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The best savings accounts for 2014

Yields across the industry aren't likely to rise soon, but you don't have to settle for 0.01 percent annually.

By QuinStreet Jan 28, 2014 6:36PM

This post comes from Michele Lerner at partner site on MSN MoneyWhile some banks boost interest rates in the short term to bring in new customers, you're likely better off using a bank where you can consistently earn a better-than-average interest rate. But where can you find such an institution? Personal-finance website released its Best Savings Accounts 2014 survey this month to offer some suggestions.

Bank sign © John Foxx, Stockbyte, Getty ImagesThe survey analyzed savings account rates at 100 banks -- including the nation's 50 largest banks by deposit size -- over the last year to see which ones provided the highest interest rates on a consistent basis. While none of these accounts topped 1 percent in interest on average -- this is a low-interest-rate environment, after all -- the best accounts still posted rates up to four times the survey's average.

Five savings accounts to consider in 2014

Not surprisingly, the top five savings accounts in the study are all based online. The cost savings that come with an emphasis on online service over brick-and-mortar transactions appear to help these banks offer their customers higher interest rates.

Here are's top five banks for savings accounts for 2014:

  1. Ally Bank. Ally Bank's online savings account topped the rankings by offering an average annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.883 percent throughout the year the study surveyed. Customers appear to be drawn to Ally's user-friendly website and access to free ATMs throughout the nation: According to the study, the bank's total deposits are up 15 percent over the previous year.
  2. American Express Bank. American Express Bank came closest to Ally Bank in the rankings, with an average APY of 0.869 percent. The study reports that American Express attracted 22 percent more in deposits over the past year. Also worth noting: In the last two quarters, this bank's interest rates have exceeded Ally Bank's, making this a competition to watch.
  3. Sallie Mae Bank. Sallie Mae Bank is another close competitor to the top two banks, with an average rate of 0.867 percent. This bank grew fastest among the top five online banks, with an increase of 48 percent in deposits over the past year.
  4. Discover Bank. Discover Bank wins the award for the most consistent interest rates for the year, with the same average rate of 0.800 for each of the past four quarters.
  5. EverBank. EverBank lags a bit behind the other top savings accounts with an average APY of 0.717 percent for the past year, but since that rate still handily beats the overall average rate of savings accounts surveyed (a meager 0.186 percent), it's understandable how this institution has been able to increase its deposits by 27 percent over the past year.

Short-term interest rates have been kept extremely low by the Federal Reserve for several years, and that's not likely to change in 2014. Still, savers need a place to keep their emergency funds and other short-term savings both safe and accessible. So if you're at a bank with interest rates below the ones above -- and if national averages are to be believed, you probably are -- you may want to make 2014 the year you look elsewhere.

Jan 28, 2014 9:24PM
WOW still not a bank giving over 1 % when they charge people who carry a credit card balance 29 %. what is wrong with this photo. Coravette
Jan 28, 2014 9:25PM
I recently closed my BOA checking/savings account after being a customer for eons. Had auto deposit and just got lazy but after seeing my interest on what that month was a $9700.00  balance in the savings account receiving $.12 in interest for the month I finally tossed in the towel and moved on.
Jan 29, 2014 8:14AM
....If you can find and buy a property .... you will never make any money with cash in the bank. At least not now a days.
Jan 29, 2014 9:45AM
Jan 29, 2014 12:26AM
The best savings account I have had is farmland.   Never has gone down in my lifetime and can pay for the land with crops.
Jan 29, 2014 10:09AM

Pay off debts first. Start with smallest amount or highest interest. Since you are saving, collect

buying value amount first and then buy. hence you do not have to borrow at high interest.

You don't need Bank for earning lousy interest. 

Jan 29, 2014 1:06PM
the  best  savings  accounts  are  those  with  MONEY  in  them
Jan 28, 2014 9:17PM
Sadly, when it comes to interest rates on savings accounts, the best bet is not a US bank...  Accounts in foreign banks would pay better, and some countries (Canada and the UK for instance) are stable enough, that your money wouldn't necessarily be at more risk, then in these US banks that give a ridiculous interest that's below the rate of inflation...
Jan 29, 2014 11:12AM
So all of those banks have sucked on the governments tit to get themselves out of trouble.  Also with all the fees they collect (overdraft, sign on, ect...) you would think that they would be able to offer 1.3% like my local credit union does.  They make money off of your savings as well.  Oh wait these were the top rated banks?  Seems to me like my local credit union is giving more money.  Guess someone is getting paid off.
Feb 1, 2014 5:02AM
They overlooked GE Capitol Bank. .9% isn't much but it is better than the ones they listed.
Jan 29, 2014 4:55PM
Feb 1, 2014 1:10PM
Credit Unions are always the best option for savings yield or interest on loans .
Feb 1, 2014 8:04AM
saving is a joke...banks are a's our money they play with and they charge us for the privilege...
Feb 1, 2014 4:17PM
Still just cents not dollars.   Looked at my little kids savings accounts in a normal bank.   Granted, only $10k, but interest income was only $1.57 for 2013.   Good for tax reporting but bad for everything else.   Next question is where to move it.
Jan 29, 2014 10:56AM
a savings account is not designed to dramatically grow your money. it's a place to park emergency money in case you need it fast. for actually savings you are trying to grow you have to invest. be that realestate, mun's are what ever you are comfortable with. don't look at a savings account as an investment tool. you don't really want savings accounts to pay huge interest since that means loan rates would be much higher
Jan 29, 2014 5:29PM
Chase bank offers $125 for a deposit of $10,000.00 for 90 days. that is a good deal and they have offers like this every year. Check your local banks for these offers. Better than Ally..
Jan 29, 2014 10:47AM
Tax-free municipal bond funds pay monthly and can average upwards to 4% or more.  You can still lose principal, but it can increase too.
Feb 1, 2014 8:10PM
Feb 1, 2014 3:26PM
My credit union has a special checking account that gives a 1.25% interest rate.  There are a few requirements, but I meet them easily:  1) You need to enroll in paperless statements, which I did regardless - I check my bank account online every week, so I really don't need a statement mailed to me.  If I need to produce a bank statement for any reason, I can just print one online.  2)  Have direct deposit - which I always sign up for, anyway.  3)  Have at least 10 debit card payments clear per month.  I have all of my bills set to autopay using my debit card, and I pay for my groceries and other personal expenses with my card as well, so I easily reach 10 payments without having to make an extra purchase.  

This particular type of checking account is gaining popularity within local banks and credit unions.  There is also a similar program called Kasasa, where they partner exclusively with local banks to provide a higher interest rate with similar requirements.  If you look up Kasasa's main website, you can find a list of participating banks.  I've used that program before, but the closest credit union was several towns over.  When I found a local bank with a similar program, I switched for the convenience.  
Feb 1, 2014 10:14PM
I get .75 percent on my savings account at my local credit union and it is a brick and mortar location that I can go to and deposit or withdraw on the same day.
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