bank rates

New Leaders Emerge In Savings Accounts and Hudson City Savings Bank now have the best, nationally available rate of 1.35% APY.

Last Monday we praised Sallie Mae Bank for sticking with the top return it’s offered on its savings accounts since last spring.

But by the end of the week the online bank owned by the big student loan lender had lowered its rate from 1.40% APY to 1.30% APY, and fallen from first to third in our rankings of the best nationally available savings accounts.

Our two new leaders, and Hudson City Savings Bank, are paying 1.35% APY. is a Web site operated by Southern Community Bank and Trust, a traditional bank that has 20 branches in North Carolina.

It led our rankings back in March, when it was paying 2.00% APY. Since then that rate has edged down to 1.75% APY, then 1.50% APY and most recently to 1.35% APY. requires no minimum deposit or balance, and imposes no fees on its savings accounts. (If you apply at a Southern Community branch or through the bank’s regular Web site, savings accounts only earn 0.15% APY.)

Hudson City Savings has more than 130 branches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but its savings account can be opened online by residents of all 50 states.

The minimum deposit is $2,500 and there is a $2 per month service fee any time your balance falls below $100.

The next best nationally available savings rates are:

1.30% APY with a $1,000 minimum from Capital One Bank. Its InterestPlus Online Savings account also pays a 10% bonus on the interest you earn. (This account is not available at Capital One branches.)

1.30% APY with no minimum deposit from American Express Bank, an online bank owned by the credit card company.

1.30% APY with no minimum deposit from Sallie Mae Bank.

1.25% APY with a $500 minimum deposit from Discover Bank, an online bank owned by the credit card company.

1.20% APY with a $2,500 minimum deposit from Colorado Federal Savings Bank, an online bank in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Compare these returns with the best savings and money market account rates from scores of other banks in our database.

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