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Today’s Best Savings Rates: Dec. 18, 2023 –  Earn Up to 5.25% APY or More With One of These High-Yield Savings Accounts

Savings rates haven’t budged much since last week’s Fed meeting. Here’s where rates stand today.

High-yield savings account rates have been trending upward for the last two years as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates 11 times to fight inflation. After three consecutive rate pauses, the Fed’s rate hikes may be over. However, elevated savings rates are likely here to stay at least a while longer. 

Dollars in Envelope
shadrin_andrey/Getty Images

“Based on the conversations the Federal Reserve is having right now, rates will most likely [remain] around the same place they currently are,” said Shinobu Hindert, certified financial planner and author of Investing Is Your Superpower. “There is a small bandwidth of movement in interest rates either up or down.” The only way we’d see a significant decline in interest rates is if the US went into a recession, at which point the Fed would respond accordingly, Hindert said.

The average annual percentage yield, or APY, for the top high-yield savings accounts we track at CNET is 4.86%, with the best rates as high as 5.35%. That makes now a great time to open a high-yield savings account and earn more interest on your money while rates remain elevated. Read on to learn more about some of today’s top savings rates


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 Bank4.25%$0
*APYs as of Dec. 18, 2023, based on the banks we track at CNET.

Where savings rates stand this week 

Banks tend to raise interest rates on consumer products like savings accounts and CDs when the Federal Reserve raises its benchmark federal funds rate to remain competitive and attract new customers to boost their cash flow.

The Fed has raised rates 11 times since March 2022 to calm inflation. But it opted to pause rate hikes at its last three meetings, leaving savings rates high. Here’s where they stand compared to last week:

CNET Average Savings APY*Weekly Change**FDIC Average
4.86%No change0.46%
*APYs as of Dec. 18, 2023. Based on the banks we track at CNET.
**Percentage increase/decrease from Dec. 12, 2023, to Dec. 17, 2023.

The last Federal Open Market Committee meeting of the year took place last week and the Fed announced it would once again leave the federal funds rate unchanged. Still, savings rates are likely to remain high into next year, although some experts predict rates will begin to drop in mid-to-late 2024. 

“For right now, I don’t expect there to be any changes in interest rates,” said Christopher M. Naghibi, Esq, executive vice president at First Foundation Bank. “Since the Fed won’t be increasing rates, I think we are at [the] top of the market for deposit rates no matter what happens.”

The sooner you open a high-yield savings account, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy high rates. Once the Fed lowers interest rates, APYs on high-yield savings accounts won’t be as high.

Why you should open a high-yield savings account today 

High-yield savings accounts typically offer higher APYs than traditional savings accounts. Many HYSAs are provided by online-only banks, which often have lower overhead costs than traditional banks with physical locations to maintain. They pass these savings on to customers through competitive APYs and other perks.

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. Instead, you can open a new account from an online bank in minutes and set up recurring transfers or direct deposits to start funding it.

How to pick a high-yield savings account

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

  • Minimum deposit: 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.
  • Monthly fees: 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 that has 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: To protect your money, choose 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.
  • Customer service: If you run into any problems with your account, you want a bank that’s responsive and offers convenient support options. Read online customer reviews to see what current customers think about their experiences.

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.

Savings accounts researched

Alliant Credit Union, Ally, Amerant, America First FCU, American Express, Apple Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, BankPurely, Barclays, Bask Bank, Bellco Credit Union, Bethpage, BMO Alto, BMO Harris, Bread Savings, Capital One, Chase, CIBC Bank, CIT Bank, Citizens, Citizens Bank, Community Wide Federal Credit Union, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover, Dollar savings Direct, First Internet Bank of Indiana, Forbright, Laurel Road, LendingClub, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, My Banking Direct, Newtek Bank, Panacea Financial, PenFed Credit Union, PNC, Popular Bank, Quontic Bank, RBMax, Rising Bank, SoFi, Synchrony, TAB Bank, TIAA Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Upgrade Premier, Varo, Wells Fargo

Liliana Hall is an editor for CNET Money covering banking, credit cards and mortgages. Previously, she wrote about personal credit for Bankrate and CreditCards.com. She is passionate about providing accessible content to enhance financial literacy. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and has worked in the newsrooms of KUT and the Austin Chronicle. When not working, she is probably paddle boarding, hopping on a flight or reading for her book club.