Money market accounts are a lot like savings accounts. The main difference is that money market accounts usually let you write checks, while regular savings accounts usually don’t allow that.

Best Money Market Accounts
Best Money Market Accounts

Even though a money market account is easy to access, most banks only let you take out a certain number of times per month.

What Is Money Market Accounts?

A money market account is a financial product offered by banks and credit unions that combines the features of a savings account and a checking account. It typically offers a competitive interest rate and allows limited check-writing and ATM access while providing a level of safety through FDIC or NCUA insurance.

How Does it Work

A money market account works by allowing individuals to deposit funds into the account, where they can earn interest at a competitive rate. The deposited money is then typically invested by the financial institution in short-term, low-risk assets like government securities and certificates of deposit.

While the account holder can access their funds through check-writing and ATM withdrawals, there are often limits on the number of transactions allowed each month. This combination of interest-earning and limited access makes money market accounts suitable for individuals seeking a balance between earning some interest while maintaining a level of liquidity.

7 Best Money Market Accounts

UFB Direct

  • 25% APY
  • $0 minimum deposit

Overview

UFB Direct offers products in partnership with Axos Bank. They provide a Preferred Money Market and a Preferred Savings account. Both accounts had equally attractive APYs at the time of Bankrate’s assessment. However, the money market account needs a minimum balance of $5,000 to prevent a $10 monthly fee, whereas the savings account doesn’t have any monthly fees.

Vio Bank

  • 25% APY
  • $100 minimum deposit

Vio Bank is the online banking part of MidFirst Bank. The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account offers a really good yield. You just need $100 to start it, and there’s no fee each month. However, this account doesn’t let you write checks or have a debit card.

Furthermore, The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account offers a highly competitive yield with a low $100 opening requirement. And no monthly fee when opting for e-statements. Vio Bank also provides phone customer service throughout all seven days of the week.

CFG Community Bank

  • 17% APY
  • $1,000 minimum deposit

CFG Bank was established in 2009 and provides its CFG High Yield Money Market account both online and at physical branches. The High Yield Money Market account offers a competitive APY, but interest is only accrued on balances exceeding $1,000. To initiate this account, a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required.

However, CFG offers a competitive APY on its High Yield Money Market account. The account is available both online and in its branches.

Quontic Bank

  • 85% – 5.00% APY
  • $100 minimum deposit

Overview

Quontic Bank presents a money market account featuring a competitive yield. With just a $100 minimum opening deposit, this account includes a debit card. The bank also provides the convenience of Zelle for money transfers and offers mobile deposit services.

Additionally, Quontic Bank’s money market account provides a competitive yield and includes a debit card. Opening this account requires just a $100 deposit.

Sallie Mae Bank

  • 75% APY
  • $0 minimum deposit

Overview

Sallie Mae is famous for helping students with loans, but it also has good deposit accounts through Sallie Mae Bank. Their Money Market Account lets you write checks and doesn’t need a starting amount. Plus, there are no monthly fees. Sallie Mae Bank even has two savings accounts and CDs for you to consider.

Plus, Sallie Mae Bank provides a competitive yield through its Money Market Account, which boasts check-writing privileges and doesn’t demand a minimum opening deposit. This account earned a higher yield compared to its savings account according to a review by Bankrate.

TIAA Bank

  • 90% – 4.75% APY
  • $0 minimum deposit

TIAA Bank is recognized for its commitment to high-yield accounts under the Yield Pledge program, assuring you a very competitive APY. The Yield Pledge Money Market account from TIAA Bank provides an attractive yield, and you can start with a minimum of $500. Moreover, the account offers increasing rewards as you deposit more, with higher yields linked to your balance tiers.

Furthermore, TIAA Bank provides a money market account with a competitive yield. This account includes a debit card and offers up to $15 monthly reimbursement for ATM fees from other banks. Additionally, you can conveniently use mobile deposit to upload checks.

Ally Bank

  • 40% APY
  • $0 minimum deposit

Ally Bank’s money market account comes with no monthly service fee and doesn’t ask for a minimum balance. This account offers check-writing privileges and is connected to Allpoint’s ATM network, enabling fee-free cash withdrawals from any of its ATMs. Additionally, Ally Bank provides around-the-clock phone customer service.

Furthermore, Ally Bank’s money market account provides a competitive yield and offers up to $10 reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees per statement cycle. The account includes check-writing privileges and a debit card, while their mobile app supports mobile deposits.

How To Choose A Money Market Account

Money market accounts provide a viable choice for accomplishing your savings objectives. Selecting the appropriate money market account can assist you in earning a competitive annual percentage yield (APY). Several of the most exceptional money market accounts enable savers to achieve a substantial yield while also enjoying the convenience of check-writing privileges. To determine if a money market account suits your needs, follow the steps outlined below:

  • Identify your savings goal and the intended timeframe for fund utilization.
  • Conduct research on various banks and credit unions, and make comparisons among the available accounts to discover a suitable fit. Key attributes to consider include a competitive APY, the ability to write checks, and access to ATMs.
  • Take note of any prerequisites related to maintaining a minimum balance and whether there are potential monthly charges for account servicing.
  • Evaluate whether the account is safeguarded by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Association (NCUA) insurance. It is crucial to ensure that your funds are within the stipulated FDIC or NCUA limits and adhere to their guidelines.
  • Initiate the process of opening a money market account and submit your initial deposit. Additionally, contemplate downloading the bank’s mobile application if it is offered.

Features and Benefits of Money Market Accounts

  • High-Interest Rates: The best money market accounts tend to offer competitive interest rates, meaning you can earn more on your savings compared to regular savings accounts.
  • Low Risk: These accounts typically invest in low-risk, short-term securities like government bonds, minimizing the risk to your principal.
  • Liquidity: While not as flexible as a regular checking account, money market accounts often allow you to access your funds through checks or ATMs, providing a level of liquidity.
  • Limited Transactions: Money market accounts usually have restrictions on the number of transactions you can make in a month, helping to maintain their stability.
  • FDIC/NCUA Insurance: Reputable money market accounts are often insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), which adds a layer of protection to your funds.
  • Minimum Balance: Some accounts might require you to maintain a certain minimum balance to earn the advertised interest rate or avoid fees.
  • Monthly Fees: Look for accounts with minimal or no monthly maintenance fees to ensure you’re not losing your interest earnings.
  • Account Access: Check if the account offers online or mobile banking access, as well as features like electronic transfers.
  • Customer Service: Good customer service and support can make managing your money market account more convenient.
  • Transparency: The best money market accounts are transparent about their terms, fees, and any potential limitations.

How Do I Open A Money Market Account?

Getting started with a money market account is as simple as picking the right bank and account for you. Some accounts don’t ask for a specific amount to begin, so you won’t need to worry about maintaining a certain balance or facing extra charges. To find the best option for your savings, compare the accounts with the highest interest rates, considering the smallest amount you’re comfortable starting with.

Before you start an online money market account, remember to:

  • Keep your official photo ID handy.
  • Be ready to remove a security freeze from your credit file if necessary.
  • Know your account number and routing number for the account you’re using to fund the new one.
  • Have your social security number ready.

Most of this information might also be required if you’re opening an account in person. If you’re visiting a bank branch to open an account, you might need cash or checks to deposit.

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