Banks Best Credit Unions in WalletHub Savings Survey
America’s top five savings accounts feature APYs of 1% or more.
And none of them are offered by credit unions, according to a recent survey by the consumer finance website WalletHub.
In its survey, WalletHub compared 388 savings and money market accounts from 205 banks and credit unions, both online and branch-based. The average deposit account offered only 0.18%, a figure that was 84% lower than that of the market leaders polled in its survey.
Salem Five eOne Savings, the online division of $3.3 billion Salem Five Cents Savings Bank in Salem, Mass., won the title of best overall savings account for offering a 1.1% APY with a rate lock that expires in January 2016. There were no monthly or withdrawal fees and a $100 minimum balance.
Salem Five also won the title for best online banking account. Other top honors went to GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account, a division of $499 billion GE Capital Bank in Norwalk, Conn., which offered an APY of 1.05%, charged no monthly or withdrawal fees and required no minimum balance.
The same rates and terms were offered by MySavingsDirect MySavings Account, a part of $6.3 billion Emigrant Bank in New York City. Emigrants’ only additional stipulation was that deposits must be made electronically.
WalletHub offered guidance to consumers seeking the best checking accounts for their needs. Their advice included the following:
• Make a high APY your top priority and seek out the best rate from a secure institution, but don’t overlook deposit insurance.
• Keep credit unions in mind. Their cooperative structure often results in good rates, as well as favorable minimum balance requirements and low-fee environments.
• Consider monthly fees and accessibility of funds. They may be the differentiator when it comes to institutions offering comparable rates.
• Embrace online-only accounts. In addition to offering more favorable rates and terms, electronic deposits may be more secure than going the paper-check route.
• Take advantage of benchmark bonuses, including higher rates and lower fees – or fee elimination altogether – for maintaining certain account balance levels.
• Stick to your plan and tailor institutional selection to the purpose of the account. (Remember this is a savings, not a spending account.)
• Forget the labels. If high rates and low fees are your goals, then checking accounts, prepaid cards and brokerage accounts may be suitable substitutes under the right circumstance.