Best Savings Account Interest Rates

Our Top-Ranked High-Yield Savings Accounts

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A savings account is a good place to keep money safe and liquid, but it’s not a great place to earn money, right? Not necessarily. Some banks and credit unions offer savings accounts with respectable interest rates that rival the rates earned with CDs—but without the restrictions.   

We review more than 150 banks and credit unions every weekday to find the best savings rates and deals. These high-interest savings accounts are available to customers nationwide, and your funds are federally insured up to $250,000 per depositor per institution. We start by finding the highest rates, and we favor accounts with low minimum deposit requirements and friendly fee structures.

We also include money market accounts if they function like savings accounts. That means if an account pays a high yield and doesn’t allow you to write checks, it’s in the mix.

We evaluate savings accounts that are widely available throughout the U.S. to identify the best high-interest savings accounts. For this round-up, we primarily look at the annual percentage yield (APY) offered, but to help you compare options, we also consider factors like how quickly interest compounds, how easily you can make deposits, and customer service availability.

APYs are changing rapidly amid widespread uncertainty about the economy and financial markets. The Balance is monitoring rates and updating them accordingly.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts

Bank or Credit Union APY Requirements
Affirm 1.00% $0 to open and earn stated APY
Chime 1.00% $0 to open and earn stated APY
Fitness Bank 0.85% $100 to open, earn stated APY, and avoid $10 monthly fee; must also average at least 12,500 steps daily
Varo 0.81% $0 to open and earn stated APY
Sallie Mae Bank 0.80% on the first $10,000 $0 to open and up to $10,000 to earn stated APY; over $10,000 to earn 0.55%
Customers Bank 0.80% $25,000 to open and earn stated APY
First Foundation Bank 0.75% $1,000 to open and $0 to earn stated APY
CFG Bank 0.72% $1,000 to open and avoid $10 monthly fee and $25,000 to earn stated APY
Citi 0.70% $0 to open and earn stated APY but $500 to avoid $4.50 monthly fee
MutualOne Bank 0.70% $500 to open and $0 to earn stated APY

We partnered with the following banks to bring you the savings account offers in the table below. Under that, you'll find additional details on our editors' picks for the best high-interest savings accounts and rates as of Nov. 27, 2020. All of the banks and credit unions listed are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Affirm Savings

Founded in 2012, Affirm is a fintech company known primarily for issuing point-of-sale loans for retail purchases through Cross River Bank. However, it also offers a high-yield savings account that comes with a companion mobile app and no minimum deposit or monthly fees. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements

  • Great for mobile-centric users

What We Don't Like
  • Account only accessible via the mobile app

Chime High-Yield Savings

Chime is a neobank or challenger bank that offers banking services through The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. These include the flagship Chime spending account along with a secured credit card and a savings account. The fee-free savings account requires no minimum opening deposit or minimum ongoing balance. Interest on the account compounds daily and is credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements

  • You can automatically divert 10% of direct deposits of $500 or more into your savings account

What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for those who need a more robust suite of banking services

FitnessBank Fitness Savings

FitnessBank is an online division of Newton Federal Bank that rewards you based on your fitness activity. You’ll earn the max APY if you log an average of at least 12,500 steps daily with your Fitbit, Apple Health, Garmin, or Google Fit fitness tracker. Lower rates are available with lower activity levels, and you must open the FitnessBank app at least monthly to log your steps. The account requires a minimum of $100 to open, and you must maintain at least that much as an average daily balance to avoid a $10 monthly maintenance charge. Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.

What We Like
  • Decent interest even if you don't hit 12,500 steps daily

  • Seniors can earn the top APY with fewer steps

What We Don't Like
  • Mobile app doesn’t include deposit feature

Varo Savings

Founded in 2005, Varo claims to be the first U.S.-based fintech company to receive a national bank charter. Through the FDIC-insured Varo Bank, it offers a basic bank account along with an online checking account and savings account. The savings account comes with no minimums or fees. Interested is compounded daily and credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements

  • Automatic savings feature

What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for those who need a more robust suite of banking services

Sallie Mae SmartyPig Savings

SmartyPig is an online savings account offered through Sallie Mae Bank. The innovative account lets you create and track savings goals and requires no minimum deposit or ongoing balance. Competitive interest rates help you grow your money even faster. You’ll earn the highest interest rate on deposits up to $10,000; rates decrease as you deposit more. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No balance requirements or monthly fees

  • You can set up and save for individual goals

What We Don't Like
  • No other account offerings but the savings account

  • Tiered interest rate structure that offers lower rates on higher balances

Customers Bank Ascent Money Market Savings Account

Customers Bank was formed in 2009. Its personal account offerings include checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as loans. The Money Market Savings Account is available online (but not in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, or New Mexico), and with no monthly fees. But the account requires at least $25,000 to open, and you stop earning interest if your balance drops below that amount. Interest compounds and is credited monthly.

What We Like
  • Competitive rates with no monthly fees

What We Don't Like
  • No interest earnings if your balance falls below $25,000

  • Lower minimums available elsewhere

First Foundation Bank Online Savings

First Foundation Bank was founded in 1990 and has branches in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The online savings account at First Foundation Bank pays its customers the highest APY on balances up to $5 million, and there are no monthly fees. To open an account, however, you must start with $1,000 in new money.

First Foundation Bank also offers checking accounts and other products, but those are only available in the three states mentioned (the savings account is available nationwide). Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No monthly fees, even if your account balance dwindles

What We Don't Like
  • Limited offerings unless you live in select states

CFG High Yield Money Market Account

CFG Bank, founded in 1927, pays its best APY in the Online CFG High Yield Money Market Account. The website is not as functional or informative as some of the largest online banks, but if you prioritize high rates over the user experience, CFG might deliver what you need. The account requires $1,000 to open and avoid a monthly fee, but you must maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $25,000. Interest compounds daily and is credited monthly.

What We Like
  • Competitive CD rates complement the savings account

What We Don't Like
  • Website has limited information and features

Citi Accelerate Savings

Citi is a global financial services powerhouse that traces its roots back to the War of 1812 (when it was City Bank of New York). Today it offers banking services to businesses and individuals—including savings accounts. Big, well-funded banks like Citi don’t often offer rates on par with offerings from regional banks and credit unions. This account offers a competitive APY with no minimum deposit, although you’ll have to keep at least $500 in the account to avoid a $4.50 monthly fee. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No minimum deposit

  • Linking your savings account to another Citi account earns extra Citi rewards points

What We Don't Like
  • Monthly fee if account balance falls below $500

  • Ability to earn more interest at other banks

MutualOne Bank Online Savings

MutualOne Bank is an old bank, dating back to 1889 when it began as Framingham Co-operative Bank. It’s based out of Massachusetts but allows anyone to join regardless of where you live. Keep in mind that it only has three ATM locations—all located in Massachusetts—so unless you live in the state you may want to consider another bank if you plan on using an ATM with another account type.

The bank offers a full suite of bank accounts and loans, including an Online Savings Account that requires a minimum deposit of $500 and no ongoing balance requirement. Interest on the account is compounded and credited monthly.

What We Like
  • No ongoing balance requirements

  • Mobile account tools

What We Don't Like
  • Earn similar interest at other banks

What Is a High-Interest Savings Account?

A high-interest savings account, also known as a high-yield savings account, helps you grow your money while keeping it accessible. Savings accounts often pay interest on your deposits, but interest rates vary from bank to bank. What makes high-interest accounts unique is a relatively high rate on your balance: Top rates on these accounts are often 20 or more times the national average savings rate, multiplying your earnings.

As you earn interest on your savings, you can leave the money in your account and allow the funds to compound. Put another way, you earn interest on the interest payments you received in previous months. The higher your rate, the faster your money grows.

What Should You Look for in a High-Yield Savings Account?

The interest rate is the feature that most people pay attention to when shopping for a high-yield savings account. Compare banks and pick a competitive rate, but don’t ignore other critical features.

  • Low fees are crucial: If you’re paying monthly maintenance fees, you might wipe out any earnings in your account (or even see your account balance fall each month).
  • Verify that your money will be safe: Banks should be FDIC-insured, and the safest credit unions provide NCUSIF coverage.
  • Select a bank that will be convenient to work with. Evaluate how you’ll use the account, and find a bank that fits your needs. For example, if you want to deposit checks frequently, make sure the bank offers mobile deposit. If you withdraw cash regularly, choose a bank with a convenient ATM network or ATM rebates.

Why Do Savings Account Rates Change?

The interest rate on your savings account changes over time. In some cases, the rate remains the same over extended periods. But when rates in the broad economy change, banks typically move in sync with those changes. If the Fed cuts rates, there’s a good chance that your savings account rates will remain stagnant or fall. When rates rise, banks tend to increase rates, but not necessarily as quickly as you’d like.

CDs enable you to lock in a rate that doesn’t change, but there are pros and cons of using CDs.

Why Are Some Bank Interest Rates Higher Than Others?

How much interest you earn can vary quite a bit, but interest rates tend to be lower at big brick-and-mortar banks and higher at online banks.

Banks raise rates when they want to gather money. If they need to get deposits in the door, a high rate on savings accounts attracts customers. If, on the other hand, they don’t need cash, they can keep rates lower.

Banks have different approaches to earning money. Some take deposits and lend them out, while others take a more varied approach (earning revenue and fees from other services like credit cards and ancillary business).

Organizational structure is also important. Some banks have shareholders demanding that the bank grow (and/or share income with the shareholders), and those demands may make it harder to pay high rates to depositors. However, some banks are able to keep only what they need to pay the bills and share the rest of the revenue (from loans, ATM fees, etc.) with account holders. Small banks and credit unions are most likely to fit the latter model.

Is Savings Account Interest Taxable?

Interest you earn in your savings account is generally taxable as income. Your bank typically reports your earnings on Form 1099-INT, and you should provide that information to your tax preparer or include it with your tax filings.

Keep an eye out for a 1099-INT in the mail during tax season. You may also be able to download the form through your online banking portal. But in many cases, banks do not provide a 1099-INT unless you earn at least $10 during the year.

With individual accounts, joint accounts, and other taxable accounts, you’ll pay tax on the interest you receive as income for the year. But if your account is part of a retirement account like an IRA, you may be able to postpone or avoid taxation on that interest. 

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). "Weekly National Rates and Rate Caps - Weekly Update." Accessed Nov. 27, 2020.