Best of

10 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of May 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.

The best high-yield savings accounts can help you grow your money faster than standard options. The products featured on this page pay many times more than the national average of 0.06%.

Most online banks have slashed their rates in response to the Federal Reserve's recent 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 Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts of May 2020

BankNerdWallet Rating APYLearn More
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs,

Member, FDIC

1.30%

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

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

1.00%

With $1 minimum balance

Read review
Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

1.00%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Read review
Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

1.10%

With $100 minimum balance

Read review
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

1.20%

With $100 minimum balance

Read review
Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

1.30%

With $5000 minimum balance

Read review
CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

1.25%

With $100 minimum balance

Read review
Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

at Varo,

Deposits are FDIC Insured

1.41%

With $0 minimum balance

at Varo,

Deposits are FDIC Insured

TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

4.5

/5

1.10%

With $0 minimum balance

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

1.30%

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 offers a strong savings account. This online bank charges no monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. It's also worth checking out its CD rates for long-term savings goals. Just note that the bank doesn’t offer a checking account.

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

1.30%

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

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

APY

1.00%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This account does not charge monthly service fees. Although the rate is slightly lower than that of other banks on this page, FNBO Direct has offered strong APYs in the past. It's worth keeping an eye on this option. 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

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

Salem Five Direct eOne Savings

APY

1.00%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


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. While this account's rate is currently lower than that of other options on this list, it has offered high APYs in the past. It's worth keeping on your radar.

Read Full Review

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

Bank5 Connect High Interest Savings Account

APY

1.10%

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. The current APY is not as high as others on this list, but the bank has a history of offering competitive interest rates. 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

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

APY

1.20%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


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 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.

Read Full Review

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

Citizens Access Online Savings Account

APY

1.30%

With $5000 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Citizens Bank has an online division with a savings account that offers a 1.30% 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

CIT Bank Savings Builder

CIT Bank Savings Builder

APY

1.25%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

CIT’s Savings Builder account has a 1.25% 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
Varo Savings Account

at Varo,

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

APY

1.41%

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 1.41% APY in the Varo Savings account with no minimum required. There is also no monthly fee. And you can earn even higher savings rates: The APY is 2.80% on balances up to $10,000 when you meet certain requirements.

Read Full Review
TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TAB Bank High-Yield Savings Account

APY

1.10%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

TAB’s account doesn’t require any money to open and doesn’t charge monthly fees. It also offers CDs and a checking account that pays a little interest, but there’s no free ATM network.

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 can earn around 1.40% APY. By comparison, the national savings average is 0.06% APY.

How much interest will I get on $1,000 a year in a 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 1.40% APY, a savings balance of $1,000 would earn a bit more than $14 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 50 cents.

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.

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.

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

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.

  • Comenity Direct, 1.55% APY, $100 minimum to open account
  • Nationwide Bank, 1.61% APY, $100 minimum to open account.
  • UFB Direct, 1.51% APY, no minimum to open account.
  • Popular Direct1.35% APY, $5,000 minimum to open account.
  • HSBC, 1.30% APY, $1 minimum to open account.
  • Vio Bank, 1.50% APY, $100 minimum to open account.
  • Live Oak Bank, 1.35% APY, no minimum to open account.
  • Capital One 360, 1.30% APY, no minimum to open account.
  • CIBC U.S., 1.45% APY, $1,000 minimum to open account.
  • Barclays, 1.30% APY, no minimum to open account.
  • Synchrony, 1.30% APY, no minimum to open account.
  • PurePoint Financial, 1.50% APY, $10,000 minimum to open account.
  • Bank7, 1.40% APY, $100 minimum to open account.
  • Discover Bank, 1.15% APY, no minimum to open account.

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

Last updated on May 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 BankNationwide 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 May 2020

Frequently asked questions

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, 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.

Federal law limits the number of certain kinds of withdrawals to a maximum of six per month. These 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. On April 24, 2020, the Federal Reserve allowed banks to eliminate this cap. Contact your bank’s customer service line to find out if it has eased restrictions. If it has not, keep in mind that withdrawing cash from an ATM or from a branch teller does not count toward this limit.

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.