School’s out, and 2024 college graduates are starting out in the professional workplace — or are close to it. Among the first financial to-dos is making sure you’re set up with the best savings account, which will help you to build a healthy nest egg.

Because you’re just beginning your career, you’re probably looking to build up your savings, so an account that earns a high annual percentage yield (APY) is a must. You’ll also want to avoid monthly service fees that eat away at your balance. Young adults also commonly seek an account with a low opening deposit requirement, a robust mobile banking app and automated savings options.

Here are five savings accounts that may fit the bill for new college graduates looking to start the next exciting chapter of their lives.

Best savings accounts for new college grads

When starting your career, you’ll want to ensure your savings will be in a safe place while earning a high APY. The following accounts earn competitive rates and won’t bog you down with maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements — while also providing additional perks that help boost your savings.

Best savings account for a top-notch APY: EverBank Performance Savings

Having your money in a federally insured high-yield savings account means your money is earning a competitive return while it’s in a safe place. The Performance Savings account from EverBank (formerly TIAA Bank) earns a top-notch yield, with no minimums or monthly fees.

APY: 5.05 percent
Minimum opening deposit: $0

Account features

  • Highly competitive APY
  • No balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees
  • EverBank’s Web Safety Guarantee provides protection for funds lost due to unauthorized online use.
  • Mobile check deposit is available.

Best savings account for automated savings: Capital One 360 Performance Savings

Whether you’re saving for a rainy day, an upcoming vacation or a down payment on a house, it’s important to set aside money regularly for your goals. An easy way to do this is through automated transfers from your checking to your savings account. With its 360 Performance savings account, Capital One allows you to schedule such transfers from a Capital One checking account.

APY: 4.25 percent
Minimum opening deposit: $0

Account features

  • Set up automatic transfers to the account on a recurring basis
  • No minimum opening deposit or monthly service fees
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • No ATM card included

Best account for multiple savings goals: Ally Bank Savings Account

If you’re saving for various goals at once, consider an account that lets you set up categories for each goal. The high-yield savings account from Ally Bank allows for up to 30 such “buckets” to which you can devote portions of your funds.

APY: 4.20 percent
Minimum opening deposit: $0

Account features

  • Custom buckets let you organize your money under different categories.
  • Recurring transfers to savings can be set up from an Ally checking account.
  • Those who also have an Ally checking account can have their spending rounded up to the nearest dollar and transferred to the savings account.
  • No ATM card included

Best savings account for all-in-one banking: Discover Bank Online Savings Account

The Online Savings Account from Discover Bank can be a good choice if you prefer the convenience of having highly rated deposit products and credit cards all in one place. Discover’s savings account earns a competitive yield and requires no minimum opening deposit or balance requirements. The bank also offers a cash-back debit account, 12 terms of CDs and many rewards credit cards.

APY: 4.25 percent
Minimum opening deposit: $0

Account features

  • APY that’s nearly seven times greater than the national average
  • No minimum opening deposit or balance requirements
  • A convenient option for managing multiple financial accounts in one place
  • Discover’s savings account doesn’t come with an ATM card.

Best savings account for mobile banking tools: SoFi Savings account

Automating your money-saving process is a great way to stay on track. The savings account from SoFi Bank earns a competitive yield (when deposit requirements are met), and the bank’s app can help increase your nest egg by automatically sending part of your paycheck to savings. The app can also be used to set up recurring transfers from other accounts, and it can also help you establish and track your savings goals.

APY: 4.60 percent, when deposit requirements are met
Minimum opening deposit: $0

Account features

  • Up to 20 savings “vaults” can be created for categorizing your savings goals.
  • Recurring transfers can be set up into vaults of your choice.
  • When you use a SoFi debit card, purchase amounts can be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the difference added to a designated savings vault.
  • Note that when you open a SoFi savings account, a SoFi checking account is automatically set up in your name. To earn the 4.60 percent APY, you’ll need to set up direct deposit (or deposit at least $5,000 every 30 days).

How we selected our list

When deciding upon the best savings accounts for recent college graduates, Bankrate only included accounts that earn high yields. These rates are up to around eight times the national average savings account rate.

What’s more, we were sure to only include accounts without any minimum deposit requirements, as well as those that don’t charge monthly service fees.What’s more, all the accounts listed are from banks that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). This ensures your funds are safe in the event of a bank failure. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category.

Lastly, we looked for savings account features that would be helpful to the typical recent graduate, including handy money management options — such as automated funds transfers and a mobile app with practical money-management tools.

What to look for in a savings account

High APY

It pays not to settle for a savings account with a mediocre APY when you could be earning a yield that’s currently outpacing the rate of inflation. In fact, top savings account rates have been beating inflation since March 2023. A common use for a high-yield savings account is to hold your emergency fund.

“If there is one thing you’ll need in your financial life, it is an emergency savings account,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “The best place to put that money is in a high-yield savings account with a federally insured bank or credit union. Your money is safe, accessible, and by pursuing these highest-yielding accounts, you’re getting additional return without taking on risk — the only free lunch in finance.”

No fees or minimum balance requirements

Monthly service fees and minimum balance requirements often go hand in hand. Banks often charge monthly service fees to customers who don’t maintain a set minimum balance. Be sure to find an account that doesn’t charge such fees — or one that makes them easy to avoid.

Money management tools

Whether you’re seeking an account that lets you categorize portions of your money into different buckets or one that allows for automatic transfers from your checking, these tools can help you save more money toward your goals.

How to get started with a bank account

If your bank has branches, you can open deposit accounts in person. However, most banks make it easy to open a savings account online. You may be required to provide your driver’s license, as well as your address, social security number and date of birth. If you’re funding the new account through a digital transfer from another account, you’ll need that account’s information, such as an account number and routing number.

Once your account is established, you can set up online banking. This makes it easier to access your account anytime for tasks such as checking your balance, transferring money or paying bills.

You may wish to open both a savings account and a checking account at the same bank. While a savings account is a place to store money for emergencies or financial goals, a checking account is typically designed for everyday spending. The two accounts can be used together to handle your monthly spending and saving.

Other ways to build your wealth when starting out

Savings and checking accounts can get you on the right track when it comes to healthy money management. Consider setting up a budget to make sure you’re living within your means in order to cover your monthly expenses and build up your savings.

In addition, funding your retirement savings from an early age helps ensure you’ll have the means to retire when you feel ready. Savings vehicles for retirement include Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), in which your money can be invested in a wide range of assets.

Another option when saving for retirement is an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. For these plans, employers often match employee contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary, such as 4 or 5 percent.

“As soon as you’re eligible, sign up for your workplace retirement plan and contribute at least enough to capture the full employer match,” says Bankrate’s McBride. “It’s free money.”

Bottom line

The best savings account is an essential part of successful money management. In addition to looking for an account with a high APY and no monthly fees, consider what features you find important before selecting the best account for you. As a young adult, the right savings account for you earns a high rate of return, often with money management tools and convenient ways to build up your savings.