How to Find the Best High-Yield Savings Account Rates

Quick Answer

To find the best high-yield savings account rates, compare rates across traditional banks, credit unions and online banks. Consider your current bank’s offerings, too. Make sure you look at banking features beyond interest rate to choose the option that best fits your needs.

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To find the best high-yield savings account rates, check out current rates across several banks online, and make sure the bank you choose has other features that are important to you.

A high-yield savings account offers interest rates that are higher than the national average, which was 0.42% as of July 2023, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will raise interest rates further through 2023, so now is a good time to consider a high-yield savings account.

Here's how to find the best high-yield savings account rates and earn more on your savings.

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Find High-Yield Savings Accounts

How to Find the Best High-Yield Savings Account Rates

If you're satisfied with your current bank or credit union, you can start by checking whether it also offers high-yield savings accounts. But it may not have the highest rate available.

The optimal way to find the best savings account rates is to explore options online. That's because high-yield savings accounts are available not only at traditional banks and credit unions, but also at online banks without brick-and-mortar locations.

You can visit banks' websites and online comparison marketplaces; there are many, and there may be slight differences in the banks that participate in those marketplaces. So explore a range of websites to get a full picture of the options available. High-yield savings account rates change frequently, so compare among banks' offerings at the time you're searching rather than hold out for a specific rate.

How to Compare High-Yield Savings Accounts

Beyond APY, or annual percentage yield—the amount of interest the bank pays per year, including compound interest—there are other account features worth considering.

Understand the account's fees, such as overdraft, minimum balance and monthly maintenance fees. Banks may charge fees if you make more than six withdrawals from a savings account per month. But since the Federal Reserve lifted this limit in 2020, some banks have changed their policies; Ally Bank, for example, is currently refunding its $10 excessive-transaction fee for customers.

The features you need depend on how you plan to use your high-yield savings account. Some questions to ask include:

  • If you plan to do a lot of your banking online, does the bank have a mobile app or user-friendly online interface?
  • If you'd like to do at least some of your banking in person, does the bank have a brick-and-mortar location in your area?
  • If you plan to regularly deposit cash into your savings account, what options does the bank offer? Online-only banks may require you to deposit cash at an ATM, for example, or deposit cash into another account and then transfer it to your high-yield savings account.
  • How accessible is customer service, and what options do you have for reaching out to the bank for routine questions or in emergencies?

How to Open a High-Yield Savings Account

Once you've chosen a high-yield savings account, open it with the following steps:

  1. Confirm you meet the bank's minimum requirements, which may include a minimum age of 18 years and U.S. citizenship or resident-alien status.
  2. Fill in personal details like your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
  3. Provide your tax withholding information. This is necessary because high-yield savings account interest earned will be taxed as income.
  4. Read and accept the bank's terms and conditions.
  5. Verify your identity, likely by signing a signature card sent to your home address.
  6. Fund the account by adding the bank's minimum account balance, if it requires one, or with an amount you're comfortable depositing to start.
  7. Connect any accounts you plan to use to deposit money into savings, such as a checking account.

Alternatives to High-Yield Savings Accounts

There are other ways to earn more interest on your savings than in a traditional savings account. Two alternatives are money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

  • Money market accounts: These savings accounts have some features of a checking account—including the ability to write checks and use a debit card—plus higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts provide. They can come with transaction limits and minimum balance requirements, though, and rates may not be as high as as you'll find in a high-yield savings account.
  • Certificates of deposit: Certificates of deposit (CDs) often offer higher rates than money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts, but they are also more restrictive: You'll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw money before the CD's term ends.

The Bottom Line

The interest rate on a high-yield savings account is one of its most important features. Comparing rates across several banks, credit unions and online institutions can help you determine the highest rates on offer.

But review other terms and conditions, like fees, ease of access to your money and customer service availability. Hopefully, you'll be starting a banking relationship that will last a long time; make sure it meets all your needs before taking the plunge.