20 Best High Yield Savings Accounts of 2020 (Reviewed)

Nearly half of Americans have $0 in their savings account, and another 24% have under $1,000 in their accounts.

These stats are anything but alarming as seven out of ten Americans are utterly unprepared for emergency expenses. What is even more worrisome is the rise in the number of Americans not saving anything for financial emergencies.

One must note that these figures stood at 57% in 2017 and 58% in 2018, much lower than in 2019.

The good news is that saving money has its perks, and one of the first ones is the ability to earn interest on your deposits.

But aren’t the interest rates really low? Well, yes, they are, and in fact, as per the FDIC, the average national interest rate on savings accounts with balances under $100,000 (and over $100,000 as well) was 0.07% for the week of April 13, 2020.

However, there is a catch, a lot of online savings banks, as well as traditional financial institutions, are raising savings account interest rates consistently over the years.

You can boost your returns further by opting for a high yield savings account.

These accounts are targeted at investors who maintain account balances in their savings account. Most banks reward savers with higher interest rates for higher account balances.

This guide will look into some of the best high yield savings accounts, their benefits, and tips for choosing the right provider.

Let’s get started.

What Are the Best High Yield Savings Accounts?

Choosing the right high yield savings account could be a little daunting, given the options available for savers.

Here is what you have to understand. Your existing financial institution may not offer the best interest rates on your savings account, so you have to do some research and find the best option.

Also, you should not prioritize APY over other factors, such as access to funds, presence of an ATM, or tiered APYs, when choosing an account.

1. Live Oak Bank.

Best for savers seeking higher interest rates and online banking.

Live Oak Bank Savings Account Open Today

Live Oak Bank is a prominent name in the SBA lenders segment. The bank began its operations in 2008 as a financial institution built around the lending requirements of small institutions but quickly grew its consumer base to include other consumer segments.

Live Oak Bank offers high yield savings account with an APY of 1.75% to its consumers, with some of the top APYs in the industry. The bank boasts offering a 25x interest rate on its savings account when compared with the national average.

What we like about Live Oak Bank

  • No minimum balance requirements
    • Live Oak Bank doesn’t require you to maintain a minimum balance, which means you can start earning interest on any balance beyond $0.01.
  • Ability to manage Savings account through the mobile app
    • If you’re tech-savvy and prefer online banking over standing in the lines, Live Oak Bank makes online banking a swift experience with its banking app. You can manage your savings account, including check deposits through its mobile app.
  • No account maintenance fees
    • You don’t pay a cent in monthly maintenance fee or any online banking charges with Live Oak Bank. It offers up to six permitted transactions every month, and beyond that, it charges $10 per transaction.
  • Ability to link external accounts with its mobile app
    • If you maintain accounts with multiple banks, you can easily connect external accounts with Live Oak Bank’s app, making the entire experience convenient.
  • FDIC insured & daily compounding of interest
    • Your savings account comes with FDIC insurance. The bank uses a daily compounding cycle to maximize your interest yield.

Any potential setbacks with Live Oak Bank

  • Online bank only
    • Live Oak Bank is an online bank, which means if you prefer branch banking, it’s not a good option for you.
  • Some savers may prefer a more established (old) bank
    • While the bank comes with FDIC insurance and a credible record, some savers may want to go with a more established bank.

2. Vio Bank.

Best for competitive interest rates and reputable brand.

We all have heard about online banks giving stiff competition to their brick and mortar counterparts. Most conventional financial institutions are taking their operations online to stay relevant, and that’s the story of Vio Bank.

Vio Bank is the online division of MidFirst Bank, an established national player. Vio Bank caters to a national consumer base, but at the moment, it offers financial products for retail customers only (no business side).

Vio Bank provides an online savings account with an APY of 1.70%, making it one of the best in the market.

What we like about Vio Bank

  • $100 minimum account requirements
    • You can open a savings account with Vio Bank with as little as $100.

VIO Bank Savings account

  • No account management fees
    • You don’t pay any account maintenance or online banking charges with your savings account.
  • Manage account online through the mobile app
  • Multiple funding options
    • A good thing about Vio Bank is its support for multiple funding options. You can deposit money through electronic transfers from a linked bank account, wire transfers, or physical check using the app.
  • FDIC insured & daily compounding
    • Vio Bank is FDIC insured, giving you peace of mind. Also, it comes with a daily compounding feature, which means your daily balance is taking into account for interest calculations.

Any potential setbacks with Vio Bank

  • No ATM network or checking account
    • Accessing funds in your Vio Bank account could be a little challenging, as the bank doesn’t an ATM card or checking account.
  • ACH transactions take time in processing
    • Vio Bank takes time in processing ACH transactions, including both incoming and outgoing transactions, which could add unwanted delays in case of urgent requirements.
  • $5 fee for paper statements
    • If you need paper statements from Vio Bank, you’ll have to cough out $5 per month. Why not save the environment and stick with digital statements?

Vio Bank not only provides a high APY, but it also comes from an established brand.

3. CIT Bank.

Best for savers with sizeable funds seeking higher APYs.

CIT Bank Savings Account

CIT Bank is a renowned name among small business or middle-market firms seeking financing. Along with its commercial side, it operates an online bank for retail customers. It offers a wide range of financial products, including savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, and checking accounts.

Its savings account products drew our attention as CIT Bank offers a savings builder as well as a premier high yield savings account.

  • Savings Builder Account: A Savings Builder Account is ideal for you if you can maintain a minimum account balance of $25,000 or deposit at least $100 per month to your account. This account comes with an APY of 1.70% for the current introductory period, and you can continue earning these returns as long as you satisfy the qualifications.
  • Premier High Yield Savings Account: This account is similar to what you would expect from any savings account, with a minimum account opening deposit of $100. You can earn excellent returns of up to 1.55% (APY).

What we like about CIT Bank

  • No maintenance fees or monthly charges
    • The online operating model allows CIT Bank to minimize its operational expenses, thereby offering zero maintenance charges.
  • FDIC insured
    • Your savings account with CIT Bank comes with an FDIC insurance, protecting your funds up to $250,000.
  • Opportunity to boost returns through $100 deposits
    • You can qualify for a high APY by simply depositing $100 per month to your account, which also encourages you to cultivate a habit of savings.
  • Transact using the mobile app
    • CIT Bank offers a mobile app for all basic financial transactions, making it a decent option for tech-savvy users.

Any potential setbacks with CIT Bank

  • No ATM access could make withdrawals difficult
    • CIT Bank doesn’t provide ATM support for a savings account, which could make withdrawal slightly challenging, although you can transfer funds to a checking account directly.
  • No physical branches
    • If you’re someone who prefers branch banking over online banking, CIT Bank’s savings account isn’t an ideal choice for you.
  • $25,000 minimum balance requirement
    • The minimum balance requirement for the savings builder account is among the higher-end of funds requirement. You can find better APYs without having to maintain such high balances.

4. Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

Best for savers who seek established banks.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Do you remember how we spoke about traditional banks having to compete with their newer online counterparts? This is a classic case for the same.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an online bank that aims to compete with other online banks through attractive APYs on different financial products, including both CDs and savings accounts.

Marcus offers an APY of up to 1.55% on its high yield savings account, which comes with no minimum balance requirements or transaction charges.

To top it all, Goldman Sachs is a name that breeds confidence. The bank is more than capable of bringing forth any features that consumers may look out for in the future.

What we like about Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • No minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees
    • You don’t have to pay a maintenance fee or maintain a minimum balance to operate/open an account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
  • Free wire transfers
    • If you want to transfer funds, Marcus offers free wire transfers, although you may end up paying fees at the receiving bank.
  • Link external accounts
    • You can link up to four external accounts for deposits, making the process easier. You have to understand that Marcus doesn’t offer mobile check deposits, which means linking external accounts is an efficient way to deposit funds to your savings account.
  • The reputation of Goldman Sachs
    • Goldman Sachs is one of the most renowned names in the American financial industry, which makes Marcus a credible choice for anyone looking for a trustworthy banking provider.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • Maximum deposit limit of $1 million
    • For those of you who have over a million dollars to deposit, Marcus has a maximum deposit limit of $1 million.
  • No ATM or debit card or checking account
    • Most financial experts advise getting a savings account, which makes it tough to withdraw funds. If that’s your goal, Marcus is a good candidate. Its lack of a debit card or ATM card or even a checking account makes it difficult to withdraw funds for your savings account.

Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest names in the American business landscape.

5. American Express National Bank.

Best for savers looking for competitive APYs and online-only banks.

American Express National Bank Savings Account

We all have been habitual of using AMEX cards, thanks to their exciting offers and products for every customer segment. American Express National Bank has been extending its customer base with new product offerings, including its high yield savings accounts and CDs.

A savings account from American Express National Bank comes with an APY of 1.60%, along with the robust customer support the bank extends to all of its customers.

What we like about American Express National Bank

  • No monthly fee or minimum balance requirements
    • You don’t have to maintain a minimum balance or pay monthly charges to continue earning a high APY on your savings.
  • Link multiple accounts for easy funds movement
    • You can link multiple accounts with your American Express National Bank for swift fund transfers.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with American Express National Bank

  • Absence of mobile banking features
    • Not only does American Express National Bank lack physical branches, but it also doesn’t provide mobile banking services to its savings account holders.
  • No checking account for users
    • You’ll have to rely on external accounts to deposit or withdraw funds from your savings account.
  • Need to mail physical checks
    • In case you want to deposit a check, you need to mail it physically to American Express National Bank, which could be expensive and cumbersome in the long run.
  • No checks, debit cards, or ATMs
    • You do not get access to any easy fund withdrawal options, including checks, ATM cards, or debit cards.

If you’re comfortable with online banks, American Express National Bank has a good proposition. Learn more about (American Express National Bank).

6. Ally Bank.

Best for savers seeking competitive rates with financial tools.

Ally Bank is one of the frontrunners among online banks, and it is one of the most established online banks operating today. Ally Bank gets flying grades for its consistently high APYs across savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts.

What makes Ally Bank stand out is its money management tools and savings-enhancement features. Ally Bank allows users to create multiple buckets (up to 10) for different saving categories, such as Home improvements, vacation, and any short-term, long-term savings goals. It helps you stay on track for critical financial goals.

Boosters are another feature that caught our eye. You can set automatic transfers to improve your savings or cultivate a habit of saving more money.

Ally bank Savings Account

What we like about Ally Bank

  • No minimum balance or monthly maintenance charges
    • Ally Bank doesn’t need you to maintain a minimum balance or pay monthly maintenance charges.
  • Money management tools
    • Ally Banks has multiple money management tools that allow you to categorize your savings goals and even automate savings.
  • Ability to link up to 20 external accounts
    • You can link up to 20 external accounts with your Ally Bank savings account, providing maximum flexibility.
  • Large ATM network
    • Ally Bank has more than 43,000 ATMs in its network, which is excellent for any cash needs.
  • Access to checks, checking account, and deposit envelopes
    • You can get a checkbook, access to a free checking account, and even postage-paid deposit envelopes for physical checks.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Ally Bank

  • Outgoing domestic wires cost up to $20
    • If you are habitual of using domestic wire transfers, Ally Bank could be expensive, as it charges $20 for every outgoing transaction.
  • No ATM card with a savings account
    • It is one of the few limitations of the Ally Bank savings account, but you can open a free checking account to avoid any difficulties in accessing your funds.
  • Reimbursement of up to $10 for out-of-network ATM fees
    • When using Ally Bank, we recommend you to stick with its ATM network as the bank reimburses only up to $10 out-of-network ATM fees during a statement cycle.

If you want access to financial tools along with a high APY, you should check out Ally.

7. Barclays Bank.

Best for savers looking for a trusted brand and competitive APYs.

Barclays savings bank account

Barclays Bank doesn’t need an introduction, as it is one of the oldest financial institutions on the planet. The bank operates online banking operations in the US, with some of the best APYs for a savings account.

Barclays offers an APY of 1.50% for savings accounts, which gets even better with no minimum balance requirements and maintenance fees. You can perform most of the banking operations online through its app.

However, Barclays doesn’t have a rich portfolio of financial products, which means you have to look elsewhere for other accounts, such as checking accounts.

A good thing about the Barclays saving account is its online saving assistant. The assistant allows you to set up financial goals by asking some basic questions, such as how much you intend to save, your monthly contribution, etc.

What we like about Barclays Bank

  • No minimum deposits or maintenance charges
    • Barclays savings account comes with no minimum balance requirements or deposit account.
  • Low overdraft fee ($5)
    • Barclays charges only $5 in overdraft fees, which is much lower than the average $30 charged by other banks.
  • Barclays Mobile app supports most banking operations
    • Barclays mobile app support check depositing, transfers, and money management features.
  • Online assistant for money management
    • You can use Barclays online money management tools to stay on top of your personal finances.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Barclays Bank

  • Limited withdrawal options
    • One of the major challenges with the Barclays savings account is its limited withdrawal options that involve electronic fund transfers and mailed checks from the banks.
  • No ATM network
    • Barclays doesn’t have an ATM network, so you will have to rely on external account transfers to withdraw funds.
  • Limited financial products
    • Barclays offers limited financial products in the US, so you cannot expect a complete range of financial services.

8. Prime Alliance Bank.

Best for savers with sizeable funds seeking high APY.

Prime Alliance Bank Savings Account

Prime Alliance Bank is on this list because of an APY of up to 1.71% for its savings account. It’s a small bank in comparison to other institutions listed here, but that doesn’t mean its service quality is lower or not up to the mark.

The only catch with Prime Alliance Bank’s savings account is that you’ll have to maintain a balance of $10,000 or above to qualify for its highest APY (1.71%). However, you should know that even if you maintain a lower amount, you still qualify for an APR of 1.61%, which is one of the best in the list.

The bank offers an ATM card for its savings account, which missing in most of the financial institutions. Also, you can open health savings account with Prime Alliance Bank.

What we like about Prime Alliance Bank

  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance requirements
    • There are no monthly fees for your savings account. While there are no minimum balance requirements, you will have to maintain over $10,000 to qualify for its top APY.
  • Mobile and online banking for convenience
    • You can perform online transactions, mobile check deposits, and other withdrawals through mobile and online channels.
  • ATM for the savings account
    • This is the best feature of the Prime Alliance Bank savings account. You get an ATM to access funds immediately.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Prime Alliance Bank

  • Minimum balance of $10,000 to qualify for highest APY
    • Prime Alliance Bank offers high APY, but you’ll need to maintain $10,000 or more to qualify for it.
  • Hold period of up to 60-days for new accounts
    • Prime Alliance Bank can place accounts on a 60-day hold if funded through ACH, a 9-day hold for mobile check deposits.

The bank offers one of the highest APYs for savers having $10,000 or more in their account.

9. Fitness Bank.

Best for savers who lead a healthy lifestyle.

Why do you sweat? Our guess, to be fit, healthy, and to avoid those hospital visits. What if you’re to find out that there’s a bank that’s rewarding you with a higher APY to stay fit.

As strange as it may sound, Fitness Bank is doing precisely that. The bank takes into account your daily activity levels and offers an APY accordingly. For instance, you can get an APY of 1.90% if you walk over 12,500 steps every day. Similarly, you get an APY of 1.75% for 10,000 to 12,499 steps, 1.50% for 7,500 to 9,999 steps, and all the way down to 0.50% for 0 to 4,999 steps. The activity levels are relaxed for those who are over 65 years and a US citizen.

Fitness Bank enrolls you into their highest interest tier for the first month and analyzes your activity through its fitness tracker to calculate your effective interest rates thereafter.

Fitness Bank Savings Account

What we like about Fitness Bank

  • Minimum opening deposit and daily balance of $100
    • You only need to deposit $100 for opening an account, and as long as you’re maintaining $100 or more on a regular basis, you can qualify for the highest APY.
  • Maintenance fees of $10 waived upon maintaining at least $100
    • Fitness Bank does have an account maintenance fee of $10 per month if you fail to maintain a daily balance of $100, but it isn’t a deal-breaker.
  • Activity requirement waived off for the first month
    • Fitness Bank enrolls you into their highest interest tier by default and gives you the opportunity to earn the highest interest rates by staying active.
  • APYs are competitive for active savers
    • If you enjoy being active, Fitness Bank is the perfect place to park your savings and clock-in some of the highest APYs for savings accounts.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Fitness Bank

  • Not for less active or those with busy schedules
    • If you have a busy schedule that doesn’t give you ample time to stay active, Fitness Bank isn’t for you. You can find competitive rates through other banks.
  • No ATM or checkbook
    • You don’t get a checkbook or ATM card with your Fitness Bank savings account. You have to rely on electronic transfers for all your requirements.
  • Maximum income limit of $15,000 for ACH transfers
    • You cannot move more than $15,000 in or out of your account within a day through ACH transfers.

In short, we have a bank that’s ready to incentivize you for your healthy lifestyle.

10. Citizens Access Bank.

Best for savers seeking exclusive online experience with the reliability of a trusted bank.

Citizens Access Bank Savings Account

Citizens Access Bank is the new kid on the block, making its debut in May 2018, as an online-first bank. However, it is a part of the Citizens bank, which makes it a reliable name in the finance industry.

Citizens Access Bank offers high APYs, if not the highest, in comparison with most brick-and-mortar banks. The banks ‘no fee’ policy reflects its commitment towards offering maximum returns to its clients.

Unlike other banks, Citizens Access Bank requires a minimum deposit of $5,000, which is much higher than what you would find any other place.

What we like about Citizens Access Bank

  • No fee policy
    • Citizens Access Bank has a no-fee policy, which ensures savers that the bank will continue offering better returns.
  • No minimum balance requirement to earn interest
    • Irrespective of your savings account balance, you’ll earn interest in your deposit, although if your balance drops below $5,000, you’re shifted to an APY tier of 0.25%.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Citizens Access Bank

  • Maintain $5,000 for highest APY
    • If you want to earn the highest APY, you must maintain $5,000 or above in your account. These requirements are much higher than most online banks, which could make Citizens Acess Bank a less desirable option.
  • No mobile app, no ATM card
    • Citizens Access Bank doesn’t have a mobile app, which means you have to use their website for making all the transactions. Also, the bank doesn’t offer an ATM card with its savings accounts.
  • Limited financial accounts, no checking account
    • Citizens Savings Bank isn’t a full-service bank, which means you’ll have to look elsewhere for other accounts, such as checking accounts or money market accounts.

Citizens Access offers standard features with its online bank.

11. CommunityWide FCU.

Best for savers seeking branch banking without sacrificing high APYs.

CommunityWide FCU Savings Account

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union is a savings destination for anyone who seeks high returns with some restrictions on withdrawals. Unlike a traditional savings account, CommunityWide FCU has certain time periods under which you can withdraw funds without incurring any penalties.

The two most popular CommunityWide FCU savings accounts are:

  • Funds Accounts: This account comes with an APY of 1.10% with minimum balance requirements of $1 to open the account or to earn the dividends. You can withdraw funds between the first 5 days of every month, and in case you break this rule, you may lose dividends of up to 7 days on the withdrawn amount.
  • High Rate Accounts: These accounts come with an APY of 1.50% with the same minimum balance or account maintenance requirements as that of funds account. However, you can withdraw funds only between the first 5 days of a quarter. The withdrawal penalty is a loss of dividends of up to 30 days on the withdrawn amounts.

Another key difference between CommunityWide FCU and other banks in our list is the presence of a free financial counseling and education service from the union. It’d be helpful for those seeking financial guidance.

CommunityWide FCU has over 5,500 branching locations, which means you can get branch banking as well.

What we like about CommunityWide FCU

  • No minimum balance requirements or opening deposit
    • You can qualify for the respective APYs with an account balance of $1, and there are no opening deposit requirements.
  • ATM cards for savings accounts with a huge ATM network
    • You get ATM cards for your savings account. Also, CommunityWide FCU has a network of more than 30,000 ATMs for convenience.
  • Branch banking services
    • For those of you who want branch banking along with the comfort of mobile banking, CommunityWide FCU is a good option.
  • Mobile and online banking
    • CommunityWide FCU supports mobile and online banking for its savings accounts.
  • Free financial counseling and education
    • CommunityWide FCU works with a non-profit financial counseling and education organization that provides financial advice to account holders. This service is free of cost for all savers.
  • Direct payroll or recurring deposits
    • If you’re looking for payroll support or recurring deposits, CommunityWide FCU provides it.
  • Federally insured by NCUA (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with CommunityWide FCU

  • Strict withdrawal guidelines
    • CommunityWide FCU has withdrawal restrictions, which may limit the flexibility or liquidity of your deposits.
  • Eligibility requirements to open accounts
    • You have to be a member of one of the organizations listed on the FCUs website or have a relative refer you to the union to qualify for an account.

Working with unions may seem a bit unconventional, but it does offer some benefits.

12. SFGI Direct.

Best for savers seeking high APY and online-only bank.

SFGI Direct Savings Account

SFGI Direct offers a simple proposition: you get some of the best APYs (1.71%) for your money in an SFGI Direct savings account.

Summit Community Bank is the primary financial institution, with SFGI Direct being its online arm. Unlike other banks in our list, SFGI Direct is a little slow in upgrading its online services.

For instance, the bank doesn’t have a mobile app, which means you’ll have to transact using its website, which, again, appears dated. The bank doesn’t provide ATM access for account holders, meaning you’ll have to rely on electronic transfers for withdrawing cash.

If you’re someone who has trouble handling money or who would rather spend it than save it, SFGI Direct makes it hard to access cash, giving you ample room to reconsider your decision.

What we like about SFGI Direct

  • High APY for a savings account
    • SFGI offers a high APY for a savings account, providing you sufficient liquidity and flexibility, which isn’t available with CDs.
  • Minimum opening deposit of $500
    • While a minimum deposit of $500 could be a turn off for some, the bank compensates for it with higher APY.
  • No monthly maintenance charges
    • You don’t have to pay any maintenance charges for your SFGI Direct high yield savings account.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with SFGI Direct

  • Lacks a mobile app
    • In a world where everyone prefers mobile banking, SFGI Direct is a step behind, with no mobile app and an outdated website.
  • No ATM network or ATM card
    • Withdrawing cash would be difficult as the bank doesn’t provide an ATM card or supports an ATM network.
  • No additional financial products
    • A savings account is the only financial product SFGI Direct provides, which means you’ll have to shop for other products somewhere else. Also, you’ll need an external account to fund your savings account or withdraw funds out of it.

SFGI Direct has set clear expectations with its savings account.

13. HSBC Direct.

Best for savers planning to bank with an established international bank.

HSBC Direct Savings Account

Do you want to bank with an international brand? HSBC is one of the largest names in the global financial industry. Much like its peers, the bank has been trying to keep up with growing competition from online banks.

HSBC Direct is an online-only banking service, which means you’ll perform most of the financial transactions online. The bank exceeds other national or international players in offering an APY of 1.70% for its online savings account.

HSBC Direct savings account comes with all the bells and whistles, including an intuitive mobile app, no minimum deposits, no monthly maintenance charges, and FDIC insurance.

The only downside that we could find is its closure charge of $25 for accounts closed within 180 days of opening. Also, you’ll have to fund your HSBC Direct savings account with new money, which means you cannot transfer funds from your old HSBC Direct account.

What we like about HSBC Direct

  • No minimum deposit for account opening or balance requirements
    • HSBC Direct savings account doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit or monthly balance maintenance requirements to earn the highest APY.
  • No maintenance charges
    • You get world-class service from HSBC Direct without having to pay any maintenance charges.
  • Provides other online financial accounts for full-service
    • HSBC Direct provides additional financial products, such as checking accounts or CDs, to facilitate the common financial needs of a saver.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with HSBC Direct

  • Early closing fee of $25 for closure within 180 days
    • If you’re not good with commitments, you may end up paying a fee of $25 for closing your savings account within 180 days of opening.
  • Unable to use existing HSBC Direct funds for a new account
    • HSBC Direct services have been relaunched in the US, which means if you had an account earlier with the online-only bank, you could not use those funds for an opening deposit transfer.
  • No ATM access or Overdraft support
    • HSBC Direct is going with a lean service structure to keep costs low and offer maximum returns. You will not get an ATM with your savings account or overdraft protection.

Working with an international bank has its own perks.

14. First Foundation Bank.

Best for savers seeking ATM card with competitive APYs.

First Foundation Bank takes a slightly different approach when it comes to savings accounts. Its online savings account addresses two major issues that you may experience elsewhere: it offers an ATM card and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for your ATM transactions.

First Foundation Bank excels in its APYs, offering an APY of 1.75% for those who maintain a balance of $1,000 or more. The online savings account comes with no monthly maintenance charges, and the mobile app makes it easy to bank from anywhere. You can easily schedule recurring bill payments with the app.

However, there are a couple of things that the bank could improve, including its minimum deposit of $1,000 to open a savings account, restriction on using existing funds in a First Foundation Bank account, and charges for incoming wire transfers.

Also, if you fail to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000, your APY may drop to 0.10% for balances between $0 to $999.

First Foundation Bank Savings Account

What we like about First Foundation Bank

  • No maintenance charges
    • First Foundation Bank doesn’t charge a maintenance fee for savings accounts.
  • ATM card provided with a savings account
    • You can request an ATM for your First Foundation Bank savings account, making fund withdrawals convenient.
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
    • First Foundation Bank makes up for its lack of an ATM network by offering unlimited reimbursements of up to $20 per transaction for ATM usage.
  • Pay recurring bills or manage the account through its mobile app
    • The savings account can be easily managed through the mobile app, including statements, account info, transactions, and check deposits. You can pay bills or add billers for recurring bill payments.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with First Foundation Bank

  • High minimum deposit
    • If you’re just starting to save money, $1,000 may seem to be a lot of money to open a deposit account.
  • APY of 0.10% for balances below $1,000
    • First Foundation Bank offers a high APY, but if your balance goes below $1,000, your APY falls to 0.10%, which is a steep decline.
  • Charge for incoming wire transfers
    • First Foundation Bank charges you for incoming wire transfers, which may come across as a setback when compared with other savings account in our guide.

For those with $1,000 or more to put into a savings account, First Foundation Bank provides an excellent APY.

15. Digital Federal Credit Union.

Best for first-time savers building habits of savings.

Digital Federal Credit Union Savings Account

Are you ready to be blown away with the highest APY on our list?

Digital Federal Credit Union is providing an APY of 6.17% on its primary savings account, but there’s a catch. Only the first $1,000 you deposit in the account enjoys this APY, and any balance above $1,000 attracts an APY of 0.25%. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $5 to start the account.

We know that this could be turn off, but consider it this way. If you’re just getting started with savings, there could be nothing better than an APY of 6.17%!

Digital Federal Credit Union also provides Ltd. Savings account, which comes with no minimum opening balance requirement. You earn an APY of 0.70%, but you’ll have to maintain a balance of at least $25,000 to earn dividends. Also, you’ll have to pay $25 for every withdrawal except the first one for a month.

You have to fulfill the eligibility to become a member of the union.

Digital Federal Credit Union offers free ATM withdrawals through its network ATMs, although you’ll have to pay $0.75 plus any surcharge fee for non-network ATMs.

What we like about Digital Federal Credit Union

  • High APY of 6.17% for first $1,000
    • For those just getting started with savings, the Digital Federal Credit Union savings account is the perfect place to start. You’ll earn 6.17% on your first $1,000.
  • No ATM fee for network ATMs
    • You don’t have to pay any fee for using the network ATMs, and even non-network ATMs incur $0.75 fee per transaction (plus applicable surcharge).
  • Opening deposit of $5 only with no monthly maintenance fee
    • You can open an account with the union for as little as $5. There are no monthly maintenance charges for your savings account.
  • Multiple financial calculators to plan your savings
    • If you need help in financial calculations or setting up financial goals, Digital FCU’s website is full of calculators to help in the process.
  • Full-service financial institution
    • Unlike most digital banks on our list, Digital FCU is a full-service institution, which means you can open a checking account, apply for auto finance, personal loans, and even get a credit card.
  • Federally insured by NCUA (up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Digital Federal Credit Union

  • Low APY for balances above $1,000
    • Digital FCU offers excellent APY for balances up to $1,000, but as soon as you cross $1,000 mark, your APY falls down to 0.25%. If you’re a dedicated saver, this could be a turnoff.
  • Withdrawal limits on Ltd. Savings accounts
    • If you open Ltd. Saving account with the union, you’ll get only one free withdrawal. Any withdrawals beyond that will cost $25 per withdrawal.
  • High minimum balance to earn APY for Ltd. Savings accounts
    • The APY for Ltd. Savings account is good, but its minimum balance requirement of $25,000 to earn dividends is a little too high. You can easily find better alternatives.

16. Synchrony Bank.

Best for savers seeking ATM support with complimentary benefits (travel, vacations).

Synchrony Bank is a leading online bank that has made its name for consistently impressive APYs and size (when considering online-only banks). With its APY of 1.50%, Synchrony Bank is among one of the few banks that offer ATM access.

The high yield savings account from Synchrony Bank comes without any minimum balance requirements for account opening or earning its highest APY. The bank doesn’t charge any maintenance fee for the savings account.

Synchrony Bank Savings Account

Synchrony Bank offers unlimited ATM withdrawals, and in case you used a non-network ATM, you can get a refund up to $5 for every statement cycle. The bank doesn’t offer an overdraft feature for its online savings account.

Synchrony Bank provides multiple financial products, including CDs, money market accounts, savings accounts, and IRA CDs.

What we like about Synchrony Bank

  • No minimum deposit or balance requirements
    • There are no minimum deposits to earn the highest APY with Synchrony Bank. Also, the bank doesn’t have any monthly balance requirements.
  • Unlimited ATM withdrawals
    • Most banks stay conservative in offering ATM withdrawals with savings accounts, but Synchrony bank offers unlimited ATM withdrawals for savings accounts.
  • Large ATM network plus a $5 ATM fee refund for every statement cycle
    • You can withdraw funds without any charges from any ATM that has a Plus or Accel logo, although there may be a surcharge from the ATM operator. Synchrony Bank will refund up to $5 every statement cycle for these charges.
  • Additional perks and complimentary benefits for savers
    • Depending on your current status, you can enjoy complimentary benefits such as identity theft protection, hotel discounts, and travel discounts as additional perks for banking with the institution.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Synchrony Bank

  • Higher APYs are available with other banks
    • Synchrony offers impressive APYs for its savings accounts, but you can find better with a little research.
  • Not a full-service bank
    • Synchrony Bank isn’t a full-service bank, which means you’ll need to visit other providers for something as basic as a checking account.

Synchrony Bank is a leading online bank that offers ATM withdrawals, which aren’t common with savings accounts, with its high yield account.

17. Capital One.

Best for savers seeking good online banking experience with financial tools.

Capital One Savings Account

Capital One is a bank that maintains a balance between its online presence and offline branch access. It is one of the leading online banks when it comes to products such as savings accounts, checking accounts, and CDs.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings account comes with an APY of 1.50%, along with the added benefits of no minimum balance requirements or maintenance charges. You can perform most of the banking operations through the Capital One mobile app.

The only potential downside of this savings account is the lack of ATM access. You’ll have to rely on electronic transfers to withdraw funds out of the savings account. Another way is to open a checking account with Capital One and use it for transfers or funding purposes.

Capital One outgoing wire transfers cost $30, which indicates that the bank wants you to stay put with your savings.

Capital One offers plenty of innovative financial tools, such as an automatic payment transfer feature, the ability to set up savings goals, and even manage direct deposits into your account.

What we like about Capital One

  • No minimum deposit or monthly maintenance charges
    • Capital One offers competitive APYs without charging any account maintenance charges or minimum deposit requirements.
  • Plenty of savings tools, features
    • The ability to set up saving goals with Capital One app is a good tool for improving savings. Also, you can set up automatic transfers to your savings account, which is a good way to build up savings quietly.
  • High-quality mobile banking experience
    • Capital One offers an excellent app-based banking experience, allowing mobile check deposits, transfers, and other financial transactions.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Capital One

  • No ATM access
    • You don’t get ATM access with Capital One Savings account, which means you’ll have to rely on online transfers for withdrawals.
  • Outgoing wire transfers are expensive
    • Capital One charges $30 for outgoing wire transfers, which is way more than what other banks with competitive APYs charge.

18. CIBC Bank USA.

Best for savers seeking competitive APYs and some brach access.

CIBC Bank USA Savings Account

CIBC Bank USA is the American arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, with some branches in the US. CIBC Bank USA operates primarily through its online bank in the US, with some branches in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

CIBC Bank USA offers the Agility Online Savings account with an APY of 1.45%, which is among the best APYs offered by traditional banks. You’ll need $1,000 as a minimum deposit to open the account, but post that, the minimum balance requirements drop to $0.01.

The bank brings its traditional banking experience in the play by offering multiple financial planning tools, such as the ability to set up multiple goals within your savings accounts and set up automatic transfers to your savings account.

CIBC Bank USA charges no monthly maintenance charges for this account.

What we like about CIBC Bank USA

  • No monthly balance requirements ($0.01) or maintenance charges
    • You need to maintain only a cent to qualify for the highest tier APY. CIBC Bank USA doesn’t have any maintenance charges for its Agility Online savings account.
  • Financial management tools
    • CIBC Bank USA offers multiple financial management tools within its online platform, including category-wise goal setting and automatic saving feature.
  • A minimum deposit of $1,000 only
    • You can open a savings account with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Mobile banking facilities
    • CIBC Bank USA offers a decent mobile banking experience. You can perform most of the banking operations through its mobile app.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with CIBC Bank USA

  • $25 fee for closing the account within 90 days
    • You’ll have to pay a penalty of $25 for closing your agility savings account within 90 days.
  • No ATM access
    • CIBC Bank USA doesn’t offer ATM access with the Agility Savings account, but if you live in any of the states with CIBC Bank branches, you can enjoy the benefits of branch banking.
  • A need for a minimum deposit of $1,000
    • The need for a minimum deposit could be a setback as most online banks offer competitive APYs without seeking any minimum deposit amount.

If you happen to live in a region with a CIBC Bank USA branch, you can access the benefits of high APY with branch banking.

19. UFB Direct.

Best for online-only savers with at least $10,000 to invest.

Do you have more than $10,000 to park in a savings account? If yes, UFB Direct is a good choice for you. UFB, a part of Axos Bank, offers a high yield savings account, with APY of 1.70% for all the balances of $10,000 or more.

Unlike most savings accounts, UFB Direct offers a complementary debit card for its high yield savings. However, you should know that the bank doesn’t have its own ATM network or any partner network, which means you’ll end up paying charges for ATM usage.

UFB Direct offers a decent digital banking experience with its online banking, SMS banking, and mobile deposit features. The bank practices high-level data security protocols to prevent any security issues.

UFB Direct Savings Account

What we like about UFB Direct

  • No maintenance or service charges
    • As with most of the online banks in our list, UFB Direct doesn’t charge maintenance fees.
  • No minimum deposit requirement
    • You don’t need a minimum deposit amount to open an account, but in order to qualify for any APY, you’ll need a balance of $10,000 or higher.
  • ATM access with its savings account
    • UFB Direct offers an ATM card with its savings account, which isn’t common practice among online banks.
  • Focus on digital security
    • UFB Direct explicitly indicates the focus it puts on your digital safety, including its fraud monitoring practices, SSL encryption, and automatic logouts for online banking sessions.
  • Excellent online banking experience
    • UFB Direct supports multi-channel banking, including online banking and SMS banking. You can deposit check with your smartphone.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with UFB Direct

  • Only accounts with $10,000 or more earn interest
    • If your balance drops below $10,000, you don’t earn any interest on your savings. This could be a potential issue considering the fact that you can earn competitive APYs without any such restrictions from other banks.
  • No ATM network of its own
    • UFB Direct doesn’t have an ATM network of its own, which means you may end up paying for ATM usage. Also, the bank doesn’t reimburse any ATM fees you may incur.

UFB Direct is ideal for those ready to put in a significant amount of cash in their savings account.

20. Popular Direct.

Best for savers with online-only banking expectations seeking high APYs.

Popular Direct Savings Account

Popular Direct is another online bank in our list that offers some of the best APYs for savers ready to commit a larger amount. The Ultimate Savings account from Popular Direct comes with a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000 and APY of 1.70%.

Popular Direct is the online arm of Popular Bank (previously called Banco Popular North America), and it was launched in July 2016. Popular Direct is an FDIC insured bank.

The bank charges a monthly fee of $4 if your balance drops below $500. Popular Direct doesn’t offer ATM support, but you can connect external accounts for easy funding and withdrawals. Also, it supports mobile check deposits and other financial transactions through its mobile and online banking portals.

What we like about Popular Direct

  • A high-interest rate for savings accounts
    • You qualify for an APY of 1.70%, which is one of the best APYs among online savings accounts.
  • No minimum balance to earn APY
    • You don’t need to maintain a minimum balance to earn interest, but a maintenance fee of $4 for accounts with less than $500 could make the APY worthless for lower balances.
  • Mobile and online banking support
    • Popular Direct offers mobile and online banking services, with services like mobile check deposits and support for most banking features.
  • FDIC insurance (covers deposits of up to $250,000)

Any potential setbacks with Popular Direct

  • High minimum opening deposit
    • You can find competitive APYs without having to put down $5,000 for opening an account.
  • No ATM support
    • In spite of a higher minimum deposit, Popular Direct doesn’t offer ATM support. You’ll have to rely on electronic transfers through external accounts to deposit or withdraw funds.
  • Hidden fees
    • Popular Direct has multiple charges associated with its Ultimate savings account, including an early closure fee of $25 if the account is closed within 180 days, $5 monthly fee if the account is dormant for over 12 months, overdraft and returned item fee of $10 each.

Popular Direct is an online-only bank with decent mobile banking experience and competitive APYs.

What is a High Yield Savings Account?

One out of three Americans uses a savings account to save their cash, as identified in a GoBankingRates survey. However, choosing a conventional savings account with an APY of 0.07% (national average) would bring $7 in annual interest for every $1,000.

That’s where high yield savings account come in.

These accounts offer much higher interest rates in comparison to the savings account offered by traditional brick-and-mortar banks.

Let’s compare these accounts with actual numbers.

If you deposit $100 to a savings account for five years with a daily compounding cycle and $0 base amount, you’ll end with:

  • Savings account with 0.07% APY: $6,010.69
  • High-yield savings account with 1.75% APY: $6,274.89

That’s why choosing high yield savings account over a conventional savings account makes more sense.

Our research indicates that some online banks offer up to 25x the national average savings interest.

Let’s find a bit more about these savings account before coming to a conclusion.

Are High Yield Savings Accounts Safe?

One of the critical questions when it comes to higher interest rates is whether there is a risk involved in the new opportunity.

High yield savings account comes with FDIC insurance, which means any of your deposits up to $250,000 are protected against bank failure or bankruptcies.

In case you choose a union for your high yield savings, you get protection from the NCUA for the same limit ($250,000).

In short, these accounts are completely safe to work with.

5 Benefits of Opening a High Yield Savings Account.

1. You earn a higher APY.

This one is as straightforward as it could be.

A high yield savings account earns comparatively higher APY. Our analysis indicates that it could be as high as 25x when compared with traditional savings accounts.

In most cases, online banks offer the same or at least competitive APYs for both high yield accounts and fixed-tenure products, such as CDs.

Take Capital One, for example, it offers 1.50% APY for high yield account and its one-year CD, which means not only you get the flexibility of withdrawing your funds anytime you want, but you’re also getting excellent returns on your savings.

2. You can separate your savings from your checking account.

It’s always comfortable to leave money in the checking account.

However, when you’re saving for a specific goal or creating an emergency fund, it’s quite easy to misuses these savings for regular expenses.

Doing something as simple as putting this money in a separate savings account is better than letting it stay in your checking account.

A survey finds that as many as 75% of Americans are missing out on the high-interest rates offered by a high yield savings account.

While some may consider these accounts to be complicated, others believe the minimum deposits to be fairly high.

However, we didn’t find any grounds for any of these beliefs in our research.

3. You can use personal finance tools to stay on top of your savings.

It’s always good to be analytical when it comes to your financial goals.

There’s nothing wrong with a diary or excel sheet, but there are better ways to stay on top of your savings goals.

We found that a large number of online banks are offering high yield savings accounts with calculators, customizable savings tools, and trackers.

These visual tools make it way more fun to track your progress. You can visualize your spending habits, point out problem areas, or segments where you’re doing good.

4. You get better flexibility than a CD.

When it comes to diversifying your portfolio through a fixed-income instrument, most people think of a certificate of deposits (CDs).

However, the problem with CDs is that your money is stuck for the given period, and if you make an early withdrawal, you’ll incur early-withdrawal penalties. In some cases, you might lose the interest of up to one year.

A high yield savings account offers competitive APYs in comparison to CDs without any such restrictions.

You can make up to six withdrawals every month without any penalties, shift your funds through different accounts, and have better financial flexibility.

5. You can start with a minimum deposit to qualify for a high APY.

Another critical factor we discovered through our research is that most financial institutions have set nil to reasonable opening deposit amounts for high yield accounts.

You don’t need $10,000 or even $1,000 to get the best APYs across a significant number of banks.

Most of these banks offer online accounts, which means you can open an account right from the comfort of your home, with reasonable deposit limits.

Comparison: High Yield Savings Account vs. CDs vs. Money Market Accounts.

Since we’re talking about high yield savings accounts, it’s only fair that we compare them against other similar financial products, such as CDs or money market accounts.

What is a CD?

While most are aware of CDs, let us just define the product for those who didn’t get a chance to open one. A CD is a simple financial account that offers a set APY for your funds for a given period of time. CDs are covered through FDIC insurance, and you can choose between different CD terms, starting with six months to up to 10 years.

Check out our post on the best CD rates to learn more.

What is a money market account?

Money market accounts represent another category of financial products that offer relatively safe and higher returns in comparison to a traditional savings account. These are covered through FDIC insurance. You get a debit card or checkbook to access your funds through the investment period.

Now let’s see how these accounts compare with each other when it comes to APYs and minimum deposits.

  • Fund safety: Your money across each of these accounts is protected by the FDIC (up to $250,000), which means your savings are safe.
  • Interest rates: In order to consider interest rates, let’s take some financial institutions from our list. Synchrony Bank offers an APY of 1.50% for a one-year CD, 0.90% APY for a money market account, and 1.50% APY for a high yield savings account. In the case of Prime Alliance Bank, you get 1.25% APY for a one-year CD, 1.61% APY for a money market account, and 1.61% APY for a high yield account.
  • Flexibility: In terms of flexibility, you get better terms with online savings accounts and money market accounts. CDs require you to follow the entire term of the CD to earn the interest. Also, most of the savings accounts do not come with ATM access, whereas money market accounts offer ATM services as well as checkbooks.
  • Minimum deposits: Minimum deposits vary across different accounts, so it’s better to take the same example as above. Synchrony Bank has a minimum deposit limit of $2,000 for CDs and no minimum limits for money market accounts or high yield accounts. Prime Alliance Bank has a minimum deposit of $500 for CD, but no minimum deposit for a money market account or online savings account.

As you can see, high yield savings accounts offer some of the best APYs, minimum account balance requirements, and safety of your funds when compared with other financial products.

How Do You Choose a High Yield Savings Account?

The next step in our process is to identify the best practices for choosing a high yield savings account.

The terms for high yield accounts will vary across different financial institutions, so make sure to take into account these factors in your final decision.

  • Rate of interest or APY: One of the first things you would want to check when choosing a financial institution is the applicable rate of interest or APY on your savings. Make sure that the bank doesn’t follow a tiered approach with APYs. You’d want to go with a bank that offers consistent APY across different account balances. While we recommend choosing a bank with high APY, it is critical to take into account other factors listed below.
  • Minimum deposit requirements: Are there any minimum deposit requirements for the account? We have noticed that most online banks do not have any such requirement, and for those who do, these are under $1,000 (mostly). A low minimum deposit requirement ensures that you can start earning a high APY without having to wait for your deposit amount to accumulate.
  • Monthly maintenance charges: Do you have to pay any maintenance charges for your savings account? Again, our research finds that most online banks are ready to waive any charges for high yield savings accounts. We recommend going with a bank that doesn’t charge for account maintenance or has nominal fees.
  • Monthly balance requirements: Some banks require you to maintain a specific balance to earn the highest APY. If you fall behind this threshold, you might witness a steep cut in your APY. It’s better to stick with banks that do not impose such requirements. We have identified several banks that offer their highest APY without any such restrictions.
  • FDIC insurance: You have to make sure that the bank you choose is an FDIC insured institution. In case you’re going with a credit union, the same protection is offered by the NCUA. This factor takes precedence over all the other factors we’ve listed here. These insurances provide capital protection for your deposits. Also, you must note that this insurance coverage limit provides protection for all of your accounts irrespective of your actual balance. If you have a net balance of over $250,000 across different accounts, you may want to work with a different institution to ensure complete coverage.
  • Fund accessibility: How easy is it to access your funds? Do you get an ATM card, or do you have to rely on electronic transfers or checks to access your funds? ATM cards aren’t that popular with most high yield account providers, but electronic transfers are equally good. Be careful about any wire transfer charges. Ideally, you should prefer financial institutions that provide at least two to three methods to withdraw your funds. Also, be mindful of any restrictions on the maximum amount for outgoing or incoming transfers or the number of transactions before making a final call.

Bottom Line.

Everyone understands the importance of saving money, but it is equally critical to saving it in the right account. Choosing a high yield savings account allows you to generate decent returns on your funds without losing liquidity or taking unnecessary risks.

Let’s summarize what we discussed in this post:

  • List of top high yield accounts
  • Fundamentals of high yield accounts and their benefits
  • Tips for choosing the right savings account

You should have a clear picture of how high yield savings account work, their benefits, and reasons to choose them.

Choose an account that suits your financial circumstances. Also, it’s critical to set specific goals for these accounts. If you have more than one short-term or long-term financial goals, you may want to keep these savings in different accounts or use one that offers category-wise segmentation (buckets).

At WealthRebels, we believe that making the right financial decisions is just as much important as choosing the right financial instrument for your savings.

Do you have any questions about high yield accounts? Share with us in the comments section.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.