Editor's note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser.
I've used online savings accounts for years. The Dough Roller editorial team has researched hundreds of options and selected the highest yield options based on interest rate and fees. The result is this list of the best online savings account offers.

Online savings accounts are one of the best places to stash your cash. Also called high yield savings accounts, you earn some of the highest available interest rates for a savings account, and you get the convenience of online account management and easy transfers to and from your existing bank accounts.

Recently, a reader e-mailed me asking where to find the best online cash accounts. So here is my list of some of the top paying online savings account offers.


Deal of the Day: CIT Bank has a 1.80% APY on their Money Market Account. $100 minimum deposit required and all deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 per depositor maximum.

Advertising DisclosureThe savings offers that appear on this site are from companies from which DoughRoller receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DoughRoller does not include all savings companies or all savings offers available in the marketplace.

Best Savings Account Deals

  • CIBC US: Earn 1.45% APY with no minimum balance
  • CIT Bank: Earn 1.75% APY with just a $100 deposit required to open an account. (Savings Builder)
  • Barclays Bank: Earn 1.60% APY with no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance to open.
  • Citi: Earn 1.70% APY with no minimum deposit required.
  • American Express National Bank Member FDIC: Earn 1.60% Annual Percentage Yield (as of 04.03.2020) with no minimum balance.

Online Savings Account Details

Because of their convenience, security and favorable interest rates, online savings accounts are perfect for emergency funds or other short-term savings. Interest rates on these savings accounts do change, and here are some of the highest yield account offers to make the most of your money.

American Express National Bank member FDIC currently pays 1.60% APY (as of 04.03.2020) for it’s online savings account product.  American Express has NO monthly minimum or deposit requirement and the interest rate is paid on balances of at least $1.  This is my online savings account of choice.

This short review was prepared by DoughRoller. The opinions expressed in this short review are ours alone and do not reflect the view of American Express National Bank nor American Express Company.

CIBC US: One of the best savings account rates you can find today comes from CIBC US and their Agility Savings Account.  The current APY is 1.45% and there are no monthly maintenance fees.

There is a $1,000 minimum deposit to open but no minimum balance requirement to earn the interest rate.

CIT BankCIT Bank sports one of the highest savings account rates available at 1.75% APY with their new Savings Builder account.  To earn the 1.75% APY, you need to either make a deposit of $100 per month OR maintain a balance of $25,000.  Initial opening deposit minimum is just $100.

Barclays offers one of the highest savings rates available today at 1.60% APY, topping out at 18x the national average. There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. The Barclays website also features a savings goal tool. It enables you to save a specific amount for a set goal.

Capital One 360 is the bank a lot of my family uses. Both of my teenage children have Money accounts, and my wife and I have checking accounts. The interest rates are extremely competitive, there are virtually no fees, and the website is extremely easy to use. In addition, I use the Capital One 360 iPhone app to check balances, make transfers, and deposit checks.

Discover Bank: Discover Bank offers a very competitive savings account rate at 1.50% APY. There is no minimum balance requirement to open an account. Interest is compounded daily, and there are no monthly fees.

FNBO Direct, better known as First National Bank of Omaha offers online savings accounts, CD’s and fee-free bill pay for all its customers. This is the bank that I personally use and even though the APY isn’t the best on this list, the online interface and customer service is top notch. FNBO Direct is an excellent choice. It currently pays 1.00% APY.

Savings Account Alternatives

If you are looking for higher returns, LendingClub may be the answer. LendingClub is a social lending site where you can invest in loans issued to individuals and businesses. The current average return is above 9%, and some loans carry interest rates as high as 20%. While these investments are not FDIC insured, given the low interest rates paid by banks, LendingClub may be a great alternative. Visit www.LendingClub.com for more information.

High Yield Options From Our Sponsors

BankAPYMin. DepositDetails
1.75% APY
$100

1.70%
$0
Learn More

1.60%
$0

1.60% APY
$0
1.50%
$0
1.45%
$0
Learn More

What Are High Yield Savings Accounts?

According to the Weekly National Rates and Rate Caps issued each week by the FDIC, the average interest rate currently being paid on bank savings accounts is a paltry 0.09%. A high-yield savings account is one that pays an interest rate substantially higher. Many banks offering high-yield savings accounts are paying close to 2.00% APY and sometimes higher, which is 20 times more than the average national rate.

Though some high-yield savings accounts are offered by well-recognized banks, they’re more typically available through lesser-known banks. These banks specialize in high-yield savings vehicles, that include high-yield money market accounts and certificates of deposit, in addition to high-yield savings accounts. Some even offer high-yield checking accounts, though the interest rates don’t come close to those offered on savings.

In most cases, high yields are being paid by banks that operate either mostly or entirely online. This is not a coincidence. When a bank operates primarily online, it doesn’t need to maintain the network of bank branches and employees required by more traditional banking institutions. The absence of banking infrastructure and staffing enables them to pay higher rates of return. In fact, online banks are low-cost operations that pass the savings on to their customers in the form of substantially higher interest rates.

And for the same reasons they’re able to pay higher rates (lower operating costs), they generally charge lower fees. For example, high-yield savings accounts generally have no monthly maintenance fee.

Some well-known banks will also offer high-yield savings accounts from time to time. They may do this as a way to draw in new customers. But the accounts offered by these banks often come with stiffer terms, like larger minimum initial deposits and required balances. That’s why you need to thoroughly investigate any offers for high-yield savings accounts you’re considering.

How to Use High Yield Savings Accounts

The best use for high-yield savings accounts is to hold money you don’t have an immediate use for. A good example is an emergency fund, which is a largely static account (or at least it should be). Still another is a targeted savings account. This is an account intended for a specific spending purpose, like saving for an upcoming vacation, a wedding, or the down payment on a house or car. The money needs to be safe and liquid for the intended purpose, but also needs to earn more interest than you’ll get with traditional bank savings accounts.

For many consumers, the best strategy may be to maintain a checking account and a small savings account–for overdraft purposes–at a local bank. This will give you the convenience factor with short-term funds. But any excess money can be invested in high-yield savings accounts with an online bank. When needed, the funds can usually be transferred to the local bank checking account within a day or two by electronic transfer.

If you’re a business owner, you may need a similar arrangement. You may need to work with a local bank for your business banking, while keeping the majority of your savings in a high-yield account with an online bank.

Pros and Cons of High Yield Savings Accounts

Pros:

  • High interest rates, up to 20 times (or more) higher than what you can get in a typical local bank savings account.
  • High-yield savings accounts generally do not impose monthly service fees.
  • Excellent vehicles to hold funds with no immediate need.
  • Funds can easily be transferred electronically into your regular checking account, and many online banks that offer high-yield savings accounts also offer checking accounts.
  • Rates are comparable to those being paid on high interest CDs, but the funds are much more liquid.
  • Many of the online banks that offer high-yield savings accounts are moving toward becoming full-service banks. You may be able to do all your banking with the same online institution.
  • Online banking has become the rule, rather than the exception, making it likely that online banks–and the higher interest rates they pay on savings–will eventually replace low yielding traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
  • All funds on deposit with high-yield online bank savings accounts are protected by FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank.

Cons:

  • Like all types of savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts limit transactions to no more than six per month.
  • Many high yield online banks don’t offer checking accounts, forcing you to maintain a checking account through a low interest local bank.
  • If you’re self-employed, you’ll most likely be required to maintain business banking through a local bank. However, you may be able to move excess funds into a high-yield savings account.
  • Some high-yield savings accounts require a large minimum initial deposit, and may have ongoing balance requirements to maintain the high rate.

High Yield Savings Accounts vs CDs

The basic difference between high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit is that one has a specific term, and the other doesn’t.

Certificates of deposit can range in terms from three months to five years. During that term, the interest rate paid on the certificate will be fixed and guaranteed. They’re sometimes referred to as time deposits because your money will be tied up for a specific period of time.

By contrast, high-yield savings accounts can be accessed at any time, and are sometimes referred to as demand deposits since the funds can be withdrawn on demand. Interest rates on high-yield savings accounts, unlike CDs, fluctuate based on prevailing interest rates. In a rapidly changing interest rate environment, the yield can fluctuate on a continuous basis. The initial rate on the account is never guaranteed, except for a very short introductory period, if one is offered.

Apart from interest rates, liquidity is also a fundamental difference between the two. Once again, with a high-yield savings account, you can withdraw your funds at any time. And while you can withdraw funds from a certificate of deposit early, you’ll have to pay a prepayment penalty. That penalty may be high enough to offset any interest you earned on the certificate.

High-yield savings accounts may also offer debit card access, and in some cases, limited check writing capability. CDs offer neither, since depositors are discouraged from accessing their certificates early.

High Yield Savings Accounts vs Money Market Accounts

Over the years, the differences between high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts has been gradually evaporating. Money market accounts at one time paid higher interest, but with rates on high-yield savings accounts rising they can be comparable to money markets.

Since there are so many banks, the differences between the two accounts may mostly be a matter of how the individual bank sets up each type of account. For example, a given bank may allow debit card access to a money market, but not a savings account.

The biggest tangible difference may be in the minimum deposit required. Generally speaking, that will be higher on money markets than it will be on high-yield savings accounts. For example, a bank may impose a minimum initial deposit–and an ongoing minimum balance requirement–of $5,000. The same bank may require only $500 to open a high-yield savings account, with no ongoing minimum balance requirement.

One feature both high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts have in common is limited account transactions. Under Federal Regulation D both accounts are generally limited to no more than six transactions per monthly statement cycle.

Bank policy on exceeding the number of transactions depends on the institution. Virtually all will charge an excess transaction fee, ranging from $5 to $15, if you exceed the six transaction limit. But many banks will allow that only on a limited basis. If you consistently exceed the limit, or if you exceed a bank imposed monthly limit, your savings account or money market may be converted to a checking account by the bank.

FAQs

No, though they may be guaranteed for a certain limited period of time, like 60 days or 90 days. Unlike CDs, savings accounts don’t offer guaranteed rates for extended terms. Rates will adjust based on the general interest rate market environment. However, the general trend has been that many banks offering high-yield savings accounts have consistently paid rates near the top of the market for several years.
It really depends on the intended purpose of your savings. For example, in the case of an emergency fund, a high-yield savings account is the superior choice over a CD. Since an emergency could happen at any time, you’ll need to be able to access the funds on short notice. You can do that with a high-yield savings account, but a CD will require a prepayment penalty. On the other hand, if you’re saving money for the down payment on a house, and you’re afraid that interest rates may fall, it may be better to lock in current rates for several years with a CD.
Some banks offering high yield savings accounts do make them available to businesses. But you’ll have to check the specific policy at each bank. Not all banks allow high-yield savings accounts to be opened in the name of a business, while others may make a determination based on the business organization. For example, a bank might freely grant a high interest savings account if you’re a sole proprietorship, but not if your business is incorporated.
Not generally. They’re able to forgo service fees for the same reason they can pay higher interest than traditional banks. Their operating costs are just lower, eliminating the need for service fees. However, most do impose an excess transaction fee, if you exceed the six transactions per month limit under federal Regulation D.
Since traditional banks need to sustain a large network of branches and employees, they can’t afford to pay high interest rates even if they want to. But still another reason is that they don’t have to. Customers often choose a bank based on location. That is, they’re most likely to choose a bank that has a branch close to home. For many people, convenience is more important than return on investment. That means local banks don’t need to compete based on interest rates.

Article comments

43 comments
GL says:

So 3.75% is the best deal online right now?.. I’m fairly certain that even Treasury bonds can provide a higher return than that. 🙁

NL says:

Who pays 3.75?

joanofark06 says:

Now who in the world gives 3.75%?? Please, tell all! Enquiring minds wanna know!

hejustlaughs says:

@ GL… Yeah, but are treasury bonds as liquid as savings accounts?

DR says:

GL, there is also more risk with Treasury bonds. Depending on when you need to cash out, if interest rates have risen, you may be forced to sell at a loss.

Merna says:

How about SmartyPig?

They offer 3.4% right now and it’s a great way to force yourself to save money by setting goals. Save now, buy later!!

DR says:

Merna, it’s funny you mention SmartyPig. I just ran across an article in Fast Company magazine about SmartyPig, and I’m preparing a follow up article on the site.

Gary says:

Smarty Pig savings is at 1.34 now, but it’s still better than the rest.

Thomas says:

Is there a link to Smartypig available? I tried typing it into Google and got a DNS server blah blah blah error.

joanofark06 says:

Sounds Piggy Pitiful, now!
After the fed cuts rates, and cuts rates again, and again, the online savings accounts do the same thing, until it’s not worth getting ANY of them. I’ve had to delete about 5 or 6 accounts, cause they followed the feds, and cut their rates down to….NOTHING! Making America great again? Maybe for people getting a loan, and then going into debt. Other than that, people can just forget about saving! Yes, I’m furious, about this subject!

David says:

Netspend offers 5% APY on their goal setting savings accounts, although they’re most known for their prepaid card, thought I’d just put that out there.

Sarah says:

But only for the first $1000, and it requires a prepaid card that has a lot of fees attached.

joanofark06 says:

Thank You for that info….always figure it’s too good to be true, and people don’t want anyone to know about the “strings attached”, which ruins the whole thing!

Mike says:

Other than government bonds, the new Tax free Saving Account being introduced in Canada is also going to be a very good option for investors.

Big Winner says:

It would be interesting to find out a comparison between the yields of the savings accounts now versus a year or two ago. I seem to remember that ING and others were at 4.5-5% in 2006, but I could be mistaken.

joanoark06 says:

Your right! Here it is in 2019, the Fed cut rates for the second time this year, and I’ve watched my savings accounts that I have a few of, fall from 2.20% and some above to 1.90% to even below! It’s really sad! And you wonder why Americans can’t save, but hey, the rates are FANTASTIC for BORROWING money, or in other words, getting yourself in DEBT!! Burns me up, and our “president”, says, he wishes that the Fed would cut more!! That burns me up too!

mike says:

What can be the next best thing to stuff that is not fdic insured. What do you think about ag financial savings account Mr. Roller?

DR says:

Actually, the AG financial savings account pays a good interest rate and promotes a good cause, too!

joanofark06 says:

“pays a good interest rate”….yeah so good you can’t tell us what it is?

Julie says:

Hi – great list of online savings accounts – but there are more! I work with ShoreBank that has a competitive online savings account at 3.5% interest. Some more details: $1 minimum, no monthly fees, online and phone customer service. If you are interested in promoting good causes – ShoreBank is a great option. ShoreBank has a bottom line mission to invest in socially and environmentally (and sometimes both at once) responsible projects and businesses – so a good rate, a great cause.

joanofark06 says:

And to think I’m reading your comment in 2020! I bet the bank, that it’s gone down tremendously these days!! Down to “nothing worth talking about”, kind of down!

HGI says:

They talk about the most recent high-yield savings accounts and also gives an opinion about each one on Feeding Wealth.

Fontaine says:

How about American Express Personal Savings account? Like Discover, they recently started offering a savings account with a 2% APY. Any opinion on this one?

joanofark06 says:

Since the Fed cut rates twice now, in 2019, many saving accounts have cut THEIR rates. American Express is now below 2%.

Ram Shah says:

The TOP High Yield Online saving bank is and has been over a year is South Shore bank. Until very recently offrerd 2.1 % rate and just now dropped to 1.90% !
Why is this bank NOT reported is a mystery to me……
I do have an account there for last six months and surprised no one comes close to this bank!!

Melvin Torres says:

BRICK and mortar! BRICK and mortar! NOT “brink” and morter. The smart little piggy built a BRICK house, not a “brink” house.

Tyler says:

I invested with Flux Holdings when they accepted new investors. The rates have held steady at 2.5% even with the recession. But it looks like they’re not accepting new clients right now.

DR says:

Tyler, as you no doubt know, Flux Holdings is not FDIC insured.

dewalt says:

Can some one explain me how this works? Im looking into invest some money but I have no idea where to start! How it work and how u get your monet

nazer baradaran says:

i am an invester over seas and i can get up to 10% APR per year in some banks tax free from the origen .so you tell me how this compares to your rates .for example i get $95.00 us dollares for each $10000.00 dollares per month .now can any one beat that ?

Tom says:

Sallie Mae Bank MMAs now yield 1.30% APY! Do you ever look at bank safety ratings (like at BankRate, Weiss Ratings, Bauer Financial, Fitch)?

DIANNE STUART says:

First off thank you for your wealth of knowledge and podcast. Since listening I have saved 50.00 a month on my cable, lowered my home insurance premium by 500.00, and saved over 200 on my auto insurance. Now I am looking at high yield savings accounts and see that CIT bank has 1.35% but notice you don’t have that as a recommendation. Also Discover Bank offers 1.15% with a 250.00 cash offer if you deposit 20,000. I an thinking of putting 20,000 in CIT for the higher interest and 20,000 in the discover for the cash offer even though the rate is 1.15%. What are your thoughts on that? This is our emergency fund money that is currently making nothing sitting in BofA Money Market account.

Angela says:

I was wondering why CIT is not on your list as they are FDIC insured and currently paying 1.35% APY on their savings account

Rob Berger says:

You’re right! They should be. I’ll add them today.

Babs says:

If FNBO pays 1.40, and you bank with them, why is it not recommended?

Rob Berger says:

While I don’t bank with FNBO, I think it’s a good option and it is included in our list.

Geoff says:

You missed a Big One….CIBC pays 2.16% for regular savings….oh well, but thanks for the info…

Mary says:

Hi Rob, how do you feel about the Marcus account with Goldman Sachs? The APY is 2.25% with no minimum fees.

Kevin Dean says:

Just as an update to this question. My wife and I had in the past followed who had the best APY and we’d move our money around according to who was leading. We’ve been with 1stsecurity for about 9 years or so and they’ve had the best APY. Yes, things have gone down quite a bit, but they are currently sitting at a 2.51% with a checking account of $50K or less. Savings accounts are typically much lower as they currently have theirs at 1.31%. I don’t know what the rules are here about posting links, but they can be found at 1stsecuritybank.com. We’d found them through Dave Ramsey a while back.

Rebecca says:

Kevin: They require 18 debit card purchases per month. Way too many!

joanofark06 says:

Yeah, these rates look like unicorns and rainbows, compared to what a physical bank gives, but really, their crap! Pitiful, Pitiful, and pitiful. Really!
Show me when their all back above 2.00%, would ya?