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You can take several steps to increase your savings, and depending on your situation, you might be able to reduce your spending and expenses. You could pick up a side hustle or ask your employer for a raise. But there's another financial strategy people sometimes overlook when it comes to potential savings growth. Many people focus on increasing the money they put into savings but forget to pay attention to what happens after they deposit that cash. With a little extra effort, you might be able to grow your savings on both sides of the equation—here are four tips on how to earn the highest interest on your savings account. 

1. Comparison Shop

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When you deposit cash into a savings account or other type of deposit account with a bank (e.g., a certificate of deposit, money market account or checking account), the bank may loan your money to other borrowers. In exchange, the bank will typically pay you interest.  

The interest a bank pays you on the money you have in savings (or any other type of deposit account) is called the annual percentage yield—aka the APY. In February 2024, the average APY for a savings account in the United States was 0.46%, according to the FDIC

Yet some banks are more generous than others where APY is concerned. At the time of writing, it's not unusual to find high-interest savings accounts that offer APYs of 4.50% or more. As a result, it can pay (literally) to shop around and make sure you're getting the best deal where your APY is concerned.

Recommended High-Yield Savings Accounts

Bank Account APY Features Learn More
UFB Direct logo

UFB Direct Secure Savings Account

5.25% More Info

UFB Direct breaks balances into five tiers, but, currently, there is only one interest rate.

No minimum deposit
No monthly fee

SoFi Checking and Savings

0.50% - 4.60% More Info

Customers earn 4.60% APY on savings balances when they set up recurring monthly direct deposit of their paycheck or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Alternatively, deposit at least $5,000 each month to earn 4.60% APY on your savings balance. Checking balances earn 0.50% APY

No minimum deposit
No monthly fee

CIT Bank logo

CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account

5.05% More Info

Earn 5.05% APY on balances over $5,000. Balances of less than $5,000 earn 0.25% APY. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of July 27, 2023. Interest rates for the Platinum Savings account are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.

$100 minimum deposit
No monthly fee

CIT Bank logo

CIT Bank Savings Connect Account

4.65% More Info

Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of July 27, 2023. Interest rates for the Savings Connect account are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.

$100 minimum deposit
No monthly fee

It's also worth pointing out that sometimes earning the highest interest possible means opening accounts at multiple banks. Although this approach might be slightly less convenient, it could pay off in higher earnings if you're willing to put in a little extra effort. You can also check out these tips on how to manage multiple bank accounts and credit cards like a pro

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Best High-Yield Savings Accounts (March 2024)

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2. Look for Bank Bonuses

Bank account bonuses for new customers aren't the same as earning interest. Nonetheless, they have the potential to put more money into your account. Bank account bonuses can often be worth hundreds of dollars (sometimes more) when you sign up for a new deposit account and qualify for cash or points-based bonus.

Recommended Bank Bonuses

Bank Account Intro Bonus Minimum Deposit Learn More

SoFi Checking and Savings

$50-$300Expires June 30, 2024 More Info

New customers can earn a $300 bonus for opening a new SoFi Checking and Savings account and receiving a total of $5,000+ in qualifying direct deposits within the specified evaluation period; receive $1,000 - $4,999 in qualifying direct deposits to earn a $50 bonus.

N/A
U.S. Bank logo

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account (Member FDIC)

Up to $800Expires March 12, 2024 More Info

Earn up to $800 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through March 12, 2024. Member FDIC. Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

$25
Chase logo

Chase Total Checking® Account

$300Expires April 17, 2024 More Info

New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities

N/A

Chase Business Complete Checking®

$400Expires April 18, 2024 More Info

Earn $400 when you open a new Chase Business Complete Checking® account. For new Chase business checking customers with qualifying activities.

N/A
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Best Bank Account Bonus Promotions in March 2024

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On top of new account bonuses, some banks may offer you the opportunity to earn extra funds when you refer friends or family members. If an eligible referral opens a new account with your bank or credit union, there's a chance you could get rewarded for helping to make that initial connection. 

Quick Tip

You can even find small business bank bonuses that are easy to earn if you’re in the market for a business bank account.

3. Read the Fine Print

Whether you're trying to earn a high APY, avoid a monthly service fee or qualify for a new bank bonus, it's important to pay close attention to the rules. In other words, you need to understand the terms and conditions of the account you open or the promotional offer for which you're trying to qualify. 

Consider the Chase Total Checking® offer as an example. Eligible new customers can earn $300 when they open a new Chase Total Checking Account and meet certain qualifying criteria. 

In this example, the bonus is easy to earn. All a new customer needs to do is: 

  • Request a coupon from the welcome bonus landing page or via email. 
  • Open a new account. 
  • Set up a direct deposit for a paycheck, pension or government-issued benefit into the new account and receive at least $500 in direct deposits within 90 days of coupon enrollment.

Yet if you don't understand the steps above and you fail to complete one of them, you wouldn't be eligible to earn the bonus offer. 

Chase Total Checking® Account

Open Account

at Chase

  • Our Rating 4/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APYN/A
  • Minimum
    Deposit Required
    N/A
  • Intro Bonus $300Expires April 17, 2024 More Info

    New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities

Chase Total Checking® is among the best entry-level accounts. It typically offers new customers a sign-up bonus, and it’s fairly simple to waive the $12 monthly fee. However, it's worth noting that it doesn’t offer many valuable features or benefits and it’s not an interest-bearing checking account.

Overview

Chase Total Checking® is a basic checking account that doesn’t offer many premium features. However, if you can easily meet the qualifications required for the new account bonus (and to waive its monthly fee), it’s a good option for those who want an entry-level account.

Pros

  • No minimum opening balance
  • Multiple ways to waive monthly fee
  • Access to nationwide Chase branches and ATM network

Cons

  • Monthly maintenance fee
  • Account does not earn interest

Reading the fine print is important when opening bank accounts (or any other financial product). If you don't understand a bank's terms and conditions, you could be ineligible for a new bank bonus. Or with a different bank account, you might find yourself obligated to pay a monthly maintenance fee or earn a lower interest rate than you anticipated. 

4. Save More

As you increase the funds in your high-yield savings account (or other savings vehicle), the interest you earn on that cash should increase in turn. Here's an example. Imagine you put $1,000 in an emergency fund that earns an APY of 2.00% (with interest that compounds daily). After 12 months those funds could grow to $1,020.20 just by leaving them untouched in your bank (assuming interest rates don't change).

Now, let's imagine you place $10,000 into that same emergency fund. Instead of having an extra $20.20 at the end of the year, the interest you earn would increase your ending balance to $10,202.01 in this hypothetical scenario. You would end the 12-month period with an extra $202.01 in your account thanks to the interest your money earned. As you can see, the more cash you can save, the more interest you have the potential to make in return.  

Bottom Line

Whether you're trying to put together a down payment for a home, building an emergency fund, or saving for a family vacation, a high-yield savings account can be a great place to store your cash. No matter what type of account you decide to use, make sure you're getting the best deal possible when it comes to your interest rate. If you don't take the time to shop around and compare what other banks and credit unions have to offer from time to time, you could be leaving potential earnings on the table. 

ML

Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.