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10 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of 2019

Spencer TierneyMay 8, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.35%

With $5000 minimum balance

HSBC Online Savings Account

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.30%

With $1 minimum balance

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.10%

With $1 minimum balance

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.20%

With $1 minimum balance

Discover Online Savings

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.10%

With $0 minimum balance

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.35%

With $10000 minimum balance

APY

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

APY

2.10%

With $100 minimum balance

APY

2.05%

With $100 minimum balance

Summary of 10 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of 2019

BankAPYLearn More
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

2.25%

With $0 minimum balance

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

HSBC Online Savings Account

HSBC Online Savings Account

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

2.30%

With $1 minimum balance

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

With $1 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

2.20%

With $1 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Discover Online Savings

Discover Online Savings

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

With $10000 minimum balance

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

2.10%

With $100 minimum balance

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

2.05%

With $100 minimum balance

BankAPYLearn More
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

2.25%

With $0 minimum balance

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

HSBC Online Savings Account

HSBC Online Savings Account

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

2.30%

With $1 minimum balance

at HSBC,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

With $1 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

2.20%

With $1 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Discover Online Savings

Discover Online Savings

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

2.10%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

2.35%

With $10000 minimum balance

at PurePoint® Financial,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

2.10%

With $100 minimum balance

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

2.05%

With $100 minimum balance

High-yield savings advantages

A high-yield savings account can earn well over 2% APY, which is much higher than the national savings average of 0.10% APY. If your money is in an account that earns a high interest rate, your balance will grow faster without any additional effort on your part. A balance of $10,000 would earn about $10 in an account with a 0.10% APY. That same balance would earn about $230 in an account with a 2.30% APY.

How to choose the best high-interest savings account

Look for accounts that have high interest rates and low service charges. You want to make sure you don’t have to pay a fee to the bank each month. Some institutions don’t charge monthly fees, while others do but will waive them if you meet a balance minimum.

Be willing to look beyond the larger, well-known banks. Many smaller institutions — including online banks — have savings accounts with attractive rates and low deposit requirements.

Accessing your funds

With online banking, you can access your account securely day or night. Online banks offer the highest savings rates on the market while charging fewer fees than traditional banks. Online banks often offer good websites and mobile apps that typically let customers deposit checks and pay bills.

Do the best online savings accounts have fixed rates?

No, rates are variable and can change over time. The accounts featured in this article are among those with the consistently highest rates.

How to open an account

Depending on the type of bank, you can open a high-rate account either online or in person. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number and contact information, along with at least one form of identification, such as a driver’s license or a passport. (For a joint account, everyone wanting access to the account must provide this information and ID.) The bank will often require you to deposit money into the new account right away. You can do that by depositing cash or checks, or through a wire transfer.

What to do if you can’t open a high-interest savings account

Occasionally, a bank may not approve an application to open an account. This is likely because of issues with a customer’s previous banking history.

Unpaid bank fees and bounced checks can result in a negative file on ChexSystems, a consumer reporting agency that financial institutions use to evaluate a prospective customer’s banking history.

There are options for customers who have a ChexSystems file, including opportunities to open alternative accounts. For more information, read our primer on what to do if you have a ChexSystems record.

How often can I take money out of a savings account?

Savings accounts are subject to a federal rule called Regulation D, which limits the number of convenience withdrawals to a maximum of six per month. Affected withdrawals include online withdrawals, overdraft protection transfers and transfers initiated by telephone. If you have more than six of these transactions each statement cycle, your bank will likely levy an excess withdrawal fee each time you go over the limit.

Withdrawing cash from an ATM or from a branch teller does not count toward this limit.

»Want to learn more about savings withdrawal limits? Read our primer on Regulation D.

Is my money safe in an online savings account?

In short, yes. Most online banks are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., up to $250,000 per depositor. If the account is with a credit union, the account will likely be insured through the National Credit Union Administration, also for $250,000 per depositor. This means that if a bank or credit union were to fail and go out of business, you would not lose the money you have in the account, up to the insured amount.

» Want to know more about how your money is protected? Read how FDIC and NCUA insurance programs work.

What is the difference between a high-interest savings account and a money market account?

Money market accounts are a type of savings account. They generally come with high APYs, high minimum deposit requirements and some check-writing privileges. NerdWallet’s guide on money market accounts can help you learn more about these products and help you decide if a money market account is a good place to stash your funds.

A high-interest savings account, on the other hand, typically does not come with checks, though it will still offer a strong APY.

High-yield savings account terminology

Here’s a look at some important savings terms to know.

Savings account: A deposit account from a bank or credit union that typically earns interest.

Money market account: A type of savings account that often offers higher interest rates in return for a steep minimum deposit. (Think $5,000 or more.)

Interest: Money a bank pays into an account over time.

Compound interest: Compound interest is the interest you earn on both your original money and on the interest you keep accumulating. In an account that pays compound interest, the return is added to the original principal at the end of every compounding period, typically daily or monthly. Each time interest is calculated and added to the account, the larger balance earns more interest.

Annual percentage yield: The APY, or annual percentage yield, is the amount of compound interest an account earns in a year. The calculation is based on the account's interest rate and the number of times interest is paid during the year.

» Read more about 10 essential banking terms you need to know

More top choices for the best savings interest rates

Here are five more competitive choices for high-yield savings. These banks may have a higher minimum balance to earn interest, or a slightly lower APY. But when you're shopping for the account that fits you best, they're worth checking out.

  • Popular Direct, 2.36% savings APY, $5,000 minimum (read full review).
  • Synchrony, 2.25% savings APY with no minimum (read full review).
  • Ally Bank, 2.20% savings APY with no minimum (read full review).
  • CIT Bank, 2.40% savings APY with monthly deposits of at least $100 in the Savings Builder account (read full review).
  • FNBO Direct, 2.25% savings APY, $1 minimum (read full review).

» Interested in getting money from banks? See NerdWallet's best bank account promotions and bonuses

Last updated on May 8, 2019

Methodology

To determine the best accounts, we took a close look at about 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, Internet search traffic and other factors; the nation's largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage rates, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, Simple, State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.