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Best Savings Accounts & Interest Rates for May 2024

  • The best savings account interest rates help ensure your money is working for you while you save.
  • Most people can benefit from a savings account; it’s an easy, accessible way to save cash for emergency needs.
  • The best savings account rates tend to come from high-yield savings accounts, which might have minimum deposit and balance requirements.?
  • You can choose from many kinds of savings accounts to meet your needs. A selection of high-yield savings accounts: Western Alliance ( 5.24% APY), UFB Direct (5.25% APY), Barclays (4.35% APY), Cloudbank247 (5.24% APY)
  • High-yield savings accounts offer the best interest rates at 3% or higher, while the average savings account interest rate is 0.37%.

In 2022, the total value of savings and other checkable deposits in the United States was around $13 trillion. Following the financial insecurities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are seeking to save more.

Many people look at savings accounts as low-risk ways to put money away for a rainy day, but obviously, you want your money to work for you whenever possible. Getting a good savings account interest rate can help increase the benefits you get when saving.

Our top picks for savings accounts of May 2024

Other savings accounts:

CloudBank 24/7 Savings Account

The High-Yield Savings Account from CloudBank 24/7 comes with an APY of 5.24%, which is 11.4x higher than the national average (0.46%).

The CloudBank 24/7 Savings Account is offered through Raisin’s digital platform.

  • Competitive APY of 5.24%
  • No monthly service fees
  • $1 minimum opening deposit
  • FDIC insured

CloudBank 24/7 Savings Account

Quontic Bank Savings Account

Open a Quontic High-Yield Savings Account in just 3 minutes with an APY of 4.50%*.

Start earning from day 1 of your first deposit with no limit on how much you can earn.

  • Competitive APY of 5.40%
  • No monthly service fees
  • $100 minimum deposit
  • Limit of 6 withdrawals per statement cycle

*APY means Annual Percentage Yield

Quontic Savings Account

What is a good savings account interest rate?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, notes that the average interest rate for savings deposit accounts is 0.37%. Anything above that is probably a decent rate, but the best high-yield savings accounts can return 3% or more.

Why savings account interest rates matter

The higher your savings account interest rate, the more your money earns in the bank.?

Let’s consider a hypothetical example so you can see how much difference a few interest points make. Imagine you put $5,000 in a savings account. You add $100 to that account every month for five years, and you never take any money out of it.

The table below breaks down how much you end up with given various interest rates.

Interest Rate Starting Deposit Total Monthly Contributions Interest Earned Total Balance after 5 Years
0.37% $5,000 $6,000 $148 $11,148
0.75% $5,000 $6,000 $302 $11,302
1.5% $5,000 $6,000 $611 $11,611
3% $5,000 $6,000 $1,254 $12,254

How often do savings account interest rates change?

Interest rates on traditional savings accounts don’t tend to change that often. If you open a regular savings account, your interest rate, which might be as low as 0.1%, may stay the same the entire time you have the account.

However, if you open a high-yield savings account, your rate may be variable. This may be the case on other types of accounts; always check the fine print to see what type of rate you have.?

Variable interest rates can change at any time, but they most often change when the Federal Reserve adjusts rates.

Get to know some of the following high-yield savings accounts:

Bank APY Monthly fee Minimum opening deposit Savings Account
Western Alliance 5.24% $0 $1 Learn more
CloudBank 24/7 5.24% $0 $1 Learn more
Barclays 4.35% $0 $0 Learn more
UFB Direct 5.25% $0 $0 Learn more
Synchrony 4.75% $0 $0 Learn more
Quontic Bank* 4.50% $0 $100 Learn more

*Limit of 6 withdrawals per statement cycle

What to look for when choosing a savings account

When shopping around for savings accounts, finding one that works for you with the best savings rates possible is ideal.

Here are some things to consider:

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a bank account used to keep money you deposit with the aim of saving. It earns some interest, though how much you earn depends on the type of savings account you have.

While you have access to the money in your savings account, you can’t use it in the same way you use money in a checking account. With a checking account, you can write checks and use the account debit card to pay at stores or online. If you have a debit card for your savings account, you may only be able to use it to withdraw money at the ATM. You also can’t write checks against a traditional savings account.

Depending on your savings account, there may be limitations on how you can access your money. For example, you may only be able to make so many withdrawals or transfers each month before you’re charged for them.

Who should get a savings account?

Savings accounts can be beneficial for people of all ages, income levels and personal finance habits. They provide a safe place to save money while keeping it accessible for emergencies and other needs.

Types of savings accounts

Not all savings accounts are the same. Here’s a quick rundown of the basic types of savings accounts you might consider:

Traditional savings accounts

Traditional savings accounts tend to be the most common product people mean when they talk about savings accounts. These are low-yield accounts (meaning they tend to have low interest rates). You can often sign up to a traditional savings account for free, particularly if you have a checking account with the same financial institution.

Traditional savings accounts are a good choice if you want to safely save relatively small amounts of money — say $1,000 or $3,000 — as a rainy day fund which you will be able to access easily when you need it.

Best traditional savings accounts:

High-yield savings accounts

High-yield savings accounts have much higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. Because they cost the bank more to operate, they often require a minimum initial deposit and balance requirements.

These types of accounts may be a good fit if you have $5,000 or more to save and know you can keep the minimum average balance in the account. Bear in mind that this type of account often has a fixed term and you will be limited in your ability to withdraw from it. It is important to understand the pros and cons of high-yield savings accounts to help you decide if it is right for you.

What bank currently has the highest savings interest rate?

Best high-yield savings accounts:

Although no banks currently offer a 7% interest rate on savings accounts as of May 2024, you can explore further details about this in our guide to 7% interest savings accounts.

Money market accounts

Money market accounts offer higher yields than traditional savings accounts and often include checking-account-style privileges, such as debit cards and the ability to write checks drawn from the account. They aren’t the same thing as checking accounts, however, and tend to have more limitations. For example, you may only be able to write a certain number of checks in a given period.

Cash management accounts

Cash management accounts offer similar services as savings and checking accounts, but a cash management account is not a banking product. They’re offered by brokerages which handle your cash deposits for you. In some cases, brokerages might split up large cash deposit amounts into various banking accounts so that your funds are secured by FDIC insurance.?

Specialty savings accounts

Specialty savings accounts are designed to help account holders with specific financial goals.

A few examples of specialty savings accounts include:

How to apply for a savings account

You can apply for a savings account in person at a bank or credit union or online with a financial institution that offers online savings accounts.?

What you need before you apply

The exact requirements may be different depending on the policies of the bank or credit union you choose.?

You’ll commonly need the following to apply for a savings account:

Steps for applying

Follow these steps to apply for a savings account:

  1. Choose the financial institution you want to work with.
  2. Decide whether you want to apply online or in person.
  3. Gather all the documents required.
  4. Review savings account products and choose the one that’s right for you.
  5. Complete the application. You can do this by yourself online or with the help of a banking representative in a branch.
  6. Deposit money into your savings account.

Are there fees associated with savings accounts?

Whether you pay fees depends on the type of account you open and the policy of the bank, credit union, or other financial institution.?

When you review savings account options, look at fee structures and ask questions if you aren’t sure what fees you might have to pay.?

Some common fee types associated with savings accounts include:

Benefits of opening a savings account

Savings accounts are considered a safe way to put cash away. They’re extremely low risk, which means you can be confident your money will be there when you need it.?

Even if the bank fails, a savings account with a balance of less than $250,000 is FDIC-insured, so you won’t lose your money.

Other benefits of savings accounts include:

Drawbacks or limitations

Because savings accounts are low-risk, they don’t offer high returns compared to some other investment options. Even high-yield accounts offer relatively low returns compared to other money management options.

Other drawbacks of savings accounts can include the following:

Alternatives to savings accounts

If you want to save money but aren’t sure a savings account is right for you, explore some alternatives.?

Some other options include:

1

Certificates of deposit:

With a CD, you invest a specific amount for a period of time and get a defined return. This might be a good option for someone who knows they won’t need the money for a year or more.

See More See Less
2

High-yield checking accounts

You may be able to find a checking account that offers a good rate of return on any money you hold in it. This way, you can get the benefits of a savings account with all the access and other perks of a checking account.

See More See Less
3

Savings bonds

Treasury bonds are a form of long-term investment and are considered low-risk. You’ll need to keep the money in the bond for a year or more and you’ll pay a penalty if you take it out too early.

See More See Less

Our top picks for savings accounts of May 2024

FAQs: Savings accounts and interest rates

Why do online banks have higher savings account interest rates?

Online banks don’t have the same overhead expenses as branch-based banks, including building costs. They’re often able to pass those savings on to account holders and one way they do that is through higher interest rates.

Are online savings accounts safe?

Online savings accounts through reputable online banks are generally as safe as any other type of savings account. Do your research to ensure the bank is reputable and FDIC-insured. You should also protect your account information, such as your username and password, to reduce the chance of anyone else gaining access to your account.

Do I have to pay taxes on savings account interest?

Any amount you earn in savings account interest is considered taxable income. If you earn more than $10 in a year, your bank will send you a 1099-INT form reporting the income. It will send a copy of the form to the IRS, so you should include that income on your tax return for the year.

Should I have more than one savings account?

How many savings accounts you should have is a personal choice. If you want to save for different things or keep certain funds separate from others for personal accounting purposes, it might make sense to open multiple savings accounts.

How much does the average person have in savings?

The average person in America has less than $5,000 in savings. Less than a third of Americans say they have more than $5,000 in savings. To learn more about how much Americans have in savings, check out our guide on the average savings by age.

Sarah Stasik
Sarah Stasik Personal Finance

Sarah Stasik is well versed in personal finance thanks to her previous role as a Revenue Cycle Manager for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Using her inside knowledge and expertise, Sarah often covers topics ranging from insurance and the economics of private healthcare to personal finance and small business management.

With more than a dozen years of writing experience, Sarah has tackled niches that range from technical advances in fintech to personal budgeting challenges. She has covered topics such as insurance and the economics of private healthcare, small business management and accounting, and credit and savings. Her writing focuses on making complex or seemingly daunting financial topics more accessible and providing helpful and relevant resources for readers.

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