The Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts for April 2021

The cornerstone of any good financial system starts with finding a savings account that works for you. The best savings accounts offer high-yield interest rates and don’t require you to maintain a huge minimum balance to avoid fees.

I.N.G.? Ing? For a while, no one knew!

So how do you find a good one? While it may be surprising, look to online banks. My first online savings account was with a little-known Dutch bank, ING (which is an acronym for Internationale Nederlanden Groep, recently acquired by Capital One). They were orange, not a typical banking color (most prefer blues and greens here), had an acronym for their name (or was it just the name? No one knew!), and everyone was skeptical about online banking let alone an online-only bank.

Today, online savings accounts are commonplace and extremely versatile. The interest rates are much higher than what is typically seen with major banks. How do these rates compare? While we will get to the online banks soon, see for yourself, not a single one will move the needle (I was embarrassed to even type them): (list)

This prompted me to compile a list of online savings accounts with the highest interest rates. They are all FDIC insured (don’t let the phrase “online bank” scare you, they’re just like regular banks). You can confirm that by searching the FDIC’s Bank Find tool and confirming the FDIC numbers listed. These banks are presented in no particular order, but all provide value in terms of helping you build a strong financial foundation.

Table of Contents
  1. Ally Bank — 0.50% APY
  2. Chime- 0.50% APY
  3. Capital One 360 Performance Savings – 0.40% APY
  4. Citi – 0.50% APY
  5. Discover Bank — 0.40% APY
  6. Synchrony Bank — 0.50% APY
  7. Barclays Bank — 0.40% APY
  8. Marcus by Goldman Sachs — 0.50% APY
  9. Alliant Credit Union — 0.55% APY
  10. American Express® Personal Savings — 0.40% APY
  11. Betterment Everyday – 0.30% APY
  12. Common Questions about Online Savings Accounts

Ally Bank — 0.50% APY

Ally Bank (FDIC #57803) is the online bank I use (I consider them the best online bank, which is why I use them) and I’ve been a fan of theirs for years. I opened my account shortly after they rebranded from GMAC (General Motors Acceptance Corporation) in the late 2000s.

Their savings account has a solid interest rate, no maintenance fees, and no minimum balance.

Their CD rates are also competitive, the early termination period is only 60 days on a short-term CD (versus the more typical 90 days), and they often give you an interest rate bonus if you roll your maturing CD into a new one.

They offer a free checking account with no minimum balance, they refund up to $10 in ATM fees each statement, have a large ATM network, and they have a competitive interest rate on the checking account too.

Their app is solid too. It has all of the typical bells and whistles plus a great remote deposit feature for when you have checks to deposit. If you need to deposit checks and don’t want to use the app, there are postage-paid deposit envelopes for you to use too (absolutely free).

Finally, they also offer an integrated brokerage accounted called Ally Invest. This gives you access to a low-cost stock broker too that offers free stock trades too.

(read our full review of Ally Bank)

Chime- 0.50% APY

Chime is a part of a banking phenomenon known as “neobanks,” or banks that are marrying traditional banking services with a more modern “tech-focused” approach to banking. They offer a mobile app that can help you manage your transactions, including alerts anytime your debit card is used, as well as the ability to pay your friends easily. If you get your paycheck direct deposited, you get access to it two days earlier than at a traditional bank.

They offer a checking account (called a Spending Account) that comes with a debit card. No monthly fees or maintenance fees with this account. There is also a savings account (called a Savings Account) that pays you 0.50% APY and has automatic savings functionality (like roundup transfers), should you want it. Again, no minimum balances required.

You can read more about Chime here.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings – 0.40% APY

I’ve had a Capital One 360 Performance Savings account ever since it was an ING Direct account – a testament to how good of a bank I think they are. I liked how easy it was to open new accounts and manage my money there – plus it offers a competitive interest rate. Sometimes, we list Discover higher because you get a similar rate plus some bonus cash (when a promotion is available) but Performance Savings is comparable.

Capital One 360 has the added bonus of being part of Capital One, which makes management of your bank account easy if you already have Capital One credit cards. I enjoy having a lot of different services under one login because it’s just easier to manage.

Another added bonus is that CapitalOne often offers a bonus on new accounts.

Citi – 0.50% APY

We listed Citi at the start of the post and how they had a low-interest rate but that’s for their brick & mortar savings account. It turns out that, in some states, they offer a new Citi Accelerate Savings account that has a very competitive interest rate. The Citi Accelerate Savings account is their online bank and it has no minimum opening deposit. The only downside is it is only available in 42 states.

There is, however, a monthly fee that can be easily avoided. The monthly fee is $4.50 for just the savings account (not linked to a Checking account) but you can avoid it by maintaining an average monthly balance of $500 or more. If you have both checking and savings, the fee is $10 but you can avoid it with a $1,500 combined average monthly balance in your eligible linked accounts OR by making one qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per statement period.

It is not available in every state so when you click through, you’ll have to enter your state to check eligibility.

Discover Bank — 0.40% APY

Discover Bank Logo

Discover, the credit card folks, also has an online bank! Discover Bank (FDIC #5649) may not be a familiar name to you but they’ve been actively insured by the FDIC since 1934!

Their savings account has one of the highest interest rates, no maintenance fees, and no minimum balance.

The checking account also has no minimum balance, access to over 60,000 ATMs in the ATM network, plus a generous reward structure. You can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month, pay a bill online, or write a check that clears (up to 100 such cashback transactions a month)

Learn more about Discover Bank
(click here for our in-depth review of Discover Online Savings Bank)

Synchrony Bank — 0.50% APY

Synchrony Bank (FDIC #27314) is probably the least well known name on this list but they were formerly GE Capital Retail Bank, a part of GE Capital.

Their savings account is tied for the highest interest rate with no minimum balance and no maintenance fees.

They don’t have a “checking” account but instead what is known as a money market account. This account pays a higher interest than similar online checking accounts and has no minimum balance and no maintenance fees either.

Their CD rates are competitive with others on this list.

Learn more about Synchrony Bank

Barclays Bank — 0.40% APY

Barclays is a British based international banking corporation and the online bank is part of their US subsidiary, Barclays Bank located in Delaware (FDIC #57203).

Their online savings account product has a competitive interest rate, no minimum balance to open, and to earn interest you need to keep enough such that the interest rate earns you a penny each period (so you won’t earn fractional interest, this is typical).

Barclay’s has a competitive lineup of Certificates of Deposit, with terms as short as 3-months and up to 60 months. The rates are competitive with other online banks.

Learn more about Barclays

Marcus by Goldman Sachs — 0.50% APY

Marcus by Goldman Sachs (FDIC #33124) is the online bank of Goldman Sachs, most well known as an investment banking firm. They do quite more than that and Marcus by Goldman Sachs handles their online bank offerings.

They currently have some of the highest interest rates for savings accounts and they have no minimum deposits and no transaction fees (there do not appear to be maintenance fees either). They were named the Best Stand-Alone Account for Savings by MONEY® Magazine ‘Best Banks’ 2016 issue, for whatever that’s worth.

Here’s a full review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs to give you a full scope understanding of their offer.

Learn more about Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Alliant Credit Union — 0.55% APY

Alliant Credit Union is the only credit union on this list and they are NCUA insured (NCUA is the equivalent of the FDIC for credit unions, same protections and same amounts – NCUA #67955).

The account minimum to open is $5 (but they will give you $5 to open an account!). The interest rate is available if you have $100 or more in your account and there are no maintenance fees if you elect e-statements (many of the online banks do not even offer paper statements, so this is not a huge distinction). They have 80,000+ ATMs in their network.

The same terms exist for their checking account too but their interest rate on the checking account is slightly higher than many others. There is no minimum balance required on the checking account and you can get $20 in ATM surcharge refunds per month.

Why bother including a credit union? Because this credit union offers two remarkable products – a Kid’s Savings Account and a Free Teen Checking Account. They are joint accounts with perks to help teach your kids responsible money habits – a fantastic idea.

Learn more about Alliant Credit Union

American Express® Personal Savings — 0.40% APY

You are probably more familiar with their credit cards than their savings account but American Express National Bank (FDIC #27471) has been in business since 2000, when American Express sold their previous banking division to Standard Chartered.

American Express® Personal Savings is their high yield savings product. They also have certificates of deposit as well but they do not have a checking account, you are permitted to link up to three of those from external banks.

We have a full review of American Express Personal Savings.

Betterment Everyday – 0.30% APY

Betterment Everyday is the online checking and savings product of one of the oldest roboadvisors, Betterment. Betterment is most well known for its investment products and only recently started offering an FDIC insured bank account. Through a partnership with four banks, you get up to $1,000,000 of FDIC coverage (4x normal) on your savings plus a very competitive interest rate (recent pandemics have cut this rate tremendously). You manage it all through their app (I’d argue you shouldn’t have a million bucks in cash though!) so it’s invisible to you.

It’s a decent place to park cash you aren’t using in your Betterment account, which is a nice-to-have feature to have since many other brokerages pay nearly nothing on your cash deposits.

Learn more about Betterment Everyday

Common Questions about Online Savings Accounts

Here are a few questions I get asked a lot when it comes to these online savings accounts.

How do online savings accounts work?

Online savings accounts are just like regular savings accounts. The big difference is that many of the banks that offer online savings accounts don’t have physical locations you can visit. Your main point of contact is through an app or online banking.

Many of the banks also offer online checking accounts that work just like regular checking accounts. The app will usually let you deposit checks by taking a picture of the front and back. You can access your money through a regular ATM and many banks have partnerships with national ATM networks like Allpoint.

Why should I get an online savings account?

If online savings accounts are just like savings accounts without physical locations, what’s the benefit of getting an online savings account? They have much higher interest rates. If you ever look at the interest rate of a regular bank, it’s usually ridiculously low.

For example, as of this writing, the interest rate at Bank of America’s savings account is 0.01% APY. It’s basically zero and it has been for a long time. Ally Bank’s interest rate is 0.50% APY.

Online banks tend to have much lower fees too. Ally Bank doesn’t have a maintenance fee and no minimum balance. Bank of America’s Core Checking has a $12 monthly fee that is waived if you maintain a balance of $1,500 or have a qualifying direct deposit of $250+.

Are online savings accounts safe?

Yes, 100% safe. Online banks are FDIC insured and so your money is as safe in those banks as they would be in a traditional bank. Your funds are protected up to $250,000 by the FDIC. If the bank fails, the FDIC will get you your money back.

As for protection against fraud, they often have security precautions in place to prevent many of the different types of fraud. Many banks offer two-factor authentication, to confirm your identity, as well as plenty of notifications. You can set up your bank to notify you every time there is a transaction, a service not many banks offer.

How many savings accounts can I have?

There is no limit to how many savings accounts you can have but you will receive a Form 1099-INT from every bank that pays you more than $10 in interest. You may not want to deal with so many forms when it comes time to do your taxes!

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Jim Wang

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of three who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and a farm in Illinois via AcreTrader.

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These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. Robert says

    Good information in this article but I’m going to stick with the 28 day T-bill. No third party (bank) counter-risk, your money is invested with the government, the same place they will go if a major bank goes bust and kills off the FDIC, much like the defunct FSLIC in the 1980’s. Our savings is divided into quarters with each quarter reinvested each week. This gives you 13 cycles in a year (52/4=13) and is currently paying out at 2.2% APR. It has been rising all year and we believe will likely continue to do so with the massive buys of capital the government is sucking out of the economy to fund their deficits. As the cycles are so short, we aren’t locked into a vehicle like a CD that penalizes you for an early withdrawal, and we minimize losses of ongoing increases in interest by only being locked in for 28 days, easily catching the rise in as close to real time as possible. You only need $100 to start and invest in $100 increments. In the off chance the federal government would be at risk of default, something that hasn’t happened in 200 years, we are on a short enough time frame to get your money out before the real damage hits. Thanks again.

  2. Seth says

    Do you have any feedback for online savings accounts with Citizens Access. It looks like their APY is a bit higher than any of the options posted here, and I was wondering if there are any cons to choosing that bank over the others.

    • Jim Wang says

      None that I can see, it’s actually the first I’ve heard about them before. Citizens Access is FDIC insured, a division of Citizens Bank, and they have a solid APY. I say go for it!

  3. karim says

    Hi Jim,

    Nice blog! Do you have any credit/debit card with Ally? if so, what is your point of view about it? I’m planning to open a saving account with them and put my house down payment money to work a little. However, will it be easy to pull out that money when needed with a minimum fee?
    Thanks and happy holidays!

    • Jim Wang says

      Hi Karim – I have their debit card and I use it as an ATM card. They reimburse me ATM fees up to $10 per statement but I rarely use it more than once a month.

  4. Marcello says

    Great article Jim! I have a question for you. I currently have a Capital One 360 savings account at 1%, so hence why I have been doing my research and came across your article. I am considering the Amex savings at 2.1% since I already have a card with them, figured it would be under one roof. But then read that there is no app to go with that account? Also considering a money market with Capital One 360 at 2%. I purely am switching over for the APY that is higher. Which of those two would you recommend?

    • Jim Wang says

      I don’t have an AMEX account so I don’t know about the app but Capital One 360 is a great account. You can open several savings accounts quickly, so you can save towards different goals, and the interface is pretty good.

  5. MMM says

    Ally bank reduced their interest rate for Savings Account to 1.7% today (Nov 13). This is a second drop within a 30-40 day period from 1.9%. While the rate may still be better than some other banks, something seems to be drastically wrong at Ally to warrant 2 consecutive drops within a short time period. I had also called out the 1.8% drop the first time on this website.

    • Jim Wang says

      The Federal Reserve recently lowered their federal funds target rate, which is why banks are now all lowering their interest rates.

  6. DELMA j RUBIN says

    Hello Jim, I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the wealth of helpful information you provide. I am in the market for a high yield banking amount and a great credit card. the information you provided has greatly helped me in making a decision. Being knowledgeable has allowed me to make good money decisions. Keep the information coming. I have been thinking about long term and short term investing and would appreciate any information you can share.

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