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The 5 best high-yield savings accounts: Not your standard savings

What is the best high-yield savings account? American Express high-yield savings account is ZDNet's top choice because of its high APY, no fees, and great customer service. We made your search easier by compiling the top high-interest accounts below based on APY, fees, and bank reputation/account offerings.

If recent studies show us anything, it is that Americans are not saving money as they should. For many, the sudden job losses, health expenses, and high inflation attributable to the COVID pandemic have shined a light on the necessity of having a savings account. You could be growing your account much quicker by using one. Many banks offer high-yield savings accounts as an option to earn money on the savings you put in a specific account. 

The best high-interest savings accounts can earn you up to 0.60% APY at a low cost. Since the national savings average is roughly 0.07% annual percentage yield (APY), opening a high-yield savings account is a no-brainer. 

However, it can be difficult to determine exactly which bank is best for you. We continually research hundreds of bank account options so we can inform you of only the most lucrative savings accounts. We compare factors like APY, fees, type of company and accounts, funds, and more to compile our selection.

Based on our study, these are the best high-yield savings accounts of 2022.   

Features and fees

  • APY: 1.15%
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Recommended Credit: Not disclosed

The American Express High Yield Savings Account is a great card with no fees. There are no minimums and no monthly fees for your account, saving you money in the long run. It is a card directly backed by American Express, offering an FDIC-insured option that delivers peace of mind. A unique feature of American Express is its customer service. It prioritizes customer needs by offering 24/7 customer service, so there is always somebody standing by when you hit a snag. You can transfer money into your account using transfers and automatic deposits. If you do not make any transfers and consistently hold a zero balance, American Express will close your account after 180 days, so it is critical that you remain active with your deposits. To help with tracking, you have the choice of either digital or paper statements each month to help you calculate your savings. It is important to note that this savings account does not issue any ATM or debit cards, nor does it provide checks. 

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly fees or minimums
  • Round-the-clock customer service
  • Financial resources online
  • No cards issued
  • Accounts with a $0 balance for 180 days are automatically closed 
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Features and fees

  • APY: 1.25% 
  • ACH transfers: $0
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10 per transaction
  • Incoming wires: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Outgoing wires: $20
  • Returned deposit item: $7.50

Ally Bank proudly claims to have helped people save 2 times more after using the smart savings tools available on its website. It uses a system called buckets, which helps you create and prioritize tasks, and boosters created to help you build your savings. It is easy to set up a recurring transfer so you do not have to worry about making a transfer each month, and there is also the option to round up each transaction to the next dollar, putting the extra change directly into your savings account. Plus, Ally skips many of the usual fees, charging nothing for monthly maintenance fees and incoming wires. However, you have to be comfortable banking online because Ally does not have any brick-and-mortar locations. You also do not have the ability to make cash deposits, limiting you to bank transfers instead. If you are internet-comfortable and only make transfers, Ally Bank could be for you.  

Pros

Cons

  • Easy online access
  • Competitive APY
  • Few fees
  • No physical branches
  • Cannot make cash deposits

Features and fees

  • APY: 1.00%
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Overdraft fee: Up to $200

Chime is a different type of service. It calls itself a tech company while relying on partners to fulfill its financial obligations. Chime is not a bank but rather works with a series of banks to provide support for its savings accounts, such as Stride Bank, N.A., and Cross River Bank. For your peace of mind, its partner banks are all FDIC-insured with added encryption protocols to protect your most sensitive information. Chime does not charge many of the fees that its competitors charge, requiring no minimum balance and delivering a competitive APY of 0.50% to help build your savings. There is also Round Ups, which help you save with each purchase rounded to the next dollar, and Save When I Get Paid helps with a direct deposit on every paycheck.  When you need to access funds, there is a network of more than 60,000 ATMs you can use without a fee, including those found in stores like 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and Walgreens.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple enrollment
  • Large ATM network
  • No monthly fees
  • No cash deposits
  • Works with a number of banks

Features and fees

  • APY: 1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers its High Yield Online Savings, requiring no monthly deposit and skipping the monthly fees. It is backed by the power of Goldman Sachs, a well-respected leader of investment banks. Marcus itself has been around since 2016, adding extra security. The main drawback is that this is not a bank and so it does not embrace the mobile check deposit or ATM network that you receive with other banks. You will need a separate checking account to make your transfers, significantly limiting how you transfer money and make deposits. If you need to take out money, there is no ATM access, but you can make a transfer, do a wire transfer, or send a check. For same-day transfers, you have a generous limit of $100,000 from other banks. You can access customer service 24/7 through the call center. Getting started is easy: No minimum deposit or credit check is required. There are also no monthly fees.

Pros

Cons

  • Same-day transfers
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Backed by Goldman Sachs
  • Requires good credit
  • No ATM access

Features and fees

  • APY: 0.75%
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly service charge: $0
  • Paper statements: $5 per month
  • Returned deposit: $7
  • Stop payment: $30

Backed by Oklahoma's Midland Bank, Vio Bank is an online-only bank that does not offer a checking account or ATM services, so it is important that you are tech-savvy enough to bank entirely online. However, with a 0.60% APY, the Vio Bank High-Yield Online Savings Account offers a rate that is lower than some of the online savings accounts here on our list. Additionally, there is no minimum opening, monthly service fee, or charge for incoming wires. You will pay other fees, however, with fees for outgoing wires, excessive transactions, returned deposits, and stop payments. If you opt for paper statements, there is a minor fee each month. There is a $100 minimum deposit to open your account, which is something customers need to be prepared for. Customer service is available during limited hours during Central time if you need help with your account. 

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly fee
  • Low opening deposit
  • Upfront fee schedule 
  • No mobile app
  • Required credit score not disclosed

What is the best high-yield savings account?

There are several options for the best high-yield savings account, as you can see here. Our pick for the best high-yield savings account is the Ally Online Savings Account. However, it is important to carefully survey APY rates and study the details of each account. Terms vary bank to bank, especially when you begin to compare brick-and-mortar banks to online banks. Consider not just the APY but also the associated fees to be sure that you are making the right choice for yourself and your family.

High-yield savings account

APY

Recommended Credit

Minimum opening balance

Monthly maintenance fee

Ally online savings account

1.25%

Fair, Good, Excellent

$0

$0

American Express high-yield savings account

1.15%

Not disclosed

$0

$0

Chime high-yield savings account

1.00%

Poor, Fair

$100

$0

Marcus by Goldman Sachs high-yield savings 

1.20%

Good, Excellent

$0

$0

Vio Bank high-yield online savings account

0.75%

Not disclosed

$0

$0

Which is the right high yield savings account for you?

Breaking down the best high yield savings account is not always an easy task, so here we provide our expert recommendations to help.

Choose this high yield savings account...

If you want...

Ally Online Savings Account

Tax-friendly, checking/savings hybrid

American Express High Yield Savings Account

A friendly voice to help you with your card

Chime High Yield Chime Savings Account

To simplify your online banking

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings 

An impressive APY with no fees to boot

Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account 

When you want an impressive IPY to help you save

How did we choose these high-yield savings accounts?

In choosing the best high-yield savings accounts, there are several factors we consider, which also may help you with your search for your own best pick.  

  • APY: An APY, or annual percentage yield, shows just how much you stand to gain through interest on your saved funds. 
  • Fees: At the end of the day, fees can cost a ton if you are not careful. Our picks for the best high-yield savings accounts all skip the monthly fees, so you can start saving faster.
  • Type of company: Not all of the best high-yield savings accounts come from banks. For example, Chime is a great example of other types of financial institutions beyond traditional banks. This is an important consideration if you prefer a brick-and-mortar service.
  • Type of accounts: In addition to savings accounts, many institutions may offer both checking and savings accounts to simplify your banking. 
  • Funds: It is important to consider how to fund your new savings account. Some companies may charge you to make a deposit, even if it is just a simple incoming wire. 

We recommend that you carefully review the terms and conditions of even the best high-yield saving account, so you can be sure that you are comfortable with the fees and features associated with your chosen savings account.

What is a high yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account, also known as a high-interest savings account, is different from a traditional savings account because it is designed to maximize your savings with a higher-than-usual APY. Interest compounds daily with monthly posting dates. According to federal law, you may make a maximum of nine debit, online, and telephone withdrawals.

Are high-yield savings accounts safe?

In general, high-interest savings accounts are safe. When putting your funds into any bank account or credit union, there is always the risk of that financial institution failing. However, the government ensures that your money is insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Whether it's the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union, your account is backed by reliable sources. So, invest confidently and earn up to 1.20% APY for little to no fees on the best high-yield savings accounts. 

Are there alternative savings accounts worth considering?

There are many, many options for savings accounts these days, but not all of them may tick the boxes you need in a high-yield savings account. 

These are some of the high-yield savings accounts we also considered for our list:

While you are sorting your personal finances, check out our articles for the best cash management accounts and the best business checking accounts

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