How Can You Earn the Most Interest on Your Money?
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle reasoned that the primary purpose of money was as a medium of exchange for goods and services.
Those of us living in the 21st century know that money serves many more functions, including the ability to earn more money on savings and other types of interest-bearing accounts.
With a bit of planning and moving money into suitable types of accounts, you could grow your savings with minimal additional effort. Let’s take a closer look at the types of accounts that allow savers to earn the most interest with the lowest risk.
Finance 101: High Risk vs Low Risk
There are many ways to grow your money; however, some involve much more financial risk than others.
Financial risk is the danger of losing your money. Sure, you can invest in the stock market and potentially reap greater rewards, but that opportunity comes with increased financial risk.
Look at the four-year run of one of the nation’s most well-known electric vehicle manufacturers. If you bought its shares at a peak price of $60 in 2020, you were over the moon when it skyrocketed to over $400 in 2022. However, if you were late to the party and jumped in during 2022, you cried in your coffee after the share price plummeted to $113 in early January 2023.
There are savings and financial products that allow you to avoid those types of wild market swings over which you have zero control. You won’t have the potential to gain double-digit returns on your capital, but you’ll enjoy dependable returns with significantly reduced financial risk.
Low-risk financial products include high-yield savings, money market and rewards checking accounts, and certificates of deposit.
These accounts are all guaranteed up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, making them among the most risk-averse savings products available.
The primary risk involved with these types of accounts is that the interest they pay won’t keep up with inflation — a genuine issue over the past few years of burgeoning inflation.
Which Banks Have the Best CD Rates?
Hundreds of banks offer CDs, and there’s fierce competition among them to offer the best rates. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best CD accounts to help you find the ones that best fit your financial goals.
Accounts for Earning the Most Interest
Banks and credit unions offer different interest-bearing accounts where savers can grow their money while managing financial risk. Interest rates on these products may be similar, but account features are drastically different.
Below, we’ve highlighted four common types of financial products where you can earn the most interest on your money.
Certificate of Deposit
Certificates of Deposit, or CDs for short, deliver fixed interest rates over a predetermined length of time, called the term.
Short-term CDs are either one, three, or six months. Long-term CDs range from 12-60 months.
Interest rates are usually higher for longer-term CDs because you must commit to having your money tied up in the CD for a more extended period.
There are several different types of CDs, and each serves a slightly different function:
- Traditional CDs deliver a fixed interest rate over a fixed term
- High-yield CDs offer higher interest rates, usually with the caveat of longer terms
- Jumbo CDs have much higher minimum investment amounts, which typically start around $100,000
- Add-on CDs allow you to put additional funds into the CD after your initial purchase
- Liquid CDs don’t penalize savers for early withdrawal, but the tradeoff is lower interest rates
- Certificates of deposit are backed by the FDIC up to $250,000, so risk is virtually nonexistent.
- CDs may offer a better rate of return than similar financial products.
- Shorter-term CDs don’t return as much interest as longer-term CDs.
- Illiquidity and early withdrawal penalties.
Why CDs Are One of the Best Ways to Earn More Interest
Certificates of deposit offer guaranteed returns and fixed maturity dates, so you know precisely how much yield you’ll receive and when you’ll get it before buying a CD.
You’ve got hundreds, if not thousands, of CDs to choose from, but you may not be sure where to start looking for one that suits you best. Banks are in heavy competition to offer the best rates, and here are a few to get you started on your search.
Barclays Online CD
- There’s no minimum deposit for a Barclays Bank CD.
- Barclays offers highly competitive rates.
- Barclays CDs are available in 6 terms, from 12 to 60 months.
Quontic Bank CD
- Minimum deposit of $500 for a Quontic Bank CD.
- Higher than average interest rates.
- 5 terms are available, starting at 6 months.
- Offers some of the best rates available.
- Forbright strives to support sustainable business practices
- Minimum deposit of $1,000
High-yield savings accounts work like regular ones but offer significantly higher interest rates.
Interest rates on traditional savings accounts are usually so meager as to be virtually meaningless. The national rate in early 2024 was .46%. Many financial institutions have high-yield savings accounts offering north of 4% annual yield (APY).
- Significantly higher interest rates than standard savings accounts.
- Ability to withdraw funds at any time.
- Interest rates can fluctuate and impact yield.
- May have a cap on deposit amounts and transfer limits.
- Best interest rates are usually offered at online-only banks.
Why High-Yield Savings Accounts Are One of the Best Ways to Earn More Interest
Parking money into a high-yield savings account is a great way to tap into a substantial interest rate with minimal risk. It’s a great way to meet short-term savings goals, such as creating additional liquidity for an upcoming vacation or modest expense.
Savings account interest rates are higher than they’ve been in years, but not all banks are offering such stellar rates. Here are a few offering above-average rates to help you get started on your search.
SoFi Checking and Savings
- Competitive interest rate.
- Checking and savings are linked and must be opened together.
- Bonus for signing up for direct deposit.
Bask Bank Savings
- One of the highest APYs available.
- $0 minimum for APY.
- Link up to two external accounts with your Bask savings account.
Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings
- Synchrony offers a consistently competitive interest rate yield.
- Access to your account via ATM with some fees reimbursed.
- No minimum deposit.
Money Market Account
Banks and credit unions also offer interest-bearing money market accounts, which are similar to a savings account but include the features of a checking account.
- Offers higher interest rates than savings accounts.
- It comes with check-writing privileges and a debit card for point-of-sale purchases.
- Typically requires a larger minimum opening balance.
- Must maintain a certain balance threshold. Interest rates can fluctuate.
- Higher fees and limited transactions.
Why Money Market Accounts Are One of the Best Ways to Earn More Interest
Money market accounts, like high-yield savings accounts, are a great place to park additional liquidity to meet short-term savings goals. Here are a few to get you started on your search for the best money market account.
UBF Direct Money Market
- No minimum deposit is required with the UFB MMA.
- Highly competitive rate.
- Check writing privileges.
U.S. Bank Money Market
- The U.S. Bank money market account has tiered interest rates.
- Check-writing privileges
- Access your money through one of the biggest ATM networks in the U.S.
CIT Bank Money Market
- $100 minimum opening deposit.
- Remote check deposit.
- Above-average interest rate.
Rewards Checking Account
Rewards checking accounts function like traditional checking accounts, but account holders get incentives such as higher interest, airline miles, ATM fee reimbursement, cash back, initial cash bonus, and other rewards. The perks depend on the financial institution. Local and regional banks and credit unions offer rewards checking accounts, so deposited funds benefit local communities.
- Ability to earn higher interest than standard checking accounts.
- Monthly fees can be waived by meeting certain conditions.
- Best for customers with a strong banking history.
- May require specific minimum requirements, such as a certain number of debit card transactions or automatic transfers, to waive monthly fees.
- Higher interest rates are typically capped at certain balance thresholds, such as $15,000 or $25,000.
- If account holders don’t meet minimum monthly requirements, such as a certain number of transactions, they may not earn any rewards for that statement period.
Why Rewards Checking Accounts Are One of the Best Ways to Earn More Interest
Banking is synonymous with adulting. People use their checking accounts to pay bills, mortgages, utilities, and more. A rewards checking account provides a kickback in the form of higher interest or cash rewards for routine banking transactions that most people make daily.
Get started on your search for rewards checking by looking at these accounts.
Discover® Cashback Debit
- Earn cashback rewards on debit purchases.
- Access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S.
- No monthly fees, no balance or activity requirements.
- Above-average interest rates.
- Zero overdraft fees.
- Current does not charge monthly fees.
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
- Sign-up bonus.
- Axos Bank offers a very competitive interest rate on its checking account.
- Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit.
3 More Ways to Earn the Most Interest on Your Money
We’ve covered four of the best ways to earn interest on your money with minimal financial risk. However, these strategies aren’t the only way to increase your wealth. Here are three additional ways to earn the most interest on your money.
Invest in Public Equities
Public equities involve purchasing ownership in publicly traded companies by buying shares of their common stock. There is a range of different stock options from which to choose — and each carries an extra level of financial risk.
These are usually the most stable stocks since the companies have been in business for decades or even a century or longer and are industry leaders in their market segments. They often better withstand market downturns than other types of stocks.
Think startups and unicorns (businesses with a valuation of $1 billion or higher). Returns may be high, but so is risk.
Typically available at lower share price than other types of stock.
Income stocks pay regular dividends. They usually are publicly traded energy companies, real estate investment trusts, and financial institutions.
Get Savings Bonds
The federal government or corporations issue bonds to raise money. The U.S. Department of the Treasury currently sells two kinds of bonds:
- Series EE savings bonds offer a 2.7% interest rate.
- Series I Savings bonds offer a 5.27% interest rate.
Buy Treasury Bonds
The U.S. Treasury offers treasury bonds in $100 increments with 20- or 30-year terms. Interest rates could be as high as 4.75%. Interest is paid every six months.
Putting It All Together
There are many ways to boost your wealth by earning interest on your money.
Money markets, rewards checking, high-yield savings accounts, and certificates of deposit have minimal risk and offer predictable returns.
U.S. Treasury bonds also provide a virtually risk-free environment, whereas other strategies for earning interest may increase your exposure to financial risk and result in loss of capital.