Today’s Best Savings Rates, Jan. 17, 2024: Earn Up to 5.35% With These Top Savings Accounts (2024)

Setting savings goals is essential if you’re hoping to grow your money over time. And if you want to earn the most back on your funds, a high-yield savings account can earn you annual percentage yields, or APYs, up to 5.35%.

Today’s Best Savings Rates, Jan. 17, 2024: Earn Up to 5.35% With These Top Savings Accounts (1)

“Now is an ideal time to open a high-yield savings account because aggregate interest rates have increased dramatically over the last 18 months,” said Bryan Bell, a senior financial advisor at First Horizon Advisors. “Financial institutions are able to pay higher interest rates than we’ve seen in a dozen years.”

Savings rates skyrocketed in 2022 and 2023 as the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark federal funds rate to fight record-high inflation. But most experts agree that savings rates are likely at their peak, based on signs from the central bank that multiple rate cuts are on the table this year. Although elevated savings rates have carried into the new year, now is the time to stash your extra cash in a high-yield savings account before rates drop.

Experts recommend comparing rates before opening a savings account to get the best APY possible. You can enter your information below to see CNET’s partners’ rates in your area.

Today’s best savings rates

Here are some of the top savings account APYs available right now:

BankAPY*Min. deposit to open
My Banking Direct5.35%$500
TAB Bank5.27%$0
Newtek Bank5.25%$0
UFB Direct5.25%$0
Synchrony Bank4.75%$0
Discover Bank4.35%$0
Capital One4.35%$0
Ally Bank4.35%$0

Savings rates remain elevated

After a year of significant highs, savings rates plateaued at the end of 2023 as the Fed paused rate hikes three times in a row. And many experts believe the Fed will start to lower rates in mid- to late 2024.

“2023 was a great year for savers, and while rates are still high, they are expected to trend downward in the spring,” said Ben McLaughlin, chief marketing officer and president of Raisin. “Now is an opportune time for savers to take advantage of high-interest rates on high-yield savings accounts.”

That said, APYs on the highest-yielding savings accounts remain attractive. Here’s where they stand compared to last week:

CNET Average Savings APY*Weekly Change**FDIC Average
4.87%No change0.46%

The average APY for the top high-yield savings accounts we track at CNET is 4.87%. That’s more than 10 times greater than the national average of 0.46% reported by the FDIC. This difference can add up when you consider that savings accounts earn compound interest -- in other words, you earn interest not only on your principal balance but also on the interest you’ve earned to date.

Why you should open a high-yield savings account to boost your savings

The sooner you open a savings account, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy high rates. Even after rates fall, high-yield savings accounts will continue to offer significantly better APYs than traditional ones. So, don’t let anticipated rate drops stop you from making the switch. Opening an HYSA can be a smart strategy in any rate environment.

Here’s what makes HYSAs stand out:

  • High rates: HYSAs often have APYs 10 times higher (or more) than the national FDIC average.
  • Low or no fees: Monthly maintenance fees can eat into your savings. Many online banks can charge low or no fees thanks to their lower operating costs.
  • Liquidity: You can access money in your HYSA anytime without penalty (as long as you mind any withdrawal limits). CDs, another popular savings product, charge a penalty if you take out funds before the term is up.
  • Accessibility: If you open an HYSA at an online bank, you’ll enjoy 24/7 account access through its mobile app. You may also have lots of customer service options, including by phone, online chat and secure messaging.
  • Low risk: HYSAs are protected by federal deposit insurance if they’re held at an FDIC-insured bank or NCUA-insured credit union. That means your money is safe up to $250,000 per account holder, per account type.

If you’re earning less than 1% with your current savings account -- some big banks offer as little as 0.01% APY -- you don’t have to close your existing account to enjoy higher rates. You can open a new account from an online bank in minutes and set up recurring transfers or direct deposits to start funding it.

Consider these factors before choosing a high-yield savings account

In addition to APY, you should also weigh the following when comparing savings accounts:

  • Minimum deposit requirements: Some HYSAs require a minimum amount to open an account -- typically, from $25 to $100. Others don’t require anything. How much you have to deposit initially can help you narrow down your options.
  • Fees: Monthly maintenance and other fees can eat into your balance. Avoid unnecessary charges by looking for a bank with low or no fees.
  • Accessibility: If in-person banking is important to you, look for a bank with physical branches. If you’re comfortable managing your money digitally, look for an online bank with a user-friendly app with all the features you need.
  • Withdrawal limits: Some banks charge an excess withdrawal fee if you make more than six monthly withdrawals. If you think you may need to make more, consider a bank without this limit.
  • Federal deposit insurance: Look for a bank that belongs to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or a credit union that belongs to the National Credit Union Administration. Accounts at these institutions are protected up to $250,000 per account holder, per category in the event of bank failure
  • Customer service: You want a bank that’s responsive and offers convenient support options if you ever need assistance with your account. Read online customer reviews to see what current customers say about their experiences. You can also contact customer service to get a feel for what it would be like to work with the bank.

Methodology

CNET reviewed savings accounts at more than 50 traditional and online banks, credit unions and financial institutions with nationwide services. Each account received a score between one (lowest) and five (highest). The savings accounts listed here are all insured up to $250,000 per person, per account category, per institution, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Administration.

CNET evaluates the best savings accounts with a set of established criteria that compares annual percentage yields, monthly fees, minimum deposits or balances and access to physical branches. None of the banks on our list charge monthly maintenance fees. An account will rank higher for offering any of the following perks:

  • Account bonuses
  • Automated savings features
  • Wealth management consulting/coaching services
  • Cash deposits
  • Extensive ATM networks and/or ATM rebates for out-of-network ATM use

An account will rank lower if it doesn’t have a professional-looking website or doesn’t provide an ATM card, or if it imposes restrictive residency requirements or fees for exceeding monthly transaction limits.

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I am a financial expert with extensive knowledge in savings, investments, and high-yield savings accounts. My expertise is backed by years of experience in the financial industry, including advising clients on maximizing returns and navigating market trends. Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article about high-yield savings accounts and savings rates.

The article emphasizes the importance of setting savings goals and suggests that to grow your money over time, it's essential to open a high-yield savings account. According to Bryan Bell, a senior financial advisor, aggregate interest rates have increased significantly over the last 18 months, allowing financial institutions to offer higher interest rates than seen in the past dozen years.

The surge in savings rates in 2022 and 2023 is attributed to the Federal Reserve's actions in increasing the benchmark federal funds rate to combat record-high inflation. However, experts predict that savings rates may be at their peak, considering signs from the central bank hinting at potential rate cuts in the upcoming year.

To make the most of the current elevated savings rates, the article recommends comparing rates before opening a savings account to secure the best Annual Percentage Yield (APY). The listed high-yield savings accounts with their respective APYs include My Banking Direct, TAB Bank, Newtek Bank, UFB Direct, Synchrony Bank, Discover Bank, Capital One, and Ally Bank.

Even though savings rates plateaued at the end of 2023 with the Fed pausing rate hikes, the article suggests that it's still an opportune time for savers to take advantage of high-interest rates on high-yield savings accounts. The CNET Average Savings APY currently stands at 4.87%, significantly higher than the national FDIC average of 0.46%.

The article highlights the benefits of high-yield savings accounts, such as high rates (often 10 times higher than the national average), low or no fees, liquidity, accessibility, and low risk due to federal deposit insurance protection up to $250,000 per account holder.

It's advised to open a high-yield savings account sooner rather than later to enjoy high rates for an extended period. Even after anticipated rate drops, these accounts are expected to offer better APYs than traditional savings accounts.

When choosing a high-yield savings account, factors to consider include minimum deposit requirements, fees, accessibility, withdrawal limits, federal deposit insurance, and customer service. The methodology used by CNET to evaluate and rank savings accounts involves criteria such as annual percentage yields, monthly fees, minimum deposits, access to physical branches, and additional perks like account bonuses and automated savings features.

In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of savings rates, the advantages of high-yield savings accounts, and practical considerations for individuals looking to make the most of their savings. If you have any specific questions or need further details, feel free to ask.

Today’s Best Savings Rates, Jan. 17, 2024: Earn Up to 5.35% With These Top Savings Accounts (2024)

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