Crypto Interest Accounts
Updated November 24, 2021

Best Crypto Interest Accounts of 2021

Cryptocurrency

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Crypto interest accounts β€” or crypto savings accounts β€” are cryptocurrency platforms that reward you with interest.

Although different platforms support different coins, interest can generally be earned on bitcoin, ethereum, altcoins, and also stablecoins.

Earning Interest on Crypto vs. Staking

And before I get into which crypto interest accounts are the best right now, I want to clear up some confusion that I see among newbie cryptocurrency investors between earning interest and staking.

While earning interest on your cryptocurrency and staking your cryptocurrency both offer you a yield on your assets, they are very different concepts.

When you earn interest on your cryptocurrency through an exchange, you are lending your cryptocurrency to the exchange for the exchange to lend out at a higher interest rate.

Staking, however, involves you committing your cryptocurrency to the blockchain in order to serve as a validator of blockchain transactions.

How Many Exchanges Should You Use?

I personally use five different exchanges β€” Voyager, Celsius, BlockFi, Gemini, and Nexo β€” to earn interest on my cryptocurrency, and though I use Voyager and Celsius the most, I believe they all have their pros and cons.

Also, since unlike traditional bank accounts, cryptocurrency interest accounts are not FDIC-insured, there does exist a not-insignificant risk of loss when it comes to locking your money up on a cryptocurrency platform or if your account is hacked.

For this reason, I believe that it’s best to spread out one’s cryptocurrency assets among various cryptocurrency platforms as well as one’s own hot and cold wallets to mitigate the effect of any one form of storage being compromised.

In this article I’ll walk through the best crypto interest accounts and for each of them I will let you know how it works, what I like about it, and what I don’t like about it so you can decide which one is best for you.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges (List)

1. Celsius: Best For Top Coins

Celsius Crypto Interest Account

Celsius is a cryptocurrency platform whose mantra is “unbank yourself” and whose stated mission is “to put unparalleled economic freedom in the hands of the people.”

Its bent is more humanitarian, perhaps, than other cryptocurrency platforms on this list.

Here’s what Celsius says about itself:

“Those other guys are driven by profits, margins, bonuses, and their own bottom line. And while all of these things are perfectly reasonable motivating factors to achieve success in business, we at Celsius are driven by a deeper, broader mission in which success is measured by our external impact rather than our internal bottom line.”

That’s a noble goal, but how does its interest-bearing functionality hold up?  Here’s what I like and what I don’t like about Celsius.

What I Like About Celsius

Celsius shines when it comes to interest rates and community building.

High Interest Rates on Bitcoin and Ethereum

New investors can get the highest interest rates on their bitcoin (6.20%) and ethereum (5.35%) at Celsius.

The table below shows which platform gives the highest interest rate for the top 20 cryptocurrencies.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the table below is based on the base interest rate for each coin.  This means that the interest rate reflected is:

  • On the first fraction of a coin deposited.  This distinction is important because at some platforms, the interest rate for some or all coins progressively decreases the more of that coin the user has in the platform.
  • Without regard to loyalty bonuses.  Voyager and Nexo give loyalty bonuses to users based on, for Voyager, the amount of Voyager Token (VGX) the user holds and, for Nexo, the proportion of the user’s portfolio is in Nexo Token (NEXO)
  • Taken in-kind.  Some platforms such as Celsius and Nexo give users a higher interest rate for accepting their interest payments in their native token, Celsius Token (CEL) in the case of Celsius and Nexo Token (NEXO) in the case of Nexo.  This is largely unavailable in the United States due to regulation, and the rates in the table below do not reflect these higher interest rates for accepting interest payments in the platform’s native token.
Highest Interest Rates by Coin
CryptocurrencyHighest Base Yield At:
Bitcoin (BTC)Celsius (6.20%)
Ethereum (ETH)Celsius (5.35%)
Binance Coin (BNB)Nexo (4.00%)
Tether (USDT)Celsius (10.02%)
Solana (SOL)Nexo (4.00%)
Cardano (ADA)Voyager (4.50%)
Ripple (XRP)Nexo (4.00%)
Polkadot (DOT)Voyager and Nexo (12.00%)
USD Coin (USDC)Celsius (10.02%)
Dogecoin (DOGE)Gemini (3.78%)
Shiba Inu (SHIB)Voyager (2.00%)
Terra (LUNA)Celsius (5.05%)
Avalanche (AVAX)Nexo (12.00%)
Litecoin (LTC)BlockFi (4.75%)
Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)N/A
Crypto.com Coin (CRO)Crypto.com (6%)
Binance USD (BUSD)Celsius (10.02%)
Uniswap (UNI)BlockFi (3.25%)
Chainlink (LINK)Nexo (4.00%)
Algorand (ALGO)N/A
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)Celsius (4.51%)
Polygon (MATIC)Celsius (8.99%)
VeChain (VET)N/A
Stellar (XLM)Nexo (4.00%)
Axie Infinity (AXS)Gemini (4.04%)
Internet Computer (ICP)N/A
TRON (TRX)Nexo (4.00%)
FTX Token (FTT)N/A
Decentraland (MANA)Voyager (2.00%)
Filecoin (FIL)Gemini (7.00%)
 

So in terms of base interest rates on the largest two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, Celsius is tops.

That said, it’s important to note that:

  • Celsius’s 6.20% bitcoin yield shown in the table above is only up to 0.25 bitcoin; beyond that, the interest rate drops to 3.05%.
  • Celsius’s 5.35% ethereum yield shown in the table above is only up to 100 ethereum; beyond that, the interest rate drops to 3.52%.
  • Holding 20,000 VGX in one’s Voyager account would give a user “Navigator” status and a 1.5% earnings reward boost.  This would make the user’s bitcoin interest rate at Voyager to be 7.25% (rather than the base 5.75%) and the user’s ethereum interest rate at Voyager to be 6.10% (rather than the base 4.50%), which are both greater than Celsius’s on bitcoin and ethereum.

As you can see, it’s a bit complicated determining which crypto interest account is the best for you!

Ask Me Anythings

Every week, Celsius holds an ask me anything where you can ask someone from the Celsius team, well, anything pertaining to cryptocurrency or Celsius itself.

This kind of transparency is rare in the cryptocurrency space, so Celsius is quite refreshing in this respect.

Free and Secure Withdrawals

Unlike some of the other crypto interest account platforms, Celsius offers free withdrawals on all cryptocurrencies.

Also β€” and though some users may find this annoying, I think it’s a plus β€” Celsius only permits one whitelisted withdrawal address per cryptocurrency you have in your account.

After you add or change your whitelisted withdrawal address for a particular cryptocurrency in Celsius, you are emailed a confirmation link to confirm this change as an additional layer of verification.

After whitelisting an address, you must wait approximately 24 hours to be able to withdraw to it or to change it again.

So, for example, I hold a lot of ethereum in my Celsius account, but I recently transferred some to my MetaMask to mint an NFT.

And because I knew about this 24-hour rule at Celsius, I whitelisted my MetaMask ethereum address well before 24 hours before the NFT mint time so it would be ready for me to send ethereum after the 24 hours elapsed.

So if you hold ethereum in Celsius that you need to get to a wallet or some other platform quickly, keep in mind this 24-hour rule.

While this feature of Celsius takes some users by surprise because they think like other platforms they will be able to withdraw a cryptocurrency to an address immediately after adding it in Celsius, I think this is actually a good security feature and one that shouldn’t cause too much annoyance for those who plan their crypto movements ahead of time.

What I Don’t Like About Celsius

Despite its high interest rates on the two top coins and its nod to community and transparency, Celsius has some drawbacks of its own.

Not an Exchange

Unlike the other cryptocurrency interest account platforms, Celsius is not an exchange.

That means you can’t sell cryptocurrencies in Celsius, nor can you deposit a stablecoin like GUSD into Celsius and use it to purchase another cryptocurrency.

However, Celsius has announced that it will be rolling out swaps some time in the near future, so this could very well change.

High Level of Centralization

If you’re getting into cryptocurrency because you want to get away from the centralized finance that is the banking system, Celsius may not be for you.

Check out this excerpt from Celsius’s terms of use:

“If third parties make claims on your Celsius Account, or if we receive conflicting instructions from you, or if we become involved in or concerned about a dispute between you and any third party, we reserve the right to react in ways that we believe in good faith to be appropriate, including by closing, suspending or freezing your Celsius Account, delivering the Digital Assets available therein to you or to any third party, or interpleading assets to court, all as we reasonably deem appropriate under the circumstances. You are liable for all expenses and fees we incur for such conflicts or disputes, including internal costs and attorneys’ fees, and we may charge or deduct them directly from your Celsius Account balance.”

At the end of the day, it’s Celsius, not you, who gets to make the ultimate decisions about your account as they “reasonably deem appropriate under the circumstances.”

2. Voyager: Best For Recurring Buys

Voyager Crypto Interest Account

Voyager is the only publicly-traded company on this list, so that obviously lends it a leg of credibility, if only in knowing that it has had to deal with some regulatory red tape.

What I Like About Voyager

Voyager is actually my platform of choice to earn interest on my bitcoin, and I also like it to make recurring buys of cryptocurrencies.

High Yields for Loyalty Members

Voyager has a three-tier loyalty program that rewards users who hold the Voyager Token (VGX) with, among other things, higher interest rates on their cryptocurrency.

Here are the earnings boost based on loyalty tier:

  • Adventurer Tier (500 VGX held): +0.5% earnings reward boost
  • Explorer Tier (5,000 VGX held): +1.0% earnings reward boost
  • Navigator (20,000 VGX held): +1.5% earnings rewards boost

So while Voyager’s base interest rate on bitcoin is 5.75%, here are its bitcoin interest rates based on loyalty tier:

  • Adventurer Tier: 6.25%
  • Explorer Tier: 6.75%
  • Navigator Tier: 7.25%

So even at the lowly Adventurer Tier, Voyager’s interest rates on bitcoin are the best out of all the crypto interest account platforms, so I do keep a good deal of bitcoin in my Voyager account.

Recurring Buys

One area where Voyager really shines is with its recurring buys.  If you go to Account > Recurring Buys in the Voyager app, you can tell Voyager to invest a certain amount of money from your linked bank account into a supported coin on a daily, weekly, monthly, or first-and-fifteenth basis.

Celsius does not support recurring buys, and while BlockFi does, you can’t set it up so BlockFi pulls directly from your bank account to make the recurring purchase; you would first have to make an ACH transfer into BlockFi from which BlockFi could make the cryptocurrency purchases.

Gemini supports recurring buys from your bank account as well, but for small amounts, its $0.99 minimum transaction fee make it cost prohibitive if you just want to, say, purchase $10 per day of a coin.

Public Company

Voyager is a publicly-traded (albeit over the counter) company with ticker symbol VYGVF.

Now, this could be a con as well as a pro, but given the shenanigans that are all-too-common in the cryptocurrency world, I do appreciate that Voyager has had to subject itself to a bit more regulatory scrutiny in getting listed than your average crypto platform.

This also means that its financial situation is more transparent than those of other platforms on this list.

What I Don’t Like About Voyager

Voyager’s great, but it does have some downsides.

Waiting List

Although I personally didn’t have this issue, some people who recently signed up for Voyager have said that they are still waiting β€” weeks later β€” for their account to be approved.

Expensive Withdrawals

Voyager has expensive withdrawal fees, which is especially annoying considering that other platforms like Gemini and Celsius do not charge anything for withdrawals.

Minimum Required to Earn Interest

Another downside to Voyager is that in order to earn interest on coins, you must hold a minimum amount on a monthly basis.

3. Nexo: Best For Borrowing

Nexo Crypto Interest Account

While Celsius has more of a “grass roots” missional approach, and Voyager is more about making purchasing cryptocurrency often as easy as possible, Nexo’s mission is a bit more centered on the financial markets.

Here’s what Nexo says about its mission:

Nexo is committed to successfully solving inefficiencies in the lending markets by creating innovative, convenient and sustainable solutions. By harnessing the potential behind blockchain technology, Nexo is pioneering a new digital financial system.

Notice that word “lending” β€” that is certainly Nexo’s forte.

What I Like About Nexo

If I need to borrow money against my cryptocurrency, I’m turning to Nexo first.  Here’s why.

Innovative Borrowing Platform

Another cool thing about these interest-bearing cryptocurrency accounts is that for some of them β€” namely, BlockFi, Celsius, and Nexo β€” you can borrow against your cryptocurrency in your account if you want to.

And while BlockFi and Celsius do an acceptable job at this, Nexo really shines here.

For one thing, Nexo’s lending product is more like a super flexible credit line, while BlockFi’s and Celsius’s are more like an installment loan.

This means that with Nexo, you can borrow money and pay it back as you choose β€” there are no required monthly payments.

BlockFi and Celsius, however, lend out to users on an installment basis, meaning there’s a set term with a predetermined monthly payment.

Also, BlockFi’s and Celsius’s minimum loanable amount into your bank account is much higher than Nexo’s.

Minimum Loans by Platform
PlatformMinimum Stablecoin Loan:Minimum USD Loan:
Nexo$50$500
BlockFiN/A$10,000
Celsius$500$15,000
 

That said, in order to take advantage of Nexo’s lowest interest rates, you’ll need to take full advantage of its loyalty program, which can be a bit confusing (more on that later).

It Pays Yield on Ripple (XRP)

What can I say?  I’ve been holding my Ripple bags since 2017, and it’s nice to be able to earn some yield on this coin.

None of the other platforms pay interest on Ripple.

What I Don’t Like About Nexo

As good as Nexo is, its loyalty program can be a bit confusing, and its rates on many coins are not that great.

Confusing Loyalty Program

Unlike Voyager’s loyalty program β€” which is based strictly on how many Voyager Tokens you own β€” Nexo’s loyalty program is based on the percentage of your portfolio you hold in Nexo Token.

Here are the loyalty tiers:

  • Base: less than 1% of portfolio in Nexo Token
  • Silver: 1 – <5% of portfolio in Nexo Token
  • Gold: 5 – <10% of portfolio in Nexo Token
  • Platinum: 10% or more of portfolio in Nexo Token

So that’s kind of strange, right?  Like let’s say your portfolio is $100 in Nexo Token and $900 in bitcoin, so you’ve made it to the platinum tier.

But what if bitcoin triples in price while your Nexo Token only increases 10%?  That means that your portfolio would be $110 in Nexo Token and $2,700 in bitcoin, meaning that the percentage of your portfolio in Nexo Token would only be 3.9%, dropping you down to the silver tier.

Personally, I prefer the Voyager loyalty program.  Once you have the requisite number of Voyager Tokens for each loyalty tier, you’re good; you don’t have to worry about accumulating more tokens in the future to maintain your loyalty level like you do with Nexo.

But what do these Nexo loyalty tiers get you anyway?  Here are the loyalty rewards:

Nexo Loyalty Tiers
BaseSilverGoldPlatinum
Min. Portfolio in Nexo<1%1 - <5%5 - <10%10%+
Borrow Interest Rate13.9%12.9%8.9%6.9%
Crypto Yield4%4.25%4.5%5%
Fiat Yield4%4.25%5%6%
Stablecoin Yield8%8.25%9%10%
Free Monthly Withdrawals1235
 

4. BlockFi: Best For Automatic Credit Card Rewards

BlockFi Crypto Interest Account

BlockFi is possibly the most well-known name when it comes to interest-earning cryptocurrency accounts,  and while its yields are generally much lower than other platforms, it does have some advantages.

What I Like About BlockFi

BlockFi’s interest rates have taken a beating recently β€” though it still has decent rates on a few coins β€” but one thing it does that nobody else is doing right now is offer a bitcoin-back credit card.

The BlockFi Credit Card

BlockFi has its own no-annual-fee credit card called the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card that gives you bitcoin back (instead of cash back) on all purchases.

Here are the card’s main perks:

  • 1.5% bitcoin back on all purchases, deposited automatically to your account
  • 2% bitcoin back on all purchases made over $50,000 annually (e.g. if you spend $10,000 on the card per month, your purchases from January through May would earn 1.5% back, while your purchases from June through December would earn 2% back)
  • 3.5% bitcoin back on all purchases made during your first three months of card ownership, though this benefit maxes out at $100 worth of bitcoin, which is something like $2,857 of spending
  • 0.25% bitcoin back on all eligible cryptocurrency trades made through BlockFi
  • Referral bonuses of $30 for every friend referred

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds great, but I can get 2% cash back on other no-annual fee cards like the Citi Double Cash.”

And you are absolutely right.

But if you know that you want to invest your credit card earnings into bitcoin anyway, the BlockFi card could still be a good choice due to:

  • Automation: With the BlockFi card, your bitcoin rewards are automatically deposited to your account monthly and start earning yield immediately, so this can be a time saver.
  • Fees: Cryptocurrency exchanges don’t operate for free, and you’ll have to pay fees (or a spread, depending on the exchange) when you make manual cryptocurrency purchases, while with the BlockFi card, when you get rewards in Bitcoin, there’s no fee for getting that Bitcoin.

There is no one right answer for everybody when comparing the BlockFi card vs. other cash-back cards, but you can learn more about the BlockFi card β€” and see if you’re pre-approved with no impact on your credit score β€” at this link.

Important: Note that other cryptocurrency platforms such as Gemini are rolling out credit cards in the future, and I imagine they will try to one-up BlockFi’s.

Good Base Yields on Litecoin and Uniswap

BlockFi has the highest base yields on early bitcoin spinoff litecoin as well as the ethereum token uniswap, which powers the DeFi protocol of the same name.

That said, if you participate in the Voyager loyalty program, you can get a higher yield on litecoin and uniswap than at BlockFi.

What I Don’t Like About BlockFi

If you’re chasing the highest yields, you generally won’t find them at BlockFi, at least not on most coins.

Low Interest Rates on Most Coins

When I signed up for BlockFi in April 2021, BlockFi had decent yields on most coins.

But since then, its rates have gradually decreased to the abysmal levels of where they are today, at least on the most popular coins.

And to be frank, I feel a bit tricked β€” like they got me (and millions of others) into their system and then dropped our rates.

Needless to say, I transferred my bitcoin to Voyager and my ethereum to Celsius very quickly after these rates dropped.

Check out the comparison of BlockFi’s bitcoin yields when I signed up for the platform vs. where they are now:

BlockFi Bitcoin Interest Rates
Bitcoin HeldApril 2021Present
0 - 0.10 BTC6%4.5%
0.10 - 0.35 BTC6%1.0%
0.35 - 1.0 BTC6%0.1%
1.0 - 20.0 BTC2%0.1%
> 20.0 BTC0.5%0.1%
 

And frankly, the story’s not much better for ethereum:

BlockFi Ethereum Interest Rates
Ethereum HeldApril 2021Present
0 - 1.5 ETH5.25%5%
1.5 - 50.0 ETH5.25%1.5%
50.0 ETH - 100.0 ETH5.25%0.25%
100.0 ETH - 1000.0 ETH2%0.25%
> 1000.0 ETH0.5%0.25%
 

Small Number of Coins Supported

Compared to the other platforms on this list, the number of cryptocurrencies currently supported by BlockFi is pitiful.  Here’s the list:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
  • PAX Gold (PAXG)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Dai (DAI)

Note that only the first six are non-stablecoins; the rest are stablecoins with values fixed to the U.S. dollar (or in the case of PAXG, gold).

5. Gemini: Best For Security and Compliance

Gemini Crypto Interest Account

Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins with a “security-first”, “ask-permission-not-forgiveness” mentality.

While many crypto enthusiasts may scoff at how chummy Gemini is with regulatory bodies, others may find comfort in knowing that Gemini is voluntarily holding itself to high standards.

It’s important to note that Gemini has an active trader platform, but for purposes of this article I am only looking at the Gemini app, which has the interest-bearing “Gemini Earn” accounts.

What I Like About Gemini

Let me just be upfront here: Gemini’s rates are not high.  However, where it shines is in giving users peace of mind.

Security is Paramount

Like I mentioned, Gemini was founded with a “security-first” mindset.

Here are some examples of ways that Gemini puts security first and foremost:

  • Cold Storage: Unlike many cryptocurrency exchanges, with Gemini, the majority of users’ cryptocurrency is stored in cold storage rather than the exchange’s online hot wallet.
  • Bug Bounty Program: Gemini has a bug bounty program, offering rewards to individuals who preemptively discover security vulnerability’s in Gemini’s platform.
  • Geographical Distribution: Gemini geographically distributions sensitive information such as private keys.

High Degree of Regulatory Compliance

Out of all the platforms in this article, Gemini is the only one that New York residents are able to use to earn interest on their cryptocurrency.

This may not sound like a big deal to you if you live outside New York, but here’s the reality: The New York Department of Financial Services is one of the toughest regulatory bodies in the world.

This means that Gemini has jumped through significant hoops that other platforms on this list have not, and it is under extreme scrutiny on a regular basis from the state of New York.

So personally, I have a bit more peace of mind about the cryptocurrency that I hold in Gemini than the cryptocurrency I hold in the other platforms on this list.

What I Don’t Like About Gemini

While security is obviously Gemini’s forte, it’s not as attractive when it comes to the interest-bearing features.

Interest Accrual Is Not Automatic

When you make a deposit into any of the other platforms on this list, you start accruing interest automatically.  The only possible exception is if you don’t have the minimum balance for a particular coin in Voyager.

However, with Gemini, once you deposit cryptocurrency, it doesn’t automatically start earning interest; the coin is now in your “trade balance” and you have to then “transfer” your cryptocurrency to your  “earn balance” in order to start earning interest.

Takes Time to Move Coins Out of Earn Balance

Also, if you want to sell cryptocurrency in your earn balance in order to withdraw funds into fiat or to trade them into a different cryptocurrency, you need to “redeem” this amount of cryptocurrency.

Redemption is simply the process of moving cryptocurrency out of your earn balance and into your trade balance.

And this process is not necessarily instantaneous.  In fact, it took two days for Gemini to move some crypto from my earn balance to my trade balance the last time I made a redemption.

Author:

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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