Where To Get 5% Interest Savings Accounts

These prepaid debit cards come with tempting savings offers.

As an adult, if you’re not putting money into your savings account, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 58% of Americans had less than $1,000 saved in their savings accounts as of August 2018.

Those statistics aren’t really a surprise. Although saving can be a benefit, earning meager interest on your bank deposits is hardly an incentive to open and maintain an account. In fact, in light of some of the lowest savings rates offered by banks, stashing your extra cash under a mattress might seem like an acceptable option.

The good news is that 5% savings accounts do exist. Better yet, most of these savings accounts can be opened within a short time frame, and you don’t have to invest millions to ensure your future financial security. The catch? Fees and restrictions are typically associated with most of the debit cards that gain you access to these savings accounts. Those restrictions can include a maximum average daily balance allowed on your savings account to earn the high annual percentage yield.

To help your money grow faster and give you a leg up in the savings game, GOBankingRates has put together a list of high-yield savings accounts and how to find them.

Returns By the Numbers

Before looking at the 5% savings account offers, it’s important to get a better idea about how much different APYs affect deposits in standard savings accounts. To that end, GOBankingRates calculated interest based on an initial deposit of $1,000 with $100 added one time to your account within that year. The interest is compounded annually, and annual inflation is 2.35%. At the end of the first year, you will see interest earned on your account of $0.10, $1, $10 and $20, respectively.

How Interest Rates Affect Deposits
YearDeposit 0.01% Interest0.1% Interest1% Interest2% Interest
1$1,000$1,000.10$1,001$1,010$1,020
3$1,000$1,000.30$1,003$1,030.30$1,061.21
5$1,000$1,000.50$1,005.01$1,051.01$1,104.08
10$1,000$1,001$1,010.05$1,104.62$1,218.99

Now that you know how much interest you can earn at lower rates, it’s time to learn about some high-yield savings offers tied to prepaid debit cards. Here’s an overview of the information you’ll find here to help you decide if these type of high-yield savings options are right for you:

5% Prepaid Debit Cards With Savings Accounts at a Glance
Debit Card With Savings AccountAnnual APYAverage Daily Balance Required To Earn APYMain Fees
Ace Elite Visa Prepaid Card5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly service fee: $9.95; Signature purchase transaction fee: $1; PIN purchase transaction fee: $2
Netspend Visa or Mastercard Prepaid Card5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly service fee: $9.95; Signature purchase transaction fee: $1; PIN purchase transaction fee: $2
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly fee: $9.95; Cash reload fee: Up to $3.95; Purchase transaction fee: $1; PIN purchase transaction fee: $2
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly fee: $4.95; ATM withdrawal fee: $1.95; Cash reload fee: $3.95
Mango Prepaid Mastercard6%$25-$2,500 with signature purchases of $1,500 or moreMaximum monthly fee:$5; ATM withdrawal fee: $3; Cash reload fee: $0, but retailers or banks may charge a fee
Control Prepaid Mastercard5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly fee: $7.95; Purchase transaction fee: $0; Cash reload fee: Up to $3.95
Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard5%$1,000 or lessMaximum monthly fee: $9.95; Cash reload fee: $3.95; Purchase transaction fee: Up to $1; PIN purchase transaction fee: Up to $2

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Current Offers for 5% Savings Accounts

Each of these prepaid debit card savings offers has benefits and drawbacks. Some have higher fees than others, but many offer cash-back rewards that essentially cancel out any monthly fees. Most offer you the option to link your card to a savings account with a high APY — even as much as 6%. The catch is that there are balance minimums and maximums that apply to qualify for the high APY. Compare for yourself, then choose the right one for your needs.

Ace Elite Visa Prepaid Card

The Ace Elite Visa Prepaid Card comes with a handful of features and a long list of fees. The Pay-As-You-Go plan with no monthly fee is automatically applied to your account upon enrollment — although you’ll pay for every transaction you make. To avoid paying fees, you can opt for the Monthly Plan for $9.95. Or you can save even more and choose the Reduced Monthly Plan for $5.95 by enrolling in direct deposit. You can also earn cash back on select purchases through the card’s PayBack Rewards program. The 5% APY can be earned on balances up to $1,000.

Requirements:

  • Personal information required to apply for debit card
  • To earn 5% APY, cardholder must open a savings account and consent to receiving electronic communications

Pros:  

  • Interest-bearing savings feature
  • Some fees waived with direct deposit
  • Fast access to paychecks — for some cardholders — through direct deposit

Cons:   

  • Difficult to reload money for free
  • Maximum monthly fee of $9.95, plus a host of other potential fees

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Netspend Visa or Mastercard Prepaid Card

The Netspend Visa or Mastercard Prepaid Card offers three plans to choose from: Pay-As-You-Go, Monthly Plan and Reduced Monthly Plan. The Pay-As-You-Go Plan charges fees for each transaction you make with your debit card. The Monthly Plan and the Reduced Monthly Plan — which requires enrollment in direct deposit — require a flat monthly fee to allow you to avoid transaction fees. The PayBack Rewards program is also offered with this card, which allows you to received cash back on everyday purchases. High APY only applies to balances of $1,000 or less.  

Requirements:  

  • To earn 5% APY, the cardholder must open a savings account and consent to receiving electronic communications
  • Providing personal information is required when applying

Pros:  

  • Some fees waived with direct deposit enrollment
  • Mobile check load
  • $10 purchase cushion
  • No credit check, no minimum balances, no reload fee and no activation fee

Cons:  

  • Maximum monthly maintenance fee of $9.95
  • $2 PIN purchase transaction fee; $1 signature purchase transaction fee with Pay-As-You-Go Plan
  • $5.95 inactivity fee if card isn’t used for 90 days

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Brinks Prepaid Mastercard

Like other debit cards, Brinks Prepaid Mastercard allows people to spend only what is on the card — great for budgeting your money. You’ll also avoid bounced checks, overdraft charges and interest payments, also there’s no credit check required to qualify. Plus, Brinks Prepaid Mastercard is part of the PayBack Rewards program. Only balances of $1,000 or less qualify for 5% APY.  

Requirements:  

  • Must supply personal information to apply
  • Must agree to receive electronic communications

Pros:

  • Three monthly plans to choose from, including one with a reduced fee
  • Discounts on prescriptions
  • $10 purchase cushion
  • No standard mobile check load fee

Cons:  

  • Maximum $9.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $2 PIN purchase transaction fee; $1 signature purchase transaction fee for Pay-As-You-Go Plan
  • Inactivity fee if card isn’t used for 90 days
  • $2.50 ATM domestic withdrawal fee

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Paypal Prepaid Mastercard

With the Paypal Prepaid Mastercard, you can transfer money from your PayPal account to the card at no charge. Other features and rewards are pretty standard, but fees can add up. Note that if you opt to get this debit card at a retailer, you’ll pay up to $4.95, so you might want to plan ahead and order online. The 5% APY is only valid on the first $1,000 of the savings balance.

Requirements:  

  • Must supply personal information to apply
  • Must agree to receive electronic communications

Pros:  

  • No fee to open card online
  • No fee for inactivity
  • Lower ATM withdrawal fee of $1.95

Cons:  

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee with no reduced cost options
  • Card purchase fee at retailers
  • $5.95 fee to request a check for remaining funds when closing the account
  • Must have PayPal account to use card and services

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Mango Prepaid Mastercard

With the Mango Prepaid Mastercard, once you activate and load your Mango Card, you can open a savings account with as little as $25 and get up to 6% APY. The Mango Prepaid Mastercard is a great choice for people who do not have or want a bank account, but want the convenience of paying for a purchase with a card.

Requirements: 

  • Must supply personal information to apply
  • Must maintain a balance between $25 and $2,500 and make at least $1,500 in signature purchases to earn 6% APY

Pros: 

  • No monthly fees with Mango Savings
  • No activation fee for debit card
  • No credit check to qualify
  • Manage account online with mobile app

Cons:  

  • $5 monthly maintenance fee for debit card; waived with $800 in direct deposits
  • $8 per month if your card is inactive for more than 90 days
  • $3 ATM withdrawal fee
  • Balance and signature purchase requirements apply to earn 6% APY

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Control Prepaid Mastercard

With the Control Prepaid Mastercard, you can enjoy the convenience of paying and earning rewards with your card, even if you don’t qualify for a standard credit card. Plus, this debit card offers a perk of cash-back rewards for everyday purchases. Only balances of $1,000 or less qualify for the 5% APY.

Requirements:

  • Must supply general contact information to apply online

Pros:

  • No card purchase fee
  • Option for lower monthly maintenance fee
  • $10 purchase cushion

Cons:   

  • $7.95 monthly maintenance fee — unless you qualify for Reduced Monthly Plan
  • $3.95 to reload card
  • No option to avoid the monthly fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee

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Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard

The Western Union Netspend Prepaid Card lets you take control of your money and get paid faster with direct deposit. You can access your account through its mobile app and get cash-back rewards from select merchants — or when you use the Refer-A-Friend program. To earn the 5% APY, your savings balance must not exceed $1,000.

Requirements:

  • Must supply general contact information to apply online

Pros:  

  • Online bill pay
  • Purchase cushion of $10
  • Cash back on specialty selected offers

Cons:

  • Maximum monthly maintenance fee of $9.95
  • Inactivity fee of $5.95 monthly
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee

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Insight Offer Shutdown

If you’ve heard about Insight — once a well-known prepaid card that offered 5% interest on its savings accounts — it’s no longer available. Among high-yield savings accounts, Insight was one of the easiest to manage. Another bonus with Insight was that individuals could open up at least two and as many as four Insight card accounts — with a maximum of $5,000 in each savings account. That meant that it was possible for an individual to save between $10,000 and $20,000 at 5% interest, whereas a two-adult household could save and earn twice those amounts.

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What Are Prepaid Debit Cards and How Do They Work?

A prepaid debit card — also known as a pay-as-you-go card — lets you spend only the money you load onto the card. These cards work at any merchant that accepts prepaid cards, such as Mastercard and Visa. When you get a prepaid card from an online bank or credit card company, you are opening an account held by a bank.

Some cards are also aligned to savings and checking accounts and typically have no overdraft or minimum balance fees. Fees may apply, however, if your balance falls below the minimum balance, you go above the maximum allowed amount in your savings or your account is overdrawn. And since there are roughly 9 million U.S. households without access to a bank account, prepaid cards can be the answer to opening a savings account.

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Benefits of Prepaid Debit Cards

One of the benefits of a savings account with your prepaid card is virtually no risk of loss. As it may be difficult to qualify for a regular savings account, prepaid cards have the benefit of no separate application to qualify, so eligibility is simplified. That means if you have a prepaid debit card, you can get a savings account.

Most cards allow no-fee transfers from your savings account to the prepaid card. Most cards require you to keep a maximum balance in order to earn the higher APY and charge fees if you go above that balance. Savings accounts tied to prepaid cards generally do not charge excessive fees — other than standard fees associated with some prepaid cards, which may include a fixed monthly fee, transaction fee, ATM withdrawal fees, paper statement fee and cash reload fee.

Prepaid cards that are linked to a savings account also typically offer higher yields, as much as 5%-6% APY, up to the maximum account balance. This is a much higher APY than offered by traditional savings accounts.

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FDIC-Insured Offers vs. Non-FDIC-Insured Offers

It’s always best to be sure your bank is FDIC insured to protect your money. Most banks are, including the banks backing these savings account offers — but it’s worth checking out before depositing funds into a savings account. The FDIC has limits, however, and some accounts are only covered up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank. FDIC insurance does not cover fraud, identity theft or bank robbery.

You may be tempted to take advantage of higher rate investments — outside of a standard savings account or a prepaid card — which are not FDIC insured. These include stocks and bonds — some of which are long-term investment options.

For example, junk bonds are bonds that pay high yields to bondholders — often 7% or more — but come with higher risks. Investment-grade bonds, on the other hand, are typically issued by midrisk lenders, but they don’t have the same huge returns that you see on junk bonds. Although these higher yield interest rates on junk bonds are tempting, if the company issuing the bonds defaults, you’ll lose 100% of your investment.

Related: 20 Smart Investments Everyone Should Try Now

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Are Prepaid Cards a Good Pick for Your Savings Goals?

Sometimes online banks can offer much higher interest rates at many times the national average of 0.09%. But even at 2% APY, it can take a while for your money to add up. That’s why taking a long hard look at savings accounts that offer 5% APY — and sometimes more — doing your research and putting in a little time and effort on your part is one way to grow your money at a faster rate.

Prepaid cards are one way to invest a small amount of money in savings accounts that yield high APYs. You may pay fees for transactions or to open a card, but they are usually minimal and can often be reduced or removed altogether if certain requirements are met. Review the card’s terms and disclosures carefully prior to opening a prepaid card account. Take a look at general fees and features, withdrawals and reloading options, plus other services it may offer, like bill pay. Then, choose the right account to meet your needs.

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More From GOBankingRates

Kathryn Pomroy is a professional freelance writer with many years of experience writing for the personal finance industry. She is a ruthless researcher, a wiz at translating ideas into action, a hero of brand voice development and a maestro of content. 

Rates and fees are accurate as of Oct. 3, 2019, and are subject to change.