The Best Savings Accounts in North Dakota for 2023
People often use savings accounts to set money aside that they don’t want leaking out of their checking accounts. You may be saving for your next car or a family vacation. The last thing you want is accidentally spending that money on something else.
Using a savings account may be a good idea, but not all savings accounts are great. Many banks charge monthly service fees or pay interest rates so low they might as well not exist.
Finding a good savings account isn’t hard, but it can take time. To minimize the time you have to spend, we came up with a list of the best savings accounts in North Dakota.
The Best Savings Accounts in North Dakota
Bell Bank - Regular Savings
Bell Bank’s Regular Savings account is a straightforward savings account. It has no service charge if you keep a minimum average monthly balance of $50.
You get six free withdrawals or debits per calendar month.
Bravera Bank - Simple Savings
Bravera Bank’s Simple Savings account has a $100 minimum daily balance requirement. You’re charged a $5 quarterly service charge if you fall below this amount. You get 12 free withdrawals or transfers per quarter with each additional withdrawal or transfer coming with a $1 service charge.
The account offers free online and mobile banking. You also get free bill pay and eStatements.
Alerus - Regular Savings
Alerus offers their Regular Savings account with a $50 minimum opening deposit and no ongoing minimum balance requirement. Certain withdrawals from the account are limited to six per calendar month.
Starion Bank - Regular Savings
Starion Bank’s Regular Savings account has a $100 minimum balance requirement. If your balance drops below that limit, you must pay a $3 monthly service charge. The account offers a variable interest rate earned daily and compounded and credited quarterly.
All savings accounts at this bank come with online and mobile banking. You get an ATM card and free eStatements, too. Withdrawals are limited to six per month.
Western State Bank - Personal Savings Account
Western State Bank’s Personal Savings account requires a $50 minimum opening deposit and a $100 daily minimum balance requirement to avoid a $5 monthly fee. The account pays interest. It is compounded and credited quarterly.
This account also comes with the following features:
- Free online and mobile banking
- ATM fee refunds (up to $20 per month per monthly statement cycle)
- Free initial Western ATM card
How we picked these accounts
First, we identified the top 50 banks in the state of North Dakota based on deposit market share. To do this, we used the June 2022 data from the FDIC. After identifying the banks, we looked at the savings accounts at each institution--serving major cities including Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, and West Fargo.
We examined them for consumer-friendly features such as:
- High interest rates
- No minimum balance requirements
- No monthly service charges
- Ways to waive service charges that exist
- Other savings tools
Big Banks vs. Online Banks
In addition to the banks listed above, other types of banks offer savings accounts. Big banks and online banks both have different pros and cons worth considering. Here’s what you should know about these other places to open savings accounts.
Pros of Big Banks
Big banks have local branches you can visit if you need help. In-person assistance may be able to get more done than calling a call center.
Large branch network
One of the hallmarks of a big bank is an expansive branch network. As long as the bank has a heavy presence in your area, you should have several locations convenient to where you work and live.
Online and mobile banking
You should have access to your savings account both online and on a mobile app with a big bank. That said, they may not offer the most cutting-edge features.
Cons of Big Banks
Difficult waiver requirements
Big banks may waive savings account fees but may require you to meet high requirements. You may need to keep thousands of dollars in the account in some cases.
These banks often charge a long list of fees. Many come with high costs. This can include maintenance fees for savings accounts.
Even though savings accounts pay interest, the rate is normally close to zero with big banks.
Benefits of Online Banks
Online FDIC member banks offer the same FDIC insurance as brick-and-mortar FDIC member banks.
Higher interest rates
These banks don’t have costs associated with branches. They pass some of that savings on to their customers in the form of higher interest rates. Rates on savings accounts are usually several times the national average.
More customer-friendly fee schedule
Expect a shorter fee schedule with lower cost fees from online banks. Many online banks won’t charge you maintenance fees for savings accounts.
Potential ATM withdrawals
You can likely withdraw cash straight from your savings account with an online bank’s debit ATM card. If you can’t, you can always log in to mobile banking and transfer money from savings to checking to make a withdrawal.
Top-notch technology options
Technology is the primary way customers interact with their online banks. These banks know this and build technology that works very well. Expect to see extra online and mobile banking features that big banks may not offer.
Drawbacks of Online Banks
Cash deposit limitations
You can’t deposit cash at a branch because online banks don’t have branches. You may have other options to deposit cash, but they aren’t as straightforward.
Internet service required
Online and mobile banking aren’t possible without the internet. This can be a problem in areas with no data service or during natural disasters.
No physical locations
Online banks don’t have branches. If you need in-person help, online banks aren’t a good fit for you.
How to Find Your Best Savings Account Options
Each person has unique needs for their bank accounts. Focus on what’s most vital for you when looking for a savings account. Here are a few ideas that could help you determine which features top your list of needs.
High interest rates
When looking for a savings account, you’ll want to make sure it’s FDIC insured. After that, the next thing people generally consider is the interest rate. Most brick-and-mortar banks pay very low interest rates that often fall at 0.10% or less. Exceptions exist for banks that have rewards checking and savings accounts, but these require meeting several requirements to earn higher rates.
If you want the best interest rates without any catches, you’re often best off with an online high-yield savings account. Consider the bank’s history of increasing and lowering rates as rates change when looking at these accounts.
Ideally, you want to choose a bank that is one of the first to increase rates. Additionally, look for an online bank with a history of paying some of the top rates in online banking.
Paying fees to save money goes against the idea of saving money. Most people will likely prefer savings accounts that have no chance of charging a monthly maintenance fee. Plenty of these banks exist, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.
When it comes time to spend the money in your savings account, it shouldn’t be difficult. Local and big banks offer the ability to withdraw funds at local branches in cash or with a cashier’s check. They likely also allow ACH transfers and wire transfers, too.
Online banks are slightly more complicated since they don’t have branches. You may be able to withdraw cash from an ATM, but the amount may be limited. Setting up an ACH transfer or wire transfer should be easy from online banking tools. You should even be able to request to get a check mailed to you, if necessary.
Useful digital tools
Online and mobile banking are key tools for managing your savings, but not all banks have similar features.
You may want to look for digital banking tools that allow you to set up automatic transfers to savings.
People who often receive checks may want a remote check deposit feature to deposit checks into their savings accounts directly.
Other savings features and tools
Your savings account should work to make saving money easier. It already keeps your money separate from your checking account, but banks can offer other tools that assist, too.
One less common but still popular feature is the ability to add sub-accounts or multiple savings accounts. Banks may allow you to label each account with a goal to help you visualize your savings. This enables you to realize how close you are to your individual goals and may incentivize you to save more.
Another option that can be helpful is the ability to link a savings account to a checking account with a debit card. Then, some banks will round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar. They automatically transfer the rounded-up change from your checking account into your savings account, helping it grow.
Find and Open Your Next Savings Account
If you’re paying fees for your savings account or not earning a decent interest rate, it may be time to switch accounts. Each month you wait to switch is less money you get to put toward your goals. For this reason, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible.
You can start by reviewing our list of the top five savings accounts in North Dakota. Then, you can compare your top pick to big bank and online banking options. Once you’ve settled on your next savings account, open an account and transfer your savings to start taking advantage of the benefits of your new account.