Best high-yield savings accounts in November 2023
Updated November 29, 2023
High-yield savings accounts can be a great place to put money that you’re saving and want to earn a competitive APY on, but you aren’t sure on the time horizon for the money.
Bankrate’s top savings rates are much higher than the savings national average yield of 0.61 percent.
Bankrate provides you with timely news and rate information on the top savings yields from some of the most popular and largest FDIC banks and NCUA credit unions. This way you don’t have to spend time searching many bank and credit union websites. Since 1976, Bankrate has been a trusted source of banking information to help you make well-informed decisions on your finances.
The following accounts can be found at most banks and credit unions. They’re federally insured for up to $250,000 and offer a safe place to put your money while earning interest.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
CDs are best for individuals looking for a guaranteed rate of return that’s typically higher than a savings account. In exchange for a higher rate, funds are tied up for a set period of time and early withdrawal penalties may apply.
Checking accounts are best for individuals who want to keep their money safe while still having easy, day-to-day access to their funds. ATM and other transactional fees may apply.
Savings / Money Market Accounts (MMA)
Savings and MMAs are good options for individuals looking to save for shorter-term goals. They’re a safe way to separate your savings from everyday cash, but may require larger minimum balances and have transfer limitations.
Best online high-yield savings accounts for November 2023
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 3, 2023. Bankrate's editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products. Bankrate includes only FDIC banks or NCUA credit unions in its listings.
Customers can manage the account online or through the bank's mobile app, but not at a branch since FNBO is an online-only bank.
CIBC Bank USA
Salem Five Direct
Recent news on high-yield savings account rates
Even though the Federal Reserve didn’t increase rates for a 12th time in the latest cycle on Nov. 1, you can currently find savings accounts with yields greater than the rate of inflation.
The Fed’s next scheduled rate decision is Dec. 12. Anything’s possible, but as of Nov. 15 it’s unlikely that the Fed will raise rates again in 2023.
Returns on savings accounts will remain at attractive levels for some time. If the Federal Reserve is done raising rates, savings yields will stay elevated until the prospect of Fed rate cuts becomes clear.— Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst
While it’s easy to find a top-yielding account these days that beats inflation, there are plenty of other savings accounts that earn uncompetitive rates. For instance, the national average savings account interest rate as of Nov. 29, 2023 is just 0.61 percent, according to Bankrate’s most recent survey of banks. That average factors in competitive rates commonly offered by online banks, as well as rock-bottom rates often found at large brick-and-mortar banks.
How to choose an online high-yield savings account
A high-yield savings account is where your liquid savings should be. This is because a savings account at a competitive bank can help your money earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY). But you’ll want to shop around to find the account that’s right for you. Most of the accounts on Bankrate’s best lists are online savings accounts at FDIC-insured banks. You want your money to be at an FDIC-insured bank and within FDIC limits in order to keep your money protected in the event of a bank failure.
Online high-yield savings accounts generally offer the highest yields, and most of them require either a low minimum balance or none at all. FDIC-insured accounts at online banks are also a great place to keep an emergency fund.
Here are some steps to follow when deciding whether a high-yield savings account is best for you:
- Define your goal for this money and when you’ll need the funds. A savings account is often a good place for an emergency fund or money you might need for expenses in the near future.
- Compare savings accounts to find the right account for you. APYs, minimum balance requirements and whether there’s a monthly service fee are all key things to consider. Online banks tend to offer the most competitive yields. Bankrate’s bank reviews can help with your research.
- Be sure to choose a federally insured institution. This would be a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or a credit union insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This way your money would be safe if the institution were to fail, as long as your deposit amounts are within the limits and guidelines.
- Open the savings account and make your initial deposit.
- Make it a habit to check your bank statement on a regular basis. This is a good way to keep an eye on your APY since savings account yields are usually variable.
Only 1 in 5 Americans with short-term savings currently has an online savings account that earns a competitive yield of 3 percent or greater, Bankrate’s Online Savings Survey earlier this year found.
- Nearly a quarter of people with a savings account earn a rock-bottom rate of less than 1 percent.
- Online banks are often where the high yields can be found. Among online banks surveyed by Bankrate earlier this year, the APY most commonly offered was 3.75 percent, while rates of 4 percent or greater are earned by 40 percent of accounts.
What to know about high-yield savings accounts
What is a high-yield savings account?
High-yield savings accounts typically pay a much higher APY than traditional savings accounts, providing savers the ability to earn more on their money while still enjoying the security of a federally insured account. Traditional savings accounts are commonly offered at brick-and-mortar banks and larger banks. These accounts may yield close to nothing, often around 0.01 percent APY. High-yield savings accounts can earn hundreds of times more these days.
Most high-yield savings accounts have a variable APY, which means the yield is subject to change. Consumers looking for a guaranteed yield should consider a certificate of deposit (CD), and a no-penalty CD might be a good option for those who prefer both a fixed APY and access to their money without incurring a penalty.
Savings accounts usually earn compound interest, which simply means you’ll earn interest on interest. As such, you’ll earn interest on your principal as well as the interest that accumulates over time.
High yield savings terms to know
Below are a few important features to consider when searching for a high-yield savings account. When choosing which account is right for you, also take a look at Bankrate’s expert reviews of popular banks, many of which offer high-interest savings accounts.
- Annual percentage yield (APY)
- APY incorporates the effect of compounding. Simply stated, compound interest is the interest you earn on interest. You’ll earn interest on your initial deposit as well as on the interest that accumulates over time.
- Minimum opening deposit required
- The amount you’ll need to open your account.
- Minimum balance required
- The balance you’ll need to keep in your account to avoid a monthly service fee.
- Monthly maintenance fees
- The fee you’ll incur if your balance falls below the minimum balance requirement in your account.
Are online high-yield savings accounts safe?
High-yield savings accounts offer a safe place to earn interest on your money, as long as the funds are federally insured. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. Similarly, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insures up to $250,000 per share owner, per insured credit union, for each account ownership category.
This federal insurance guarantees consumers that their money is safe in the event of a bank failure, as long as it’s within the limits and guidelines. You can confirm your bank is FDIC-insured by using the FDIC’s BankFind Suite. Meanwhile, if you bank at a credit union, make sure the institution is backed by NCUA insurance.
Who should get an online high-yield savings account?
High-yield savings accounts with no minimum opening deposit requirement, no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fees can be a good choice for nearly anyone. People can have different money-related goals and be at different stages in their financial life and benefit from these accounts. Here are a few examples:
A high-yield savings account is a great way to ensure your down payment money will grow until you need it to buy a house, condo or apartment. And unlike most CDs, you can add to your balance at any time.
A good strategy when saving for your next vacation is to determine how much you’ll need for the trip and then open a dedicated savings account for it. Consider automating your savings to keep your savings goals on track.
A high-yield savings account allows you to earn a competitive yield on your balance as you save for your wedding. You can keep adding to this account all the way up until you say “I do.” Having a separate account devoted to wedding savings can help you monitor your progress more easily, which helps you meet your savings goals for the big day.
Pros and cons of online high-yield savings accounts
Savings accounts are a good place to set aside funds for many financial goals. Here are the pros and cons of online high-yield savings accounts, so you can make sure one is right for you.
Online high-yield savings accounts typically pay a much higher APY than traditional savings accounts.
Many high-yield savings accounts offer digital tools that allow you to manage your savings easily through your computer, smartphone or tablet.
High-yield savings accounts at most banks and credit unions are insured by the federal government, meaning your money is safe.
Unlike with a certificate of deposit, funds in a high-yield savings account are easily accessible.
Rates for high-yield savings accounts are variable and could fall.
Some banks restrict withdrawals/transfers to only six a month.
Checks generally can’t be written using savings accounts.
Your money could get higher returns if you invest it.
Not all online banks offer branch or ATM access.
How to open a high-yield savings account
You’ll want to choose the best bank and account for you. The best account for you will need to be one where you can meet the minimum deposit requirement. And then, if it has a minimum balance requirement, you’ll need to make sure that you can keep a balance above that to avoid a monthly service fee.
You’ll want to earn a competitive yield on your high-yield savings. This might rule out a local bank as an option since FDIC-insured online banks usually offer the highest yields.
Opening a high-yield savings account is relatively simple. Here’s how:
- Shop around. High-yield savings accounts can be offered by online banks, traditional banks that operate branches, and credit unions. Online banks typically offer the highest rates because they don’t have the overhead associated with maintaining branches — so they may pass along the savings to customers, in the form of higher rates. Along with APY, compare the fees and services to find the right fit for your finances.
- Fill out an application. Once you’ve chosen a high-interest savings account, you’ll need to fill out an application, whether online or in person. The bank or credit union will ask for personal information that often includes your driver’s license number, Social Security number, mailing address and date of birth. When applying online, you might need to scan a copy of a government-issued photo ID. You might also need to lift a security freeze on your credit file, if you have one.
- Fund your account. After the application is approved, it’s time to fund the account if the bank you choose requires an opening deposit. This can be done online by linking a checking account to the new savings account and transferring funds. Depending on the bank, you might be able to fund the new savings account through a wire transfer or by mailing a check. A mobile check deposit might also be an option.
Be sure to deposit enough money to meet the account’s minimum deposit requirement. Otherwise you may be assessed a maintenance fee or earn a lower-than-expected interest rate until the minimum is met.
Alternatives to high-yield savings accounts
High-yield savings account vs. traditional savings account
High-yield savings accounts and traditional savings accounts share certain similarities, yet there are some key differences. High-yield accounts are frequently available online, while some traditional savings accounts — which include both passbook and statement savings accounts — might be restricted to opening and managing at a bank branch.
As the name suggests, high-yield savings accounts typically earn much higher rates than traditional savings accounts, and they may require a larger opening deposit and have minimum monthly balance requirements. Both accounts are subject to monthly fees, depending on the institution, but many banks offer high-yield and traditional savings accounts that charge no fees.
High-yield savings account vs. certificate of deposit (CD)
A high-yield savings account is a liquid account that’s meant for money you might need to withdraw at any time. Besides the flexibility of making withdrawals on demand (though they might be limited per statement cycle), you’re also able to add money to this account anytime.
Unlike savings accounts, CDs lock in your money for a set term, and if you withdraw your money before the term expires, you’ll usually incur an early-withdrawal penalty. What’s more, you typically can’t add money to a regular CD during its term.
High-yield savings account vs. money market account
Generally, a high-yield savings account doesn’t permit account holders to write checks against the account, while many money market accounts provide check-writing privileges.
Otherwise, money market and high-yield savings accounts are similar and typically available at FDIC-insured banks. Savings accounts are slightly more common than money market accounts, but many banks offer both.
High-yield savings account vs. checking account
A high-yield savings account is likely to pay a better yield than a checking account. Savings accounts might limit the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make per statement cycle.
Checking accounts are more for transactional purposes, such as paying bills or making debit card purchases. Checking accounts usually don’t have monthly transaction limits.
High-yield savings account FAQs
Bankrate’s editorial team regularly updates rates on this page about every two weeks. We mainly look for the highest APYs and break ties using the minimum balance to open a CD. Bankrate’s editorial team has reviewed nearly all of the banks and credit unions that they track. These institutions were selected because they offer competitive APYs, are larger (based on the amount of deposits or assets), frequently appear in internet searches or other possible factors. These banks and credit unions typically offer accounts that are available nationwide. All of these banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and all of the credit unions are National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions, insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
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