Best Free Savings Accounts of 2021

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Final verdict

When it comes to the best free savings accounts, you want an account that charges a minimal fee while earning a high APY – and ideally comes with some extra bells and whistles that encourage you to save more. Ally Bank’s online savings account has it all, which is why it’s the best overall.

Anyone can open a free savings account with Ally and grow their savings faster thanks to the bank’s 0.50% APY and savings boosters like the ability to round 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 FDIC insurance on this account.


Compare the best free savings accounts

Company Minimum deposit APY Fresh Maximum monthly withdrawals Access to the ATM
Allied bank
Best overall
$ 0 0.50% Nothing 6 43,000+ nationwide
Carillon
Best for the No-Fee Savings Account
$ 0 0.50% Nothing 6 38,000 nationwide
Axos Bank
Ideal for high efficiency
$ 250 Up to 0.61% Nothing 6 91,000 nationwide
Synchronization bank
Ideal for accessing ATMs
$ 0 0.50% Nothing 6 400,000+ nationwide
Improvement
Ideal for long term savings
$ 10 0.30% Nothing Without limits No network, unlimited refunds of ATM fees for verification
A capital letter
Better for the customer experience
$ 0 0.40% Nothing Without limits 70,000+ nationwide


How to choose the best free savings accounts

The best free savings accounts should make saving money easier. Here are some key features you should 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 you 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 eliminate them by maintaining a minimum balance. These fees will eat away at your savings instead of helping them grow.
  • Access to the ATM: Some free savings accounts come with an ATM card, some don’t. An ATM card is not a necessary feature if you don’t need immediate and easy access to your savings. But without one, you will need to transfer money from your savings to a checking account to access your funds, and it may take a few business days.
  • Savings boosters: If you need extra help growing your savings, look for an account that offers savings boost features. This can include recurring automatic transfers, savings compartments, 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 charge no monthly fees. On top of that, they often have a higher interest rate and lower opening deposit requirements.

Traditional savings accounts are offered by major national banks and typically charge a monthly maintenance fee 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 even for a month, you will be charged a fee. Traditional savings accounts generally offer very low or almost zero interest (an APY of 0.01% is common) and have higher opening deposit requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are Free Savings Accounts FDIC Insured?

Free savings accounts are insured by the FDIC, typically 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 evenly among four program banks that are each FDIC insured up to $ 250,000, you might be able to insure your entire $ 1 million. dollars.

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 that offer an APY of 0.40% to 0.50%, while traditional savings accounts may only offer 0.01% to 0.03%.

Do free savings accounts provide access to ATMs?

Some free savings accounts offer ATM access, but not all. If a free savings account does not offer an ATM card, you can usually open a checking account with that same bank to access ATMs.


Methodology

We considered over 20 free savings accounts, mostly offered by online banks and credit unions, when researching this list. To narrow it down to the best free savings accounts, we’ve researched the ones with the lowest fees and highest rates, along with any extras that might help consumers save more.

We only considered truly free savings accounts, meaning any account that charged a monthly maintenance fee was automatically removed from the list, even if it was waivable. It’s also important to protect your funds, which is why we’ve only included savings accounts that are FDIC insured (or NCUA insured for credit unions).



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