A:

Individuals interested in saving money in a savings account must consider two major factors: yield and security. As of 2014, yields in the United States and elsewhere are universally low, and they have been low for many years running. However, there is tight competition between lenders to provide the highest possible yield. Safety is assured only by choosing accounts and institutions that are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There may be institutions that offer higher yields without the coverage of the FDIC, but these are certainly not among the safest choices and therefore should be avoided.

The highest yield savings accounts are only available online. By offering online accounts, banks are able to reduce costs and pass these savings along to account holders through higher yields. Some savers may prefer to do business with banks that have local branches, but accounts offered through institutions, which may be opened and transacted at branches, have significantly lower yields.

MySavingsDirect is a division of Emigrant Bank, which was founded in 1850. It offers a savings account with a 1.05% variable annual yield, no monthly fees and a $1 minimum initial deposit. Accounts are FDIC insured and do not offer checking privileges. Accounts are only available online; however, telephone support is available. There are no check writing privileges.

Synchrony Bank, which was formerly called General Electric Capital Retail Bank, offers a high-yield savings account with a 1% variable yield. The account has no minimum initial deposit. However, there is a $5 monthly fee for balances below $50. Accounts are FDIC insured and available online only, with telephone support. There are no check writing privileges.

iGOBanking, a division of Flushing Bank, has been in business for over 80 years. They offer a savings account with a 1% variable yield, $1 minimum initial deposit and no monthly fees. Accounts are FDIC insured and available online only, with telephone support — again, there are no check writing privileges with this type of account.

CIT Bank, which has been in business for over 100 years, offers a high-yield savings account with a 1% variable yield, a $25,000 minimum initial deposit and no monthly fees. Accounts are FDIC insured and available online only, with telephone support available. There are no check writing privileges.

GE Capital Bank offers an online savings account with a 0.95% variable yield, no minimum initial deposit and no monthly fees. Accounts are FDIC insured and available online only. Although telephone support is available, there are no check writing privileges.

Barclays, a British multinational bank founded in 1690, offers U.S. customers a savings account with a 0.90% variable yield, no minimum initial deposit and no monthly fees. Accounts are FDIC insured and available online only, with telephone support. Check writing is not permitted.

Ally Bank is the youngest bank on this list, with its parent, Ally Financial, becoming a bank holding company in 2008. The bank offers a savings account with a 0.90% variable yield, no minimum initial deposit and no monthly fees. These accounts are FDIC insured and available online only, with telephone support. There are no check writing privileges.

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