Published on February 11th, 2016 | by Chuck321
Best High Interest/Yield Savings Accounts – Up To 5% APY
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.
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 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.
These rates will fluctuate over time. Note: There is an advantage to a bank who has a proven track record of giving good interest rates since some of the top rates might be ‘bait-and-switch’ and rates will lower soon after signing up. Banks like Ally, Alliant, and Discover have been known to offer competitive interest rates for many years (the rate will fluctuate but it should always be a good rate).
Here are the best options available, rated highest to lowest:
- All America Bank – 1.5% APY on balances up to $35,000
- Red Neck Bank – 1.5% APY on balances up to $35,000
- UFB Direct Money Market Account – 1.41% (requires an opening balance of $5,000)
- DollarSavings Direct – 1.40% APY savings account (our review)
- CIT Bank – 1.35% APY (balances over $100k earn 1.3%)
- Live Oak Bank – 1.35% APY savings account
- BankDirect – 1.35% APY money market (minimum $10,000)
- Salem Five Direct – 1.35% APY Savings
- UnitedBank – 1.35% money market, up to $500,000 (select states only) (our review)
- SFGI – 1.31% APY
- Synchrony – 1.30% APY
- BankPurely – 1.3% APY savings account
- ableBanking – 1.3% money market
- PurePoint – 1.3% APY savings account (minimum $10,000)
- UFBDirect – 1.3% on balances $25k+ only
- Nationwide – 1.3% APY savings account
- Sallie Mae – 1.3% APY money market account
- Barclay’s – 1.30% APY
- Goldman Sachs Savings – 1.30% APY
- Self Help CU – 1.27% APY (1.37% for balances $500K+) (costs $5 to join the credit union)
- American Express – 1.25% APY savings account
- BBVA Compass – 1.25% APY money market ($10k-$5m)
- Incredible Bank – 1.21% APY on balances up to $250,000 (minimum of $2,500 to avoid monthly fee)
- Ally – 1.2% APY
- Discover – 1.2% APY savings (1.25% option here)
- Capital One Money Market – 1.2% APY (minimum $10k deposit)
- Alliant Credit Union – 1.16% APY
- Popular Bank – 1.15% APY (minimum $5,000)
- Radius Bank – 1.15% APY savings (minimum $2,500)
- Northpointe Bank – 1.12% on balances over $10,000; max balance of $500,000 (rate guaranteed for at least 12 months)
- Palladian PrivateBank – 1.10% (first 6-months there’s a promotional 1.3% rate)
- First Central Savings Bank: 1.10% APY ($10,000 minimum)
- DimeDirect – 1.10 APY on balances up to $500,000 (our review)
- CapitalOne360 – .75% APY
More Restrictive Options
- Ally Bank CD With No Early Withdrawal Penalty – Offering Up To 1.5% APY (minimum $25k for 1.5% rate)
- MemoryBank 1.5% APY for First Year on up to $250,000 [Rate valid one-year only]
- [Boston,MA] Blue Hills Bank 1.5% APY Account
- Everbank – 1.21% APY for first twelve months, then 0.61% APY (on balances up to $100,000)
Mega High-Interest Options – Nationwide
Let’s start with a list of all the mega high-interest options:
- Insight 5% APY Prepaid Card on up to $5,000
- Northpointe 5% Interest Checking Account, Up to $10k
- Consumer’s Credit Union 4.59% APY On Up To $20,000 Rewards Checking
- Mango Prepaid 6% Interest Rate
- 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
- State Security Bank 3% APY On Balances Up To $10,000 – Direct Deposit Not Required
- Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union: Vertical Dividend 3% APY Account On Balances Up To $15,000
- Partner Colorado Credit Union 3% APY On Balances Up To $10,000
- Main Street 2.25% Rewards Checking on up to $25,000
- Georgia Banking Company (GBC) 2.15% APY Checking Account On Balances Up To $25,000 (Direct Deposit Not Required)
- Industrial Bank 2.5% APY Checking Account on up to $15,000
- 5Star Bank 2% APY Checking on up to $25,000
- Elements Financial 2% APY Rewards Checking on up to $20,000 + YMMV $200 bonus
- Blue Federal Credit Union 2% – 4% APY on up to $15,000
- United Educators 2% Rewards Checking on up to $10,000
- BankFirst 2% APY Checking on Balances up to $10,000
More Restrictive Options
- First Financial CU 5% Checking Account on up to $2,500 [Nationwide]
- Blue Federal Credit Union 4.99% APY Account (Up To $1,000)
- Premier Members Credit Union Reverse Tiered Money Market Account – Up To 3% APY
- DCU 5% APY on balances up to $1000
- Netspend Prepaid 5% Interest Rate on up to $1,000
- KaiPerm Credit Union 6% APY Account On Balances Up To $1,000 (Membership Restricted)
- TruStone 2.02% APY Rewards Checking
Mega High-Interest Options -Regional
Below are the regional accounts we’ve reviewed on the site. There are many more as well.
- [LA] La Capitol Federal Credit Union 4.25% On Balances Up To $5,000 – Direct Deposit Not Required
- [NH,ME] Northeast Credit Union 4% Checking on up to $15,000
- [CT, DE, FL, ME, MD, MA, NH, RI, VT] Leader Bank 2.05% APY up to $50,000
- [IL, IN, TN, KY, MO] CFSB 2.25% APY Reward Checking Account, up to $20k
- [Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota] Iowa State Bank 3.25% APY on up to $25k
- [MO, AR, OK, KS, IA, NE, IL, KY, TN]: Old Missouri Bank 3.01% APY Rewards Checking Account On Balances Up To $25,000
- [MD, DE] Destinations Credit Union: 3% Reward Checking Account, Up to $10,000
- [Wisconsin, Illinois]: Landmark Credit Union 7.50% APY High Rate – Balances Of Up To $500
- In Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin: New Buffalo Savings Bank: 2.27% APY On Balances Up To $35,000 & $50 Amazon Giftcard
- [VA, NC] Beacon Credit Union 5.05% APY On Balances Up To $2,500
- [IL, IA only] South East National Bank 3% APY On Balances Up o $10,000
- In parts of Georgia: MidSouth FCU 5% APY Checking Account on up to $10,000
- In Iowa Premier Bank 5% APY Checking on Balances 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 Missouri: Legacy Bank & Trust i-Profit 4% APY on Up To $10,000
- In Wyoming: WyHy FCU 4% APY SmartReturns Checking Account On Balances Up To $15,000 – Direct Deposit Not Required
- In parts of Colorado: Bellco 2.25% rewards checking on up to $25,000
- In Pennsylvania: [PA] Coatesville Savings Bank 2% APY on up to $50,000
- In California: Provident Credit Union 2.01% on balances up to $25,000
- In California: Patelco Reverse Tiered Money Market Account – Up To 3% APY
- In Ohio: Bridge Credit Union 10% APY Account On Balances Up To $1,500 (Lots Of Monthly Requirements)
- In Massachusetts: 2.75% on balances up to $25,000
- In Massachusetts: Alden Credit Union 5.125% APY Rewards Checking Account, up to $5,000
- In Massachusetts: Randolph Savings Bank Apex Checking 2.75% APY On Balances Up To $25,000
- In Michigan: Adventure Credit Union – 4% APY On Balances Up To $10,000
- In Michigan: Kellogg Community Credit Union 4% APY Checking Account On Balances Up To $15,000
- In Michigan: Honor Credit Union 2.5% APY Benefits Checking Account On Balances Up To $10,000
- In parts of Michigan: Option1 4% APY Checking Account on Balances up to $10k
- In Michigan: AAA High-Yield Checking – 2.85% On Balances Up To $10,000
- In Washington: O Bee Credit Union 7.52% APY On Balances Up To $500
- In Washington: STCU 5.09% APY on balances up to $500 with no requirements
- In Washington: Inspirus 7.00% APY on $500 in Savings and Checking – $1000 total
- In Washington: BECU 4.07% APY on balances up to $1,000
This section is new and we will add to it over time. We will only include rates that are higher than the top basic savings account rate.
- Giftsforbanking 24 Month CD Offering 1.85% APY + Free Substantial Gift
- Morgan Stanley 11 Month CD Offering 1.9% APY ($10,000-$2,000,000)
- Navy Federal Credit Union 5 or 12 Month 3% APY Certificates
- Popular Direct: 1 year: 1.6%, 2 years: 1.85%, 3 years: 2.05%, 4 years: 2%, 5 years: 2.45%
- Ally Bank CD With No Early Withdrawal Penalty – Offering Up To 1.5% APY (minimum $25k for 1.5% rate)
- CIT Bank 1.45% APY 11 Month No Penalty CD
- BankersTrust: 1.6% APY 10 month CD. AZ, IA, NE only
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 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)
Northpointe is a nice option since they now offer the 5% rate on up to $10,000 with manageable requirements. (Until 5/1/17, it was only $5k, now it’s $10k. And there used to be a $500 debit card requirement which has been removed.)
There are some hoops to jump through to get the rate: (1) 15 debit transactions per month, (2) $100 withdrawal or deposit monthly. And remember to enroll in e-statements. The biggest issue really is that there needs to be steady debit card usage that looks like ordinary spend. Some people might not want the account at all for that reason.
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 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: (1) Unknown if there is a hard pull for opening (one tentative data point indicates that it’s soft), (2) 12 debit card purchases per month, (3) must login to online banking once per month. And remember to enroll in e-statements.
Evansville Teachers FCU – 3% (Link)
Next up is Evansville FCU which gets the same 3% rate on up to $15k. The drawbacks here are as follows: (1) Monthly direct deposit of any amount (ACH should work), (2) 15 debit card purchases per month, (3) must login to online banking once per month. And remember to enroll in e-statements. Just be aware that the they are somewhat Chex sensitive so if you’re report overloaded with many inquires in the past year you may be denied.
Lake Michigan Credit Union – 3% (Link)
Next up is LMCU which is very similar to the Evansville account with the same 3% rate on up to $15k. The drawbacks here are as follows: (1) Transunion hard pull, (2) monthly direct deposit of any amount (ACH should work), (3) ten debit card purchases per month, (4) must login to online banking once per month. And remember to enroll in e-statements.
Great Lakes Credit Union – 3% (Link)
Get a 3% rate from Great Lakes on up to $10k. Here are the drawbacks: (1) Hard pull to open, (2) requires monthly $500 direct deposit to get the 3% rate (ACH should work), (3) requires ten debit purchases per month which must total $100 (debit purchases need to be without a PIN).
Memory Bank – 1.5% (Link)
Memory Bank offers a 1.5% APY interest rate for the first year on balances up to $250,000. I’m putting this one last since it’s only valid for one year and mainly worthwhile for someone with very high cash reserves, but for the right person it might deserve to be first.
Drawbacks: (1) Five debit card transactions, (2) monthly ACH transfer to the account, (3) rate only valid for one year.
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.
At the very least, it’s worth opening one of the basic high-interest accounts to get 1-1.25% rate on whatever money you have in savings.
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.