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Onerous banking fees can leech off your hard-earned savings and undercut what you’ve earned in interest.The best no-fee savings accounts not only have no maintenance fees, but also have high interest rates and low minimums. We sifted through 250 savings accounts offered by roughly 135 financial institutions to pick five products you should consider.

Annual percentage yields (APYs) and account details are accurate as of June 6, 2024.

Why trust our banking experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of banking products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 250+ accounts from 135 financial institutions reviewed.
  • 4 levels of fact checking.
  • 70+ data points analyzed.

Best no-fee savings account accounts

*Offer details

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Varo Savings Account

BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
On Fiona’s Website
Annual percentage yield
3.00% to 5.00%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Varo’s savings account doesn’t charge monthly fees or overdraft fees, and provides fee-free ATM service at more than 55,000 locations through Allpoint. Additionally, you’ll have access to a fantastic 3.00% APY to start, then qualify to earn 5.00% APY on balances up to $5,000 the next month after receiving qualifying direct deposit(s) totaling at least $1,000 and ending the month with a positive balance in both the Varo Bank Account and Savings Account (balances over $5,000 earn 3.00% APY). The higher APY applies to your first $5,000. To get that top rate, though, you’ll need to have a positive balance in both your Varo checking and savings account, and receive at least $1,000 via direct deposit each month. If you don’t qualify one month or if you have more than $5,000 in your savings, you’ll receive the lower APY, which isn’t bad.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive top yield.
  • Free, automatic savings tools.
  • No fees.
Cons
  • You must jump hurdles to earn the top yield.
  • Highest yield only applies to $5,000 of your deposit.
  • Lower yield isn’t competitive.

Affirm Money™ Account

BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
On Fiona’s Website
Annual percentage yield
4.35%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
A complement to Affirm’s more popular “buy now, pay later” product, this savings account offers a strong APY, which compounds daily, has no fees or balance minimums and features automatic savings tools. The “Save Your Pay” feature autonomously shuttles a percentage of your direct deposits to your savings, while “Save Your Change” rounds up your spending, and adds the spare change to your savings account. Your deposits are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent yield.
  • Highly-rated mobile app.
  • Free automated savings tools.
Cons
  • Higher yields available elsewhere.
  • Designed to pair with a “buy now, pay later” service.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

On Fiona’s Website
Annual percentage yield
4.75%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
A purely online, FDIC-insured bank, Synchrony’s no-fee savings account doubles as a high-yield savings account with no strings attached. To qualify for the competitive rate, which applies to your entire deposit, you only have to open an account and make a deposit. It has a well-rated mobile app and you can take advantage of the optional ATM card and the Perks Rewards program, which can provide benefits like unlimited ATM fee refunds.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive yield.
  • No minimums.
  • Rewards program.
Cons
  • No physical branches.
  • No checking account available.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings

BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
On Fiona’s Website
Annual percentage yield
4.25%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
The 360 Performance Savings account has no minimum balance to open or maintain and offers a competitive APY. Plus you could set up an automatic savings plan and create multiple accounts for specific goals, like funds for a vacation, a birthday bash or a new car.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive yield from a top-ten bank.
  • Mobile check deposit.
  • Various other savings products.
Cons
  • Limit of six withdrawals per month.
  • No direct access via debit or ATM card.

SFGI Direct Savings

On Fiona’s Website
Annual percentage yield
4.26%
Minimum deposit requirement
$500
What should you know
SFGI Direct Savings has no monthly service fees and features a competitive interest rate, which compounds daily and is credited each month. You can access your SFGI Direct Savings via the highly-rated Summit Community Bank app. And even though you need an initial deposit of to open your account, you only need $1 in the account to keep it open and earn interest.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive yield.
  • Low minimum.
  • Highly-rated mobile app.
Cons
  • Large initial deposit required.
  • Limit of six withdrawals a month.
  • Only one external account can be linked.

Compare the best no-fee savings accounts

ACCOUNTSTAR RATINGAPYMINIMUM DEPOSIT
Varo Savings Account
4.7 stars
3.00% to 5.00%
$0
Affirm Money™ Account
4.5 stars
4.35%
$0
Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings
4.5 stars
4.75%
$0
Capital One 360 Performance Savings
4.5 stars
4.25%
$0
SFGI Direct Savings
4.5 stars
4.26%
$500

Methodology

We monitor over 250 savings accounts offered by 135 financial institutions, including American Express Bank, Capital One, Chase, Citi Bank, Discover, TD Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, TIAA Bank and ӣƵA.

To create the best no-fee savings accounts, we eliminated all accounts that charged fees and evaluated the rest to create a star rating for each. An institution with a perfect score of 100 would get five stars. One with a score of 80 would get four stars and so on. Here are the categories we analyzed and how we weighted each.

  • Fees: 40%
  • Minimum balance to avoid fees: 33%
  • Digital experience: 11%
  • APY: 10%
  • Customer experience 5%
  • Minimum deposit: 1%

We believe that the most important factor in a no-fee account is the lack of fees, followed by the minimum balance to avoid those fees. After that you want a product that’s easy to use online and offers a solid yield. Customer experience and the minimum deposit requirement are worth consideration.

Why some banks didn’t make the cut

Each no-fee savings account has different pros and cons. Most well-known banks didn’t make the cut because they have fees, low interest rates and high minimum deposit requirements. Because they are already popular, they don’t need to offer the best products on the market to attract customers. Relatively smaller and younger financial institutions tend to cut fees, feature great APYs and have no balance requirements to gain clients.

National average for savings accounts

The savings account rate (as of May 20, 2024) is 0.45% APY, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Here’s how some national averages on savings products compare:

SAVINGS PRODUCTNATIONAL DEPOSIT RATES (APY)
Savings
0.45%
Interest Checking
0.08%
Money Market
0.68%

What is a no-fee savings account?

A no-fee savings account is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an account meant to hold money that you don’t need every day and for which you don’t have to pay a monthly maintenance fee. 

It could also fall into various other categories. In addition to having no fees, it could be a high-yield savings account and offer a competitive APY on your deposits. It could be an online-only savings account and not offer physical banking branches. 

Exactly how a no-fee savings account works depends on the account and the institution

How no-fee savings accounts work

In general, a no-fee savings account works just like a traditional savings account. 

“One deposits funds into the account; the bank then lends the funds to other customers and pays interest to the depositor,” said Seth Mullikin, CFP at Lattice Financial in Charlotte. 

The profit the bank earns on loans covers the cost that you would otherwise pay in maintenance fees.

A no-fee savings account may still charge fees for voluntary elections, like sending wire transfers and getting a Cashier’s check.

How to choose the best no-fee savings account

Because no-fee savings accounts can also be high-yield, online-only and such, consider what other factors are important to you. 

Yield. As the main purpose of a savings account is to store money, it makes sense if the fund earns cash as it sits. “First, you want something that is paying decent interest,” said Nicholas Bunio, CFP in Berwyn, Pa. Look for the highest APYs on no-fee savings accounts.

Size. Do you want a large, national bank that has physical branches in every major city and a cornucopia of products, like loans and credit cards? Or do you want something smaller, like a local credit union?

Locations and ATMs. Would you like for a branch to be around the block from your home or work? Or do you travel often and want free ATMs available in most cities? Or are you comfortable with a bank that’s completely online? Note that if a credit union participates in the credit union Co-Op, its members can go to over 5,400 branches and 30,000 ATMs nationwide. 

No-fee savings account vs. traditional savings accounts

A no-fee savings account is just a traditional savings account that doesn’t charge you fees. At face value, of course, a no-fee account is preferred, but there may be reasons to choose a traditional account that charges fees. Here are two:

Convenience. If you already have a relationship with a bank, it can be nice to keep your accounts in one place. If two or more of your important banking accounts are accessible through the same institution, you’ll only need one password, one mobile app, one trip to one bank, etc.

Higher returns. If you have to pay a small monthly fee but you earn a much higher rate on your deposits, the fee may be well worth it. Plus, banks often allow you to avoid costly fees through maintaining a certain amount in your account. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If a bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), all the savings accounts it offers are FDIC insured. For credit unions, the same applies, but via the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). If you have an account with another type of financial institution, such as a stock broker, your deposits may not be protected. If you have any questions, check with your financial institution directly.

Yes, no-fee savings accounts can offer high yields. An account’s APY and its fees depend on the institution that offers it and both elements can change over time.

If the institution is insured by the FDIC or the NCUA, your savings account deposits are insured up to $250,000. This limit applies to each type of account at each institution. So if you have a joint savings account and an individual savings account at one bank, then another joint savings account at another bank, each account would be covered up to $250,000—you’d have a total deposit amount up to $750,000 protected.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Jenn Jones

BLUEPRINT

Jenn Jones is the deputy editor for banking at ӣƵ Blueprint. She brings years of writing and analytical skills to bear, as she was previously a senior writer at LendingTree, a finance manager at World Car dealerships and an editor at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. Her work has been featured on MSN, F&I Magazine and Automotive News. She holds a B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia.

Taylor Tepper

BLUEPRINT

Taylor Tepper is the lead banking editor for ӣƵ Blueprint. Prior to that he was a senior writer at Forbes Advisor, Wirecutter, Bankrate and Money Magazine. He has also been published in the New York Times, NPR, Bloomberg and the Tampa Bay Times. His work has been recognized by his peers, winning a Loeb, Deadline Club and SABEW award. He has completed the education requirement from the University of Texas to qualify for a Certified Financial Planner certification, and earned a M.A. from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York where he focused on business reporting and was awarded the Frederic Wiegold Prize for Business Journalism. He earned his undergraduate degree from New York University, and married his college sweetheart with whom he raises three kids in Dripping Springs, TX.

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