Savings accounts with the highest yields

  @blakeellis3 October 1, 2013: 10:23 AM ET
piggy bank savings

Want a savings account yield of more than 0.01%? Shop around.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

There's no getting around the fact that yields on savings accounts are painfully low. But you might be able to get a higher interest rate than the one you've settled for.

The average savings account has a measly 0.06% APY (annual percentage yield, or interest), and many of the nation's biggest banks pay rates as low as 0.01%. But there are actually some accounts that pay yields closer to 1%.

That might not sound like anything to get excited about, but it could make a big difference depending on what you have saved. For a savings of $10,000, for example, moving your money to an account with a 1% rate would bring you $100 in interest each year -- versus only $1 from an account with a 0.01% yield.

Online accounts typically have the highest rates, because banks are able to cut costs on branches and tellers. But the inability to deposit money at a physical bank can be a drawback for some customers. Online banks typically let you make online transfers from existing accounts and enroll in direct deposit, but you may need to send in checks and cash by snail mail or use mobile deposit (which allows you to take a photo of a check and deposit it via your phone).

Related: Can you trust online-only banks?

Here are the savings accounts with the highest yields that are available nationally and FDIC-insured (meaning your money is protected if the institution fails), according to an analysis from Bankrate.com:

1. Palladian PrivateBank Online Savings

APY: 1%

Requirements: Minimum $10,000 deposit, but interest will still be paid if balance falls below that level after the account is opened.

What to know: A $10 monthly fee is incurred if the account balance dips below $10,000.

2. Barclays Online Savings

APY: 0.90%

Requirements: No minimum balance.

What to know: No fees, and customers can link their savings account to accounts at other banks.

3. GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account

APY: 0.90%

Requirements: Must deposit at least $1 to begin earning interest.

What to know: No monthly fees, limit of six withdrawals per month, maximum deposit is $1 million.

4. Sallie Mae Money Market

APY: 0.90%

Requirements: No minimum balance.

What to know: No monthly fees.

5. EverBank Yield Pledge

APY: 0.86%

Requirements: Minimum deposit of $1,500

What to know: No monthly fees, a promise that yields will remain among the top five in the country, a bonus rate of 1.10% APY on balances up to $50,000 for the first six months of opening the account.

6. American Express High-Yield Savings Account

APY: 0.85%

Requirements: No minimum balance.

What to know: No monthly fees, and customers can link their account to existing accounts at other banks.

Look local

You can often find even better deals at local banks and credit unions.

And while checking accounts generally pay much lower interest -- if any at all -- a new company has created a checking account brand called Kasasa, which is available at many community banks and credit unions and pays interest as high as 4% on its accounts.

The Pelican State Credit Union's Kasasa Cash account, for example, pays a 4.01% APY to customers who make at least 15 transactions per month, have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment, use online banking and receive e-statements. But credit union membership is only available to residents of Rapides Parish, La., and employees of select Louisiana-based businesses.

"It's important for people to shop around even in a low-rate environment," said McBride. "There's still a vast difference in what you'll find."

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the interest that would be earned on a savings account of $10,000. To top of page



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