My local bank offers a basic savings account with a 0.01% interest rate with the opportunity for a lot of fees. If you are a high roller and have a minimum of $30,000 to open an account, you can earn 0.25% interest at that bank (the interest rate “skyrockets” to 0.65% if you can bring $5 million to the table). Oh, and it took me a couple minutes to find that information. Where’s the transparency?
If this situation sounds familiar to you, then I recommend looking into an online high yield savings account where you can earn a better return on your money, avoid most fees, and enjoy added functionality. If you still need a brick and mortar bank, then consider keeping your local account and using the online savings account to stash your emergency fund, long-term savings, or high-interest CDs.
Top Online High Interest Savings Accounts
The following banks meet the criteria listed above, and each of them offers something a little different than their competitors. These banks are all covered by the FDIC and are great options if you are searching for a new online bank.
Bank rates change often, but we do our best to maintain an accurate listing of current high yield savings account rates. Use the following chart for current options, or read more details below the rate chart.
CIT Bank – Editor’s Pick for Highest Interest Rates
While CIT Bank is not the most well-known bank on our list, it’s one of the best option. They were established in 1908, and they have over $50 billion in assets. As a company, they provide just about every possible financial service that you can think of.
CIT Bank has several different savings account options that you can choose from, but the most popular is the Premier High Yield Savings account, which features interest rates that are among the highest in the nation (the bank rate table on this page should show the current APY). CIT Bank is also well-known for their no-fee CD accounts.
CIT Bank requires a $100 deposit to open, but it doesn’t have any fees. If you’re looking for high rates, but you don’t want to pay any monthly fees, CIT Bank is an excellent option. Learn more in our Cit Bank review.
BBVA Compass Online Savings Account
The BBVA Compass Online Savings account combines one of the highest online savings account interest rates with a great online checking account.
BBVA Compass online savings accounts feature Free Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and Bill Pay. Their network of ATMs includes all BBVA ATMs as well as the Allpoint® ATM network, which features over 38,000 free ATMs. The minimum to open an account is only $25. You can learn more in our BBVA Compass Bank Review.
First National Bank of Omaha is a financial company that has been around for over 150 years. They have years and years of experience offering quality financial services to clients across the nation. They have physical locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and several other states, but with their online savings account, it can enjoy their benefits from wherever that you live.
FNBO Direct was rated one of the top online banks by Kiplinger’s in 2008, and they have 4 out of 5 stars from the Bankrate’s Safe and Sound Ratings. They require a $1 minimum deposit (which I’m sure you have in-between your couch cushions), and their interest rates are in the top 5% in the nation. You can learn more about FNBO Direct in our review.
EverBank is another bank on our list that you might not have heard of. While they aren’t the most well-known bank on our list, they could be one of the best options depending on your finances. They are headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
Their Yield Pledge Money Market account is an excellent place to stash your money if you’re looking for a high-yield savings account. According to their site, their yields “never stray from the top 5% of Competitive Accounts,” which is a nice advantage. Not only that, but they allow you to make mobile check deposits, move money six times a month, and they have no monthly fees. The one thing to note with this savings account is that requires a $5,000 deposit to open.
Discover Bank Online Savings Account
Much like American Express, Discover is not just a credit card company anymore. They also have a savings account that you can open. They typically feature well above average interest rates, with no opening deposit requirement and no monthly fees that you have to worry about. One of the other advantages of the Discover savings account is that the interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.
Discover tells you on their site that they have zero hidden fees. You won’t be charged monthly, there is no minimum balance that you have to maintain and $0 for incoming wire transfers. Learn more about all the banking products offered by Discover in our Discover Bank review.
USAA – Best Online Bank for Military and their Families
USAA is a great institution and I do most of my banking with them. They are not going to give you the best interest rates, but they give you some of the best customer service you will find anywhere. And they are a leader among the best military banks.
To be eligible to become a USAA member you have to have served in the military or have a parent who has served and is a USAA member. If your parents have served in the military, but have not signed up for USAA they can set up an account free of charge without signing up for any services. As soon as your veteran parent has a member number, you can use that number to start your account.
Chase Bank – Best Savings Account Bonus
Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States and, while they do not offer the best interest rates, they offer some of the largest bonuses for opening an account of any of the online banks. Currently, they are offering $150 for anyone who opens a new Chase SavingsSM account. Chase also offers other bonus offers for different types of checking accounts.
To qualify for the $150 bonus it’s also required to deposit a total of $10,000 or more within 20 business days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days.
American Express Personal Savings Account
While you probably know of American Express as the credit card company, they also have some online savings accounts that you should take note of when you’re looking to stash away some money. Their interest rates are among the best on this list of banks. Much like the other accounts on our list, the American Express Personal Savings Account doesn’t have any monthly fees, and there is no initial deposit requirement.
One of the excellent advantages of opening a savings account at American Express National Bank is that they make it very easy to transfer your savings into your primary bank account. As long as you make the transaction during regular business hours, the funds will be in your bank account within 1 to 3 business days. Learn more in our American Express Personal Savings Account review.
While Ally Bank is quickly becoming one of the most popular banks on our list. They were initially established as General Motors Acceptance Corporation in 1919 but changed their name to Ally Financial in 2009.
They offer a variety of financial services that you can take advantage of, including Ally Invest. But we are going to focus on the savings account. Aside from having excellent customer service at your disposal 24 hours a day, you can also enjoy their high interest rates, zero fees every month, and a wide array of financial products and services. They compound the interest daily and will allow you to deposit checks with their mobile app. You can learn more about all these features in our Ally Bank review.
Barclays Bank offers some of the highest interest rates in the U.S. However, they are not a full-service bank. Barclays is able to offer high interest rates on savings by limiting their accounts to savings and certificates of deposit. Barclays Bank does not currently offer a checking account or even have an ATM network.
That said, if you are a rate chaser, Barclays is one bank worth looking into. Their rates are generally among the highest you can find, and they tend to offer great CD rates as well. You can link your Barclays Bank account to several other banks and deposit checks online or by using their iOS or Android App. You can learn more in our Barclays Bank Savings Account Review.
Capital One 360
Capital One’s 360 Savings account is a great addition to anyone that already has an account with Capital One. Their interest rates are higher than you’re going to find at just about any local bank, but several other online options are going to offer better rates. That said, they have many attractive features, including the ability to make sub-accounts, link external accounts, and thousands of fee-free ATMs.
Just like every other company on our list, they don’t have any monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance that you have to keep. They have excellent customer service, and they make it extremely simple to apply for an account. You can learn more in our Capital One 360 review.
Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae just opened a new consumer banking division and they currently offer some of the highest rates in the nation. Sallie Mae is FDIC insured, has no minimum balance requirements, and no fees. Sallie Mae also has a unique arrangement with Upromise – you can earn a 10% annual match on Upromise earnings. For more information, please read this Sallie Mae Savings Account Review for more information.
SmartyPig is a different kind of bank, offering high interest rates and an incentive to save. SmartyPig is FDIC insured and has no minimum balance or fees. To open a SmartyPig account, you need to declare a savings goal, then set up automatic deposits toward your goal. This is an easy process and only takes a few minutes to set up. For more information about SmartyPig’s great interest rates or to open an account, see this Smarty Pig review.
Synchrony is frequently one of the top online banks for interest rates and has been a top competitor with the other online only banks for years.
How to Find the Best Banks and Rates
All banks and credit unions are not created equally. There are variations in interest rates, reliability, functionality, and more. When looking for a new bank, consider these features:
- FDIC insurance. FDIC Insurance is one of the most important features – if the bank is not FDIC insured, keep looking.
- Interest rates. The higher the better, provided the bank meets your other needs.
- Account minimums. Some banks require you to deposit a large amount of money to receive the best rates or avoid fees.
- Fees. Keep these to a minimum.
- Functionality. Some banks offer great features such as unlimited sub-accounts, high yield checking accounts, Certificates of Deposit, the ability to link to a brokerage account, and more.
- Access to funds. How quickly and easily can you access your money if you need it? Is there a brick and mortar version of the bank, or is it only online?
- Do they offer an online checking account? You may wish to match your online savings account with a checking account for ease of access and higher interest rates. Unfortunately, not all online banks offer checking accounts. See our list of best online checking accounts for more information.
- Is there a sign up bonus? Some banks offer sing up bonuses when you open a new account. This can be a quick and easy way to earn several hundred dollars. See our list of current bank sign up bonuses for more information.
Check out our post about the benefits of Chase Checking accounts, this is one great online banking option with perks of free money for signing up!