I’m quite fond of saving money—at least in theory. In practice, the actual act of saving funds is somewhat more challenging. Part of the issue is that it’s hard to get too stoked about an industry average of between 0.01% and 0.06% APY (annual percentage yield, a.k.a. annual interest earned) on money saved.

To illustrate my point: suppose I deposit $100 into my savings account, and it gathers interest at a rate of 0.01% APY. In this case, I could look forward to earning a whole additional $0.10 in interest after 12 months. Or let's say I’m earning an APY of 0.06% on that $100 instead. Now I will rake in $0.60 in annual interest accrued instead. Yahoo. But let's say I can find a savings account with a 1% APY. With this APY rate, I'm earning $1 for every $100 saved, and $10 per every $1,000 saved. If I manage to pack in $10,000, I’ll earn $100 in interest annually. Now we're getting somewhere.

Understand—a savings account setup will never be an aggressive savings strategy. But it’s a secure and highly liquid strategy (meaning you know in advance approximately what you’ll earn on what you deposit, and if you need the money in a hurry, it’s always right there waiting for you). So while keeping a savings account shouldn't represent your only savings efforts, it should likely represent a portion of those efforts—specifically, the portion of funds you want to keep close by, just in case the ever-present unknown decides to strike and you need money in a hurry. Having said that, here are six stellar savings account programs you can't go wrong with!

1. Barclays Bank online savings account

Barclays Bank is a UK-based financial giant with a stable and growing reputation. Not only does Barclays provide the official credit card to finance Apple products, but their recently launched online savings account offering is one of the best in the biz. Here are the highlights:

  • 0.90% APY
  • $1 minimum balance
  • Full mobile platform to manage, deposit, withdraw and check balance
  • Customers can link their Barclays account to accounts at other banks

2. GE Capital Bank online savings account

GE Capital Bank specializes in savings and CD accounts only. As such, they’re very good at what they do! Here are the highlights:

  • 0.90% APY
  • $1 minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Lovely online calculator to estimate interest earnings versus nationwide APY rates
  • Limit of six monthly withdrawals

3. Sallie Mae Bank savings and money market accounts

Depending on which product you select, Sallie Mae offers APYs from 0.80% to 0.90%. Know that money market accounts typically have somewhat more restrictive withdrawal guidelines than savings accounts, so be sure you research before making a final choice. Here are the highlights:

  • 0.80%-0.90% APY
  • No minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Offers extra services like student loans, college savings match programs and insurance

4. Ally Bank savings account

Ally Bank is all about online banking, with multiple deposit, tracking and withdrawal options, a friendly website and an awesome APY. Here are the highlights:

  • 0.87% APY
  • No minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Customers can link their Ally Bank account to accounts at other banks
  • Ally Bank reimburses customers for ATM fees incurred at non-Ally ATMs nationwide

5. American Express high-yield savings account

American Express might be best known for its credit card, but the company is now making a name for itself with its high-yield savings account program as well. Here are the highlights:

  • 0.85% APY
  • No minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Customers can link their American Express savings account to accounts at other banks
  • FYI: Their savings account product isn’t linked to the American Express credit card program

6. Capital One 360 savings account

The Capital One 360 savings account, formerly a product of the award-winning online banking service ING Direct, also leverages the stability and success of its new parent, Capital One bank, to provide an FDIC-insured savings account with a great yield and many other perks. Here are the highlights:

  • 0.75% APY
  • No minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Mobile app allows customers to keep tabs on savings and interest earnings from anywhere
  • This online bank also offers phone service and a select number of in-person "Capital One Cafes" that serve up real coffee as well as personalized customer service!

 

For similar articles, check out:

5 Banking Fees You Should Never Pay

Which College Savings Plan Is Right for You?

How to Be S.M.A.R.T. About Saving Money in the New Year

 

 

Make More from Your Savings with These 6 High-APY Accounts!