SaveBetter Review: Is SaveBetter Legit?

Securing a great savings account interest rate is one of the easiest ways to earn income on your cash deposits. However, with so many banks and savings accounts to choose from, the process can be time-consuming.

SaveBetter is a new savings account platform that simplifies the research process and finds industry-leading offers from its FDIC-insured banking partners. The high-yield savings and CD rates you get through SaveBetter are often higher than what’s available to the general public.

In this SaveBetter review, I analyze their offers, let you know how good the savings rates are, and if the platform is legit.

Table of Contents
  1. What Is SaveBetter?
    1. How Does a Custodial Bank Account Work?
    2. Savings Account Promotions
    3. Who Can Use SaveBetter?
    4. Who Should Use SaveBetter?
  2. Deposit Account Options
    1. High-Yield Savings Accounts
    2. High-Yield CDs
    3. No-Penalty CDs
  3. What are SaveBetter Fees?
  4. SaveBetter Partner Banks
  5. How Does SaveBetter Work?
    1. Create an Account
    2. Compare Offers
    3. Fund New Account
    4. Manage Accounts
    5. Just One Year-End Tax Document (1099-INT)
  6. Is SaveBetter Legit?
  7. SaveBetter Pros and Cons
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  8. Alternatives to SaveBetter
    1. 5% Savings Accounts
    2. Discover Bank
    3. Ally Bank
  9. SaveBetter FAQs
  10. SaveBetter Review: Final Thoughts

What Is SaveBetter?

SaveBetter is an online platform launched in early 2021 that partners with over ten banks and credit unions to offer competitive rates on high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs (certificates of deposit).

Raisin GmbH is SaveBetter’s parent company (founded 1973) and they’ve been doing this in Europe for years. Raisin works with approximately 400 banks in more than 30 countries. They only recently expanded into the United States with SaveBetter.

At SaveBetter, you will find banking offers from regional banks and mid-sized institutions that don’t appear in most savings account searches. As a result, you have more banking options to choose from and can earn a potentially better rate on your savings.

For instance, SaveBetter will let you open a high-interest account from Sallie Mae Bank, Ponce Bank, or The State Exchange Bank. You won’t see the national names like Axos Bank, Capital One 360, or Discover Bank.

When you use SaveBetter, you might put your money with one bank but you don’t get a separate bank account. Your money is pooled with other SaveBetter customers at the bank in a custodial account. You won’t be able to transfer money into and out of the partner bank directly and you won’t get an account number at the bank, it has to go through SaveBetter.

Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t offer checking accounts or online bill pay services. So, you will only be able to open savings accounts to maximize your cash reserves.

It’s not uncommon to use a separate bank for high-yield savings, so this limitation isn’t a deal-breaker for many.

Learn more about SaveBetter

How Does a Custodial Bank Account Work?

When you “open an account” with a partner bank through SaveBetter (such as Sallie Mae), you aren’t literally opening a new account at the partner bank. When you transfer funds from your existing bank to the new SaveBetter-linked account, you are transferring funds to a custodial account held by Lewis and Clark Bank.

Your get FDIC or NCUA insurance through the partner bank (pass-through insurance), not Lewis and Clark Bank. Lewis and Clark Bank are simply the custodian bank. Your funds may not be literally in your name at the partner bank but there are records indicating who owns what – you are fully insured by FDIC or NCUA insurance.

You may not know this but this is how nearly all individual stock market holdings are managed. The shares of stock you “own” at any brokerage are not literally in your name. They’re held at a custodian who keeps track of who owns what. This makes it easier to transact on the shares.

Savings Account Promotions

The best reason to consider banking through SaveBetter is to earn higher interest rates. You will usually see a lower rate if you go directly to the bank website.

Banks may use above-average rates to attract new customers that may not live within their local service area. For example, you can join a Florida-based community bank even if you live in California as you complete the account opening process online. 

If you currently bank with partner institutions, you can be eligible for better rates as they are available to all SaveBetter users. The only difference is that this account won’t show in your bank dashboard.

Additionally, these ongoing above-average rates are often superior to bank promotions, which usually offer a one-time cash bonus.

Who Can Use SaveBetter?

You must be 18 years old, live in the United States, and have a Social Security number (SSN) to open deposit accounts. You don’t need to create an account to compare the latest offers. 

Who Should Use SaveBetter?

Consider using SaveBetter if you’re looking for the highest rates for savings accounts, term CDs, and no-penalty CDs. The offers can be better than those from well-known national banks, although you must be comfortable using a community bank with a smaller customer base. 

Despite being online-only, the banking experience can be different than opening an account directly with a partner bank or credit union. You schedule deposits and withdrawals through your SaveBetter account instead of visiting the bank website that you may use for other services.

Deposit Account Options

You can open these federally-insured savings products and earn passive income

It’s currently possible to open an individual or joint account. The platform plans on offering IRA banking services in the future to minimize your taxable interest.

High-Yield Savings Accounts

These are just some of the banks available as of November 7th, 2022 – click here to see current banks and rates.

You can open a high-yield savings account or a money market deposit account with a minimum $1 balance. This savings product is online-only and typically permits up to six monthly withdrawals.

Consider this account if you don’t want your money locked up for several years or face potential early redemption policies as bank CDs require.

The interest rates are variable, but the SaveBetter offers can yield more than many of the best high-yield savings account rates.

For example, the best SaveBetter savings account rate is 2.75% APY versus 2.00% APY (September 21, 2022) at the leading national banks.

Learn more about SaveBetter

High-Yield CDs

These are just some of the banks available as of November 7th, 2022 – click here to see current banks and rates.

Now that we’re back in a rising rates environment, bank CDs are becoming an attractive option to earn attractive yields if you’re seeking a fixed income.

The rates are higher than an online savings account, but the investment term is usually from 9 months to 24 months. However, the longest term requires a 60-month commitment.

Unlike most CDs which require depositing at least $500 or $1,000, the minimum deposit is only $1 through SaveBetter.

This low minimum investment makes it easy to build a CD ladder and earn a higher yield on the cash you won’t need for immediate expenses. 

Additionally, the rates are competitive with other platforms. As a quick example, you might earn 3.00% on a 12-month term through SaveBetter but only 2.75% directly from a bank.

The best CD rates fluctuate regularly, but you can usually get the best returns with an 18-month or 24-month term (as of September 2022). 

No-Penalty CDs

These are just some of the banks available as of November 7th, 2022 – click here to see current banks and rates.

A no penalty CD can balance the benefits of high-yield savings accounts and traditional fixed-term CDs. 

This product can earn a potentially higher interest rate than a savings account as you’re pledging your funds for a specific duration. However, you can usually make penalty-free withdrawals seven business days after account opening.

Most no-penalty CD terms are from 10 months to 17 months. Although some banks offer a 36-month term.

The rates are not as attractive as a term CD, and you should consider locking your money if you’re confident you won’t need to tap it. But if there’s a reasonable possibility that you will need the funds, consider this option or stick with a high-yield savings account for peace of mind.

What are SaveBetter Fees?

There are zero fees for using SaveBetter. Therefore, you can keep 100% of your interest income. You also avoid the hidden fee of high minimum balance requirements since you only need to deposit $1 per account.

The only potential fee is an early redemption penalty for term CDs if you withdraw your funds before the CD maturity date – this is true at any bank. You can avoid this by opening a savings account or no penalty CD.

While you won’t pay a fee, SaveBetter makes money by collecting marketing fees from partner banks and credit unions.

SaveBetter Partner Banks

As of this writing, you can find offers from these banks and credit unions:

These institutions typically provide brick-and-mortar banking services to personal and business accounts. Membership is open nationwide thanks to the SaveBetter relationship to improve your banking needs. 

Learn more about SaveBetter

How Does SaveBetter Work?

The service acts as a middle man making it possible to open interest-bearing accounts with several banks but manage your balances with a single platform. You only interact with SaveBetter, but the partner bank holds your funds in a custodian account and pays interest.

If you like chasing yield and shifting your funds to the bank with the highest interest rate, this streamlined approach can make it easier to manage your accounts.

Create an Account

The first step is creating a SaveBetter account by providing your name, email address, and password. Once you open an account with a particular bank, you will submit the usual legal details to verify your identity. 

Compare Offers

You can compare rates for these banking products:

  • High-yield savings accounts
  • Money market deposit accounts
  • Term CDs
  • No Penalty CDs

Tapping an offer lets you review the product terms and look at vital details such as the yield, minimum deposit, and withdrawal limits.

Your first $250,000 in combined deposits and interest are eligible for pass-through FDIC Insurance (banks) and NCUA Insurance (credit unions). While you may have accounts with multiple bank custodians, you don’t get a separate insurance line with each one, as SaveBetter is your primary account.

Fund New Account

You will fund your SaveBetter accounts by linking an existing checking or savings account through the third-party app Yodlee or manually submitting your routing and account number. 

All deposits take up to three business days to complete, and you begin earning interest when the bank custodian receives your deposit.

Manage Accounts

Log into your SaveBetter account to view your current balance, interest rate, and earnings. 

This dashboard also lets you schedule deposits or withdrawals. Your monthly statements and tax documents are in the “Documents” section.

Interest compounds daily and deposits monthly for your various accounts.

Just One Year-End Tax Document (1099-INT)

If you chase rates from bank to bank, you’ll get a Form 1099-INT from every bank where you earned $10 or more in interest (though you still owe taxes on any interest you earn, even without a form).

With SaveBetter, you only receive one 1099-INT tax document, even if you have cash in multiple accounts if you’ve earned more than $10 in interest payments.

Just one one form, despite dealing with multiple banks, means less paperwork when filing your taxes. This can save you a lot of time. You also avoid the annoying situation of forgetting to report a form and having to submit an amended return.

Is SaveBetter Legit?

SaveBetter is a legit platform to find the best savings account and bank CD interest rates. There are no service fees, and the minimum deposit is only $1.

Some individuals are hesitant to use SaveBetter as it’s a relatively new technology company and not an actual bank, so it’s an extra layer between you and your money. However, it partners with FDIC-insured banks and NCUA-insured credit unions.

Additionally, the savings account offers on SaveBetter are not advertised on the banking partner websites. This exclusivity can be a red flag for a potential scam as the interest rates sound “too good to be true.”

However, there are several customer reviews of accountholders depositing funds, earning interest, and making successful withdrawals to their linked funding account.

Learn more about SaveBetter

SaveBetter Pros and Cons

Here’s my list of positives and negatives of using SaveBetter to find a better bank account.

Pros

  • Multiple account options and partner banks
  • Above-average interest rates
  • No service fees
  • $1 minimum deposit
  • One dashboard to manage several accounts

Cons

  • No checking or online bill pay services
  • They partner with smaller banks and credit unions with less name recognition
  • Your account is in a pooled account at partner banks
  • Personal banking only (no business)

Alternatives to SaveBetter

Perhaps you would rather deal directly with the financial institution, or SaveBetter’s list of partners doesn’t interest you; there are other ways to secure a great savings rate. Here are a few SaveBetter alternatives to consider.

5% Savings Accounts

High-interest savings accounts that can help you earn approximately 5% interest. You will typically need to complete a specific number of transactions and maintain a minimum balance to earn the highest rate. 

These platforms also provide checking accounts that you can use to pay bills and manage your day-to-day transactions.

Discover Bank

You can earn a cash bonus if you qualify for a Discover Bank promotion. It’s possible to receive the bonus after satisfying the deposit requirements. Discover Bank offers a competitive interest rate that may rival the SaveBetter offers. This online platform also provides rewards checking

Our in-depth review of Discover Online Savings Bank provides more details.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank offers high-yield savings accounts and CDs with competitive rates and an easy-to-use platform. You can also open interest-bearing checking accounts and tax-advantaged IRA savings accounts.

There may also be Ally Bank promotions worth considering.

SaveBetter FAQs

Is SaveBetter a bank?

No, SaveBetter is a financial technology (FinTech) platform operated by Raisin. However, you can deposit funds with federally-insured banks and credit unions. Up to $250,000 of balances are eligible for pass-through FDIC Insurance and NCUA Insurance.

These banks hold your money in a custodian account and award interest. While the banks store your wealth, SaveBetter manages deposits and withdrawals as requested. 

Is SaveBetter safe?

Your deposits are protected with up to $250,000 in federal insurance – either FDIC for commercial banks or NCUA for credit unions. For data security, SaveBetter uses several practices, including Yodlee, to link to your bank accounts and guard your privacy. The platform is SOC 2 verified and uses external auditors to verify the security protocols to safeguard customer data.

How do I contact SaveBetter customer service?

You can contact SaveBetter from 9 am to 4 pm EST Monday-Friday when you have questions about banking services. Live chat and email support is also available to upload screenshots. An online knowledge library also answers commonly asked questions.

SaveBetter Review: Final Thoughts

SaveBetter is a unique platform that helps you enjoy some of the highest savings account and CD rates. In addition, you only have to deposit $1 and won’t encounter any service fees.

While banking with FDIC-insured banks, you may still spread out your savings and use better-known high-yield savings accounts to deal directly with the bank when you need help. 

Learn more about SaveBetter

SaveBetter

8.5

Product Rating

8.5/10

Strengths

  • Multiple account options and partner banks
  • Above-average interest rates
  • No service fees
  • $1 minimum deposit
  • One dashboard to manage several accounts

Weaknesses

  • No checking or online bill pay services
  • They partner with smaller banks and credit unions with less name recognition
  • They don’t communicate directly with the partner banks
  • Limited customer service hours
  • Personal banking only

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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