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How to get the best high-yield savings account

When looking for the best high-yield savings account it helps to shop around.  Getty Images

If you're looking for a simple way to make more interest on your current savings account then you should seriously consider switching to a high-yield savings account now. 

These accounts work similarly to traditional savings accounts just with a much higher interest rate. While the Fed's recent interest rate hikes haven't been great for homebuyers or those looking to refinance, it has increased the appeal of high-yield savings accounts. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a regular savings account is currently around 0.33% but a high-yield account can earn 3.50% to 4.50%. So, if you have $5,000 in a regular saving account you're earning around $16.50 each year but with a high-yield account, you could be making $175 during that same time period. 

That said, not all high-yield savings accounts are equal. Fortunately, there are some reliable ways to find the best account available. You can easily explore your local high-yield options here to see how much you could be making or use the table below to get started.

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How to get the best high-yield savings account

Take these recommendations into consideration in order to get the best high-yield savings account.

Shop around

Just like you wouldn't automatically buy the first life insurance or car insurance policy out there you shouldn't immediately open the first high-yield savings account you can get. 

It's possible that your current bank will offer you the highest interest rate. But it's also possible that you can find a significantly higher APR with another bank or credit union. You won't know which one is best for you until you shop around and get an idea of what's being offered. This doesn't mean that you need to spend an afternoon going to different banks to see what they will offer. You can easily do all of your research online (many high-yield savings accounts will be provided by online banks, anyway). 

Simply plug in your zip code and the amount you plan on depositing here now to find some great local options or use the table below to begin shopping around.

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Check for fees

Some banks and credit unions will let you use a high-yield savings account without any fees. Others, however, may penalize you if you don't maintain a minimum balance. Or they may skip the fee and not pay you the desired APR unless the minimum balance is met and maintained. Others may charge you monthly maintenance fees to keep your account in good standing. 

Some of these fees may be negligible and others may be steeper. But fees could eat into the profitability of your account overall so make sure to check the fine print before getting an account. This will ensure that your account can earn as much interest as possible without having to pay some of it back to the bank.

Determine accessibility 

If you're looking to set up a high-yield savings account and leave it alone to earn interest then an online bank or credit union may be best for you. If you want to be able to easily access your account to deposit more cash - or to withdraw from it when needed - then you may want to go with a brick-and-mortar servicer instead. There's no wrong or right way to access a high-yield savings account but it helps to first know what your plan is in order to find the best account for your needs.

Start shopping around for high-yield savings accounts online right now!

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The bottom line

High-yield savings accounts provide a rare opportunity for account holders to make more interest with little effort. To get the very best account those interested should first shop around to find banks offering high interest rates. It also helps to check for fees (hidden or otherwise) that could eat into the APR one earns with these accounts. Finally, those looking for a high-yield savings account should know how they plan to access it since some banks will provide more flexibility and options than others might. 

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