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7 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of February 2021

Our list of the best high-interest savings accounts.

Margarette BurnetteFebruary 1, 2021
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The best high-yield savings accounts help you grow funds faster than standard accounts. The products featured on this page have annual percentage yields, or APYs, of around 0.50%. That is many times more than the national average of 0.04%.

Most online banks, credit unions and nonbank providers (often apps that partner with a bank for FDIC insurance) have slashed their rates in response to the Federal Reserve's emergency rate cuts. But the high-interest savings accounts detailed below continue to offer some of the strongest yields available. These accounts can help you boost your emergency fund.

NerdWallet did extensive, independent research on dozens of financial institutions to identify the best options. While we mainly looked at savings interest rates, fees and minimum deposit requirements, we also considered whether the providers offer great digital tools.

Read on for more details about NerdWallet’s top high-yield online savings accounts. Check the bottom of the page for more information about how these financial products work.

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Summary of Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of February 2021

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.50%

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
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

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 does not charge monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. You'll be able to access your account through a mobile app, along with several other options. Be advised that the bank doesn’t offer a checking account.

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Nationwide My Savings

at Nationwide, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Nationwide My Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Nationwide My Savings

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Nationwide, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The My Savings account has an APY of 0.40%. You’ll need $100 to open an account, but there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The account is serviced by Axos Bank, which has a partnership with Nationwide.

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Varo Savings Account

at Varo, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Varo Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Varo Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Varo, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

You can start earning a rate of 0.40% APY in the Varo Savings account. And that’s with no minimum required. There is also no monthly fee. You can earn even higher savings rates if you link a Varo Bank account and meet certain activity requirements. The rate is 2.80% on balances up to $10,000 when you make at least five debit card purchases and have direct deposits of at least $1,000 each month.

Read Full Review

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

APY

0.40%

With $10,000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

PurePoint earns a rate of 0.40% 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 0.10% APY.

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FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This account does not charge monthly service fees. There are also no steep minimums — you need just $1 to open this savings account.

You can access your account with the bank’s mobile app. You can also reach customer service by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online bank is a division of First National Bank of Omaha.

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Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Bank5 Connect’s savings account earns interest on balances of at least $100. Also, if you opt for electronic statements, there is no monthly fee.

You’ll need to put down just $10 to open this account, which you can access through Bank5 Connect’s website and mobile app.

Read Full Review

What is a high-yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account is a type of federally insured savings product that earns rates that are much better than the national average. They can earn around 0.50% APY. By comparison, the national savings average is 0.04% APY.

How much interest will I get on $10,000 after a year in a high-interest savings account?

If your money is in an account that earns a strong rate, your balance will grow faster without any additional effort on your part. With a 0.50% APY, a savings balance of $10,000 would earn a bit more than $50 after a year. It may not make you rich, but the earnings are much better than an account with a 0.05% APY, which would earn about five dollars.

How do I choose the best high-interest savings accounts?

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 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 and apps — feature good rates and low deposit requirements.

» Want to explore checking accounts instead? Take a look at NerdWallet’s best checking accounts

The highest APY savings accounts are easy to access

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

How to open an account with the best interest rates

Depending on the type of financial institution, you can open an 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.) You will often be required to deposit money into the new account right away. You can do that by depositing cash or checks, or through a wire transfer.

» Find high rates across checking, savings and other accounts in NerdWallet's list of high-interest accounts.

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

Occasionally, your application to open an account may not be approved. This is likely because of issues with your 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.

Are high-yield savings accounts safe?

In short, yes. High-yield savings accounts at banks and credit unions are federally insured up to $250,000 per depositor, and many nonbank providers partner with banks for insurance. Accounts at banks are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., while credit union accounts are backed by the National Credit Union Administration. This means that even if the financial institution fails, the government makes sure your money is safe and accessible. Read NerdWallet's primer on FDIC insurance to learn more.

High-yield savings account terminology

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

Savings account: A deposit account from a financial institution that 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 financial institution 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.

More top choices for the best high-interest savings accounts

Here is a summary of even more great choices for high-yield savings accounts. When you're shopping for the account that fits you best, they're worth checking out.

  • Barclays, 0.40% APY, $0 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • TAB Bank, 0.65% APY, $0 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Vio Bank0.57% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • CIT Bank, 0.40% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • CIBC U.S.0.52% APY, $1,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Synchrony, 0.50% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Salem Five Direct, 0.50% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Bank7, 0.45% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Discover Bank, 0.40% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Capital One, 0.40% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Ally, 0.50% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Comenity Direct, 0.60% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Alliant Credit Union, 0.55% APY, $5 minimum to open account, funds insured by the NCUA.

  • Citizens Access, 0.40% savings APY, $5,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union, 0.50% APY, $5 minimum to open account, funds insured by the NCUA.

  • Chime, 0.50% APY, $0 minimum to open account, funds insured by the FDIC.

  • First Foundation Bank, 0.60% APY, $1,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Live Oak Bank0.60% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Axos Bank0.61% APY, $250 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Popular Direct, 0.55% APY, $5,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

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

Last updated on February 1, 2021

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, Comenity Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E*TRADE Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, FNBO Direct, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TAB 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.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of February 2021

Frequently asked questions