The average savings account rate is a benchmark for the overall interest-rate environment, but it’s not a rate you should settle for.
Rather, you should aim for an annual percentage yield (APY) many times the national average, such as those offered by high-yield savings accounts. It’s easy to find a high-yield savings account that offers a competitive return with a no or low minimum balance requirement.
National average savings account interest rate
The national average interest rate for savings accounts is 0.06 percent, according to Bankrate’s Sept. 22, 2021 weekly survey of institutions. Many online banks have savings rates higher than the national average. The higher the rate, the more interest you’ll earn on your savings.
How we calculate the national average interest rate
Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate national survey, our market analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits. The survey has been conducted the same way for more than 30 years. This consistency means it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison of rates.
Note: The annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Sept. 29, 2021. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated. The APYs for some products may vary by region.
Interest rates for linked checking and savings
Linking your savings account with a checking account is one way to earn a higher yield at some banks. Sometimes called relationship rates, it’s more common for brick-and-mortar banks to offer them.
For instance, at Huntington Bank the non-relationship APY for its standard savings account is 0.01 percent APY. But if you pair a savings account with a Huntington 25 Checking account you’ll earn twice that: 0.02 percent APY. To avoid a $25 monthly maintenance fee, however, the Huntington 25 Checking account requires $25,000 in total relationship balances.
The combination of large amounts of money to avoid monthly fees and lower APYs from brick-and-mortar banks are why online banks are often a better choice for those looking to find the highest APY. Online banks tend to offer a higher APY across all balances, but some require a minimum balance to earn it. The majority of online banks have minimum opening requirements of $100 or less.
|Bank||Checking account/Savings account combo||Standard savings yield||Yield with relationship||Minimum checking balance to avoid a monthly fee|
|Huntington Bank||Huntington 25 Checking/Huntington Relationship Savings||0.01% APY||0.02% APY||Total relationship balance of $25,000 required.|
|Chase||Chase Premier Plus Checking/Chase Premier Savings||0.01%||0.02% to 0.05% APY||Average beginning day balance of $15,000 in this account or qualifying investments and deposits.*|
*A linked qualifying mortgage can also waive the monthly fee on the Chase Premier Plus Checking account and make at least five customer-initiated transactions in a monthly statement period using your linked checking account.
Compare online banks with larger banks when you search for a high-yield account. You’re likely to find that online banks have lower minimum balances, won’t have monthly fees and they may pay the same APY on all balances. In many cases, this APY will be higher than a savings account at a brick-and-mortar bank.
Use the national average savings rate as your gauge. You should be able to easily find a bank that’s offering an APY multiple times higher than the national average.
Calculate the difference between the APY at a big bank compared with the yield at an online bank to see what higher interest earnings look like. The power of compounding helps your interest earn interest over time.