6 best high-yield savings accounts

Senior woman sitting on porch rocking chair with dogImage: Senior woman sitting on porch rocking chair with dog

In a Nutshell

High-yield savings accounts offer a higher APY than the national average, which is typically pretty paltry. This roundup highlights some of the best high-yield savings accounts with high APYs, no monthly fees, flexible withdrawal options and more.
Editorial Note: Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Information about financial products not offered on Credit Karma is collected independently. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

Annual percentage yields on savings accounts at financial institutions are often pretty dismal. But high-yield savings accounts may offer an annual return that’s higher than average.

If you have money that you don’t want to invest or tie up in a certificate of deposit, a high-yield savings account could be a good place to park it.

Many high-yield accounts are offered online with minimal fees — and you typically get the same deposit protection you would at a local bank. That’s because online accounts often come with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance, which means the government guarantees up to $250,000 per covered account if the bank or financial institution holding your money shuts down.

A high-yield savings account can be used for various reasons, such as saving for an emergency or a new car. This roundup highlights some of the top high-yield savings accounts on the market.

Best for a high APY: Bread Savings high-yield savings account

Why Bread Savings stands out: Bread Savings high-yield accounts are FDIC-insured and come with one of the highest APYs we’ve seen. The best part? You don’t need to meet special conditions or maintain a high balance in your account to earn that high APY.

  • $100 minimum deposit to open — You only need to make an initial deposit of $100 to open an account.
  • No maintenance fees — Bread Savings accounts have no fees for monthly maintenance, online statements or ACH transfers. However, there is a $25 fee per outgoing wire transfer, a $15 fee for official checks and a $5 fee for paper statements.
  • High deposit limits The maximum you can deposit is $1 million per account and $10 million per customer.

Best for no fees: Discover online savings account

Why Discover stands out: Discover has cut out fees on its savings account. This means no fees for monthly maintenance, official checks, expedited check deliveries, returned deposit items, stop payment orders or insufficient funds.

  • No minimum deposit  You can open a Discover high-yield savings account with $0.
  • Mobile banking tools — You can deposit checks and make money transfers using the Discover app. And if you need to talk to someone about your account, customer service is available 24/7.

Best for small balances: Varo online savings account

Why Varo stands out: Varo has FDIC-insured savings accounts that offer a sky-high APY as long as you meet these conditions monthly: keep no more than $5,000 in the account; have monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more; and have a positive balance at month’s end.

  • No minimum balance requirement Varo doesn’t require that you keep a minimum balance in your account to keep it open.
  • No maintenance fees  You don’t have to worry about monthly fees taking a bite out of your interest earnings.
  • Savings automation  If you need a little help with saving, you can schedule a percentage of your paycheck to transfer automatically from your Varo bank account to your Varo savings account. You could also choose to round up each Varo bank account transaction to the nearest dollar and have the difference automatically deposited into savings.

Best for all-in-one banking: Axos Bank high-yield savings account

Why Axos Bank stands out: Axos Bank is a digital bank that offers a full suite of banking products, from FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts to personal loans and mortgages. If you want to manage all of your money in one place, Axos Bank could be the place to do it.

  • $250 deposit required to open  While you need $250 to open an account, there’s no monthly minimum balance requirement afterward.
  • No maintenance fees The lack of fees means that you can earn interest for free.
  • Free ATM card You can request an ATM card for your account.
  • Online banking platform  Axos Bank has an online banking platform to manage your bank account. With an Axos account, you can also make peer-to-peer payments and get direct deposits up to two days early.

Best for same-day ACH transfers: Marcus online savings account

Why Marcus stands out: Marcus offers same-day ACH transfers of up to $100,000 into or out of your savings account, so long as you make the transfer request by noon Eastern time on a business day.  Marcus high-yield savings accounts are also FDIC-insured.

  • No monthly fees  Signing up for and using a Marcus bank account is free.
  • No minimum deposit   You don’t need to deposit money when you open your account, but the account may be closed if you don’t make a deposit within the first 60 days.
  • Free wire transfers  Marcus lets you send wires without charging a fee. You can request the wire transfer by contacting customer service by phone, or you may be able to wire up to $50,000 online each statement period.

Best for direct deposit perks: SoFi Checking and Savings

Why SoFi stands out: SoFi offers interest-bearing checking and savings accounts that are connected to each other. If you set up direct deposit, both accounts earn an APY bonus. To sweeten the deal, direct deposit paychecks may arrive in your SoFi account up to two days faster.

  • No maintenance fees SoFi charges no monthly fees or overdraft fees for its savings or checking accounts.
  • No minimum balance SoFi doesn’t require that you maintain a minimum balance.
  • Savings vaults  SoFi lets you conveniently separate your money into different vaults to stash cash for various goals, like saving for an emergency, vacation or a new wardrobe.

What is a high-yield savings account, and why should you have one?

High-yield savings accounts offer a higher APY than traditional savings accounts that you might find at the bank down the street. Nationally, the average rate for savings accounts is just 0.10% APY, according to August 2022 FDIC data, while high-yield accounts typically offer more.

One aspect to note about savings accounts is that they typically don’t come with checks or debit cards. If you want the option to withdraw money from an ATM in an emergency, a money market account could be a better alternative. Money market accounts may come with higher APYs than traditional savings accounts as well, plus a checkbook or debit card for easy cash withdrawals.

Suppose you have savings that you don’t need to access regularly. A certificate of deposit may offer an even higher rate than a high-yield savings or money market account. CD terms can range from a few months to several years. Generally, the longer money is locked away in a CD, the higher the APY usually is.

Keep in mind that taking money out of a CD before it matures can result in CD early withdrawal penalty fees. However, creating a CD ladder that features rotating maturity dates is a strategy that could give you access to money on a staggered basis, so all of your cash isn’t locked into one term.

What to consider when comparing high-yield savings accounts

Besides hunting for high rates, here are other factors to think about when shopping around for a savings account:

  • Minimum deposit — Sometimes there’s no deposit needed to open an account. In other cases, you may need to deposit a few hundred dollars to get started.
  • Maintenance fees and other fees — Many high-yield savings accounts have no monthly fees. But you should still double-check for other usage fees, like a fee for wire transfers or checks.
  • Withdrawal limits — Some savings accounts limit you to six online withdrawals or transfers per month. If you need to make more frequent withdrawals, a checking account could better suit your needs.
  • Deposit insurance — High-yield savings accounts from FDIC-insured banks guarantee up to $250,000 per covered account. It’s important to check for this insurance when choosing an account to understand how your money is protected.

How we picked these accounts

We looked at 16 popular high-yield savings accounts to review their APY, fees, account features, minimum deposit requirements and account benefits. Then we categorized the top accounts based on what makes them stand out against competitors.

Calculate your savings

Use our savings calculator to find out how much you may be able to grow your savings and how long it could take.

About the author: Taylor Medine is a freelance writer who’s covered all things personal finance for the past seven years. She enjoys writing financial product reviews and guides on budgeting, saving, repaying debt and building credit. … Read more.