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My local bank offers a basic savings account with a 0.01% interest rate with the opportunity for many fees.
If you are a high roller and have a minimum of $30,000 to open an account, you can earn 0.25% interest at that bank (the interest rate “skyrockets” to 0.65% if you bring $5 million to the table).
Use this rule of thumb when deciding where to put your money. With a 1% annual percentage yield (APY), a savings balance of $10,000 earns about $100 after a year.
It may not make you rich, but the earnings are much better than an account with a 0.25% APY.
Oh, and it took me a couple of minutes to find that information.
Where’s the transparency?
If this situation sounds familiar to you, I recommend looking into an online high-yield savings account where you can earn a better return on your money, avoid most fees, and enjoy added functionality.
If you still need a brick-and-mortar bank, consider keeping your local account and using the online savings account to stash your emergency fund, long-term savings, or high-interest CDs.
Another thing to consider is that you should be willing to look beyond larger, well-known banks in the online banking world. Many smaller online institutions feature competitive rates and low deposit requirements.
Depending on the bank, you can open an account online or in person. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, contact information, and a driver’s license or passport.
Most banks require to deposit money into the new account immediately. You can deposit cash or checks or wire transfer.
Approval is not automatic, and sometimes, your application to open an account may not be approved, probably due to issues with your previous banking history. Unpaid bank fees and bounced checks can result in a negative file on ChexSystems.
This consumer reporting agency that financial institutions use to evaluate a prospective customer’s banking history.
It’s also good to know that savings accounts are limited by Regulation D, which limits the number of transfers or withdrawals from the account to six per calendar month or a statement cycle of at least four weeks. The Federal Reserve Board amended Regulation D in April 2020 so that consumers can make unlimited withdrawals or deposits from savings accounts.
Banks aren’t required to suspend the rule, so the six-limit rule may apply.
Top 14 Best High Yield Online Savings Accounts Right Now
The following banks meet the criteria listed above, each offering something different from its competitors.
The FDIC covers these banks and is a great option if you search for a new online bank.
Bank rates change often, but we do our best to maintain an accurate listing of current high-yield savings account rates.
CIT Bank – Editor’s Pick for Highest Interest Rates
While CIT Bank is not the most well-known bank on our list, it’s one of the best options. They were established in 1908 and have over $50 billion in assets.
As a company, they provide just about every possible financial service you can think of.
CIT Bank has several different savings account options that you can choose from, but the most popular is the Premier High Yield Savings account, which features interest rates that are among the highest in the nation (the bank rate table on this page should show the current APY). CIT Bank is also well-known for its no-fee CD accounts.
CIT Bank is an excellent option if you’re looking for high rates but don’t want to pay any monthly fees.
CIT Bank requires a $100 deposit to open, but it doesn’t have any fees. Learn more in our CIT Bank review.
BBVA Online Savings Account
The BBVA Online Savings account combines one of the highest online savings account interest rates with a great online checking account. BBVA (formerly BBVA Compass) online savings accounts feature Free Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and Bill Pay.
Their network of ATMs includes all BBVA ATMs and the Allpoint® ATM network, which features over 64,000 free ATMs. The minimum to open an account is only $25. You can learn more in our BBVA Bank Review.
First National Bank of Omaha is a financial company that has been around for over 150 years. They have years and years of experience offering quality financial services to clients across the nation.
They have physical locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and several other states, but with their online savings account, you can enjoy their benefits wherever you live.
FNBO Direct has won numerous industry awards, and they have 4 out of 5 stars from Bankrate’s Safe and Sound Ratings.
They require a $1 minimum deposit (which I’m sure you have in-between your couch cushions), and their interest rates are in the top 5% in the nation. You can learn more about FNBO Direct in our review.
EverBank is another bank on our list that you might not have heard of. While they aren’t the most well-known bank on our list, they could be one of the best options depending on your finances.
Their Yield Pledge Money Market account is an excellent place to stash your money if you’re looking for a high-yield savings account. According to their site, their yields “never stray from the top 5% of Competitive Accounts,” which is a nice advantage.
Not only that, but they allow you to make mobile check deposits, and move money six times a month, and they have no monthly fees. The one thing to note with this savings account is that requires a $5,000 deposit to open.
Discover Bank Online Savings Account
Like American Express, Discover is not just a credit card company anymore. They also have a savings account that you can open.
They typically feature well-above-average interest rates, with no opening deposit requirement and no monthly fees that you have to worry about. One of the other advantages of the Discover savings account is that the interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.
Discover tells you on their site that they have zero hidden fees. You won’t be charged monthly, and there is no minimum balance that you have to maintain and $0 for incoming wire transfers.
Learn more about all the banking products offered by Discover in our Discover Bank review.
USAA – Best Online Bank for Military and their Families
USAA is a great institution; I do most of my banking with them. They will not give you the best interest rates, but they give you some of the best customer service you will find anywhere.
And they are a leader among the best military banks.
To be eligible to become a USAA member you have to have served in the military or have a parent who has served and is a USAA member. If your parents have served in the military, but have not signed up for USAA they can set up an account free of charge without signing up for any services.
As soon as your veteran parent has a member number, you can use that number to start your account.
Chase Bank – Best Savings Account Bonus
Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States, and while they do not offer the best interest rates, they offer some of the largest bonuses for opening an account with any online bank.
Currently, they are offering $150 for anyone who opens a new Chase SavingsSM account. Chase also offers other bonus offers for different types of checking accounts.
To qualify for the $150 bonus, you must deposit $10,000 or more within 20 business days and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days.
Visit the Chase website to open a Chase SavingsSM Account
Ally Bank is quickly becoming one of the most popular banks on our list. They were initially established as General Motors Acceptance Corporation in 1919 but changed its name to Ally Financial in 2009.
They offer a variety of financial services that you can take advantage of, including Ally Invest. Aside from having excellent customer service at your disposal 24 hours a day, you can also enjoy their high-interest rates, zero monthly fees, and a wide array of financial products and services.
But we are going to focus on the savings account.
They compound the interest daily and will allow you to deposit checks with their mobile app.
You can learn more about all these features in our Ally Bank review.
Barclays Bank offers some of the highest interest rates in the U.S. However, they are not a full-service bank. Barclays can offer high-interest rates on savings by limiting their accounts to savings and certificates of deposit.
Barclays Bank does not currently offer a checking account or even an ATM network.
That said, Barclays is one bank worth looking into if you are a rate chaser. They are generally among the highest you can find and offer great CD rates.
You can link your Barclays Bank account to several other banks and deposit checks online or using their iOS or Android App. You can learn more in our Barclays Bank Savings Account Review.
Capital One 360
Capital One’s 360 Savings account is a great addition to anyone with an account with Capital One. Their interest rates are higher than you find at just about any local bank, but several other online options offer better rates.
They have many attractive features, including the ability to make sub-accounts, link external accounts, and thousands of fee-free ATMs.
Just like every other company on our list, they don’t have any monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance that you have to keep.
They have excellent customer service, making it extremely simple to apply for an account. You can learn more in our Capital One 360 review.
Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae just opened a new consumer banking division, and they currently offer some of the highest rates in the nation. Sallie Mae is FDIC insured, has no minimum balance requirements, and has no fees.
Sallie Mae also has a unique arrangement with Upromise – you can earn a 10% annual match on Upromise earnings.
For more information, please read this Sallie Mae Savings Account Review.
SmartyPig is a different kind of bank, offering high-interest rates and an incentive to save. SmartyPig is FDIC insured and has no minimum balance or fees.
To open a SmartyPig account, you need to declare a savings goal, then set up automatic deposits toward your goal. This is an easy process and takes a few minutes to set up.
See this Smarty Pig review for more information about SmartyPig’s great interest rates or to open an account.
Synchrony is frequently one of the top online banks for interest rates and has been a top competitor with the other online-only banks for years.
How to Find the Best Savings Accounts and Interest Rates
All banks and credit unions are not created equally. There are variations in interest rates, reliability, functionality, and more.
When looking for a new bank, consider these features:
- FDIC insurance. FDIC Insurance is one of the most essential features. If the bank is not FDIC insured to provide you with up to $250,000 in insurance per account in each account ownership category, keep looking. Also, credit unions ensure the account is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
- Interest rates. The higher, the better, provided the bank meets your other needs.
- Account minimums. Some banks require you to deposit a large amount of money to receive the best rates or avoid fees. Some even require that you have a minimum balance to earn interest of any kind.
- Fees. Keep these to a minimum. They eat into your earnings. Be aware that some online savings accounts charge fees if your balance falls below their minimum balance threshold at any point during your billing cycle.
- Functionality. Some banks offer great features such as unlimited sub-accounts, high-yield checking accounts, Certificates of Deposit, the ability to link to a brokerage account, and more.
- The digital experience. Some banks are good with intuitive and thorough online websites and apps. Others, not so much. Factor in the frustration factor when looking for a bank.
- ATM access. Some banks may provide an ATM or debit card for ATM access. Depending on the bank, you may be able to electronically transfer the money to an account you hold at another bank.
- Access to funds. How quickly and easily can you access your money if you need it? Is there a brick-and-mortar version of the bank, or is it only online?
- Do they offer an online checking account? You may wish to match your online savings account with a checking account for ease of access and higher interest rates. Unfortunately, not all online banks offer checking accounts. See our list of best online checking accounts for more information.
- Is there a sign-up bonus? Some banks offer sing up bonuses when you open a new account. This can be a quick and easy way to earn several hundred dollars. See our list of current bank sign-up bonuses for more information.
- Customer service. Banking online is a 24/7 proposition, and being able to reach a customer service rep whenever you need to is a huge incentive. This is critical if you’re using a bank with no branch access. Also, look for actual responsiveness vs. a simple acknowledgment when you reach out.
Check out our post about the benefits of Chase Checking accounts. This is one great online banking option with perks of free money for signing up!
Also, remember, putting money into a savings account can not only help you but can help your children and your family as a whole!
About the comments on this site:
These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Thanks for putting this list together Ryan. Although I appreciate your views on national bank options, I am glad I went local. As a recent graduate with less than 10k in savings to start, my bank’s low monthly charge and $25 minimum was a lifesaver. The interest rates are fair, but the accessibility (brick & mortar locations and online/app) make it worthwhile.
What is Bankrate.com, their site is very confusing. I see you reference them from time to time, do you recommend the site for credibility?
Larry, Bankrate.com is an industry leader for objective bank rankings (see their Safe and Sound rankings) which are based on public information, regulatory filings, etc. They also offer a wide array of tools, including calculators and comparison tools. Their site is legitimate and has been referenced by all of the major news outlets, such as CNN, Yahoo. MSN, etc. (they also advertise heavily on some of these sites).
william stevenson says
I wish to tell all the members of the younger generation to be aware of all the investment opportunities that are available and for God sake save every dime you can. Retirement is right around the corner, don’t be caught short.
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