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.
Rates below are accurate as of April 2023
Table of Contents
- Where to Find 5% Saving Accounts
- High-Interest Savings Accounts
- Western Alliance Bank – 5.05% APY
- UFB Premier Money Market – 4.81% APY
- Sallie Mae CD – 4.75% APY for 14-Month CD
- Current – 4.00% APY on the first $6,000
- Digital Credit Union
- Blue Federal Credit Union
- Service Credit Union
- Rewards Checking Accounts
- Prize-Linked Savings Accounts
- Small Business Bonds
- Prepaid Debit Cards
🔃Updated April 2023 to include UFB Premier Money Market as the first bank to offer a yield above 5% APY without any restrictions or requirements whatsoever, unfortunately it pulled back to 4.81% APY. We also include a 5.00% APY CD from Bellco Credit Union.
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.
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.
- FDIC or NCUA insured up to $250,000
- No account service fees
- Easy to earn high interest rate
- 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
Western Alliance Bank – 5.05% APY
Western Alliance Bank is a regional bank that offers a higher interest rate on savings through the SaveBetter platform. They are an FDIC insured commercial bank with $65 billion in assets their savings account currently yields 5.05% APY.
This account with Western Alliance has no monthly maintenance fees and interest in compounded daily and credited monthly. The minimum opening balance is just $1.
Western Alliance Bank is based out of Phoenix, AZ.
👉 Learn more about Western Alliance Bank
UFB Premier Money Market – 4.81% APY
UFB Premier Money Market is a money market account offered by ufb Direct, which offers its bank products and services through Axos Bank. It’s technically money market account but acts just like a savings account.
It currently offers 4.81% APY on all balances with no minimum and no monthly fees. It’s a solid account with great rates, worth a look if you want someplace easy to park your funds.
👉 Learn more about UFB Premier Money Market
Sallie Mae CD – 4.75% APY for 14-Month CD
Sallie Mae, through the SaveBetter platform, has a 14-Month CD that offers a yield of 4.75% APY, one of the highest we’ve seen so far. With the current federal funds target rate, this is an offer that looks be very attractive if you want to lock in a higher rate for a reasonable period of time.
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 receive a paycheck 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. You will need to make a minimum $5 opening deposit and the first $500 earns 5.00%.
Any remaining balance earns 0.25% APY which is better than most local banks but there are better places to park your extra cash.
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.
- Can earn more interest than high-yield savings accounts
- FDIC insured
- Must complete monthly activities or you own a much lower rate
- Bonus yield may only apply to a portion of account balance
Consumers Credit Union
A Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking account earns up to 4.09% 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:
- Enroll in paperless documents
- Make at least 12 debit card purchases each month
- Have at least $500 in direct deposits, mobile check deposits or ACH deposits
- 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 2.09% on the first $10,000 by completing the first three steps.
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.
You can earn up to 3.50% APY by opening an HMBradley deposit account and completing these actions each month:
- Earn 3% interest: Save at least 20% of your quarterly direct deposits
- Earn 0.5% interest: Make at least $100 in monthly purchases on an HMBradley credit card and have at least $2,500 in monthly direct deposits
At a minimum, your balance earns 1.00% APY, which is higher than most online banks. The first $100,000 earns interest.
Your first $10,000 with an Emprise Bank High Interest Checking account can earn 1.75% APY and the remaining balance earns 0.20%.
The monthly requirements to earn the bonus interest rates are:
- Make at least 12 debit card transactions
- Enroll in eStatements
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Can win cash prizes
- Deposits earn interest
- Interest rate can be lower than high-yield bank accounts
- May not win prizes
Yotta Savings deposits earn a 0.20% APY savings reward. In addition, the first $250,000 has FDIC Insurance from Evolve Bank.
Every $25 you deposit earns tickets for the weekly prize draw to win up to $10 million.
Use the referral code JIM4 to get 100 bonus tickets when you sign up.
A second option is depositing at least $5 into a Crypto Bucket to earn an average 8% APY interest rate. The platform converts your fiat currency into cryptocurrency stablecoins but you forfeit FDIC Insurance.
Here’s our full Yotta Savings review.
Learn more about Yotta Savings
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.
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.
- Entire balance earns 5%
- Low investment minimum
- Asset-backed loans
- Can be riskier than corporate or government bonds
- May need to invest for the entire bond repayment term
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.
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.
- Savings accounts don’t are fee-free
- Can be more flexible than a traditional savings account
- 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 $20 credit after loading your card and joining Netspend with a referral.
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.