What Is the Average Savings Account Interest Rate?

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Average interest rate for savings accounts

The national average interest rate for savings accounts is 0.45% APY, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Online banks typically offer savings rates that are higher than the national average, while traditional brick-and-mortar banks generally offer lower rates.

Money grows faster in an account with a higher interest rate. For example, deposit $10,000 into an account with a 5.00% APY, and it will earn a little more than $500 after a year. Put that same amount in an account with a 0.01% APY, and it only earns a dollar.

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What is savings interest?

Most banks will pay you for depositing and maintaining your savings there. The payment is known as interest. When you keep your money in a savings account over time, the earnings help your balance grow. Use NerdWallet’s savings calculator to figure out how much money you could save over different time periods, figuring in interest.

» Looking for better yields? See NerdWallet’s best high-interest online accounts.

Can savings rates change?

Interest rates for savings accounts are variable, and a bank can change them at any time. Institutions may leave their rates unchanged for weeks and even months. But if the Federal Reserve lowers or raises fund rates, many banks lower or raise savings rates accordingly.

If you are looking for a fixed savings rate and don’t plan to withdraw your money for a certain period of time, consider opening a certificate of deposit. NerdWallet’s list of best CD rates features accounts with rates above the national average for CDs.

How to find higher savings rates

If your savings account is earning less than the national average, consider making a switch. And try looking beyond the biggest banks. Some of the best savings accounts are at online institutions. These banks don’t have to pay for brick-and-mortar branches, so they can pass the savings on to their customers in the form of higher interest rates. Many also have 24/7 customer service and robust mobile apps for online banking.

In addition to higher rates, look for an account that has low or no monthly fees. Many large banks charge monthly fees on savings accounts — usually around $5 — if you don’t keep a certain minimum balance. Fees offset any interest you earn and could cause you to lose money, which isn't what you want in a savings account.

Frequently asked questions

Savings accounts are bank accounts that let you deposit your money and earn interest, often at a higher rate than checking accounts. You can generally access your savings funds at any time.

The national average savings account interest rate is currently 0.45%, as noted in this article. But many high-yield savings accounts, especially those at online banks, earn a much higher rate.

Aim to have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in your savings account. If you don’t have the recommended amount today, you can take simple steps to get there, such as setting up an automatic deposit plan.

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