Pamela Peredo

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

The idea of saving money has changed over the years. In the past, it was a priority to stash away as much as possible for a rainy day, or more likely as a nest egg for retirement. These days the need for a nest egg is more important than ever, but the way people save money has changed. The best high interest savings accounts can be found online, while the brick and mortar banks are slower to increase interest rates, although some do with limitations and restrictions. 

What You Should Know for the Best High Interest Savings

There are some things you should be careful of when seeking out a place to put your money. The interest rate is not the only consideration you should research. There are other, just as important, options and requirements you need to be aware of before you choose a bank or deposit account. 

The Federal Angle

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has recently raised interest rates, which can mean an increase in interest at the local level, for deposit accounts, such as savings, money markets and Certificates of Deposits (CD). Not all banks and financial institutions are going to raise interest rates, but many do. 

Financial institutions and banks, do not have to raise or lower their interest rates on deposit accounts according to how the federal reserve, directed by FOMC, will adjust interest rates. But many times it is a marker that can direct the bank’s interest rate policy decisions. In an economic climate that is calling for interest rates to rise, it is best to make sure your decisions about which is the best high interest savings accounts should reflect that climate.   

The Shrinking Interest Rate

Best High Interest Savings

Take the time to read all the terms and conditions that govern a savings account is important.  It is essential to remember that you are agreeing to a set of rules and regulations decided on by the bank or financial institution. You have to agree to their terms, they don’t agree with you. 

Remember that you can check for an interest rate reduction after a certain period of time elapses. It could be an introductory rate, or a rate reduction for balances over a certain limit (e.g., $10,000). This can happen in any number of online and brick and mortar banks. It is important to check that the bank you are interested in doesn’t have restrictions and limitations on their APY, or that their highest rate fluctuates or changes over time. 

An Ever-Growing Minimum Balance

While many banks require a minimum balance be maintained to receive an APY, it is possible to find banks that don’t require a minimum balance. Many of the brick and mortar banks and the enormous players in banking will require a minimum balance be maintained at all times to receive any APY at all, then that could be as low as 0.01 percent. Many banks are now offering a low or no minimum balance on interest-bearing accounts for a specified period of time, like one year, then the account holder must maintain a higher minimum balance. 

Some savings account have a minimum balance requirement after a certain period of time and then a higher minimum balance that does not have to be maintained at all times, but must be maintained for a total of 6 months, or any two 3 month periods throughout the year. There are a number of ways the banks can increase the minimum daily balance, without making it exactly clear what is happening. 

Ultra Fine Print

Terms and conditions have become a standard for all websites. Without the terms and conditions, you can’t really function as a business entity, or have an online presence. There are the ever-popular privacy policy and the usage terms, which also fall under terms and conditions. But many people miss the fine points of the terms and conditions which cover how much interest the bank will allow during any one year period. If there are limitations to what the bank is willing to allow as a deposit account, such as opening multiple accounts under the same name. What are FDIC limits?  

What’s the Good News?

The list of ways that banks can adjust interest and account requirements to their best interest goes on and on. The good news is that most banks today are finding ways to offer interest rates above 0.01%. While that doesn’t sound like much, it would be good to remember that the highest rate that can be found is right around 2.4% so anywhere from 0.01 – 2.4% is holding in a steady pattern for the economic climate. 

With all that in mind let’s look at the top seven Best High Interest Savings Accounts

VIO Bank APY at 2.52%

Need $100.00 to open the account. This bank is an online presence for MidFirst Bank, and which has been an FDIC insured financial institution since its inception in 1934. After opening the account there is no minimum and interest is compounded daily, so this is one of the best high interest savings accounts in the country. To keep the account from going dormant there must be some activity during any given month, such as a deposit or withdrawal. If not there is a $5.00 dormant account fee (each month).

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WebBank APY at 2.45%

$1000 minimum at all times or the bank closes the account and returns your money. (A good place to read the terms and conditions) The bank is FDIC Insured and opened in 1997. The bank maintains that it is only a $1000 to receive one of the highest yields around, but that balance must be maintained. There are no fees, but also no ATM cards or access, or an app to allow actions on the account. All deposits are made via Wire Transfer or ACH, no checking or checks can be deposited into this account.
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Comenity Direct Bank APY at 2.45% 

$100 needed to open an account, $1.00 minimum to bear interest. Comenity Direct is a subsidiary of Comenity Capital Bank, best known for its private-label credit card and business credit card offerings. The Bank partners with more than 150 retailers and offers excellent customer service. Customer service is available every day, with long weekday hours and shorter weekend and holiday hours. An app is available for iOS and Android and allows deposits and withdrawals. There is no debit card or ATM access, but ACH is free and withdrawals by transfer are free as well.
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MySavingsDirect APY at 2.40% Division of Emigrant Bank 

No minimum balance needed to open or earn interest, all balances receive the same interest rate, compounded daily and applied on a monthly cycle. There are no minimum balances to maintain and there just aren’t any fees at all. The account doesn’t close if your balance goes to zero and you can deposit anytime you feel the urge. There is no ATM access but transfers can be made to a checking account or a linked account. No mobile access either. 
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CIBC Bank USA APY at 2.39%  was PrivateBank and Trust Co. established in 1991

$1,000 minimum to open, $1.00 Minimum to receive interest. Agility Online Savings Account is one of the best high interest savings accounts anywhere. No fees for maintenance or low/high balance – no fluctuating APY or other hidden fee or rate changes. Easy access by Apple or Andriod phones via the mobile app. During the first thirty days of account access no transfers can be made outside their network, but transfers to other banks are possible after the thirty day period.
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Citibank APY at 2.36% 

No minimum balance but can waive fees if a $500 monthly balance is maintained. The Citi Accelerate is the best high interest savings account in their roster of accounts. There are two packages where if a $500 balance is maintained then the $4.50 monthly maintenance fee is waived. One of the largest banks in the world, there is debit card and atm access as well as one of the nation’s highest yields. Only available in 41 states.
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Barclays Bank APY at 2.10% 

No minimum balance APY. Barclays offers a number of services and account types, credit cards, loans, and some of the best high interest savings products in the industry. Although the savings accounts are only available in the USA, the lower overhead cost of not being worldwide for those accounts passes the savings on to savers. 

There are no minimums to open or maintain to earn interest, funds are available 24/7, online transfers to outside banks in both directions and their mobile app allows deposits and transfers. No branches, checking accounts or ATM locations. Although one of the best high interest savings programs anywhere, this is for the saver who is looking for just a savings account and not a full-service bank.
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The Financial Industry for Savings 

The savings industry has changed so much in the years since the financial crisis that it is hard to convince people to invest in a savings account. Some of the information supplied here can help make changing from what is out in the financial sector today to the best high interest savings option. To stave off the riskiness of the stocks or something esoteric like bitcoin. Let’s look at some simple comparative and informative aspects of savings accounts.  

What is a Savings Account?

A savings account is a liquid bank account that offers a higher yearly interest yield than a checking account (although is changing somewhat). The banks offer the saver the ability to access funds anytime, which is considered a liquid account. A Certificate of Deposit (CD) on the other hand, is restricted in what the saver can do with the money – usually, funds can be withdrawn with a penalty. 

Not meant to be active accounts, savings accounts are subject to Regulation D, which limits withdrawals to six times per calendar month or in any four-week statement cycle. Although many of the best high interest savings accounts don’t offer ATM access, many of the somewhat lower yield savings accounts do – and many more banks are adding this access all the time. 

To Pay The Fees Or Not: What’s Best?

Many banks now charge fees for things like dormant accounts or monthly maintenance. Although more and more banks are doing away with these fees, many still have them as a way to protect from things like an abandoned account collecting interest for years. 

The Best High Interest Savings Accounts Are They Worth The Effort?

The banks that offer the highest yields usually have the most limitations in other aspects of the account, like minimum balances and other fees. But many offer a way to more interest than the average online or branch system banks. This makes the best high interest savings account desirable and worth the effort to maintain. If you can’t maintain a minimum balance, in all circumstances, then a savings account is not for you. Today, the money in the best high interest savings accounts is safe and collects interest at a rate where the downside is alleviated.

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