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9 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of March 2020

Margarette BurnetteMarch 1, 2020

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Summary of Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of March 2020

BankAPYLearn More
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs,

Member, FDIC

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $5000 minimum balance

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

1.60%

With $0 minimum balance

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

at UFB Direct,

Member, FDIC

1.70%

With $10000 minimum balance

at UFB Direct,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

NerdWallet rating 

at Salem Five Direct,

Member, FDIC

1.25%

With $0.01 minimum balance

at Salem Five Direct,

Member, FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

1.75%

With $100 minimum balance

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs,

Member, FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Marcus by Goldman Sachs pays a 1.70% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 2/24/2020 on savings deposits. It's also worth checking out its CD rates for long-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
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

1.70%

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 no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. But the company does not offer ATM cards or checks.

Read Full Review
Citizens Access Online Savings Account

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $5000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Citizens Bank has an online division with a savings account that offers a 1.70% APY. 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 lower rate.

Read Full Review
Barclays Online Savings Account

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

1.60%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Barclays has low fees and the Online Savings account pays a 1.60% APY and has a tool for setting savings goals. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

Read Full Review
Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

APY

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Capital One,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account earns the same stellar rate on all balances. The account also has no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirements. The bank has a useful mobile app that lets you set up an automatic savings plan and digitally track progress towards savings goals. In addition to the high-yield savings account, Capital One 360 also offers an online interest checking account with no monthly fees.

Read Full Review
UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

at UFB Direct,

Member, FDIC

UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $10000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at UFB Direct,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The UFB Direct High Yield Savings account has no monthly maintenance fee and earns an impressive rate. There is no minimum required to open the account, but you will need to have at least $10,000 in the account to earn interest. You can make mobile check deposits through its mobile app, or initiate a funds transfer.

Read Full Review
Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.50%

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 APY of 1.50%. 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 4/6/20, 11:59 PM ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW320 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 4/20/20, 11:59 PM 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 5/4/20. 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
Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

at Salem Five Direct,

Member, FDIC

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

APY

1.25%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Salem Five Direct,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings does not charge monthly fees and its mobile apps receive stellar ratings. You will need to put down $100 to open the account.

CIT Bank Savings Builder

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

APY

1.75%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at CIT Bank,

Member, FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Steady savers can earn a 1.75% APY when they deposit at least $100 each month in CIT Bank's Savings Builder account. If you don't have $100 to deposit each month, you can open a CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings account and still earn 1.55% APY. There are no monthly fees or daily minimum balance requirements for either account, but the minimum opening deposit is $100.

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 around 1.50% APY. To compare, the national savings average is 0.08% 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 $150 in an account with a 1.50% 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 even more great 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.

  • Nationwide Bank, 1.70%, $100 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Vio Bank, 1.75% savings APY, $100 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • HSBC, 1.70% savings APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Alliant Credit Union, 1.60% savings APY, $5 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Synchrony, 1.50% savings APY, no minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Popular Direct, 1.70% savings APY, $5,000 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Varo, 1.92% savings APY, no minimum to open account (read full review).
  • CIBC U.S., 1.45% savings APY, $1,000 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • PurePoint Financial, 1.50% APY, $10,000 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • FNBO Direct, 1.00% APY, $1 minimum to open account (read full review).
  • Bank5 Connect, 1.40% APY, $10 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 March 1, 2020

Methodology

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; 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 are: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E*TRADE Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, 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, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of March 2020

Frequently asked questions

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, as it did in March 2020.

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

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.

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.