Online savings accounts offer some of the highest APY (annual percentage yield, or interest) rates you’ll find in the U.S. They also make saving quick and easy with online and often mobile banking, automatic deposits from your checking account, and electronic transfers between accounts.
One drawback is often not being able to access your money when and where you need it. Savings accounts don't usually offer debit cards, and many online savings accounts don’t offer ATM cards, which can make withdrawing cash more difficult.
The good news is there are some online savings accounts that offer customers free ATM cards, along with access to thousands of machines. The better news is they still pay fantastic APY rates — and most are free.
Featured High Yield Savings Accounts
High-yield savings account. $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured.
High Yield Savings Account. $1,000 minimum balance. FDIC Insured through Cross River Bank.3
Earn 4.60% APY4 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.5 FDIC Insured.
Here’s a look at our top seven picks for the best savings accounts with free ATM access — and what you should look for when deciding whether or not to open one up.
|Bank account||APY||Minimum deposit/balance||Monthly fee||Special features or benefits|
|Citi High Yield Savings||4.35% (as of December 9, 2023)||$0 / $0||$4.50 if you don't have a checking account and you have an average monthly balance of less than $500||
|Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings||4.75% (as of Oct. 3, 2023) on all balances||$0 / $0||$0||
|UFB Premier Savings Account||Up to 5.25% (as of Oct. 3, 2023)||$0 / $0||$0||
|Axos Bank High Yield Savings||0.61% (as of Aug. 29, 2023) on balances between $0.00 and $24,999.99||$250 / $0||$0||
|Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings||3.10% (as of May 23, 2023) on all balances||$5 / $5||$0 if you choose to get electronic statements||
|Bank7 Tiered Savings||Not listed — call Bank7 for details||$100 / $100||$15 if balance falls below $100; $15 for paper statements||
|Digital Federal Credit Union Primary Savings Account||6.17% (as of May 23, 2023) on balances up to $1,000||$5 / $5||$0||
Best savings account with free ATM access
Citi is a national bank that offers a range of products, including credit cards, loans, and bank accounts. Its high-yield savings offers an impressive rate, but it also has a monthly service fee if you don't link it with a checking account or your balance is below $500. There's no minimum balance to open the account.
To apply for an account online, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident and have a Social Security number. You also have to apply for the account as part of a banking package that includes a checking account, so Citi may not be the best choice if you're looking for a standalone savings account.
Citi is a good choice if you want a large ATM network and want all your banking at the same place.
Synchrony is an online bank insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) that offers a lot of products for growing your cash, from CD (Certificate of Deposit) and money market accounts to IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and high-yield savings accounts. Overall, its high-yield offering is strong, with a variable but high APY that applies to every dollar in your savings account, no matter how much or little you have. Interest is compounded daily and reported monthly, which results in more money earned.
There are no fees with this account and no minimum balances. However, a $0 balance can lead to account closure if left for more than 60 days. Managing your money is easy using the mobile app with check deposit capabilities, online and phone banking, and both electronic and wire transfers.
Although Synchrony provides a free ATM card, it isn’t automatically issued. You have to contact the bank and request one. Synchrony cards can be used at any ATM worldwide that has the Accel or Plus logo. If you’re charged a fee for using an ATM, Synchrony will reimburse you up to $5 per statement.
3. UFB Direct
UFB Direct, a division of Axos Bank, offers a high APY for its high-yield savings account without balance restrictions, making this savings account a good choice regardless of the amount of money you're keeping in it.
Mobile banking seems to be a strong suit for UFB Direct, which offers a mobile app and SMS messaging capabilities for account management. Moving money into your savings account is easy, as you can have funds added via direct deposit, by transferring funds from a linked account, or by depositing checks using your smartphone.
During the application process, you can request an ATM card for your account. This card can be used at virtually any ATM worldwide. Though UFB Direct doesn’t charge any fees to use your ATM card, you’ll have to pay any fees charged by the ATM.
4. Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Axos Bank’s account is similar to what you’ll find at UFB Direct, with a few key differences. While there are no fees and no minimum balance with this account, the opening deposit needs to be a minimum of $250.
A free ATM card is available and can be used with any ATM worldwide. Axos reimburses all fees charged for using your card at an ATM. Cards aren’t automatically issued, though; you must request one.
Mobile banking and deposit applications, plus a suite of online banking tools, make money management easy. Axos also employs two-step authentication to verify identity when engaging with customers over the phone, which helps safeguard your account.
5. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings
Alliant Credit Union accounts have some special requirements for eligibility. Like many credit unions, Alliant is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that’s owned by its members — essentially its customers.
You must first qualify for membership before opening an account with Alliant. If you or a family member has worked with one of Alliant’s partner businesses or organizations, you may already qualify. If not, you can pledge $5 to support Foster Care to Success through the Alliant website to become eligible.
To open a high-rate savings account, you’ll need a $5 deposit, which Alliant will even provide for you. Though there are no fees with this account (unless you want paper statements, which will run you $1 monthly), you’ll need to maintain at least a $5 balance for your account to stay open and a daily average balance of at least $100 to earn the current APY of 3.10% (as of May 23, 2023).1
Alliant offers online and mobile banking, remote deposit, and more than 80,000 ATMs where you can use your card. And in addition to a high-yield savings account, you can also open up to 19 supplemental savings accounts, which you can even name for specific goals.
Like most other credit unions, Alliant's deposit accounts are federally insured by the NCUA rather than the FDIC.
6. Bank7 Tiered Savings
If you plan on keeping a savings balance up to $1 million, a Bank7 High Rate Online Savings account could be a good option. The APY for this account is not listed online, so you'll need to call Bank7 for details. You’ll need $100 to open the account and must maintain a $100 minimum daily balance to avoid a $15 charge. You can also save a $15 monthly fee if you opt for paperless statements.
If you use this account’s ATM card for withdrawals and transactions at Bank7 or Allpoint Network ATMs, there are no ATM fees. Bank7 branches and ATMs can be found in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Online and mobile banking apps with remote deposit are available.
7. Digital Federal Credit Union Primary Savings Account
As the name suggests, Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) asks you to apply for membership before opening an account. Eligibility requirements can include being related to a current member or living in certain areas of Massachusetts or Georgia. If you don’t qualify through these avenues, you can join by donating to participating nonprofit organizations; this donation can be as low as $10.
Every member gets a DCU Primary Savings Account, which offers both an amazing APY of 6.17% (as of May 23, 2023) and a 6.00% dividend on a balance up to $1,000, with a 0.16% APY applied to anything above that amount. These rates make the Primary Savings Account a fantastic choice for saving small amounts and getting a great return.
Like Alliant Credit Union, the minimum deposit to open a Primary Savings Account is only $5. You’ll also have to request an ATM card for your account.
What to look for in an online savings account
Savings accounts are deposit accounts that are typically used for an emergency fund or to save for other financial goals. Online high-yield savings accounts are especially good because they typically offer an APY that's well above the national average.
It’s always a good idea to research the options available and understand everything involved with opening a new savings account before making any decisions. You don’t want any surprises when it comes to where you put your money.
Some essential questions to answer include:
- Does this account automatically issue me an ATM card, or do I have to request it?
- Where can I use my card? Is there a specific network I have to use?
- Will I be charged fees if I don’t use an in-network ATM? Are any ATM fees reimbursed?
- Is there a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance I need to maintain to avoid fees?
- Is there a monthly maintenance fee or service charge?
- Is there a mobile app I can use to manage my account? Does it allow mobile check deposits?
- What is the APY (interest rate)? Are there minimum account balance requirements to receive that interest rate?
- If you're opening an account at the same bank where you have your checking account, can you link the accounts and use the savings account for overdraft protection?
A few things to remember about savings accounts
In the past, all U.S. savings accounts were held to the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D rule that limited the number of many types of transactions you can make with your savings account to six per month. However, ATM transactions didn't count under these rules, which meant you could withdraw from an ATM more than six times per month without a penalty per federal guidelines.
While the rule was lifted during the pandemic, many banks still kept the transaction limits in place.
Some of the best banks have their own rules when it comes to ATM transactions and limitations. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of using your ATM card and any fees that may be imposed before opening the savings account.
Finally, because high-yield savings accounts are such powerful tools for growing your cash reserves with higher interest rates and meeting your savings goals, it may be a good idea to open more than one savings account, either at the same or at multiple banks. Review the best savings accounts available and decide which ones work best for you.
Many online banks — like Alliant Credit Union and Capital One — allow you to have more than one savings account open at a time. Staggering your savings for various purposes or in accounts that are either easier or more difficult to access can help you take advantage of high APY rates and lessen the temptation to spend.
Do savings accounts come with ATM cards?
Some savings accounts come with ATM cards. Some banks may send an ATM card automatically, but you may need to request a card with other banks. And other banks may not offer ATM cards because the number of fee-free withdrawals you can make is typically limited.
Can I use my savings ATM card at any ATM?
You typically can use your ATM card at any ATM, but you may be charged fees if you use an ATM that's outside of your bank's network.
To choose the best online savings accounts with free ATM access, we compared APRs, minimum balance requirements, monthly fees, and special features. We did not include all available options.