The best online savings accounts give you a safe place to park your money while providing high-yield savings rates.
Because online banks don’t have the expense of maintaining branches, they can offer high-interest savings paying upward of 2% annual percentage yield, many times higher than the national average of 0.09%. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it adds up.
Our Nerds did extensive, independent research on dozens of banks to find the best high-yield savings accounts. We looked for the best savings interest rates plus great digital tools, free access to plenty of ATMs and more. And check the bottom of this page for more information on online savings accounts, including how to open an account and access your funds.
|Best high-yield savings accounts|
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings
Citizens Access Online Savings Account
HSBC Direct Savings
American Express National Bank High Yield Savings
Barclays Online Savings
Discover Bank Online Savings
PurePoint Financial Online Savings
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Alliant Online Savings
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings
NerdWallet’s best high-yield savings accounts
Read on for more details about NerdWallet’s top high-yield online savings accounts.
And keep in mind: When you have sufficient funds stored in your deposit accounts (see what’s recommended) and you’re willing to take on some risk, look to investing. The stock market’s average annual return is 8%. A good place to start is the top IRA accounts, once you have a cash cushion in a high-yield savings account.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 2.25% APY
Marcus by Goldman Sachs pays a highly competitive 2.25% APY on savings deposits (as well as strong CD rates for longer-term savings goals). This online bank charges no monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. But the bank doesn’t offer a checking account or access to an ATM network. And its savings account requires another bank account to make deposits and withdrawals. (For CD rates and more, read our Marcus by Goldman Sachs review.)
Citizens Access Online Savings Account, 2.35% APY
Citizens Bank has an online-only division with a savings account that offers a top-of-the-line rate. 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 less impressive rate.
HSBC, 2.30% APY
American Express National Bank, 2.10% APY
Barclays Online Savings, 2.20% APY
Discover Bank, 2.10% APY
Discover Bank has a strong APY of 2.10%. The bank’s website is easy to navigate, and both its iOS and Android apps receive high ratings. There’s one branch in Delaware, but customer support is available by phone 24/7. Discover also has a $150 or $200 bonus for first-time savings customers. There is no monthly fee, but note that the deposit requirement to earn a bonus is fairly substantial at $15,000 or $25,000, respectively. (Details below.)
For more about the bank, including its highly rated checking account, see our Discover review.
PurePoint Financial, 2.35% APY
This is a strong account for higher balances, paying out a 2.35% APY if you have at least $10,000 in the account, and 0.25% below that amount.
There are no monthly fees, and online features are solid, as expected for this largely online bank.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings, 1.30% APY
Axos Bank has a high-yield savings account that earns 1.30% APY on all balances and comes with an optional ATM card. There is no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. If you have questions, you can reach the bank through live chat and, 24/7, by phone. The bank, formerly known as Bank of Internet, is also notable because it also offers a Rewards Checking account that earns interest and has unlimited ATM reimbursements.
Alliant, 2.10% APY
Many credit unions restrict their membership by area or employer, but Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union is different. You can apply for membership by indicating your support for the charity Foster Care to Success. (Alliant will make a $5 donation on your behalf.) Members can open an Alliant savings account that pays a 2.10% APY as long as the average daily balance is $100 or more. The credit union waives the $1 monthly fee if you choose e-statements. Phone support is available 24/7.
A $5 minimum deposit is required to open an account, but Alliant has you covered there: The credit union pays you a $5 bonus when you open an account.
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account, 2.05% APY
A Bank5 Connect High-Interest Savings Account comes with an APY of 2.05%. There are no monthly service fees if you enroll in electronic statements.
You’ll need to keep at least $100 in your account to earn the high APY.
High-yield savings advantages
A high-yield savings account can earn well over 2% APY, which is much higher than the national savings average of 0.09% APY. 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. A balance of $10,000 would earn about $10 in an account with a 0.10% APY. That same balance would earn about $230 in an account with a 2.30% APY.
How to choose the best high-interest savings account
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 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 savings accounts with attractive rates and low deposit requirements.
Accessing your funds
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.
Do the best online savings accounts have fixed rates?
No, rates are variable and can change over time. The accounts featured in this article are among those with the consistently highest rates.
How to open an account
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.
How often can I take money out of a savings account?
Savings accounts are subject to a federal rule called Regulation D, which limits the number of convenience withdrawals to a maximum of six per month. Affected withdrawals 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 will likely levy an excess withdrawal fee each time you go over the limit.
Withdrawing cash from an ATM or from a branch teller does not count toward this limit.
»Want to learn more about savings withdrawal limits? Read our primer on Regulation D.
Is my money safe in an online savings account?
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.
What is the difference between a high-interest savings account and a money market account?
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.
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 typically 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.
» Read more about 10 essential banking terms you need to know
More top choices for the best savings interest rates
Here are five more competitive choices for high-yield savings. These banks may have a higher minimum balance to earn interest, or a slightly lower APY. But when you’re shopping for the account that fits you best, they’re worth checking out.
- Popular Direct, 2.36% savings APY, $5,000 minimum (read full review).
- Synchrony, 2.25% savings APY with no minimum (read full review).
- Ally Bank, 2.20% savings APY with no minimum (read full review).
- CIT Bank, 2.40% savings APY with monthly deposits of at least $100 in the Savings Builder account (read full review).
- FNBO Direct, 2.25% savings APY, $1 minimum (read full review).
» Interested in getting money from banks? See NerdWallet’s best bank account promotions and bonuses
The best high-interest savings accounts
- Popular Direct, 2.36% APY
- Citizens Access, 2.35% APY
- CIT Bank, 2.40% APY
- PurePoint Financial, 2.35% APY
- Bank5 Connect, 2.05% APY
- HSBC, 2.30% APY
- Synchrony, 2.25% APY
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 2.25% APY
- Barclays, 2.20% APY
- FNBO Direct, 2.25% APY
- Ally, 2.20% APY
- American Express National Bank, 2.10% APY
- Discover, 2.10% APY
- Alliant Credit Union, 2.10% APY
- Axos Bank, 1.30% APY
We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; 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 include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, 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, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.