5% High Interest Savings Accounts – Earn up to 5% or More

Conventional wisdom is that you should be able to deposit your hard-earned money into a traditional savings account and earn a reasonable interest rate to build wealth with minimal risk.

But with interest rates at historic lows for so many years, savers resort to high interest savings accounts and other banking alternatives to earn up to 5% APY – and potentially more.

But as the Federal Reserve attempts to tamp down inflation with one of the only tools it has, the Federal Funds Rate, we’re starting to see interest rates on saving accounts creep up higher.

🔃Updated February 2024 to Add First Tech Credit Union to the list of reward checking accounts.

Where to Find 5% Saving Accounts

Earning 5% interest on a savings account is extremely difficult – there simply aren’t many accounts that offer that rate. Even as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates (the Federal Funds rate), bank accounts still offer pretty low rates.

There are, however, several options to earn more interest on your deposits. The rub, however, is that often the banks limit how much money earns that higher rate. The higher interest rate may only apply to a portion of your account balance.

In other instances, you may also have to complete specific actions to earn the higher rate. These include making a minimum number of debit card purchases or enrolling in direct deposit. These other actions help the bank earn money, in the case of debit card purchases, and they pass along those earnings as interest to you.

While you won’t earn 5% interest with every option, you can make more interest than a traditional brick-and-mortar account or even an online savings account.

Western Alliance Bank – 5.22% APY*

Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, has a high-yield savings account called the High-Yield Savings Premier with a yield of 5.22% APY.

They are, of course, FDIC insured (FDIC #57512) with more than $70 billion in assets and based out of Phoenix, AZ. This offer is available nationwide and has no account activity or maintenance fees and interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. The minimum opening deposit is $500.

👉 Learn more about this offer

* 5.22% APY (annual percentage yield) is accurate as of 4/4/2024 and subject to change at the Bank’s discretion. Minimum deposit required to open an account is $500 and a minimum balance of $0.01 is required to earn the advertised APY.

Rewards Checking Accounts

Your best option for earning more interest with minimal risk can be FDIC-insured rewards checking accounts and can double as a free checking account.

This account type can earn more interest than a savings account and also pay your monthly bills. Unlike savings accounts, these accounts don’t limit you to six monthly withdrawals like high interest savings accounts.

Pros

  • Can earn more interest than high-yield savings accounts
  • FDIC insured

Cons

  • Must complete monthly activities or you own a much lower rate
  • Bonus yield may only apply to a portion of the account balance

First Tech Credit Union

The First Tech Credit Union Rewards Checking account offers on the first $15,000 when you:

  • Make 20 transactions with your debit & credit card with a minimum monthly spend of $500, AND
  • have a monthly direct deposit or ACH of $1,000 or more, AND
  • enroll in eStatements.

This account also offers a savings account which also has a 5.00% APY yield on up to $25,000 when you satisfy the conditions above. If you don’t, the yield drops to 0.10%.

Overall, this is one of the best reward offers available because you can get a high rate on up to $40,000 in total savings – much higher than what you’ll see below.

👉 Learn more about this offer

Consumers Credit Union

A Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking account earns up to up to 5.00% APY – and it’s free.

The enhanced interest rate applies to the first $10,000.

You will need to complete these actions to earn the highest rate:

  1. Enroll in paperless documents
  2. Make at least 12 debit card purchases each month
  3. Have at least $500 in direct deposits, mobile check deposits or ACH deposits
  4. Spend at least $1,000 on a Consumers Credit Union credit card

If you don’t want a credit card from this institution, you can earn 3.00% on the first $10,000 by completing the first three steps. (but that’s not really worth it)

There are tiered interest rates for balances exceeding $10,000:

  • 0.2%: $10,000.01 to $25,000.00
  • 0.1%: $25,000.01 and up

Not achieving the necessary steps means you only earn 0.01% on your entire balance for the month.

Two other benefits include unlimited ATM reimbursements and personal checks.

👉 Learn more about this offer

Emprise Bank

Your first $10,000 with an Emprise Bank High Interest Checking account can earn 4.50% APY and the remaining balance earns 0.73%.

The monthly requirements to earn the bonus interest rates are:

  1. Make at least 12 debit card transactions
  2. Enroll in eStatements
  3. Make at least one direct deposit, withdrawal or automatic deposit

There are zero monthly service fees and the minimum initial deposit is $100 but there is no ongoing minimum balance requirement.

Axos Bank

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account awards up to 3.30% APY. Periodically, Axos Bank will offer a new account promotion so make sure you check that out if you’re interested.

To earn the full interest rate of 3.30% APY (as of 3/1/2023), you must do all of the following.

  • direct deposits (not including intra-bank transfers from another account) totaling $1,500 or more each month will earn 0.40%. A qualifying direct deposit is required for the remaining interest rate qualifications to apply. (and to unlock the next tiers, you must have direct deposit set up first)
  • debit card spending or Personal Finance Manager – Ten (10) point-of-sale transactions per month using your Rewards Checking Visa® Debit Card for normal everyday purchases with a minimum of $3 per transaction, or enrolling in Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) will earn 0.30%;
  • Managed Portfolios – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 a month in an Axos Managed Portfolio Invest account will earn 1.00%;
  • self-directed trading – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 per month in an Axos Self Directed Trading Invest account will earn 1.00%;
  • Loan Payments – and making a monthly payment to an open Axos Bank consumer loan (commercial and business loans excluded) via transfer from your Rewards Checking account will earn a maximum of 0.60%.

You only need $50 to open an account and the interest rate applies to your entire balance.

Learn more about Axos

T-Mobile MONEY

Postpaid T-Mobile customers can earn up to 4.00% APY on the first $3,000 cash deposits with T-Mobile MONEY by making at least 10 debit card purchases monthly. Balances above $3,000 earn 1.00% APY which is higher than most online banks.

If T-Mobile isn’t your mobile phone carrier, you can earn 1.00% back on your account balance.

High-Interest Savings Accounts

You may appreciate the convenience of having your cash savings in a single online high yield savings account.

This account type earns significantly more interest than a traditional savings account. However, you might be able to earn more interest by moving part of your reserves to these savings accounts offering tiered interest rates.

Pros

Cons

  • Rate can fluctuate since it is not fixed
  • Sometimes the high rate only applies to a small balance, sometimes as little as $1,000
  • Excess balance earns a lower interest rate

Current – 4.00% APY on the first $6,000

Current is a fintech company that offers “savings pods” that earn 4.00% APY but each pod is limited to $2,000 in deposits (you can earn interest beyond that). Your account is limited to three pods, so you can earn the higher interest rate on your first $6,000 deposited there.

So while it’s not 5%, you do get it on a decently large balance – $6,000.

There is also a new account bonus – get $50 when you add and receive a qualifying direct deposit of at least $200 within 45 days.

You can read our full review of Current here.

👉 Open an account with Current

Digital Credit Union

Earn 6.17% APY on the first $1,000 at Digital Credit Union with a Primary Savings account. Any remaining balance earns only 0.25% APY.

There are no service fees and you will need to maintain a minimum $5 balance.

Blue Federal Credit Union

Your first $1,000 earns 5% with an Accelerated Savings account at Blue Federal Credit Union.

The remaining balance earns between 0.15% and 1.00%, depending on the balance tier.

There isn’t a minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance to maintain. However, a $5 balance with Blue Federal may be necessary to keep your credit union membership.

Service Credit Union

A Primary Savings account from Service Credit Union lets you earn up to 5% APY on the first $500. You will need to make a minimum $5 opening deposit. Any remaining balance earns 0.25% APY which is better than most local banks but there are better places to park your extra cash.

Prize-Linked Savings Accounts

Consider prize-linked savings accounts if online savings and checking accounts don’t inspire you to save more money. These accounts are free to join, can earn interest and win cash prizes.

Your deposits can earn interest but the APY is lower than most high-yield accounts. But you can win cash prizes by making weekly deposits.

Pros

  • Can win cash prizes
  • Deposits earn interest

Cons

  • Interest rate can be lower than high-yield bank accounts
  • May not win prizes

PrizePool

PrizePool awards 0.30% APY on all deposits in an FDIC-insured account. Each dollar in your account earns one daily ticket for the weekly prize draw too.

In addition to potentially winning one of the 4,000 weekly cash prizes, you can also win a $25,000 monthly grand prize.

Related: Which Savings Accounts Will Earn You the Most Money

Small Business Bonds

If you don’t have the risk appetite for cryptocurrency but want to earn fixed returns, consider investing small business bonds. The investment minimums start at $10.

These loans can award 5% interest which is higher than most government or corporate bonds. The asset-backing can minimize downside risk of small business bonds but they can still be riskier than investment-grade bonds.

Peer-to-peer lending is another way to earn more from interest payments than receiving a tiny cut from the bank – loan interest is how savers make money from savings accounts and CDs.

Instead of lending money to individuals without collateral, you can fund asset-backed small business loans.

Pros

  • Entire balance earns 5%
  • Low investment minimum
  • Asset-backed loans

Cons

  • Can be riskier than corporate or government bonds
  • May need to invest for the entire bond repayment term

Worthy Bonds

Worthy Peer Capital lets you invest in $10 increments and the entire balance earns 5% APY.

The bonds mature after 36 months but you can redeem your shares without paying an early redemption penalty.

If you like the simplicity of index funds, you will appreciate Worthy. The platform manages the investment portfolio so you only have to buy notes and collect interest.

Learn more about Worthy Bonds

SMBX

It’s possible to earn up to 9% in small business bonds with SMBX (Small Business Exchange).

The minimum investment is $10 per note. The maturity date and yields vary by offering.

You can handpick your investments and see how much money other investors are committing. It may not be possible to redeem your shares early.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards are a popular option for the unbanked and teens to pay for purchases and avoid overspending.

Some of these cards offer high interest savings accounts to reward your unspent cash. You will need to review the potential debit card fees to decide if the extra income is worth it.

Pros

  • Savings accounts don’t are fee-free
  • Can be more flexible than a traditional savings account

Cons

  • Hard to avoid debit card fees
  • Must have account activity every 90 days

ACE Flare Account by MetaBank

Earn 6% on the first $2,000 and 0.50% on the remaining balance of an ACE Flare Account by MetaBank. You can make up to six monthly withdrawals like most high-yield accounts.

There are no account fees for this savings account but you must receive at least $500 in monthly direct deposits to qualify.

The balance only earns 0.01% APY if you don’t have qualifying direct deposits.

Having at least $500 in direct deposits also reduces the monthly service fee from $9.95 to $5 for the Flare Account debit card.

Other benefits include Payback Rewards to earn shopping rewards at participating merchants. You can also make up to $400 in free ATM withdrawals at ACE Cash Express locations.

Here’s our full review of ACE Flare Account.

Learn more about Ace Flare Account

Netspend Savings Account

The first $1,000 of a Netspend Savings Account earns 5% APY. Any balance above $1,000 earns 0.50% APY.

You can fund your account with a linked Netspend debit card.

There are no service fees for the savings account but you are likely to pay fees when using the platform’s debit card.

The Pay-As-You-Go Plan has a $0 monthly service fee but you pay $1.50 per card purchase. Upgrading to the monthly plan waive the $1.50 purchase fee but the monthly fee is $9.95 (or $5 if you receive at least $500 in monthly direct deposits).

Either plan charges $2.95 for ATM withdrawals and $3.95 for cash reloads. You will also pay a $5.95 inactivity fee after 90 days without a transaction. But this is a savings account, not a checking account, so you can only make six withdrawals a month.

Note: Get a $40 bonus after loading your card with $40 and joining Netspend with a referral.

Learn more about Netspend

Summary

As you can see, there are many ways you can earn at least 1% interest on your cash instead of a tiny fraction.

These gains can be an excellent addition to your current investment portfolio and can help you sleep easier at night without the heightened risk of alternative assets.

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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