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Savings Account Routing Numbers, Explained

Do Savings Accounts Have Routing Numbers?
Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li CainUpdated April 11, 2023
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Yes, savings accounts have routing numbers. This number exists so that financial institutions can transfer money between accounts by identifying the bank receiving the fund. Since knowing your routing number is such an important part of financial transactions, we’ll take a closer look at what it is, how you can find yours, and all the ways you can use a routing number.

Do Savings Accounts Have Routing Numbers?

All savings accounts have routing numbers that are based in the United States. International accounts may have something similar but they may not necessarily be called routing numbers. Without it, it would be virtually impossible to make transfers, such as deposits and withdrawals, from one bank to another. That’s because financial institutions and other people or organizations need this crucial piece of information to know which bank to send or withdraw funds from.

How Do You Find the Routing Number on a Savings Account?

In most cases, you should be able to find the routing number on a savings account in the following places: 
  • Your check: Some savings accounts have printed checks, and the bottom of your paper checks should list the routing number and bank account number.
  • Your bank’s website: There may be an FAQ section or other area on the bank’s website listing the routing number.
  • Your bank’s online account portal or app: In many cases you can log in and see your routing number within your account overview
If you’re still unsure of what your routing number is, you can contact your bank. 

What Is a Savings Account Routing Number?

Also called an ABA routing transit number, a routing number is a nine-digit number indicating the bank or financial institution of someone’s bank account. Think of this series of numbers as an address of sorts, pointing other financial institutions to where to send and receive funds. Each financial institution will have a unique routing number. Having a routing number makes sense, especially since there are tens of thousands of banks across the country. Some of these banks may have similar names or other similar identifying factors, so having a routing number helps to ensure everyone is able to find the correct bank.It can also be a faster way to identify a bank compared to finding the information manually.  Created in 1910 by the American Bankers Association, the routing numbers have a goal to make it easier for financial institutions to identify each other quickly. It was originally used for payments by check, but has since been updated to reflect other types of transactions, such as electronic transfers and other types of online banking uses. Recommended: Opening a Savings Account in 2023

What Do the Numbers in a Savings Account Routing Number Mean?

The routing number is broken into several parts:
  • The first four digits indicate the location of the Federal Reserve Bank that oversees the financial institutions in a certain area 
  • The next four digits identify your financial institution, or the ABA identification number 
  • The last digit is the check digit number

What Are Savings Account Routing Numbers Used For?

There are many uses of savings account routing numbers, including: 
  • Setting up direct deposit to have your paycheck deposited into your savings account 
  • Having a tax refund deposited to your account
  • Transferring money to pay for bills like a mortgage payment 
  • Authorizing recurring payments or withdrawals, such as payments for subscription services
  • Linking another one of your bank accounts to your savings accounts so you can easily transfer money to and from accounts
  • Making wire transfers to a U.S. account, such as when wiring money to an escrow account during the mortgage closing process
  • Ordering or reordering checks
  • Making international wire or money transfers
Recommended: Breaking Down Bank Account Types

Can a Routing Number Change?

Since a routing number is a unique identifier, it typically won’t change. In some cases it may, such as when two banks merge or one acquires the other. But that is fairly rare.In the event that a routing number does change, your bank or credit union should inform you way ahead of time and update you on what you may need to do. Make sure you follow your bank’s instructions to ensure you don’t experience any interruptions.In many cases, you’ll also need to do the following:
  • Update your routing number for any relevant recurring bills or subscription accounts so you don’t accidentally miss any payments
  • Contacting your employer (like the HR department) to let them know your routing number changed and to direct your payments using the updated information
  • Update any other automatic withdrawals, such as ones for mortgage or credit card payments
  • Order new checks if you regularly use them, and get rid of old ones
  • Keep any relevant financial accounts current so you have the information on hand when you need it
Recommended: Stopping Automatic Payments From Checking

The Takeaway

Understanding how to locate and use your routing number is important, as these transactions are part of the daily life of your account. You can find your routing number by logging into your account online, checking a printed check if you have one for savings, or contacting your bank. 

3 Money Tips

  1. Because online banks don’t have the overhead costs that brick-and-mortar banks have, they may offer a higher savings account interest rate. Just keep an eye out for minimum balance requirements and monthly fees.
  2. An emergency fund is a key financial safety net. Aim to have three- to six-months worth of living expenses tucked away in a separate account that earns interest, but allows you to access the money if needed (such as a high-yield savings account). In some situations, it may be appropriate to have up to 12 months of living expenses saved.
  3. To get into the savings habit, consider having 10% of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account. Or, set up a small automatic recurring transfer from your checking account into your savings account on the same day each month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do checking and savings accounts have the same routing number?
Where can you find your savings account routing number?
Can you tell if an account is a checking or savings account from the routing number?
Photo credit: iStock/marchmeena29

About the Author

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain is a finance writer and podcast producer focusing on topics such as credit, insurance, investing, and real estate. Her work has appeared in major publications such as CNBC Select, Forbes, Redbook, and Business Insider.
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