Best money market accounts for May 2019 | finder.com
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Best money market accounts

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Generate interest on your savings alongside flexible account access.

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.

Our top pick: BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market Account

  • Interest compounds and is credited monthly
  • Easily withdraw money in branch and via BBVA Compass ATMs with no ATM fees
  • Enjoy 24/7 online access with online and mobile banking

Our top pick: BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market Account

Earn one of the highest annual percentage yields (APYs) if you live in one of 42 eligible states, and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY): 2.35%
  • Minimum deposit to open: $25
  • No minimum daily account balance
  • Quarterly fee: $15 (can be waived with a $10,000 balance or automatic monthly transfer)
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Best money market rates

The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) helps you understand how much interest your funds will generate over the course of one year. The higher the APY, the more interest you’ll receive.

Money market accountAPY
BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market account2.4%
VirtualBank eMoney Market account2.36%
Bay State Savings Bank Money Market account2.35%
BankPurely PurelyMoneyMarket2.4%
State Farm Bank Online Money Market Savings account2.25%
Sallie Mae Money Market2.27%
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market2.15%
First Internet Bank Money Market Savings account2.02%
Capital One 360 Money Market2%
Discover Bank Online Money Market account2%
CIT Bank Money Market account 1.85%

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 money market accounts with no monthly fees.

Money market accountAPY
All American Bank Mega Money Market account2.25%
Sallie Mae Money MarketSallie Mae Money Market account2.27%
Capital One 360 Money Market account2%
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market account2%
CIT Bank Money Market account1.85%

The most accessible money market accounts

Both savings accounts and money market accounts are interest-bearing. But what makes money market accounts different is their accessibility. Here are five money market accounts that offer both check-writing privileges and debit cards.

Money market accountAPY
State Farm Bank Online Money Market Savings account2.25%
Redneck Bank Mega Money Market account2.25%
iGoBanking Money Market account2.25%
Discover Money Market account2%
Ally Money Market account1%

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. Looking to write personal checks from your account? Many 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. Most money market accounts are limited to six transactions monthly.

Compare with other savings and money market accounts

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Minimum balance to earn interest Interest rate (APY)
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$25
$0
2.40%
Earn one of the highest annual percentage yields (APYs) if you live in one of 42 eligible states, and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.
$0
$100
$25,000
or set up a direct deposit of $100+ each month
2.45%
A super-high interest rate if you're in the habit of saving at least $100 per month or have $25K in the bank.
$0
$0
$0
2.00%
A high-interest, fee-free online bank account that helps you save.
$0
$100
$0
1.85%
Reach your savings goals with a CIT Bank Money Market account. $100 minimum opening deposit.
$0
$5
$0.01
1.77%
With no fees and a high interest rate, this account gives you plenty of incentive to save.
$10 per month
(can be waived)
$2,500
$2,500
2.00%
Earn high yields with flexible access to your cash.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

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.

Bottom line

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.

How we chose the best money market accounts

With so many money market accounts available, we wanted to narrow down our selection to highlight the ones that really stand out. To do this, we considered a handful of key factors like APY, minimum deposit, fees, and convenience. After that, we took a deep dive into account details to find out how long it takes to apply, what service fees you might run into, how to fund your account and more.

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