Upgrade Premier Savings Account 2023 Review
Monthly Fee $0 Min. Opening Deposit $0
ATM Card No Native Mobile Apps iOS, Android FDIC-Insured Yes
The Upgrade Premier Savings account is an online savings account that offers an attractive savings rate with no monthly fees. It offers well-designed apps on popular mobile banking platforms to help customers manage their accounts.
Our Verdict: 4/5
The Upgrade Premier Savings Account stands among the online savings accounts that provide a very high savings rate to help customers grow their balances. It's an excellent choice if you:
- Are comfortable with saving online and don't necessarily need access to branch banking
- Can maintain at least a $1,000 minimum balance
- Don't need ATM card access to savings
- Also have an Upgrade checking, credit card or loan account
If you're considering switching banks, then you might decide to open an Upgrade Premier Savings Account and a Rewards Checking Account at the same time. On the other hand, you might think twice about this account if you're not sure you'll be able to maintain the $1,000 minimum balance requirement to earn the high APY.
Compared to Other Online Savings Accounts
Ally Bank Online Savings Account
The Ally Bank Online Savings Account offers a noticeably-lower savings rate (still much higher than traditional savings accounts) but doesn't have a minimum balance to earn the advertised APY. It does offer useful savings tools that help customers stay on track. And, Ally Bank is known for keeping savings rates consistently competitive for many years.
Read our review
CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account
The CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account provides a slightly higher savings rate, but the account requires a balance of $5,000 or more to earn the highest-advertised APY. Additionally, you'll need a $100 minimum opening deposit. Meanwhile, the digital banking experience is not as refined, but will still get the job done.
Read our review
UFB Direct Premier Savings
The UFB Direct Premier Savings account does look like the better option as it offers a higher savings rate, also with no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement. Notably, the account comes with a complimentary ATM card for easy access (if ever needed). The UFB Direct mobile banking apps also provide a sleek digital banking experience.
Read our review
Marcus Online Savings Account
The Marcus Online Savings Account does not offer as high of a savings rate. But, it doesn't have a minimum deposit requirement nor a minimum balance requirement to earn the advertised APY. It also has a robust mobile banking experience, including the ability to see the balances on external accounts for a complete financial overview.
Read our review
Be sure to check out more savings accounts worth considering:
When you're opening a new savings account one of the first things you might consider is the interest rate. Which makes sense if growing your money is the goal.
High-yield savings accounts might catch your eye if you're looking for a high annual percentage yield (APY).
Upgrade's Premier Savings account is a high-yield savings option. Savers can earn an exceptional APY on balances of $1,000 or more.
Earning a higher APY can be a great incentive to commit to a regular savings habit.
When comparing savings account rates, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Online savings accounts may yield higher rates than traditional savings accounts.
- Some high-yield accounts may tier rates by balance, or require you to meet a minimum balance requirement.
- The more frequently interest compounds, the faster your money can grow.
Does the Upgrade Premier Savings Account offer a great rate? Absolutely, but there's a catch.
You'll need to maintain at least a $1,000 minimum balance at all times. If your balance dips below that amount, the APY drops to 0.00%.
The Upgrade Premier Savings Account's main pro is also its main con.
You'll get an excellent APY for your money. But you'll need to keep the $1,000 minimum balance requirement in mind to get it.
Other high-yield savings accounts can offer comparable rates without the minimum balance requirement. That's something to keep in mind if you're just getting started with saving.
Online banks can be more fee-friendly than traditional banks, which is a good thing for savers.
An online bank may have lower overhead costs than a brick-and-mortar bank. In that case, the savings get passed on to customers through higher rates or fewer fees.
The Upgrade Premier Savings Account is a fee-friendly savings account.
There are no monthly fees or transfer fees, and no hidden fees at all.
Fees are an important consideration when choosing a savings account. The more fees you pay, the more those fees take away from the interest you earn.
ATM Access and Excess Withdrawals
Some banks give you the option of getting an ATM card with your savings account.
Having an ATM card that you can use to access savings is convenient, especially if an emergency comes along.
It can also be a double-edged sword, however, if you're dipping into your savings too often.
In that case, the bank might charge an excess withdrawal fee once you go over a certain number of transactions each month. At most banks, the limit is six.
The good news is that Upgrade doesn't charge an excess withdrawal fee for its Premier Savings account.
The bad news is that you don't get an ATM card with this account. So if you need to withdraw cash, you'll need to link your savings account to an Upgrade checking account or a checking account at a different bank.
Using Your Upgrade Premier Savings Account as Overdraft Protection
When you spend more money than you have available in checking, that can trigger an overdraft fee.
Banks can charge multiple overdraft fees in one day. A typical fee is anywhere from $35 to $39.
Overdraft fees can quickly get expensive but banks can offer a solution: Overdraft protection.
Overdraft protection allows you to link your savings account to your checking account. If you're at risk for an overdraft, your bank will transfer money from savings to checking for you automatically.
In exchange, the bank may charge a fee for that service. A typical fee is $10 to $12 per transfer.
Upgrade does offer a Rewards Checking account that you can link to your Premier Savings account.
However, Upgrade doesn't charge any overdraft fees for Rewards Checking. So you can transfer money from savings to checking to cover transactions, without triggering a fee.
Upgrade gives you a few options for managing your Premier Savings account. You can access your money through:
- Online banking
- Mobile banking
- Mobile check deposit
- ACH transfers
- Wire transfers
Again, there's no ATM card with this account. So you won't be able to withdraw cash directly.
But you could link your Premier Savings account to an Upgrade Rewards Checking account, then use your debit card to make withdrawals. Or you could link your Upgrade savings account to a checking account at another bank.
There is no maximum amount you can deposit to your Upgrade Premier Savings Account.
These accounts are FDIC-insured through Cross River Bank. Upgrade is not a bank in itself. The current FDIC coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution. So if you have more than that amount in your Upgrade Premier Savings Account, not all of your money may be protected.
What to Look For in a Savings Account
Online savings accounts are an attractive way to save for a few reasons. Here are some of the benefits that online savings accounts offer that you don't always get with traditional savings accounts.
- More competitive interest rates
- Lower fees and in some cases, no fees at all
- Lower minimum opening deposit requirements
- Low or no minimum balance requirements
- Convenient access through mobile and online banking
However, there are a few things that online savings accounts may not offer, starting with branch banking access.
That might not matter to you if you don't necessarily need to visit a branch regularly. But if you do, you may want to consider a savings account at a brick-and-mortar bank instead.
Also, keep in mind that online savings accounts may not offer an ATM card. That can make it more difficult to withdraw cash.
If you're considering an online bank for savings, it's a good idea to research the different options. Some of the key things to consider include:
- What types of accounts are offered (i.e., savings, money market, CD, checking, etc.)
- What fees you might pay to save if any
- How interest rates and APYs compare
- Minimum deposit requirements
- Minimum balance requirements
- Deposit and withdrawal limits
- Funds availability
- Overdraft protection benefits and fees
- Options for accessing your money
- Added benefits, such as automatic savings trackers or tools
- Online and mobile banking features
- User experience
- Customer service and overall reputation
No savings account is perfect but the more research you do, the easier it might be to find one that checks off most of your boxes.
You can easily compare savings accounts at online banks and traditional banks online to see what options you have.