Savings Account Interest Rates

A savings account is a good place to keep money safe and liquid, but it’s not a great place to earn money, right? Not necessarily. Some banks and credit unions offer savings accounts with respectable interest rates that rival the rates earned with CDs—but without the restrictions.   

We review more than 150 banks and credit unions every weekday to find the best savings rates and deals. These high-interest savings accounts are available to customers nationwide, and your funds are federally insured up to $250,000 per depositor per institution. We start by finding the highest rates, and we favor accounts with low minimum deposit requirements and friendly fee structures.

We also include money market accounts if they function like savings accounts. That means if an account pays a high yield and doesn’t allow you to write checks, it’s in the mix.

We evaluate savings accounts that are widely available throughout the U.S. to identify the best high-interest savings accounts. For this round-up, we primarily look at the annual percentage yield (APY) offered, but to help you compare options, we also consider factors like how quickly interest compounds, how easily you can make deposits, and customer service availability.

APYs are changing rapidly amid widespread uncertainty about the economy and financial markets. The Balance is monitoring rates and updating them accordingly.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts

Bank or Credit UnionAPYRequirements
Sallie Mae Bank1.10% on the first $2,500$0 to open and up to $2,500 to earn stated APY; up to $10,000 to earn 1.00%; up to $50,000 to earn 0.80%; over $50,000 to earn 0.70%
Customers Bank1.10%$25,000 to open and earn stated APY
Fitness Bank1.05%$100 to open, earn stated APY, and avoid $10 monthly fee; must also average at least 12,500 steps daily
Affirm1.00%$0 to open and earn stated APY
Chime1.00%$0 to open and earn stated APY
First Foundation Bank1.00%$1,000 to open and $0 earn stated APY
Citi0.90%$0 to open and earn stated APY but $500 to avoid $4.50 monthly fee; APY may not be available in all locations
Nationwide by Axos0.90%$100 to open and $0 earn stated APY
Virtual Bank0.80%$100 to open and avoid $5 monthly fee but $0 to earn stated APY
Axos0.90%$250 to open and $0 to earn stated APY

We partnered with the following banks to bring you the savings account offers in the table below. Under that, you’ll find additional details on our editors’ picks for the best high-interest savings accounts and rates as of September 8, 2020. All of the banks and credit unions listed are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Sallie Mae SmartyPig Savings

SmartyPig is an online savings account offered through Sallie Mae Bank. The innovative account lets you create and track savings goals and requires no minimum deposit or ongoing balance. Competitive interest rates help you grow your money even faster. You’ll earn the highest interest rate on deposits up to $2,500; rates decrease as you deposit more. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.What We Like

  • No balance requirements or monthly fees
  • You can set up and save for individual goals

What We Don’t Like

  • No other account offerings but the savings account
  • Tiered interest rate structure that offers lower rates on higher balances

Customers Bank Ascent Money Market Savings Account

Customers Bank was formed in 2009. Its personal account offerings include checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as loans. The Money Market Savings Account is available online (but not in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, or New Mexico), and with no monthly fees. But the account requires at least $25,000 to open, and you stop earning interest if your balance drops below that amount. Interest compounds and is credited monthly.What We Like

  • Competitive rates with no monthly fees

What We Don’t Like

  • No interest earnings if your balance falls below $25,000
  • Lower minimums available elsewhere

FitnessBank Fitness Savings

FitnessBank is an online division of Newton Federal Bank that rewards you based on your fitness activity. You’ll earn the max APY if you log an average of at least 12,500 steps daily with your Fitbit, Apple Health, Garmin, or Google Play fitness tracker. Lower rates are available with lower activity levels, and you must open the FitnessBank app at least monthly to log your steps. The account requires a minimum of $100 to open, and you must maintain at least that much as an average daily balance to avoid a $10 monthly maintenance charge. Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.What We Like

  • Decent interest even if you don’t hit 12,500 steps daily
  • Seniors can earn the top APY with fewer steps

What We Don’t Like

  • Mobile app doesn’t include deposit feature

Affirm Savings

Founded in 2012, Affirm is a fintech company known primarily for issuing point-of-sale loans for retail purchases through Cross River Bank. However, it also offers a high-yield savings account that comes with a companion mobile app and no minimum deposit or monthly fees. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.What We Like

  • No minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements
  • Great for mobile-centric users

What We Don’t Like

  • Account only accessible via the mobile app

Chime High-Yield Savings

Chime is a neobank that offers banking services through The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. These include the flagship Chime spending account along with a secured credit card and a savings account. The fee-free savings account requires no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance. Interest on the account compounds daily and is credited monthly.What We Like

  • No minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements
  • You can automatically divert 10% of direct deposits over $500 to your Chime spending account

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for those who need a more robust suite of banking services

First Foundation Bank Online Savings

First Foundation Bank was founded in 1990 and has branches in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The online savings account at First Foundation Bank pays its customers the highest APY on balances up to $5 million, and there are no monthly fees. To open an account, however, you must start with $1,000 in new money.

First Foundation Bank also offers checking accounts and other products, but those are only available in the three states mentioned (the savings account is available nationwide). Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.What We Like

  • No monthly fees, even if your account balance dwindles

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited offerings unless you live in select states

Citi Accelerate Savings

Citi is a global financial services powerhouse that traces its roots back to the War of 1812 (when it was City Bank of New York). Today it offers banking services to businesses and individuals—including savings accounts. Big, well-funded banks like Citi don’t often offer rates on par with offerings from regional banks and credit unions. This account offers a competitive APY with no minimum deposit, although you’ll have to keep at least $500 in the account to avoid a $4.50 monthly fee. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.What We Like

  • No minimum deposit
  • Linking your savings account to another Citi account earns extra Citi rewards points

What We Don’t Like

  • Monthly fee if account balance falls below $500
  • Ability to earn more interest at other banks

Nationwide by Axos My Savings

Operating for over 90 years, Nationwide is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world. It offers checking and saving accounts as well as loans through Axos Bank—itself an award-winning online bank founded in 2000. The savings account comes with a $100 minimum deposit and no ongoing balance requirement to earn its interest rate. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.What We Like

  • No balance requirements or monthly fees
  • A host of digital banking tools, including a mobile app
  • Robust security features

What We Don’t Like

  • Ability to earn similar or more interest at other banks

VirtualBank eMoney Market Account

VirtualBank is a division of IBERIABANK, a commercial bank founded in New Iberia, Louisiana in 1887. You can currently open eCDs along with the eMoney Market account online, both of which come with free online and mobile banking. You’ll need to deposit $100 to open the money market account, which you’ll also need to maintain to avoid a monthly fee. Interest on the account is compounded and credited monthly.What We Like

  • Mobile account tools, including deposits
  • Website offers various calculators to track the growth of your deposits

What We Don’t Like

  • Monthly fee if your daily balance drops below a certain amount

Axos Bank High Yield Savings

Axos Bank is an award-winning online bank that offers checking and savings accounts, CDs, and home loans. Its savings account offers that attractive combination of no ongoing balance requirement or monthly fees. You’ll only have to make a $250 deposit to open the account and start to see your savings grow. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.What We Like

  • No balance requirements or monthly fees
  • Free ATM card on request

What We Don’t Like

  • You can earn similar rates with no opening deposit

What Is a High-Interest Savings Account?

A high-interest savings account, also known as a high-yield savings account, helps you grow your money while keeping it accessible. Savings accounts often pay interest on your deposits, but interest rates vary from bank to bank. What makes high-interest accounts unique is a relatively high rate on your balance: They may pay several times more than the national average, which multiplies your earnings.1

As you earn interest on your savings, you can leave the money in your account and allow the funds to compound. Put another way, you earn interest on the interest payments you received in previous months. The higher your rate, the faster your money grows.

What Should You Look for in a High-Yield Savings Account?

The interest rate is the feature that most people pay attention to when shopping for a high-yield savings account. Compare banks and pick a competitive rate, but don’t ignore other critical features.

  • Low fees are crucial: If you’re paying monthly maintenance fees, you might wipe out any earnings in your account (or even see your account balance fall each month).
  • Verify that your money will be safe: Banks should be FDIC-insured, and the safest credit unions provide NCUSIF coverage.
  • Select a bank that will be convenient to work with. Evaluate how you’ll use the account, and find a bank that fits your needs. For example, if you want to deposit checks frequently, make sure the bank offers mobile deposit. If you withdraw cash regularly, choose a bank with a convenient ATM network or ATM rebates.

Why Do Savings Account Rates Change?

The interest rate on your savings account changes over time. In some cases, the rate remains the same over extended periods. But when rates in the broad economy change, banks typically move in sync with those changes. If the Fed cuts rates, there’s a good chance that your savings account rates will remain stagnant or fall. When rates rise, banks tend to increase rates, but not necessarily as quickly as you’d like.

CDs enable you to lock in a rate that doesn’t change, but there are pros and cons of using CDs.

Why Are Some Bank Interest Rates Higher Than Others?

How much interest you earn can vary quite a bit, but interest rates tend to be lower at big brick-and-mortar banks and higher at online banks.

Banks raise rates when they want to gather money. If they need to get deposits in the door, a high rate on savings accounts attracts customers. If, on the other hand, they don’t need cash, they can keep rates lower.

Banks have different approaches to earning money. Some take deposits and lend them out, while others take a more varied approach (earning revenue and fees from other services like credit cards and ancillary business).

Organizational structure is also important. Some banks have shareholders demanding that the bank grow (and/or share income with the shareholders), and those demands may make it harder to pay high rates to depositors. However, some banks are able to keep only what they need to pay the bills and share the rest of the revenue (from loans, ATM fees, etc.) with account holders. Small banks and credit unions are most likely to fit the latter model.

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