BEST OF

11 Best Savings Accounts of August 2021

Our list of the best savings accounts.

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Savings accounts are federally insured financial products that can help your money grow. The best savings accounts have high annual percentage yields, or APYs. The higher the APY, the more money you'll earn over time.

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 Federal Reserve emergency rate cuts of March 2020 encouraged many financial institutions to lower their APYs. The accounts featured in this article are among those with the consistently highest rates. They can help you bolster your emergency fund faster than an account with an average APY, which is currently just 0.06%.

Summary of Best Savings Accounts of August 2021

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Learn more

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
Learn more

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC


Why we like it

The Wall Street firm’s online bank has a strong savings option with a rate of 0.50% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 11/17/2020 and there is no minimum balance requirement to start earning interest. Its online CDs also have top yields. You can access the account several ways, including via desktop and mobile app.

Read Full Review
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
Learn more

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 $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC


Why we like it

This account does not charge monthly fees and does not require a minimum opening deposit. However, American Express reserves its mobile apps for credit card customers.

Read Full Review
Varo Savings Account
Learn more

at Varo, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Varo Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Varo Savings Account

APY

0.20%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Varo, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Why we like it

You can earn a 0.20% APY with no minimum required. There is also no monthly fee. The APY grows to 3.00% if you are able to meet certain requirements.

Read Full Review
Comenity Direct High Yield Savings Account
Learn more

at Comenity Direct, Member FDIC

Comenity Direct High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Comenity Direct High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.55%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Comenity Direct, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Comenity Direct’s High-Yield Savings Account has no monthly maintenance fees and a solid APY. The account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100. Keep in mind that Comenity Direct doesn’t offer checking accounts, so you’ll have to open one elsewhere.

Read Full Review
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings
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at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Axos offers a high-yield savings account with an optional ATM card. Its 0.61% APY is available on balances under $25,000. Like the bank’s Rewards Checking, this account has no monthly fee or minimum balance. One of the bank’s strengths is free domestic ATM use, as Axos charges no fees and, for some accounts such as Rewards Checking, provides unlimited ATM reimbursements. The bank has live chat as well as 24/7 phone service with representatives.

Read Full Review
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings
Learn more

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

Alliant’s savings account combines a solid rate with low fees and high-quality digital tools, such as a budgeting feature on its mobile app. The online credit union’s other perks include free access to over 80,000 ATMs nationwide and 24/7 customer support over the phone.

You can take advantage of the 0.55% annual percentage yield, and skip paper statements to avoid a $1 monthly fee. Anyone can be eligible to join by becoming a member of its partner charity, Foster Care to Success. (This means Alliant will donate $5 on your behalf.)

Read Full Review

TIAA Bank Basic Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
TIAA Bank Basic Savings

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

TIAA Bank’s Basic Savings account requires a $25 minimum deposit to open an account and has a $5 monthly fee (both are $0 for Rhode Island residents). The fee can be avoided by maintaining a $25 minimum balance. TIAA Bank also reimburses any out-of-network ATM fees that a customer encounters if their account balance is over $5,000. If it’s under $5,000, then TIAA Bank will reimburse up to $15 for the month.

Read Full Review

Barclays Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

You can open this account with any amount and you won't be charged monthly maintenance fees.

Read Full Review

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Bank Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The online bank delivers a savings account with a competitive rate and no monthly fee or minimum deposit requirements. Although there isn’t a way to add cash, you can deposit checks via its easy-to-use mobile app or transfer money between accounts online for free. Customer support is available by email, Twitter, live chat and 24/7 over the phone (with the estimated wait time listed on the site).

Read Full Review

Live Oak Bank High-Yield Online Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Live Oak Bank High-Yield Online Savings

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This savings account from Live Oak Bank has no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, and it offers a solid 0.50% APY. Live Oak Bank also offers an interest-bearing business savings account.

Read Full Review

PenFed Credit Union Premium Online Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Credit Union Premium Online Savings

APY

0.45%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s Premium Online Savings Account offers a 0.45% APY with no monthly fees and a $5 minimum opening deposit.

Read Full Review

What do the best savings accounts have in common?

The best savings account interest rates are around 0.50%. At a brick-and-mortar bank, you'll often find savings rates closer to the national average, which is currently 0.06%.

If you have a $5,000 savings balance, choosing an account that pays 0.50% will earn you about $25 in a year, while an account paying you the average would earn less than $5. The difference increases the more you deposit and the longer you keep it in the account.

Why should I care about the best savings account rates?

If you have money left in your checking account each month — or you can adjust your budget so that you do — you should have a savings account with a high rate. (Again, think around 0.50%.) It's always helpful to have money set aside for emergencies, and it'll earn you much more in an account that pays one of the best savings account rates than in a checking account.

Just make sure you can keep enough in your savings account to avoid monthly fees. Most online savings accounts don't charge these, but many traditional accounts do.

What monthly fees do savings accounts usually have?

The best savings accounts typically don’t charge monthly fees. You make your deposit and watch your balance grow as your money earns interest.

» Find out how your savings could add up with NerdWallet’s compound interest calculator.

Why are all of NerdWallet's picks for best savings accounts online?

It's easy to find a savings account at your local bank, but if you want to earn a high rate and pay the lowest fees, you should consider storing your savings online. Without the added expenses of large branch networks, online banks and nonbank providers are able to offer more favorable returns than national brick-and-mortar banks.

Is my money safe in a savings account?

Yes. Unlike investment accounts, savings accounts are guaranteed not to lose money — provided your money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration. Whatever you put in an FDIC- or NCUA-insured account will stay there, unless your account charges fees (and, of course, unless you withdraw money).

Do the best savings account interest rates change over time?

Yes, rates are variable and can change over time. If you are looking for a fixed rate account, and can set aside funds for a specific time period without making a withdrawal, consider opening a certificate of deposit. NerdWallet's list of best CD rates features top options.

How often do interest rates change?

Financial institutions generally don’t change savings rates on an hourly, daily or even monthly basis. In fact, under normal circumstances, it’s common to see APYs remain the same for several months.

It’s important to note, however, that rates are variable and theoretically can change at any time. In addition, many providers will change their rates based on what their competitors are doing. You will often see groups of providers increase or decrease their APYs at around the same time, especially if the Federal Reserve recently hiked or cut rates, as with the emergency rate cuts of March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To get the best yield for your money, it’s a good idea to check out the best savings rates on a regular basis — at least once a month.

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

Savings account terms you need to know:

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

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 annual percentage yield, or APY, is the amount of 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.

How can I earn high interest rates besides a savings account?

Here are a few options:

Money market accounts: These accounts are a type of savings account, but they might have higher minimum balances and offer perks such as check-writing, which not all savings accounts do.

Certificates of deposit: These accounts lock your balance away for a specified period of time — often between one year and five years — in exchange for a higher interest rate. But if you withdraw any money during the term, you'll typically have to pay a penalty. CDs are also covered by FDIC insurance.

Mutual funds: If you have a 401(k) through your job or an individual retirement account, or IRA, odds are you are putting some of your money in mutual funds. These are a type of investment that holds a little bit of many different types of stocks. Mutual funds are not covered by FDIC or NCUA insurance, and you can lose money on them — but you'll also typically earn a higher rate of return than you would on a savings account. They're best for long-term savings goals, such as retirement.

» Find out more about your savings account options.

Is savings account interest taxable?

Yes. Technically, all savings account interest is taxable, but your provider probably won't send you a form reporting it unless you've earned more than $10. So if you have a high-yield savings account, you're much more likely to pay taxes on your interest. You'll pay at your normal tax rate.

More top choices for the best savings accounts

When you're shopping for the account that fits you best, these options are worth a look.

  • Synchrony, 0.50% savings APY with no minimum to open account (see full review), Member FDIC.

  • Capital One 360, 0.40% savings APY with no minimum to open account (read full review), Member FDIC.

  • Chime, 0.50% savings APY with no minimum to open account (read full review), funds insured by the FDIC.

  • Vio Bank, 0.53% savings APY with $100 minimum to open account (read full review), Member FDIC.

  • Sallie Mae Bank, 0.70% savings APY with no minimum to open account (read full review), Member FDIC.

  • TAB Bank, 0.50% savings APY with no minimum to open account (read full review), Member FDIC.

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

Last updated on July 30, 2021

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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

1.25%

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, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, 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, 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.

Frequently asked questions