It can be difficult to choose a high-yield savings account, especially since there are so many options out there and rates change over time. Right now, the national average APY on savings accounts is currently 0.42% according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
So which one should you choose? According to our research, the best high-yield savings account is currently offered by Salem Five Direct, where you can earn an APY of 5.01%, over 12 times the national average.
However, APY is not the only factor by which to choose an account that meets your needs. The Fortune Recommends editorial team curated a list of some of the top high-yield savings accounts based on annual percentage yield (APY), account fees, minimum deposits and balances, customer support options, security features, and more. In addition, all accounts listed below are insured by the FDIC. (Read here for our full methodology.)
Current rates for our top high-yield savings accounts*
- Best overall: Salem Five Direct – 5.01% APY
- Best for those who want to maximize their savings: Ally Bank – 4.00% APY
- Best for those who value convenience: Vio Bank – 1.10% APY
- Best for those who want extra security features: Chime – 2.00% APY
- Best for those who value flexibility: UFB Direct – 5.06% APY
- Best for those who want extra customer service access: Primis Bank – 4.92% APY
*Last updated July 25, 2023
The best high-yield savings accounts
The high-yield savings account you choose can make a huge difference in how much you’re able to save in a given time and how quickly you’ll hit your bigger financial goals. (Note: APYs in our list below are up to date as of June 28, 2023, but are subject to change.)
Best overall: Salem Five Direct
About: Salem Five Direct is a subsidiary of Salem Five Bank, based in Salem, Mass., and has local branches across Boston. For online customers hoping to access their funds, Salem Five offers fee-free ATM access at 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide. It offers checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and more.
- APY: 5.01%
- Fees: $0
- Minimum amount needed to earn APY: $0
- Minimum opening deposit required: $10
Salem Five Direct customers can contact a customer service representative via telephone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or via chat or email.
Why we picked it
Salem Five’s high-yield savings account boasts a competitive APY at 5.01% and zero monthly fees. There is a minimum deposit of $10 required to open an account, but after that there is no minimum balance requirement to start benefiting from the high APY. While physical branches are limited, Salem Five offers a wide range of customer service options with 24/7 service.
Customers can bank online or via mobile app and make mobile deposits on the go.
Best for maximizing your savings: Ally Bank
About: Founded in 2009, Ally Bank is an online-only financial institution offering checking, savings, mortgage, auto products, and more. While the bank doesn’t have any physical branches, customers have access to a network of more than 43,000 ATMs, free of charge. They are also reimbursed up to $10 per statement for any fees charged at an out-of-network ATM.
- APY: 4.00%
- Fees: $0
- Welcome bonus: $500
- Round up capabilities: Yes
Ally Bank offers customers 24/7 phone, chat, and email support.
Why we picked it
Ally Bank’s high-yield savings account took a top spot on our list for its competitive APY, zero-fee structure, and bonus features to help you boost your savings. Account holders can set up boosters to optimize and maximize your savings, even if the rate changes after you open the account. What’s more, Ally tracks your spending accounts and allows you to round up your transactions to save even more. For savers who want to look for extra ways to increase their savings account balance, Ally offers countless ways to do so.
Best for those who value convenience: Vio Bank
About: Vio Bank is an entirely online bank and a division of MidFirst Bank, which is the largest privately held bank in the United States. Vio’s products include a savings account, money market account, and certificates of deposit (CDs) that range from six months to ten years.
- APY: 1.10%
- Fees: $0
- Mobile app rating: 3.9
Vio’s customer service representatives are available via phone from 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. CST on Saturday; and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST on Sunday. Representatives can also be reached via chat on the bank’s website.
Why we picked it
Vio Bank took the top spot for the most convenient account thanks to its stellar mobile app rating, and customer service score. What’s more—customers can open a savings account in less than five minutes online and save on monthly fees. Customers can do most of their banking directly from the Vio Bank app where they can easily view account balances, transfer funds between linked accounts, search transaction history, and more.
Best for those who want extra security features: Chime
About: Chime is a financial technology company based in California that partners with The Bancorp Bank, N.A., and Stride Bank, N.A., to offer financial products. Both of the banks Chime partners with are FDIC members. Chime is known for offering low-cost accounts that do not include overdraft fees or monthly maintenance fees. However, account options are limited, which may not make Chime the best choice for those who have more extensive or complex financial needs.
- APY: 2.00%
- Fees: $0
- Fraud protection: Yes
- Multi-factor authentication: Yes
- Website encryption: Yes
- Automatic sign-out: No
If you have questions or need to speak with a Chime representative, they can be reached 24/7 via phone and chat. Customers can also reach the bank via email or fill out an issues submission form on the Chime website.
Why we picked it
Chime’s savings account took the top spot for our security category. Chime protects your information and the money in your account in a few different ways. If your card is missing or you suspect your information has been compromised, you can block all transactions on your Chime card by opening the Chime app and disabling transactions to immediately prevent new debit or credit card purchases or ATM withdrawals. You can also set up alerts for new transactions from your account. For added protection, you can also set up two-factor authentication and fingerprint authentication to make it harder for scammers to get into your account.
Best for those who value flexibility: UFB Direct
About: UFB Direct is a division of Axos Bank. While it is an online bank, customers have access to free ATM withdrawals at approximately 91,000 locations across the nation. Account holders can also make unlimited external bank transfers.
- APY: 4.81%
- Fees: $0
- Minimum balance requirement: $0
- Overdraft protection: Yes
UFB Direct offers 24/7 live support via phone, plus mail, email, and chat support.
Why we picked it
UFB Direct’s high-yield savings account made our list for its competitive APY of 4.81% with no fees or account minimums. For savers who don’t want to be tied to strict requirements or minimums, this could be just the ticket.
The UFB preferred savings account also comes with a complimentary ATM card and digital tools for remote banking. What’s more, the account’s high APY extends to savers with balances of $0 and those with balances higher than $100,000. This bank also offers expansive customer support features—beyond the traditional lines of communication, customers can use SMS messaging to access account features and information.
Best for those who want extra customer service access: Primis Bank
About: Primis Bank is a tech-first financial institution with all of the security and insurance of a big bank and the digital-first approach of a tech company. It currently offers a personal checking account, savings account, and CDs, as well as business checking and savings options.
- APY: 4.92%
- Fees: $0
- Extended customer service support: Yes
- Physical branches: Yes
Customer support representatives are available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, and email.
Why we picked it
Primis Bank’s personal savings account took a spot on our list for its 4.92% APY, which is more than 12 times the national average. Savers can take advantage of this APY by opening an account with just $1. This account doesn’t charge any service fees, incoming wire fees, and there are no transaction limits. Interest on your balance is compounded monthly. Beware: This account isn’t available for savers who are located in Puerto Rico or other US territories. Primis has a handful of physical branches and extended customer service hours for customers who need assistance with their account.
Banks offering 5% HYSA
Today, the best high-yield savings accounts earn upwards of 5%, and there are currently four banks offering a 5% APY.
Note: APYs in the list below are up to date as of June 28, 2023, but are subject to change. Click on the links to read reviews of the banks.
What is the best high-yield savings account for 10k?
Of the four accounts with the highest APYs on the market today, the highest minimum balance required to earn 5% is $5,000. That means putting away $10,000 in any of these accounts will get you the best return available.
Banks offering 4% HYSA
In addition to the previously mentioned banks, there are many more offering interest rates in the 4% range, which is still highly competitive compared to the national average.
- Primis Bank: 4.92%
- Bask Bank: 4.85%
- First Foundation Bank: 4.85%
- UFB Direct: 4.81%
- Upgrade: 4.81%
- Ivy Bank: 4.80%
- TAB Bank: 4.76%
- Bread Savings: 4.65%
- CIT Bank: 4.60%-4.85%
- CIBC bank: 4.52%
- BMO Harris: 4.50%
- Citizens Bank: 4.50%
- GO2Bank: 4.50%
- Prime Alliance Bank: 4.50%
- TIAA Bank: 4.50%
- MySavingsDirect: 4.35%
- Synchrony: 4.30%
- LendingClub: 4.25%
- Quontic Bank: 4.25%
- Rising Bank: 4.25%
- SoFi: 4.40%
- Affirm: 4.15%
- Apple: 4.15%
- HSBC: 4.15%
- Marcus by Goldman Sacs: 4.15%
- Credit Karma Money Save: 4.10%
- Citi Bank: 4.05%
- Sallie Mae: 4.05%
- Ally: 4.00%
- American Express: 4.00%
- Barclays: 4.00%
- Capital One: 4.00%
- Current: 4.00%
- Discover: 4.00%
- Live Oak Bank: 4.00%
- Quorum Bank: 4.00%
What you should know about high-yield savings accounts
What is a high-yield savings account (HYSA)?
A high-yield savings account works in the same way as a traditional savings account. It’s a deposit account at a credit union or bank that you can use for saving and earning interest on your money.
The main difference between a high-yield savings account and a traditional savings account is that the high-yield savings account will offer a much higher yield—known as the annual percentage yield (APY)—on the money you keep in your account.
The most recent rates from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) puts the national savings APY average at 0.42%, while most high-yield savings accounts offer 1.00% APY or higher.
Monthly maintenance fee
Some financial institutions charge a monthly fee to cover the administrative costs of providing a savings account. These fees can often be waived by meeting certain requirements, such as maintaining a minimum balance or linking a checking account. However, fees can easily wipe away your interest earnings, so it’s important to choose an account that charges minimal or no fees, if possible.
You may be required to deposit a minimum amount of money to open a high-yield savings account. The amount can range from $1 to $1,000 or more, depending on the account. It’s also common for high-yield savings account rates to be tiered, meaning higher rates are available for higher balances. Always check the balance requirements of an account to find out if you need to meet a certain threshold in order to earn the advertised rate.
Can savings account interest rates change?
The APY on your account can and likely will fluctuate any time the Fed raises or decreases the federal funds rate. That’s the interest rate banks charge one another to borrow money, and your bank may be inclined to raise or lower rates on its financial products based on these changes.
So how does a high-yield savings account actually work?
When you deposit money in a HYSA, your savings will grow thanks to the magic of compound interest. This means you’ll earn interest on the principal balance in your account, as well on any interest you earned previously. For example, if you deposited $100 in your account and earned $10 in interest over the past few months, you will earn interest on the entire $110.
How much will $10,000 make in a high-yield savings account?
The amount of interest you’d earn on a $10,000 deposit depends on the annual percentage rate and frequency of compounding.
For example, if you deposited $10,000 into a high-yield savings account that earns 5% APY—and didn’t make any other contributions—you’d have a total balance of $10,500 at the end of one year, assuming the interest compounds annually. If it compounds daily, you’d have a bit more: $10,512.67.
The rate at which your interest compounds (daily, weekly, monthly, annually) will depend on the financial institution.
Pros and cons of high-yield savings accounts
If you’re considering putting your money in a high-yield savings account, there are a few key benefits and drawbacks to be aware of.
One of the main advantages of high-yield savings accounts is that they typically offer interest rates well above the national average. Currently, the national average for a traditional savings account sits at 0.42%, whereas some of the high-yield accounts on our list boast rates as high as 5.00%.
A high-yield savings account also provides greater security than som other investment options. Most high-yield accounts are FDIC- or NCUA-insured, meaning that your deposits are protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution in the event of a bank failure. Your principal is also 100% safe from market risk and you can never lose money.
On the other hand, you usually won’t earn as much in a savings account as you would by investing your money in the market, even with a high-yield account. Even so, high-yield savings accounts are sensitive to changes in the economy, which means that your APY can increase or decrease at the discretion of your bank.
There may also be a cap on your monthly withdrawals. Your financial institution may limit the number of withdrawals you’re able to make each month. If you exceed the limit, you may be charged a fee for each additional transaction.
- Competitive interest rates
- Deposits are insured by the government
- Can’t lose money
- Returns don’t compare to securities
- Interest rate can decrease
- Monthly withdrawals may be capped
Best uses for a high-yield savings account
High-yield savings accounts can be an effective savings vehicle for savers with many different types of goals. A few common uses for high-yield saving accounts include:
- Emergency savings: You’ll never know exactly when you’ll need to dip into your emergency savings. A high-yield savings account is a liquid account that makes it easy to access your funds in a pinch.
- Savings for major purchases: Say you want to purchase a new home appliance or save for a down payment on a new vehicle that you plan to purchase within the next few months. A high-yield savings account can help you earn interest on your savings until its time to make your purchase.
- Short-term financial goals: A high-yield savings account is a great place to stash your cash for a specific goal like saving for a family vacation or home renovation.
How to pick a high-yield savings account
Choosing the right high-yield savings account will require you to think carefully about your financial habits, preferences, and goals so that you can select the account that best suits your needs.
- Shop around for a lucrative APY. Your APY is the interest you can expect to earn on the money you keep in your account over the course of a year. While this percentage may fluctuate depending on your bank and the health of the economy, you’ll want to give your savings the greatest chance of growing and earning as much compound interest as possible. The FDIC regularly publishes average national rates for various accounts, including high-yield savings accounts so this is a good resource to use when shopping around for rates. Ideally a lucrative high-yield savings account will offer a savings rate that is 10 times that rate—if not more. Another key stat to pay attention to: compounding frequency, which is the rate at which interest is earned and added to your balance. Ideally you want an account that compounds more frequently.
- Consider the requirements for opening an account. Many, but not all, high-yield savings accounts require a minimum deposit to open your account. This figure can vary widely across financial institutions, with some requiring no minimum deposit and others requiring a minimum deposit well into the thousands. If you’re a new saver, you may not be in a position to opt for an account that requires a higher minimum deposit.
- Read the fine print on fees. Certain accounts may charge fees for maintaining your account, transferring funds, and more. An excessive fee structure can eat into your balance if you’re not keeping close tabs on your account. Weigh the different fees you could become responsible for and determine if the perks that come with the account outweigh potential penalties down the line.
- Ask yourself how important it is to have access to your funds. Not all high-yield savings accounts will come with physical branch access or a large ATM network. If you’re on the hunt for an account that will provide you with face-to-face support and easy access to your funds, double check that the financial institution you’re considering banking with has locations and ATMs in your area.
- Review online and mobile platforms for usability. If you prefer to do your banking on your desktop or phone, spend some time exploring the online and mobile platforms for each account you’re considering. Read Apple App Store and Google Play reviews to learn more about the digital platforms and tools that may be available to you and what kinds of features and services are available on those platforms.
- Weigh available customer service options. Lastly, it’s important to know how you’d get in contact with a representative should you have any questions or issues related to your account. Some financial institutions take a digital-first approach and don’t offer easy access to a real human. Others prefer a phone call over chat or email options; make sure your account aligns with the route you usually take when an issue crops up.
How to open a high-yield savings account
Ready to open an account? Here’s what to do:
- Research different banks and credit unions: Compare accounts from different financial institutions to see which ones offer the best interest rates, benefits, and have the lowest fees. Be sure to check both traditional brick-and-mortar institutions and online banks.
- Check the requirements: Some banks might require a minimum deposit to open an account, or require that you maintain a certain balance to avoid fees. Be sure you understand the terms and are comfortable with them.
- Visit the bank or apply online: Many banks and credit unions allow you to open an account online or through their mobile app. If you prefer, you can usually go to a physical branch to open your account.
- Fill out the application: You will need to provide some personal information, including your Social Security number (or individual taxpayer identification number), a valid ID (such as a passport or driver’s license), and contact information.
- Deposit funds: Once your application has been approved, you’ll need to deposit funds into the account. The amount will depend on the bank’s requirements.
Taxes: What you need to know
If you choose to park your savings in a high-yield saving account, you should be aware of the tax implications that come with it. Interest earned on the money in your account is considered taxable interest by the IRS. Your financial institution will typically send you a 1099-INT statement for any interest earned over $10, and the amount you’ll owe will depend on how much interest you’ve earned and your tax bracket.
How high-yield savings accounts compare to other savings accounts
High-yield savings accounts differ from other types of deposit accounts in a few key ways.
- Access to your savings: High-yield savings accounts are more liquid than other types of accounts like CDs, for example. Withdrawing money from a CD before your maturity date could result in an early withdrawal penalty. With a high-yield savings account, you may still be limited in how many withdrawals you can make within a certain period of time, but you still have some access to your money. Similar to a traditional savings account and money market account, you may also have debit card and/or check privileges.
- High-yield savings accounts offer variable APYs: The APY on your high-yield savings account fluctuates, similar to a traditional savings account or money market account. For savers who prefer a fixed rate, a CD may be a better option, but it would mean giving up access to your funds for the duration of your CD term until your account reaches maturity.
High-yield savings accounts vs. CDs
High-yield savings accounts are similar to traditional savings accounts, with the key difference being that high-yield accounts typically offer a more generous APY. They differ from CDs in that high-yield savings accounts preserve access to your funds, while CDs require that you commit to locking up your funds for a set period of time if you hope to avoid a penalty.
High-yield savings accounts vs. money market accounts
High-yield savings accounts are similar to money market accounts in that you’ll earn interest on your balance and have easy access to your funds. One key difference between the two account types is that you may need to deposit and maintain a certain balance to open a money market account, and in some cases, the higher the balance, the higher your rate may be.
More frequently asked questions about HYSA
Are high-yield savings accounts safe?
Yes, if it’s offered by a bank or credit union insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) respectively. The FDIC insures banks up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank, for each account ownership category. Credit unions are insured by the NCUA which offers coverage up to $250,000 per share owner, per insured credit union, for each account ownership category.
How are savings rates set?
Savings rates are set by individual banks and are loosely based on the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate that banks charge other banks when they lend one another money, usually overnight or for a few days. When the Fed hikes rates, this can raise the cost of borrowing and motivate banks to raise their APYs to attract new customers.
How often do high savings rates change?
Savings rates can change at any time. It’s important to remember that the rate information provided on the day you open the account is not a fixed rate. Banks and credit unions can, and likely will, adjust rates based on changes in the economy and interest rate increases or decreases by the Fed.
How often can I withdraw money from a high-yield savings account?
According to federal law, high-yield savings accounts allow you to make withdrawals or transfer funds out of your account up to six times per month without paying any fees. However, this rule was loosened in 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak, and customers can now make an unlimited number of transfers and withdrawals from their savings account.
In which situation would a high-yield savings account be the best banking choice?
A high-yield savings account is a viable option for savers who are looking to save money for a large purchase, a short-term or mid-range financial goal, or who want to maximize their savings and keep their money safe in a federally-insured account.
What is a good high-yield savings account rate?
What’s considered a “good” rate is somewhat subjective. Currently, the national average savings account rate is 0.42%, so any rate above that would be considered above-average. However, many banks are offering savings accounts that earn 1% APY and up–even as much as 4% to 5% APY. So if you’re looking for a high-yield savings account, it pays to shop around and see what the highest rates available are.
What’s the difference between APY vs. interest rate?
The interest rate is the percentage of your account balance that the bank pays you in interest over the course of a year, not factoring in the effects of compounding. APY, on the other hand, takes into account the interest compounding frequency. Therefore, APY gives you a more accurate picture of your actual earnings over a year.
To bring you our top picks for the best high-yield savings accounts, the Fortune Recommends™ team compared 52 online savings accounts from a mix of traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online banks, and credit unions.
All the accounts on our list are available to customers in the U.S. no matter where you’re located, subject to the terms of each account. The savings accounts featured on this list offer an APY at least 10 times the national average.
We ranked each account in these five core categories:
- APY (50%): This number represents the real rate of return on your balance; the higher the APY, the better.
- Monthly fees (15%): Some banks charge monthly maintenance fees. We ranked banks with lower (or zero) monthly fees higher on the list.
- Minimum amount to earn APY (15%): In order to earn the high APY, some banks require that you maintain a certain dollar amount in the account, which we view as a limiting factor.
- Minimum opening deposit (15%): Some financial institutions require a deposit amount when you open your account. We rate a higher opening deposit as less attractive.
- Customer support (5%): Top picks offer customers various ways to get in contact: chat support, by phone, or even email—phone support was most highly rated by our team.
The rates and fee structure of high-yield savings accounts are available for limited time periods, and APYs are subject to fluctuation, which could impact how much interest you earn. All the bank accounts and credit unions on this list are insured by the FDIC and NCUA respectively. To open an account, financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, require a deposit of new money, so you may not be able to transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.
We measured the same savings accounts and chose our top pick based on the following metrics:
Category 1: Maximizers
- Monthly fees
- Welcome bonus
- The ability to round-up transactions for extra savings
Category 2: Convenience
- Mobile app rating across both Apple and Google storefronts
- Physical ATM card or debit card privileges
- ATM network size
- Customer service options
Category 3: Security
- Fraud protection
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Website encryption
- Automatic session timeout
Category 4: Flexibility
- Minimum balance requirement
- Overdraft protection
- Budgeting and/or money management tools
- Educational resources
Category 5: Access
- Physical branches
- Extended customer service support during evenings and weekends
- Customer service options
EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE: The advice, opinions, or rankings contained in this article are solely those of the Fortune Recommends™ editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.