6 Best High-Yield Savings Accounts That Don't Require a Minimum Balance (Plus a Fun Bonus)

BANKING - SAVINGS & MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
Opening a high-yield savings account with no minimum balance will help propel you into even more powerful savings strategies.
Updated May 23, 2024
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Businessman with a high yield savings account

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If you’re here to learn more about the best savings accounts, we’ve got some great news for you. Thanks to a handful of high-yield savings account options, you no longer have to settle for next-to-nothing annual percentage yield (APY) earnings — and you don’t need a bunch of cash to put down, either.

Whether you’re new to the world of saving money or not, opening a high-yield savings account can be a smart move. And having one with no minimum can be a major advantage. Not only could it come through for you when you need an emergency fund, but it can earn you about 20X as much as traditional savings accounts while still allowing you to start small.

Featured High Yield Savings Accounts

CloudBank 24/7 Savings - 5.22% APY1

High-yield savings account. $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured. Limited Time Bonus: Earn up to $2,000 when you refer friends and family to Raisin. Visit site to learn more.

Open Account
SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY2 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.3 FDIC Insured.

Open Account
Barclays Online Savings - 4.35% APY4

High-yield savings account. No minimum balance.

Open Account

In this article

The best high-yield savings accounts that don’t require a minimum balance

Here are our recommendations for the best high-yield online savings accounts with no minimum balance:

SoFi Savings

Pros
  • Up to 4.60% APY with direct deposit
  • No maintenance fees or overdraft fees
  • FDIC-insured deposits up to $2 million
  • Up to a $300 welcome bonus
  • Access to SoFi member benefits
Cons
  • Cash deposits must be made at Allpoint ATMs to avoid fees
  • Direct deposit is required to earn the most competitive rate on savings

SoFi offers a variety of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, student loans, mortgages, insurance quotes, personal loans, and more. If you’re a SoFi member and have multiple financial products with the company, you get access to perks, such as discounts on borrowing costs.

Why we like it: SoFi has competitive rates on both checking and savings accounts if you have direct deposit. You can use your account without paying fees, including overdraft fees. If you have a large account balance, your money could also be safer at SoFi. That's because you benefit from up to $2 million in FDIC protection instead of the standard $250,000 per person, per account in coverage that is available at most banks.

Tip
SoFi can offer a higher amount of FDIC coverage because it splits up your money among a network of partner banks, each of which has its own FDIC protection.

What we don’t like about it: You can qualify for up to 4.60% APY on SoFi's savings account, but only if you have direct deposit. Otherwise, your APY for your savings account will be significantly lower.

Other benefits:

  • Access to SoFi member benefits, including rate reductions on eligible loans and discounts on estate planning.
  • Cash bonus of up to $300 when you sign up as a new customer and meet direct deposit requirements.

Visit SoFi Savings

...or read our SoFi Checking and Savings review

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

Pros
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 4.25% (as of April 25, 2024)5
  • No minimum balance requirement6
  • Interests compounds daily and is deposited monthly
Cons
  • No ATM card

American Express may be best known for its credit cards, but it has some impressive bank offerings as well. American Express National Bank, Member FDIC, offers a high-yield savings account with around-the-clock customer service.

Why we like it: This account has a competitive APY of 4.25% (as of April 25, 2024). We also like that you can reach customer service by phone 24/7.

What we don’t like about it: The American Express HYSA doesn’t come with an ATM card, so you’ll need to transfer funds to make a withdrawal.

Other benefits:

  • You can choose between online or paper statements.
  • No monthly fees.
  • FDIC insured

Visit American Express National Bank

…or read our American Express HYSA review

Wealthfront Cash Account

Pros
  • Excellent 5.00% APY
  • FDIC-insured deposits up to $3 million
  • No maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Free debit card
Cons
  • Does not offer separate checking and savings accounts
  • Difficult to make cash deposits
  • No in-person customer service

Wealthfront Cash Account - 5.00% APY7

High Yield Cash Management Account. $1 minimum deposit. FDIC Insured.

Open Account

Wealthfront is best known for its investment offerings, but it offers a cash account as well. Cash accounts aren't quite the same as a high-yield savings account, but it functions similarly.

Why we like it: Wealthfront offers a competitive APY on your entire account balance and there are no fees to worry about, including overdraft and maintenance fees. You only need $1 to get started and you will get a free debit card, which makes accessing your money easier. You also benefit from up to $3 million in FDIC coverage. This reduces your risk of loss if you have a large balance that exceeds the typical $250,000 per person, per account FDIC limit.

Tip
Wealthfront can offer a higher amount of FDIC coverage because it splits up your money among a network of partner banks, each of which has its own FDIC protection.

What we don’t like about it: Wealthfront doesn’t offer typical savings or checking accounts — this is a cash account offered through an investment platform. That may not be ideal for those who prefer to maintain entirely separate accounts. If you want to make a cash deposit, you will also have to pay a fee, which could cost as much as $5.95 at participating retailers

Other benefits:

  • Full-featured mobile app
  • Unlimited transfers to external accounts with no fees

Visit Wealthfront

...or read our Wealthfront Cash Account review

UFB Direct Premier Savings account

Pros
  • Up to 5.25% (as of Oct. 3, 2023)8 APY on a Premier Savings account
  • Complimentary ATM card
  • No minimum deposit, maintenance fees, or service fees
Cons
  • Limited account types
  • No local branches

UFB Direct offers both a UFB Premier Savings and a UFB Premier Money Market account. The online-only company follows a "branchless-banking" model with the goal of offering competitive interest rates while still offering personalized products and services.

UFB Direct is a division of Axos Bank, and accounts with UFB Direct are protected by FDIC insurance, so you don’t have to worry about losing your money. UFB Direct also has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, although customer reviews on the BBB site are not all favorable. Some customers say they had issues during the application process.

Why we like it: UFB Direct offers very competitive rates. You can an APY up to 5.25% (as of Oct. 3, 2023) on a Premier Savings account. And you get this rate regardless of the size of your savings account balance.

With UFB Direct, you also get a complimentary ATM card, and you don’t have to make minimum deposits or pay service fees that could eat into your potential returns. All of this makes UFB Direct an affordable option for a high-yield savings account.

Tip
Many competitors have caps on the amount of money you can earn the highest rate on, but UFB Direct doesn’t limit your potential earnings.

What we don’t like about it: UFB Direct offers only a savings account, money market account, and mortgage products. You can’t get a checking account here, nor does the company provide access to credit cards or investment services. This means if you want to do all your banking and saving in one place, UFB's Premier Savings Account might not be a good fit for you.

Other benefits:

  • You get the same generous APY rate whether your savings account balance is $1 or $100,000.
  • UFB Premier depositors have access to user-friendly online banking, including mobile deposits and even SMS banking, where you can access certain account features via text message.

Visit UFB Direct

BMO Harris Online Savings

Pros
  • Competitive APY of up to 4.20% (as of May 23, 2023) on an Online Savings account
  • No minimum deposit requirements to open account
  • Wide selection of different financial products
Cons
  • Rates vary by location
  • $10 monthly maintenance fee for a Premier Money Market Account unless you have a $10,000 minimum daily balance

BMO Harris offers an Online Savings account with no monthly maintenance fees, as well as a Premier Money Market account that provides a higher APY, but that does impose a maintenance fee unless you can meet minimum balance requirements. There's also CD offerings available through BMO Harris that come with competitive rates.

Why we like it: BMO Harris’s Online Savings account offers a competitive rate of 4.20% (as of May 23, 2023) APY. BMO Harris also provides ample opportunities to take care of your financial needs at just one institution. The company offers checking and savings accounts, money markets and CDs (certificates of deposit), retirement accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, and more. If you want a one-stop shop for all your banking needs, BMO Harris can probably provide what you are looking for.

What we don’t like about it: BMO Harris offers high interest rates only for its Online Savings account and money market accounts. The BMO Harris Savings Builder account comes with a much lower APY rate (0.01% (as of May 23, 2023)). There’s also a fee associated with the money market account unless you maintain a $10,000 minimum daily balance.

Other benefits:

  • BMO Harris has local branches available, unlike many companies offering high-yield savings accounts. If you want in-person support, this can be a major advantage.

Visit BMO Harris

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

Pros
  • Competitive 5.00% (as of May 15, 2024) APY
  • Free ATM card
  • No monthly maintenance or service fees
  • No minimum balance required after initial deposit
Cons
  • $100 deposit required to open an account
  • No in-person customer support

LendingClub offers a variety of financial products including personal loans, business loans, auto refinancing, and banking services. FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 is available on LendingClub savings accounts, and accounts can be opened online in as little as three minutes. You can also access your accounts anytime via LendingClub's full-featured website and mobile app.

Why we like it: LendingClub offers a competitive APY and you don't need to worry about monthly account maintenance fees. You can easily access your money with a free ATM card, as well as by taking advantage of fee-free transfers, both internally with other LendingClub accounts and with external accounts as well.

What we don’t like about it: LendingClub's $100 minimum deposit required to open an account will make this savings account inaccessible to some people. LendingClub also doesn't have in-person locations, which means that those who want extra help with their account will have to turn to phone, email, or live chat.

Other benefits:

  • LendingClub's Integrated Financial Dashboard can help you get a big-picture overview of your financial situation.

Visit LendingClub

...or read our LendingClub High-Yield Savings account review.

A fun alternative: Yotta Savings

The Yotta Savings account is similar to the online savings accounts above yet it comes with an interesting twist: You can earn recurring tickets for a weekly lottery game by starting with at least one $25 deposit. With Yotta, you can enjoy all of the thrill of potentially winning cash prizes — up to a $10 million jackpot.

If you've been looking for motivation to start a savings habit, playing the weekly games in the Yotta app may be just the positive reinforcement you need. 

You can find out more about how this lottery-centered prize system works in our Yotta Savings review.

What is a high-yield savings account?

To be considered “high yield,” a savings account has to earn higher interest rates than what most traditional banks offer. While most conventional savings accounts earn less than 0.17% APY, a high-yield savings account might earn somewhere in the 2.00% APY range (or higher) depending on the overall economy and market conditions. Said another way, a high-yield savings account could earn you about 20X more in interest than a conventional savings account.

Consider this example: If you were to deposit $10,000 into a traditional savings account with a 0.17% APY, you’d get a $17 return after a year in an account that compounds daily. However, by depositing $10,000 into a high-interest savings account with a 2.00% APY, you’d earn $202.01 in that same, short-term time frame. And that’s without making any other deposits for the year. You can start to see how compound interest from an account like this can help you more easily reach your savings goals.

Another benefit to these kinds of savings accounts is that they often don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or other fees that most conventional savings accounts do. This is particularly possible with online banks, which have lower overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar banks.

What does it mean to have a required minimum balance?

Simply put, minimum balances are the amount of money you need to keep in your account for it to remain open or earn any interest. This is important because some banks require that your average savings balance meet a minimum while others don’t.

Banks calculate your average monthly account balance by adding the end-of-the-day balances from each day of the month and dividing that sum by the number of days in that month. So for July, a bank would add 31 daily-balance numbers together and then divide that by 31 for your average.

If you choose to open a bank savings account with a minimum-balance requirement, be sure to always maintain that amount or else you’ll likely be charged a monthly maintenance fee, which goes into effect when you average even one cent less than the minimum balance. On the other hand, if you choose a savings account with no minimum balance, you don’t have to worry about penalty fees for going below a certain amount.

Why you shouldn’t settle for a minimum balance

The problem with savings accounts requiring a minimum balance is that it can be unrealistic for most people. For the account owner, having to abide by a minimum account balance can be a hindrance, since this often means you can’t utilize all your money if the need arises — or you’re stopped from opening a savings account to begin with.

On the other hand, when you open a savings account with no minimum balance, you have far more freedom to use your money as you please. Because you won’t need a bunch of cash to get each account started, you can even open multiple savings accounts for any kind of goal imaginable (e.g., a house, college education, car, or wedding).

To make the most of your return on investment (ROI), search for a high-yield savings account with no minimum balance. This is the ideal situation if you end up needing to take out your savings for a dire situation — such as medical bills — or for an investment opportunity with higher returns.

What to remember when comparing high-yield savings accounts

As robust as the above high-yield savings accounts are, it’s important to compare your options before choosing one. Also consider the following:

  • Minimum opening deposit: This is the least amount of money required to open an account at a financial institution.
  • Fees: Be sure to research what kind of fees each savings account might have.
  • APY: The annual percentage yield is the annual return on your balance, which includes the effect of compounding. The higher the interest rate is on your account, the more opportunity you have to make some money with no effort.
  • ATM card: It can be helpful to have an ATM card so you can easily make deposits or withdrawals. Another thing to keep in mind is ATM fees; if you use an ATM outside the financial institution’s network, you could be charged fees.
  • Inactivity Fees: Although it may seem counterintuitive, some financial institutions will charge you an account fee for inactivity. A typical fee can be $10.
  • Online portal or app: If the bank has a website or a mobile banking app, it can help you manage your account easily. One of the conveniences of online banking is that you don't have to find a physical branch to manage your money.

Every bank offers something different, so don’t just settle for the first one you find, no matter how good it sounds.

Overall, the most important thing is to get started. Don’t let the idea of a savings account requiring a high minimum balance slow you down or prevent you from taking steps toward your personal finance goals. Opening a savings account with no minimum balance is a simple way for eager savers to get started on a successful financial journey.

FAQs

Is my money safe in an online savings account?

Money in an online savings account is covered by protections as long as the account provider is FDIC insured, and virtually all major banks are. You'll typically see it stated as "member FDIC." 

FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC insurance covers accounts up to $250,000 accounts up to $250,000, so if your bank goes under financially, you will still get back all your money, up to that amount. The National Credit Union Administration provides similar insurance for credit unions.

What is a good interest rate for an online savings account?

The best high-yield savings account rates vary from bank to bank and over time. The FDIC indicates the national average interest rate for savings accounts is 0.45% (as of June 12, 2024) APY. (This rate is set by the Fed.) That means if you see an account with a higher interest rate, it would allow you to beat the average.

What do I need to have to open an online savings account?

Requirements to open an online savings account vary by the financial institution. You generally need to provide your full name, address, contact details, and a Social Security number. Some banks also require you to provide your driver's license information. If you are planning to fund the new account with money from a different bank or credit union, you will also need that account information.

How do I deposit or withdraw money from an online savings account?

The process for depositing and withdrawing money from online savings accounts varies by bank or credit union. Generally, you can fund an online savings account via electronic transfer from another bank account, by direct deposit, or by depositing a check. Withdrawals can generally also be completed by bank-to-bank transfer, or you may be able to request a check or use a debit card if your bank allows it. 

Previously, a federal regulation called Regulation D limited you to no more than six withdrawals per month for a savings deposit account, but the Federal Reserve lifted this restriction as of April 2020.

Methodology

To choose the best high-yield savings accounts that don’t require a minimum balance, we compared APYs, minimum balance requirements, access to ATM cards, and potential fees. We did not include all available options.

CloudBank 24/7 Savings Benefits

  • Incredible 5.22% APY1 to boost your savings
  • Enjoy 24/7 online access to your account and funds
  • Interest is compounded daily and posted to your account monthly
  • Powered by Raisin's intuitive savings marketplace
  • FDIC insured through Third Coast Bank SSB, no fees, $1 minimum deposit
  • Limited Time Bonus: Earn up to $2,000 when you refer friends and family to Raisin. Visit site to learn more.

Author Details

Laura Dunn Laura Dunn is a personal finance freelance writer. Laura writes from personal experience, as she herself is paying off credit card debt and student loans.