Best High-Yield Savings Accounts

Our guide to the best high interest savings accounts

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The top rate you can currently earn from a nationally available savings account is 1.30% annual percentage yield (APY), offered by Affirm. That's more than 20 times the national average for savings accounts and it's just one of the top rates you can find in our rankings below. Culled from our weekly rate research on more than 200 banks and credit unions365体育下注网站 that offer nationwide savings accounts, even the tenth-best rate on the list pays 1.05% APY.

Best High-Yield Savings Account Rates

  • Affirm - 1.30% APY
  • SmartyPig - 1.25% APY
  • Customers Bank - 1.25% APY
  • CIBC USA - 1.05% APY
  • Citi - 1.05% APY
  • Fitness Bank - 1.05% APY
  • Vio Bank - 1.04% APY
  • CFG Bank - 1.04% APY
  • Prime Alliance Bank - 1.01% APY
  • SFGI Direct - 1.01% APY
  • Ally Bank - 1.00% APY
  • American Express - 1.00% APY
  • Chime - 1.00% APY
  • First Foundation Bank - 1.00% APY
  • CFG Bank - 1.00% APY

365体育下注网站Note that some banks opt to call their savings accounts "money market" accounts. Traditionally, money market accounts offer the ability to write checks, while savings accounts do not. The accounts you'll find in our ranking here all operate like savings accounts, with no check-writing privileges, even if the name might suggest otherwise.

Below you'll find the top savings account rates available from our partners, followed by our complete ranking of the best savings account rates nationwide.

This week's top savings account rates in the country are listed below in order of APY. Where more than one institution has the same rate, we've ranked accounts by those requiring the smallest minimum ongoing balance.

  • Note: Only available and accessible via the Affirm mobile app
  • Minimum initial deposit: Any amount
  • Minimum ongoing balance: Any amount
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: No
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0.01
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: No
  • Note: The advertised APY applies only to the first $2,500 of your account balance, followed by a lower interest rate tier on the amount up to $10,000, a third APY on funds from $10,000 to $50,000, and finally a last tier for amounts above $50,000.
  • Minimum initial deposit: $25,000
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $25,000 to earn stated APY
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: Only with linked Ascent Money Market Savings Account
  • CDs available: Only with linked Ascent Money Market Savings Account
  • Note: Although this account has "money market" in its name, it offers no check-writing privileges and instead operates like a savings account.
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None with $500 minimum balance; otherwise, $4.50/month
  • ATM card: Yes
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: Yes
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Note: May not be available in all zip codes
  • Minimum initial deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum ongoing balance: One penny
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: Yes
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Minimum initial deposit: $100
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $100
  • Monthly fee: None with a $100 ongoing balance; otherwise, $10/month
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: No
  • Note: In order to earn its highest rate, Fitness Bank requires an average daily step count of 12,500, which is tracked through its app. However, additional APY tiers are offered for lower step counts.
  • Minimum initial deposit: $100
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Minimum initial deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $25,000 to earn stated APY (CFG also offers a competitive rate for a lower minimum balance of $1,000)
  • Monthly fee: None with $1,000 ongoing balance; otherwise, $10/month
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Note: Although this account has "money market" in its name, it offers no check-writing privileges and instead operates like a savings account.
  • Minimum initial deposit: Any amount
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: Only with linked checking
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: Yes
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Minimum initial deposit: $500
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $1
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: No
  • Minimum initial deposit: Any amount
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: Yes
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: Yes
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Minimum initial deposit: Any amount
  • Minimum ongoing balance: Any amount
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: No
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Minimum initial deposit: Any amount
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: No
  • Minimum initial deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: None
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: Yes in Calif., Nev., and Hawaii
  • CDs available: Yes in Calif., Nev., and Hawaii
  • Minimum initial deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum ongoing balance: $1,000 to earn stated APY (or earn a higher rate with a minimum balance of $25,000)
  • Monthly fee: None with $1,000 ongoing balance; otherwise, $10/month
  • ATM card: No
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes
  • Checking accounts available: No
  • CDs available: Yes
  • Note: Although this account has "money market" in its name, it offers no check-writing privileges and instead operates like a savings account.

How Does a High-Yield Savings Account Work?

If you're one of the many Americans who holds your primary checking account at a major U.S. bank, you might have noticed that your bank's savings rate is minuscule. Paltry savings rates can also be found at smaller institutions, including regional and local banks and credit unions.

But just because your bank might be offering less than a tenth of a percent on savings accounts doesn't mean you need to settle for that. Enter high-yield savings accounts.

These accounts are typically offered online, whether by an internet-only bank or a brick-and-mortar365体育下注网站 institution, based on the idea that it makes good money sense to hold your savings wherever it can earn a competitively high yield rather than limit yourself to your primary bank or local institutions.

This doesn't mean you need to change where you hold your checking account. It's true that Americans have typically held both their checking and savings accounts at the same bank or credit union, and the majority still do, since the ease and speed of moving money between two accounts at the same institution can't be beat. But that model is being increasingly challenged by high-yield savings accounts, which offer dramatically higher interest rates in exchange for holding your savings at a separate bank.

365体育下注网站Although this means you'll likely be banking with more than one institution, it's simple to link a high-yield savings account to your primary account, allowing you to easily transfer funds in and out as needed. And when you compare interest rates, it's easy to see how handsomely this flexibility pays off.

How Much Can I Earn With a High-Yield Savings Account?

These top-paying accounts offer an interest rate that is typically 20 to 25 times higher than the FDIC's national average of savings accounts, which currently sits at an anemic 0.06%. With this week's top-ranked rates ranging from 1.30% to 1.00% APY, it's worth learning how to find and open one of these high-yield accounts.

How Can High-Yield Savings Accounts Pay So Much?

You might be wondering, "What's the catch?" It's a smart question, since it's rare that you can easily increase your earnings by more than 2,000%.

One reason is that the banks offering high-yield savings accounts are often a different breed of bank. Many are internet-only operations, which have lean budgets due to their not having any physical branches to build, staff, operate, and maintain.

They may also offer an extremely limited product line. Indeed, some online banks offer only a high-yield savings account as their sole product. This differs from the full-service brick-and-mortar model many are used to, where you can get checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), a credit card, auto and home loans, and more—all from the same institution.

365体育下注网站But traditional banks are also moving into the high-yield savings account market. Most commonly, they do this by operating a separate online-only spinoff to serve customers nationwide, though a few simply offer a high-yield savings account within their regular array of products.

A second reason high-yield savings account rates are possible is that these accounts offer limited features. Electronic statements will often be mandatory or a fee-charged if you opt for paper statements. And an ATM card often isn't available. While some will have an app offering mobile check deposit, others will limit all inflows and outflows to electronic transfers to and from an external bank.

Are High-Yield Savings Accounts Safe?

The vast majority of banks, whether physical or online, carry federal FDIC insurance, which protects banking customers by insuring up to $250,000 of their deposits at any one institution in the event of that bank's failure. The U.S. government also backs credit union customers up to $250,000 by providing NCUA insurance to the vast majority of credit institutions.

So whether your institution has branches or is an internet-only bank, your deposits are equally safe and protected. Just be sure to check for the FDIC or NCUA logo before you begin doing business with any new financial institution.

How Often Do High-Yield Savings Account Rates Change?

365体育下注网站The APY that a savings account pays on the day you make your initial deposit is not guaranteed. Unlike such fixed-rate instruments as CDs, savings account rates can change on any day and at any frequency.

Whether the rate goes up or goes down, and how often it changes, is largely influenced by the Federal Reserve. When it makes changes to the federal funds rate, banks and credit unions often follow suit in the same direction.

365体育下注网站That said, rate changes among savings accounts are not typically a daily or weekly event. Barring recent moves by the Federal Reserve, rates often remain at the same level for months at a time. The important thing to remember is simply that you can't count on a guaranteed APY, and as the interest rate environment goes, so too will most savings account yields.

What you gain in exchange, however, is the ability to move your money in and out of the savings account more or less at will. So while your rate is not locked, your funds similarly aren't locked.

What's Different Between High-Yield Savings, Money Market and CD Accounts?

Savings accounts and money market accounts are close cousins. Both allow you to move money in and out at your pleasure with their main function being to provide an option for you to sock away savings while earning interest on your balance. In both cases, interest will be paid to your account on some regular cycle, usually monthly.

In addition, the federal regulation that limits savings account withdrawals to six per month is applied to money market accounts as well.

365体育下注网站Traditionally, what differs between savings and money market accounts is that money market accounts usually include the option to write checks on the account. In contrast, savings accounts typically only allow fund withdrawals via electronic transfer, ATM cards (when offered), or in-branch visits.

365体育下注网站Both of these account types differ substantially from CDs. Whereas savings and money market accounts represent a hierarchical step above checking accounts in terms of APYs, CDs are the next step up in earning more on your savings.

A CD is essentially a contract between you and the bank or credit union. Unlike savings and money market accounts, where the rate can change at any time, CDs offer a fixed rate that remains locked for a set period of time and the interest you can earn is usually higher than what savings and money market accounts are paying.

The trade-off is that your agreement with the bank entails keeping your money in the CD for an established maturity period365体育下注网站, or term. CDs commonly have durations of three months, six months, one year, and so forth, up to 10 years. If you decide you need to withdraw the funds before the certificate matures, you'll pay a financial penalty for doing so.

Contrast that with the liquid transfer of funds you can arrange at any time with a savings or money market account, while also noting that the more commitment you're willing to make with your funds, the higher the APY you can earn.

How to Choose a High-Yield Savings Account

365体育下注网站The most important advice is to shop around for the highest interest rates you can find. Our ranking is always available as a finger on the pulse of how much the best-paying savings accounts in the country are paying in any given week.

But accounts vary on a number of other factors besides APY, so you may find you're personally better off choosing the fifth- or tenth-best rate in the country rather than the No. 1 rate. Fortunately, even at No. 10 on our list, you'll still be outearning the national average by a magnitude of almost 25.

Among the most important account characteristics to consider after the rate are balance requirements and fees. High-yield accounts with no fees and no minimum balances do exist, in which case you're free to hold as much or as little in the account as you'd like at any time. But many high-yield accounts impose limits, such as a minimum balance threshold. Fall below it and you might not earn the high-yield rate or may be hit with a fee.

In addition to minimum balance requirements, some accounts will require a minimum initial deposit, so you'll also want to check if the necessary startup deposit is acceptable to you. Note that if there is a minimum initial deposit but no minimum balance requirement going forward (or one that is lower than the initial requirement), you are free to withdraw the initial deposit funds at any time.

Also be aware of the fees that can be charged to different accounts. High-yield savings account fees usually take the form of a monthly charge if your account falls below the minimum balance requirement on any day during the monthly billing cycle.

Beware that you may also incur a fee if you make more than six withdrawals from the account in a month. Remember that this limit of six maximum withdrawals is standardized to the industry via federal regulation365体育下注网站, so you can't avoid it. But the fee that an institution charges for violating the rule will vary by bank.

365体育下注网站Also take a look at any other features the account or bank offers. For instance, if you expect you'll want to deposit checks to this savings account, be sure to choose a bank that has a smartphone app offering mobile check deposit. Alternatively, if you want to be able to write checks on the account, look for a money market account.

365体育下注网站You'll also want to check the bank's rules regarding external bank transfers. Some banks are very flexible here, allowing more than one linked external account and also being able to link them right after opening the account. But some high-yield accounts either only allow a single external account or will not allow any changes to the account linked for initial funding until a certain number of days or months have passed.

Lastly, if you aren't feeling loyal to the bank where you hold your checking, switching to a new checking account is always an option. Although it can be a bit of a project if you have direct deposit or autopay arrangements set up for your checking account, you might decide the legwork is worth it to establish both a checking account and a high-yield savings account at the same institution. If you're potentially open to this, look for high-yield savings accounts from banks that also offer checking options.

How to Open a High-Yield Savings Account

For virtually all high-yield savings accounts, opening your new account365体育下注网站 will be an online process. After you have shopped around for the top savings account rates and then chosen the account with the best features and characteristics for your needs, it's time to start your online application.

If the account you've chosen has an initial deposit requirement, you will likely need to link an external account during the application process, so have your routing and account numbers ready for the account you want to link. Other banks, though, will allow you to first open the account and fund it later (usually within a certain number of days).

Once you've completed the application process, you may be able to enroll in online banking right away or you may have to wait until you receive an email or mailed letter with your new account info. In either case, once you've successfully established your online banking credentials, you can download the bank's smartphone app and log in to interact with your account there.

In the app, or while logged into online banking on your computer, you can also decide which account alerts to turn on. For instance, you may want your phone to send you a text message or app notification letting you know if a withdrawal or a deposit over a certain threshold was posted or whenever your statement is ready. The alerts offered will depend on the bank.

A couple of additional items may also be of interest but will likely be possible only within online banking, not the app. One of these is naming beneficiaries for your account, so the bank knows who is entitled to your funds should you pass away. Another is linking any additional external accounts you'd like to use for transfers, should the bank allow for more than the initial linked account.

The Key to Using High-Yield Savings Accounts to Your Advantage

365体育下注网站If you're willing to shift all or some of your savings to a different institution than where you hold your checking account, opening an online high-yield savings account is a smart money move, likely earning you 20 to 25 times more interest than your primary bank pays. The key is to do your homework on what the best available rates are and then evaluate which accounts have the most amenable requirements and features for your needs.

Article Sources

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  1. 365体育下注网站Affirm. "." Accessed August 3, 2020.

  2. 365体育下注网站FDIC. "." Accessed August 3, 2020

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  4. 365体育下注网站NCUA. "." Accessed August 3, 2020.

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