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How high will savings account rates go? Experts weigh in

High-yield savings accounts already earn around 4% or more, but rates could go even higher this year. Getty Images

After over a year of interest rate hikes, savers are reaping the benefits with fantastic rates on their high-yield savings accounts.

Today's high-yield savings account rates are already higher than they've been in years — around 4% to 4.5% APY in many cases. But will they keep moving higher? The latest Consumer Price Index shows signs that inflation is cooling, and the Federal Reserve hasn't yet made clear if more rate hikes are in store for this year. Combined with ongoing concerns about a potential recession and the looming U.S. debt default deadline, we could be in store for additional hikes or the Fed could decide to pause (while still keeping interest rates elevated).

Given these different factors, we asked a few experts to share their predictions for how high savings account rates may go this year and what you should know about earning high interest on your balances.

Compare today's top savings rates here to see how much more you could be earning.

How high will savings account rates go?

Savings account interest rates through the rest of the year, experts say, will very much depend on the Fed's next moves. 

"As the Fed changes the federal funds rate, banks will react and change their interest rates to savers," says AJ Ayers, CFP, co-founder of Brooklyn FI financial advisors. 

"The assessment of the extent to which additional policy firming may be appropriate is going to be an ongoing one, meeting by meeting," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said after the most recent rate hike, indicating that June's Fed meeting could bring another rate hike — or the Fed could be ready take a pause, depending on economic indicators it sees in the weeks to come. Banks, in turn, will respond to that decision when it comes to savings accounts. 

"It will all come down to the Fed's decision, since these rates are loosely tied to central bank policies," says Max Pashman, CFP, founder of Pashman Financial. "Markets currently seem to believe the Fed intends to pause increasing rates, so this may be as high as it gets. All the more reason to keep an eye on it."

High-yield savings accounts from online banks will be the place to look for any growth. 

"These accounts are earning 3.5% to 4.5% in interest right now, and will only go up the more interest rates increase," says Brandon Amaral, CFP, founder and financial planner at Amaral Financial Planning. "At the pace rates have been rising, I can see high-yield savings accounts reaching 4.5% to 5% interest."

Some accounts are already close to those numbers — there are a few high-yield savings accounts offering 4.5% or more today, and even up to 4.85% APY.

Explore the top savings account rates available now to find the right high-yield account for you.

Why you should open a high-yield account now

One thing is certain: Saving money today can put you in a better position regardless of the economic uncertainty to come. Even if further rate hikes are in store from the Fed, now is an ideal time to start saving

For one, rates are already high. Many of the best high-yield savings accounts offer near 4% or above, with some reaching as high as 4.5% and even more. If you start saving at that rate today, you could earn hundreds of dollars in extra interest over the course of a year.

Say, for example, you have $3,000 to save right now. If you put that in a savings account earning 4% APY, you could earn $120 in interest and boost your balance to $3,120 by this time next year. Of course, those earnings could be even higher if you decide to make additional contributions during that time.

Additionally, high-yield savings accounts carry variable interest rates. Unlike with other savings vehicles like CDs, you're not locked into the rate your account earns when you open it. If interest rates keep rising across the board, it's likely the account you choose will adjust and move up. 

Of course, that also means when it comes time for the Fed to lower interest rates, the interest you earn will probably go down. Opening a competitive savings account now can help you maximize today's high rates for as long as possible, and get the biggest boost on your principal balance.

The bottom line

Savings account rates are already elevated, but some experts say they could move even higher. The Fed's next rate decision — set for mid-June — will determine whether some banks decide to raise their rates again or whether we could be reaching a peak. 

Regardless of what's to come, now is a great time to start saving. By opening a high-yield savings account with a variable rate sooner rather than later, you can set yourself up to benefit from high yields as long as possible.

Explore today's best savings account options now and start earning more on your savings!

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