Comparing Online Savings Banks

Online savings banks are a great option if you would like to save money and earn interest for a period of time. High-yield savings accounts earn more interest than savings accounts you'd find at your big banks or local credit unions. Unfortunately, you probably won't find rates any higher than 2% any time soon due to the decline in the economy. However, some interest is better than none and these accounts have some of the highest interest rates. If you're looking for an online savings bank to entrust your emergency fund or other savings goals that also exudes great customer service, consider choosing one of these banks to open a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit:

Ally Bank

Ally Bank may be a newer bank, but they're certainly doing everything they can to assure they're customers they'll always be there. Ally's online savings account is secure and requires no minimums to open. Although they're based online, you can always talk to a real person 24 hours a day, online or over the phone. The website even shows the call waiting time! Customers have given Ally's savings account 4.2/5 stars, and it's easy to see why. The account has no monthly maintenance fees and it's also FDIC insured to the maximum allowed by law. Ally's 0.84% APY* is beating out its bigger competitors like Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Opening an account is a breeze, and managing your account online is even easier.

American Express

American Express offers two simple products: a high-yield savings account or certificates of deposit. With access to your money 24/7 and the ability to link your existing accounts, even if they're at different banks, they make it easy to start saving right away. Your mind can be at ease knowing that American Express is a member of the FDIC and your account is insured at least $250,000. High-yield savings accounts here earn 0.75% APY with no fees and no minimums. Their CD products boast also have no fees and no minimums, with an APY of 0.80% for a 24 month term. With over 160 years of service, they're a bank you know and can trust.

FNBO Direct

Want to open up your online savings account with as little as one dollar? You can at FNBO Direct. You can literally start this account with the change in your pocket. Their 0.65% APY is 4 times the national average, which means you'll certainly get more for your money. Again, no minimums, no monthly fees, and the freedom to move your money around between your different accounts. Want to be able to send money from your phone or e-mail? FNBO Direct allows you to. No need to step foot in a bank, from filling out your application to funding your account.

ING Direct

A favorite amongst many online bankers, ING Direct's Orange Savings Account makes sure “savers have all the funds”. 7.5 million savers can't be wrong about high interest, no fees, and no minimums. An application that can be completed in less than 5 minutes, an APY of 0.80%, FDIC insured up to $250,000 and free transfers from your existing bank account are some of the perks you can expect at this bank. You can have up to 25 accounts, which is more than enough savings for all of your wildest dreams.

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae may be known for their work with student loans, but they've got a few savings products on their hands as well. Their high-yield savings account has a 0.85% APY with no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and FDIC insured. Saving for college? Maximize your savings with a 10% annual match on Upromise earnings! Electronic transfer are free, friends and family can contribute to your earnings, and you can start paying down your student loans all in house.

SmartyPig

Don't let the silly name fool you. When it comes to savings, SmartyPig is all business. SmartyPig brings back the old school piggy bank style of savings, but makes it virtual. You set a goal (or more if you'd like) of how much you'd like to save, what you'd like to save it for, and when you'd like to accomplish the goal, and you make it happen. You can contribute on a regular basis by setting up automatic deposits, or contribute what you can when you can. Your account is FDIC insured, and you can share your savings goals with your friends via Facebook and Twitter, and they can contribute to it as well! Once you've accomplished your goal, you redeem it either retail gift cards, SmartyPig's Cash Rewards Card (that earns you cash back), electronic transfer to your account, or a combination of any of the above. With a 0.70% APY, you'd be smart to set up your account at this bank.

Online Bank Advantages

You may be used to going into a bank and filling out a long application just to set up a savings account that earns little to nothing and has fees and minimums. These online banks allow you to bank from home, transfer where you want, hold a balance you want, and ease through the application process. Start your savings today.

*Interest rates listed were current as of the date this article was written. See the banks themselves for the most up-to-date information.