Best Savings Accounts of October 2021

Savings accounts are a great place to park money you need access to quickly. Could you be earning more with a high-interest savings account?
By Richard Barrington

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Savings account rates are on the move. That can make finding a high-interest savings account tricky.

Here’s a tip, though:

Open an account with one of these banks, and chasing the best savings account interest rates becomes a thing of the past.

MoneyRates.com makes it easy to start earning more money. We continually monitor the banking industry to identify some of the best high-interest savings accounts, and then we feature them here on this page.

Here’s a quick list, but read on to learn why savings accounts are worth it and how to take advantage of banking trends – even in an environment where finding a high-interest savings account takes more effort.

Which Banks Have the Best Savings Account Rates?

Finding the bank with the best savings account to meet your needs is as simple as using our search tool. Try it now and find your high-interest savings account.

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Best Savings Accounts With Consistent Rates: Editorial Reviews

A high-interest savings account is great if you can count on the rate to stay high. Rates are not guaranteed, but the best banks for savings accounts tend to offer consistently higher rates on savings accounts.

Earn the Best Savings Account Interest Rates

The latest survey of savings account rates showed a decline in the interest rates banks are paying to savings account holders. Yet, most bank customers can still earn much more interest on their savings just by opening an account at one of the banks with consistently high rates.

The following select banks deserve your attention because you can earn up to five times more interest with a high-yield savings account from one of these banks than with the average savings account. By moving your savings from an average, branch-based account at a large, national bank to one of the best banks for a savings account, you can earn more interest.

Each of the banks below rank highly on our America’s Best Rates survey, which finds high-interest savings accounts by averaging account APYs over an entire quarter.

The winners of the survey are the banks that changed their interest rates the least of all in the industry, giving customers confidence that their deposits are earning the most they can day after day in a high-interest savings account.

SFGI Direct Savings Account

It’s not a fluke that SFGI Direct places high on MoneyRates’ list of best savings accounts. No matter how the economic tide turns, SFGI Direct manages to offer industry-leading rates. It’s consistency as a high-interest savings account provider drives confidence – and SFGI Direct has it hands down.

Pros Cons
  • One of the highest APYs offered by any online savings account
  • You need at least $500 to open a savings account online
  • No monthly service charge or minimum-balance fee
  • Quick and easy online-account setup

Type of account: Online high-interest savings account

About the bank

SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank, which has locations in West Virginia and Virginia. It is FDIC-insured.

Key features

Simply put, consistent high-interest savings account rates and low fees are the best features of the SFGI Direct Savings Account.

Read SFGI Direct Savings Account Review

UFB Direct Savings Account

If you’ve got at least $10,000 to deposit, UFB Direct offers a high-interest savings account that could keep you quite happy over the long haul. But until you reach that threshold, it’s best to look at other options.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on balances of $10,000 or more
  • The APY on balances below $10,000 is 0%
  • No monthly maintenance or service fees
  • ATM fees from other banks may apply
  • Complimentary ATM card

Type of account: Online high-interest savings account

About the bank

UFB Direct is a division of Axos Bank, which was founded in 2000 and is located in San Diego, California. It is FDIC-insured.

Key features

Even though rates have dropped significantly, the UFB Direct Savings Account offered the highest APY in the America’s Best Rates survey over the entire quarter. It offers the convenience of online banking, including access anywhere you can go online and 24/7 service.

Read UFB Direct Savings Account Review

BankFive

During a period of serious economic headwinds, BankFive maintained the highest savings account interest rates over the entire quarter. BankFive is a small, regional bank based in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but its eAccess Savings is an online savings account.

Funds are 100% insured

BankFive’s offerings don’t stop at savings accounts, though. Its real strength is that all BankFive accounts (checking, saving, money market, and CDs) are 100% insured. BankFive is a member bank of both the FDIC and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). So the FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000 and the DIF insures amounts beyond the FDIC limits. There is no limit to the amount of coverage above the FDIC’s $250,000 limit. That’s a huge perk if you have large sums of money to keep safe.

Pros Cons
  • One of the highest APYs offered by any online savings account
  • A $5 fee is charged if you make deposits at a branch
  • Deposits are 100% insured
  • Unlimited mobile deposits

Type of account: Online high-interest savings account

About the bank

BankFive was founded in 1855 as Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank. It has locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but also operates online. It is FDIC-insured and DIF-insured.

Key features

Simply put, consistently high interest rates and 100% protection are the best features of the BankFive eAccess Savings account. BankFive also offers a robust banking app for iPhone and android and a special savings program for kids called the Nickles savings account.

Ally Savings Account

With online availability and no minimum to open an account, the Ally online savings account gives consumers around the country access to a Top-10 America’s Best Rates savings account.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on all balances without tiers
  • No branch access
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • Free online banking and mobile app account access

Type of account: Online high-yield savings account

About the bank

Ally Bank operates out of Sandy, Utah and has one physical location. It was established in 2004 and is FDIC-insured.

Key features

The highly competitive interest rate applies to all balances, and Ally offers mobile deposit and other ways to manage your high-interest savings account efficiently online. Ally also offers money market accounts, CDs of varying lengths, and even an interest-bearing checking account. Ally offers a cool feature on its mobile app where you can visualize your savings as being in “buckets” depending on what you’re saving for.

Read Ally Online Savings Account Review

American Express High-Yield Savings Account

Most people know American Express® for its personal and business credit cards, but it also has the American Express High-Yield Savings Account which offers savers a dependable solid return.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive annual percentage Yyield on all balances, no tiered rates
  • No ATM or debit card to withdraw cash
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • Link up to three external accounts to transfer funds

Type of account: Online high-yield savings account

About the bank

American Express National Bank (Member FDIC) was established in 1989 and has one domestic branch at its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Key features

The American Express High-Yield Savings Account serves its savings account customers with a high interest rate and no fees. The high-yield savings account can be linked to up to three external accounts to facilitate transfers in and out of your savings.

Read American Express High Yield Savings Account Review

Marcus Goldman Sachs High-Yield Savings Account

Goldman Sachs Bank USA offers the Marcus High-Yield Savings Account, which is consistently among the best of the online high-interest savings account offerings.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on balances without tiers
  • No mobile check deposit
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • Manage your account online and with free mobile app

Type of account: Online high-yield savings account

About the bank

Goldman Sachs Bank USA was established in 1990. The FDIC reports six branches for the bank, but only three are full-service, brick-and-mortar branches.

Key features

The Marcus High-Yield Savings Account features a competitive interest rate, no fees, and it’s easy to open and manage your account. Electronic funds transfer and direct deposit are available too.

Read Marcus High-Yield Savings Account Review

Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account

Synchrony Bank USA offers another option for savers with its competitive interest rates. The Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account also keeps fees low, even refunding up to $5 in domestic ATM fees every month.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on balances
  • Checking accounts are not available
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • ATM access to your savings

Type of account: Online high-yield savings account

About the bank

Synchrony Bank is based out of Draper, Utah and has one full-service, brick-and-mortar branch at that location. It was established in 1988.

Key features

The Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account offers all of the common best features of those listed here – a competitive interest rate, no fees, and it’s easy to open and manage your high-interest savings account. One feature that isn’t common among these banks is you can get an ATM card that charges no ATM fees, although fees may be charged by the bank that owns the ATM machine you use. But even then, Synchrony refunds up to $5 in ATM fees every statement cycle for eligible Synchrony savers.

Read Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account Review

Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account

The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account is not only offered online, but also at branches all over the nation. So the fact that its interest rate is consistently among the highest in the industry is rather unusual. It’s easy to open an account and start saving, plus there are no fees to worry about.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on balances
  • No ATM access for withdrawals
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • No minimum to open an account

Type of account: Online high-interest savings account

About the bank

Capital One Bank is based in McLean, Virginia, and was established in 1933.

Key features

The best features of the Capital One 360 Performance Savings account are the high interest rate, no fees, and branch locations across the country.

Read Capital One 360 Performance Savings Review

Barclays Savings Account

Barclays Bank is another large bank that keeps its online high-interest savings account in the competitive range. It offers the Barclays Online Savings Account, which maintains a low fee structure in addition to its higher interest rates.

Pros Cons
  • Competitive APY on balances
  • No ATM access available
  • No monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees
  • Mobile deposit and convenient mobile apps

Type of account: Online high-yield savings account

About the bank

Barclays Bank is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, with roots back to London that go back more than 300 years. It was established in 2001 in the U.S.

Key features

The Barclays Online Savings Account consistently offers one of the most competitive rates combined with no fees, and it’s also easy to open and manage your account. Adding to your high-interest savings account is easy to do with online mobile apps and mobile deposit.

Read Barclays Online Savings Account Review

How We Chose the Best High-Interest Savings Accounts and Banks

At any point in time, it’s fairly easy to identify the best high-interest savings accounts. MoneyRates regularly updates a large list of savings account rates.

The problem is that savings account rates can also change at any time. There is no guarantee that the best banks for savings accounts with the best rate on the day you sign up for a bank account will continue to have the best rate in the months ahead.

However, a series of interest-rate studies by MoneyRates has shown over the years that most of the banks that are near the top in savings account rates tend to stay there quarter after quarter, year after year. Sure, some newcomers enter the scene and occasionally one of the leaders drops back, but most of the strong high-interest savings account performers continue to offer competitive rates consistently.

For this reason, MoneyRates.com continuously monitors rates from hundreds of banks and tracks banking trends by measuring rates in a representative cross-section of the banking industry through its America’s Best Rates survey. This cross-section includes 50 of the largest deposit institutions in the United States and represents nearly three-quarters of all deposits in U.S. banks.

The best savings accounts with consistently high rates are chosen from the top ten banks in the America’s Best Rates survey every quarter.

Are Savings Accounts Worth It?

Yes, they are. High-interest savings accounts are a great place to park your emergency fund, which is money you can access fairly quickly and easily. You don’t want to put your emergency fund in an investment, because with the daily fluctuations of the market, even in conservative investments, you sometimes must wait to recoup your money when there’s a dip in the market.

A high-interest savings account is also a good place to stash money you’ll need within the next few years for a down payment on a house, a new car, or even a new addition to the family. Even if not used for an emergency, if it’s money you’ll need within the next five years or so, a savings account is useful.

If you have a hard time saving money, a high-yield savings account separate from your other accounts could help. An online high-interest savings account can still give you fast and easy access to your money, but you may not be as tempted to spend it.

Here are three reasons why high-interest savings accounts are worth it:

  • You can think of a savings account like a holding pen for your money.
  • While savings account interest rates have declined over the years, a high-yield savings account will still earn you money with your money, something you typically won’t see with a checking account.
  • Savings accounts are usually free or very low cost. Fees are waived in many instances, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to open one.

Taking Advantage of Savings Account Trends

A clear trend that the America’s Best Rates survey has identified is a large gap between the average savings account rate and the rates offered by the best banks for savings accounts. That gap varies, but it has been as much as 1% in recent months.

This wide gap between the best and average rate means there is plenty of room for most savings account customers to improve their interest rate by putting their money in a high-interest savings account, since most savers earn something closer to the average than to the top rate.

If you’re among those whose savings earn next to nothing, this means you could actually raise your rate while most people earn less. All you have to do is find a high-interest savings account and transfer your funds. It’s one of the simplest ways you can make more money this year.

The online-banking trend pays

You can take advantage of another savings account trend by switching from a traditional bank to an online bank.

A good place to find high-interest savings accounts is with online accounts. Throughout the entire history of the America’s Best Rates study, online savings accounts have earned higher interest rates than traditional, branch-based accounts. As of the most recent study, online accounts were earning 17 times more than branch-based accounts.

Consistency is the trend that counts

While savings account rates change all the time, the list of banks with the highest rates stays remarkably consistent. This consistency means that shopping for rates doesn’t mean changing banks constantly. If you switch to one of the high-yield savings accounts, chances are you’ll be near the top for some time to come.

What to Consider Before Opening a Savings Account

You might find a high-yield savings account either online or at your local bank branch. Naturally, the idea of a high-interest savings account sounds good, but here are four things you should check on before you open one:

Legitimacy of the financial institution

Is your bank or credit union well-established and does it have a great reputation for customer service?

Extent of FDIC insurance coverage

Make sure the institution is insured by the FDIC. If you qualify for a high-yield savings account for making a large deposit, make sure the amount does not put you over the FDIC insurance limit, which is currently $250,000 per depositor, per institution.

Restrictions on access to your money

A high-interest savings account may limit how often you can access your money. If you can live with those limitations, take advantage of that strong yield. But if not, look for a savings account that offers looser restrictions.

Should you get an ATM card?

Some accounts offer the option for an ATM card, including online savings accounts. This may sound like a nice perk, but before you opt for one, ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Would easier access result in more spending?If this account is for savings, is having easier access to your money going to hurt your savings habits?
  • Are you sacrificing a higher interest rate for the ATM card?

    If so, you might be better off with a conventional checking account for your short-term funds, while finding a high-interest savings account or money market account for your long-term savings.

3 Savings Account Options and Levels of Liquidity

It is important to figure out precisely what you mean when you say you want to keep the money liquid. Is the liquidity need a short-term certainty, or just a possibility that could occur sometime in the next few years? Will your liquidity need apply to all $40,000, or just a portion of it?

Depending on your answers, here are some options:

1. Savings account or money market account

If you need full liquidity at any time, a savings account or money market account with FDIC insurance coverage is the most appropriate option. These allow immediate access without penalty, do not fluctuate in value, and offer the security of FDIC insurance limits up to $250,000 per deposit, per covered institution for deposits.

2. A CD with a moderate early withdrawal penalty

The trade-off with certificates of deposit is that they typically offer higher interest rates than savings or money market accounts, in exchange for locking your money up for a specified period of time. If your liquidity need is at least several months in the future, and/or is only a slight possibility rather than a high probability, the extra yield you can earn on a CD might be worth risking the early-withdrawal penalty, especially if you can find a CD offering a relatively mild penalty.

3. A CD ladder

If your need for liquidity applies to only a portion of your $40,000, you might consider investing just that portion in a savings or money market account, while putting the remainder in long term CDs. If you anticipate a series of liquidity needs in the months or years to come, a corresponding series of CD terms with a CD ladder might give you the best combination of yield and liquidity.

Frequently Asked Questions

A savings account is money on deposit that earns interest. Savings accounts may be offered by banks or credit unions. Savings accounts are not designed for frequent transactions like bill payments, but represent a way to keep your money safely earning interest and available when you need it.

While you may use a checking account for paying regular expenses, a savings account is a good place to start accumulating money for future needs.

The advantage of having a savings account is that they typically earn more interest than checking accounts. Also, when you are trying to save money, it can help to have your savings kept separate from an account you are accessing regularly for living expenses.

Savings accounts are guaranteed by an insurance fund operated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), an agency of the U.S. government. Credit unions are also federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), not by the FDIC.

In each case, the insurance limit for each depositor at a given bank is $250,000 for individual accounts and $500,000 for joint accounts. You can increase your deposit insurance coverage above these amounts by having money on deposit at multiple banks.

You can take money out of a savings account at any time, but you are limited to six withdrawals per month.

A high-interest savings account is a good place to set aside money for needs you expect to arise within the next year or so, such as buying a car or making a down payment on a house. For long-term needs, you may want to consider a long-term CD because they typically offer more interest. For very long-term goals like saving for retirement, an investment account may be more appropriate because the opportunity for investment growth gives you a better chance of staying ahead of inflation.

Because you can access money in a high-yield savings account at any time, they are also a good place to put an emergency fund. An emergency fund is money you have set aside for unexpected needs.

Money market accounts have many of the same features as savings accounts, so it is a good idea to compare interest rates between savings and money market accounts to see which offers the highest rates. Another alternative is a CD, which could pay higher interest if you are confident you won’t need to access your money for a specific period of time.

In many ways, savings accounts are ideally suited to online banking. Online checking accounts can also be convenient, but given the frequent access to your money you are likely to want with a checking account, you are more likely to need to access your account via a branch or an ATM, which may not be available in your area if your bank is based online. In contrast, savings accounts generally require less frequent access, and online savings accounts can give you the tools to remain more up-to-date on your finances than if you had to wait for paper statements from a traditional account.

Because of the cost savings that online savings accounts represent to banks, you may find that these accounts offer the most competitive interest rates. That, more than in-person access, is really the key feature of a savings account.

There are some excellent online savings accounts available from banks that do business primarily via the Internet, but more and more traditional banks are also now offering extensive online capabilities. The bottom line is, you should include both Internet banks and traditional banks in your comparison of savings accounts, and this will give you the best chance of finding the best interest rates. Also, broaden out your search to include money market accounts, since these are generally very similar in character to savings accounts.

With any form of online banking, remember to use common sense security procedures. Keep sensitive information like account numbers closely guarded, and remember that it is probably much more secure to access your account from home than from a public Internet access point like a Wi-Fi hot spot.

If you are concerned with finding the best rates on savings accounts and money market accounts, the answer may well be “yes.”

First, consider some of the more qualitative pros and cons of online banking. You won’t have the kind of personal relationship you might develop with a local bank branch, and you might miss that if you depend on your bank for individualized advice and service.

On the other hand, for tech-savvy customers, great service might be defined more by having up-to-date information on their accounts available anywhere, anytime online. Of course, there are security concerns with online banking, but some sensible cautions can help reduce those risks. Frankly, banks keep all customer data electronically these days, so no customer is immune to the risk of electronic information theft.

When it comes to savings accounts or money market accounts, as opposed to a more transactions-oriented checking account or a more judgment-based lending relationship, the notion of old-fashioned personal service might not be as relevant anyway. After all, the idea is to put money in these accounts and largely leave it alone for a while.

So, taking personal service out of the equation to a large degree, the question with online savings accounts and money market accounts is whether they deliver in terms of higher rates. The answer in many cases seems to be “yes.” According to the MoneyRates.com analysis of America’s Best Rates, online banks were prominent among those consistently offering the best savings account and money market rates. So, at the very least, online banks are worth a look for these accounts.