We focus on those financial institutions that have low fees, great rates, and are typically available anywhere in the U.S. You can find local banks and credit unions that offer comparable rates, but their availability is limited geographically.
Best Interest Rates for March 2022
March 2022 Interest Rates Update: There were a few rate changes over the past month:
- Chime’s High Yield Savings Account is at 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) 1- 8x2 the national average! (No minimum and no monthly fees.)
- Betterment Cash Reserve account is at 1.10% APY. Visit Betterment.
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Online Savings Account is at 0.50% APY
- LendingClub Bank High Yield Savings Account is at 0.65% APY ($2,500 minimum balance)
- CFG Bank’s High Yield Money Market Account is at 0.63% APY ($1k minimum deposit and $25k minimum daily balance) or 0.53% APY with $1k minimum deposit, both with new money.
- Fitness Bank is offering a 0.55% APY savings account rate for balances over $100 when step requirements are met.
- CIT is offering an 11-month No-Penalty CD at 0.30% APY with a $1k minimum deposit.
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs is offering a 6 month CD at 0.15% APY, CD terms from 9 months to 18 months at 0.75% APY, 2 years at 0.80% APY, 3 years at 0.95% APY, 4 years at 1.00% APY, and CD terms for 5 and 6 years at 1.20% APY, all with a $500 minimum balance.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate comes in at 4.29%.
Betterment Cash Reserve APY Disclosure - The annual percentage yield (“APY”) on the deposit balances in Betterment Cash Reserve (“Cash Reserve”) is 1.10% and represents the weighted average of the APY on deposit balances at the banks participating in Cash Reserve (the “Program Banks”) and is current as of June 22, 2022. This APY is variable and subject to change daily. Deposit balances are not allocated equally among the participating Program Banks. A minimum deposit of $10 is required, but there is no minimum balance required to be maintained. The APY available to a customer may be lower if that customer designates a bank or banks as ineligible to receive deposits. APY applies only to Cash Reserve and does not apply to checking accounts held through Betterment Checking. Cash Reserve and Betterment Checking are separate offerings and are not linked accounts.
With that said, here are some of the best interest rates we’ve found for December 2021:
Best Bank Account Rates
Savings Accounts: The top savings account rate goes to LendingClub Savings Account at 0.65% APY ($2,500 minimum balance), CFG Bank’s Money Market Account at 0.63% APY ($1k minimum deposit and $25k minimum daily balance), Vio Banks 0.56% APY on its Money Market account, and Chime’s High Yield Savings Account at 0.50% APY. These represent some of the highest rates on a nationally available savings account.
Best CD Rates: The rates on certificates of deposit vary based on the term. The longer the term, the higher the rate. Keep in mind that penalties may apply if you close the CD before the end of the term. For a 1-year CD, the best rate we could find is from CFG Bank at 0.75% APY ($500 minimum deposit) and Marcus by Goldman Sachs has 9-month to 18-month CD at 0.75% APY as well ($500 minimum deposit).
Checking Accounts: Most checking accounts do not pay interest. For online banks, however, you’ll find plenty of options where you can earn some interest on your funds. There are two things to keep in mind. First, many banks offer higher interest rates only if you keep a lot of money in your checking account. Second, the rates are lower than a savings account or CD.
Some top-paying checking accounts that we like include FNBO Direct, which currently pays 0.15% APY. For those with at least $15,000 in checking, you can earn 0.25% APY from Ally Bank. I list Ally second because most people don’t keep that much cash in checking, but it’s an option for those who do. These rates are unchanged from previous months.
Bonus: I also keep a running list of popular checking account promotions you can check out.
Mortgages: Listing the “best” mortgage rate is really impossible. Rates change throughout the day, vary by state, and are highly dependent on a number of factors including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment. That being said, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.89% according to Freddie Mac (from 3.55% last month). The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage is 3.14% (from 2.80% a month ago).
Related: Find the Best Mortgage Rates
Best Interest Rate for Loans
It’s hard to state what the best available interest rate for a loan is because there are so many types of loans and so many factors that influence the interest rate you’ll ultimately pay.
Interest rates can change daily based on economic factors and market interest rates. Things like your credit score and where you live also play a role. In general, loans secured by something, like a mortgage or a car loan, will be cheaper than those with no collateral like credit cards or personal loans.
When comparing loan rates, always look for the lowest APR. APR is a calculation that takes into account both the interest rate and compounding schedule to give you a true look at the rate you’ll pay. Also consider fees that the lender may charge, such as origination fees or early repayment fees.
According to the National Credit Union Administration, the average interest rate for a three-year personal loan in June 2021 was 10.09%, so rates below that amount are better than average.
Learn More: The Best Online Personal Loan Rates
Best Credit Card Interest Rates
Credit Cards: The longest 0% introductory period stands at 20 billing cycles on both purchases and balance transfers. You can find a current list of the best 0% credit card offers here.
If you find better rates on any of the above financial products, please let us know in the comments below.
Note that the above rates were as of March 1, 2022. Rates are subject to change, so please confirm the rates directly with the financial institution.
How to Get the Best Interest Rates
Usually, the easiest way to get the best interest rates is to have good or great credit. If you’re getting a credit card, for example, it’s one of the primary determining factors in your interest rate. If your credit is less than great, you can work on improving your rating.
Another factor is your current debt level. If you have a lot of debt, you may not be given preferred interest rates on things like mortgages or credit cards, since you’re considered a higher risk. Higher debt levels also negatively impact your credit, so it’s best to try and pay your debt off as quickly as possible to get the best rates.
Finally, how much money you have to “put down” can make a difference. In the case of a mortgage, having a sizable down payment (of at least 20%) can help to ensure you get the best rates possible. And with some CDs or high-yield savings accounts, having more money to put into those can typically get you a better interest rate.
How Do Interest Rates Work?
Interest rates are determined, at least in part, by the federal funds rate as set by the Federal Reserve. The federal funds rate is the rate banks charge each other for lending money overnight. Most recently, the Fed maintained its target at a range between 0% and 0.25%.
As this rate goes up or down, so do the rates you’re charged for borrowing money and the rates you get for loaning or depositing money. So, in times where the economy is strong, the Fed will tend to raise the federal funds rate. Because of that, banks can usually offer a higher interest rate on things like CDs and savings accounts. But you may also pay a higher interest rate for loans.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Interest-Bearing Account
The main thing you have to consider when choosing an interest-bearing account is that, depending on the product, your rate may fluctuate. When you choose a CD, for example, your rate is locked for that period of time.
That’s why it makes a lot of sense to lock in a good CD rate when you can find one. Alternatively, it might make sense to find somewhere else to put your money when CD rates are low since your money will be locked into that rate.
With things like a high-yield savings account, it’s good to be mindful of rates fluctuating. For instance, prior to COVID-19, rates were generally pretty high. Then suddenly they started dropping like flies and what was once a good APY on a savings account suddenly become almost nothing.
That’s to be expected. Rates will fluctuate with savings accounts so be prepared for that if and when it happens.
Finally, on things like a mortgage, it pays to watch the market rates. When savings accounts and CDs may not be offering the best rates, mortgage rates will tend to come down as well. In this case, it might make financial sense to do a refinance and save some money in the long term.
Are There Any Risks?
There aren’t many risks to interest rates, except that you might miss out on better ones. For example, if you lock in a new rate on a mortgage, you might miss out if rates drop even further. Or if you lock in your money with a CD, you might miss out on rates going upward.
I think the risks are minimal unless, of course, there were a major upward swing in interest rates on something like a mortgage. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), you’d be subject to whatever the new rates were, which will impact your payment.
Overall, the best thing to do is keep a pulse on the economy and how the federal funds rate is trending. I also find it useful to listen to the meeting minutes and any significant quotes that come out of the Fed meetings. This way, you can get a sense of how they’re feeling about the economy.
Where can I earn the most interest on my money?
Where you can earn the most interest on your money tends to fluctuate based on current rates in the economy. In most cases, the best non-investment option is going to be a high-yield savings account. You can also put money into a CD and do a CD ladder, which is when you stack several CDs on top of one another with varying maturity dates. This gives you a more constant flow of high interest.
Where should I put my savings in 2022?
Since interest rates still aren’t great right now, your best bet in 2022 is to put your savings in a high-yield savings account. It gives you some interest, but also the flexibility to move money in and out (and into other savings vehicles) as needed.
Finding the best interest rates is a combination between timing, good credit, and having money available. You can’t control the first one, but the latter two you can. Regardless of where you stand today, it’s always smart to work on improving your credit and paying down your debt so when the time is right, you’ll be in the best position possible to get the top interest rates available.
Chime SpotMe® Disclosure - Eligibility requirements and overdraft limits apply.
Chime Disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
1Chime cannot guarantee when files are sent by the IRS and funds can be made available.
^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on payer
Chime APY Disclosure - 1The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of November 1, 2021. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest. 2The average national savings account interest rate of 0.06% is determined by FDIC as of November 1, 2021 based on a simple average of rates paid (uses annual percentage yield) by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/ to learn more.
Betterment Cash Reserve Disclosure - Betterment Cash Reserve ("Cash Reserve") is offered by Betterment LLC. Clients of Betterment LLC participate in Cash Reserve through their brokerage account held at Betterment Securities. Neither Betterment LLC nor any of its affiliates is a bank. Through Cash Reserve, clients' funds are deposited into one or more banks ("Program Banks") where the funds earn a variable interest rate and are eligible for FDIC insurance. Cash Reserve provides Betterment clients with the opportunity to earn interest on cash intended to purchase securities through Betterment LLC and Betterment Securities. Cash Reserve should not be viewed as a long-term investment option. Funds held in your brokerage accounts are not FDIC‐insured but are protected by SIPC. Funds in transit to or from Program Banks are generally not FDIC‐insured but are protected by SIPC, except when those funds are held in a sweep account following a deposit or prior to a withdrawal, at which time funds are eligible for FDIC insurance but are not protected by SIPC. See Betterment Client Agreements for further details. Funds deposited into Cash Reserve are eligible for up to $1,000,000.00 (or $2,000,000.00 for joint accounts) of FDIC insurance once the funds reach one or more Program Banks (up to $250,000 for each insurable capacity—e.g., individual or joint—at up to four Program Banks). Even if there are more than four Program Banks, clients will not necessarily have deposits allocated in a manner that will provide FDIC insurance above $1,000,000.00 (or $2,000,000.00 for joint accounts). The FDIC calculates the insurance limits based on all accounts held in the same insurable capacity at a bank, not just cash in Cash Reserve. If clients elect to exclude one or more Program Banks from receiving deposits the amount of FDIC insurance available through Cash Reserve may be lower. Clients are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each Program Bank, including existing deposits held at Program Banks outside of Cash Reserve, to ensure FDIC insurance limits are not exceeded, which could result in some funds being uninsured. For more information on FDIC insurance please visit www.FDIC.gov. Deposits held in Program Banks are not protected by SIPC. For more information see the full terms and conditions and Betterment LLC's Form ADV Part II.