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*As of December 2021, the national average APY on savings accounts is
Savings rates for the largest US banks
|Citibank||0.04% to 0.08%|
|TD Bank||0.01% – 0.05%|
|Bank of America||0.01% – 0.04%|
|Chase Bank||0.01% – 0.02%|
|Charles Schwab Bank||0.05%|
|Wells Fargo||0.01% – 0.02%|
Looking for an easy way to save and begin the year on the right foot? A high-yield savings account provides an ideal place to store money.
High-yield savings earn a much higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts — you could up to ten times more in interest with the right account.
Unfortunately, not enough people take advantage of it. According to a 2019 Credit Karma survey, about 75% of Americans don’t own a high-yield savings account.
Below you’ll find our picks for the best high-yield savings accounts right now. Our top picks are FDIC insured and don’t have any monthly maintenance fees. Some also have unique tools and features to help you save for your financial goals.
Discover Online Savings
Why it stands out:
What to look out for: Discover has a large ATM network, and it doesn’t charge a fee for using an ATM outside the network. But unlike many banks, it won’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers.
Ally High Yield Savings
Why it stands out:
Ally makes it easy to save for specific goals. Assign each account a nickname, like “Emergency Fund” or “Travel Account” to track your progress and stay motivated. You may decide to open a separate account for each goal, but Ally has a bucket feature that allows you save for multiple goals in one account.
What to look out for: Like most banks, Ally limits the number of transfers in and out of its high-yield savings account to six times per statement cycle. Each transfer over the limit will incur a fee of $10. However, Ally is not charging an excess transaction fee during the coronavirus pandemic.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings
Why it stands out: Marcus pays one of the most competitive rates in the industry right now. It doesn’t require an opening deposit or minimum account balance, and it doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees. Marcus’ mobile app has also received positive reviews.
What to look out for: Although users give the Marcus mobile app good reviews, the app doesn’t allow you to deposit paper checks digitally. Marcus also has more limited customer service hours than many competitors, both over the phone and online chat.
Capital One 360 Performance Savings
Why it stands out:
The account also pays a competitive rate with no opening deposit, minimum account balance, or monthly charges.
What to look out for: You can chat live online with a representative, but Capital One doesn’t offer 24/7 service over the phone.
CIT Bank Savings Connect Account
Why it stands out: This is a good option if you want to open both a checking and savings account with CIT Bank. It has a tiered interest rate. You’ll earn the higher rate if you direct deposit $200 per month from another account into the
What to look out for: You must open a checking account to qualify for this savings account. If that’s a problem, you may like the
Vio Bank Online High-Yield Savings
Why it stands out:
What to look out for: You’ll need at least $100 to open an account with Vio. Also, bear in mind that interest rates fluctuate with the federal funds rate, which means you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to earn the highest rate with this account forever. There are still good reasons to open a high-yield savings account when interest rates are low, but be aware they can change.
American Express High Yield Savings
Why it stands out: Besides offering a high APY (annual percent yield),
What to look out for: There is an app for American Express credit card customers, but not banking customers.
Why it stands out: Chime makes it easy for you to automatically save. You can round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and move the spare change into your savings account, or set up a percentage of your paycheck to go directly into savings.
What to look out for: You must open a
Axos High Yield Savings
Why it stands out: Axos pays one of the highest APYs of any high-yield savings account on our list, and it comes without monthly fees. You can get a free debit card with the account as well, which is rare for a savings account. If you know you’ll want quick access to your savings without a checking account,
What to look out for: Axos has a minimum deposit to open an account of $250, so if you don’t have that money you may be better off with an account that has no minimum deposit. Axos also has few mobile app reviews, so if you’re looking for a bank with a strong mobile presence, you may prefer another top pick.
Other online accounts we considered
HSBC Direct Savings Account(Member FDIC) : HSBC Direct offers a competitive rate, but the mobile app has received negative reviews. Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account(Member FDIC): This is a solid savings account, but the rate is a little lower than what you’ll earn with our top picks. Betterment Cash Reserve Account: This robo-adviser’s high-yield cash account doesn’t limit transfers. However, Betterment requires a $10 initial deposit and its APY is lower than what you’ll find with our top picks. Wealthfront Cash Account: This account offers unlimited transfers in a statement cycle as well as checking account features including a debit card, online bill pay, and direct deposits with the ability to get paid two days early, but its APY is lower than competitors’ rates. Comenity Direct High-Yield Savings Account: You’ll earn a decent rate with Comenity Direct, but the app has received negative reviews in the Google Play store. Barclays Online Savings Account: A fine high-yield savings account with a competitive APY, it lacks distinguishing factors. CIBC Agility Account(Member FDIC) : You only need to maintain a balance of $0.01 to earn interest on this high-yield savings account, but you have to put down $1,000 to open the account in the first place. Fitness Bank Fitness Savings Account(Member FDIC) : This unique high-yield savings account determines your APY by the number of steps you take on an average day. While there’s potential to earn a high rate on your money, it’s conditional on your level of commitment. Citizens Bank Business Savings Account: Despite offering a respectable APY, the minimum deposit to open a high-yield savings account here is $5,000. My Savings Direct Savings Account(Member FDIC) : This high-yield savings account earns a decent rate, but there are others with better user experience and similar features that earn more. Brio Direct High-Yield Savings Account: The competitive APY makes this account a decent choice for savers, but some customers have complained that their initial funds transfer took longer than expected. SFGI Direct Savings Account(Member FDIC) : Although SFGI Direct’s high-yield savings account earns a respectable APY, it requires $500 to open an account. Credit Karma Money Save Account: This high-yield savings account pays a relatively low rate, and as a credit and loan company, Credit Karma’s expertise is not in traditional banking. Personal Capital Cash Account: This is technically a cash account, which makes it easy to sweep some money into investments, but pays a very low APY on your savings. HMBradley Account: This hybrid checking and savings account offers high rates, but you have to save at least 20% of your deposits to earn the maximum APY. SoFi Money®: This hybrid checking account/savings account offers 20% cash back on Lyft rides and unlimited ATM reimbursements worldwide, but its APY is less than what you could earn with other savings accounts. USAA Savings Account(Member FDIC) : This account could be a good fit for military members and families, but you’ll earn a low rate and need at least $25 to open an account. UFB High Yield Savings(Member FDIC) : UFB offers a high APY on balances of $10,000 or more. Nationwide My Savings Account(Member FDIC): You need $100 to open an account with Nationwide, and its interest rate is only so-so. Citi Accelerate Savings: This account pays a high APY if you have a balance of at least $1, but it’s only available for residents of certain US states. TIAA Basic Savings Account: It’s easy to waive the $5 monthly fee, but TIAA’s rates are a little lower than what you’ll find with our top picks.
Frequently asked questions
Why trust our recommendations?
Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product or account — a high APY, for example — we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.
How did we choose the best online high-yield savings accounts?
There are a lot of high-yield savings accounts out there. Through our research, we’ve found that the best high-yield savings accounts are offered by banks with a strong online presence, robo-advisers, and other internet-only financial companies.
In addition to polling Insider employees for their favorite picks, we reviewed high-yield savings accounts at nearly two dozen institutions to identify the strongest options. We also cross-referenced our list against popular comparison sites like Bankrate and Nerdwallet to make sure we didn’t miss a thing.
While interest rates are an important aspect of any high-yield savings account, several offer the same annual percentage yield (APY). To differentiate between them, we also considered minimum deposit and balance requirements, transfer limitations, and any other standout features. Importantly, we didn’t consider any high-yield savings accounts that impose monthly maintenance fees.
How does a high-yield savings account work?
High-yield savings accounts are typically offered by online-only banks, or by brick-and-mortar banks that offer online-only savings accounts. Banks can typically pay higher rates on these accounts because they don’t have to cover expenses that come with physical branch locations.
A high-yield savings account rate is variable, which means it can fluctuate after you’ve opened the account. Your bank will usually email you to tell you the rate will go up or down soon.
Are online high-yield savings accounts worth it?
Yes — a high-yield savings account has very few downsides, if any. There’s no risk that you’ll lose money, your account is insured by the FDIC (usually up to $250,000, but up to $1 million in some cases), and it gives you a shot at beating inflation.
The only time a high-yield savings account may not be worth it is if you’re paying excessive maintenance fees that eat into your interest payments or you find yourself restricted by the monthly transfer limit or time it takes for your money to get to your checking account.
Which banks have the best savings interest rates?
Generally you’ll find the best savings interest rates at online banks. Nationally, the average traditional savings account earns just
If you’re more comfortable banking with a brick-and-mortar, a traditional savings account may be a better option for you. Just know that you may not be getting the best possible interest rate.
How often do high-yield savings rates change?
Interest rates on high-yield savings accounts closely follow the federal funds rate. That is to say, rates are variable and can change multiple times per year at the whim of the Federal Reserve.
The Fed meets eight times a year and decides whether to increase, decrease, or leave interest rates untouched. If the Fed cuts rates, the APY on your savings account can drop within days. When rates are lower, you won’t earn as much interest on your savings. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save at all. When interest rates inevitably go back up, you’ll see a greater return on your money than if you started from scratch.
Because the Fed spent several years raising rates since the Great Recession, it cut interest rates three times toward the end of 2019 in an effort to regulate the economy and sidestep another recession, and it slashed rates twice in 2020. It’s nearly impossible to predict with certainty which way rates will go, but you can bet they’re going to change one way or another.
Is there a 5% interest savings account?
There is no savings account that offers a 5% interest rate. Today, most high-yield savings accounts top out around 0.50% APY. If you want a higher return and you don’t need immediate access to your money, you may consider putting it in a certificate of deposit (CD) or investing in the market.
What’s the difference between a high-yield savings account and money market account?
A high-yield savings account and money market account are both savings tools that pay competitive rates on your money. The main difference is that money market accounts often make it easier to access your money by sending you paper checks or a debit card.
This can be convenient if you need to access money quickly in an emergency, but easy access might make it more tempting to spend your savings.
What’s the difference between a high-yield savings account and CD?
When you put your money in a high-yield savings account, you should be able to withdraw or transfer funds regularly. The rate is variable, meaning it can change after you open the account.
With a CD, you choose a CD term, probably between one and five years. You put your money in the CD, and you don’t withdraw any funds until the term is over. The rate is typically fixed, meaning your APY is locked in from the time you open the account until the term ends.
You can deposit money into your high-yield savings account whenever you want, but most banks only allow you to make one initial deposit when you first set up the CD.
CDs can be good saving tools if you’re okay with parting with your money for a while, but if you need access to money sooner, a savings account is probably a better choice.
Which bank is the most trustworthy?
The Better Business Bureau grades businesses based on factors like responses to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company’s score:
|A+ (Grade of partner bank, MidFirst)|
Of our top picks, Ally, CIT Bank, and Chime have the lowest grades. Chime has an F rating because it hasn’t responded to 31 complaints, according to the BBB. The BBB also cites the number of customer complaints on the BBB website as the reason behind Ally’s C grade and CIT Bank’s B grade.
Chime has also been involved in one recent public controversy: The platform used the URL “Chimebank.com” and the words “bank” and “banking” but Chime isn’t licensed as a bank. Chime is a banking platform, and is insured by a bank.
Experts’ advice on choosing the best HYS account for you
We consulted banking and financial planning experts to inform these picks and provide their advice on finding the best high-yield savings accounts for your needs.
- Tania Brown, Certified financial planner at SaverLife
- Roger Ma, certified financial planner with lifelaidout® and author of “Work Your Money, Not Your Life”
- Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor, BoujieBudgets.com
- Laura Grace Tarpley, certified educator in personal finance, editor of banking and mortgages, Personal Finance Insider
Here’s what they had to say about high-yield savings. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)
Generally, what makes a high-yield savings account good or not good?
Roger Ma, CFP:
“It might not be as seamless to get your money out of an online savings account as it is a brick-and-mortar, but you don’t want to have so much friction where it’s such a pain to get the money out when you need it.”
Mykail James, CFEI:
“Anything with a fee is not a good high-yield savings account. Anything that restricts how much you can save is, to me, not very good. If I can’t save more than $10,000 in this account, and then I have to move it over somewhere else — to me, that’s not a really good savings account, because it’s not really prepared to help me expand and grow, which is what a savings account is supposed to do. I also look at interest rates, definitely. I look to see when the interest is paid. Is it quarterly, or is it monthly? How often do they pay out interest, and what are the interest rate stipulations?”
How should someone decide whether to put their money in a high-yield savings account, money market account, or CD?
Tania Brown, CFP:
“So I guess we’ll start off with how much money you want to put in and … the level of transactions you want to have. If you want to have any transactions, that automatically takes out CDs. Then you’re stuck between the high-yield savings and the money market account.”
Laura Grace Tarpley, Personal Finance Insider:
“I would use a high-yield savings account or money market account for short-term goals or an emergency fund. You’ll probably want to choose whichever has a higher rate, but money market accounts can be good for emergency savings because they often come with a debit card or paper checks, making it easy to access money quickly. Then use CDs for longer-term goals, like buying a home in a few years.”