The best savings account to open today

The best savings account has no fees, no minimums, and a good interest rate. Here are my two favorite savings accounts you can open today.

Ramit Sethi

A good savings account allows you to effortlessly save for ANY financial goal

And when you combine it with automation, you create a powerful financial tool that allows you to save passively too. 

BUT all accounts aren’t created equal: beware of the Big Banks. Extortionate fees and terrible customer service make them a bad deal for most people. Instead you should get an online savings account.

If you’ve ever had a Big Bank, you know what I’m talking about: Minimum fees, overdraft penalties, crappy interest rates, and (my least favorite) mailing you dumb promotional material every. Single. DAY.

There are plenty of great online accounts to choose from too — but after evaluating many options I’ve boiled it down to one: Capital One 360.

The BEST savings account: Capital One 360

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Source: Consumerist

This is the account I recommended in my book and it’s still the account I use today, years later.

Why? A few things:

  • No fees, no minimums
  • 1% APY
  • You can do everything online in an ultra-simple interface
  • No annoying upsells sent via postal mail = no paper cuts
  • Links to your checking account via electronic transfer
  • BEST PART: Sub-savings accounts (more on this later)

The account also comes with a lot of great online savings tools to help you keep track of your financial goals.

Overall, this makes Capital One 360 Savings the best deal for anyone who wants to take their personal finance goals to the next level.

How to open a Capital One 360 Savings account

Click here to get started with the Capital One 360 Savings. NOTE: It’s not an affiliate link. I’m not a rep for Capital One — just a happy customer.

Get ready to fill out a few forms with your personal information (name, address, DOB, etc.) as well as more private information (social security number). The process won’t take more than 30 minutes and when you’re done, you’ll be ready to get started saving.

BUT I have another savings account suggestion. It’s important to have multiple options.

Runner-up: Ally Bank Online Savings

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Source: GoBankingRates

Ally is an online bank — and they’re a great choice for anyone looking for a solid savings account.

A few things to note:

  • 1.45% APY
  • No fees, no minimums
  • Can create multiple accounts
  • Easy online interface
  • Interest compounded daily

Though Ally savings accounts don’t technically have sub-savings accounts, it does allow you to create multiple savings accounts that effectively do the same thing.

The “sub-savings” accounts of a brave IWT worker.

Click here to get started with an Ally savings account. It’ll be the same process as with the Capital One 360 savings account.

Once you do you’ll be able to open up multiple savings account on the same day. And having accounts where you can segment your savings goals is crucial to achieving them. That’s why I want to go into what exactly sub-savings accounts are and why they’re so important.

The importance of sub-savings accounts

I mentioned how psychologically important it is to have sub-savings accounts, rather than one lump “savings” area.

Check out this screenshot of my old sub-savings accounts back when Capital 1 was Ing Direct:

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You see why this matters?

If your friends call you up and say “Hey dude, let’s roll to Vegas this weekend,” you’re not going to be like, “Hang on guys … let me initiate a transfer from my ‘down payment’ sub-savings account, which should take 24-48 hours.”

You could … but you won’t.

This is a GOOD THING.

Using my automated personal finance system, I use monthly automatic transfers to funnel money into each of my sub-accounts. Now that these transfers are in place, I’m getting closer to each of my goals automatically, month after month, without having to remember to set money aside.

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This is precisely how people get rich “passively.” You don’t see the money when it’s automatically withdrawn from your checking account and shunted to specific savings goals — you will never miss it. However, a few months later, you’ll be amazed at how fast you’re accomplishing your goals.

By the way, it’s possible to simulate sub-savings accounts with any savings account (for example, by manually creating your own “sub accounts” in Excel).

But I like Capital One 360 and Ally because they just do it for me. Why give yourself another financial chore to think about? Don’t take more than five minutes deciding. Just pick one and move on.

I cover the use of sub-savings accounts in more detail in my blog post “Sub-savings accounts: How to save for anything in 3 steps.” It’s an incredibly powerful way to make your savings more streamlined and purposeful.

Don’t chase rates — look for these 3 things instead

The two accounts I suggest above are great — BUT they’re just my recommendations. Do your research and look into what works for you.

Let me offer you another word of advice though: Don’t be a rate chaser.

A lot of people ask about the 4-5% interest rate that ING and other high-interest banks used to pay, which I quoted in my book. Unfortunately, those interest rates are variable, meaning they change with the economy. As a result, many online banks don’t offer the same rates they used to.

However, do NOT waste your time chasing rates. A 1% difference on a balance of $10,000 is $8.33/month. That’s a small win and hardly worth your time.

If you write me and say, “But Ramit, XYZ bank has 0.2364% higher interest rate. LOL! U R WRONG!” I am going to (1) mock you, (2) make you my “troll of the week” on Instagram so my followers can mock you too.

Instead, you should be looking at three things when searching for a good bank:

  1. Trust. This is one big thing Big Banks (e.g., Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase) lack. I know because I had a Wells Fargo account (aka Wells “Let’s open millions of fake accounts” Fargo) for YEARS because their ATMs were in my area — but I’ve since learned better. You can’t trust banks that do skeezy things like double charging you for using other ATMs or nickel-and-diming you through minimums and fees. Their offers should be clear and easy to set up.
  2. Convenience. Your bank needs to be convenient — otherwise you’re not going to be able to take full advantage of it. You need to be able to get money in and out and also transfer it easily. You can make sure that a bank is convenient by browsing around its website and making sure that they have a reliable customer support team.
  3. Features. The best high interest savings account is going to be the one with other great features like prepaid envelopes for depositing money, sub-savings accounts, and online savings goals tools.

Find a bank with those three things and you’re set for life. Once you do, it’s time for you to automate your finances to optimize your savings potential.

Automate your finances and save for ANYTHING

I. Talk. About. This. A. LOT. But that’s only because it’s the best way to invest, save, and earn money. This system allows you to automatically send your money where it needs to go as soon as you receive your paycheck.  

how to automate your finances 2

And it’s simple: Each month, your paycheck is automatically divvied up and sent exactly where it needs to go (pay bills, pay rent, invest, save, etc.) without you needing to touch it. This allows you to save for any goals passively, making it easier to save than ever.

To find out more on how to automate your finances, check out my 12-minute video explaining it here:

If you want to cut down the time it takes to save for your goals even more, I have something for you:

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In it, I’ve included my best strategies to:

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  • Increase your income by thousands of dollars a year through side hustles like freelancing.

Download a FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide today by entering your name and email below — and get on your way to accomplishing your savings goals.

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  1. Margaret

    Have to second the recommendation for ING Direct; I love them.

    But, Ramit, I thought you had said in the past that you weren’t planning on buying a home in the foreseeable future. Have your plans changed, if you are now saving for a down payment?

  2. Rich

    ING is up for sale, at least their banking division in the US. Not knowing who will end up with the ING assets, I moved over to Ally. I was very happy though with ING while I was there. Please post a follow up if you find a different savings bank that you like.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I’m utterly mystified by how many people are worried about ING selling. I have gotten 20+ emails in the last 2 days about this, asking what they should do, where should they switch to, etc.

      A sale doesn’t necessarily mean something bad is going to happen. Why not wait and see?

    • Rich

      It is not really a concern about ING going away as much as which companies may be taking over. GE and Citi are 2 companies I would rather not deal with if possible.

    • Margaret

      Wouldn’t the deposits still be FDIC insured? If so, why should I worry? There’s no indication as yet that ING’s policies will change if they are bought out.

    • Rich

      Yes, they are FDIC insured. It is that I don’t want to deal with the companies that are possibly buying ING. Instead of waiting to see, I just proactively switched. I was more curious as to Ramit’s thoughts. It really doesn’t matter though in general, as long as you are saving and it is FDIC insured. It is whatever works for you as an individual.

    • Sarah

      The point is that it’s not worth switching to ING if the transactions costs of opening/closing accounts are high for you. It’s kind of like purposely not automating something.

      One of the companies that is rumored to be “far along” in takeover negotiations with ING is not as friendly (Ally, formerly GMAC). There’s no reason to expect them to maintain the same or provide better terms. It’s probably better for people to switch to a bank that is maybe not as good as ING but will probably be around for longer.

    • Sarah

      I had a flashback this morning–when ING took over NetBank (where I had opened some accounts in 1998), ING did away with some of NetBank’s sweetest perks, like free overdraft on linked accounts. Bank takeovers usually don’t benefit the customers directly.

  3. Lang

    Hey Ramit,

    This is great an all for you American People.

    But How about us Canadians?

    Yes, we have ING Direct Canada, so the Savings Account is good.

    But How about the credit card and the chequing account?

    • Gregorydee

      The only problem I find with ING living in Canada are in the lack of customer support, simply because there is no walkin tellers or real hands on assistance.

  4. Jason


    I have an ING account (with sub accounts) and I love it. I have one question though: Do you know of a way to set up one transfer from a checking account to the ING savings account and have it distribute that deposit across all the sub accounts by a percentage? Right now, I’ve been transferring money from checking to savings and then manually distributing the money to the sub accounts. I’d love to have this done for me automagically so there’s even less to think about.

    Thanks for your help and your wonderful blog!

    • Dave

      You can set up automatic bi/weekly/monthly transfers of a set amount to each individual sub-account. This is what I do. If you wanted to put in a variable amount each week, then I wouldn’t know how to do that or if it’s even possible.

    • Dave

      Look for “Automatic Savings Plan” under the My Accounts tab.

    • BarbaraB

      Don’t be confused by Ramit’s use of the term “sub-account” like I was. They are not sub-accounts – they are independent accounts with different account numbers. If you transfer to the “main” account and then distribute to the other accounts, you may well run afowl of the 6 withdrawals a month limitation. I used to think the way you are and got a nasty-gram from ING – if I did it again they’d be required by law to terminate my accounts. A phone call with customer service corrected my thinking and I rearranged the withdrawals/transfers from my checking account so that the amount I wanted to transfer goes directly into each of the savings accounts. So, every 2 weeks, ING does 3 withdrawals from my BOA checking account and puts it into the 3 separate savings accounts.

    • Jason

      Thank you everyone for the assistance.

      BarbaraB was right. I was thinking that I could transfer one lump sum to ING from BOA and then distribute it to the sub accounts. I will instead setup individual transfers from BOA to each individual sub account for my savings plans. Thanks everybody!

  5. satish

    I am also a big fan of ING Savings account which I have been using for a coupleo of years now. Another advantage of ING savings is that you can see your investment account such as IRA at the same time. It makes it easier to automatically invest from your account.

  6. Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot

    I do agree, we certainly aren’t stashing money away in savings accounts to get rich off of the interest rates… a quarter of a percent ain’t gonna do much for you! I like automating finances, to a degree. I wrote an article on this not long ago, laying out the different aspects of my financial web that I like to automate, and those that I do not. I have been burned by phone companies and credit card companies more than once, which gives me a little hesitation when automating those types of bills.

  7. Daniel


    I’m reading your book right now and enjoying it. I’m on the chapter on starting a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. As far as a savings account goes, I have a Bank of America Savings Account. I put 10% of my bi-weekly paycheck into the savings account which amounts to about $150 every two weeks. I would love to subdivide my savings as you discuss, but with only $300/month, it seems like it will be difficult to put considerable amounts of money in each subcategory. What do you suggest?

    Putting 10% away and planning to start putting another 5% into a Roth means it may be tough to save more at this time in my life.

  8. Cory Huff

    Been using the ING Orange account for more than a year now. It’s pretty fantastic. Our savings automation is going very well. Thanks for the great ideas Ramit!

  9. Jim Mortensen


    What about ?

    It has all of the benefits you listed, a higher interest rate, AND is more designed to push you to your financial goals goals rather than being a general savings account.

  10. jhardesty

    I second Jimmys question.

    I’ve been using smartypig for awhile. They were taken over by compass bank a while back but they’re options for using the money you save is impressive. You can get cards to a wide variety of companies and they’ll even add on a certain percentage [usually around 4%]. So for example, if you have a savings goal for a trip, you can choose to cash out with a travelocity card and they add another 7%. Or you can choose half on a card half cash. its pretty good if you have very specific goals [trips, furniture, food]. Also links to your checking, you can set up bi-monthly or monthly transfers etc. Interest is compounded daily, paid quarterly.

  11. Chris

    Do you think this may have a negative impact on this account?

    “Capital One Wins ING Direct USA ”

  12. David

    Does all this apply to your business finances too? Same CC, Savings & Checking?

    • Ramit Sethi

      No. I hesitate to recommend a business account — even the ones I use — since I hate them all

  13. Stan

    I’ve been with ING for over 6 years now and always been quite happy with them, decreasing interest rates notwithstanding. Can’t say that I am thrilled with the idea of Capital One taking over, but I’ll wait to see how things develop before making any further decisions.

  14. Ryan K

    I have been using a service called Smarty Pig which is similar to ING, and offers the same ways to subdivide savings accounts with goals. Plus they have a refillable rewards card. I think it’s a solid alternative. One thing is that it’s somewhat difficult to actually get money out without transferring the entire amount saved in a goal.

  15. Paul

    A minor rant, but taking a wait-and-see approach:

    There are 2 companies that, 10 years ago, I swore not to do business with: Chase, and Capital One. Note: BofA wasn’t as bad in 2000 as it’s been in recent years.

    Since then, Chase has bought 2 of my credit cards, closed 2 of those, and consolidated the credit into one card. They killed my credit history (and credit score) in the process. They also bought my savings and checking accounts through Washington Mutual. Since then, however, I have not had a single problem with them, and I actually like Chase.

    Capital One has always been on my dislike list for their exorbitant credit rates and obnoxious commercials. The bums in my town started yelling at people “What’s in your wallet?!” Well, as luck has it, they bought out my other credit card company. In 2008, as the recession flag began to wave, they cut my credit limit and jacked up my interest. I decided, to hell with them, and I closed my account with them. I didn’t want to run the risk of them screwing me over at some later date when I actually want to make a large purchase and need to depend on my good credit for attractive rates. I’ve never looked back since.

    Here, now Capital One has bought the US banking segment of ING. I have no doubt that they’ll cut the interest rates and probably require a minimum balance on new accounts, but I speculate. Like I said, I’m in a position of wait-and-see.

    For those of you who are on the fence and don’t yet have an ING account, you have at least 3 choices: Get an ING account and keep it no matter what. Look elsewhere and don’t get an ING account at all. Get an ING account and, if they change the terms, move it elsewhere.

    Apologies for the length.

  16. tads

    Hate if you want, but is a much better online “savings” account. Technically you are investing, but they boil it down so simple that high school students could do it. The interest rate that they get is phenomenal, and the connection to your checking account makes it just as simple to deposit or withdraw. The only downside to this is that there are no sub-savings account. If you would rather have upwards of 5 times the return on your money (I had about 8% last year) you could just keep track of your sub accounts in a spreadsheet.

    • Margaret

      The higher interest rate is all very well and good, but the stock market is highly volatile in the short term. I wouldn’t want our emergency savings in an account highly dependent on stock returns because my husband might well lose his job at the same time as the market drops, leaving us in a perilous position.

      For relatively short term savings (new cars, emergency fund, saving for car insurance, etc.) I prefer a more secure, but lower return.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Dude…that is not a savings account. Investment accounts are used for a totally different purpose

  17. John


    Where do you store your emergency fund? Is it in another savings account with quicker accessibility?

    Any plans to write a post for money market funds, online brokers, CDs, etc?

  18. Ryan776

    Hey Ramit…
    Great post man! I totally agree with this thought process. It makes everything so much simpler when you can look at your sub-savings account and see exactly how much money you have in each category, as opposed to having one savings account and tracking it in an excel sheet. Because every time you make a deposit, then you’d have to remember to make a note in your excel sheet to remind you what that deposit was for.

    So if your car windshield needs replacing – just take the money out of the car maintenance account and there’s still money in the vacation account to do a spur of the moment 4 day weekend in Vegas!!

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now…and it’s awesome! Stress has gone down knowing that I have money set aside when something comes up.

    I like your “Stupid Mistakes” account..hahahaha. I laughed at the title of that one…. that’s a good idea. You never know when you’ll need money to bail you out of jail for doing something stupid.


  19. PG

    In response to comment number 3 [it seems there is no way to reply directly to that comment]:


    I agree that there is no reason for ING Direct users not to wait and see what changes as a result of the sale to Capital One. It’s not like anything has gone wrong yet, and ING’s features are great. But you’ve said yourself in a Yahoo Finance interview with that ” I also like naming names for excellent and terrible cards,” and went on to say “Capital One : I would never use their cards. I hear horror story after horror story from my readers about them.” In this forum alone, Paul [comment 25, above] gave another example. So perhaps it should not be so utterly mystifying that those same readers would turn to you for advice when they hear that ING Direct is being absorbed by Capital One. [see your article at:]. Maybe you were paraphrased? It happens all the time in interviews…

    You’ve notified readers about changes in your recommendations before. In fact this was the reason for your last post []. Readers benefit from these kinds of updates because banks and credit card issuers change their offers and their terms, sometimes for the worse. You recommend to readers that they get 85% of the way and move on. But in your credit card post, you said:
    “And so I began an exhaustive search for a new credit card. Because I spend a significant amount on my credit card, I expect significant rewards. Also, I consider it a fun game to find the 99.99999th percentile best card in the world.”

    It’s possible that the people emailing you thought that you’d done the same with online banking, and that you might know something they didn’t. In any case, thanks for the great post, and I hope that you’ll keep readers updated in case things change.

    Thanks again.

  20. Ian

    I really dig your three recommendations, but I was wondering if the awesomeness of the credit card and accounts, is true when traveling overseas (international ATMs, credit card purchases, etc). I am planning on doing some substantial international traveling this upcoming year, so I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

  21. trevor

    So are these subaccounts with ING actually separate accounts with separate account numbers?

    • Lexi


  22. Samantha

    Do you have any thoughts about PNC’s Virtual Wallet Program? The Orange Savings Accounts w/ING Direct and the Virtual Wallet Program appear to be very similar.

    Thank you.

  23. Dawn Abraham

    Great article I am going to look into this. Even though I’m happy with my savings account this sounds like it has more to offer. You never know when your going to find some great information when your not even looking for it.I just happened onto your site from something you posted. That’s the great thing about the internet it really informs you about so many great things that before we would have to rely on word of mouth from a limited amount of people.

  24. Jon

    Would also like to hear some opinions on the PNC virtual wallet. After reading through all the comments I was surprised there were none.

  25. Max

    Only the US branch if ING direct offers sub savings accounts 🙁
    I live in Italy. I checked ING direct Italy and every other italian online bank, looking for sub account services or banks that offer connection to Mint, or at least that can be connected to Quicken or similar.
    The few customer services that answered to my emails told that, yes, it is a good suggestion, but they are not planning to implement these services soon.
    No way to have that degree of automation (and freedom) I’m dreaming of since I read your book.
    Sometimes I hate my own country!

  26. Alex

    Haven’t found any sub-savings accounts in Germany either… 🙁

  27. Akin

    I’m surprised no mention of American Express nor Discover savings accounts. Both provide great saving rates and have a reliable business. Interest rates are slightly higher for Discover, but they process requests sloooowly. If you have patience for delayed gratification and want to penny pinch, then use Discover savings. American Express moves a lot faster and is better for people running a small business or tech startup. I also recommend them if you have zero patience.

  28. Fede

    Hi Ramit and everybody.

    I was doing some research to open a online savings account. I saw has a good interest rate. Does anybody have a savings account with them? Any info will be appreciated.

  29. Nelson

    What about Europe ?

  30. Taylor

    The one downside to the Capital One 360 is that you’re limited to a certain number of transfers per month. But this would be true for any savings account. I had to back off my automatic transfers to once per month to avoid hitting the limit.

  31. Jimmy

    I moved checking and savings Ally. I setup 9 savings accounts, automate money from checking with no fees, get re-imbursed $10/month for ATM fees (though most ATMs are free) and I can manage everything in one place.

    • Wije

      This (Ally savings/checking) is exactly what I do. I had a savings account with Ing/CapitalOne. Ally’s interest rates are much higher and they are much more flexible. I had much better experience with customer service with Ally that CapitalOne. Ing was good, but not after CapitalOne takeover.

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  33. Kathryn

    Ramit, I’m a long-time reader and I have accounts at both ING/CapitalOne and Ally, and I highly recommend Ally. Their rates are always better and their customer service is great, plus they have a lot of great perks like no ATM fees (and reimbursement of other banks’ ATM fees). If you are going to make a recommendation as to “Best Savings Account” at least try Ally; in my experience it is superior.

  34. JD

    Hard to find something stable to invest in. The best I’ve tried is , I get returns of 10%. Also, is another one of my favs.

  35. CHRIS

    LOVE THIS ARTICLE….What do you recommend if I purchase everything I can with my amex (free vacations!) and pay it off every month through auto pay….I want to stop doing spread sheets, it’s annoying. It did get me out of over 50k in debt though…Now that I have pension, 401k, 457, stocks, savings, emergency fund and checking I want to really see is guilt free purchases. Because of previous debt 10 years ago i’ve become to rigid. Any ideas?

  36. Sivan Berko

    Is there any option for non US citizens?
    You must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid Social Security number to sign up on Capital One to open an account.

  37. Sonya

    Ramit, what are your thoughts on Ally bank’s savings account?

  38. Hzhsbdsye

    But it’s not available where I live, I live in Dubai btw.

  39. Amy

    Hey Ramit–

    I’m curious to know what you think about Simple Bank for either checking or savings.

    Currently, I use Chase for my checking account (legacy decision I made a long time ago) and Capital One 360 for my savings account (on your suggestion).

    I’ve heard good things about Simple and am considering a move- would be interested in your thoughts.


  40. Agnes

    Discussion is very informative and good. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Ross McCay

    This advice may have been solid back before the ING merger or if you already have your account with Capital One. But in 2016, Ally is a better overall choice for a savings account. You can create sub-savings accounts and rename them just like with Cap One’s 360. The difference, however, you get a better yield and MUCH better customer service with Ally (Ally’s customer service is 24/7 with next to no wait time. They have live chat support too.).

    I did a lot of research on both beforehand and tried to set up a savings account with Capital One 360 first, based on Ramit’s advice. It seemed like a coin toss to me at the time, even though I knew Ally had a better yield. However, during the application process with Capital One, it told me I needed to call their security team to verify more information before I could complete my account. Fair enough. I give them a call and was connected directly to an automated machine with no chance of talking to a live person. The machine proceeds to tell me to leave my name and number where they will give me a callback within 24 hours. I left my name and number and never received a callback. I even called back a second time just in case for some reason my first message wasn’t audible.

    After Capital One’s security team never called back, I called their main customer service number thinking they would straighten this out. Instead, I was told only their security team can finish the identity verification process and to call them back again. What a joke! I would never go to a company that has that type of customer service (if you even want to call it that), especially when I have Schwab for my checking account, where they have excellent customer service. I couldn’t be happier with my choice with Ally for a savings account.

    Sorry for the chapter long response but thought I would share my experience.

  42. Mike

    My wife and both have an ING Orange every day account linked to our 2.75% saver. It is a great account for your savings, no bank fees, no ATM fees 🙂

    They offer a $75 sign up promotion if you have a promo code, this one is valid for the month.

    This is a generic sign up feature of ING (google it so you know I’m not telling porkies) but you need a promo code as above.