The Best Savings Accounts in Wisconsin for 2024
Wisconsin is home to more than 5.8 million Americans and nearly all of those Americans need a bank account.
Hundreds of banks operate in Wisconsin aiming to serve the financial needs of Wisconsinites. That means that consumers in Wisconsin have a huge number of choices when it comes to opening a new bank account.
If you’re from Wisconsin and want to open a new savings account, this article will discuss your best options.
The Best Savings Accounts in Wisconsin
First Citizens Bank Online Savings Account
The First Citizens Bank Online Savings Account offers the benefits of online savings accounts and local banking.
The only requirement for opening an account is a minimum deposit of $25. Once the account is open, there’s no minimum balance to maintain and no monthly fees to pay.
You can manage the account by logging into online banking or visiting your local branch. If you ever need to make a deposit or withdrawal, you can do so at any First Citizens Bank ATM.
The biggest downside of the account is that there are limits on the number of withdrawals you may make. Each statement, you may make two withdrawals. The next four withdrawals will incur a $3 fee each. Each withdrawal after that incurs a $15 fee.
Fortifi Bank Kasasa Saver Account
The Fortifi Bank Kasasa Saver Account gives you the chance to earn a great rate of interest.
There is no minimum balance to open the account and no monthly fee to keep it open. That makes it a good account for someone who is just starting to save.
If you link a Kasasa Cash checking account, you can earn a huge interest rate bonus by meeting certain requirements.
To earn the highest rate of interest, you must meet the following requirements each statement period:
- Make 12 debit card purchases
- Receive 1 automatic payment or direct deposit
- Receive free eStatements
How we picked
MyBankTracker applied a methodology when choosing the best savings accounts in Wisconsin. Our top recommendations were selected based on a thorough analysis of savings accounts offered by the top 50 banks by deposit market share in Wisconsin (based on FDIC June 2023 data)--serving major cities including Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine.
We focused our choices on savings accounts with low monthly maintenance fees, easy-to-meet requirements to waive these fees, the bank’s physical branch and ATM network, excess withdrawal fees, and any other convenience features.
Online Savings Accounts are Available Nationwide
If you want to open a savings account, but don’t want to work with a national bank, local banks aren’t your only option. Online savings accounts are available nationwide and offer some huge benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of online banks is that they offer great interest rates.
They cost much less to run than brick-and-mortar banks and pass those savings on to their customers.
You can earn interest rates ten to one hundred times higher than a brick-and-mortar bank would pay. Online banks also charge much lower fees.
High rates and low fees
A savings account's interest rate and fees can have a massive effect on the money you deposit into the account. A higher interest rate and lower fees can be worth thousands of dollars if you give your savings a few years to grow.
To see how interest and fees can affect the balance of your savings account, consider this example:
You put $20,000 in a savings account today. Each month, you’ll add $500 to the account. After five years, you’ll use the money in the account to make a down payment.
Brick-and-mortar banks might offer an interest rate of about 0.05% APY. If you use that account, your balance at the end of five years will be $50,086.97. You’ll have earned less than $100 in interest.
Online savings accounts offer much better interest rates, often as high as 1.50% APR. If you chose an online savings account, your ending balance would be $52,690.14.
You’ll have more than $2,500 earned in your savings account just because you chose the account with a higher interest rate.
Don’t forget that the brick-and-mortar bank might charge monthly fees. That means you might wind up with an even larger difference in the ending balance of the two accounts.
No worries about minimum deposits
Many brick-and-mortar banks require that you have between $25 and $100 if you want to open a savings account. That can make it hard for someone who is just starting to save to open a savings account.
Online banks rarely have minimum deposit requirements. You can open an account with just a penny, making it easy to start.
As safe as the big banks
Many people wonder about how secure online banks are. Thanks to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, they are just as safe as brick-and-mortar banks.
The FDIC offers insurance of up to $250,000 per person, per account type at covered banks. So long as you don’t allow your combined savings account balances at a bank to exceed that limit, you cannot lose money by depositing it at a bank.
If the bank cannot return your deposit, the FDIC will reimburse you for the full amount lost.
Local vs. National
There are a couple of reasons that you might want to work with a local Wisconsin bank.
One is that local banks are good at providing personalized service.
The staff at local banks will get to know you over time as you visit the bank regularly. As they get to know you and your financial situation, they’ll be able to provide more useful advice.
They might also be able to provide specialized deals or cut you a break on fees once in a while. National banks have more rigid rules and won’t be able to provide this personalized help.
Local banks also excel at catering to the needs of local consumers.
National banks have to focus on services that are useful for people across the country. Local banks can provide services that are useful to locals, but that might not be useful to people elsewhere. For example, an area near a large lake might have banks that offer special boat loans with good terms.
National banks do provide some benefits. Their biggest benefit is their national networks of ATMs and branches.
If you travel, you won’t have to worry about not being able to find an ATM that you can use. If you move, you’ll easily find a new branch that can be your main branch. If you use a local bank, you’ll probably have to change banks if you move.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Savings Accounts from Local Banks