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9 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of October 2020

Margarette BurnetteOctober 1, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our list of the best high-interest savings account options.

The best high-yield savings accounts help you increase your funds faster because of their high-interest earnings. The products featured on this page pay many times more than the national average of 0.05%.

Most online banks 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 more quickly than average ones.

NerdWallet did extensive, independent research on dozens of banks to identify the best options. While we mainly looked at banks' savings interest rates, fees and minimum deposit requirements, we also considered whether they 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.

Summary of the best high-yield online savings accounts

  • American Express® High Yield Savings Account: 0.60% APY

  • Chime High Yield Savings: 1.00% APY

  • PurePoint® Financial Online Savings: 0.40% APY

  • HSBC Direct Savings: 0.50% APY

  • CIT Bank Savings Builder: 0.55% APY

  • Nationwide My Savings: 0.40% APY

  • FNBO Direct Online Savings Account: 0.60% APY

  • Barclays Online Savings Account: 0.60% APY

  • Axos Bank® High Yield Savings: 0.61% APY

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

American Express National Bank American Express® High Yield Savings Account

at American Express National Bank,

Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

American Express National Bank American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.60%

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
Axos Bank® Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

at Axos Bank®,

Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

Axos Bank® Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®,

Member FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

To open this account, you'll need to put down $250. There is no monthly fee and the bank also offers a variety of checking accounts.

Read Full Review
Chime Chime High Yield Savings

at Chime,

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Chime High Yield Savings

Chime Chime High Yield Savings

APY

1.00%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Chime,

Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Chime offers an annual percentage yield of 1.00%. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

The online-only company offers a couple of optional savings features. Users have the ability to automatically transfer a portion of their paycheck into their Chime savings account. Additionally, customers can opt into a service that rounds up every Chime card purchase to the nearest dollar before depositing the difference into the savings account.

Read Full Review
Nationwide Nationwide My Savings

at Nationwide,

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Nationwide My Savings

Nationwide 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.

Read Full Review

PurePoint® Financial Online Savings

PurePoint® Financial 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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HSBC Direct Savings

HSBC HSBC Direct Savings

APY

0.50%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

HSBC’s Direct Savings account, an online option from the well-known international bank, has no monthly fees. You need only one dollar to open an account. Direct Savings comes with HSBC’s set of online management tools. Customers can set scheduled bank transfers, make mobile check deposits and pay bills.

Read Full Review

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank CIT Bank Savings Builder

APY

0.55%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

CIT’s Savings Builder account has a 0.55% APY if you make a deposit of at least $100 each month. You can also earn the rate by having a balance of at least $25,000. If you’re not able to meet those requirements, your rate will be lower.

Read Full Review

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

FNBO Direct FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

APY

0.60%

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.

Read Full Review

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

0.60%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Barclays has low fees and solid interest rates. Its online savings account has a tool for setting savings goals. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

Read Full Review

What is a high-yield savings account?

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 earn around 1% APY. By comparison, the national savings average is 0.05% 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 high interest rate, your balance will grow faster without any additional effort on your part. With a 1% APY, a savings balance of $10,000 would earn a bit more than $100 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 both 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 the highest APY savings accounts along with 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 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 interest rates

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.

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. 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 bank or credit union 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 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.

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.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs0.60% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 9/9/2020 APY, $0 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • TAB Bank, 0.90% APY, $0 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Vio Bank0.76% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Varo0.81% APY, no minimum to open account, funds insured by the FDIC.

  • CIBC U.S.0.70% APY, $1,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Synchrony, 0.65% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Salem Five Direct, 0.80% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Bank7, 0.65% APY, $100 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Discover Bank, 0.60% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

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

  • Ally, 0.60% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

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

  • Citibank, 0.70% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Citizens Access, 0.60% APY, $5,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union, 0.70% APY, $5 minimum to open account, funds insured by the NCUA.

  • Alliant Credit Union, 0.65% APY, $5 minimum to open account, funds insured by the NCUA.

  • First Foundation Bank, 0.75% APY, $1,000 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Live Oak Bank, 0.70% APY, no minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Bank5 Connect, 0.75% APY, $10 minimum to open account, Member FDIC.

  • Popular Direct, 0.75% 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 October 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, 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.

To recap our selections...

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

Frequently asked questions