The best high-yield savings accounts April 2024

High-yield savings accounts have proliferated in recent years amid a rise in online banks and fintechs competing for business against traditional banks, giving consumers a wide range of choices to grow their savings in a hurry.

High-yield savings accounts can offer better interest rates than regular savings accounts — in some cases more than 10 times the current average annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.46%. With that kind of return, it pays to scout out the best high-yield savings accounts to ensure you’re not leaving money on the table.

Methodology



Our team of experts analyzed hundreds of data points and then used data-driven methodology and thorough fact-checking to come up with the best high-yield savings accounts. We heavily emphasized APY because maximizing earnings is the most important feature of high-yield savings accounts. You can read more about our methodology below.

Why is now a good time to open a high-yield savings account?

  • Earn interest: The best high-yield savings accounts offer an APY of more than 5.00% right now, which will allow your savings to grow quickly. For example, if you deposit $10,000 into an account that earns 5.00% APY and compounds monthly, you’ll have $11,049.41 in two years if the APY stays the same. Getting a high-yield savings account now means you can lock in your rate before the expected rate drops later this year.
  • Keep your money safe: As long as your financial institution is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), your funds will be safe, even in the event of a bank collapse.
  • Flexible access: While many high-yield savings accounts limit the number of withdrawals you can make per month, your savings are still much more liquid than a certificate of deposit (CD) or investing in the stock market, for example.

UFB Direct High Yield Savings

Best for APY at all balance tiers

UFB Direct High Yield Savings

Why we picked it

UFB Direct is an online division of FDIC-insured Axos Bank. Its Secure Savings account pays an excellent 5.25% APY. There is no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirements and all balance tiers earn the top rate.

 

You receive a complimentary ATM card that you can use at 91,000 ATMs nationwide (some ATMs even accept cash deposits).

 

Although UFB Direct only has one physical branch location, customer support is available 24/7 by phone. You can also access your account through the highly-rated Apple or Google app. The bank has mixed reviews on Trustpilot but a decent overall score of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum deposit required
  • No monthly service fees

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • Small lineup of bank products and services
  • No UFB Direct checking account to link to

Who should use it

UFB Direct offers one of the best high-yield savings rates if you’re comfortable banking online. With 24/7 customer support, you can contact the bank whenever it is most convenient.

Varo Savings Account

Best for automated savings tools

Varo Savings Account

Why we picked it

The Varo Savings Account offers an APY of 3.00% APY, but you can earn 5.00% APY on balances up to $5,000 if you meet some requirements. To qualify for the 5.00% APY, you’ll need to have a Varo Bank Account and receive direct deposits of at least $1,000 per month. You’ll also need to end each month with a positive balance in both your Varo Bank Account and Savings Account.

 

For those who have a hard time setting aside savings, Varo offers multiple automated savings tools:

  • Save Your Change rounds up your purchases to the next dollar and transfers the change to your savings account.
  • Save Your Pay lets you select an amount of your paycheck to automatically transfer into your savings account when it arrives by direct deposit.

 

Varo has over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide, where you can withdraw your money free of charge. However, there is a $3.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs.

 

Although customer support hours by phone are limited, you can access your account with the highly rated mobile apps on Apple or Android.

 

Customers also have access to the Varo Believe card, a secured charge card designed to help you raise your credit score. You may also qualify for quick cash advances of up to $250 (Varo charges a sliding flat fee depending on how much you borrow.)

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No monthly service fees
  • Multiple automated savings tools

Cons

  • Must meet requirements to earn the 5.00% rate, including a direct deposit of at least $1,000 each month
  • Limited number of other products and services
  • Fee for using out-of-network ATMs

Who should use it

Varo Savings Account is best for people who are willing to have a Varo Bank Account and can direct deposit at least $1,000 into their account each month. Before signing up for Varo, check if there’s an Allpoint ATM near you to avoid out-of-network ATM fees. It’s also ideal for anyone who will benefit from the automated savings tools.

LendingClub Bank High-Yield Savings

Best for Trustpilot ratings

LendingClub Bank High-Yield Savings

Why we picked it

LendingClub’s High-Yield Savings account offers a winning combination of no monthly fees and a strong 5.00% APY on your entire balance. You need $100 to open an account, but there’s no minimum required balance after that.

 

You can access your money at over 37,000 MoneyPass or SUM ATMs for no charge using LendingClub’s free ATM card.

 

With glowing customer reviews on Trustpilot, LendingClub has an average 4.7-star rating — the best on our list. Although there are no physical branches, you can call LendingClub Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm EST.

Pros

  • No monthly service fees
  • High Trustpilot ratings
  • Strong APY

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • $100 minimum deposit requirement

Who should use it

LendingClub’s High-Yield Savings is ideal for those who are comfortable banking online and want the flexibility of an ATM card to access their cash quickly.

Laurel Road High Yield Savings® account

Best for full banking experience

Laurel Road High Yield Savings® account

Why we picked it

Laurel Road is an FDIC-insured digital banking platform owned by KeyBank. Its High Yield Savings provides a competitive 5.00% APY with no monthly account fees or balance requirements. There is no minimum deposit needed to open the account.

 

If you link your savings account to your Laurel Road checking account, it can provide some overdraft protection.

 

Laurel Road’s customer service isn’t available on weekends; however, it offers extended support hours on weekdays. The bank’s mobile app has excellent ratings on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

 

It also has a wider lineup of products, including a checking account, credit card and loans.

Pros

  • Top APY is available on all balances
  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum deposit requirement

Cons

  • No customer service on weekends
  • No physical branches
  • No ATM access

Who should use it

Laurel Road may be a solid option if you want a savings account with a high APY, no minimum balance or deposit requirements and no balance caps.

Bask Bank Interest Savings Account

Best for no minimum deposit

Bask Bank Interest Savings Account

Why we picked it

Texas Capital is the FDIC-insured parent company of Bask Bank — an online-only financial institution.

 

With the Bask Bank Interest Savings Account, you can earn 5.10% APY with no monthly account fees. It doesn’t have a minimum balance or deposit requirement; however, you must deposit at least a penny within 15 business days of opening the account.

 

Bask Bank doesn’t offer a debit or ATM card with its accounts, so customers must rely on electronic transfers to access their money. Although there is no checking account option, the bank also offers CDs and a mileage savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage miles instead of interest.

Pros

  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • High APY

Cons

  • No ATM card
  • No physical branches
  • So-so reviews on Trustpilot, Google Play and Apple App Store

Who should use it

Bask Bank is best for people who prefer digital banking but don’t need a checking account or ATM access. If you’re okay relying on electronic transfers, the Interest Savings Account can earn you an excellent APY.

TAB Bank High Yield Savings

TAB Bank High Yield Savings

Why we picked it

TAB Bank’s High Yield Savings earns 5.27% APY — the best rate on our list. All balances receive the promotional APY, and no minimum deposit is required to open the account.

 

Although TAB Bank doesn’t charge for monthly maintenance on its High Yield Savings, there are other fees to watch out for, including outgoing wires, stop payments, overdrafts and paper statements (eStatements are free).

 

TAB Bank is an online bank, so there aren’t physical branches you can visit. However, customers rate its mobile app highly on Apple and Android. You can also contact the bank Monday through Saturday, excluding federal holidays.

Pros

  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum deposit to open the account, though you do need to have at least $0.01 in the account to get the APY
  • High APY

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • Certain transactional and other fees could lower returns on the account
  • Limited customer service hours

Who should use it

TAB Bank may be a good choice if you’re looking for one of the best interest rates available. However, make sure to review the fee schedule to avoid extra charges that could offset your earnings.

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

Why we picked it

With a minimum $10 opening deposit, you can earn 5.01% APY on balances up to $1 million with Salem Five Direct eOne Savings. There is no minimum balance or monthly fee requirements.

 

Salem Five Direct offers phone support seven days a week and the mobile app has excellent ratings on the App Store and Google Play.

 

The account has a transaction limit of six transfers per calendar month; if you exceed the limit, you’ll incur a $5 fee. The bank uses All-point ATMs, but there’s a $2 fee for using out-of-network ATMs.

Pros

  • High APY on up to $1 million
  • No minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • No monthly service fees

Cons

  • $10 deposit required to open
  • Out-of-network ATM fee
  • Transaction limit

Who should use it

The Salem Five Direct eOne Savings may be ideal if you don’t need to make more than six monthly transfers. The bank has over 55,000 ATMs nationwide, but since it charges for using out-of-network ATMs, check if there’s an in-network ATM near you first.

Why we picked it

The Popular Direct High-yield Savings Account offers a 5.15% APY and requires a $100 minimum opening deposit. Although there’s no monthly service fee, the bank charges $10 per overdraft and there is a $25 fee if you close the account in the first 180 days.

 

Popular Direct’s Customer Care Center is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to midnight ET and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. You can also access your account via the mobile app to view your balance, transfer money and deposit checks. However, the app has poor ratings on both Android and Apple.

 

The bank doesn’t offer checking accounts, so you’ll have to open a standalone savings account. Banking will have to be fully online since there’s also no ATM access.

 

Deposits can take up to two business days to be made available, so the account is best for those who don’t plan to move their money around quickly.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No monthly maintenance fee

Cons

  • $100 minimum to open
  • No ATM access
  • Low ratings on Google Play and Apple App Store

Who should use it

The Popular Direct High-yield Savings Account can be a great choice if you’re looking for an online bank you can contact outside regular business hours. However, it may not be ideal for those who want a mobile app with ample banking features.

First Foundation Online Savings Account

Best for ATM fee reimbursement

First Foundation Online Savings Account

Why we picked it

The First Foundation Online Savings Account is FDIC-insured and provides 4.90% APY. Its minimum deposit is sizable compared to other banks on this list, requiring $1,000 of new money to open an account.

 

One great perk with this account is nationwide ATM fee reimbursement. First Foundation will reimburse up to $20 in ATM fees per transaction with no limit.

 

You don’t need a First Foundation checking account to open an Online Savings Account, and there’s no monthly charge for account maintenance.

 

First Foundation is a traditional bank with 31 locations in five states. However, you can still fully access your account online if you don’t live near a branch. Help with general questions is available by phone 24/7 and online banking support is available by phone seven days a week.

Pros

  • No monthly service fees
  • Strong APY
  • Generous ATM fee reimbursements

Cons

  • Minimum deposit of $1,000
  • Branches limited to five states
  • Lower rating on Google Play than other banks

Who should use it

First Foundation is best for those who may be using out-of-network ATMs because of its generous ATM fee reimbursement policy. It also offers decent returns on savings for those who meet the $1,000 deposit requirement. If you live near a branch, you can visit the bank to speak to a service representative or access your funds.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Why we picked it

With Synchrony Bank’s High Yield Savings, you receive an APY of 4.75% APY, which is slightly lower than the other banks on our list. However, the account has no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balances or deposit requirements.

 

Synchrony also provides an optional ATM card and no fees for using an out-of-network ATM. Furthermore, the bank will reimburse you up to $5 per month for ATM fees incurred by other financial institutions.

 

Although the bank has a bad Trustpilot rating (1.1), Synchrony has received fantastic reviews from customers on its Google app (4.6) and iOS app (4.8).

Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum deposit or balance requirements
  • Strong mobile app ratings

Cons

  • APY is lower than most other banks on this list
  • Low Trustpilot rating
  • No physical branches

Who should use it

If you frequently rely on ATMs to access your funds, Synchrony may be a good choice with its out-of-network ATM reimbursements. Although you may find higher APYs at other banks, Synchrony High Yield Savings still beats the national average rate of 0.47% from FDIC data.

What are high-yield savings accounts?

They’re savings accounts that give you much better-than-average interest rates on your money, resulting in high APYs. It’s worth noting that there are no meaningful differences between a savings account and a high-yield savings account, so you should look at the account names interchangeably when comparing APYs.

As of March 2024, the average APY for all types of US savings accounts was 0.47%, according to the FDIC. However several high-yield savings accounts offered rates of 5.00% and higher. Many of the best rates are offered by online-only banks because they have much lower operating costs than traditional, brick-and-mortar banks, allowing them to offer high APYs to attract customers.

Why should you consider high-yield savings accounts?

High-yield savings accounts are a great place to put money that you want to grow quickly but also can access anytime. While regular savings accounts are easy to access, they generally don’t earn as much as high-yield savings accounts. You can get a better return on your money than you would with other types of deposit accounts, allowing you to grow your wealth a lot faster.

“Banks are offering attractive rates; the return is not trivial. You’re getting a decent return for no risk and some nice benefits and services,” said Dr. Steve Pilloff, associate professor of finance at Costello College of Business at George Mason University. “If it’s a savings account at an insured financial institution, then your funds are fully guaranteed up to $250,000. So, for most people, their funds are fully guaranteed.”

High-yield savings accounts are also worth considering if you are saving toward a specific goal such as an emergency fund or down payment on a new home. You not only earn high interest — you also have a single, convenient place to add to your savings.

Keep in mind that high-yield savings account interest rates fluctuate based on market conditions. Take advantage of these high rates before they drop, which might happen later this year.

What to consider when choosing a high-yield savings account

The same basic rules apply to choosing a high-yield savings account that apply to any other bank account: It all comes down to your financial goals.

“I would definitely look at the yield — the rates that are being paid — but also look at minimum balances, minimum required balances and penalties,” said Pilloff. “So you don’t want to just get mesmerized by, like, ‘Oh, wow, four and a half percent.’ If you look and see you have to maintain a certain amount in your account, or else the rate falls to a certain level or you’d have to pay a fee, then that could be a problem if you’re going to struggle to meet that balance.”

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Interest rate: You want to look not only at the rate currently being offered but also how long it lasts. In some cases what you see on a bank’s website is a promotional rate that might expire after six months or so, then drop down to a lower rate.
  • Initial deposit: Some banks require a deposit to open a high-yield checking account. These often range from $5 to $100, but some accounts have much higher minimum deposits.
  • Minimum balance: Read the fine print to learn the minimum balance to avoid service fees and earn the maximum APY.
  • Fees: Many high-yield savings accounts have no fees, but some do. Make sure you know the fee structure before opening an account. If an account has a monthly maintenance fee, you can expect it to range from $5 to $20.
  • Compounding interest: Before opening the account, find out whether interest is compounded daily, monthly or yearly. This can make a big difference in how quickly you grow your money.

Online bank vs. traditional bank high-yield savings accounts

The main difference between online banks and traditional banks is that with the former, all of your business is conducted digitally, either on a website or app. With most traditional banks, you have the choice of banking online or in person at a branch. Some online banks are stand-alone startups with little more than a digital platform and a single account, while others are digital subsidiaries of larger banking companies.

Because online banks don’t have to invest large sums of money in labor, real estate or physical operations, they can afford to offer higher interest rates and lower fees than traditional banks. The downside is that you might not find as many products at online banks and you don’t have the option of in-person service.

Traditional banks are convenient and much easier to move money around, especially if you open a savings account where you also have your main checking account. But you risk losing out on earning more money.

The one thing you want to make sure of when considering an online bank is whether it is insured by the FDIC. The FDIC covers most online banks but it’s important to check before opening an account, which you can do with the FDIC’s BankFind tool.

Pros and cons of high-yield savings accounts

No bank account offers everything, and that’s the case with high-yield savings accounts as well. Here’s a look at some of their strengths and weaknesses:

Pros

  • High APYs compared to other types of deposit accounts
  • Low fees (at least with online-only banks)
  • High returns without high risks

Cons

  • APY can change at any time
  • Stricter requirements than traditional savings accounts at some banks
  • High opening deposit and/or minimum balance requirements for some accounts
  • Not ideal for daily banking, especially since many high-yield savings accounts are stand-alone and can’t be bundled with a checking account

Maximizing your high-yield savings account

To get the most out of your high-yield savings account, the first thing you want to do is ensure the rate is competitive with the best in the industry.

“A lot of times when financial institutions like banks want to bring in money, they’ll offer attractive rates. And so even though they’re all insured and offer a similar level of protection, the rates that are offered can vary quite substantially,” said Pilloff. “So, it’s helpful to look around to find the institutions that are offering the highest, most attractive rates.”

Next, double-check the fine print regarding how long the rate lasts, what the minimum deposit and balance requirements are, how often interest is compounded and whether your deposits are FDIC-insured.

When it comes to fees, you want to make sure you pay as little as possible. Here are some different fees to keep an eye on:

  • Monthly service fees that kick in if you don’t meet minimum balance or other requirements.
  • Inactivity fees for not making any deposits or withdrawals over a certain period.
  • ATM fees for using machines outside of the bank’s network.
  • Excessive withdrawal fees if the bank limits your savings account withdrawals per month.

How to open a high-yield savings account

The specific process of opening a high-yield savings account depends on the account and the bank. You can usually find the requirements and instructions on the app or website. Here’s what most banks require when opening a new account:

  • Proof of ID: You’ll need to provide some kind of documentation establishing your identity, such as a driver’s license or government-issued ID, Social Security number, ITIN or bill with your name and address on it. If you apply in person at a branch you can bring your documents with you. If applying online, you’ll be asked to provide the information digitally.
  • Application: This varies from one bank to the next, but you typically have to provide information such as your full name, address and Social Security number or ITIN. Some applications can be approved immediately while others might take a few days.
  • Opening deposit: This almost always involves transferring money into the new high-yield savings account from another account. However, if you open an account at a traditional bank branch, you might be able to make the opening deposit in cash.

In most cases, you’ll have the option of choosing how to receive account statements, set up account alerts and automatic deposits and link your high-yield savings account to other accounts.

Alternatives to high-yield savings accounts

The purpose of high-yield savings accounts is to give you the biggest return possible with a savings account, but it’s not always the best option. For example, when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates (like it did in 2022 and 2023) you can get bond yields that are competitive with the best high-yield savings accounts — with the bonus of having the rates locked in for a set period.

Similarly, some money market accounts offer rates that are competitive with high-yield savings accounts while also letting you write checks. This is also the case with certain high-yield checking accounts.

CDs are a good alternative to high-yield savings accounts if you want to lock in a rate for a longer period because you can buy them for terms ranging from three months to 10 years or more.

Methodology

CNN Underscored Money analyzed 65 savings accounts from 54 financial institutions to come up with the rankings for the best high-yield savings accounts. This included accounts from a mix of traditional banks, online banks and credit unions that are available nationally. We ranked each account on nine data points across six categories.

Here are the categories we analyzed and how we weighted each:

APY (65%)

The amount of interest you earn on your savings is the most important part of choosing a high-yield savings account for many consumers, so we weighted this highest of any factor.

Fees (10%)

Fees are a critical factor to consider with your high-yield savings account because they can eat away at any interest earnings, especially if an account has a high monthly maintenance fee.

Customer experience (5%)

While you’ll likely deal with your bank less often with a high-yield savings account than you will with a checking account, it’s still important to have a bank that’s trustworthy and easy to reach when you need help.

Digital experience (5%)

You’ll want a bank with a usable app and plenty of online features so that it’s easy to bank from anywhere.

Minimum deposit requirement (5%)

A high minimum deposit makes a savings account less accessible, so we rewarded accounts that more people can use.

Minimum balance to avoid a monthly fee (5%)

A high minimum balance to avoid monthly fees limits flexibility with your savings account because you’re limited in how much you can transfer or use for unexpected expenses without being penalized by fees.

We also considered several other factors like welcome bonuses and tier structures to earn APY.

Membership requirement (5%)

Financial institutions may have membership requirements you must meet to join and get accounts. For example, some credit unions have eligibility based on a list of employers, counties of residence or membership in certain charitable organizations. We rewarded financial institutions that allow anyone to sign up.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

One difference is that high-yield savings accounts can pay higher interest rates than regular savings accounts, but this isn’t always true and the two accounts are very similar. You might also see lower fees at high-yield savings accounts offered by online banks.

As long as the account is offered by an FDIC member institution, it protects your money like any other FDIC-insured account. This means your savings are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. If your high-yield savings account is offered by a credit union, your money is insured for up to $250,000 per depositor by the NCUA.

Under the federal government’s Regulation D, all savings accounts let you withdraw or transfer money up to six times a month without paying any fees. Although this regulation was indefinitely suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic, many banks still impose the six-withdrawal limit.

Some banks might charge a fee if you close a savings account soon after opening it, but it’s up to the individual bank. There is no specific industry regulation imposing penalties for closing a high-yield savings account.

Additional reporting by Carley Clark and Dori Zinn


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