This article was reviewed by Marguerita Cheng, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and award-winning advocate for ethical financial planning for over 20 years.
The best money market accounts are known for offering the best of both worlds when it comes to high-interest rates and convenient access to your money. While limitations may still apply and you might have to deposit far more than a regular savings account, you usually have more options to move your money around, including check-writing privileges and ATM or debit cards.
We researched over 21 money market accounts and evaluated top factors such as accessibility, opening deposit requirements, money market rates, fees and features to bring you our top five picks. We excluded accounts that rope you in with high introductory rates only to let you down with lackluster rates once the honeymoon ends.
What’s changed in 2021? We regularly review this list to ensure it only includes the best money market accounts. We recently removed money market accounts from Axos Bank and NBKC, and we added accounts from BrioDirect, First Internet Bank, TIAA Bank and Vio Bank.
CIT Bank Money Market is best for low balances because there’s no minimum balance requirement. The account has no ongoing fees and accrues 0.45% APY on all balances, which is well above the national average. You only need $100 to open the account, but CIT Bank only exists on the internet, so you can’t visit a branch.
Minimal fees. You won't pay any monthly maintenance or outgoing wire transfer fees with this account.
Quick and easy application. It takes less than 10 minutes to apply for this account.
No minimum balance. You need $100 to open the account, but you don't have to maintain a certain balance to earn interest.
No physical branches. You can't pop by a CIT Bank branch for in-person support.
No live chat. Most online banks offer live chat as a customer support feature, but CIT Bank doesn't.
Low transfer limits. You can electronically transfer up to $2 million a day, but CIT Bank's People Pay service and Paypal transfers are capped at $50.
Discover Money Market is best for no fees because it doesn’t cost anything to open or maintain this account. It earns 0.40% APY on balances below $100,000 and 0.45% APY on balances above $100,000. But you’re required to deposit at least $2,500 to open the account. And Discover doesn’t have any physical branches, so you can’t do your banking in person.
Easy access to cash. Use your account's ATM card to withdraw cash at over 60,000 Discover ATMs for free.
High APYs. You earn 0.40% APY on balances under $100,000 and 0.45% on balances above $100,000.
Minimal fees. Discover doesn't charge fees for monthly maintenance, debit card replacements or bank checks.
High opening deposit. You need at least $2,500 to open this account.
Expensive wire transfers. If you need to send an outgoing wire transfer, expect to pay $30 each.
No branches. Discover an online bank, so it's not ideal if you're looking for in-person support.
The Sallie Mae Money Market account is best for writing checks because you can get free checks when you open the account, and additional checks are only $5. The account earns 0.5%APY and doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance fees. There’s no minimum account balance to maintain, but there’s no ATM card, so you can’t deposit or withdraw funds from your account.
High APY. This account earns a solid 0.5% APY on all account balances.
No monthly fees. Your savings are safe with this account because it has $0 monthly fees.
No minimum balance. Open this account with any amount of money and you'll start earning interest.
Excessive transaction fee. You'll pay a $10 excessive transaction fee if you go over the 6 monthly transaction limit. Contact Sallie Mae to see if this policy is temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus.
Limited support. Sallie Mae customer support is only available by phone weekly from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Ally Money Market is best overall because it’s a free account that earns a respectable 0.5% APY on all balances and lets you withdraw funds for free at more than 43,000 ATMs across the US. Plus customer service is available 24/7. But there’s no way to deposit cash directly into your account.
Low fees. Ally doesn't charge any fees for ACH transfers, debit cards, incoming wire transfers or monthly maintenance.
No opening deposit requirements. You can open an account with as little as $0.
Debit card. Unlike some accounts, Ally's comes with a debit card so you can withdraw cash at over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs. Plus, you'll get reimbursed for up to $10 in non-network fees each month.
No branches. Ally Bank is online only, so you can't pop into a branch for support. That said, they have 24/7 customer service.
No cash deposits. Like most online banks, you can't deposit cash into this money market account.
The Synchrony Bank Money Market Account is best for rewards because it’s among the only money market accounts with a loyalty rewards program. It earns 0.35% APY on any balance, and there’s no minimum deposit requirement. Plus, you can write checks and withdraw funds online, over the phone and at ATMs. But you can’t use the app to deposit checks greater than $2,000.
No monthly fees. You won't pay a monthly maintenance fee for your account and there's no minimum balance requirements.
ATM card. Your Synchrony Bank Money Market comes with an optional ATM card for withdrawing cash on the go.
Loyalty perks. Depending on your balance, you'll rack up rewards, benefits and discounts for things like waived fees, discounted loan rates, travel discounts and more.
Two branches. Similar to other options on our list, Synchrony operates almost entirely online. Unless you live near one of it's two branches in Utah and New Jersey, you'll be limited to online support.
No cash deposits. Similar to other online accounts, this one doesn't accept cash deposits.
The First Internet Bank Money Market Savings account is best for ATM refunds because it includes up to $10 in ATM fee rebates each month. It earns an above-average APY of 0.5%, though you must deposit at least $100 to open this account. You also have to maintain a $4,000 minimum balance to avoid the $5 monthly fee.
Solid APY. You'll earn 0.5% APY on any balance.
ATM fee rebates. First Internet Bank will refund up to $10 in ATM fees each month.
Monthly fee. You'll pay a $5 fee any month your average daily balance drops below $4,0000.
No branches. First Internet Bank exclusively exists online, so you can't meet with a banker in person.
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market account is best for accessing cash because it gives you free access to more than 92,000 ATMs. It also earns 0.4% APY on any balance, and there’s no monthly fee. You’ll need to deposit at least $500 to open this account, which is about average compared to other banks. TIAA also refunds at least $15 in ATM fees each month. But you’ll need to maintain a balance of at least $5,000 to qualify for unlimited ATM reimbursements.
Massive ATM network. TIAA partners with both MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs, so you can use your card for free at more than 92,000 machines.
ATM fee refunds. You can get $15 in ATM fees refunded each month, or you can get all ATM fees refunded by maintaining a $5,000 balance.
Web Safety Guarantee. This account includes ID theft coverage and malware protection in addition to standard security and privacy measures.
Limited branch locations. TIAA Bank only has branches in Florida, and out of state residents can't deposit cash.
Yield Pledge fine print. TIAA pledges to offer a competitive APY at all times, but it only considers large banks, which tend to provide lower APYs.
Prime Alliance Bank Personal Money Market is best for earning interest because it accrues a competitive 0.6% APY. Plus it includes check-writing privileges without a monthly fee. But you won’t get an ATM card, so you can’t deposit or withdraw cash. And Prime Alliance has only one physical location, which is in Utah.
No monthly fee. You'll never have to worry about avoiding monthly fees when you open a Prime Alliance Bank Personal Money Market account because there are none.
No minimum balance requirements. This account has no opening deposit or minimum balance requirements, making it easily accessible to almost anyone.
Expensive excessive withdrawal fee. You'll typically pay $25 each time you make more than six outgoing transactions a month — a fee much higher than other banks. But this restriction is temporarily suspended due to COVID.
One branch location. Prime Alliance has one branch in Utah, so you'll be limited to online banking if you live outside the area.
With BrioDirect High-Yield Money Market you won’t have to worry about paying for incoming wire fees. You’ll also earn 0.55% APY on any balance and there’s no monthly maintenance fee or fees for incoming wire transfers. And if you link your money market account to a BrioDirect checking account, you can use your debit card to access funds in both accounts. But you’ll have to deposit $100 to open an account, but it doesn’t give you the option to write checks.
Decent APY. This account earns 0.55% APY, which is nearly 10 times greater than the national average.
No fees for incoming wires. You won't pay to receive wire transfers with this account.
Can link to a debit card. If you have a BrioDirect checking account, you can access your money market account funds from ATMs.
Can't write checks. Unlike several other money market accounts, BrioDirect doesn't let you write checks from your account.
Minimum deposit to open
Best for customer support
Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market
Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market is best for customer support as you can get help seven days a week. The account earns 0.55% APY on all balances, and there’s no monthly fee. You’ll need to deposit $100 to open this account, and you contact support via chat or phone every day of the week. But Vio Bank doesn’t have any branches.
Customer support availability. Vio Bank offers chat and phone support on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Incoming wires are free. Many banks charge fees for incoming wire transfers, but Vio Bank doesn't.
Online only. Vio Bank doesn't have any brick-and-mortar branches, so you can't meet with a banker or teller in person.
Minimum deposit to open
How to choose the best money market account
To find the best money market account for your lifestyle, consider these four factors.
Competitive APY. The annual percentage yield rate determines how much interest your account will earn on a yearly basis. The higher the rate, the more money you’ll earn.
Affordable minimum opening deposit. Different accounts require different opening deposits. You can open some accounts with as little as $100, while others require $10,000 or more.
Easy access to money. Some accounts impose restrictions on when and how you can withdraw your funds, while others let you transfer money out of your account at any time.
Quality customer support. Not all accounts offer the same level of service. Read customer reviews to find out if the account you’re interested in has a good reputation.
Best money market rates
These money market accounts have the highest interest rates available today, but they didn’t make our best list because they have monthly fees, high minimum deposit requirements or aren’t available nationwide.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Superior Money Market
Up to 1%
1% on balances up to $25,000 with at least $500 in monthly direct deposits
0.5% on balances over $25,000 with at last $500 in monthly direct deposits
0.1% on your total balance if you don’t meet deposit requirements
Customers Bank Ascent Money Market
Up to 0.75%
No interest on balances up to $25,000
0.75% on balances of $25,000 or more
CFG High Yield Money Market
Up to 0.66%
0.56% on balances of $1,000 to $24,999.99
0.66% on balances of $25,000 or more
The best free money market accounts
Providers are sometimes guilty of nickel and diming their customers out of their hard-earned savings. Here are five top money market accounts with no monthly fees.
Money market accounts are best for competitive interest rates while maintaining easy access to their cash. They offer the flexibility of a checking account with the perks of a savings account. For example, money market accounts usually include check writing privileges and a debit card. And they also earn interest — potentially more than regular savings accounts.
But they also come with restrictions. Similar to savings accounts, you can’t make more than six withdrawals or payments per month by debit card, check or electronic transfer.
What are the biggest benefits of money market accounts?
Money market accounts help you generate interest on your savings while providing greater access to funds than traditional savings accounts. Here are some of the benefits you can expect with a money market account:
High rates. Interest rates for money market accounts are often on par with high-yield savings accounts, which means maximum growth potential for your savings.
Online banking. Many money market accounts offer mobile and online banking for simple, on-the-go access to your funds.
Check-writing privileges. If you want to write checks from your account, most money market accounts come with check-writing privileges.
Debit card. Some money market accounts come with debit cards and ATM access so you can withdraw and deposit funds as needed.
What are the biggest drawbacks?
While money market accounts are interest-bearing and offer flexible account access, there are some pitfalls to be wary of. Here are some common money market account drawbacks:
High opening deposit. Money market accounts often impose higher minimum opening deposits than savings accounts that typically range from $100 to $1,000.
Minimum balance requirements. Tiered interest rates are common among money market accounts, with minimum balance requirements that must be maintained on a daily or monthly basis in order to earn interest.
Limited transactions. While money market accounts offer greater account accessibility, they’re still restricted by the same transaction limitations that govern their savings account counterparts. Although Regulation D is currently suspended, so some banks may let you go over this limit without penalty.
Traps to avoid
Money market accounts are a nice way to save, but sometimes the devil is in the details. Before you apply, check your account’s fine print for the following:
Introductory rates. Providers sometimes offer introductory rates on new accounts for a designated length of time — often the first 12 months following a new account opening. Check your account’s terms and conditions to find out if the rate you receive is liable to change after your first year of patronage.
Hidden fees. Money market accounts may advertise no monthly maintenance fees, but may charge for wire transfers, stop payments, overdraft fees and account closure fees.
Transaction limitations. Some accounts offer unlimited account deposits — but only at designated bank branches and ATMs. Otherwise, your account is limited to six transfers monthly, and exceeding this limit may result in transaction fees or the closure of your account.
Tiered rates. That high APY you spotted on the front page of your provider’s website? It may not be for everyone — or every balance. Money market accounts sometimes come with tiered interest rates, with the highest APYs often reserved for account balances of $50,000 or more.
3 alternatives to money market accounts
If you’re not completely set on a money market account, consider these similar alternatives:
High interest checking account. A high yield checking account gives you total access to your money while rewarding you with the same competitive APY you’d find with a money market account.
Digital bank account. Digital banks offer checking and savings account combos that let you manage all your money in one place. Popular options like Chime and Aspiration earn competitive interest rates on your savings balance while giving you easy access to your spending money.
Cash management account. CMAs include spending, saving and investing all in one account, and funds are as accessible as they are with money market accounts. And some of the best cash management accounts, including Robinhood and SoFi Money, earn impressive interest rates.
How do I open a money market account?
Many providers offer online account applications. You’ll be asked to submit some personal information, including your full name, residential address and telephone number. You’ll also be asked to provide proof of your identity by submitting your Social Security number or driver’s license number.
You’ll be expected to fund your new account with an opening deposit, so you’ll need the bank account and routing number of an external checking or savings account.
Once you’ve submitted your information and an opening deposit, you’ll receive your new account information. If the account comes with personal checks and a debit card, you’ll receive those in the mail.
How to get the most out of your account
Money market accounts come with their fair share of perks and drawbacks. Get the most from your account with the following:
Keep track of transactions. With an account limited to six transfers a month, keep an eye on your transactions by logging into your online account to review your account activity.
Maintain the minimum balance. Maintain the minimum account balance to avoid monthly fees and secure the best interest rates for your funds.
Opt for your provider’s ATMs. Avoid ATM fees and excessive transaction fees by taking advantage of your selected provider’s ATMs and bank branches to conduct transactions.
Reach out to customer service. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, feel free to reach out to customer service during business hours to clarify your queries.
Opening a money market account is a savvy way to build interest on your savings, and they often offer flexible account access with check-writing privileges and debit cards. But watch for tiered rates, transaction limitations and hidden fees, and remember to compare your options before making a decision.
Compare with other savings and money market accounts
Use the table to sort and compare accounts by APY, fee and minimum deposit to open.
Shannon Terrell is an editor for Finder who has written over 400 personal finance guides. With a focus on investments and personal finance, she breaks down jargon-laden topics to help others make informed financial decisions. She studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto.
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