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Best High-Yield Savings Accounts

| MoneyRates.com Senior Financial Analyst, CFA
min read
The best online savings accounts offer high yields consistently. These banks were chosen because their rates remained high over an entire calendar quarter.

interest_savings_accountsInterest rates have been falling, but you may actually be able to raise your savings account rate.

This is because high-interest savings accounts offer a clear advantage over most savings accounts.

Where can you find one of these high-yield savings accounts? A good place to start is by looking at these online accounts.

The latest America's Best Rates survey found that, in the first quarter of 2020, online savings accounts paid an average interest rate of 1.206%. This is more than 16 times the 0.073% average rate of a traditional, branch-based savings account.

10 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts

The ten best high-yield online savings accounts listed below offered rates that were even higher than the average online savings account rate of 1.206%– and they kept their rates high over an entire quarter. All of the best high-yield online savings accounts exceeded the average savings account rate of 0.073% by more than 22 times as much.

Achieving high-rate consistency demonstrates a bank’s clear commitment to compete for your business. Interest rates change frequently, so finding a bank with a reputation for consistently high yields means your savings account balance has a better chance to grow

Savings Accounts Offering Most Consistent High Rates
Savings AccountAverage APY Comparison
SFGI Direct Savings Account
More than 25X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account
More than 25X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Salem Five Direct eOne Savings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
MySavings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Barclays Online Savings Account
More than 23X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account
More than 22X the average savings account rate of 0.073%
Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account
More than 22X the average savings account rate of 0.073%

What Is A High-Yield Savings Account?

A high-yield savings account has the same characteristics as an ordinary savings account, but with one key advantage: the interest rate is significantly higher.

High-yield savings accounts at FDIC-insured banks have federally insured principal and interest too. This insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor at each participating institution.

How big a difference is there between a high-yield savings account and the average savings account?

In the first quarter of 2020, the MoneyRates.com America's Best Rates survey found that the average savings account rate was 0.376%. In contrast, the ten highest-yielding savings accounts in the study each paid well over a full percentage point more than the average.

Methodology - How We Choose High-Yield Savings Accounts

Savings account rates are subject to change at any time, but some banks stand out as offering consistently high rates.

To find the best high-yield savings accounts, MoneyRates.com monitors a cross-section of the banking industry. This includes the 50 largest retail deposit institutions, plus 25 medium-sized banks and 25 smaller banks.

Unlike most rate surveys, MoneyRates does not just measure rates at a single point of time. Instead, the America's Best Rates survey takes the average rate offered by each bank throughout the most recent calendar quarter.

The idea is not just to find high rates, but to find the banks that consistently have the highest rates. That improves the chances that the top banks on the list will continue to be among the leaders in the near future.

Which Banks Have High-Yield Savings Accounts?

Summit Community Bank

SFGI Direct Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 34102 (for parent company Summit Community Bank)

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.89%

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

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank, which had $1.9 billion in deposits as of December 31, 2019. Summit Community Bank was founded in 1995. It is based in Moorefield, WV and has 40 physical locations.

KEY FEATURES: The SFGI Direct Savings Account offered the highest APY in the most recent America's Best Rates survey along with the convenience of online banking, including 24/7 access anywhere you can go online.


Axos Bank

UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 35546 (for parent company Axos Bank)

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.89%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: No minimum to open an account, but a balance of $10,000 or more is required to earn interest

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: UFB Direct is a division of Axos Bank. Axos is an online bank which had over $10 billion in deposits as of December 31, 2019. Axos Bank is based in San Diego, CA and was founded in 2000.

KEY FEATURES: The UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account offered the second-highest APY in the most recent America's Best Rates survey, just trailing the leading rate by a small fraction of a percent. The account offers mobile deposit and a complimentary ATM debit card.


Salem Five Cents Savings Bank

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 23296 (for parent company Salem Five Cents Savings Bank)

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.71%

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 Savings Bank is based in Salem, MA and has 37 physical locations. It was established in 1855 and had $3.9 billion in deposits as of December 31, 2019.

KEY 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 relevant limitation for the vast majority of customers.


Emigrant Bank

MySavings Account from MySavings Direct

FDIC NUMBER: 12054 (for parent company Emigrant Bank)

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.70%

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 December 31, 2019, Emigrant Bank had nearly $4.6 billion in total deposits.

KEY FEATURES: Besides having one of the top rates in the first quarter, 2020 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.


American Express National Bank

American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 27471

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.70%

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 Sandy, UT and as of December 31, 2019 had over $78 billion in deposits.

KEY FEATURES: The American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account can be linked to an external bank account to facilitate transfers. 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 period.


Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 33124

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.70%

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 $168 billion in deposits as of December 31, 2019. Goldman Sachs Bank was founded in 1990.

KEY 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 an attractive option 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.


Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 27314

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.70%

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 December 31, 2019, Synchrony Bank had $68 billion in deposits.

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


Barclays

Barclays Online Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 57203

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.68%

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 December 31, 2019, it had over $24 billion in deposits.

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


Capital One Bank

Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 33954

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.66%

ACCOUNT MINIMUM: None

TYPE OF ACCOUNT: Online savings

DETAILS: Capital One Bank is part of a diversified financial services firm offering deposit products, credit cards and lending. Its U.S. online operation was founded in 1994 and is based in Glen Allen, VA. As of December 31, 2019, it had $82 billion in deposits.

KEY FEATURES: Capital One offers a mobile app that gives 24/7 access to your account, as well as linking to internal and external accounts for easy transfers.


Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account

FDIC NUMBER: 58177

AVERAGE APY (1st quarter 2020): 1.65%

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 December 31, 2019, it had over $24 billion in deposits.

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


Are High-Yield Savings Accounts Safe?

A variety of financial products advertise themselves as "high yield," but most are not as safe as a high-yield savings account offered through an FDIC-insured bank.

Since FDIC insurance began on January 1, 1934, no insured deposits have been lost due to bank failures. Today, the FDIC insures deposits for up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank.

All of the banks listed above are insured by the FDIC. To research whether a bank is covered by the FDIC, you can use the BankFind tool on the FDIC website.

What to Consider when Choosing a High-Yield Savings Account

Here are some things to check out when comparing high-yield savings accounts:

Annual percentage yield (APY)

This is the current interest rate paid on the account, compounded for a period of one year.

Some banks pay different rates depending on your balance, so make sure you compare rates that would apply to the amount you intend to deposit.

How often rates change

Interest rates on savings accounts are subject to change at any time. This means the rate you sign up for may not be the rate you actually get over the year ahead.

However, while rates on savings accounts can change frequently, the banks offering the best rates tend to stay near the head of the pack even as rates go up and down. That's why it is still worthwhile to compare rates when choosing a savings account.

Minimum deposit required

Some banks will not let you start an account unless you deposit at least a specified amount. When considering savings accounts, focus on those that either have no minimum account requirement or have one you can afford to meet.

Minimum balance required

A minimum balance requirement is different from a minimum deposit requirement. It is not just the amount you need to open an account, but an ongoing requirement.

Often, an account will require you to maintain a certain minimum balance in order for your money to earn interest, or earn interest at the advertised level. So, you should only consider accounts with minimum balance requirements you will be able to meet easily on a continuing basis.

Withdrawal options

Withdrawal limits on all savings accounts are essentially the same. You are restricted to no more than six third-party transfers per month, so you can't use these accounts to pay regular bills the way you would a checking account.

Some accounts make it easier to access your money through features such as debit cards or the ability to link to other accounts. Depending on how you intend to use the account, features like these may be important to you.

How to Choose the Best High-Yield Savings Account

Would you like to earn more interest on your savings? Here are six tips to help you do that:

1. Look online for high-yield 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
  • Online savings accounts generally offer higher rates than traditional, branch-based accounts.

The extra choice is important because most banks are local or regional. Because of this, in the past the banking products you had access to 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 1.206%, compared to just 0.073% for the average branch-based account.

This means that online savings accounts typically pay you more than 16 times as much interest. All ten of the best high-interest savings accounts listed above are online accounts.

2. Go small to earn big

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

There are four banks offering retail savings accounts that have over a trillion dollars in customer deposits. While the average savings account rate overall was 0.376%, these mega-banks still offer rates of between just 0.01% and 0.04%.

That means the most a $10,000 savings account could earn at one of these mega-banks is $4 a year in interest. Even in an average savings account, $10,000 could earn $37.60 in annual interest; in one of the best high-interest savings accounts, it could earn over $160.

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.

An interest calculator can help you figure out how much you could earn on your deposit. Using this when comparing rates can help you see why it is worth switching accounts.

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 don't have to accept falling rates

Even though interest rates overall are falling, the fact remains that most bank customers could still raise their interest rates.

That's because there is such a huge gap between the best rates and average rates. So, most bank customers are accepting rates much lower than others that are readily available on the market.

The latest America's Best Rates survey found that there was 1.515% difference between the best high-interest savings account and the category average. Big differences in rates can also be found among 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

As usual, most long-term CDs are paying clearly higher interest rates than savings accounts, money market accounts and short-term CDs. With interest rates falling recently, long-term CDs offer the added advantage of allowing you to lock in an interest rate for a few years. That could make it even more rewarding to commit your money for a longer period in a high interest CD.

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

6. Minimize your checking account balance

As low as savings account rates may seem, the best ones are still much better than most checking account interest rates. Therefore, you may want to keep a tighter rein on your checking-account balance so more of your money can be earning higher interest in a savings account.

One approach you can try is to have your paycheck directly deposited into savings rather than checking so you can have more money earning a better interest rate for as long as possible.

With inflation running at around 2% a year, most savings vehicles are actually losing ground to rising prices. High-interest savings accounts and CDs give you a better shot at keeping up with inflation. That could make the difference between increasing or decreasing the value of your money.

How to Open an Account with the Best APY

You can open a savings account by filling out an application either at a bank branch or online.

Information you will need as part of the application process includes:

  • Your full legal name
  • Social security number
  • Driver's license or other form of legal ID
  • Your street address

You will also need to make an initial deposit to open the account. You can do this with cash (though very large amounts may invite extra scrutiny), a check or via a deposit from another bank account.

Online Bank vs. Brick-and-Mortar Banks

FeatureOnline BanksBrick-and-Mortar Banks
Interest Rates*1.206%0.073%
AccessVia phone, mobile device, computer, ATMVia phone, branch location, ATM
Hours of OperationAccess to account information is generally 24/7Hours vary according to bank and branch, but generally limited to weekday business hours
ATM NetworksVaries according to bankVaries according to bank
Customer ServiceGenerally via phone or online chatVia phone or in-person visit

*Based on the average for the 1st quarter of 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions you might have about high-yield savings accounts:

Unless a high-yield savings account is in a tax-advantaged vehicle like an IRA, interest on savings accounts is typically taxed at the ordinary income rate for the tax year in which it is earned.

Technically, a high-yield savings account is no different from an ordinary account. However, the term "high-yield" is used to describe those savings accounts whose interest rates are well above average.

High-yield savings accounts work the same way as ordinary savings accounts, only they pay more interest. Their principal value does not fluctuate and they earn interest continually throughout the year. You can access your money at any time, though you are limited to six third-party transactions per month.

High-yield savings accounts make money from the interest rates offered by their banks. This is the only way high-yield savings accounts can make money, which is why it's so important to compare interest rates when choosing a high-yield savings account.

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