Money, indeed, does not grow on trees. But it does grow when you stash it in a high-interest savings account. And with the average American having roughly $38,000 in personal debt, not including mortgages, saving should be a top priority—second only to paying down debt. 1
And when you’re ready to start saving—and you should start as soon as you can even if you only save a few dollars—you want to make the most of your money. A high-interest savings account lets you do just that. But not all accounts are the same, some pay a higher interest rate, some have mobile apps, some even offer mobile bank deposits.
You might be surprised to learn that they’re very accessible. Credit.com offers multiple high-interest savings accounts that not only pay significantly more than the average current savings rate of .10% but that have no minimum deposit, no minimum balance to earn interest and charge no monthly maintenance fees or other fees.2
Why not opt for a traditional savings account? Well, the national average of .10% comes from traditional banks and credit unions paying savings interest rates as low as 0.01% and no more than 1.5%.2 With a high-yield savings account from Credit.com, you can earn up to a 2.25% annual percentage yield (APY) on your savings. That difference can add up as shown below.
Interest Earned on Different APYs Over 10 Years
|APY on Beginning Balance of $1,000||Added Monthly Deposit||Ending Balance at 10 Years||Interest Earned|
Cut to the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts
Hopefully, you see the value of putting your money in a high-yield savings account that earns more interest. An account with the highest interest rate is probably your top pick, but there are some differences in accounts that might make a slightly lower APY worth it for you.
To help you cut through the options, the editors at Credit.com have looked at the available high-interest savings accounts offered on Credit.com. Realized that there’s no one best account for everyone. This is just our take on which accounts offer the most appeal and for which reasons.
Benefits: If earning is your game, but you need a touch extra, this account is golden. It’s one of two high-interest savings accounts available on Credit.com that offer 2.25% APY, so you can max out your earnings. On top of that, the HSBC Direct Savings Account has:
- $0 monthly maintenance fee
- $1 minimum balance opening deposit
- Mobile check deposits for easy direct deposits to your account using only your phone
- 24×7 online and mobile banking app account management and access
- Live chat support
If that’s not enough to tell you why this account is the top pick of the Credit.com team, it also has automated phone banking, free online budget tools, up to sevn years of online eStatements and the peace of mind of having your money in an FDIC-insured institution.
If a mobile banking app and mobile check deposits aren’t that important to you and live support isn’t something you see needing, the Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Online Savings Account offers the same 2.25% APY as the HSBC savings account.
Drawbacks: The drawbacks of this account are those that are common to savings accounts, including no ATM card access to your money, no ability to use a debit card or write checks to access your money, a limit of six withdrawals a month, which is a federal law. Outside of those common drawbacks, there’s not much fault to find with the account. Some of the other accounts do have a $0 minimum opening balance, but a $1 isn’t really that much is it?
Benefits: If you’re all about earning the most interest, this account is the Credit.com team’s pick for you. It offers an APY of 2.25%, making it only one of two available Credit.com savings account offerings that pay that much. Top that off with:
- No minimum deposit to open an account.
- No monthly service fee.
- No transaction fees.
In an account at Marcus Goldman Sachs, you also have the assurance of a bank that is FDIC-insured. And, you can have joint account ownership. Unlike some online accounts, the Goldman Sachs customer service line runs seven days a week, so you can reach a person if you have a concern.
Drawbacks: Pretty much all the accounts covered here is a lack of ATM access, debit cards, checking accounts and check writing capabilities. That’s more a restriction of savings accounts in general and not any one individual account. That said, depending on your preference, the real drawbacks of this account are going to be:
- No mobile app for managing your account.
- No mobile bank deposits—deposits are possible only by online transfer from another account, wire transfer or mailed check.
If you’re a smartphone junkie those two items may make the HSBC Savings Account more appealing.
Benefits: The Barclays online savings account’s APY is a touch less than the others at 2.20%—five-hundredths of a percent less. It shares many of the same benefits as the other accounts though, including Barclay’s being FDIC-insured and offering:
- No minimum opening balance to avoid fees.
- No minimum monthly balance to earn APY.
- Mobile check deposits.
- 24×7 access to your account and funds online or by mobile app.
Drawbacks: This account has no real drawbacks other than those that afflict any savings account—no ATM access, no debit card, no checking account or check writing capabilities. Granted, if you enjoy stopping in to your local bank or credit union branch and chatting with the teller when you make a deposit, this account—none of the accounts—here will fit your bill.
Benefits: If you think American Express is all about credit cards, think again. As this account proves, it’s also about savings. And the American Express Personal Savings account is a solid account. While it pays a slightly lower APY rate than the other accounts featured here of just 2.10%, it competes well with those accounts on other features, including:
- No minimum balance to open the account or to avoid fees.
- No monthly fees.
- $1 minimum balance opening deposit.
- The ability to pay your American Express credit card bill using your American Express Personal Savings account—something you won’t find with any other card here.
Also, American Express Bank, FBS, is a federal savings bank (FSB) and is owned by American Express. This account is offered the bank which is FDIC-insured. Like the Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Savings Account, the American Express Personal Savings Account let you have joint account ownership. You can also link up to three external accounts to your Amex savings account.
Drawbacks: The American Express Personal Savings Account shares the same potential drawbacks of—no ATM access, no debit card, no checking account or check writing capabilities, and a limit of six withdrawals a month common to savings accounts in general. The two added drawbacks are that it has other than it’s somewhat lower APY is that Amex has no mobile banking app and doesn’t allow mobile check deposits. If those conveniences matter to you, another account may be a better option.
High-Interest Online Account, Money Market or CD?
For saving money without risking losing money as you might in an investment account, you’re three main options are high-interest savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit or CDs. There are a few key differences between these accounts.
Accessibility: Money in a high-interest savings account or money market is accessible anytime—provided you haven’t exceeded your six withdrawal limit for that month or statement cycle. That can be critical if your savings are your emergency fund.
Money in a CD is available without an early withdrawal penalty only after the maturity date, which is determined when you open the account and can be 6 months to 10 years. And online-only accounts of any type don’t let you access them at a local brick and mortar branch.
Check writing: Money market accounts or MMAs do typically include the ability to write checks on the account. Again, the limit is six per month or statement cycle, but, if check writing is your thing a money market may be better for you.
Minimum opening balance and minimum deposit. Both CDs and MMAs typically have higher minimum opening deposits and minimum balances than high-interest savings accounts. In return, you’ll typically also get a higher interest rate, which can be good if you can swing the extra money.
High-interest savings accounts can offer the higher interest rate they do compared to regular financial institutions and savings account because they’re available from online banks or offered by banks with branches, but only as an online-only account. One main reason these accounts provide better interest rates is that online-only accounts and/or banks have lower overhead costs. Without buildings or people to staff those buildings, banks can pass on some of their savings to you in the form of a better interest rate.
You may want money in both a high-interest account and in a money market or CD. A money market or CD may be a better way to meet specific long-term savings goals.
So, which one of these online savings accounts is the best one for you? That depends on what you’re looking for. We ranked the HBSC account at the top of the list because of the annual percentage yield and its added convenience features.
In the end, it is less about which is the best online savings account and more about which has the combination of APY and other features that work best for you. Compare your options and open an account when you’re ready. Don’t wait too long though, the sooner you open an account, the sooner you can start earning a return on your money.
2 National savings rate average from the FDIC.gov website as of 3/18/2019. https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/historical/2019-03-18.html.
NOTE: Accounts mentioned here may not be visible on Credit.com at certain points due to partner caps on the number of accounts that can be opened in a given day or timeframe.
EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE: Reviews are as determined solely by Credit.com staff. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewers and aren’t reviewed or approved by any advertiser. Information presented is accurate as of the date of the review, including information on account’s rates, rewards and fees. Check the institution’s website for the most current information on each account listed. Some offers mentioned here may have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our high-yield marketplace.
DISCLOSURE: Online savings accounts from our partners are mentioned here.