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7 features of the best money market accounts

Not all money market accounts are created equal, just as not all consumers have the same needs. When choosing the best money market account for your hard-earned savings, you'll want to ask the right questions and make sure the account has the right features.

Money market accounts may be an ideal type of deposit account for you if:

  • You have saved enough to meet minimum deposit requirements
  • You want higher interest rates than regular savings accounts
  • You want to be able to access your money at any time (subject to transaction limits)
  • You want the security of FDIC insurance

Bear in mind that your foremost goal is to get a higher interest rate than you would with a savings account. That's why money market accounts were created in the first place. You'll also need to factor into your financial plan that the interest you earn is subject to income tax.

Here are the primary features of money market accounts (MMAs) and what you should know about them so you get the best money market account for your financial requirements:

  1. Minimum deposit and minimum required balance - Depending on the bank or credit union, each of these might be $1,000, $2,500, $10,000 or more. Many financial institutions have several types of money market accounts often referred to as "super" and "jumbo" when you get into the higher deposit and balance requirements. Shop around for what works best for you and the amount of money you want tied up in an MMA, because they aren't designed for frequent transactions.
  2. Penalties and fees - You are usually charged a fee if your balance dips below the required amount. How much is that fee? If you exceed the number of transactions allowed per month, you need to know how you'll be penalized, as well.
  3. FDIC insurance - MMAs are usually insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to a limit of $250,000. But it never hurts to ask. You don't want to lose a big chunk of savings because the financial institution you picked isn't covered by the FDIC.
  4. Liquidity - MMAs are limited to six transactions per month, with no more than three of those being checks. An MMA would not work well as a primary checking and bill paying account. Some banks require the checks be written for a minimum amount, such as $500.
  5. Interest rates - Compare money market rates online for the best interest rate. Always use the annual percentage yield (APY) to compare different accounts. Look for banks that have consistently offered high rates. Check balance requirements and expiration clauses for any special or promotional rates. Make sure the MMA interest rate is higher than what an online savings account would pay at the same bank. Otherwise, there is not much advantage to an MMA.
  6. Direct deposit - Most banks offer direct deposit free of charge. You can pay yourself first by having your paycheck deposited directly into your money market account and then make one monthly transfer into your regular checking account for expenses. By putting your savings first, there's less chance you'll be tempted to tap into it.
  7. Bonuses or other incentives - Banks have become quite creative in finding ways to attract your business. Incentives can include:
    • Bonus interest rate if you bundle multiple accounts at that bank
    • Higher APY if you set up direct deposit or automatic transfer
    • Bonus airline miles or rewards points

    When you find an appealing incentive, read the fine print and ask questions. Is it really free? What hoops do you have to jump through?

Money market accounts make good emergency funds, ways to build savings or as a jumping-off point for longer-term investments. To make the best use of this type of account you should set up a regular schedule of when and how much you will add to it. You can then increase the account until you've decided on your investment strategy for longer-term savings.

 

Money Market Rates

1.29%
Rate
1.30%
APY
$1
Min to earn APY

Advertiser Comments

  • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
  • Member FDIC
1.29%
Rate
1.30%
APY
$0
Min to earn APY

Advertiser Comments

  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service
  • No monthly minimum balance, no monthly fees
  • Open in Minutes
1.24%
Rate
1.25%
APY
$0
Min to earn APY

Advertiser Comments

  • Consistently Competitive Rates
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • Ally Bank, Member FDIC
Ultima Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
2.02% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
SMART Savings Account - for young adults 18 yrs or younger, withdrawals prior to 18th See morebirthday may result in a penalty

Type: Savings

Learn More
Dollar Savings Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.50% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-15
Advertiser Comments
Dollar Savings Account - apply online- must have a personal checking account in a US See morebank.

Type: Savings

Learn More
Salem Five Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.50% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
eOne Savings - APY on balances of 0.01- $1,000,000. Companion account to eOne Checking, no See moreminimum balance, no monthly fees, free ATM card, Online applicants only, who do not have existing deposit accounts with Salem Five

Type: Savings

Learn More
UFB Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.41% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
UFB Direct Money Market Savings Account - No monthly maintenance fee with a minimum $5,000 See moreaverage daily collected balance; otherwise, the fee is $10.00 per month - Apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Popular Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.40% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Popular Direct Plus Savings - $4 monthly fee waived with $500 minimum daily balance

Type: Savings

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $10,000
1.40% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - tier $10,000 - $24,999 - apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $25,000
1.40% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - tier $25,000 - $49,999 - apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $50,000
1.40% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - tier $50,000 - $99,999.99 - apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $100,000
1.40% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - tier $100,000 - apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
CIT Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.35% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
CIT Bank Savings - Premier High Yield - Tier $0 - $250,000 - Apply online

Type: Savings

Learn More
SFGI Direct
Minimum to earn APY $1
1.31% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10

Type: Savings

Learn More
EverBank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.31% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Yield Pledge Money Market - APY for all balances

Type: MMA

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EverBank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.31% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Yield Pledge Money Market - This is a 1 Year Introductory APY for balances between See more$0 - $250,000 - Must be first time money market customers with new money deposit

Type: MMA

Learn More
Radius Bank
Minimum to earn APY $2,500
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Radius High-Yield Savings - APY for balances $2,500 and above - apply online

Type: Savings

Learn More
ableBanking
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Money Market Savings - APY for all balances - Up to 6 withdrawals are permitted See moreper month - apply online - a division of Northeast Bank based in Maine

Type: MMA

Learn More
UFB Direct
Minimum to earn APY $25,000
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
UFB Premium Savings offers a rate of 1.30% APY with interest compounded daily - APY See morefor balances $25,000 and above - Must be new funds to receive stated rate

Type: Savings

Learn More
Sallie Mae Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Nationwide - Apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Capital One 360
Minimum to earn APY $10,000
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
360 Money Market - Tier $10,000 or more

Type: MMA

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Regular Savings - APY for all balances - Online savings account

Type: Savings

Learn More
Barclays
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.30% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Online Savings - APY for all balances

Type: Savings

Learn More
American Express
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.25% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
High Yield Savings - APY for all balances - Apply online

Type: Savings

Learn More
FNBO Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.15% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-11
Advertiser Comments
Online Savings - Rated Kiplinger's Best Online Savings Account - No minimums, no monthly fees, See moremanage account securely online

Type: Savings

Learn More
SmartyPig
Minimum to earn APY $10,000
1.15% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
SmartyPig Savings - Tier $10,000.01 - $50,000

Type: Savings

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.15% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - APY for balances between $0-$999.99

Type: MMA

Learn More
Nationwide Bank
Minimum to earn APY $1,000
1.15% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Tiered Money Market - tier $1,000 - $9,999.99 - apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
Bank of Internet
Minimum to earn APY $1
1.05% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Money Market Savings Account - No monthly maintenance fees - No minimum monthly balance requirements

Type: MMA

Learn More
SmartyPig
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.05% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
SmartyPig Savings - Tier $0.01 - $2,500

Type: Savings

Learn More
Bank of Internet
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.05% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Smart Savings - No monthly maintenance fees - No minimum monthly balance requirements

Type: Savings

Learn More
SmartyPig
Minimum to earn APY $2,500
1.05% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
SmartyPig Savings - Tier $2500.01 - $10,000

Type: Savings

Learn More
AloStar Bank of Commerce
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.05% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Limit of six transactions per month - APY for all balances - apply online

Type: Savings

Learn More
Ultima Bank
Minimum to earn APY $1,000
1.01% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
UBM Direct Savings Account

Type: Savings

Learn More
TIAA Direct
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.01% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Money Market - Tier 0-$2,499.99

Type: MMA

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TIAA Direct
Minimum to earn APY $2,500
1.01% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Money Market - Tier $2,500 - $24,999.99

Type: MMA

Learn More
TIAA Direct
Minimum to earn APY $25,000
1.01% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Money Market - Tier $25,000 - $49,999.99

Type: MMA

Learn More
TIAA Direct
Minimum to earn APY $50,000
1.01% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
Money Market -Tier $50,000 -$99,999.99

Type: MMA

Learn More
First Internet Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-11
Advertiser Comments
Money Market Savings - Rate earned on balances from $0 to $250,000 - Transaction limitations See more- apply online

Type: MMA

Learn More
iGOBanking
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
iGO Online Savings

Type: Savings

Learn More
Amboy Direct
Minimum to earn APY $3,000
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
eSavings - Tier $3,000 - $10,000 - Apply online or by mail, offer not available See moreat branches.

Type: Savings

Learn More
Biscayne Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
Regular Savings - APY for balances of $.01 and over

Type: Savings

Learn More
Colorado Federal Savings Bank
Minimum to earn APY $2,500
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
High Yield Savings - You may access your funds only through ACH (ACH fee applies)

Type: Savings

Learn More
Main Street Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Kasasa Saver - Must be linked to a free Kasasa Cash or Kasasa Cash Back See morechecking account - 1.00% APY on balances up to $50,000 - No minimum balances - No monthly service fee

Type: Savings

Learn More
Sallie Mae Bank
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
High-Yield Savings - No minimum balance and no monthly service fees - Nationwide - Apply See moreonline

Type: Savings

Learn More
Mutual of Omaha Bank
Minimum to earn APY $1,000
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
Online Money Market - Rate/APY for balances from $1,000 - $1,000,000

Type: MMA

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MySavingsDirect
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-12
Advertiser Comments
MySavings Account

Type: Savings

Learn More
Capital One 360
Minimum to earn APY $0
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-13
Advertiser Comments
360 Savings Account - APY for all balances - No fees - No minimum balance See more- Online account

Type: Savings

Learn More
UFB Direct
Minimum to earn APY $20,000
1.00% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
UFB Savings - Tier $20,000 and above - No monthly maintenance fee

Type: Savings

Learn More
CIBC
Minimum to earn APY $0
0.90% APY
Rates as of 2017-12-10
Advertiser Comments
CIBC Palladian Savings - Currently there is a promotional interest rate for CIBC Palladian Savings See moreAccount which is fixed at 1.30% for the first six months. After the promotional interest rate ends, the interest rate will be the non-promotional variable interest rate that is offered for Palladian Savings Account at that time (currently 0.90%). There is a minimum initial deposit of $1,000 and maximum initial deposit of $100,000.

Type: Savings

Learn More