Updated February 25, 2021

Best High Yield Savings Accounts: April 2021

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Make your money work harder for you in a high-yield savings account. Here are the top savings accounts to grow your money.

  1. CIT Bank for Active Savers
  2. Axos High Yield Savings
  3. Discover Bank for No Fees
  4. Ally for Customer Service
  5. Nationwide for Checking + Savings
  6. Varo for Best High Rate
  7. Synchrony with ATM Access
  8. HSBC Direct for Big Bank
  9. Popular Direct for High Balances
  10. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Reasons to Use a High-Yield Savings Account

A high-yield savings account is perfect for short-term goals. You can grow your money, but still have access when you need it.

Here are some great uses for a high-yield savings account:

Online banks offer rates as much as 20x or more than traditional big banks. That can be a difference of hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars over the years.

Can you lose money in a high-yield savings account?
As long as the bank is FDIC insured, your savings are safe. Even if the bank defaults, the government will pay back what is in your account (up to $250,000). High-yield savings accounts are a very secure place to grow your money.

Top High Yield Savings

High Interest: CIT Bank

With the CIT Bank Money Market account, what you see is what you get. It offers a high yield without tiers or other gotchas.

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Money Market Account - 0.45% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $100
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.45%

Axos High Yield Savings

Axos is a popular online bank with checking, savings, business accounts, loans, and investing services. It's a good choice if you want to do all your banking under one roof.

The minimum to open is $250, but after that, there are no more balance requirements. You can also get a free ATM card.

Axos Bank
Member FDIC

High Yield Savings - 0.61% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $250
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.61%

Best Savings With No Fees: Discover

Discover offers more than just credit cards. They also have checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs.

Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 0.40% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.40%

Customer Favorite: Ally Bank

Good support is essential when you can't just walk into a bank for help. With a user-friendly interface and live customer service, Ally Bank gets very high satisfaction ratings.

It's a full-service online bank with a wide ATM network, free checking account, multiple CDs, and investment services.

Ally Bank

Online Savings Account - 0.50% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.50%

Nationwide My Savings

It pays off to have your checking and savings in one place with Nationwide's My Savings. When you open a My Checking account with a monthly direct deposit of at least $1,000, you'll get an extra high savings APY.

But even if you don't want the checking account, its lower APY is still competitive.

My Savings

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $100
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.70% APY with My Savings when you open a My Checking account and set up a $1,000 direct deposit. Otherwise, earn 0.40% APY

Best High Rate: Varo Savings Account

If you have less than $10,000, Varo offers one of the highest savings APYs currently in the nation. Here's how its tiered rate works:

You get the base rate of 0.20% APY on all balances. Opportunity to earn 3.00% APY if your daily savings balance does not exceed $5,000 AND you make at least 5 Varo debit card purchases per month AND receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits in either the Varo Bank Account or Savings Account.

Even though there are some hoops to jump through, the exceptionally high interest rate could be worth it.

Online Savings Account

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.20%

Best Savings With ATM Card: Synchrony

You typically don't want to touch your savings too much, but it's always good to have access if you need it. Synchrony's High-Yield Savings offers an ATM card. You can make up to 6 withdrawals per statement cycle instead of having to wait days for electronic transfers.

High Yield Savings - 0.40% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.50%

Best Big Bank: HSBC Direct

HSBC Direct is the online division of HSBC, one of the largest global banks. With a low opening deposit and no fees, it's a solid choice to build your rainy day fund.

HSBC
Member FDIC

HSBC Direct Savings - 0.15% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $1
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.15%

Popular Direct's Plus Savings Account offers one of the highest rates. But the minimum opening deposit is a whopping $5,000. If you do that, plus keep a balance of at least $500 each month, you'll get one of the highest APYs available today.

Popular Direct does not offer checking services or an ATM network.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus is the online savings account from investment giant Goldman Sachs. It offers a very competitive rate with no minimum deposit and no services fees.

The app doesn't support mobile check deposits. Marcus doesn't have checking or an ATM network, either. But you will get smart money management tools to track your spending and savings progress.

Marcus Online Savings - Earn 0.50% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.50%

Non-Bank Savings Account: Betterment

Betterment, the popular robo-advisor, has expanded its services to include checking and savings. Its Cash Reserve account punches above its weight with:

  • Unlimited withdrawals with no fees
  • Faster transfers between your linked banking account within 1-2 business days
  • FDIC insured up to $1,000,000

Anyone can sign up to be a Betterment customer and open this account without having to use their robo investing services.

Betterment

Betterment Cash Reserve - Earn up to 0.30% APY

  • Minimum Deposit Required: $10
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • APY: 0.30%

Other Popular High-Yield Savings Accounts

These accounts also offer competitive rates to help you reach your savings goal faster:

Fitness Bank Savings Account
Fitness Bank is a lifestyle online bank that rewards you for keeping active. The app tracks your daily walking/running steps. The more steps you get in, the higher APY you earn.

There's a $100 opening deposit and a $10 monthly fee that's waived when you maintain a $100 minimum balance. And yes, Fitness Bank is a legit FDIC insured bank. It's a division of Affinity Bank.

American Express Personal Savings
Their rates are competitive with other high-yield savings accounts. There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit. However, you must fund your account within 60 days of application approval.

State Farm Money Market
State Farm doesn't just do insurance. They've partnered with U.S. Bank to offer a flexible money market account with a free ATM card and checks.

The minimum opening deposit is $1,000. You need to maintain a $500 daily balance or make 1 direct deposit per month to avoid a service fee.

Investors eAccess Money Market
This is a money market account, but with no ATM access or check writing. However, the interest rate is one of the highest offered on the market.

There's no monthly service fee, opening deposit, or minimum balance requirement, so it's great for slowly building your savings.

What to Look For in a High Yield Savings Account

Things to consider:

  • Minimum opening deposit
  • Balance requirements
  • Monthly service fee
  • APY rate
  • ATM access
  • Other banking services

Required opening deposit
If you're just starting to build your savings, look for an account with no minimum deposit. You can slowly add to it without needed a lot of money up front.

Balance requirements
Some accounts have minimum daily balance or monthly deposit requirements. If you don't meet it, you might not get the highest APY possible.

Monthly service fee
Most of the banks on our list have no monthly service fee. But a couple do require a minimum daily balance in order to avoid a service fee.

APY rate
Look for the highest APY rate on the account with requirements you can satisfy. Higher APY will help you grow your money faster.

A slight difference in APY could make a big difference in how much you save.

Imagine two banks with APYs of 2.20% and 2.40%. If you only have $1,000 to save, that's a difference of just cents over a year. But if you have $50,000, that's a difference of $100 every year.

A high yield savings account is a great spot to keep your emergency fund and to save for short-term goals. The hope is never to need to touch an emergency fund, so at the very least it should earn a competitive yield and generate some interest income.
Cynthia Flannigan, CFP®, MainStreet Financial Planning

ATM access
Not a lot of savings accounts offer ATM access, but there are a few available. You can also look for a money market account to open up your options.

Other banking services
Looking for a checking and savings under one bank? Some online banks only offer savings accounts, so you'll need to choose a full-service bank.

Should I get a CD or Money Market account instead?
A money market account is similar to a savings account. But some offer flexible features like check writing or ATM access. Your funds are more fluid, though you're still limited to 6 withdrawals per month.

A CD requires you to deposit an amount of money for a fixed term. In some cases, it may offer a higher interest rate for your commitment. More on CDs below.

Advantages of a High-Yield Savings Account

A high-yield savings account gives you a safe place to grow your money. Some of the benefits are:

Security
Your deposits are FDIC secured, which means that you're protected (up to $250,000) if the bank defaults.

Guaranteed returns
Unlike investing in stocks or bonds, your savings have reliable returns and no risk. However, the APY can change according to the market—you'll always earn the current advertised rate.

If you want fixed returns, look into Certificates of Deposit instead. You'll need to tie up your money for a certain time, but you'll get a guaranteed fixed rate for the entire term.

Flexibility
You can transfer money in and out to access your savings when you need it. Federal regulation allows up to 6 withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle without penalty.

Do you pay taxes on high yield savings account?
Yes. The interest you earn is treated as income. You will have to report it on your tax return every year. You will be taxed on it at your ordinary income tax bracket.

What Experts Say

CreditDonkey assembled multiple industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions:

  • Why are people still using traditional banks?
  • Are online banks safe?
  • How do you stay calm during financial stress?

Here's what they said:

High-Yield Savings vs CDs

Unlike high-yield savings accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) require that you tie up your money for a certain term. You can't withdraw your funds before the term ends or you'll face a penalty.

To reward you for tying up your funds, you'll get a guaranteed fixed rate that may be higher than a savings account. CDs tend to be better for those with long-term savings goals (1-10 years).

See our list of the top CD rates.

Is CD laddering a good idea?.
CD laddering is when you divide your deposits into multiple CDs with different rates and maturity dates. For example, your ladder might look like this:

  • $1,000 in a 1-year CD at 2.30%
  • $1,000 in a 3-year CD at 2.70%
  • $1,000 in a 5-year CD at 2.90%

As each CD matures, you can withdraw the funds (plus interest) and re-invest them in a 5-year CD. This is a very smart strategy. This way, every year, you can withdraw money if you need it. And you can always get the best current interest rate.

Bottom Line

A high-yield savings account is one of the best vehicles for growing your money safely. With so many banks competing for your business, there's no reason to stick with a traditional bank's nearly non-existent rates.

Of course, there are some downsides. Online banks don't have physical branches for in-person support. If you need help for any reason, you'll have to contact customer service online or over the phone.

Still, for the higher rates, it's a great alternative to grow your money faster.

Donna Tang is the head of purpose and audience at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Articles on Best High Yield Savings Accounts

What is a High Yield Savings Account

Traditional savings accounts don't earn much interest. The best interest rates are with high-yield savings accounts. Learn more about these online accounts below.

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