Savings interest rates today: Boost your balance with APYs of 5.3% and higher — May 16, 2024

Yesterday’s latest data on consumer prices suggest inflation is easing, but economists are saying it may not be enough to change the timeline for a cut to the country’s benchmark interest rate at the Fed’s rate-setting meeting next month.

It means that while today’s decades-high rates could fall in the coming year, there’s still time to move your money to a high-yield account — one that can help you stay ahead of inflation.

You’ll find the highest-paying rates of 5.00% and higher at digital banks and online accounts that work like your everyday account, helping you to boost your savings balance faster. Better-known brands like American Express and Discover also offer HYSAs at 4.25% APY. 

High-yield savings rates for May 16, 2024

Today’s highest savings rates are at FDIC-insured digital banks and accounts offering yields of 5.30% APY with a minimum $500 opening deposit at My Banking Direct and Western Alliance and more than 5.00% APY with no minimums at Forbright Bank, EverBank and Bask Bank, among others, as of Thursday, May 16, 2024.

Not all of these digital accounts and online-only banks are familiar names, but they partner with FDIC-insured banks to offer deposit accounts that are insured for up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) — just like those at your neighborhood bank.

And while the Federal Reserve once limited transactions and withdrawals from high-yield savings accounts to six a month, that limitation is permanently suspended in the wake of the pandemic, with many banks no longer restricting how often you can move money in and out of your account.

Traditional savings account rates

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation tracks monthly average interest rates paid on savings and other deposit accounts, like certificates of deposit, that offer insight into the interest you might receive at your local bank or on traditional accounts.

Here’s how FDIC national deposit rates on a $10,000 minimum deposit compare between April and March 2024 on traditional low-interest deposit accounts.

Pulling back on rate changes over the past year shows modest movement on most traditional savings accounts and certificates of deposit between May 2023 and April 2024.

The FDIC is an independent government agency charged with maintaining stability and public confidence in the U.S. financial system and providing insurance on consumer deposit accounts. New data is due for release on May 20, 2024.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of deposit account designed for storing money you don’t expect to use for regular expenses, like paying bills or buying groceries. These accounts don’t typically offer check-writing privileges or debit cards, though you can find limited checking with a high-yield money market account. 

Saving accounts earn you interest on your balance — anywhere from a modest 1% APY with a traditional account to a lucrative 5% APY and higher for high-yield accounts — compounding what you earn and helping your savings to grow faster.

Simple interest vs. compound interest

Simple interest refers to the interest you earn on your principal balance only. Let’s say you invest $10,000 into an account that pays 3% in simple interest. After three years, you’d have earned $900 in interest — $300 each year — for a total of $10,900 in your account.

Now let’s say you invest $10,000 in an account that pays 3% compounded annually. At the end of the first year, you’d have earned $300 in interest, for a total of $10,300 in your account. If you left your account as is for another year, you’d have earned another $309 in interest — $300 on your initial deposit and another $9 on the interest reinvested from year one — for a new total of $10,609. Year three, you’d earn another $318.27 in interest — $300 on your initial deposit and another $18.27 on the interest you earned. At the end of the same three years, you’d have earned $927.27 in interest for a total of $10,927.27 in your account — and that’s without additional contributions to that initial $10,000.

Savings accounts can compound daily, monthly or quarterly, depending on the bank and account. The more frequent the compounding, the more you can earn — so read your account’s disclosure statements to understand how often your interest is compounded and credited to your account. Larger balances over longer periods can add up to even more significant savings.

Compounding and crediting disclosure for Capital One 360 Performance Savings

Capital One

High-yield savings accounts vs. traditional savings accounts: What’s the difference?

There’s no official definition for either of these accounts. Rather, each is a type of deposit account that can earn you incremental interest on your balance, helping you to grow your savings. The money you save in these accounts is federally insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC or the NCUA for up to $250,000 per person, per account, protecting your nest egg against risk.

Your earning potential is the most important difference between an HYSA and a traditional savings account. A high-yield savings account can earn you significantly more interest than a traditional savings account, with digital banks and online accounts offering the strongest rates, able to pass along overhead savings in the form of high yields — up to 10 times the national average when compared to a traditional account. The best of these digital banks and online accounts come with no fees and no minimum deposits, removing any challenges to maintaining your account over the long term.

Dig deeper: High-yield savings vs. traditional savings account: Why it’s worth the switch

How to compare the best savings accounts

Digital banking opens up more competitive rates and fewer fees than your neighborhood brick-and-mortar bank, and robust apps make it easy to keep an eye on your balance, manage money among everyday accounts and deposit checks from your smartphone or tablet.

Yet while it’s tempting to choose an account based only on its highest advertised APY, interest rates on savings accounts are variable — meaning rates can fluctuate after you open one and change over time. And you could be earning a lower rate if the Fed cuts its benchmark interest rate later this year.

Instead, look for an account that fits the way you like to bank, weighing factors that include:

Promotional rates. Today’s high-yield accounts can earn 5% APY and higher. Yet some accounts advertise promotional or limited-time rates to entice you to sign up before adjusting to a lower rate based on market conditions.

Low or no minimums. The best savings accounts require no minimum deposit or balance to earn interest, though you might be required to open with a minimum deposit or maintain a specific monthly balance to avoid monthly maintenance or service fees.

Ease of accessing your money. Look for flexibility that includes ATMs and mobile apps that accept checks for deposit — or branch access, if you prefer in-person banking.

FDIC or NCUA protections. Savings accounts are federally insured for up to $250,000 per account, per person — which means your money is safe up to the limit.

Dig deeper: Can you lose money in a high-yield savings account? What to know about the $250K insurance limit, fees and other risks

Other deposit accounts to save and grow your money

A savings account can offer flexible access to your money, but it isn’t the only safe place to store your savings and earn interest on your balance. Look to these alternatives that offer steady returns at APYs that can outpace traditional accounts.

Certificate of deposit. A CD guarantees a high fixed rate of return on a principal deposit at the end of an agreed-on term. CDs differ from savings accounts in that you risk a withdrawal penalty if you need to access your money before the CD matures — though a short-term CD ladder can help you leverage high-rates with rolling returns while interest rates are strong.

Money market account. Also called a money market savings account, the rate on an MMA can beat those of traditional savings accounts, with the same access to your money.

High-yield checking account. A high-yield checking account is like a money market account in that it combines high APYs with checking benefits, but with unlimited debit and check-writing privileges you won’t find with an HYSA or MMA.

Dig deeper: High-yield savings account vs. money market account: Which high-APY account is best for your nest egg?

Savings rates and high-interest accounts in the news

Savings rates strongly correlate with the target interest rate set by the Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank. This Fed rate is the benchmark that affects interest rates set for deposit accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards and other financial products. As the Fed rate rises, so do APYs on savings accounts, CDs and money market accounts — with today’s rates on the best high-yield savings accounts topping 5% APY.

The Federal Reserve increased the target interest rate 11 times from March 2022 to July 2023 in an effort to combat the highest inflation in four decades coming out of the pandemic.

May 1, 2024: Fed holds benchmark rate unchanged for sixth time since July 2023

At the conclusion of its third rate-setting policy meeting of the year on May 1, 2024, the Federal Reserve left the federal funds target interest rate at a 23-year high of 5.25% to 5.50%, marking the sixth consecutive time the Fed’s held the benchmark rate unchanged since July 2023.

In its post-meeting statement, the Federal Reserve maintained “there has been a lack of further progress toward the 2 percent inflation objective.” The Federal Reserve is focused on a 2% inflation goal that’s ideal for keeping employment high and prices low. Despite speculation in March of three rate cuts by the end of the year, the Fed cautioned in its May statement that its rate-setting committee “does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent.”

What to expect at the Fed’s June policy meeting

It’s too early to predict what the Fed will decide at its next policy meeting on June 11 and June 12, 2024. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, which measures market expectations for Fed fund rate changes, there’s a 91.6% chance that the Fed will keep rates where they are at its next meeting.

Inflation appears to be on a downward trend, falling from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to rates that have ranged from 3% and 4% since May 2023. The May 3 jobs report fell short of employment expectations, showing 175,000 positions added in April — significantly lower than the 315,000 positions added in March — signaling a slowing job market that could relieve inflation worries and set off long-awaited cuts to the Fed rate.

Consumer Price Index released on May 15 revealed consumer prices rose by 3.4% year over year, down from 3.5% in March — a modest decrease, but a step in the right direction for this widely used indicator for inflation. Producer Price Index data released on May 14 showed a 0.5% increase in wholesale prices — or the prices paid to producers of goods and services — in the 12 months through April, its highest rate in a year. Yet while these newest inflation readings suggests progress, offering hope for a future cut to the Fed rate, it may not be enough for the Fed to lower rates in June.

Responding to inflation concerns, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on May 15 that while he expects inflation to come down, “I think it’s more likely that we’ll be at a place where we hold the policy rate where it is.”

The Powell-led rate-setting panel will announce a rate decision at the conclusion of its meeting on June 12, at 2 p.m. ET.

Dig deeper: When’s the next Federal Reserve meeting? The FOMC — and how it affects your finances

Key terms to know

Annual percentage yield. Called the APY, this is the total amount of interest you’ll earn on your deposit over one year, including compound interest, expressed as a percentage.

Member FDIC. When a bank or financial institution is advertised as a member of the FDIC, it means that your money is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Funds held by member FDIC institutions are insured and federally protected for up to $250,000 per depositor, offering a layer of protection if the bank were to go out of business.

Maintenance or service fee. Some banks charge fees each month for simply holding your money, but many of the best high-yield savings accounts charge no monthly maintenance fees if you can meet account requirements.

Minimum deposit. As with monthly fees, some banks require you to deposit a minimum amount of money when opening your account as a way for them to profit from fees if required balances aren’t met. The best high-yield savings accounts require no minimum balances to earn high rates of interest.

Variable APY. APYs can be fixed or variable, depending on the type of deposit account. Fixed rates don’t fluctuate when, say, the Fed rate changes, while variable APYs do. Confirm the type of rate for the account you’re interested in to understand whether the rate is fixed or variable.

Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve — or Fed — is the central bank of the United States and the anchor of the financial system. Its Board of Governors is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate with the goals of maximizing employment, stabilizing prices and moderating long-term interest rates.

Frequently asked questions about savings accounts

Learn more about how savings accounts work when narrowing down the best for your budget, lifestyle and financial goals.

How does an HYSA interest rate compare to a traditional savings account?

High-yield savings accounts provide significantly higher earning potential when compared to traditional savings accounts that average 0.46% nationally, allowing your money to grow more substantially over time. They offer the convenience of online accessibility and minimal fees, giving you a secure and efficient way to manage your money.

What is compound interest?

Compound interest is often described as earning interest on your interest. It’s a powerful way to boost your savings over time by earning interest on both your initial deposit and any interest you earn along the way. An account’s APY is the total amount of interest you’ll earn on your deposit over one year, including compound interest, expressed as a percentage, with many HYSAs compounding daily or monthly.

Do I need to pay taxes on a savings account?

Yes. Interest you earn on your savings account is considered taxable income by the IRS. If you earn more than $10 in interest in a calendar year, your bank or financial institution will send you a Form 1099 to file with your annual tax return.

How do banks make money on savings accounts?

Banks charge higher interest rates on money they lend out to borrowers than the interest they pay on customer deposit accounts. The difference is called a spread, and it’s what banks rely on to make money.

Online banks and digital accounts don’t require the overhead of brick-and-mortar branches, allowing them to pass along savings to you in the form of even higher APYs than you might find in your neighborhood.

Is my money safe with an online-only neobank or digital account?

Yes. Neobanks are fintech — or financial technology — companies that partner with more recognizable FDIC-insured banks to offer deposit accounts protected by the government for up to $250,000. The FDIC insures the safety of your money, even if the neobank or fintech were to fail or go out of business. Look for terms like “member FDIC,” “FDIC insured” or “NCUA insured” when comparing your options.

Are high-yield savings accounts safe?

Yes. Look for high-yield savings accounts that are FDIC-insured up to the maximum limit, providing a level of security for deposited funds. For accounts at credit unions, the National Credit Union Administration insures balances up to a specific amount per share owner.

Editor’s note: Annual percentage yields shown are as of Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 8:10 a.m. ET. APYs and promotional rates for some products can vary by region and are subject to change.

Sources

Consumer Price Index Summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Accessed May 16, 2024.

Producer Price Index News Release summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Accessed May 15, 2024.

Employment Situation Summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Accessed May 10, 2024.

National Rates and Rate Caps, FDIC. Accessed May 12, 2024.

CME FedWatch Tool, CME Group. Accessed May 16, 2024.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Notice: ob_end_flush(): Failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home2/arjunka2/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5420