High-yield savings accounts can help you reach your goals more quickly and with less effort. Ally, Discover, and CIT Bank offer some of the best online savings accounts currently available, but there are a number of great options to choose from. Find the best high-yield savings account for you here.

If you have a savings account, how much interest does it earn? Probably not enough. And if you don’t have a savings account, why not?

A savings account isn’t meant to make you rich. It’s a safe, if not very sexy, way to plan for your future and protect your money. But things get more interesting when you choose a high-yield savings account instead of a traditional savings account. A traditional account will pay pennies on your balance, but a high-yield savings account can help you earn extra money you’ll actually notice.

But how do you choose a savings account when there are so many out there? We did the research for you. These are the top high-yield savings accounts with the best interest rates, features, and benefits.

Best high-yield savings accounts

The Ally Online Savings Account is our top pick for the best high-yield savings account overall because it consistently offers a competitive interest rate and includes features to help you save. For beginners, the Discover Online Savings Account might be a better option thanks to its simple platform and above-average support. The CIT Savings Account is our second runner-up because it has the highest APY of the bunch but does come with a minimum deposit requirement.

We also considered the Axos Bank High-Yield Savings Account, High-Yield Chime® Savings Account, Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account, and Marcus Online Savings Account for our list. Even though these didn’t make our top three, they’re all good choices well worth checking out.

Best overall: Ally Online Savings Account

Ally Bank's logoPros

  • No fees
  • No minimums
  • Boosters to help you save faster


  • No branch locations


  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • APY: 2.50%
  • Monthly fee: $0

The Ally Online Savings Account is the best high-yield savings account overall offering a generous interest rate and tons of free features to help you save. And speaking of free, this account really is. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or transfer fees to deplete your earnings.

This high-yield savings account supports you to save by giving you the option to create buckets for different goals and use boosters to save faster. The boosters are:

  • Recurring Transfers – schedules automatic transfers from a linked account
  • Round Ups – rounds up your Ally debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and sends the extra to your savings
  • Surprise Savings – points out money in your checking account that isn’t being used for anything and moves it to your savings

This account is easy to open. There are no minimum balance requirements to earn interest and you can fund it with as little as $0.01. While Ally technically uses balance tiers (<$5,000, $5000 – $24,999.99, and >$25,000), all positive balances currently earn the same rate.

For help with any issues you might have, Ally offers 24/7 live customer support via chat or phone.

Learn more about the Ally Online Savings Account or read our full review.

Best for beginners: Discover Online Savings Account

Discover Bank logoPros

  • No fees
  • No minimums
  • Instant transfers between Discover accounts


  • Very few branch locations
  • No advanced savings features like buckets or round-ups


  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • APY: 3.90%
  • Monthly fee: $0

The Discover Online Savings Account gets pretty much everything right, from the competitive interest rate to the lack of account fees. We love this high-yield savings account for beginners because it’s easy to use and doesn’t have minimums.

There is no minimum deposit to open or minimum balance required to earn interest or avoid having your account shut down, making this the perfect option for you even if you only have a few bucks to put away right now. You can even open an account with nothing and come back later to fund it.

Although this is a pretty basic account with few bells and whistles, there’s no monthly maintenance fee to worry about and you’ll earn interest on any balance. Plus, the Discover mobile app is notoriously solid, and ditto for customer service.

Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly into your account. If you have a Discover checking account and debit card, you can easily transfer money between this and your savings account. You can also schedule automatic recurring transfers to put your saving on autopilot.

Discover does have some branch locations, but they’re really limited, so you might not have the option to manage your account in person. This account also lacks features to help organize and simplify your saving such as buckets and round-ups.

Learn more about the Discover Online Savings Account or read our full review.

Best for long-term saving: CIT Savings Connect Account

CIT Bank logoPros

  • No fees
  • No minimum balance


  • Minimum deposit required
  • No branch locations


  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • APY: 4.60%
  • Monthly fee: $0

For high-interest saving, the CIT Savings Connect Account is an excellent choice. This is a newer account with a really competitive APY of 4.60%. There are no minimum balance requirements to earn this rate and you only need to deposit $100 to open. Plus, there are no monthly fees. See details here.

CIT Bank also reimburses up to $30 in third-party ATM fees per statement period and supports free mobile check deposits and external transfers.

The CIT Savings Connect account currently pays the same interest rate on all balance tiers, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining a certain balance or making regular deposits to avoid fees and earn more (although automating your saving is never a bad idea).

This basic account would be a good fit for most people, especially those looking for a fee-free option with no balance requirements. It has one of the best rates and is one of the most straightforward to open and use, so it could make a great primary or secondary savings bucket. Choose the CIT Savings Connect account if getting the best interest rate is your top priority.

CIT Bank offers a number of other savings products including stand-out money market accounts and CDs, so keep this bank in mind if you have a few different savings goals and want to make sure you’re getting the highest rates.

Learn more about the CIT Savings Connect account.

CIT Bank. Member FDIC.

CIT Savings Builder Account

And if you’re looking for another option from this online bank, you can do worse than the CIT Savings Builder Account. This high-yield savings account offers an interest rate of up to 1.00% with a low minimum initial deposit requirement of $100. There is no minimum balance required to keep your account, but your balance will determine your interest rate. See details here.

The CIT Savings Builder Account uses a tiered rate structure with a loophole. The balance tiers and interest rates are:

  • <$25,000 – 0.40% APY
  • <$25,000 – 1.00% APY if you make a monthly deposit of $100 or more
  • >$25,000 – 1.00% APY

If you can’t afford to put away more than $25,000, no worries. Just schedule an automatic transfer of at least $100 from a linked bank account to get yourself into the higher tier. This can also help you make saving a priority.

Because of the tiered interest rate structure, this high-yield savings account is ideal for people who plan to keep high balances and/or make regular contributions to their savings.

Learn more about the CIT Savings Builder Account or read our full review.

CIT Bank. Member FDIC.

Great alternatives

These accounts didn’t make our top three, but they still have a lot to offer, especially if you’re looking for an online savings account.

Axos Bank High-Yield Savings Account

Axos Bank logoFeatures

  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $250
  • APY: Up to 0.61%
  • Monthly fees: None

An Axos Bank High-Yield Savings Account is the right high-yield savings account for anyone looking to keep a low balance. There is a minimum deposit requirement of $250 to open an account, but any amount you save will earn interest. Axos uses a tiered rate structure but actually pays the highest rates on the lowest balances. You’ll earn 0.61% as long as your account stays below $24,999.99.

Each account comes with a free ATM card upon request for easy withdrawals. Plus, you can earn a referral bonus of $20 for every friend who opens an Essential Checking account using your unique link.

Open an Axos savings account or read our full review.

High-Yield Chime® Savings Account

Chime logoFeatures

  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • APY: 2.00%7
  • Monthly fees: None2

The High-Yield Chime Savings Account is a great online savings account that does your saving for you. With the Round Up Transfer and Save When I Get Paid features, you can completely forget about your saving and still make progress toward your goals. Round Ups will send the spare change from your purchases right to your savings^ and Save When I Get Paid lets you transfer up to 10% of each direct deposit of $500 or more to your savings account 1. A Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account. 

This account charges no maintenance fees and has no minimum deposit or balance requirements. Check out Chime checking if you like the idea of saving and banking in one place with a platform that’s easy to use*.

Read our full review.

* Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
^ Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.
1 Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.
2 There’s no fee for the Chime Savings Account. Cash withdrawal and Third-party fees may apply to Chime Checking Accounts. You must have a Chime Checking Account to open a Chime Savings Account.
7 The Annual Percentage Yield ("APY") for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of November 17, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account

Capital One logoFeatures

  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • APY: 3.00%
  • Monthly fees: None

Opening a Capital One 360 Performance Savings account might be the way to go if you’re looking to automate your saving with a familiar consumer bank. This account pays the same interest rate of 3.00% on all balances and doesn’t cost anything to open. To stay on track with your saving, you can schedule recurring transfers from a Capital One or external account.

If you already have an account with Capital One, you’ll be able to make quick transfers from the app. Finally, there are Capital One branches and ATMs all over the country if you like the option of banking in person.

Open a Capital One savings account or read our full review.

Marcus Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs logoFeatures

  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • APY: 2.50%
  • Monthly fees: None

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an online-only bank owned by investment company Goldman Sachs. A Marcus Online Savings Account is ideal for people who want control over their savings and like to strategize different ways to grow their money. This account offers a variety of tools and extensive research to help you make informed decisions with your savings and track your progress. You can even see exactly how much interest you’ve earned from the app.

You’ll earn 2.50% regardless of your balance and there’s no minimum deposit.

Open a Marcus savings account or read our full review.

What is a high-yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account offers a higher yield than traditional savings accounts. How much higher completely depends on the market and the institution, but may be as much as ten or fifteen times the average. You might also hear the term high-interest savings account used — this is the same thing.

Right now, the national average interest rate on a savings account is 0.37%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC. The FDIC determines rate caps each month using the average interest rates for savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit across all banks and credit unions.

How savings account interest works

There are two different ways interest can work with high-yield accounts. The first is to earn a variable interest rate and the second is to earn a tiered interest rate.

A high-yield savings account with a variable rate will pay the same interest rate on any balance. A savings account that uses a tiered interest structure will determine your rate based on your average balance and pay you according to which balance tier you fall into.

With a tiered interest rate, you often earn more interest the higher your balance is. This is to incentivize people to keep more money in their accounts. With a variable interest rate, it doesn’t matter what your balance is as long as you meet the minimum balance requirements (if there are any).

To make things a little more confusing, sometimes a bank or credit union will use a tiered interest rate structure but make the interest rate the same for every balance tier. All interest rates for online savings accounts are subject to change at any time.

Before you apply for an account, find out what rate you’ll qualify for with your balance and activity. Don’t get tricked into opening a high-yield savings account for the great interest rate unless you know you’ll actually earn that rate.

For example, a bank may advertise a high-yield savings account with an interest rate of 3.00% APY, but this rate only applies to balances over $15,000. The difference between the highest and lowest interest rates can be significant, so make sure you don’t get stuck with a lousy rate.

Read more: How to get the best savings account interest rate

What is the annual percentage yield (APY)?

Annual percentage yield is the rate of return you will earn calculated as a percentage of your savings account balance. You’ve probably noticed that the APY on an account is very slightly different from the interest rate. This is because the interest rate only shows simple interest.

The annual percentage yield or APY shows how much interest you can earn each year if you don’t take any of your money out. We like to look at the annual percentage yield rather than just the interest rate because it factors in compounding interest.

To estimate how much you can earn on a high-interest savings account, multiply the APY by your balance to see how much your account will grow if you don’t touch it.

When is interest calculated?

Interest may be calculated daily, weekly, or monthly for a savings account. This is how often your balance is used to determine how much interest you’ve earned.

This frequency can affect your earnings, and daily calculation is the best-case scenario. This is because the more frequently interest is calculated, the higher your balance will be each time it happens thanks to the interest you’ve already been paid. Interest you earn on interest is referred to as compound interest.

For example, a $1,000 balance earning a 1% interest rate pays you $10 in simple interest over a year. If interest is calculated daily, that $10 becomes $10.05 a year.

Read more: Savings interest calculator

Is interest taxed?

Yes, the interest you earn from your savings account will be taxed alongside your income, no matter how much money you bring in.

How to open a high-yield savings account

The basic process for opening a savings account is pretty much the same anywhere you go.

First, you’re going to provide some personal details including your basic contact information. Once your account has been approved, you’ll choose a funding option. Your options might be:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Check deposit (paper or mobile)
  • Cash deposit

You need to meet minimum opening deposit requirements for your account when funding. Some banks will let you open a savings account without making a deposit right away. Just make sure you know the rules for your chosen account.

If you already have an account with the bank or credit union you’ve chosen, you can link this with your new savings account either before or after funding. This will allow for easy transfers in the future.

How to use a high-yield savings account

There’s a difference between just having a high-yield savings account and using it for all its worth. Here are some ways to make the most of high-interest savings.

Emergency fund

A high-yield savings account is the perfect place to keep your emergency fund. We recommend you have one savings account where you keep at least six months of your monthly living expenses, completely separate from the rest of your cash. You can take the money out if you get sick, lose your income, or face a large unexpected expense, and your balance will grow until then.

Short-term saving

A high-interest savings account is also a great place to save for short-term goals when you don’t want to put your money on the line with higher-risk investments. These accounts are safe and liquid, so your money is there when you’re ready for it and earning interest when you’re not.

For example, if you’re saving money to buy a new car or for your wedding in the next couple of years, you may be able to get a higher rate of return by investing in a mutual fund or other securities. But in such a short period of time, you may lose money. Investments are best for savings goals more than a few years away. For shorter-term goals, savings accounts are safer.

No matter what you’re saving for, a good rule of thumb is to save as often as possible and think about it as little as possible. If you rely on yourself to remember or feel like putting away money to save, you might have more trouble meeting your goals and start feeling frustrated when you don’t see your balance go up. Instead, take advantage of features that do the work for you. To save automatically, you can:

  • Set recurring transfers
  • Split your paycheck
  • Use booster features like roundups

Read more: The best place for short-term savings

What is the withdrawal limit for savings accounts?

Most savings accounts limit the number of withdrawals you’re allowed to make. This started with Federal Regulation D.

Federal Regulation D was a rule that limited the number of withdrawals or transfers that could be made from a savings account to six per month. This included withdrawals made in person, by phone, online, or through any other type of electronic transfer. If you made more than six transfers or withdrawals in a month, your bank might have charged you an excessive withdrawal fee or closed your account. 

In April 2020, Regulation D was suspended, but many banks still choose to restrict transactions and enforce the same penalties.

What to look for in a high-yield savings account

There are certain standout features that can immediately make or break a high-yield savings account.

Here are the main things to pay attention to when shopping for a savings account.

Minimum balance requirements

How much do you realistically plan to save? This is the first question you should ask yourself before signing up for an account. Many savings accounts have minimum balance requirements, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you open an account and can’t meet these.

If your account does have balance requirements, you must meet them in order to:

  1. Avoid monthly maintenance fees
  2. Earn interest
  3. Keep your account

Your balance at the end of each day is used to determine if you’re meeting requirements. If you’re not, you might be penalized.

Not all high-yield savings accounts have minimum balance requirements. Especially for online savings accounts, it’s becoming more common to not have any.

Read more: How much money should you save each month?

Minimum deposit requirements

Some banks may require you to make a certain minimum deposit when signing up for your account. Failure to do so may disqualify you from opening an account or result in a fee.

A minimum deposit requirement could be anywhere from $5 to $500. Sometimes minimum deposit and minimum balance requirements are the same, and sometimes not. It’s not uncommon for a bank to have a minimum deposit requirement but no minimum balance requirement or vice versa.

Many high-yield online savings accounts have very low or no minimum deposit requirements.

Interest and APY

You’re naturally going to gravitate toward accounts with the highest interest rates, right? That’s free money that you don’t have to work for. But be sure to pay attention to the requirements to earn interest too, not just the annual percentage yield.

For example, if a bank requires you to maintain a balance you can’t maintain to earn interest, it’s probably not the right bank for you. For your first savings account, you might prefer a variable interest rate over a tiered interest rate so you don’t have to worry about if your balance is high enough to earn interest.

Some banks also reserve their best interest rates for preferred customers. This might mean you need to have another account such as a checking account or loan to qualify for the highest APY, and that might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Monthly fees

Some banks still charge monthly maintenance fees on savings accounts, but many don’t. When your goal is to earn money on your savings, monthly fees you get charged just for having an account can really get in the way.

While you should generally look for accounts that don’t charge fees, you might make an exception if a bank offers a waiver. For example, the fee may be waived if you maintain a certain minimum balance in your account for each statement cycle or make a recurring transfer from another account.

If you feel like you can easily meet the requirements to waive a fee and an account is otherwise a perfect fit, go for it.

Cash access

Most people try to ignore the money in their high-yield savings account when they can to take advantage of compound interest.

But life happens, and sometimes you need to dip into your savings. When that happens, you should have convenient access to your money. You might be able to make a withdrawal via:

  • ACH transfer
  • Cash withdrawal
  • ATM withdrawal

Most savings accounts give you the option to make a transfer from your savings to a linked checking account. This checking account can either be with the same bank or another one entirely. If with the same bank, transfers may be instant.

Some banks also offer ATM cards with high-yield savings accounts, though you may incur a fee for ATM transactions. You can also make cash withdrawals at branch locations.

Any transfers or withdrawals you make will count toward your monthly transaction limit.

Mobile apps

Almost every bank out there offers a mobile app today, but some are far better than others. As you’re researching the features of an account, always look into the app too.

Saving from your phone only works when an app does what it’s supposed to, so functionality and convenience are important. You should be able to easily access your savings account, initiate transfers, and see your balance at any time. Those are the basics. You might also want an app that will let you make mobile check deposits, create savings goals, and chat with customer support when there’s an issue.

As a rule, online banks and larger institutions tend to have the best mobile apps. But while you might be looking for an app that’s simple and straightforward to use, someone else might prefer a robust app with educational resources, features, and a variety of notifications. Check out some customer reviews to see what real users have to say about their experiences.

Sign-up bonus

Many banks and credit unions offer sign-up bonuses when you open a high-yield savings account. These offers change all the time and can be quite enticing. For example, bonuses up to $200 are not uncommon. But while sign-up bonuses are nice, they’re not more important than interest rates, fees, and minimums.

Also, be aware that sign-up bonuses come with restrictions. Typically, you’ll need to maintain a certain minimum balance for a set amount of time to qualify. This may be six months or even longer. If your account balance drops below the minimum requirement at any time during the first six months, you may forfeit the bonus. Many bonuses also come with direct deposit requirements.

If you do qualify, you probably won’t get the bonus right away and may have to wait several weeks. All this to say that sign-up bonuses aren’t a good option for getting quick cash. Consider these after all of the other features we’ve outlined.

Are high-yield savings accounts safe?

Your money can’t get a lot safer than it is when it’s in a savings account.

Almost all savings accounts with banks are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. This insurance coverage protects your money in the event that your bank loses money and is unable to repay its deposits. Almost all savings accounts with credit unions are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for up to $250,000 per depositor. This provides the same protections.

If a bank or credit union is not FDIC- or NCUA-insured, you may qualify for private deposit insurance.

Benefits of online savings accounts

High-yield savings accounts and online savings accounts are often one and the same. Here are some of the top benefits you can expect from an online savings account.

Higher interest

A traditional savings account with your bank or credit union might seem like the best choice, but you can do a lot better. Compared to traditional accounts, online savings accounts tend to offer much better interest rates, plus benefits like fewer fees, extra savings features, and the convenience of opening and managing your account completely online (or from your phone).

Online savings accounts can pay higher interest rates because digital accounts are cheaper to operate, lowering a bank’s costs and passing on the savings to you in the form of better interest.

Fewer fees

Online savings accounts almost always have lower fees than traditional savings accounts for the same reasons they can offer better rates. Many charge no monthly fees at all.

Avoiding monthly fees like maintenance fees, low balance fees, and inactivity fees can save you serious money in the long run. Plus, let you actually keep the interest you’ve earned.


Online savings accounts are much more convenient to open and use. You can open your account online and fund it by just transferring the money from another account. Usually, all of this takes less than five minutes.

An online account lets you make deposits, transfer money, pay bills, and see your account activity at any time without the need for a phone call or visit to the bank. You can even view your account statements and track your progress. If you’re not a fan of brick-and-mortar branches, an online savings account either with a fully-digital bank or a hybrid bank could be perfect for you.

Perks and benefits

Online savings accounts tend to come with a lot of great, free features. Automatic transfers into your savings account from your checking account, mobile check deposit, and account alerts are just a few common ones.

Some online savings accounts go above and beyond this. They might offer savings support like boosters and automated tools, help you create a saving strategy with resources and insights, or the option to organize your savings into separate buckets or categories.

Read more: Best online savings accounts

Disadvantages of savings accounts

Although a great tool for saving for your future and protecting your finances, savings accounts in general do have limitations. Let’s talk about some of those here.

Limited withdrawals

One of the main disadvantages of high-yield savings accounts is limited cash access. A lot of this has to do with withdrawal restrictions.

Remember, you’re often restricted to just six transactions per statement period with a savings account. This is a limit that was originally set by the federal government that many accounts still stick to. You shouldn’t use your savings account as a secondary spending account because when you hit that limit, you risk losing the account. This is why savings accounts should be for money you don’t immediately need.

If you’re looking for a place to set aside some extra money you do plan to dip into regularly, consider a high-yield checking account instead of a savings account. While the rates for high-yield checking accounts aren’t usually as good as the rates for high-yield savings accounts, you’ll have more flexibility to spend your money.

Read more: Best high-yield checking accounts compared

Rates can change at any time

Another downside to savings accounts is that the interest rates are always variable. This means the rate you earn on your balance can change at any time, and it definitely will as the market fluctuates. It’s important to remember that you’re not locked into the annual percentage yield you sign up for when you open a high-yield savings account.

And if the rate does change, your bank doesn’t have to give you any sort of warning. Although competitive high-yield savings accounts will, for the most part, stay competitive and continue offering the highest yields compared to other accounts, there’s no telling how much you’ll earn in dividends a year from now.

You should choose a high interest rate but know that it can change and don’t rely on the dividends for income.

Security risks

With any type of financial account, there are going to be certain safety concerns. While these are really minimal with an insured savings account, you can take steps to maximize your personal security.

If an account offers multi-factor authentication, set it up (it’s free anyway). If you have the option to enroll in fraud protection, do it. Set up account alerts to notify you about suspicious activity and check your balance often to make sure everything looks good.

FDIC and NCUA protection will keep you safe from losing all of your money if your bank goes bankrupt, but it’s your responsibility to make sure your account is as safe as it can be from hackers.

Read more: How to make online banking more secure

Are high-yield savings accounts worth it?

The answer to this question is probably, but it really depends on what kind of account you choose. We’ll say it again, we always prefer an online savings account with no minimums and no fees. Even if you can’t yet afford to set much money aside, you can start earning a small amount of interest on your balance and setting those good savings habits with free accounts.

But if you open a savings account that charges monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, low balance fees, etc., you’re going to have to work harder to make the account worth it. Keep in mind that all of these fees can eat into and even exceed your interest earnings, causing you to lose money in the long run.

So basically, as long as you don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong account and letting it drain your earnings, you have nothing to lose.

High-yield savings accounts vs. money market accounts (MMAs)

Which is the better option for your money right now: a high-yield savings account or a money market account?

A money market account or MMA is a special type of savings account. They typically have higher balance requirements to earn interest but may offer better interest rates than high-yield savings accounts. Usually, MMAs pay tiered variable interest rates so the more you save, the more you earn.

MMAs often come with higher fees, higher deposit requirements, and higher balance requirements than savings accounts. While they can earn more depending on the interest rate environment, right now the best rates are really comparable between high-yield savings accounts and MMAs.

Savings accounts and money market accounts have the same transaction limit of six per statement period.

Read more: 9 best money market accounts

High-yield savings accounts vs. certificates of deposit (CDs)

A certificate of deposit or CD is a type of deposit account that usually offers a fixed interest rate for a fixed term. This means that the amount of money you earn on your deposits is guaranteed for the length of the CD term.

CD terms can range from as little as one month to as much as 10 or even 20 years. During the term of the CD, you agree not to withdraw any of the money you’ve deposited. If you do need to access your money before the end of the term, you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty fee.

Early withdrawal fees are equal to the interest you earn for a set number of days or months. For example, you may pay three months’ interest for taking money out of a one-year CD early.

Because of early withdrawal fees, you risk losing your interest in a CD, so you should only deposit money you’re absolutely certain you won’t need until the term is up.

Stick with a savings account until you have an emergency fund built up before you consider a CD. CDs can be better vehicles for long-term saving but they should not replace your emergency savings account.

Read more: Best CD rates of 2023

FAQs About High-Yield Savings Accounts

Unlike certificates of deposit, which maintain a constant interest rate for the term of the certificate, high-yield savings account rates are variable rates. That means they’re determined by market factors, which can change frequently. While there are some high-yield savings accounts that may offer a high rate for a specific term, most are consistently at the upper end of the interest rate range. For example, the banks that are currently paying the highest rates on savings accounts now were the same ones paying high rates one or two years ago.
It’s not the banks that place restrictions on savings accounts (and money market accounts for that matter as well), but federal regulations. Regulation D banks are generally required to limit the number of transactions in a savings account to no more than six per statement cycle. Though there is some flexibility as to exactly what constitutes a transaction. Carefully read the bank’s policy on what transactions count toward the limit.
Pretty safe. Virtually all banks in the United States are covered by FDIC insurance. That protects each consumer for up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank. And yes, that includes online banks that you never heard of.


Opening a high-yield savings account is pretty much a no-brainer. They require little effort to set up and many have no fees or minimums, making this one of the easiest steps you can take to get your money in order. High-yield savings accounts offer great interest rates to help incentivize saving and reward you for your efforts.

Whether for your emergency savings, a short-term goal, or both, open a high-yield savings account. You’ll thank yourself.

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Featured image: Shutterstock.com / Prostock-studio

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About the author

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Lauren Graves is a personal finance writer specializing in honest brand and product reviews. She wants to help people feel less stressed when they spend their hard-earned cash and do her part to make money make sense.