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Best high yield savings accounts

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The best online savings accounts offer high yields consistently. These banks were chosen because their rates remained high over an entire quarter.

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Online savings accounts give consumers a real chance to get ahead.

While average rates are still 0.441% according to the America's Best Rates survey, the best online savings accounts averaged a 1.348% interest rate over the entire second quarter of 2019.

That's a rate advantage roughly 15 times the national average savings account rate of a traditional, branch-based account.

There are plenty of savings account rates advertised online. The trick is not to jump at the first high interest rate you see. After all, savings account rates are subject to change at any time.

How do you know that the best rate today will be any good a month or so from now?

You can't. There is no way to know that. But what you can do is find a bank that is determined to compete.

Savings Accounts with High Interest

The best online savings accounts consistently offer high yields. So before you open a new high-interest savings account - or change banks for one - you ought to know whether that bank has a track record of offering higher interest rates.

Track record is exactly what the America's Best Rates survey is designed to show. It's not a list of the highest interest rates at a given moment in time. It's a list of banks that compete day in and day out, over an extended period of time. It's an important distinction.

At a time when interest rates are starting to level off, the America's Best Rates banks are still widening the gap between the average online savings account rate and the average traditional savings account rate. Here are the results of the America's Best Rates survey for the second quarter of 2019.

Summary of 11 Best Online High Yield Savings Accounts in Mid-2019

Not a list of the highest interest rates at the moment, the following were the best savings account rates based on the average rate offered over the entire second quarter of 2019:

America's Best Savings Account Rates: 2nd Quarter, 2019
Rank Bank 2019 Q2 Avg APY

1st place

MySavingsDirect (ABR platinum medal winner)

2.40%

2nd place

Salem Five Direct (ABR gold medal winner)

2.34%

3rd place

SFGI Direct (ABR silver medal winner)

2.27%

4th place

Synchrony Bank (ABR bronze medal winner)

2.25%

5th place

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

2.25%

6th place

FNBO Direct

2.23%

7th place (tie)

Ally Bank

2.20%

7th place (tie)

Barclays

2.20%

9th place (tie)

American Express National Bank

2.10%

9th place (tie)

Discover Bank

2.10%

9th place (tie)

Sallie Mae Bank

2.10%

(Although Synchrony Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs might appear to be tied for fourth place, the average rate for Synchrony Bank during the second quarter was actually higher by a few thousandths of a percent.)

Compare the Best High Yield Savings Accounts

All of the accounts above offer highly competitive savings account rates. Learn more about each of the accounts here:

MySavings Account from MySavings Direct

mysavings-directAVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.40%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-interest savings

DETAILS: MySavings Direct is a division of Emigrant Bank, which is based in New York City and was established in 1850. As of March 31, 2019, Emigrant Bank had $4.4 billion in total deposits.

FEATURES: Besides having the top rate in the second quarter, 2019 America's Best Rates survey, MySavings Account offers easy access with online availability and no minimum-balance requirement. Better yet, MySavings Account can be linked to your existing checking account to facilitate automated saving.

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

eOne savings

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.34%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: $100 to open, with no ongoing-balance minimum

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-yield savings account

DETAILS: Salem Five Direct is the online division of Salem Five Cents Savings Bank. Salem Five Cents Bank is based in Salem, MA and has 36 physical locations. It was established in 1855 and had $3.8 billion in deposits as of March 31, 2019.

FEATURES: With online availability and a low $100 threshold to open an account, the Salem Five Direct eOne Savings account gives consumers around the country access to one of the top America's Best Rates savings accounts. While the account's best interest rate only applies to balances up to $1 million, that won't be a limitation for the vast majority of customers.

SFGI Direct Savings Account

direct-savings

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.27%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: $500 minimum to open an account, then $1 minimum balance to earn interest

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank, which had $1.8 billion in deposits as of March 31, 2019. Summit Community Bank was founded in 1995. It is based in Moorefield, WV and has 34 physical locations.

FEATURES: The SFGI Direct Savings Account offers one of the highest APYs in the America's Best Rates survey with the convenience of online banking, including access anywhere you can go online and 24/7 service.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

high-yield-savings

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.25%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-yield savings account

DETAILS: Synchrony Bank is based in Draper, UT and was founded in 1988. As of March 31, 2019, Synchrony Bank had $67.9 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: Along with a top-ten America's Best Rates yield and the convenience of online banking, the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings page has a simple tool that allows you to project how much interest your deposit would earn over various time periods, assuming the APY on the account stayed constant over that time period.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.25%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-yield savings

DETAILS: Marcus is the retail brand of financial giant Goldman Sachs, a New York City-based firm which had $145 billion in deposits as of March 31, 2019. Goldman Sachs Bank was founded in 1990.

FEATURES: With a top-ten America's Best Rates yield, online access and no account minimum, Marcus by Goldman Sachs gives consumers across the country another choice for high-yield savings. The Marcus savings account web page has a simple tool that allows you to project how much interest your deposit would earn over various time periods, assuming the APY on the account stayed constant over that time period.

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.23%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: FNBO Direct is the online bank offering of the First National Bank of Omaha. As the name suggests, the First National Bank of Omaha is based in Omaha, NE, and it was founded in 1857. Besides its online operation, the First National Bank of Omaha has an extensive network of 126 locations, and housed a total of over $18 billion in deposits as of March 31, 2019.

FEATURES: The FNBO Direct Online Savings Account allows you to open an account with as little as $1 and has no ongoing minimum-balance requirement.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.20%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: Ally is exclusively an online bank. It was founded in 2004 and is based in Sandy, UT. As of March 31, 2019, it had $115 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: As one of the pioneers of online banking, Ally offers highly developed customer-service tools in addition to its consistently competitive interest rates.

Barclays Online Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.20%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: Barclays is a division of a large, multi-national financial firm. Its U.S. online operation was founded in 2001 and is based in Wilmington, DE. As of March 31, 2019, it had over $24 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: In addition to offering a highly competitive interest rate, the Barclays Online Savings Account is set up to accommodate digital transfers from other banks to make organizing your savings easy.

American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.10%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-yield savings account

DETAILS: American Express National Bank is the online banking operation of the broader American Express financial conglomerate, known chiefly for its credit cards. Founded in 1989, the retail banking operation is based in Salt Lake City, UT and, as of March 31, 2019, had nearly $79 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: The American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account can be linked to up to three of your current bank accounts to facilitate savings. The web page has a simple tool that allows you to project how much interest your deposit(s) would earn over various time periods, assuming the APY on the account stayed constant over that time period.

Discover Online Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.10%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: Part of the financial services organization that offers Discover credit cards, Discover Bank is based in Greenwood, DE and was founded in 1911. As of March 31, 2019, it had nearly $71 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: Besides offering online access to one of the top savings account rates, Discover bank offers mobile capabilities such as remote check deposit and account access via touch or face ID as opposed to a pass code.

Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account

AVERAGE APY (2nd quarter 2019): 2.10%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online high-yield savings

DETAILS: Sallie Mae's retail deposits operation was founded in 2005 and is based in Salt Lake City, UT. As of March 31, 2019, it had just over $20 billion in deposits.

FEATURES: With online access and no balance minimum, the Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account gives consumers across the nation access to an additional high-interest-savings-account option.

Methodology

To capture a meaningful cross-section of the deposits business, MoneyRates.com developed the MoneyRates Index. This is an index of 100 banks, including 50 of the largest retail deposit institutions in the U.S. plus 25 medium-sized banks and 25 small banks. Thus our studies account for all segments of the banking industry, and the banks we include represent nearly three-quarters of all U.S. deposits.

To account for the fact that savings account rates are subject to change at any time, unlike most rate surveys MoneyRates.com does not simply look at rates based on a single, one-day snapshot in time. Instead, our rate rankings are based on the average rate each bank offered throughout the most recent calendar quarter. This way, our rate studies show not just who offered the best savings account rates, but who offered the best rates consistently.

Normally, this analysis yields a top-ten list of savings accounts, but due to a three-way tie for ninth place in the latest quarter, bank shoppers get a bonus this time around - the list below includes eleven of the best savings accounts in the United States.

How to Find High Interest Savings Accounts

If you are wondering, "Where can I earn the most interest on my money?" here are six tips to help you find the answer:

1. Look online for high-interest savings accounts

Online savings accounts can help you earn a better interest rate in two ways: They increase the number of choices available to you, and online savings accounts generally offer higher rates than traditional, branch-based accounts.

The extra choice is important because most banks are local or regional, meaning that the rates you were offered in the past depended very much on where you lived. Now you have access to best-in-class interest rates via online savings accounts and CDs no matter where you live in the U.S.

This is especially important given the size of the rate advantage online savings accounts have over branch-based accounts. The latest MoneyRates America's Best Rates survey found that the average online savings account offered an interest rate of 1.348%, compared to just 0.086% for the average branch-based account.

This means that online savings accounts typically pay you nearly 15 times as much interest. All of the ten best high-interest savings accounts in the latest survey were online accounts.

2. Go small to earn big

When you consider banking options, look beyond huge institutions with household names. They might have stadiums named after them, but these companies tend to offer the lowest savings account rates.

A number of banks have over a trillion dollars in customer deposits. While the average savings account rate overall was 0.441%, these large banks still offer rates of just 0.01% and 0.03%.

That means the most a $10,000 savings account could earn at one of these mega-banks is $3 a year in interest. Even in an average savings account, $10,000 could earn $44.41 in annual interest; and in one of the best high-interest savings accounts, it could earn over $200. When you compare these numbers, it's easy to see why it really pays to look beyond the mega-banks if you want a high-interest savings account.

3. Pay attention to rate tiers

Banks sometimes offer different interest rates depending on how much money you give them. These are referred to as rate tiers, with different rates applying to different-sized accounts.

When shopping for rates, pay attention to the rate tier that would apply to the size of account you intend to open. Don't be sucked in by an advertised rate that wouldn't apply to your account size. Instead, look for the best deal you can get for the amount of money you have to deposit.

4. You can do even better

While interest rates are starting to level off in general, some bank customers are benefiting much more than others. In fact, since relatively few banks are leading the charge toward offering higher rates, it is fair to say that a minority of bank customers are reaping any real benefit during this trend.

The latest America's Best Rates survey found that there was 1.959% difference between the best high-interest savings accounts and the category average. The same goes for high-interest CDs and money market accounts. So be choosy, because it really pays to get one of the best high-interest savings accounts instead of settling for average.

5. Think long term

Not only are interest rates starting to fall, but the gap between long-term CD rates and savings account rates is the widest it has ever been in the seven-year history of the survey. That makes it more rewarding to commit your money for a longer period in a high-interest CD.

Remember, though, that there is typically a penalty if you take your money out before the CD's maturity date. So, only commit to a longer-term CD if you don't think you'll need the money before the CD's term is up. Also, it doesn't hurt to move some money into a high-interest CD that also carries a fairly small early withdrawal penalty or a no-penalty CD just in case.

6. Minimize your checking account balance

When savings account rates were near zero, there was no great incentive to shift money from checking to savings. In fact, it often made more sense to keep an extra balance in checking as a cushion against overdrafts and to qualify for a fee waiver.

With savings account rates now more rewarding, you may want to keep a tighter rein on your checking-account balance. Perhaps even have your paycheck directly deposited into savings rather than checking so you can have as much money as possible earning a better interest rate for as long as possible.

Remember that inflation has been running below 2% a year lately. That means that most savings vehicles are actually losing ground to inflation. High-interest savings accounts and CDs give you a shot at staying ahead of inflation, which makes the difference between increasing or decreasing the value of your money.

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