February 25, 2024

Not all savings accounts are created equal, and some even have strings attached. Most high-yield savings accounts come with minimum deposit and balance requirements, but many also come with extra costs, like monthly maintenance fees. If you aren’t careful, hefty banking fees can eat into your interest earnings.

However, many financial institutions offer savings account options that won’t nickel-and-dime you on your monthly bill. Just be on the lookout for nonroutine service fees for specific transactions, such as wire transfers and excessive withdrawals. 

Parking your savings in top-yielding no-fee savings accounts, which are offering rates as high as 5% right now, can make a big difference in reaching your financial goals faster. It’s always a good idea to shop around for an account that gives you the best return with fewer or no fees.

The best no-fee savings accounts

We narrowed down the best no-fee savings accounts below. These top-yielding accounts offer competitive annual percentage yields, or APYs, are widely accessible and are insured by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or National Credit Union Administration.

Newtek Bank 5.25% $0
CIT Bank 5.05% $100
UFB Direct 5.25% $0
Upgrade 5.07% $1,000
Laurel Road 5.00% $0
Panacea Financial 4.50% $25
Bask Bank 5.10% $0
TAB Bank 5.27% $0
Bread Savings 5.15% $100
Varo Bank 3.00% to 5.00% $0

Rates updated as of Feb. 7, 2024.

Newtek Bank

Personal High-Yield Savings

4.8/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.25%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • No service or transaction fees
  • Limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle
  • 24/7 live customer support

 

Newtek Bank is the online-only arm of Newtek One. The 5.25% APY applies to all balance levels, but you’ll be limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle. However, the account doesn’t come with an ATM card. You can open as many personal banking accounts as needed, all of which can be managed through an online banking account or mobile app. So if you don’t want to manage your account online or need to make more than six withdrawals per statement cycle, it may not be the best option for you.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • No service or transaction fees
  • Limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle
  • 24/7 live customer support

 

Newtek Bank is the online-only arm of Newtek One. The 5.25% APY applies to all balance levels, but you’ll be limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle. However, the account doesn’t come with an ATM card. You can open as many personal banking accounts as needed, all of which can be managed through an online banking account or mobile app. So if you don’t want to manage your account online or need to make more than six withdrawals per statement cycle, it may not be the best option for you.

CIT Bank

Platinum Savings

3.8/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
3.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.05%

Min. deposit to open
$100

  • No monthly fees
  • $100 minimum deposit required
  • Three savings account options available
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • $5,000 balance required to earn the highest APY
  • Rebates up to $30 per month in out-of-network ATM fees

 

CIT Bank is the online division of First Citizens Bank. It offers three types of savings accounts. The Platinum Savings account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee but requires a $100 minimum deposit to open an account. You can receive up to $30 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

A 0.25% APY applies to balances below $5,000, otherwise, you’ll earn a competitive 5.05% APY on any balance of $5,000 or more. The app makes mobile check deposits and transfers easy.

  • No monthly fees
  • $100 minimum deposit required
  • Three savings account options available
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • $5,000 balance required to earn the highest APY
  • Rebates up to $30 per month in out-of-network ATM fees

 

CIT Bank is the online division of First Citizens Bank. It offers three types of savings accounts. The Platinum Savings account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee but requires a $100 minimum deposit to open an account. You can receive up to $30 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

A 0.25% APY applies to balances below $5,000, otherwise, you’ll earn a competitive 5.05% APY on any balance of $5,000 or more. The app makes mobile check deposits and transfers easy.

UFB Direct

UFB Premiere Savings

4.6/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.25%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via mobile app
  • Expanded insurance protection available up to $150 million
  • ATM card available

UFB Premier Savings has a highly competitive APY that applies to all balances — unlike some banks highlighted above that reserve top APYs for specific balance tiers.

In addition to great rates, we like that UFB Direct’s savings account comes with a free ATM card and unlimited free transfers between accounts. However, there’s a limit of six withdrawals a month and after that, there’s a $10 excessive transaction fee. That doesn’t apply to ATM cards, though. As an online-only bank, UFB Direct doesn’t offer physical branches, but you can handle deposits and transfers through its mobile banking app, online and SMS mobile banking.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via mobile app
  • Expanded insurance protection available up to $150 million
  • ATM card available

UFB Premier Savings has a highly competitive APY that applies to all balances — unlike some banks highlighted above that reserve top APYs for specific balance tiers.

In addition to great rates, we like that UFB Direct’s savings account comes with a free ATM card and unlimited free transfers between accounts. However, there’s a limit of six withdrawals a month and after that, there’s a $10 excessive transaction fee. That doesn’t apply to ATM cards, though. As an online-only bank, UFB Direct doesn’t offer physical branches, but you can handle deposits and transfers through its mobile banking app, online and SMS mobile banking.

Upgrade

High-Yield Premiere Savings

3.8/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
3.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.07%

Min. deposit to open
$1,000

  • No monthly or transfer fees
  • $1,000 balance required to earn APY
  • Mobile check deposits via mobile app

Upgrade’s Premier Savings accounts are held at Cross River Bank, a federally-insured bank in New Jersey. There are no monthly or transfer fees. However, only accounts with balances of $1,000 or more will earn the competitive APY. While Upgrade’s savings account doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards, you can initiate deposits or withdrawals through ACH transactions or wire transfers.

  • No monthly or transfer fees
  • $1,000 balance required to earn APY
  • Mobile check deposits via mobile app

Upgrade’s Premier Savings accounts are held at Cross River Bank, a federally-insured bank in New Jersey. There are no monthly or transfer fees. However, only accounts with balances of $1,000 or more will earn the competitive APY. While Upgrade’s savings account doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards, you can initiate deposits or withdrawals through ACH transactions or wire transfers.

Laurel Road

High Yield Savings

4.6/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.00%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • Debit cards are not available with the High Yield Savings account

 

Laurel Road’s savings account doesn’t require a minimum deposit or balance to earn its competitive 5.00% APY. According to its website, your interest rate may vary based on a few factors, such as your relationship with the bank and balances on other Laurel Road accounts. However, Laurel Road doesn’t accept cash deposits, so you’ll need to transfer funds and manage your account online.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • Debit cards are not available with the High Yield Savings account

 

Laurel Road’s savings account doesn’t require a minimum deposit or balance to earn its competitive 5.00% APY. According to its website, your interest rate may vary based on a few factors, such as your relationship with the bank and balances on other Laurel Road accounts. However, Laurel Road doesn’t accept cash deposits, so you’ll need to transfer funds and manage your account online.

Panacea Financial

High Yield Savings

4.3/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

4.50%

Min. deposit to open
$25

  • No monthly fees or balance requirements
  • Minimum $25 deposit required
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • Expanded insurance protection available up to $125 million
  • Unlimited out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements

Panacea Financial is a financial institution that was created by doctors for doctors, but  is open to everyone nationwide. It offers a high-yield savings account with a competitive APY that applies to all balance levels. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 live customer support by calling 833-472-6223.

What’s more is the added benefit sure to come in handy for those with larger balances: The PLUS Insured Cash Sweep offers expanded insurance for balances over $250,000 up to $125 million per tax ID.

  • No monthly fees or balance requirements
  • Minimum $25 deposit required
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • Expanded insurance protection available up to $125 million
  • Unlimited out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements

Panacea Financial is a financial institution that was created by doctors for doctors, but  is open to everyone nationwide. It offers a high-yield savings account with a competitive APY that applies to all balance levels. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 live customer support by calling 833-472-6223.

What’s more is the added benefit sure to come in handy for those with larger balances: The PLUS Insured Cash Sweep offers expanded insurance for balances over $250,000 up to $125 million per tax ID.

Bask Bank

Interest Savings Account

4.5/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.10%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Two savings account options available: one earns American Airlines miles, the other earns interest
  • Doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards with savings account
  • Mobile check deposits via app

Bask Bank is an online-only subsidiary of Texas Capital Bank that offers two savings accounts. The Interest Savings Account allows you to earn one of the most competitive APYs available.

There aren’t any deposit or balance requirements. However, Bask Bank reserves the right to close your account if it sits unfunded for 60 days. It allows six withdrawals per month from your account, but it doesn’t offer debit or ATM cards.

One major drawback is that the savings accounts don’t permit joint ownership. And Bask does not offer checking or money market accounts, which can be limitations for some if you want to keep your checking and savings accounts together or want to add a joint account holder.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Two savings account options available: one earns American Airlines miles, the other earns interest
  • Doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards with savings account
  • Mobile check deposits via app

Bask Bank is an online-only subsidiary of Texas Capital Bank that offers two savings accounts. The Interest Savings Account allows you to earn one of the most competitive APYs available.

There aren’t any deposit or balance requirements. However, Bask Bank reserves the right to close your account if it sits unfunded for 60 days. It allows six withdrawals per month from your account, but it doesn’t offer debit or ATM cards.

One major drawback is that the savings accounts don’t permit joint ownership. And Bask does not offer checking or money market accounts, which can be limitations for some if you want to keep your checking and savings accounts together or want to add a joint account holder.

TAB Bank

High Yield Savings

4.8/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.27%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • $5 monthly fee for paper statements
  • Full suite of deposit accounts available
  • Mobile check deposits via app and text alerts
  • Extended customer service hours

 

TAB Bank recently increased its already competitive savings APY to 5.27%. There’s no minimum balance or deposit required and you’ll only need one cent in your account to start earning interest.

Because TAB Bank is an online-only bank, we like that you can receive mobile alerts and text messages. For example, you’ll get a message about withdrawals when your account falls below a certain limit. Another benefit is that TAB has extended customer service hours — Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MST, excluding federal holidays.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • $5 monthly fee for paper statements
  • Full suite of deposit accounts available
  • Mobile check deposits via app and text alerts
  • Extended customer service hours

 

TAB Bank recently increased its already competitive savings APY to 5.27%. There’s no minimum balance or deposit required and you’ll only need one cent in your account to start earning interest.

Because TAB Bank is an online-only bank, we like that you can receive mobile alerts and text messages. For example, you’ll get a message about withdrawals when your account falls below a certain limit. Another benefit is that TAB has extended customer service hours — Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MST, excluding federal holidays.

Bread Savings

High Yield Savings

4.2/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
4.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

5.15%

Min. deposit to open
$100

  • No monthly fees
  • Monitors and adjusts APYs based on market conditions to remain competitive
  • Doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards with savings account
  • Mobile check deposits via app

Bread Financial offers a high-yield savings account through its consumer arm Bread Savings. There’s a $100 minimum deposit to qualify for its competitive APY. There are no monthly maintenance fees and you can make unlimited free deposits via mobile check, ACH transfer and wire transfer. There are a few common fees, including $25 for outgoing wire transfers, $15 for official check requests and $5 for paper statements per statement. And Bread Savings doesn’t offer ATM cards.

  • No monthly fees
  • Monitors and adjusts APYs based on market conditions to remain competitive
  • Doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards with savings account
  • Mobile check deposits via app

Bread Financial offers a high-yield savings account through its consumer arm Bread Savings. There’s a $100 minimum deposit to qualify for its competitive APY. There are no monthly maintenance fees and you can make unlimited free deposits via mobile check, ACH transfer and wire transfer. There are a few common fees, including $25 for outgoing wire transfers, $15 for official check requests and $5 for paper statements per statement. And Bread Savings doesn’t offer ATM cards.

Varo Bank

Online Savings Account

4.6/5


We score savings accounts based on annual percentage yields, customer experience, minimum deposits and fees. Our savings and high-yield savings account ratings are based on extensive in-house research, which evaluates features and perks, including mobile and online access and surcharge-free ATM networks.

Minimum deposit and fees
5.0/5

APY



APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

3.00% to 5.00%

Min. deposit to open
$0

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • Roundup tools to automate savings
  • Highest APY available limited to balances up to $5,000
  • Minimum of $1,000 in monthly direct deposits required to earn APY

Varo Bank is another bank on our list with a tiered savings rate that benefits lower balances. Savings accounts that maintain a maximum daily balance of $5,000 for the entire monthly billing cycle earn 5.00% APY. Amounts above $5,000 will earn 3.00% APY.

To qualify for any interest at all, you’ll need to have $1,000 in direct deposits every month. And you’ll need to have a positive balance in both your Varo Bank and Savings account at the end of each month. While Varo presents a tempting APY for those with lower balances, once your account balance exceeds $5,000, you’ll drop down to the lower APY.

However, we like that Varo offers more wiggle room to grow your stash with automatic round-ups to move your change from deposits and transactions to your savings.

  • No monthly fees, minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Mobile check deposits via app
  • Roundup tools to automate savings
  • Highest APY available limited to balances up to $5,000
  • Minimum of $1,000 in monthly direct deposits required to earn APY

Varo Bank is another bank on our list with a tiered savings rate that benefits lower balances. Savings accounts that maintain a maximum daily balance of $5,000 for the entire monthly billing cycle earn 5.00% APY. Amounts above $5,000 will earn 3.00% APY.

To qualify for any interest at all, you’ll need to have $1,000 in direct deposits every month. And you’ll need to have a positive balance in both your Varo Bank and Savings account at the end of each month. While Varo presents a tempting APY for those with lower balances, once your account balance exceeds $5,000, you’ll drop down to the lower APY.

However, we like that Varo offers more wiggle room to grow your stash with automatic round-ups to move your change from deposits and transactions to your savings.

Common savings account fees to avoid

Bank fees can cut into your interest earnings, so avoid them if you can. Here are some common charges associated with savings accounts that you should keep an eye out for.

Monthly maintenance fee 

A monthly maintenance fee is charged by financial institutions for maintaining an account. It can often be waived by meeting certain criteria, such as signing up for electronic statements or direct deposit. Unless you can easily meet the requirements, experts suggest avoiding accounts with monthly maintenance fees. If, for example, you have a change in employment and no longer meet the direct deposit criteria, this fee can eat into your savings and negate any interest earnings.

Minimum balance fee

Some savings accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance. It’s a good idea to avoid savings accounts that charge minimum balance fees, especially if you don’t normally keep sufficient funds in your account. 

Excessive withdrawal fee

Many banks still charge a fee if you exceed a maximum of six withdrawals per month, even though the Federal Reserve Board rule, Regulation D (which limited the number of withdrawals and transfers permitted), is no longer in effect. Though the rule was removed in 2020, many banks still enforce it, so you should track your transactions just to be safe.

ATM fees

If you use an out-of-network ATM, your bank is likely to charge you an ATM fee. If you frequently rely on cash withdrawals, look for an account that offers ATMs in your area or reimburses ATM fees.

Paper statement fee

Many financial institutions charge a fee for receiving paper statements by mail. Opting in to receive electronic statements will eliminate this fee.

Account closure fee

Closing your savings account within a certain window may also trigger a fee. This window is generally 90 days or less and is in place to discourage account churning — opening and closing accounts in rapid succession to receive new account bonuses. Make sure to note any policies regarding these fees before closing your account.

Additional no-fee savings account perks to consider

Finding a savings account with fewer or no fees is a win. However, other types of perks can also contribute to a positive banking experience. 

“You may want to look for a bank with 24/7 customer support, especially if it’s an online bank with no physical locations,” said Jenn Schell, financial researcher for Annuity.org. “You could also look for accounts with convenient features like mobile check deposit or online bill pay.”

Here are a few other features worth considering for your savings goals.

  • High APYs: Look for a no-fee savings account that offers a competitive APY. A higher rate means your savings will grow faster over time, helping you maximize your return.

  • Account access: To guarantee access to your savings when you need it, look for physical branch access, a mobile and online platform or a combination of both. Make sure the bank you choose is easy and convenient for your needs. 

  • Geographic and ATM access: Review your bank’s ATM network and any fees associated with out-of-network ATMs. Consider banks with an extensive network of ATMs or that reimburse you for out-of-network fees. You might also consider banks with physical branches or in-network ATMs closest to where you live and work.

  • Customer service: Many no-fee banks offer phone, email or live chat support if you have a problem with your account — and some offer 24/7 access to a representative. If you want in-person service, look for a no-fee bank with physical branches, like Capital One.

  • Incentive programs: Many banks offer incentives like free educational series to help you learn more about finances and build good money habits. Some accounts have programs to round up your change to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings.

  • Savings sub-accounts: Sub-accounts allow you to separate your savings into accounts so you can organize your funds based on specific savings goals. 

  • Relationship benefits: Combining a no-fee savings account with other deposit accounts or services, such as credit cards or loans, at the same institution could get you more favorable interest rates, fee waivers or preferred customer status. 

  • Sign-up bonuses: Although rare, some no-fee savings accounts may offer a cash incentive to open a new account. Ranging from $50 to $500, these cash bonuses often require certain criteria to be met first. 

How to open a no-fee savings account 

Opening a no-fee savings account is a simple process. Once you’ve reviewed your options and selected an account, follow these steps to complete the process.

  • Gather the necessary information and documents to fill out your application. Banks usually ask for a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or passport, Social Security number and contact information.

  • Visit the financial institution in person or complete the application online.

  • Fund your account with an initial deposit once your application is approved. Some accounts require a minimum deposit account.

  • If the option is available, set up online or mobile banking access to manage your savings account remotely and easily.

The bottom line

No-fee savings accounts cut out the excess fees so you can keep more money in your pocket. Carefully review the terms and conditions when you’re shopping around for savings accounts to understand any potential future fees. Remember that some banks charge fees for non-routine services such as wire transfers or paper statements. Compare different options to find the best account for your needs.

FAQs

Many banks or credit unions may charge some fee even if the account is advertised as a no-fee or free savings account. Always review the fee schedule for a list of all potential fees that a savings account may incur. Oftentimes, the fee schedule is available on the bank or credit union’s website. However, you may need to reach out to the financial institution directly if that information is not readily available.

If the bank, credit union or financial institution is a member of the FDIC or NCUA, then the free savings account is federally insured for up to $250,000 per person, per institution. To see if your bank is insured, use the FDIC’s BankFind tool or visit the NCUA’s website.

It’s best to choose an account that advertises as a no-fee or free savings account. These accounts generally don’t charge a fee for monthly maintenance services, have a minimum balance requirement or incur transaction fees. It’s important to review the fee schedule, however, to understand additional fees that may be associated with the savings account, such as excess withdrawals or wire transfer fees.