Best Savings Rates Today – Now’s the Time to Take Advantage of APYs Up to 5.35%, March 20, 2024

Savers have enjoyed record-high interest rates for the past two years, but all eyes are on the Federal Reserve as it wraps up the second Federal Open Market Committee meeting of the year today. After last week’s Consumer Price Index Report revealed another uptick in inflation, experts expect the Fed will hold the federal funds rate steady once again. 

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“The slightly hotter-than-expected February CPI report is unlikely to change the Fed’s policy rate decision at its March meeting,” said Ken Tumin, senior industry analyst at LendingTree. “It’s widely expected that the Fed will hold its policy rate steady.” 

The best high-yield savings accounts earn annual percentage yield, or APYs, up to 5.35% — more than 10 times the national average of 0.47%. High APYs will likely continue following another rate hike pause, but rate cuts are still expected later this year. So the sooner you open a high-yield savings account, the longer you can enjoy a competitive rate. 

Read on to learn more about today’s top savings rates.

Key takeaways

  • The best high-yield savings accounts boast APYs up to 5.35%.
  • Experts expect the Fed to hold rates steady at today’s FOMC meeting for the fifth time since July. 
  • Savings rates won’t stay high forever, so now’s the time to take advantage of competitive APYs before the Fed’s anticipated rate cuts.

Experts recommend comparing rates before opening a savings account to get the best APY possible. You can enter your information below to see CNET’s partners’ rates in your area.

Today’s best savings rates

Here are some of the top savings account APYs available right now:

APYs as of March 20, 2024, based on the banks we track at CNET.

What another rate hike pause mean for savings rates

High interest rates caught everyone’s attention for the better part of 2022 and 2023. As the Federal Reserve steadily raised the federal funds rate to fight record inflation, banks raised rates on consumer products like savings accounts and certificates of deposits. 

But after 11 rate hikes since March 2022, the Fed has opted to leave the federal funds rate at a range between 5.25% and 5.50% at its last four meetings, indicating to experts that savings rates are likely at their peak. And it’s likely that the Fed will hold rates steady for the fifth time since July at today’s FOMC meeting.

“The first rate cut is unlikely to occur before the Fed’s June meeting, and if the current inflation trend continues into March and April, the Fed may decide to push out the first rate cut into the second half of 2024,” Tumin said.

Still, experts believe that savings rates will remain elevated until the Fed begins dropping rates later this year. Here’s where rates stand compared to last week:

CNET Average Savings APY Weekly Change* FDIC Average
4.88% -0.20% 0.47%
APYs as of March 20, 2024. Based on the banks we track at CNET.
*Weekly percentage increase/decrease from March 11, 2024, to March 18, 2024.

The average APY for the top high-yield savings accounts we track at CNET is 4.88% — with some accounts offering as high as 5.35%. We haven’t seen any significant changes in weeks, but last week, we saw two notable changes: Discover decreased its high-yield savings account rate from 4.30% to 4.25% on March 12, and Ally decreased its rate from 4.35% to 4.25% on March 15.

Since savings rates are variable — meaning they move in lockstep with the federal funds rate — your APY is likely to go down once the Fed drops rates. But even after rates fall later this year, high-yield savings accounts will continue to offer significantly better APYs than traditional ones. 

“While there is no way to predict the future and where interest rates will go, it still makes sense to open a high-yield savings account,” said Kendall Meade, a certified financial planner at SoFi. “HYSAs offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, so even if rates go down, they should still allow your savings to grow more than if it were earning little to no interest.”

Benefits of opening a high-yield savings account now 

Savings rates are likely at their peak, so now’s the time to take advantage of high savings rates while they’re still around. However, a high APY isn’t the only reason you should open a high-yield savings account today. 

Here’s what makes HYSAs stand out:

  • High rates: HYSAs often have APYs 10 times higher (or more) than the national FDIC average.
  • Low or no fees: Monthly maintenance fees can eat into your savings. Many online banks can charge low or no fees thanks to their lower operating costs.
  • Liquidity: You can access money in your HYSA anytime without penalty (as long as you mind any withdrawal limits). CDs, another popular savings product, charge a penalty if you take out funds before the term is up.
  • Accessibility: If you open an HYSA at an online bank, you’ll enjoy 24/7 account access through its mobile app. You may also have lots of customer service options, including by phone, online chat and secure messaging.
  • Low risk: HYSAs are protected by federal deposit insurance if they’re held at an FDIC-insured bank or NCUA-insured credit union. That means your money is safe up to $250,000 per account holder, per account type.

If you’re earning less than 1% with your current savings account — some big banks offer as little as 0.01% APY — you don’t have to close your existing account to enjoy higher rates. You can open a new account from an online bank in minutes and set up recurring transfers or direct deposits to start funding it.

What to look for in a high-yield savings account 

A high APY is important, but don’t stop there. There are other important variables you should weigh to choose the best high-yield savings account for your financial goals. 

“Some accounts have mandatory minimums, transaction fees or other charges you might not expect,” McLaughlin said. “These hidden fees can chip away at your savings, so be sure you are satisfied with the terms and conditions before opening an account.”

To find the best fit when comparing savings accounts, you should consider the following: 

  • Minimum deposit requirements: Some HYSAs require a minimum amount to open an account — typically, from $25 to $100. Others don’t require anything. How much you have to deposit initially can help you narrow down your options.
  • Fees: Monthly maintenance and other fees can eat into your balance. Avoid unnecessary charges by looking for a bank with low or no fees.
  • Accessibility: If in-person banking is important to you, look for a bank with physical branches. If you’re comfortable managing your money digitally, look for an online bank with a user-friendly app with all the features you need.
  • Withdrawal limits: Some banks charge an excess withdrawal fee if you make more than six monthly withdrawals. If you think you may need to make more, consider a bank without this limit.
  • Federal deposit insurance: Look for a bank that belongs to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or a credit union that belongs to the National Credit Union Administration. Accounts at these institutions are protected up to $250,000 per account holder, per category in the event of bank failure
  • Customer service: You want a bank that’s responsive and offers convenient support options if you ever need assistance with your account. Read online customer reviews to see what current customers say about their experiences. You can also contact customer service to get a feel for what it would be like to work with the bank.

Methodology

CNET reviewed savings accounts at more than 50 traditional and online banks, credit unions and financial institutions with nationwide services. Each account received a score between one (lowest) and five (highest). The savings accounts listed here are all insured up to $250,000 per person, per account category, per institution, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Administration.

CNET evaluates the best savings accounts with a set of established criteria that compares annual percentage yields, monthly fees, minimum deposits or balances and access to physical branches. None of the banks on our list charge monthly maintenance fees. An account will rank higher for offering any of the following perks:

  • Account bonuses
  • Automated savings features
  • Wealth management consulting/coaching services
  • Cash deposits
  • Extensive ATM networks and/or ATM rebates for out-of-network ATM use

An account will rank lower if it doesn’t have a professional-looking website or doesn’t provide an ATM card, or if it imposes restrictive residency requirements or fees for exceeding monthly transaction limits.


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