Sallie Mae Bank Review 2020

Published January 2020 by Mary Wisniewski

AT A GLANCE
4.1
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Bankrate Score

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High APYs

Sallie Mae Bank is a good option for those looking to save their money in an online account. However, you’ll have to bank elsewhere for a checking account.

  • MMAs
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    5.0
  • Savings
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    5.0
  • CDs
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    5.0
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    1.85 % APY

    $ 5,000

    Min. balance for APY

    BBVA

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    1.85 % APY

    $ 10,000

    Min. balance for APY

    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.75 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    4.1

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    Bankrate Score

    Sallie Mae Bank doesn’t make available checking accounts, but it does offer top-tier APYs on its savings accounts.

    What we like

    • Nearly offers top-tier APY on savings accounts.

    • On its SmartyPig accounts, customers can stash money away for specific goals.

    What we don't

    • Doesn’t offer checking accounts.

    • Negative reviews of its mobile app.

    Money market accounts

    5.0

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER MMA OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    1.85 % APY

    $ 5,000

    Min. balance for APY

    The Sallie Mae Money Market Account has a top-tier APY on any balance that you have in the account. It doesn’t require a minimum balance to open the account and there are no monthly maintenance fees.  The account also has check-writing privileges.

    What we like

    • This account has a top-tier APY.

    • No minimum balance to open the account.

    • No minimum balance to earn the top APY.

    • It has check-writing privileges.

    • You can make e-deposits with the app, which is for iPhone and Android phones. You can also access account on the app.

    • You get your first book of 25 checks free with the Sallie Mae Money Market Account.

    What we don't

    • Higher APYs do exists at a few institutions.

    • There is no ATM access available for this account.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.75 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    The High-Yield Savings Account earns nearly a top-tier APY. It has no minimum balance to open the account, any balance earns that APY and there are no maintenance fees on this account. Another feature is that you can make e-deposits with the app, which is for both iPhone and Android phones.

    What we like

    • The High-Yield Savings Account has a competitive APY.

    • No minimum balance.

    • No maintenance fee.

    • You can make e-deposits with the app, which is for iPhone and Android phones. You can also access your account on the app.

    What we don't

    • There are higher, top-tier APYs at other banks.

    • There is no ATM card available for this account.

    • You’ll have to bank elsewhere in order to have a checking account.

    CD rates

    5.0

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.05 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Sallie Mae offers CDs across multiple terms, including some unique ones that aren’t available at other banks. Investors without much money to invest may be able to open a CD with the bank, and earn more interest than they would at most banks.

    Early withdrawal penalties for CDs are standard. The penalty is 90 days of simple interest for CDs with terms of 12 months or less. For banks with longer terms, the penalty is 180 days of simple interest.

    What we like

    • Interest is compounded daily.

    • Yields are competitive and much higher than average.

    • Low minimum deposit required to open each CD.

    What we don't

    • None of the CDs offer special features like the chance to automatically raise rates.

    Bank experience

    You won’t choose Sallie Mae for its mobile app experience. Reviewers slam the app in Apple app store and in the Google Play store. The bank also has less extensive hours to reach a human by the phone than rivals: Its normal hours are 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. (EST) on weekdays.

    But Sallie Mae does stand out for some of its budgeting features. Its SmartyPig accounts let you save for specific goals, like a vacation or a new baby, and assign deadlines to your goals. You can also get $10 referral bonus for getting others to open accounts, too.

    About Sallie Mae Bank

    Sallie Mae Bank is an FDIC-insured bank headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It offers savings and money market accounts. It also offers certificates of deposits. It operates as a subsidiary of SLM Corporation.

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    At Bankrate, Mary Wisniewski writes on a variety of fintech and banking subjects. Previously, she covered fintech for American Banker and edited op-eds for the publication's BankThink section. She was also a blogger and editor at Bank Innovation and served as a fashion editor for National Jeweler, where she reported on fashion shows and jewelry news. Mary grew up in the Michigan suburbs and now lives in Los Angeles with a maltipoo, a record player and an espresso machine.