Sallie Mae Bank Review 2020

Published April 2020 by Mary Wisniewski

AT A GLANCE
3.7
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Bankrate Score

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High APYs

Sallie Mae Bank is a good option for those looking to save 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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    4.9
  • CDs
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    3.7
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.7

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    Bankrate Score

    Sallie Mae Bank offers competitive APYs on its savings accounts.

    What we like

    • Offers highly competitive yield on savings accounts.

    • On its SmartyPig accounts, customers can stash away money 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

    The Sallie Mae Money Market Account offers a top-tier APY on any balance that you have in the account. There is no minimum balance required 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.

    What we don't

    • Higher APYs do exist at a few institutions.

    • There is no ATM access available for this account.

    Savings accounts

    4.9

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    Bankrate Score

    The High-Yield Savings Account earns a highly competitive yield and any balance earns that APY. It has no minimum balance to open the account and there are no maintenance fees on this account.

    What we like

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

    • No minimum balance.

    • No maintenance fee.

    What we don't

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

    • There is no ATM card available for this account.

    CD rates

    3.7

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % 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.

    • Relatively 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 in the Apple app and Google Play stores slam it. The bank also has less extensive hours than rivals for reaching a human by phone. 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 account lets you save for specific goals, like a vacation or a new baby, and assign deadlines to your goals.

    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 Corp.

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski is a banking editor for Bankrate and occasionally 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.