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7 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of October 2021

Our list of the best high-interest savings accounts.

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The best high-yield savings accounts help you grow funds faster than standard accounts.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

The products featured on this page have annual percentage yields, or APYs, of around 0.40%. That is many times more than the national average of 0.06%.

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.

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 October 2021

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Learn more

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC


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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Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings
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at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

APY

0.55%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA


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 first becoming a member of the nonprofit Foster Care to Success. (Alliant will pay the $5 fee on your behalf.) Members can open an Alliant savings account that pays a solid rate as long as the average daily balance is $100 or more. The credit union waives the $1 monthly fee if you choose e-statements.

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American Express® High Yield Savings Account
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at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC


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.

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Discover Bank Online Savings
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at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Discover Bank has an APY of 0.40%. The bank’s website is easy to navigate, and both its iOS and Android apps receive high ratings. There’s only one branch, in Delaware, but customer support is available by phone 24/7.

Discover offers a $150 or $200 bonus for opening your first Discover Online Savings Account (expires 12/15/2021).

Bonus offer details from Discover: "To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW21 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 to account within 30 days of account open date. 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. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/21, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice."

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Chime High Yield Savings
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at Chime, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Chime High Yield Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Chime High Yield Savings

APY

0.50%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Chime, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Why we like it

Chime offers an annual percentage yield of 0.50%. 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 debit card purchase to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into the savings account.

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Varo Savings Account
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at Varo, Member FDIC

Varo Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Varo Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Varo, Member FDIC


Why we like it

You can start earning a rate of 0.50% 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 3.00% on balances up to $5,000 when you have qualifying direct deposits of at least $1,000 and don't have a negative balance during the month.

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Nationwide My Savings
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at Nationwide

Nationwide My Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Nationwide My Savings

APY

0.20%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Nationwide


Why we like it

You'll need $100 to open a Nationwide My Savings 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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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 0.40% APY. By comparison, the national savings average is 0.06% APY.

» Looking for the top overall online-only banks? Check out NerdWallet's picks for best online banks

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 some of 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 are other highly rated high-yield savings accounts. The overall rating includes multiple data points, including savings account features, customer service and app store ratings. When you're shopping for the option that fits you best, these are worth checking out.

Bank

NerdWallet Rating

APY

Minimum balance to open

Axos Bank, Member FDIC

4.0.

0.61%.

$250 minimum to open account.

Comenity Direct, funds insured by the FDIC.

4.0.

0.55%.

$100 minimum to open account.

Vio Bank, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.51%.

$100 minimum to open account.

CIBC U.S., Member FDIC.

3.5.

0.52%.

$1,000 minimum to open account.

Synchrony, Member FDIC.

4.5.

0.50%.

No minimum to open account.

Ally, Member FDIC.

4.5.

0.50%.

No minimum to open account.

TIAA Bank, Member FDIC.

4.5.

0.50%.

$25 minimum to open account.

Live Oak Bank, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.50%.

No minimum to open account.

TAB Bank, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.50%.

No minimum to open account.

First Foundation Bank, Member FDIC.

3.5.

0.50%.

$1,000 minimum to open account.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, funds insured by the NCUA.

4.0.

0.45%.

$5 minimum to open account.

Bank7, Member FDIC.

3.5.

0.45%.

$100 minimum to open account.

Capital One, Member FDIC.

4.5.

0.40%.

No minimum to open account.

Bank5 Connect, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.40%.

$10 minimum to open account.

Barclays, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.40%.

No minimum to open account.

CIT Bank, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.40%.

$100 minimum to open account.

Salem Five Direct, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.40%.

$10 minimum to open account.

Citizens Access, Member FDIC.

3.5.

0.40%.

$5,000 minimum to open account.

FNBO Direct, Member FDIC.

4.0.

0.35%.

$1 minimum to open account.

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

Last updated on October 1, 2021

You may also like these

People often identify opening a checking account as their next money move.

Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

1.00%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Chime Spending Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chime Spending Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

at Chime, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

2.09%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Consumers Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

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, LendingClub, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, 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 October 2021

Frequently asked questions