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Reviews

Interest rates on high-yield savings accounts have dropped, but this bank's APY still outpaces others

CNBC Select reviews Vio Bank's High Yield Savings Account so you can decide if it's right for you.

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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.

It's no secret that savers are earning significantly less interest on their savings accounts than a year ago. Because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, interest rates across the board have dropped.

For high-yield savings accounts, banks are offering an annual percentage yield (APY) that's about half of what they were this time last year. But although rates have dipped, some online banks are trying to still outpace others. Vio Bank, the online division of MidFirst Bank, offers one of the highest APY rates for high-yield savings accounts.

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account ranked as the "best for earning a high APY" on CNBC Select's top high-yield savings account list because customers can currently earn 0.76% interest.

Below, we take a close look at the Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account by breaking down its annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account review

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account

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

    0.76%

  • Minimum balance

    $100 to open

  • Monthly fee

    None, if you opt for paperless statements (otherwise, $5 per month)

  • 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

    $10 per transaction

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No monthly fees, if you opt for paperless billing
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • Easy-to-use mobile banking app

Cons

  • $100 minimum balance to open account
  • $5 monthly maintenance fee, if you don't opt for paperless billing
  • $10 fee per transaction if you make more than 6 in a statement cycle
  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account APY

The current APY is 0.76%. Users of the Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account must make a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account and start earning interest.

Vio Bank compounds interest on your savings daily, like the best high-yield savings accounts mostly do. The APY offer reflects the total amount of interest that the account would earn over a year's time.

Access to your cash

Customers can complete and transfer funds internally between two Vio Bank savings accounts, and it's processed immediately. To transfer funds between a separate bank through an ACH transaction, account holders can use Vio's External Transfer Service (with external transfer limit of $25,000 per day and $100,000 per month). External transfers may take up to five business days to process.

Vio Bank customers can deposit cash into their account by mailing a check, depositing a check through Vio's mobile app (with limit of $100,000 per day and $250,000 per month) or via wire transfer.

Account holders can make any transactions (a deposit or a withdrawal) up to six times per month for free, as required by law. Note that this withdrawal limit is currently waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D, a federal law that limits the number of times deposit account holders can access their cash each month.

Perks

The biggest perk of the Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account is its higher-than-average APY offered.

Though it doesn't offer a checking account nor ATM network, it's a smart choice for savers if all they want to do is stash their cash and watch it grow.

Account holders can reach customer service easily by phone seven days of the week or through the live chat available on the bank's site.

Fees

There is a minimum $100 deposit required to open a Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account, which is lower than what some of the other high APY savings accounts require.

There are no additional monthly charges if you opt to go paperless. Otherwise, there's a $5 monthly fee for anyone receiving paper billing.

Vio Bank doesn't charge fees for incoming wire transfers (the cost for sending a domestic wire transfer is $30) or fees for outgoing or incoming external transfers.

You'll want to make sure you keep your account active because if you go 12 months without making any transactions (a deposit or a withdrawal), you will be charged a $5 dormant account fee every month.

Account holders are given the six free withdrawals per month as required by law (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D). After, Vio Bank charges $10 per transaction.

Bottom line

The Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account is popular amongst savers who are eager to earn a high interest rate on their cash set aside.

If the APY isn't as important as a factor for you, consider other high-yield savings accounts that offer additional perks. The Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings gives you easy access to your cash with an optional ATM card and the Ally Online Savings Account lets your create "buckets" to outline and organize your saving goals.

Learn more: Looking for a safe place to stash your cash? The pros and cons of keeping your money in a high-yield savings account

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 APY around 1%, 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 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.