The Best Savings Accounts in Kentucky for 2022

The best savings accounts in Kentucky offer competitive interest rates without costly fees or high balance requirements. Compare and choose a savings account in Kentucky.
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By Erin Gobler

The Louisville, Kentucky skyline seen at dusk with the river and bridge in the foreground

 

Whether you’re saving for a large goal — such as the down payment on a home or an upcoming vacation — or are simply looking for somewhere to house your emergency savings, a high-yield savings account can be the perfect tool. Not only will it keep your money safe, but it will help you to earn a higher return than a traditional savings account.

If you live in Kentucky, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding the best savings account. Keep reading to learn some of the top savings accounts in Kentucky, as well as a few things to look for when choosing the best account for you.

The Best Savings Accounts in Kentucky

  • CIT Bank
  • Bread Savings™
  • Synchrony Bank
  • Barclays
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • Ashland Credit Union
  • Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union

Compare savings accounts and see what rates are being offered today.

Online Savings Accounts Available in Kentucky

Online savings accounts have plenty of advantages. They offer higher interest rates with excellent digital tools but still provide the reliability and many other perks of a traditional savings account. Below are the top five savings accounts in Kentucky.

Bread Savings™

Bread™ Savings — formerly known as Comenity Direct — offers one of the highest annual percentage yields (APY) of any savings account on our list. You’ll need a $100 minimum deposit to open your account. After that, you won’t pay any monthly fees. It’s worth noting that Bread™ Savings doesn’t offer a checking account, so you can’t have all your accounts in one place, and it may take longer to access your savings.

Bread ™ Savings Pros & Cons

CIT Bank

CIT Bank — now a division of First Citizens Bank — also offers one of the highest APYs of any savings account on our list. There’s no fee to open your account, nor will you pay any ongoing maintenance fees. You will need a $100 minimum deposit to open your account.

CIT Bank Savings Pros & Cons

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank offers a high-yield savings account with an APY that’s many times the national average.

There’s no minimum deposit to open the account, you don’t have to maintain a certain balance, and you won’t be subject to any monthly fees.

Synchrony Bank offers credit cards as well but doesn’t offer a checking account, so you won’t be able to have your accounts at the same bank or access your money on short notice.

Synchrony Bank Pros & Cons

Barclays

Barclays offers a high-yield savings account with an APY that’s considerably higher than the national average.

There’s no minimum deposit required to open an account, and you won’t be subject to any monthly fees.

Barclays also offers a savings assistant, which can help you set and reach your financial goals.

Barclays doesn’t offer a linked checking account, so you won’t be able to store all of your financial accounts at one bank.

Barclays Savings Pros & Cons

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is another bank that offers an excellent APY on its savings account. There’s no minimum deposit required to open the account, and you’ll never be charged a monthly fee.

Marcus also offers same-day transfers to and from other banks, which is a perk most online savings accounts don’t offer.

Unfortunately, Marcus doesn’t offer checking accounts, so you can’t use this financial institution for all of your banking needs.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Pros & Cons

A Look at Local Kentucky Banks

Online savings accounts have become popular, thanks to their high APYs and robust digital tools. But some customers may prefer a financial institution with a local branch they can visit, or simply one that isn’t a national chain.

The good news is you can access these perks without necessarily having to sacrifice all the benefits of online accounts. Below we’ll talk about a couple of our favorite local Kentucky savings accounts.

Ashland Credit Union

Ashland Credit Union was founded in 1942 to serve the people of Ashland Kentucky. Today, the credit union has another Kentucky branch in Lexington, as well as branches in Ohio and Minnesota.

Ashland Credit Union offers a savings account with an APY that’s higher than the national average, but not as high as many online accounts. It also offers other services, including checking accounts, CDs, IRAs, HSAs, and loans.

Ashland Credit Union Pros & Cons

Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union

Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union was founded in 1971 to serve the employees of the B.F. Goodrich Chemical plant in Calvert City, Kentucky. It now serves many more customers across more areas of Kentucky.

Lake Chem has a savings account with an APY that’s higher than the national average. You’ll need $25 to open the account, which then serves as the hub of all your Lake Chem accounts.

Other available products and services include checking accounts, CDs, IRAs, and loans. Customers earn dividends, which are paid quarterly.

Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union

How We Picked: Methodology

We found the best savings accounts in Kentucky by analyzing savings accounts offered by online banks, local and regional banks and credit unions, and national banks. We looked at current APYs offered on savings accounts at over 25 banks along with fees, requirements to open an account, availability of ATMs, access to customer service, and convenience of online and in-app banking.

Our top choices for savings accounts in Kentucky reflect bank offers and market conditions at the time of our analysis. Banks change their rates and other features regularly, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest rates directly with any banks you’re considering using.

How to Choose a Savings Account in Kentucky

With so many savings accounts to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a savings account in Kentucky.

Interest rate

The interest rate — shown as the annual percentage yield (APY) is the amount you’ll earn on your savings. It’s one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an account since a higher APY means more earnings.

Online accounts usually have the highest APYs, but the local credit unions on our list still have significantly higher rates than traditional banks.

Fees

These days, it’s easier than ever to find financial institutions that don’t require fees on deposit accounts. As a result, be wary of signing up for any account that does charge a fee.

If you’re considering opening a savings account with a bank that charges an account fee, make sure it has enough other benefits to make up for it.

Opening deposit

As you may have noticed, several of the accounts on our list require a minimum deposit to open your account. These minimum deposits range from $20 to $100, so they may not pose an obstacle for all people. But if you’d rather not be required to provide a minimum deposit, consider one of the accounts on our list that doesn’t have one.

Other accounts available

Some people like to do all of their banking in one place, while others like the idea of having their savings stored somewhere else, either to get a higher APY or to remove the temptation to spend that money. Many of the financial institutions on our list only offer savings products, but a few also offer checking accounts and other banking services.

Access

One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a savings account in Kentucky is what kind of access you want to your money.

Most of the online accounts we mentioned have no physical branches, meaning you can’t simply drive down the street to withdraw money. Instead, you must often transfer the money to your checking account (which can take a couple of days) and then access it that way.

On the other hand, many online banks have a robust, full-service website and mobile app, which can give you access to your money at any hour of the day or night.

Customer service

When it comes to banking, customer service must be top-notch. Look for a bank that makes it easy to contact a live person about your account, at least during normal business hours.

If you want someone who knows you and your account well, go with a local bank or one with a local branch. If you’re okay with being entirely hands-off with your cash, a nationwide online bank might work for you.

Where Can You Open a Savings Account in Kentucky?

When you’re opening a savings account in Kentucky, you’ll generally have three different options: online banks, traditional banks, and credit unions.

Online banks

Online banks are much like traditional banks and have become one of the most popular places to open savings accounts. In fact, many of them are affiliated with traditional banks but simply have a much stronger online presence.

Some banks focus on one or two things, such as savings accounts or loans, while others offer a full range of financial products. Most online banks are just that — fully online — and everything you do is handled virtually, without ever speaking to a real person if you’d rather not.

Online savings accounts often have higher savings APYs, lower fees, and more robust tools. However, they aren’t always full-service banks, nor do they usually have physical branches.

Most online banks are FDIC insured, but always check to be certain.

Brick-and-Mortar Banks

A traditional bank is the brick-and-mortar bank you may have grown up seeing or used before online banks became popular. These banks have many more services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, and even investment products.

However, they often have considerably lower APYs on savings accounts, as well as more fees.

Credit unions

Credit unions are nonprofit organizations instead of for-profit corporations. As a result, they are often more favorable to members than traditional banks are. They can offer higher APYs on savings and lower fees while still offering personalized service and physical branches.

Kentucky Savings Accounts vs CDs: What’s the Difference?

When you’re comparing the best savings accounts in Kentucky, you will come across other options, such as CDs. Certificates of deposit might seem like an excellent idea with their higher interest rates, but how good of an idea they are depends upon what you want to do with your money.

If you want to access your money easily, a CD is probably not the best option; if you care more about interest, it might be the way to go. Here’s how they differ.

Kentucky Savings Accounts vs CDs

Accessing your cash

If you think you might need to pull money out of savings in the event of an emergency, a CD is not a good option for you. You can only withdraw money from the CD through the bank, during normal business hours, and sometimes it can take a few days for that money to transfer to another account.

Compare interest rates

Your interest rate on a CD is often higher than that for a savings account, and the interest rate is locked in. That means even if interest rates tank for other products, your money will still get the better rate as long as you keep up your end of the bargain and don’t touch the money until the set period of time has passed. That might be anywhere from six months to several years.

Potential fees and penalties

A certificate of deposit doesn’t have any fees, but it does have a penalty for early withdrawal, and that can be enough to negate any interest or even end up with less cash than you began with.

Savings accounts do sometimes have fees, but these can be waived through certain actions, such as maintaining a daily minimum balance. Carefully weigh if the interest gained through a CD is worth the potential penalty if you face a financial emergency and need that cash quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the highest-yielding savings account right now?

The APYs on savings accounts fluctuate with market interest rates. As the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, the rate on your savings account also increases. Today, you can find banks offering APYs nearly 20 times the national average.

What is the downside of a high-yield savings account?

The downside of high-yield savings accounts is they’re often offered by online banks that don’t offer other deposit accounts such as a checking account. As a result, it may take longer to access your money when you need it.

Should I go with a checking or savings account?

That depends on your financial goals. Though there are high-yield checking accounts out there, they tend to be more volatile in terms of interest rate and how much you’ll actually earn, as checking accounts are designed for money to go in and out. Savings accounts are intended for the money to stay there and gain interest over time. If you’re going to need to access the money to pay bills and such, a checking account is a better option.

Is a money market fund or mutual fund better than a savings account?

What kind of risk are you willing to take? In a savings account, you can earn interest on your money, but it’s quite unlikely a situation would arise where you would actually lose cash.
In a money market or mutual fund, you’re taking a risk that your balance might drop if the market takes a hit. On the other hand, the dividends in a good economy can be much higher than the interest of a savings account.
Note that a money market fund is different than a money market account.

What if I change my mind and want a CD instead?

A. Then you’re in luck because many banks that offer savings accounts that bear interest also offer CDs. To switch to a CD, you can usually just fund it directly from your savings account, even if you are going with a different bank. Just keep in mind that once the money is in a CD, it must stay there for the agreed-upon period of time in order to gain the promised interest.

About Author
Erin Gobler is a personal finance coach and a writer with over 10 years of experience. She writes about investing, credit cards, and more. In addition to writing for MoneyRates, her work has been published on major financial websites including Bankrate, Fox Business, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, and more.