Tellernote

Tellernote

×

Best credit cards in

amy

Edited by Amy Sims

cate02

Written by Cate Deventer

No matter what a credit card company or advertisement says, there isn’t a single “best” credit card for everyone. The best card for you depends on your spending habits, credit score, existing debt and more. But with so many options to choose from, picking the right card can be intimidating.

ON THIS PAGE

How to choose an online high-yield savings account

A high-yield savings account is where your liquid savings should be. This is because a savings account at a competitive bank can help your money earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY). But you’ll want to shop around to find the account that’s right for you. Most of the accounts on Tellernote’s best lists are online savings accounts at FDIC-insured banks. You want your money to be at an FDIC-insured bank and within FDIC limits in order to keep your money protected in the event of a bank failure.

Online high-yield savings accounts generally offer the highest yields, and most of them require either a low minimum balance or none at all. FDIC-insured accounts at online banks are also a great place to keep an emergency fund.

Here are some steps to follow when deciding whether a high-yield savings account is best for you:

  • Define your goal for this money and when you’ll need the funds. A savings account is often a good place for an emergency fund or money you might need for expenses in the near future.
  • Compare savings accounts to find the right account for you. APYs, minimum balance requirements and whether there’s a monthly service fee are all key things to consider. Online banks tend to offer the most competitive yields. Tellernote’s bank reviews can help with your research.
  • Be sure to choose a federally insured institution. This would be a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or a credit union insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This way your money would be safe if the institution were to fail, as long as your deposit amounts are within the limits and guidelines.
  • Open the savings account and make your initial deposit.
    Make it a habit to check your bank statement on a regular basis. This is a good way to keep an eye on your APY since savings account yields are usually variable.

What to know about high-yield savings accounts

What is a high-yield savings account?

High-yield savings accounts typically pay a much higher APY than traditional savings accounts, providing savers the ability to earn more on their money while still enjoying the security of a federally insured account. Traditional savings accounts are commonly offered at brick-and-mortar banks and larger banks. These accounts may yield close to nothing, often around 0.01 percent APY. High-yield savings accounts can earn hundreds of times more these days.

Most high-yield savings accounts have a variable APY, which means the yield is subject to change. Consumers looking for a guaranteed yield should consider a certificate of deposit (CD), and a no-penalty CD might be a good option for those who prefer both a fixed APY and access to their money without incurring a penalty.

Savings accounts usually earn compound interest, which simply means you’ll earn interest on interest. As such, you’ll earn interest on your principal as well as the interest that accumulates over time.

Pros and cons of online high-yield savings accounts

Savings accounts are a good place to set aside funds for many financial goals. Here are the pros and cons of online high-yield savings accounts, so you can make sure one is right for you.

How to open a high-yield savings account

You’ll want to choose the best bank and account for you. The best account for you will need to be one where you can meet the minimum deposit requirement. And then, if it has a minimum balance requirement, you’ll need to make sure that you can keep a balance above that to avoid a monthly service fee.

You’ll want to earn a competitive yield on your high-yield savings. This might rule out a local bank as an option since FDIC-insured online banks usually offer the highest yields.

Opening a high-yield savings account is relatively simple. Here’s how:

  1. Shop around. High-yield savings accounts can be offered by online banks, traditional banks that operate branches, and credit unions. Online banks typically offer the highest rates because they don’t have the overhead associated with maintaining branches — so they may pass along the savings to customers, in the form of higher rates. Along with APY, compare the fees and services to find the right fit for your finances.
  2. Fill out an application. Once you’ve chosen a high-interest savings account, you’ll need to fill out an application, whether online or in person. The bank or credit union will ask for personal information that often includes your driver’s license number, Social Security number, mailing address and date of birth. When applying online, you might need to scan a copy of a government-issued photo ID. You might also need to lift a security freeze on your credit file, if you have one.
  3. Fund your account. After the application is approved, it’s time to fund the account if the bank you choose requires an opening deposit. This can be done online by linking a checking account to the new savings account and transferring funds. Depending on the bank, you might be able to fund the new savings account through a wire transfer or by mailing a check. A mobile check deposit might also be an option.

Alternatives to high-yield savings accounts

High-yield savings account vs. traditional savings account

High-yield savings accounts and traditional savings accounts share certain similarities, yet there are some key differences. High-yield accounts are frequently available online, while some traditional savings accounts — which include both passbook and statement savings accounts — might be restricted to opening and managing at a bank branch.

As the name suggests, high-yield savings accounts typically earn much higher rates than traditional savings accounts, and they may require a larger opening deposit and have minimum monthly balance requirements. Both accounts are subject to monthly fees, depending on the institution, but many banks offer high-yield and traditional savings accounts that charge no fees.

High-yield savings account vs. certificate of deposit (CD)

A high-yield savings account is a liquid account that’s meant for money you might need to withdraw at any time. Besides the flexibility of making withdrawals on demand (though they might be limited per statement cycle), you’re also able to add money to this account anytime.

Unlike savings accounts, CDs lock in your money for a set term, and if you withdraw your money before the term expires, you’ll usually incur an early-withdrawal penalty. What’s more, you typically can’t add money to a regular CD during its term.

High-yield savings account vs. money market account

Generally, a high-yield savings account doesn’t permit account holders to write checks against the account, while many money market accounts provide check-writing privileges.

Otherwise, money market and high-yield savings accounts are similar and typically available at FDIC-insured banks. Savings accounts are slightly more common than money market accounts, but many banks offer both.

High-yield savings account vs. checking account

A high-yield savings account is likely to pay a better yield than a checking account. Savings accounts might limit the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make per statement cycle.

Checking accounts are more for transactional purposes, such as paying bills or making debit card purchases. Checking accounts usually don’t have monthly transaction limits.

High-yield savings account FAQs

If you’re unsuccessful in opening a new account, you can ask the bank why this happened. Depending on the answer, you might want to go to ChexSystems’ website and request a report to see whether your banking history is the reason you were denied the account.

ChexSystems is a national specialty consumer reporting agency that keeps track of some of your banking history. Things that can appear on a ChexSystems report include your check-cashing history, any suspected fraudulent activity and a list of closed accounts.

Competitive banks and credit unions have a tendency to adjust their interest rates based on the Federal Reserve’s rate moves.

Unlike CD rates, which are locked for a set term, savings account yields tend to be variable, which means they could change at any time.

A bank may decide to lower or raise savings account APYs for various reasons. It may increase its rate as part of a promotion to attract more deposits, or it may adjust rates in response to broader economic factors, such as changes to monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.

Most banks limit the number of times you can withdraw money from a savings account. Check with your bank to see its policy so that you’re not charged an excessive transfer fee. A bank could even close your account for excessive transactions.

Checking accounts are meant to have frequent withdrawals for spending money and paying bills. But savings accounts are generally meant for accumulating money, those accounts are generally liquid.

The IRS specifically says that interest earned on bank accounts is taxable interest. Interest is usually taxed as ordinary income. All interest income is taxable, even if it’s not reported on a Form 1099-INT. That form is usually generated toward the beginning of the calendar year, after you’ve earned more than $10 in interest during the previous tax year.

Yes, rates are increasing at competitive online banks. And even some other banks have raised some rates.

The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate several times in 2022. And the Fed has also raised rates three times in 2023 as it tries to combat inflation.

Yields on high-yield savings accounts tend to change before or after the Fed raises (or lowers) the fed funds rate. With the Fed moving to raise interest, some banks and credit unions have raised APYs to remain competitive and attract deposits.

The best high-interest savings accounts are usually found online. The best online banks tend to offer the most competitive yields on their accounts. One reason why these banks can pay more is that they have fewer expenses since they don’t operate branches.

But these online banks also need a way to get your attention. Often, a high yield is the way to do that. Many online banks also don’t charge a monthly service fee for their accounts, and some of them don’t have minimum balance or minimum opening deposit requirements either.

Research methodology

Tellernote’s editorial team regularly updates rates on this page about every two weeks. We mainly look for the highest APYs and break ties using the minimum balance to open a CD. Tellernote’s editorial team has reviewed nearly all of the banks and credit unions that they track. These institutions were selected because they offer competitive APYs, are larger (based on the amount of deposits or assets), frequently appear in internet searches or other possible factors. These banks and credit unions typically offer accounts that are available nationwide. All of these banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and all of the credit unions are National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions, insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

Tellernote's experience on financial advice and reporting

Tellernote has more than four decades of experience in financial publishing, so you know you’re getting information you can trust. Tellernote was born in 1976 as “Bank Rate Monitor,” a print publisher for the banking industry and has been online since 1996. Hundreds of top publications rely on Tellernote. Outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg depend on Tellernote as the trusted source of financial rates and information.

These financial institutions are featured in our high yield savings account rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank 5 Connect, Bank of America, Barclays, Bask Bank, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO, BrioDirect, Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Direct), Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Credit One Bank, Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, HSBC, Huntington National Bank, KeyBank, LendingClub Bank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.