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11 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of December 2019

Margarette BurnetteDecember 1, 2019

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

BankAPYLearn More
American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.75%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

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

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

1.70%

With $100 minimum balance

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $100 minimum balance

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

1.80%

With $10000 minimum balance

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

BankAPYLearn More
American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.75%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

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

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

1.70%

With $100 minimum balance

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.85%

With $100 minimum balance

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

1.80%

With $10000 minimum balance

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

APY

1.75%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The well-known credit card company offers a savings account with an impressive annual percentage yield of 1.75%. With American Express, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. But the company does not offer ATM cards or checks.

Read Full Review
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Online Savings

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Marcus by Goldman Sachs pays a highly competitive 1.70% APY on savings deposits (as well as strong CD rates for longer-term savings goals). This online bank charges no monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. But the bank doesn’t offer a checking account or access to an ATM network. And its savings account requires another bank account to make deposits and withdrawals.

Read Full Review
Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

APY

1.85%

With $5000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Citizens Bank has an online-only division with a savings account that offers a top-of-the-line rate. You need $5,000 to open an account, which is high compared to some other banks, but there are no monthly fees. If your balance drops below $5,000, the APY drops to a less impressive rate.

Read Full Review
Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Barclays has low fees and some of the highest interest rates around. The Online Savings account pays 1.70% APY and has a tool for setting savings goals. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

Read Full Review
CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

CIBC Bank USA Agility™ Savings

APY

1.85%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at CIBC Bank USA,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The online-only CIBC U.S. Agility™ savings account earns a strong 1.85% rate, and it comes with no monthly maintenance fees. You will need at least $1,000 to open an account, but the rate applies for all balances below $1,000,000. So if you make a withdrawal and the balance dips below $1,000, your money still earns the top rate.

Read Full Review
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

APY

1.70%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Alliant Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Many credit unions restrict their membership by area or employer, but Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union is different. You can apply for membership by indicating your support for the charity Foster Care to Success. (Alliant will make a $5 donation on your behalf.) Members can open an Alliant savings account that pays a 1.70% APY as long as the average daily balance is $100 or more. The credit union waives the $1 monthly fee if you choose e-statements. Phone support is available 24/7. A $5 minimum deposit is required to open an account, but Alliant has you covered there: The credit union pays you a $5 bonus when you open an account.

Read Full Review
CIT Bank Savings Builder

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

APY

1.85%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Steady savers can earn 1.85% APY when they deposit at least $100 each month in CIT Bank's Savings Builder account or maintain a balance of at least $25,000. If you don't have $100 to deposit each month, you can open a CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings account and still earn a competitive APY of 1.55%. There are no monthly fees or daily minimum balance requirements for either account, but the minimum opening deposit is $100.

Read Full Review
Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Why we like it

Discover Bank has a strong APY of 1.70%. The bank’s website is easy to navigate, and both its iOS and Android apps receive high ratings. There’s one branch in Delaware, but customer support is available by phone 24/7. Discover also has a $150 or $200 bonus for first-time savings customers. There are no fees, including no monthly fee, but note that the deposit requirement to earn a bonus is fairly substantial at $15,000 or $25,000, respectively. (Details below.)

 

Discover says: “To get your $150 or $200 bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 1/6/20, 11:59 p.m. ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW1219 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 1/20/20, 11:59 p.m. ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200. What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 2/3/20. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice."

 

See Discover's website for more details.

Read Full Review

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

Axos Bank™ High Yield Savings

APY

1.30%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Axos Bank has a savings account that earns 1.30% APY. There is no monthly fee, but you will need to put down $250 to open the account. The bank also offers a variety of checking accounts.

Read Full Review

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

APY

1.80%

With $10000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

PurePoint earns a high rate of 1.80% and charges no monthly service fees. It requires a high minimum of $10,000 to open, however, and if your balance dips below $10,000, the rate falls to 0.25% APY.

Read Full Review

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Ally Bank has one of the best savings accounts out there when it comes to overall digital experience. The website is easy to use, and the bank’s mobile apps are compatible with Apple, Android and Windows devices. It also offers real-time chat support, unlike many of its competitors. The 1.70% APY is among the best on the market, and there’s no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement.  

» See Ally's checking and more on our list of best online checking accounts

Read Full Review

High-yield savings account definition

A high-yield savings account is a type of federally-insured savings account that earns rates much higher than the national average. Typical high-yield accounts can earn well over 2% APY. To compare, the national savings average is 0.09% 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. After one year, 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 both high APYs 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 the highest APY savings accounts along with low deposit requirements.

The highest APY savings accounts are easy to access

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.

How to open an account with the best APY

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.

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. A savings account with the highest APY grows faster than an account with a lower yield.

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

More top choices for the best savings interest rates

Here are six 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.

  • Bank5 Connect, 1.85% savings APY, $10 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • HSBC, 2.05% savings APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Synchrony, 1.80% savings APY with no minimum (read full review).
  • Vio Bank, 2.02% savings APY, $100 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • FNBO Direct, 1.80% savings APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Popular Direct, 1.90% savings APY, $5,000 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Nationwide, 1.90% savings APY, $100 minimum to open account (read full review).

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

Last updated on December 1, 2019

Methodology

We took a close look at over 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 yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit UnionAlliant Credit UnionAlly BankAmerica First Credit UnionAmerican ExpressAspirationAssociated BankAxos BankBank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of AmericaBank of the WestBarclays, BB&T, BBVABoeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360Charles Schwab BankChaseChime, CIBC U.S.CITCitibankCitizens AccessCitizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce BankConnexus Credit UnionConsumers Credit UnionDiscover Bank, E-Trade, FidelityFifth Third BankFirst National BankFirst Tech Federal Credit UnionGoBankGolden 1 Credit UnionGS BankHSBC Bank USAHuntington BankKeyBank, MetaBank, M&T BankMoven, NationwideNavy Federal Credit UnionPentagon Federal Credit UnionPNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions BankSallie Mae BankSantander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, SimpleState Employees’ Credit Union of North CarolinaState Farm BankSuncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony BankTCF BankTD BankTIAA BankUnion BankUFB DirectUSAAU.S. BankVaro, Vio BankWells Fargo and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions

Frequently asked questions

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.

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

Institutions typically don’t change savings rates on an hourly, daily or even weekly basis. In fact, it’s common to see some rates remain unchanged for several months.

It’s important to note, however, that rates are variable and theoretically can change at any time. In addition, many banks will change their rates based on what their competitors are doing. You will often see groups of banks increase or decrease their APYs at around the same time, especially if the Federal Reserve recently hiked or cut rates.

To get the best yield for your money, check out the best rates on a regular basis — at least once a month.

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 may 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.

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.