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High Interest Savings Accounts in California

If you are looking for top financial institutions in California, read on to compare and determine which account is best for your banking needs to ensure that you’re hard-earned money and safe and secured.
High Interest Savings Accounts in California
High Interest Savings Accounts in California
A High Interest Savings Account in California offers good returns and shows how banking changes. Here's everything you need to know about high interest savings account in California to make a well-informed financial decision.
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A High Interest Savings Account in California offers good returns and shows how banking changes. Whether online or local, Californians can find diverse choices of savings accounts to keep money safe and help it grow. This fits California’s spirit of innovation, encouraging people to get the most out of their money. 

The quest for a high-interest savings account is a strategic step toward financial growth in California. With over 500 banks and credit unions dotting the state, California is a haven for banking options. From national banks to community credit unions, the people of California have plenty of choices regarding where to park their money. With various banks in the state, residents can explore new options beyond the usual. 

If you are looking for top institutions in California, keep reading to compare and determine which account is best for your banking needs. Also, learn how to find the best High Yield Savings Account with Beem.

The Best Savings Accounts in California

California City presents a plethora of savings account options for residents. With competitive interest rates, minimal fees, and accessibility, these top picks cater to Californians seeking to bolster their savings. Here are some of the finest savings account choices in California.

  • Quontic Bank
  • Synchrony Bank
  • Bread Savings™
  • First Republic Bank
  • CIT Bank
  • SkyOne FCU
  • Star One Credit Union
  • American Plus Bank

Online Savings Accounts Available in California

In California, many online banks provide residents with enticing savings account options featuring the best interest rates. These virtual banking institutions assure the safety of your funds through FDIC insurance, offering a level of security akin to local banks. 

Despite their virtual nature, these online banks ensure convenience by collaborating with other financial entities and providing extensive ATM access. Often surpassing local counterparts, the interest rates offered by these online banks make them a lucrative choice for Californians seeking a robust and accessible avenue for their savings.

Quontic Bank

Founded in 2009, Quontic is an adaptive digital bank with no physical branches. Currently, it stands out in California for offering some of the highest interest rates among online banks.

Why Quontic Bank is the Best Choice

  • It features a Bitcoin rewards checking account and a wearable Quontic payment ring for convenience.
  • From high-yield savings to money market accounts and CDs.
  • Enjoy fee-free banking.
  • Open a high-yield savings account with just $100, ensuring accessibility.

Quontic Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Savings APY well above the national average.
  • No fees.
  • Robust and user-friendly banking app.
  • Low opening deposit.
  • FDIC insured.

Cons

  • Limited branch access.
  • Absence of other banking products like loans and credit cards.

Synchrony Bank

As a Fortune 500 company with an 80-year history, Synchrony Bank is a prominent online institution catering to California residents.

Why Synchrony Bank is the Best Choice:

  • Regularly boasts some of the nation’s highest rates for high-yield savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit.
  • No monthly charges for high-yield accounts.
  • Enjoy account flexibility with no minimum deposit or balance constraints.
  • All deposits are insured up to government limits, ensuring financial security.

Synchrony Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Better-than-average APY.
  • ATM cards are available upon request.
  • No ATM fees.
  • $0 to open an account.
  • Money market and CD accounts are offered.
  • Easy-to-use mobile app.

Cons

  • No bank branches.
  • Minimum balance required to earn interest on the account.

Bread Savings™

Formerly Comenity Bank, Bread™ stands as the online banking extension. Renowned for its association with Comenity, Bread now offers a high-yield savings account in California with rates surpassing the national average.

Why Bread Savings™ is the Best Choice:

  • Enjoy APYs for savings and CDs that exceed the national average.
  • No monthly charges, ensuring more savings stay in your account.
  • Open an account with a modest $100 deposit, making it convenient for various savers.

Bread Savings™ Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive account management via a robust mobile app.
  • Numerous CDs with competitive rates for varied savings.
  • Low opening balance for savings accounts.

Cons

  • No debit cards for ATM withdrawals or purchases.
  • Deposits only through online, mobile app, or bank transfer.

First Republic Bank

First Republic Bank’s Passbook Savings account is tailored for individuals with substantial financial commitments. It requires a $500 opening deposit, though no minimum balance or monthly fees are enforced once the account is active.

Why First Republic Bank is the Best Choice:

  • Tailored for those comfortable with a $500 opening deposit.
  • Once open, there is no need for a minimum balance or monthly fees.
  • Earn varying interest rates based on your account balance, with optimal rates requiring a $1 million balance.

First Republic Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No fees for non-First Republic ATMs.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations (eight states).
  • Passbook Savings transactions require a branch visit.
  • High minimum balances are needed to waive monthly service fees for Classic Checking and ATM Rebate Checking.

CIT Bank

CIT Bank’s Premier High Yield Savings account stands out in California, offering a competitive interest rate without monthly fees. Its minimum deposit opens the door to worry-free banking.

Why CIT Bank is the Best Choice:

  • Enjoy a favorable interest rate in a fee-free savings account.
  • Open with just a $100 deposit.
  • Once opened, there is no need to maintain a minimum balance.
  • Manage your account seamlessly through in-person, online, or mobile channels.

CIT Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No monthly fees on deposit accounts.
  • ATM fee refunds up to $15/month.
  • Tiered interest rates for higher balances.

Cons

  • No physical branches or ATMs.
  • Limited account options.
  • No 24/7 customer support.

Star One Credit Union

Star One Credit Union in California’s high-interest money market account stands out. With around half a dozen branches in the San Jose area, it offers accessibility both in-person and through online/mobile banking.

Why Star One Credit Union is the Best Choice:

  • Known for paying interest above the market rate.
  • Enables users to allocate funds for specific savings goals.
  • Conveniently manage accounts in person or through online/mobile banking.
  • Access over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, enhancing convenience for account holders.

Star One Credit Union Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Members can conveniently apply for loans and credit cards through Star One, streamlining financial services.
  • The credit union provides user-friendly online and mobile banking platforms, ensuring easy and accessible account management.

Cons

  • To access Star One’s rates, individuals must meet specific geographical criteria. Membership is restricted to those residing, working, or attending school in Santa Clara County or its eight surrounding counties.
  • Interest rates may be less competitive than those offered by online banks, impacting potential earnings on savings.

SkyOne FCU

Located in Hawthorne, SkyOne FCU is a federal credit union in California offering attractive savings rates. Membership is open to a broad audience, making it accessible to many.

Why SkyOne FCU is the Best Choice:

  • Even if you don’t meet the typical eligibility criteria, you can join through a one-time donation to specified organizations.
  • Choose from seven savings accounts, including individual retirement accounts.
  • Access accounts at over 4,000 shared branches across the country.
  • Benefit from online and mobile banking for hassle-free account management.

SkyOne FCU Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-yield savings account.
  • Dividend-yielding checking account.
  • Wide range of loan products.

Cons

  • Membership requirements may limit eligibility.
  • Only two physical branches in California.

American Plus Bank

Located in Arcadia, American Plus Bank provides impressive savings rates, particularly advantageous as your balance increases. Aside from personal and business savings accounts, they offer money market accounts, IRAs, and certificates of deposit.

Why American Plus Bank is the Best Choice:

  • Robust rates that improve with higher balances.
  • Options include money market accounts, IRAs, and CDs.
  • With branches and online/mobile banking, accessibility is a priority for customers.

American Plus Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mobile banking is available.
  • $100.00 minimum to open an account.

Cons

  • Limited branch access.
  • $300.00 minimum average balance to avoid service charge.
  • $10.00 monthly service charge if the average balance is below $300.

How We Picked

Selecting the best savings accounts in California involved a comprehensive methodology to ensure a thorough evaluation. We considered various factors to identify accounts catering to residents’ diverse needs. This helps us, at Beem, assemble the best high yield savings accounts for you.

Firstly, we analyzed interest rates, focusing on accounts with competitive APYs. This criterion is crucial for maximizing the growth of savings over time. Secondly, we assessed fees, emphasizing accounts with minimal charges and providing cost-effective solutions for account holders. The ease of access through physical branches and online platforms was another vital aspect. Additionally, we considered the diversity of account options and their suitability for different savings goals.

Our methodology prioritized accounts from online banks, local banks, and credit unions, ensuring a balanced representation. The goal was to offer a curated list that aligns with the varied preferences and requirements of individuals seeking the best savings accounts in the dynamic financial landscape of California.

How to Choose a Savings Account in California

Choosing a savings account in California involves key considerations. The decision impacts financial growth from interest rates to fees and access options. This guide simplifies the selection process, helping you navigate the diverse landscape of savings accounts and make an informed choice tailored to your financial goals. Here’s a breakdown:

Interest Rate

  • Examine beyond the advertised rate; some banks may offer higher rates only for more significant balances.
  • Understand how the rate structure works, ensuring it aligns with your intended account balance.

Fee 

  • Assess the fee structure; some institutions are genuinely fee-free, while others may charge maintenance fees or require a minimum balance to waive them.
  • Consider all potential fees, including monthly maintenance, overdraft, and ATM fees.

Access

  • Evaluate minimum balance requirements, as they vary widely.
  • Choose a HYSA that aligns with your financial capacity; some, like Synchrony Bank, allow opening with any amount.

Banking Mode 

  • Consider your preferred mode of banking—branch or online.
  • Ensure easy access to your account, especially if you prefer online banking; assess the availability of mobile banking and robust online tools.

What Kind of Account is Right for You?

Selecting between a traditional and online savings account hinges on personal preferences and banking habits.

If you prefer in-person interactions, access to physical branches, and a more traditional banking experience, a local bank or credit union might be your choice. It’s suitable for those who value face-to-face customer service and hands-on assistance.

On the other hand, online accounts offer convenience, higher interest rates, and advanced digital features. If you are tech-savvy, comfortable managing your finances digitally, and seeking competitive rates, an online bank might be the ideal choice.

Consider your comfort with technology, the need for physical branches, and the importance of interest rates in your decision-making process. The right choice aligns with your lifestyle and financial preferences.

High Interest Savings Accounts in California
High Interest Savings Accounts in California 3

Where Can You Open a Savings Account in California?

In California’s diverse financial landscape, finding the right place to open a savings account is crucial. With multiple commercial banks and credit unions, residents have many choices. From online banks offering high-interest rates to local and national establishments, the options cater to varying preferences and financial goals. Choosing where to entrust your savings is a pivotal decision for effective money management.

Online banks

Online banks, functioning solely on the Internet, leverage lower operational costs to provide higher interest rates. With minimal fees and user-friendly digital services, they suit individuals comfortable with online transactions and seeking competitive yields. The absence of physical branches enhances their efficiency, making online banks an appealing option for those prioritizing convenience and maximizing returns on their savings.

Banks

Traditional local and national banks provide a wide range of savings account options. While they may offer in-person customer service and the convenience of physical branches, their interest rates may be less competitive, and fees can vary. Choose a bank that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Credit unions

Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit institutions. They often offer attractive interest rates and lower fees compared to banks. However, eligibility requirements, such as residency or employment in a particular area, may apply. Credit unions prioritize community involvement and personalized service but may have limited branch and ATM networks.

Your choice ultimately depends on your banking habits, location, and financial goals. Consider these options carefully to find the savings account that best suits your needs in California. Make your pick from the best of the lot with Beem’s high yield savings account platform.

California Savings Accounts vs. CDs

California residents can choose between Savings Accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs), each catering to different financial needs. Savings Accounts, offering flexibility and liquidity, are suitable for short-term goals with minimal deposit requirements. These accounts have variable interest rates, making them versatile for emergency funds. 

On the contrary, CDs demand a fixed minimum deposit, limit withdrawals, and provide fixed interest rates, making them ideal for medium-term objectives. Consider your liquidity needs, the duration of your goals, and risk tolerance when deciding between these options.

Here, the table highlights key distinctions, aiding in a comprehensive understanding of Savings Accounts vs. CDs.

FeatureSavings AccountsCertificates of Deposit (CDs)
Minimum DepositsMinimal to noneFixed, often higher
WithdrawalsFlexible, may have limitationsLimited, with penalties for early withdrawals
Interest RatesVariableFixed
Best UsesShort-term goals, emergency savingsMedium-term goals, predictable returns
Min. Balance to OpenTypically $0-$100$500-$1,000 or more

Withdraw Restrictions

Withdrawal restrictions in California primarily pertain to savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Government regulations once limited savings account withdrawals to six per month, but these rules were adjusted during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide easier access to funds. However, some banks and credit unions might still impose limitations.

In the case of CDs, savers commit to locking their funds for a predetermined period, and withdrawals during this time are generally prohibited. Early withdrawals may result in the forfeiture of interest or incurring early withdrawal fees. Understanding these restrictions and terms is essential before selecting an account type to align with your financial goals.

Interest Rates

In California, interest rates for savings accounts typically exhibit variability, subject to change at any time. On the contrary, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) offer a fixed interest rate through the period, providing stability. Both savings accounts and CDs may feature interest rates linked to the account balance, where more significant amounts garner higher interest. 

Understanding the dynamics of variable rates for everyday savings and the fixed rates associated with CDs is crucial for Californians navigating their financial landscape, allowing them to make well-informed decisions that align with their saving objectives.

Best Uses

In California, savings accounts are optimal for immediate access, making them ideal for emergency funds or short-term needs.

On the other hand, CDs are better suited for locking away funds for extended periods, making them an ideal choice for future savings goals. It’s essential to differentiate between these options and use them judiciously, ensuring that you allocate your resources aligned with your financial objectives and timeline.

Minimum Balance

In California, high-yield savings accounts often waive minimum balance requirements, offering accessibility to all. For those with minimum balance requirements, initiating interest accrual with as little as $100 is common. 

Conversely, CDs typically mandate minimum deposit requirements, frequently starting at $1,000. Understanding these variations helps Californians choose accounts aligning with their financial capacities and goals, ensuring optimal use of their savings instruments.

How Interest on Savings Accounts Is Earned in California

In California, savings accounts function much like in other states, with interest being a key feature. When residents open a savings account, whether it’s with a physical bank, online institution, or credit union, the interest earned is typically compounded daily, monthly, or quarterly.

Interest on California savings accounts is primarily accrued through compound interest, which is advantageous for account holders. With compound interest, the interest earned is based on the initial deposit and any previously earned interest. In contrast, simple interest is calculated solely based on the deposited amount.

While specific interest calculation methods may vary among financial institutions, compound interest is generally preferred as it allows account holders to maximize their earnings by building on both the principal amount and previously accrued interest.

How Do You Know How Much Money You Make on Interest?

To discern the interest earned on your savings, use a manual calculation using the interest formula or leverage online compound interest calculators for precision. Annually, banks furnish a 1099-INT form, a financial compass revealing your non-wage income, including savings account interest. 

This document simplifies the assessment of your interest earnings. Whether you prefer a hands-on approach with formulas or rely on the bank’s documentation, both methods empower you to comprehend the financial growth derived from your savings, fostering a more informed and engaged financial strategy.

High Interest Savings Accounts in California
High Interest Savings Accounts in California 4

How Much Tax Do You Pay in California for Interest You Earned?

All income, including interest from savings accounts, is taxed in California. As of 2022, California uses a progressive tax system with nine brackets, ranging from 1% to 12.3%. Your annual income determines your tax bracket, with lower incomes taxed at lower rates and higher incomes at higher rates.

It’s crucial to recognize that California’s state income tax is separate from federal income tax. Residents need to consider both state and federal tax implications when assessing the impact of interest income on their overall tax liability. Understanding these tax dynamics is vital for effective financial planning in California.

Conclusion

A High-Interest Savings Account in California offers a dynamic range of options for people to safeguard and grow their money. With many banks, credit unions, and online institutions to choose from, Californians have the flexibility to tailor their savings strategy to their unique financial needs. Whether you value competitive interest rates, minimal fees, or accessibility, California’s diverse financial landscape has you covered.

As you explore the best savings accounts in California, consider factors like interest rates, fees, and accessibility that align with your specific goals. Traditional and online banks offer distinct advantages; your choice should match your lifestyle and preferences. Choose from a range of options with Beem. Open a high yield savings account today and watch your money grow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the largest bank in California?

According to Business Insider’s data, Chase is the largest bank in California, boasting 967 branches across the state. Wells Fargo follows closely with 932 branches, and Bank of America maintains 854 California branches. While these are the prominent national options, California residents also have access to local banks like First Republic Bank and CIT Bank, offering diverse financial services. Credit unions and online banks are additional alternatives worth exploring.

Q. Where is the best savings account in California?

The best savings account in California varies based on individual preferences and financial goals. Consider interest rates, fees, and accessibility. Explore local banks, credit unions, and online institutions to find the account that aligns with your specific needs and offers competitive terms.  

Q. Are saving accounts safe?

Yes, savings accounts are generally safe. Your funds are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States, ensuring that deposits up to $250,000 per account are insured. This safeguards against the loss of funds, making savings accounts a secure option for storing and growing your money.

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Team Beem

Team Beem

Team Beem brings you the latest in the world of personal finance to you. From tips and tricks on how to manage money to how to get cash for emergencies, Beem is your destination for all the information you need to be smart about your money.

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This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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