What to look for in a high-yield savings account

Maximize your money with a higher interest rate

Got your eyes on the dream car? Or a new vacation destination? Then, it’s time to kick your savings into gear! Getting started with a traditional savings account is great, but with high-yield accounts like a money market, the increase in your interest may give your balance a significant boost. Here are a few features to consider in high-yield accounts:

High interest rates

A savings account can be more than just secure storage - you can earn a bit extra. While standard accounts can earn as low as .01% APY, a high-yield savings account can earn up to 1.00% APY. That’s a huge increase in your monthly balance! Note that online banks, like Chime or Ally, may have higher interest rates than traditional institutions with brick-and-mortar branches to maintain.

Tiered rates

Another benefit of a high-yield account is a wider range of tiered rates, which refers to the percentage the bank pays you based on your account balance. It works like this: You maintain a minimum balance at X, you earn Y. If X increases enough to move into the next tier, your rate increases to the next level as well. Traditional accounts may have 2 or 3 tiers, while high-yield accounts could have 5+ tiers. Compare accounts on our rate chart.

Fees and balance requirements

As with any bank account, make sure to review the fees and balance requirements. Many savings accounts require a minimum opening deposit, and may charge for things like monthly maintenance, paper statements, or transactions over a specified limit. Note the Federal Reserve’s limit of 6 transactions per month was lifted in April 2020 due to COVID-19.

Also, because these accounts earn a significant rate, balance requirements are typically higher than other accounts. For example, First Federal Bank’s Premier Money Market account requires only a $2,500 daily balance, but a customer needs a $25,000 balance to reach the second tier interest rate. Maintaining a larger balance may help you make the most of a high-yield account, and get that dream car, too!


Although savings accounts are not meant to store funds for everyday transactions, transfer capabilities are important. You may have a surprise bill or a more expensive purchase that requires a large sum from your savings to be available in your checking account before it can be withdrawn.Talk to a banking advisor about transaction limits and any fees triggered by transfers to your savings, as well as from your savings, when considering a high-yield account. The limits may differ.

Maintaining your savings is vital to your financial health. Whether it’s a six month emergency fund or a long-term Certificate of Deposit, a high-yield savings account may help you reach financial goals faster while keeping your money safe. Browse our accounts to find what’s right for you, or visit our banking advisors at a location nearest you.

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