It doesn’t matter if you’re working class or filthy rich—everyone needs an emergency fund. And there’s no better place to park the money you’re saving than in a high-interest savings account.
The average savings account pays 0.25 percent APY, according to Bankrate’s most recent national survey of banks and thrifts. Many of the country’s biggest banks pay far less than that.
If you’re sick of earning less than 1 percent APY, consider making a change. Compare rates among today’s best high-interest savings accounts. They have the highest yields available to savers nationwide:
|Bank||APY||Minimum opening deposit|
|Salem Five Direct||1.85%||$100|
|Live Oak Bank||1.70%||$0|
|Colorado Federal Savings Bank||1.65%||$50,000|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||1.60%||$1|
Comparing the best high-interest savings accounts
Some banks offer tiered interest rates. To earn the highest yield, you may have to keep a large amount of money in your account.
For example, with the High Yield Savings account offered by IncredibleBank, customers with balances up to $24,999.99 earn 1.21 percent APY. To earn the top rate (1.76 percent APY), you have to deposit at least $25,000.
Other savings accounts have a high threshold that savers have to meet in order to earn any interest at all. With the Premier Savings account offered by the Colorado Federal Savings Bank, customers have to deposit at least $50,000 to earn interest. The account pays 1.65 percent APY.
Some savings accounts—like the ones available at Live Oak Bank and DollarSavingsDirect—offer a high yield without requiring a high minimum deposit. Those kinds of accounts are ideal for savers in the process of building their emergency fund. Similarly, DollarSavingsDirect—which offers one of the best savings account rates—requires only a $1 minimum deposit.
Calculate how much you stand to make with all of these offers using our simple savings calculator. Consider other factors before choosing a new bank, including fees, digital capabilities and branch and ATM access. And take a look at Bankrate’s assessment of the financial health of banks and credit unions throughout the country.
Do the math before picking a savings account
Paying attention to interest rates is key when you’re comparing savings accounts. But you should also use a calculator to crunch some numbers.
Let’s say you’re deciding between a savings account that pays 1.6 percent APY and one that pays 1.55 percent APY. If you’re depositing $700, the difference between the amount of interest you’d earn through either account is less than a dollar. But if you’re depositing $50,000 and interest compounds monthly, you’d earn an extra $25 by picking the account with the higher yield.
If you’re looking for a secure account that pays more interest, take a look at the best high-yield CDs. Like savings accounts, they’re insured by the federal government and offer a guaranteed rate of return.