Best Online Savings Account Deals for May 2013

By on April 25, 2013

The best online savings account deals below for May 2013 are based on various criteria we deem to be outstanding for our readers. Note that these savings account deals and promotions are not based solely on the interest rate or signup bonus.

We evaluate these online banking institutions based on APY, user experience, customer service, security and fee analysis.  All of the accounts mentioned below are Savings Accounts, which have no fees or minimal fees.

This page is updated frequently to reflect updated rates, terms and other conditions dictated to us by the merchant. Check back often for updated details on these banks and new offers. We only review high yield savings accounts that we consider to be the best deals and promotions on the market. In addition, the accounts reviewed below come from companies that have been in the business for years, and have earned a quality reputation for their services. For the month of May, here’s what we recommend for trusted savings accounts.

1. Ally Bank – High Yield Savings, APY 0.84%

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Our Summary

I currently have over 5 Ally Savings accounts and couldn’t be happier.  If you scower the net for reviews on the bank, you’ll find most to be positive.  Setup takes minutes, and there are no credit requirements to open an account. There is no minimum deposit, no account minimum, and no form of maintenance fee whatsoever.  Customer service is superb. Ally offers online chat support which is almost instantaneous.  They also can be reached by phone 24/7.

Ally’s account security is top-notch with layers of anti virus and malware elimination software running constantly.  Multiple firewalls run along side Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption which is on par with any other brick and mortar banking institution. Be confident that your data is safe and secure with FDIC Insured backing up to $250,000.  They also provide free anti-malware software to their customers, which can be accessed through your account in their Security Center.

One of our favorite aspects about the Ally banking experience is their user interface in your browser and on mobile. A clean cut, easy to read and navigate user experience makes it a pleasure to manage your accounts. You can also setup and add multiple accounts within one screen. Setting up additional accounts takes no more than a couple minutes, and they will mail you hard copies of your account details for your file.

Transfer money between your Ally accounts instantaneously. Transfers between Non-Ally and Ally (IE: Money from your Savings to Checking) accounts typically takes about 48 hours to process. Plan ahead of time if you know you’ll need to move funds around. We also like the delay here, because it helps the spendy consumer resist temptation to spend their savings. Remember, it’s a GOOD thing to keep lots of money in your high-yield savings account. Watch it grow!

2. American Express Personal Savings – High Yield Savings, APY 0.85% (Expired)

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Our Summary

These days, the words “American Express” ring with a tone of exclusivity. While that will always hold true, the good news is the everyday consumer no longer needs to have an American Express credit card to partake in the perks. Amex offers a no-frills online savings account deal that we believe to be ideal for the consumer who fancies simplicity.

High APY – Right now, you can kick start an Amex Personal Savings account with a 0.85% APY. This rate is very competitive, and obliterates the national average for savings accounts. Keep in mind that all bank rates are subject to fluctuations, however we’ve seen minimal movement with this particular online savings account deal.

No Fees – We love this deal because there are no fees associated with opening or maintaining an account. There is no minimum deposit required once you open your account, and there is no balance amount that must be maintained during the life of the account. There is also no monthly fee what-so-ever.

Up to 6 Transfers per Month – This is common with most online banks, and is actually for the best. Savings accounts are available for the consumer to do one thing – save. If you have to make more than 6 transfers a month, it’s probably not worth opening a savings account in the first place.

Simple. Easy. – The American Express personal savings account portal is extremely basic. There’s no clutter, unnecessary headings or useless links which makes it a pleasure to navigate and conduct your tasks. We mentioned previously that this is a no-frills savings account. It’s so simple, there is no free ATM access or debit card that comes with the account. It should strictly be used as a basic high-yield savings account. For the consumer who’s looking to rack up interest quickly and not move their money too much, this account is ideal.

24/7 Customer Support – You get the same top-notch customer services as a savings account holder as you would a credit card holder with American Express. I can honestly say this company really prides itself on how they treat their customers. Personally, I have yet to speak with an employee at Amex who wasn’t overly enthusiastic about solving a problem quickly. Even if you just have a basic account question, they’re there for you.

Why Online Banks Tend to have Higher Interest Rates (APY)

You’ll notice that many brick and mortar banks don’t offer much in the way of a high-yield savings account. That’s because they’re banks with physical branches, which equates to more overhead. Maintenance fees on simple building up keep, hiring the janitor and mass numbers of employees means that they can’t pay out much interest on customer savings accounts. In fact, the national APY average for savings accounts through brick and mortar banks has been as low as 0.10%! To top that off, these same companies often charge excessive fees to their customers – ultimately negating any interest you might have earned.

Why an Online Savings Account is Ideal for Saving

Despite a recent surge in new online savings accounts; many consumers are still skeptical of the online banking concept. I was guilty of this myself until a few years ago, when I was floored to discover how low my interest rate was along with the overall fee amount I had been charged over the years. It forced me to consider where my money was sitting. In the grand scheme of things, online banking was still a relatively new idea (Kind of like how humanity is to the age of the earth). It occurred to me, that one of the most revolutionary benefits of having an online savings account was that my money wasn’t over-the-top accessible. Sure, I could access it whenever I want, but it requires you to transfer that money out to another account. Typically, there is a 5-6 transfer limit per month to and from the account. In addition, when you transfer money externally, it usually takes a couple of business days to clear. This gave me less of an incentive to be yanking money out of my savings so often. You’re opening a savings account for a reason – to save for something. Let that money grow and be smart with your budgeting. Allocate your spending wisely and think ahead.

Is My Money Safe Online?

Before I opened an online savings account, my main reservation was how safe my money would be. What’s to stop a hacker, rogue employee or the Iranian government from picking on me? Well, for starters, trustworthy institutions ensure customer accounts with a $250,000 FDIC policy. Basically, your money is covered by the federal government up to that amount, in one account. At the end of the day, the FDIC should provide you with some confidence that someone else has your back, if said bank should ever go under. Separately, the online savings account deals that we review here all use the same or very similar security software and encryption technology that a regular brick and mortar bank would use for their online account portal. That means, your money as at no more risk than it would be resting within a physical bank.

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