High Interest Savings Accounts

Updated Sunday, February 13, 2011

With most online brokers paying little or no interest on their money market accounts, investors can be forgiven for looking elsewhere for additional yield.  One of the best options available is to open a high interest savings account.  High interest savings accounts can be linked to most checking accounts and, depending on the high interest savings account provider, can sometimes be linked to brokerage accounts.  The following table is a breakdown of some of the most popular high interest savings accounts, their annual percentage yields (APY), minimum deposits, any applicable monthly fees and any special offers.  Click on the bank account name to go directly to each bank's website.

Bank AccountAPYMinimum DepositMonthly Fees and Special Offers
Ally Bank (formerly GMAC Bank)1.09%NoneNone
American Express High Yield Savings1.30%NoneNone
Capital One Direct Banking0.10% less than $1,000, 1.25% $1,000+$110% bonus on interest earned if over $10,000 balance or use Capital One credit card at least once per month
Citibank Savings Plus Account0.20%-0.50%$100$500 minimum balance to avoid monthly surcharge, earn up to 0.50% interest with greater account balances
Discover Online Savings Account1.20%$500None
Dollar Savings Direct (division of Emigrant Bank)1.00%$1,000None
E*TRADE Complete Savings Account0.30%$1None
EmigrantDirect American Dream Savings Account0.90%$1,000None
EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market Account1.06%$1,500less than $5,000 balance generates $8.95 monthly fee
FNBO Direct Online Savings (First National Bank of Omaha)1.10%$1None
HSBC Advance Savings Account (formerly HSBC Direct)0.90%$1None
iGoBanking Savings Account (Flushing Savings Bank)0.97%$1None
INGDirect Orange Savings Account1.10%NoneElectric Orange - Earn high interest. Free Bill Pay. Free ATM’s at more than 35,000 locations. Apply online.
WT Direct Personal Savings Account (Wilmington Trust)0.15% for accounts with <$10,000, 1.11% above $10,000NoneEarn 1.11% for any account balance level for first 60 days

February 2011 Update
Since our initial breakdown of high interest savings accounts in February 2010, bank interest rates have continued to decline. Regardless of account balance levels, American Express offers the best rate at 1.30%.  Note that this rate has not changed in the last year.  The next best deal is offered by Capital One, who provides an interest rate of 1.25% for account balances above $1,000.  After that would be Discover which pays a rate of 1.20%.

On May 20, 2009 the FDIC insurance level was raised from $100,000 to $250,000.  At the time the level was set to sunset in 2013 but on July 21, 2010 the insurance level was set to $250,000 permanently.  If you are researching a bank that is not listed here and are unsure about FDIC coverage, you can search for your bank on the FDIC website.

Note that most of the accounts above are limited to 6 monthly transfers and additional transfers will be subject to fees.

Also note that there are potentially better offers out there but there are often caveats, such as required usage of linked checking account with direct deposit or a minimum number of linked debit card monthly transactions.  We obviously cannot directly compare these accounts so we have left them out off our list.  There are also alternative savings programs out there such as SmartyPig, which is an interesting goals based savings program that is currently paying 1.35% APY.  This is down dramatically from 2.15% in February 2010 so this has become less of a draw than it was last year.

If you know of a high interest saving account that offers a better deal than those provided here, please email us at [email protected] so that we can include those accounts in our list.  We will try to update this page as often as possible with the most current rates.