NerdWallet’s Top High Yield Savings Accounts for the Digital Age

Online savings accounts offer industry-leading interest rates, the perfect solution for building an emergency fund or any number of other savings goals. But despite what some might say, it’s not all about yield when it comes to finding the best savings account. From how you access your account to added perks and features, online savings accounts are more diverse than you might think. NerdWallet has sifted through the offers to bring you our top high-yield online savings account deals.

Barclays Bank - Online Savings - 1.00% APY*

The British banking giant, Barclays, has a lot to offer for savers across the pond as well. Their online savings account rate is currently one of the best in the nation. There’s no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee. While the Barclays online bank accounts stick to the basics, you can still make deposits via online transfer, snail mail or remote deposit capture using your phone or computer.

MyCBB - Personal Money Market - 0.83% APY*

MyCBB is a solid option for anyone who’s frustrated with the state of their current savings. Their Personal Money Market rocks a super competitive interest rate for a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. You’ll be able to access your money online or with your phone, even to deposit checks or pay bills. But the higher rates don’t just stop at this account - MyCBB’s refreshingly simple product lineup also includes a free checking account, which earns 0.79% APY and offers access to 24,000+ free ATMs nationwide.

Ally Bank - Online Savings - 0.99% APY*

Besides being a pretty shade of purple, Ally’s online banking system has some of the best perks in the business. In addition to sending checks by mail, you can scan and upload them yourself with Ally eCheck Deposit, or just take a picture with your smartphone and deposit the check via Ally’s mobile app. Ally also lets you link to an unlimited number of external bank accounts, just in case you happen to have, like, ten. No judgments here.

Capital One 360 - 360 Savings - 0.75% APY*

Capital One 360’s online savings option provides a trio of great benefits: a high interest rate, no fees, and easy access via mobile app or online banking. The 360 Savings account also offers a few nifty perks such as the ability to split your account into multiple sub-accounts, give them names like “Christmas Fund”, and transfer money to them automatically. This is perfect for the highly organized super saver.

Discover Bank - Online Savings - 0.90% APY*

Discover makes it easy to manage your savings account and Discover card online. You can access both from the same mobile app, too. The Discover Online Savings account has no monthly fee or minimum balance, however it does require a $500 minimum deposit to open the account. Use their online calculator to determine your interest earnings over a period of time and compare against national averages.

Why bank online?

Online banks save a ton of money on personnel and maintenance costs because they have no physical branches. The result is more money for you. Better yet, online savings accounts are surprising easy to maintain. You have to manage your account online, but you can access your money 24/7 and transfer it between accounts anytime. You can’t talk to a representative in person, but they’re always available online or over the phone. And, if you need to withdraw money or deposit checks, you can always do that via mail, usually for free. By federal law, you’re limited to six withdrawals a month with any savings account, online or otherwise, so you won’t need to worry about that much. Thus, if you’re tech-savvy, an online savings account is incredibly convenient.

Looking for an account with a brick-and-mortar bank instead? Check out our tool to find savings account rates closer to home.

Should you open a savings account?

A savings account is a good place to set aside money you might need to access quickly, but ideally would like to save. A savings account is great for building an emergency fund, for example, or setting aside money for a large purchase or vacation. At many banks, you can link your checking account to a savings account to make easy transfers, or transfer money automatically from one account to the other, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a good interest rate. It pays to shop around.

Traditional wisdom holds that if you’re hoping to earn the maximum amount of interest on your savings, you’ll be happier with a CD or money market account, which require that you leave your investment alone for a set amount of time, often several years or more, to get the best rate. In normal times, both of these accounts give higher interest rates than savings accounts. But now, interest rates are so low that many CD’s don’t clear the 1% APY mark. Since CD rates are so low, why lock yourself in?
* Rates updated weekly

  • celsma

    been there, got the t-shirt… they’ve taken security to an absurd level, i do not recommend GE. Their website is maddening with certificate errors, random logoffs, 4 (no joke) levels of authentication, and I could have lived with all of that, but when you spend a bunch of time applying and configuring your accounts only to find out that there was an error that it didn’t bother to inform you about… well… that was enough for me. Worth losing .25% just to have a simple sub-account function like C1 360 has.

  • ovidia

    I’m looking for a high interest account that will give me a financial incentive for opening a new account with 150K.

    • Jason Ramage

      Check into brokerage accounts. They usually have some sort of incentive for new deposits and you can invest the money into a interest-bearing fund that would earn more than what you’ll get in an online savings account. These probably won’t be FDIC insured, but there are very stable funds paying in the 1-2% range.

  • ovidia

    If I can’t decide how to invest yet, would I be smarter to put the money in CD’s and just pay the penalty if I pull it out early to investment differently? I’m nervous to invest myself with Vanguard, but have the potential to earn 6mos-2yrs while deciding what to do . . .