Published on February 11th, 2016 | by Chuck149
Best High Interest Savings Accounts – Up To 5% with Rewards Accounts & 1.25% with Basic Accounts
One of the topics we cover here on DoC is high-interest savings accounts, and lots of readers ask about which one of the many options they should choose. In this post, we’ll try to keep an updated list of high-yield savings accounts available, and we’ll break down which accounts to get first.
- 1 High-Interest Savings Accounts
- 2 Basic High-Interest Options
- 3 Mega High-Interest Options – Nationwide
- 4 Mega High-Interest Options -Regional
- 5 Which Account to Open First
- 5.1 Insight Card – 5% (Link)
- 5.2 Northpointe – 5% (Link)
- 5.3 Mango Account – 6% (Link)
- 5.4 Consumer’s Credit Union – 4.59% (Link)
- 5.5 One American Bank – 3.5% (Link)
- 5.6 Lake Michigan Credit Union – 3% (Link)
- 5.7 Great Lakes Credit Union – 3% (Link)
- 5.8 Main Street Bank – 2.25% (Link)
- 5.9 Netspend Accounts – 5% (Link)
- 6 Final Tally
High-Interest Savings Accounts
There are standard high-interest savings accounts that don’t come with limits or strings attached, and then there are ultra high yield options that are more involved and take time and patience to deal with. We’ll talk about both options in this post.
Bear in mind, all of the better alternatives have velocity limits, whether it’s $5k or $10k or $20k. You’ll never be netting more than $1,000 in annual interest from any of these accounts, and it’s usually much less than that.
For someone who is impatient or who finds it difficult to deal with multiple accounts or who doesn’t have any spare time, your best bet is to use the standard high-interest savings account options and forget about all of these velocity-limited accounts.
Basic High-Interest Options
Leaving money in a regular bank account will usually get you a terrible interest rate; currently, it’s close to 0%. With a little research, you can find accounts that offer competitive rates. These are all ordinary savings accounts and are FDIC insured up to $250,000. They do not have any requirements to earn these rates.
Here are some of the popular options. These rates will fluctuate over time.
- UnitedBank – 1.35% APY on balances up to $500,000 restricted to: CA, CT, GA, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TX, VA, WA
- All America Bank – 1.25% APY on balances up to $35,000
- Red Neck Bank – 1.25% APY on balances up to $35,000
- Northpointe Bank – 1.12% on balances over $10,000; max balance of $500,000 (rate guaranteed for at least 12 months)
- Incredible Bank – 1.11% APY on balances up to $250,000 (minimum of $2,500 to avoid monthly fee)
- Everbank – 1.11% APY for first twelve months, then 0.61% APY (on balances up to $100,000)
- DimeDirect – 1.10 APY on balances up to $500,000
- Synchrony – 1.05% APY
- GE Capital – 1.05% APY
- Goldman Sachs Savings – 1.05% APY
- Ally – 1% APY
- Barclay’s – 1% APY
- Capital One Money Market – 1% APY
- Alliant Credit Union – 1% APY
- UFBDirect – 1% on balances $25k+
- Discover – .95% APY
- Amex – .9% APY
- CapitalOne360 – .75% APY
Mega High-Interest Options – Nationwide
Let’s start with a list of all the mega high-interest options:
- Consumer’s Credit Union 4.59% APY On Up To $20,000 Rewards Checking
- Insight 5% APY Prepaid Card on up to $5,000
- Mango Prepaid 6% Interest Rate
- Northpointe 5% Interest Checking Account, Up to $5k
- One American Bank – 3.5% APY Rewards Checking Account On Up To $10,000 [No Direct Deposit Required]
- Lake Michigan Credit Union: 3% Reward Checking Account On Up To $15,000
- Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) – 3% Rewards Checking Account Review, up to $10k
- Main Street 2.25% Rewards Checking on up to $25,000
- Netspend Prepaid 5% Interest Rate on up to $1,000
- Blue Federal Credit Union 4.99% APY Account (Up To $1,000)
- Blue Federal Credit Union 2% – 4% APY on up to $15,000
- DCU 5% APY on balances up to $750
Mega High-Interest Options -Regional
- In Massachusetts Alden Credit Union 5.125% APY Rewards Checking Account, up to $5,000
- In Minnesota: St Paul Federal Credit Union 4.99% On Balances Up To $20,000
- In Illinois: Hometown Community Banks 5.01% APY Checking Account (10 Debit Card Transactions Required)
- In Louisiana Gibsland Bank 4.11% APY on up to $15,000
- In Washington: BECU 4.07% APY on balances up to $1,000
- In Missouri Legacy Bank & Trust i-Profit 4% APY on Up To $10,000
- Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota Iowa State Bank 3.25% APY on up to $25k
- [IL, IN, TN, KY, MO] CFSB 3.05% APY Reward Checking Account, up to $20k
- [MD, DE] Destinations Credit Union: 3% Reward Checking Account, Up to $10,000
- In parts of Colorado: Bellco 2.25% rewards checking on up to $25,000
- In Wisconsin & Illinois: Landmark Credit Union 7.50% APY High Rate – Balances Of Up To $500
- In Pennsylvania: [PA] Coatesville Savings Bank 2% APY on up to $50,000
- In Michigan Honor Credit Union 5% APY Benefits Checking Account
- In parts of Michigan Option1 4% APY Checking Account on Balances up to $10k
- In Massachusetts: 2.75% on balances up to $25,000
- In Michigan AAA High-Yield Checking – 2.85% On Balances Up To $10,000
- In California: Provident Credit Union 2.01% on balances up to $25,000
Which Account to Open First
There’s no clear-cut answer as to which order you should be opening these account as each one has advantages and disadvantages. Here is a plausible order that makes sense to me based on the details of these accounts. (This plan is for the nationwide options; check out if there are better regional options in your area as well.)
Insight Card – 5% (Link)
The Insight Card is probably the easiest option, it offers 5% APY on up to $5,000, paid out quarterly. Just be careful to avoid the 90-day inactivity fee of $3.95.
Northpointe – 5% (Link)
Next up would be the Northpointe account for 5% interest on $5k. This account is trickier to deal with due to the requirement of doing 15 debit card transactions totaling $500 over the course of the month. Hitting the 15-threshold is doable (e.g. 50¢ Amazon gift cards); the $500 requirement is tougher for many.
Remember also to enroll in e-statements and to have $100 withdrawal or deposit to trigger the 5% rate.
There’s also a $50 signup bonus on this account, details here.
Mango Account – 6% (Link)
Mango has the highest APY of 6%, but it comes with a $3 monthly fee which lowers its overall value to pretty close to Insight and Northpointe.
Mango now requires an $800 ACH transferred to the account each month. You also can’t ACH the money out, and you’ll have to spend it down using the debit card.
Some people might prefer to skip Northpointe and Mango, and jump straight to Consumer’s Credit Union.
Consumer’s Credit Union – 4.59% (Link)
The Consumer’s account offers 4.59% on up to $20k. It does have some hoops to jump, though:
- A hard Equifax pull for opening the checking account, and another hard pull (looks like a Transunion pull) for opening the credit card. Credit card is necessary to get 4.59% rate.
- Put $1k per month on a Consumer’s credit card. If we assume you’d have earned 2% back on your regular credit card and you get 1% back with Consumer’s, you’ll end up losing $10 per month by doing this deal. (It’s not quite so bad since you can put $6k at the grocery and earn 3% back on that.)
- Do 12 debit transactions (e.g. buy twelve 50¢ Amazon gift cards).
- Remember to enroll in e-documents, do one bill pay per month, and access online banking once per month.
This Consumer’s account is better than the 5% accounts mentioned above in a big way since you can get a high-interest rate on $20k with a single account. Someone who has $20k to put in savings may prefer starting with this account versus the other accounts that have a $5k limit.
One American Bank – 3.5% (Link)
With One American you can get a 3.5% rate on up to $10k. Here are the drawbacks:
- Unknown if there is a hard pull for opening (one tentative data point indicates that it’s soft)
- 12 debit card purchases per month
- Remember to enroll in e-statements, and to login to online banking once per month
Lake Michigan Credit Union – 3% (Link)
Next up is LMCU, which gets the same 3% rate on up to $15k – more than Destination’s $10k. The drawbacks here are as follows:
- Transunion hard pull
- Monthly direct deposit, any amount (ACH should work)
- Ten debit card purchases per month
- Remember to signup for e-statements and also to login to online banking four times per month
Great Lakes Credit Union – 3% (Link)
Get a 3% rate from Great Lakes on up to $10k. Here are the drawbacks:
- Hard pull to open
- Requires monthly $500 direct deposit to get the 3% rate (ACH should work)
- Requires ten debit purchases per month, debit purchases must total $100, debit purchases need to be without a PIN
Main Street Bank – 2.25% (Link)
Main Street offers just a 2.25% rate on up to $25,000.
- 12 debit card purchases
- 1 bill pay, ACH, or direct deposit
- You need to keep the account appearing like an ordinary checking account with deposits, withdrawals, etc
If not for this last requirement of keeping the account looking ordinary, this one would have been higher on the list since it allows up to $25k, a huge plus.
Netspend Accounts – 5% (Link)
Each Netspend account can get 5% APY on up to $1,000 (it used to be up to $5,000 but that’s changed). Since it has such a low limit, it’s probably not worth mentioning it. We’re keeping it here mainly because many of us already have this account set up and some will decide to keep $1,000 in the account for the 5% rate.
- Limit of just $1,000
- 90-day inactivity fee of $5.95
In the end, someone who wants to have a lot of liquid funds can get pretty good interest rates if they are willing to juggle many accounts and requirements.
Not all of these accounts are incredible deals due to the limits and requirements. Some people will find one easier than another depending on how easy it is for you to do debit card purchases, direct deposits, etc.
We also did a write up to calculate what you’ll actually net dollar-for-dollar by getting each of these high-yield accounts instead of putting it in a regular 1% savings account, see High-Yield Savings Accounts: Profit per Account for more details. CCU topped in at $580, and most of the others ranged from $306 – $194.