The Best High-Interest Savings Accounts

If you have the wrong savings account, you’re leaving money on the table.

By switching accounts, you’ll make an extra couple of hundreds dollars per year. For doing nothing.

If your savings are sitting in a regular account at your neighborhood bank, it’s likely making 0.15% interest or less. A high yield interest account gets you 1-2%. You’ll 10X your return with a better account.

All of us need some cash on hand for short-term savings goals or emergency funds. Better to get some free money along the way.

We’ve put together a list of the best high-interest savings accounts. If you’re considering a switch, start with these accounts.

The 7 Best High-Interest Savings Accounts

When picking your high-interest savings account, find one that you can use for years to come and has a great interest rate. Some of the options below aren’t as well-known but they do have amazing interest rates.

 BrioDirect

  • FDIC Insured: Yes.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 2.05%

This high-interest checking account offers a reasonable opening deposit of just $25 and has no monthly fees. Their mobile app has a mobile check deposit. BrioDirect charges a $10 fee for making more than six withdrawals per month, this is pretty common though.

Vio Bank

  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 1.85%

This online savings account offers higher returns because the bank has no physical locations. They offer a competitive APY with a low minimum deposit. You’ll want to look out for the $5 fee to receive paper statements and a $10 fee for any withdrawal over the allotted six transactions per month.

HSBC Direct Savings

  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: $1
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 1.85%

HSBC Direct Savings does have a competitive APY with no maintenance fees. But I’d only use them if you need a bank with a true global footprint. I recommend choosing another bank since they don’t have a great reputation. When we’ve used them in the past, we ended up regretting it.

Comenity Direct Bank

  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
    Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY:1.90%

Comenity Bank has competitive rates and doesn’t charge a maintenance fee. Clients also get free ACH transfers, free online statements, free incoming transfers, and unlimited deposits on their mobile app or via ACH transfer. They do charge for outgoing wire transfer, official check requests, and paper statement fees. Comenity has an interest-earning limit on balances of $10  million.

American Express Personal Savings

  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 1.70%

The American Express Personal Savings has no minimum deposit or balance required. However, accounts with a balance of $0 will be closed after 180 days.  American Express does not offer a checking account option, so you’ll have to put the money you need to access quickly at a different institution. This makes a great option for an emergency fund that you don’t want to see regularly.

Citizens Access

  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: $5,000
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 1.85%

While Citizen’s Access does have a higher minimum balance to earn interest, the APY is very competitive, and they rank high for their CDs as well. Citizen’s Access doesn’t have a mobile app and they don’t offer any checking accounts, so you’ll have to split your funds between two financial institutions.

Ally

  • FDIC: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • Maintenance Fees: None
  • APY: 1.60%

Ally is another online bank with a stellar reputation. While their interest rate isn’t quite as high as the others in this list, I’d go with them if you want an easy to use bank with one of the best reputations around. In my opinion, it’s well worth a slightly lower rate.

High-Interest Savings Accounts Vs. Money Market Accounts

Both high-interest savings accounts and money market accounts will help aid your savings goals. They’re both FDIC insured and both offer higher APYs than traditional accounts.

They also limit the number of withdrawals you can make each month too. For me, that’s a good thing. The extra barrier helps me stay out of my savings.

There are three major differences between the two types of accounts:

  • Access to funds: For most savings accounts, you’ll need to transfer money to a checking account before you can use it. Money market accounts, however, often come with ATM cards and more options to withdraw. If this is important to you, get a money market account.
  • Interest rates: In the past, money market accounts had much higher interest rates than standard savings accounts. Then high-yield savings accounts became popular and now they’re the same. As long as you have a good online savings account, there’s no need to move to a money market account for a better interest rate.
  • Balance minimums: Savings accounts usually have no minimum balance or a very low one. Money market accounts can have balance requirements of $10,000 and above.

Money market accounts used to offer superior interest rates that made the minimum balance requirements worth it. Then high-yield savings accounts became popular. Today, only get a money market account if you need easier access to funds than a typical savings account. For me, I’d rather have the savings account.

How to Choose The Best High-Interest Savings Account

We looked at a number of factors when putting together our list of best accounts. Getting a great APY is part of it but there’s a few other factors that I recommend paying attention to.

Here’s what we looked at:

User experience and company reputation

Because you’re likely to access your savings account less frequently than your checking account, having quick access to your funds is less important than working with a company that has a reliable reputation. If the online or mobile app is a bit clucky, I’m totally fine with that.

While most customers can access their high-interest rate accounts quickly in an emergency, not all financial institutions are created equal. We skipped companies that scored less than 65 percent of the Harris Poll Corporate Reputation Rankings like Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America. We also factored in major scandals over the last five years.

Fees:

While we understand that financial institutions will charge fees for certain activities, account maintenance fees and huge minimum deposits are deal-breakers for us. We only included accounts that don’t have maintenance fees and a low minimum deposit. However, you’ll likely still have to look out for other fees like:

  • Returned deposit fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • Excessive transaction fees
  • Wire transfers

APY

Getting a high APY is the primary goal of a good savings account so we’ve put a lot of weight on accounts with the highest APYs and no excessive fees. Many of the accounts we’ve listed here are for online banks. Operating online significantly reduces a financial institution’s operating expenses, so they can offer better APYs to entice new customers.

Account Perks

Extra benefits might include a mobile app, the ability to use an app to deposit checks quickly, low or no fees for basic transactions, and tools to help you keep track of your account.

But to be honest, these perks don’t matter that much. Take the mobile deposit as an example. I already have mobile deposit on my checking account and all my money flows through there first. There’s no reason to have mobile deposit on my savings account too. I care a lot more about the APY, fees, and bank reputation.

FDIC Insured

This is a no-brainer. We won’t include any account that isn’t covered by the FDIC. When a financial institution or a financial product is FDIC insured that means your investment is protected against theft or bank failure. The FDIC insures individual accounts up to $250,000. If you have more than that, it’s worth splitting your money between multiple accounts to protect yourself from loss.

If you deposit your money into an account or financial product that’s not FDIC insured you could lose all of your money if the bank fails.

Get Your Emergency Fund Into a High Yield Savings Account

Having an emergency fund that’s easily accessible is essential to maintaining your security. Whether you face an unexpected illness, job loss, or you’re trying to save up for a big move, utilizing a high-interest savings account is a simple way to add a little extra to the money you’re putting away. You mine as well make some free money while keeping emergency funds on hand. A high yield savings account will make hundreds of dollars of extra interest compared to a standard account at a major bank.

Because these accounts are more difficult to access or have limits to the number of transactions you can make each month, they’re an ideal way to make sure you’re putting money aside for a rainy day.

Keep in mind that the FDIC does limit the amount of money they’ll cover in an account. If you have more than $250,000 set aside in a savings account, you’ll likely need to utilize several high-interest savings accounts to maximize your security and your earnings.

The Best High-Interest Savings Accounts is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.