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Editor’s note: The APYs listed in this article are current at the time of publication. They can fluctuate (up or down) when the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.
Consumers who are constantly on the go might prefer online-only banks, as they tend to have the latest and greatest features for mobile banking. But larger, older, more established financial institutions are catching up with consumer trends as demand for integrated banking features increases.
In reviewing deposit accounts from major banks and/or credit unions, CNBC Select discovered that one of the best accounts for mobile access is actually offered by popular student loan manager Sallie Mae.
Sallie Mae may have started as a student loan company, but it has since grown to offer a variety of banking products including high yield savings products, certificates of deposit and a money market account.
Specifically, the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account stands out for those looking to save with a major bank while enjoying easy mobile access to their money. It offers features like mobile SMS banking, mobile SMS alerts, and eDeposit to deposit checks from your phone (which not all accounts have).
Combined, these features help Sallie Mae’s High Yield Savings rank among the best for on-the-go access in the physical category of our Best High Yield Savings Accounts according to the major banks list.
Ahead, we review the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account and give you all the details of its features.
Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account Review
Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account
Information about the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account was independently collected by CNBC and was not reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Sallie Mae is a member of the FDIC.
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
The minimum balance
Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *Cycle withdrawal limit of 6/instructions is waived during the Coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D
Excessive transaction fees
Any transfers over the limit will be charged an excessive transaction fee of $10 per transfer. Repeatedly exceeding this limit may result in account termination.
Offer a current account?
Offer an ATM card?
Sallie Mae APY High Yield Savings Account
The current APY is 0.50%. Users of the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account can start earning interest immediately, with no minimum account balance required.
Sallie Mae compounds the interest on your savings daily and deposits it into your account monthly. This means you earn interest on interest every day and see that earnings credited to your account every month.
Access to your cash
Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account users can link their external bank account to their Sallie Mae account to electronically transfer funds or set up direct deposit. They can also use Sallie Mae eDeposit, which allows users to make check deposits remotely via their iPhone.® or AndroidMT devices.
By law, account holders with Sallie Mae can withdraw or transfer money up to six times per calendar month without penalty (limit lifted during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D). There’s no limit to the number of transfers you can make from your high-yield savings to repay Sallie Mae loans, and there’s no limit to the number of deposits customers can make .
Not all major banks have a mobile-friendly component. Sallie Mae, however, does this in a number of ways.
First, the bank offers e-deposit so you can deposit a check remotely with just a photo. Other established financial institutions do not offer this with their High Yield Savings Account, such as the American Express® High Yield Savings Account.*
Second, Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account users can use SMS banking to request certain account information whenever they need it. Not all banks offer this, and it’s a free service (although your mobile operator may charge normal SMS or data usage fees). This feature allows customers to retrieve information about their bank accounts from their mobile devices by simply sending SMS. They can request their account balance, their last five transactions or make transfers between two accounts.
Third, account holders also have access to mobile SMS alerts, which are automatic notifications they will receive regarding their account. Customers can choose which mobile SMS alerts they want to activate, such as reminder alerts, balance alerts, and transaction alerts.
In addition to having no minimum balance requirement, the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account offers no monthly maintenance fees.
Any transfers over the six-per-month limit (which is currently being lifted during the pandemic) will be charged an excessive transaction fee of $10 per transfer.
At the end of the line
To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of US savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including major credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering savings accounts that offer an APY of around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees, and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.
While the accounts we picked in this article consistently rank among the highest APY rates, we also benchmarked each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility. , as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews. when available. We also considered user deposit options and the compound frequency of each account.
All accounts included in this list are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Note that pricing and fee structures for High Yield Savings Accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and often fluctuate with the Fed rate. Your income depends on the associated fees and the balance you have in your High Yield Savings Account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of fresh money, which means that you cannot transfer money that you already had in an account with that bank.
*American Express National Bank is a member of the FDIC.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.