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Here are the 5 best high-yield savings accounts offered by big banks

These top 5 high-yield savings accounts by big banks have no minimum deposits and zero monthly fees.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

Finding a high-yield savings account isn't difficult. These types of savings accounts are offered everywhere from your local brick-and-mortar bank down the road to newer online-only banks you came across on the internet. (Learn about brick-and-mortar vs. online savings accounts here.)

While the best high-yield savings accounts with the highest annual percentage yields (APYs) are usually found online, there are some competitive offerings from big-name financial institutions like American Express and Capital One.

The national average APY on savings accounts is just 0.05%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In this roundup, we found big financial institutions that offer online high-yield savings accounts with APYs that are at least 10 times higher than the average.

To determine this ranking, CNBC Select analyzed and compared the largest banks and/or credit unions by asset size and the high-yield savings accounts they offer.

When rating our top five, we considered each account's APY, its ease of use, account accessibility, as well as the cons, such as monthly fees and minimum balance requirements.

The savings accounts we selected for our ranking offer an APY of at least 0.50% to all customers (no matter your balance), are FDIC-insured, have zero monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best high-yield savings accounts.)

Here are CNBC Select's picks for the top high-yield savings accounts from big banks:

Best overall

American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account (HYSA)

American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account (HYSA)
Information about the American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account (HYSA) has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. American Express is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.60%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 9 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    N/A

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 9 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Helpful "Tips & Tools" section on website

Cons

  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access
  • You can't deposit a check via the mobile app

Who's this for? The American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account (HYSA) ranked as our best overall because it offers users above-average rates, is easy to use and has 24/7 customer service with good reviews.

This savings account has a current 0.60% APY. There are no deposit minimums and no monthly fees. Interest compounds daily and is deposited into your account monthly.

Customers can easily transfers and automate their deposits from their external bank account by simply setting it up within a few minutes online. Once your external account is linked (which can take up to two days), transfers typically take less than 24 hours to complete. You can also receive your monthly statement either digitally or by mail at no extra charge to you.

In addition to offering 24/7 customer support, American Express also has a helpful "Tips & Tools" section on their website with educational resources and strategies to help you save. Topics include how much you should save for retirement, how to get more out of your savings and ways to be a better saver.

American Express also offers account holders greater access to their money should they need it during the coronavirus pandemic.

American Express' HYSA isn't meant for everyday use, but customers can now make a maximum of nine withdrawals or transfers per monthly statement cycle. This maximum limit of nine is new, in response to the federal six withdrawal/transfer limit being waived under Regulation D in April 2020. Other banks, including those on this list, are allowing unlimited withdrawals or transactions. There is no limit on the number of deposits that customers can make.

Best for checking/savings combo

Discover Online Savings Account

Discover Online Savings Account
Information about the Discover Online Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Discover is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.55%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    Discover may refuse to pay each transaction in excess of the limitations. If you exceed these limits on more than an occasional basis, it may result in the closure of your account.

  • Overdraft fees

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Discover checking account

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access
  • Offers mobile check deposits
  • Helpful advice through Modern Money Blog

Cons

  • Account could close if you often go over the withdrawal limit

Who's this for? The Discover Online Savings Account offers easy customers access to accounts on-the-go and has well-reviewed 24/7 customer service. If you're looking to do all your banking in one place, Discover stands out because it has an online Discover Cashback Debit Account option as well that comes with no monthly fees, cash back on your debit card purchases and access to over 60,000 ATMs nationwide. This account ranked "Best for rewards" on CNBC Select's list of the top no-fee checking accounts.

The Discover savings account offers a 0.55% APY, interest compounds daily and is paid out monthly. There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit required to open an account.

Discover offers customers mobile check deposits where they can easily deposit a check into their savings account by snapping a photo of it with their smartphone or tablet. Using the app, they can also transfer money from one account to another and use Quick View to check their savings account balance without having to log into their account each time. As required by law, Discover savings account holders can make up to six free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

Discover's website makes it easy to compare its savings account to other big banks' accounts. On the website, uers can add and remove certain banks to create their own comparison chart to see how the banks stack up to one another. Discover's website also offers helpful advice and "how to" articles through its Modern Money Blog.

Best for mobile access

Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account

Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account
Information about the Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Sallie Mae is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.50%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    Any transfers over limit will be assessed a $10 excessive transaction fee per transfer. Repeatedly exceeding this limit may result in account closure.

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Offers e-deposit for depositing checks on the go
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • Offers mobile text banking and mobile text alerts

Cons

  • $10 excessive transaction fee
  • Account could close if you often go over the withdrawal limit
  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Who's this for? Sallie Mae may be best known as a private student loan lender, but the financial institution also offers a variety of savings products, including certificates of deposit, a money market account and the Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account. It made this list thanks in part to its easy online account management that includes mobile text banking (allowing users to request account information) and mobile text alerts (automatic notices about users' accounts).

This high-yield savings account offers a 0.50% APY, as well as zero monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. Interest is compounded daily and paid to your account monthly.

Users can link their external bank account to their Sallie Mae account to transfer funds electronically or set up direct deposit. They can also use Sallie Mae e-deposit, which lets users make check deposits remotely through their iPhone® or AndroidTM devices. By law, account holders with Sallie Mae can withdraw or transfer money up to six times per calendar month with no penalty (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D). There is no limit to the number of transfers you may make from your high-yield savings to repay Sallie Mae loans, and there is no limit on the number of deposits that customers can make.

Sallie Mae's mobile text banking is a free service (though your wireless carrier may charge normal text or data usage fees) that lets customers retrieve information about their bank accounts from their mobile devices using text messaging. Users can ask for their account balances, their last five transactions or to transfer funds between two accounts. Customers can also choose which mobile text alerts they want to activate, such as reminder alerts, balance alerts and transaction alerts.

Best for physical branch access

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™
Information about the Capital One 360 Performance Savings™ has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Capital One is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.50%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    You may incur a fee or your account may close

  • Overdraft fees

    $35, but overdraft coverage is available to avoid this fee

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Capital One checking account

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Has physical branch locations, plus Capital One® Cafés
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • Has a top-rated mobile app
  • Offers mobile check deposit
  • Users can take advantage of free credit monitoring service

Cons

  • Excessive transactions may incur a fee or your account may close
  • There is a $35 overdraft fee if you don't have coverage

Who's this for? Of all the big banks on this list, only Capital One has hundreds of physical branch locations that customers can visit in-person. In addition to its bank branches and online access, there are also Capital One® Cafés where customers can open an account, ask questions and get financial advice.

The Capital One 360 Performance Savings™ currently has a 0.50% APY with no minimum balance requirements and zero monthly fees. Capital One also offers a Capital One 360 Checking with no fees and access to 40,000-plus fee-free ATMs. It ranked "Best overall" on CNBC Select's list of the top no-fee checking accounts.

Savers can transfer their money between linked Capital One accounts or external bank accounts. They can set up direct deposit and automatic transfers to easily keep their savings growing. You're limited to the six free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

Using Capital One's top-rated mobile app, users can access their money from anywhere and deposit checks through mobile check deposit. The app makes it simple to track your spending and savings goal progress through an online account tool called My Savings Goals.

A big perk of Capital One is its free credit monitoring service, CreditWise® from Capital One (though you don't have to have a Capital One account to use it). It ranks as the "Best overall free service" on CNBC Select's list of the top credit monitoring services because users can track their credit score and receive alerts when it changes all for free.

Best for help saving

Barclays Online Savings

Barclays Online Savings
Information about the Barclays Online Savings has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Barclays is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.50%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    You may incur a fee and your account may close if you violate the limit more than three times in a year

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Barclays savings assistant tool 
  • Offers Deposit Checks feature for depositing checks via mobile
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*

Cons

  • Excessive transactions may incur a fee or your account may close
  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Who's this for? The Barclays Online Savings is a pretty straightforward bank account. It stands out for offering tools to help you save, including a personal Barclays savings assistant when you need help reaching your goals.

This high-yield savings account has a current 0.50% APY with no monthly maintenance fees and no required minimum balances to open an account.

Account holders can make transfers to and from their linked external bank accounts through the Barclays mobile app and set up direct deposit to make saving simple. Barclays' Deposit Checks feature allows you to deposit checks into your savings account remotely by uploading a picture of your check from your computer, laptop or mobile device. Savers are given the six free withdrawals/transfers per statement cycle as required by law (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

For those who need some help visualizing what it will take to meet certain savings goals, the Barclays savings assistant offers an easy-to-use calculator. Users choose their goal from a dropdown menu on the website, such as saving up for college, a vacation or retirement. They then input how much the goal costs, how much they already have saved up and how much they can contribute monthly. Barclays savings assistant will then calculate how many months and/or years it will take for you to reach your goal.

Our methodology

To determine which big financial institutions offer high-yield savings accounts with the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed and compared the largest banks and/or credit unions by asset size and the high-yield savings accounts they offer. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY of at least 0.50%, zero monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and each account's compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.