America’s Best Rates 3rd Quarter 2020 – Savings, Money Market and CD Rates?

Even with interest rates falling, bank customers may have an opportunity to earn higher rates. Here's where to find the best interest rates on savings, money market, 1-year CD and 5-year CD accounts.
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  • Savings account interest rates have declined for six consecutive quarters, the longest losing streak in the eight-year history of the survey.
  • The best savings account rate was more than 24 times what you could get from one of the large, national banks.

Bank customers are taking a beating as interest rates fall.

Savings account rates have been falling for a record six consecutive quarters. As a result, they are now 0.25% lower than they were when they peaked in the first quarter of 2019.

Money market rates, 1-year CD rates and 5-year CD rates have all fallen sharply as well.

Falling rates translate into lost income for American consumers. However, there are ways to fight this trend and possibly get more interest out of your bank accounts – even as rates are falling.

That’s because huge gaps still exist between the best rates offered in each category and the average. Here’s a summary of the latest bank deposit account rates:

Rate Type Savings Accounts 5-Year CDs
3rd Quarter 2020 Average 0.19% 0.54%
3rd Quarter 2020 Top Rate 0.99% 1.20%
Average Online Rate 0.59% 0.77%
Average Branch-Based Rate 0.04% 0.45%

Shopping around can earn you an above-average rate, and most likely a higher rate than you have now.

In particular, avoiding the very largest national banks is an essential strategy for this low-interest-rate environment. The four largest banks in this survey all offered savings account rates that were well below average. Those large account rates represented just a small fraction of the best rates available.

This article details where to find the best rates for savings accounts, money market accounts, 1-year CDs and 5-CDs. It also discusses recent trends in each category.

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.

America’s Best Savings Account Rates: 3rd Quarter 2020

The following were the ten best average savings account rates during the 3rd quarter of 2020:

America’s Best Savings Account Rates: 3rd Quarter, 2020


2020 Q3 Avg. APY

1st place BankFive 0.99%
2nd place SFGI Direct 0.97%
3rd place Axos Bank 0.96%
4th place Ally Bank 0.92%
5th place Salem Five Direct 0.90%
6th place American Express National Bank 0.88%
7th place Marcus by Goldman Sachs 0.85%
8th place Synchrony Bank 0.85%
9th place Discover Bank varies

Rates in the above list that appear to be tied were actually separated by a small fraction of a percent.

Average savings account rate: 0.192%

The average savings account rate fell by 0.082% in the third quarter.

While that may seem minuscule, it was the sixth consecutive quarter during which the average savings account rate declined. This represents a steady drop in interest for savings account customers.

What to watch in this environment

With savings account fees falling to a fraction of 1%, it is especially important to watch out for maintenance fees on savings accounts.

Not all savings accounts charge these monthly fees, but they have become fairly common. With interest rates so low, these fees could more than wipe out any interest earned on a savings account.

You can fight these trends by shopping for a better savings account deal. The top savings account rate during the third quarter was five times the average rate.

Also, finding a savings account with no monthly fee can help ensure your savings account is earning you money, not costing you.

Notably, customers at the very largest banks are especially likely to be getting a raw deal on their savings accounts.

There are four banks in the America’s Best Rates survey with over $1 trillion in deposits. These banks offered savings account rates of 0.04% or less.

That means the average rate in the third quarter was nearly five times what these mega-banks offered. The best rate was more than 24 times what you could get from one of the giant banks.

Average online savings account rate: 0.587%

A time-tested way of finding a better savings account rate is to bank online. Online savings accounts consistently offer better rates than traditional, branch-based banks.

The average online savings account rate of 0.587% during the third quarter was better than 12 times the average rate from branch-based savings accounts.

All ten of the best savings account rates for the quarter listed in the table above were from online savings accounts.

America’s Best Money Market Rates: 3rd Quarter 2020

These were the best average money market rates over the course of the third quarter. Eleven, rather than ten, are listed because there was a tie for tenth place.

America’s Best Money Market Account Rates: 3rd Quarter, 2020
Rank Bank 2020 Q3 Avg. APY
1st place Axos Bank 0.95%
2nd place Sallie Mae Bank 0.87%
3rd place First Internet Bank 0.87%
4th place CIT Bank varies
5th place ableBanking 0.86%
6th place Virtual Bank 0.80%
7th place Discover Bank varies
8th place Synchrony Bank 0.56%
9th place TIAA Bank 0.56%
10th place (tie) Ally Bank 0.50%
10th place (tie) American Plus Bank 0.50%

Other than the tie for tenth place, rates in the above chart that appear to be tied were actually separated by a small fraction of a percent.

Average money market rate: 0.159%

The average money market rate declined for the fifth consecutive quarter.

As with savings accounts, consumers can fight the trend of falling money market rates with a little savvy shopping. All the rates listed above represent a significant improvement over the average money market rate. This means that most money market account customers have several opportunities to raise their rates rather than accept less interest on their accounts.

Money market accounts are another area where the largest banks frequently offer some of the poorest deals. Banks in the survey with over $1 trillion in deposits offered average money market rates during the third quarter of 0.04% or lower.

Average online money market rate: 0.490%

Another similarity between money market and savings accounts is that online money market account rates offer a significant improvement over rates from traditional, branch-based accounts.

The average online money market rate of 0.490% was just over seven times the average money market rate from branch-based accounts.

Ten of the eleven best money market rates listed in the table above were from online accounts.

The Best 1-year CD Rates: 3rd Quarter 2020

The following were the ten accounts with the best average 1-year CD rates during the third quarter:

America’s Best 1-Year CD Rates: 3rd Quarter, 2020


2020 Q3 Avg. APY

1st place Marcus by Goldman Sachs 0.96%
2nd place iGOBanking 0.96%
3rd place Ally Bank 0.91%
4th place American Plus Bank 0.89%
5th place First Internet Bank 0.87%
6th place Sallie Mae Bank 0.85%
7th place Discover Bank varies
8th place TIAA Bank 0.81%
9th place Synchrony Bank 0.77%
10th place Virtual Bank 0.75%

Rates in the above table that appear to be tied were actually separated by a tiny fraction of a percent.

Average 1-year CD rate: 0.329%

One-year CD rates have fallen even more rapidly over the past year than savings or money market rates. This may be because banks are cautious about getting locked into paying higher rates in a falling-rate environment.

Even though the average 1-year CD rate is higher than the average savings and money market rate, note that the best 1-year CD rates are more or less in line with the best savings and money market rates.

This means that, if you are willing to shop around, the primary advantage of choosing a 1-year CD rather than a savings or money market account is to protect yourself from further rate declines. There may not be a clear advantage now; but if rates continue to fall, you would benefit from having locked in your rate for a year.

Average online 1-year CD rate: 0.600%

The average online CD rate is about 2.6 times the average rate available from 1-year CDs at traditional, branch-based accounts.

While this is less than the online advantage of savings and money market accounts, a rate advantage can mean more when it comes to CDs because it is locked in for a specified period.

The Best 5-year CD Rates: 3rd Quarter 2020

The following were the ten best average 5-year CD rates during the third quarter:

America’s Best 5-Year CD Rates: 3rd Quarter, 2020


2020 Q3 Avg. APY

1st place First Internet Bank 1.20%
2nd place TIAA Bank 1.17%
3rd place Ally Bank 1.06%
4th place Synchrony Bank 1.04%
5th place MySavingsDirect 1.03%
6th place Discover Bank varies
7th place Marcus by Goldman Sachs 1.01%
8th place BankFive 1.00%
9th place Tompkins Trust Company 1.00%
10th place Ridgewood Savings Bank 0.95%

Rates in the above table that appear to be tied were actually separated by a tiny fraction of a percent.

Average 5-year CD rate: 0.528%

The average 5-year CD rate fell by 0.173% during the quarter, the largest drop of any of the deposit products tracked by this survey. This is likely because banks are wary about making a higher five-year commitment when rates are falling.

Average online 5-year CD rate: 0.773%

Online 5-year CDs offer a rate advantage of 0.328 over traditional, branch-based CDs. Since by nature 5-year CDs don’t require much interaction with your bank, there is little reason to choose a branch-based CD when you can get a higher rate from an online account.

The America’s Best Rates Method: Identifying Consistently Highest Rates

Rather than base the America’s Best Rates savings, money market account, and CD account rankings on a single snapshot in time, MoneyRates looks to identify the most consistently competitive accounts by averaging rates throughout each calendar quarter. Rates available to customers with a $10,000 balance and no broader relationship with the bank are used for this survey.

Further, to provide a representative view of banking trends, the analysis is based on the MoneyRates Index, a consistent sample of accounts reflecting a cross-section of the retail deposit industry. The MoneyRates Index is comprised of 50 of the largest retail deposit institutions in the United States, plus 25 smaller banks and 25 medium-sized banks.

Richard Barrington, a Senior Financial Analyst at MoneyRates, brings over three decades of financial services expertise to the table. His insightful analyses and commentary have made him a sought-after voice in media, with appearances on Fox Business News, NPR, and quotes in major publications like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His proficiency is further solidified by the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, highlighting Richard’s depth of knowledge and commitment to financial excellence.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.