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Banking

Earn more than 5% interest on your money: The best high-yield savings accounts of February 2024

CNBC Select reviewed dozens of high-yield savings accounts. Here are our top accounts with high APY.

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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 Select will update as changes are made public.

When it comes to building an emergency fund or saving up for a large expense, such as a down payment on a home, putting your money in a high-yield savings account can help you reach your goals quicker.

High-yield savings accounts reward you with higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts and your money grows even faster thanks to compound interest — which lets you earn interest on interest. The higher your annual percentage yield (APY), the faster your money grows and you get a better return than you would with a traditional savings account.

The national average APY on savings accounts is just 0.46%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). That's over 12 times less than the 5-plus percent APY and around 6% APY that the highest-yield savings accounts offer. And as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, banks are responding by paying out higher annual percentage yields, or APYs, to their customers.

To determine which high-yield savings accounts are the best overall, CNBC Select analyzed and compared dozens of savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We found that although most online banks don't have physical branch locations, they typically offer higher APYs, lower fees and overall better benefits than national brick-and-mortar banks.

When rating our top nine, we considered each account's APY, its ease of use, account accessibility, monthly fees and minimum balance requirements. The savings accounts selected offer an above-average APY to all customers (no matter their balance), are FDIC-insured, have zero monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best high-yield savings accounts.)

Best high-yield savings accounts

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Best overall

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    5.00%

  • Minimum balance

    No minimum balance requirement after $100.00 to open the account

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    None

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Free ATM card and no ATM fees

Cons

  • $100 minimum opening deposit required, though there's no minimum balance after that
  • No physical branch locations

Who's this for? The LendingClub High-Yield Savings account stands out for offering one of the highest returns on your money, charging no monthly maintenance fee and not having a minimum balance requirement. You just need an initial $100 deposit to open the account.

Unlike many savings accounts, LendingClub provides customers with a free ATM card and never charges any ATM fees. This makes it easy to access your savings account and withdraw money whenever you want. You can also use your funds to pay bills, send money to friends and family and make internal and external transfers.

To add money to your savings account at LendingClub, you can deposit cash at select ATMs, deposit checks via the mobile app, do a direct deposit, make an electronic transfer from an external bank or make a wire transfer.

Runner-up

UFB Secure Savings

UFB Secure Savings is offered by Axos Bank, a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Earn up to 5.25% APY

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    No max number of transactions; max transfer amounts may apply

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    Overdraft fees may be charged, according to the terms, but a specific amount is not specified; overdraft protection service available

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Free ATM card
  • Free transfers between direct deposit accounts
  • Online and SMS banking available
  • Mobile check deposits

Cons

  • No physical branch locations
  • Potential overdraft fee, though overdraft protection is offered

Who's this for? The UFB Secure Savings is ideal for anyone who wants to earn a high return, while also maintaining easy access to their cash.

The account charges no monthly fees, allows unlimited transfers and has no minimum deposits. Whether you deposit $1 or $1,000, you'll earn the same, high return.

As with the other banks on this list, UFB Direct is an online-only bank, and it is a division of Axos Bank. Although there are no physical branches, customers do get a free ATM card.

Best for earning a high APY

Western Alliance Bank Savings Account

Western Alliance Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    5.28% APY

  • Minimum balance

    $1 minimum deposit

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 transactions each month

  • Excessive transactions fee

    The bank may charge fees for non-sufficient funds

  • Overdraft fee

    No overdraft fee

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • Low minimum deposit required
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Bank may charge non-sufficient funds
  • Doesn't offer checking account or ATM access
  • Accounts are opened and managed on Raisin.com

Who's this for? The Western Alliance Bank Savings Account account is for anyone who's focused on maximizing their returns. With a 5.28% APY, it offers one of the highest interest rates currently available.

Western Alliance requires just a $1 minimum deposit to open an account and charges no monthly fees. Plus, there is no cap for offering this high APY.

Best for no fees

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.50% APY

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    At this time, there is no limit to the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make from your online savings account

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance or deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • No limit on withdrawals or transfers
  • Easy-to-use mobile banking app
  • Offers no-fee personal loans

Cons

  • Higher APYs offered elsewhere
  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Who's this for? Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings offers no fees whatsoever, no minimum deposits, and easy mobile access. It's the most straightforward savings account to use when all you want to do is grow your money with zero conditions attached.

The Marcus account also stands out thanks to its mobile banking app, which is simple to use and allows you to set up recurring deposits, track your savings goals and see how much interest you've earned this year. The bank's U.S.-based contact center is open 24/7 for live customer support over the phone or through online chat.

Account holders can withdraw money from their Marcus savings account online and by phone through ACH or by free wire transfer to a linked account at another bank. You can also request a withdrawal by check mailed to you.

To add money to your account, you can transfer funds, make direct deposit payments, deposit a check or make a wire transfer. Marcus doesn't charge a fee if you link other bank accounts for incoming and outgoing transfers, but keep in mind that your other bank might.

Best for checking/savings combo

Ally Bank Savings Account

Ally Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.35% APY

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Unlimited withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    $10 per transaction

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have an Ally checking account

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance or deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited withdrawals or transfers
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access

Cons

  • Higher APYs offered elsewhere
  • $10 excessive transactions fee

Who's this for? Ally is a good choice for anyone looking to do all their banking in one place. While the Ally Savings Account is a good high-yield account on its own, account holders can enjoy even more benefits if they also have an Ally Bank Spending Account (Ally's checking product).

In addition to a solid APY, no minimum account balance and no monthly maintenance fees, an Ally checking and savings account also gives you access to over 43,000 free Allpoint® ATMs, making it easy to withdraw cash when you need to. If you only have an online savings account, you won't have access to a debit card.

If you use an out-of-network ATM, Ally doesn't charge a fee and if the ATM provider does, Ally will reimburse those fees up to $10 per month.

Not all online banks also offer a checking account option. Saving your money with a bank that doesn't offer a checking account means you would have to transfer your money between banks, which could take a couple of days. By law, account holders with Ally can withdraw or transfer money online up to six times per month with no penalty. After, Ally charges $10 per transfer. You can also call the bank to request a mailed check, which doesn't count as one of your six transactions.

You can't deposit cash in your Ally savings account, which is standard for many online banks, but you can deposit checks remotely with eCheck Deposit on the mobile app. Account holders can organize their saving goals by creating up to 10 different "buckets" within the same savings account. For example, you can create a designated fund for a "Future Vacation" and another for "Emergency Savings."

Ally is also a consumer favorite because of its easy-to-use mobile app and 24/7 live customer service that is available over the phone, through online chat or on the Ally mobile app. 

Best for easy access to your cash

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.75% APY

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance or deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy ATM access

Cons

  • No option to add a checking account

Who's this for? Withdrawing money is quick and easy when you have a Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account. There is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees and a strong APY. But what makes this account stand out is its convenient withdrawal options.

Synchrony Bank offers an optional ATM card to its savings account holders. You can access your money by ATM, wire transfer (up to three free per statement cycle) or through an electronic transfer to or from accounts you have at other banks.

Though you are limited to six free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle, Synchrony Bank allows you to conduct unlimited transactions at an ATM. The bank won't charge an ATM fee, but the ATM provider may. For these charges, Synchrony Bank refunds ATM fees in the U.S. up to $5 per statement cycle.

Still, you should be wary of how much you withdraw from an ATM because the fees, even with a $5 refund, can add up. According to Bankrate, ATM operators charge customers an average fee of $3.15. Just going to the ATM twice in one month would already put you over the refundable amount.

To deposit money into your savings account at Synchrony Bank, you can make an electronic transfer from an external bank account that you've linked, do a direct deposit, make a wire transfer, mail a check or use the bank's mobile app to deposit a check.

Synchrony Bank's customer service line is available seven days a week by phone or online chat, as well as 24/7 through its app so you can manage your account on the go. Additional customer perks include complimentary identity theft assistance, travel discounts and free webinars.

Best for earning airline miles

Bask Mileage Savings Account

Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Earn 2.5 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles for every $1 saved annually instead of interest.

  • 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

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles instead of cash
  • No minimum balance 
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Who's this for? If you want to maximize your interest-earning potential, consider Bask Bank. The Bask Bank Interest Savings Account offers a very respectable 5.10% APY to all savings account holders.

Here's the kicker: If you're a frequent traveler, you can opt for the Bask Bank Mileage Savings Account to earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles back instead. With the mileage savings account, you'll earn 2.5 miles for every $1 saved annually. You can use these miles for flights on American Airlines or any of its 20+ partner airlines. So, you can effectively fund your next vacation without any spending.

The accounts offer no monthly fees and no minimum deposits. Just note that the bank may close your account if it remains unfunded for 15 business days. Bask Bank is a division of Texas Capital Bank, but operates completely online.

Best for welcome bonus

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Members with direct deposit earn 4.60% APY on savings, no minimum balance needed. Members without direct deposit earn 1.20% APY on savings balances, and everyone earns 0.50% APY on checking balances.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $300 welcome bonus when you direct deposit a total of $5,000 or more within 25 days of your first direct deposit. Get a $50 welcome bonus when you direct deposit between $1,000 and $4,999.99 within 25 days of your first direct deposit.

  • Fees

    No monthly fee and no excessive transaction fees.

  • No-fee overdraft protection

    No-fee Overdraft Coverage up to $50 for SoFi members with $1,000 or more in total monthly direct deposits. Purchases exceeding $50 are declined.

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, this account offers a debit card that allows purchases and ATM withdrawals. Additionally, the card offers up to 15% cash back on purchases made at select local retailers. Terms apply.

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes, bundled with savings account.

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle. Transaction amount limits apply.

Pros

  • A welcome bonus of $300 with direct deposit totaling $5,000 or more within 25 days of your first direct deposit. Or a welcome bonus of $50 with direct deposit totaling between $1,000 and $4,999.99 within 25 days of your first direct deposit
  • Strong 4.60% APY with direct deposit
  • Get up to 15% cash back at select local establishments when making purchases with the debit card
  • No minimum balance or deposit needed
  • No monthly fees
  • Comes with checking account and ATM access
  • Receive your pay check in your account up 2 days early automatically when set up direct deposit
  • Save change automatically with Roundups and set savings goals with Vaults
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • FDIC insurance up to $2 million through the SoFi Insured Deposit Program

Cons

  • Non-direct deposit APYs are low compared to other high-yield savings accounts
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
  • No physical branches

Who's this for? The SoFi Checkings and Savings account stands out for offering a valuable welcome bonus after you set up and receive direct deposit payments. You can earn up to $300 with direct deposit.

The account also gives you a solid return. The only caveat is that you must opt-in to direct deposit to get the maximum interest, which is 4.60% APY*. Without direct deposit, it lowers to 1.20% APY.

In addition, the account comes with a debit card that has fee-free ATM access through the Allpoint® Network, which has over 55,000 locations across the country. And while paying with a debit card can sometimes lack rewards, you can get up to 15% cash back when you use your card at specific merchants.

And if you're looking to fully immerse yourself in the fintech/online bank space, SoFi offers a variety of financial products, including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, auto loans and more.

Best if you want extra help saving

Varo Savings Account

Bank Account Services are provided by Varo Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Begin earning 3.00% APY and qualify to earn 5.00% APY if meet requirements

  • Minimum balance

    $0.01 to earn interest

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Varo Bank Account

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY and option to earn even higher
  • No minimum deposit and low minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access
  • Offers 2 programs to help automate your savings

Cons

  • Have to meet requirements to earn higher APY
  • Cash deposits are only available through third-party services, which charge a fee

Who's this for? Varo is an all-mobile national bank, so for those looking to save and who don't mind banking entirely over the phone or online, the Varo Savings Account is a good option.

Varo offers a 3.00% APY to all savings account holders, as well as a checking account option. Neither accounts require minimum balances to open and neither charges monthly maintenance fees. 

Varo stands out because of its uniquely tiered APY program that encourages you to save more. While you can take advantage of a 3.00% APY regardless of your account balance, you can earn up to 5.00% APY if you meet certain monthly requirements: Account holders must make a minimum of five purchases using their Varo Visa® Debit Card, have direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month and keep a savings account balance no higher than $5,000 (there is no minimum balance) all in the same month.

For those who want extra help saving, the online bank offers two programs that automatically transfer money from your Varo bank account to your savings account: Save Your Pay, which transfers a percentage of your paycheck into your savings, and Save Your Change, which rounds up your checking account transactions to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to your savings.

Varo also offers an ATM network with no fees (as well as no penalty for overdrafts up to $50). For any cash deposits, note that Varo only makes these available through third-party services, which may charge a fee.

Find the best savings account for you: Help your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you.

What is a high-yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account is like a normal savings account but offers a higher interest rate, or APY, on one's cash. With a higher APY, your money grows faster as it sits in your account. Note, however, that these offered interest rates are variable, meaning they can go up or down at any time.

Not only does your money earn a better return in a high-yield savings account than in traditional savings, but you still have access to your cash when you need it as you would in a normal savings account. Your money in a high-yield savings account is federally insured by the FDIC, which means that deposits up to $250,000 are protected if the bank were to suddenly collapse.

Common high-yield terms you should know

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): The amount of interest an account earns in a year.
  • ACH transfer: When you want to make small and frequent payments electronically (direct deposit, automated bill payments, etc.); typically always free but usually takes at least one business day to complete the transfer.
  • Wire transfer: When you want to move funds from one bank account to another and have the money be available for use in the same business day; banks usually charge a fee.
  • Mobile deposit: Instead of going to the bank to deposit a check, you can use your mobile banking app to scan a photo of the check and have the funds immediately deposited into your account. It can sometimes take a day or two for the funds to be accessible.
  • ATM networks: ATMs can either be in-service or out-of-network, depending on which bank you have. When you make a transaction at an ATM that is outside your bank's network, then a fee will most likely be applied by both the ATM operator and your bank.

FAQs

The main difference between high-yield savings accounts and traditional savings accounts is that high-yield savings accounts offer higher interest rates, which in turn allow your money to grow faster. Also, unlike traditional savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts are generally offered by online banks that don't have physical branch locations.

High-yield savings accounts, by nature, offer higher returns largely because they operate solely online. They do this because of the savings they get by not having to pay for overhead costs that traditionally come with operating physical branches, such as the cost of real estate and the additional workers to work in those branches.

While online savings accounts offer some of the highest APYs, it's also more tedious to access your money than banking at a brick-and-mortar institution, since you'll usually have to transfer to a checking account to use your money. This is arguably a good thing if you're trying to grow your emergency savings, as you won't have easy access to withdraw from the account.

While it may seem nerve-wracking to have limited access to your savings, one of the big reasons to put your emergency fund into a high-yield account is to watch it grow. The higher your account balance is, the more money you will earn in compound interest over time.

Interest rates on high-yield savings accounts are variable and can fluctuate at any time. In general, savings rates change every few months after a Fed committee meets to adjust the federal funds rate.

High-yield savings rates are increasing. Rates increased throughout 2023 as the Fed raised its benchmark rate in an effort to tamper with inflation. We've seen this reflected in high-yield savings accounts' APYs, which are now around 5% to even 6% APY. And, as of now, interest rates are poised to increase even more throughout the rest of the year.

There's a near-zero risk of capital loss when you open a savings account at an FDIC-insured bank, as your account is insured for up to $250,000. Interest rates may decrease, but your cash will not. Theoretically, your money would lose value if the inflation rate is higher than your APY, but that's no different than a traditional savings account. So, opening a high-yield savings account is safe and worth considering.

You can withdraw funds from a high-yield savings account like you can a traditional savings account.

It used to be a rule that consumers could only withdraw or transfer cash out of a high-yield savings account up to six times per month without paying any fees. However, since the pandemic this rule has ended and it is now up to each bank's discretion to choose how often savers can withdraw. Most banks have stuck to this six-times-per-month rule, while others let you make unlimited withdrawals at no cost.

Interest accrued on a high-yield savings account is taxed as ordinary income. You must report the interest on your tax return for any account that earned more than $10 in one year.

The biggest con of high-yield savings accounts is that though they offer high interest rates, those rates can fluctuate at any time. Withdrawing money may also be a slightly slower process as only a few high-yield savings accounts offer ATM cards. And, if you care about in-person banking, most of the online high-yield savings account banks don't have physical locations.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every high-yield savings account review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of banking products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best savings accounts.

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an above-average APY, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or 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 the money you already had in an account at that bank.

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Information about the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication.

* SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.60% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn up to 1.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 12/12/23. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Chime
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Terms Apply
Chime offers online-only accounts that minimize fees plus, get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposits
Find the right savings account for you
Learn More
Terms Apply
Help your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you