered by a few of the banks on our list.

However, Barclays has not been included on our list, due to the higher than average customer complaints against the bank.

Selection Criteria: Top 12 Online Banks to Bank with in the US

We started out with a more comprehensive list of financial banking providers (large commercial banks, credit unions, regional banks, state banking institutions and other diversified banking firms).

After applying various ranking and comparison criteria (No fees: $0 monthly fees, $0 minimum balance, high yield savings or high yield checking accounts, ATM fee refunds, etc.), we were able to narrow the selection down to the 12 banks listed below. 

Most of the banks on our list are able to provide such high yielding savings and checking accounts, and pay higher APYs because of their unique banking business model.

For example, a lot of them:

... and based on the above factors, many of these banks are able to pass along these "overhead cost savings" as additional interest to their depositors.

List of Top High Yield Checking and Savings Accounts

 

Bank / Financial Institution

APY

Min. to Open Account?

Important / Other Information

Lake Michigan Credit Union

3%

$0

- High yield checking account

- Refunds up to $15 per month in ATM fees

- Earn 3% APY on balances ($0.1 to $15,000)

- Account is available to everyone, but if you are not a resident of Michigan's lower peninsula, you are required to make a very small donation of $5 to the A.L Sclerosis (ALS) Association of Michigan. Donation is made at the time of filling out your online application
- Requirements for earning the 3%: At least one direct deposit or ACH transfer from another account each month, minimum of 10 debit card purchases per month, minimum of 4 logins per month, sign up to receive eStatements

- Use any other bank's ATM machine and Lake Michigan will refund you up to $15 - per month in AMT fees charged by other banks

Everbank1.01%$1,500
- High yield money market account
 
- $0 to $50,000 (APY: 1.01%) - New clients
 
- $0 to $10,000,000 (APY: 0.61%) - Existing clients

CIT Bank

0.95%

$100

- Interest rate compounds daily - this gives you a higher return on your money

- Premium rate for accounts with a daily balance of $25,000 or more

- Does not refund ATM fees

American Express

0.90%

$0

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- No need to change bank - you can link the savings account to any existing checking account you have at a different bank

- Does not refund ATM fees

SallieMae

0.90%

Varies

- Interest rate compounds daily - this gives you a higher return on your money

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- Does not refund ATM fees

Discover

0.90%

$500

- Highly rated bank

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- 24/7 customer service

- Does not refund ATM fees

EverBank

0.85%

$1,500

- High Yield Checking

- 1.40% APY bonus rate for the first 6 months (Up to $100K for 1st time money market clients)

- $0 - $9,999.99 (APY: 0.85% - new clients, 0.30% existing clients)
- $10,000 - $24,999.99 (APY: 0.91% - new clients, 0.41% existing clients)
- $25,000 - $49,999.99 (APY: 0.93% - new clients, 0.46% existing clients)
- $50,000 - $99,999.99 (APY: 0.98% - new clients, 0.56% existing clients)

- 24/7 live EverBank specialists

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- Does not refund ATM fees

FNBO Direct

0.75%

$1

- Online Savings

- Does not refund ATM fees, but, it has a national network of free ATMs

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

Capital One

0.75%

$0

- 360 Savings Account

- No fees, no minimums, earn interest: Max out your savings with a variable 0.75% Annual Percentage Yield (effective 1/26/2015). Plus, 360 Savings is linked to your current checking.

- Tools to Track Savings Goals

FNBO Direct0.65%$1
- Checking account with no fees
- No Monthly Service Fees
- Free Debit Card Fraud Monitoring
- Free Incoming Wires
- Free Stop Payments
- Free Person-to-Person payments with Popmoney®**

Ally Bank

0.60%

$0

- AMT fee refunds - nationwide

- 24/7 customer service

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- 0.60 % APY: daily balance $15,000 or more.

- 10% APY: daily balance less than $15,000

Bank of Internet USA

0.41%

$100

- Overdraft or Non-Sufficient Funds fee

- No Fees

- Free Account Features

- You can earn up to 1.25% APY (Direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more will earn .4166% - at least ten (10) debit card purchases will earn .4166%)

- Fifteen (15) or more debit card purchases will earn an additional .4166%

- Does not refund ATM fees

Capital One Essential Savings

0.40%

$5

- This account cannot be opened online. You are required to visit a branch

- 0.10% APY: $0.01 - $10,000  

- 1.25% APY: $10,000.01 - $1,000,000

- 0.40% APY: $1,000,000.01 and Greater          

Rates are as of 1/26/2015

Note:

** USAA is a popular bank serving our military and veterans. However, it did not make it to our top list of best banks offering high APYs because it offers a lower APY compared to the banks on our list. Still, USAA provides exceptional value: No monthly service fees, nationwide ATM fee refunds, free funds transfers to any bank in the United States and tiered APY rates.
** Please note that any of the rates, promotions, fees, information, and ranking/review factors presented on this article may change at any time. Please review the respective banks' websites for the most updated information. 

    Key Variables Used in our Selection of the Top Rate Best Banks Providing High Yielding Accounts

    The below ranking selection factors were used in our analysis of the best banks to bank with.

    1. Type of Account

    High yield checking or savings? A high yield checking account comes with greater flexibility than a high yield savings account.

    Banking regulations place limits on savings accounts. You are only allowed to make six free transfers / withdraws each statement cycle

    2. High Yield APY (High yield paying checking / savings accounts)

    The APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is the annual interest rate that the bank pays you.

    Having as high a yield as possible is a high priority for most individuals.

    3. ATM Fees Refund

    Some of the best banks on our list will refund your ATM fees, up to a particular amount.

    Ally Bank will reimburse 100% of your ATM fees.

    This allows you to use any bank's ATM and get refunded the ATM fee that you are charged for using that other bank's ATM machine.

    4. Monthly Fees

    On our list of top banks, we focused on banks with $0 monthly fees.

    5. Minimum Balance

    The minimum balance is the minimum amount of money that a bank requires you to keep in your account each month. For our top rated banks, we focused on those firms with a $0 minimum.

    6. Account Opening Deposit (Minimum $$$ to Open Account)

    Initial deposit required by some banks when you open an account

    7. Requirements

    Most of the banks listed here require you to meet a few requirements in order to qualify for the high interest paying account. 

    In addition, one or more of the top banks on our list only provide services to residents in a particular state or to individuals that are part of a group or affiliation

    FDIC Insured

    All the banks on our list are FDIC insured.

    In the unlikely event that any of these banks would fail, the FDIC would step in and "reimburse" your funds in the failed bank - up to $250,000 per bank and per beneficiary for checking, savings and CD accounts.

    The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is backed by the full faith of the US government, and the $250,000 is the maximum amount allowed by law at FDIC insured banks.

    In addition to savings, checking and CD accounts, money market accounts and other types of demand deposits are also insured.

    Tip:

    With a combination of accounts, it is possible for you and your family to increase the $250,000 maximum.

    Here is an example of how a couple could raise the ceiling on the FDIC maximum:

    Top US Banks with Great Yields
    Image from Ally Bank

    Links to detailed bank reviews:

    - Ogbe Airiodion

    Posted publications are for informational purposes only. Before acting on any information on this site, we strongly recommend you seek financial advice from your own adviser. Visit our Terms of Use for further information on your accessing this site.

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