Interest rates are on the rise. Slowly (but steadily) your money is working a little bit harder. Owning a money market account is a great way to increase the value of your savings with zero risk.
However, when shopping online for a deposit account with high interest rates, it can get a little confusing. Most online banks offer both a savings account and a money market account. And almost always, the money market account has a lower interest rate. So why would anyone own a money market account instead of a savings account?
There are two primary differences between the two accounts.
- Most money market accounts allow you to write checks.
- Most money market accounts allow you to use a debit card for everyday purchases.
With more access to your funds, money market accounts have grown in popularity. Here’s a look at what we consider to be the best money market accounts available online. Every bank featured on this list is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor and allows for six withdrawals per month (federal limit). This includes checks!
Best Money Market Accounts of 2020
CIT Bank (0.80% APY) – You can see from the remainder of the list that this rate leads the way, and it’s why I have $25,000 currently planted there. The minimum deposit to open a CIT Bank Money Market account is only $100 and there are no fees to maintain it.
CIT Bank also has a Savings Builder that boasts a 0.75% APY, and that in fact was the first CIT Bank account I opened. But the Money Market account interest rate is a bit higher with less restriction and thus it’s where I keep my emergency savings.
All America Bank (1.75% APY) – At the top of our list is All America Bank. They currently offer a money market account with a 1.75% APY on balances of less than $50,000. If you have more than $50,000, the APY is just 0.50%. So this account is specifically designed for people who don’t have a ton to deposit. All America Bank requires just a $50 deposit to open this account.
The All America Bank money market account provides you a Visa debit card. There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. If you need to make more than six withdrawals per month, the bank attaches a $5 fee to each additional withdrawal. You can access your account online at any time, and you’ll receive all monthly statements electronically.
UFB Direct (1.80% APY) – The UFB Savings Account offers a 1.80% APY on all balances. Anyone who requests it can get a free Visa debit card, but the card doesn’t automatically come with the account. There are no monthly fees associated with the account. UFB also includes a free suite of online banking tools. This includes online bill pay and mobile banking (which provides email and text message alerts).
Anyone who owns a UFB Money Market account can deposit checks instantly from a mobile phone. Scan the check, and in a few business days, the funds should be clear and available in your account. You can make money transfers between this account and any external account or write checks from the account. UFB Direct will even provide you free postage-paid envelopes to mail your checks!
Sallie Mae (1.70% APY) – Best known for student loans, Sallie Mae has recently put together a solid deposit portfolio. Sallie Mae offers a 1.70% APY on all balances with no tier levels or minimum requirements. There is no minimum deposit required to open a money market account. And Sallie Mae is happy to write checks on your behalf, if you require them. If you make more than six monthly withdrawals, the bank charges an excessive transaction fee of $10.
If you keep your account balance under $100 and have no activity for a period of 12 months, Sallie Mae will consider the account dormant. They reserve the right to close the account … so don’t let this happen. This rule is waived if you have a student loan with Sallie Mae. When you use the money market account to make payments towards your Sallie Mae student loans, those payments don’t count against your monthly withdrawal limit.
Capital One 360 (1.00% APY) – Capital One offers a money market account that sports a 1.00% APY on all balances. There are no monthly fees to keep your account open, and Capital One has created two digital savings tools to assist you in your savings needs. The Automatic Savings Plan allows you to automatically put money in your money market account every month. My Savings Goal puts pen to paper and allows you to set alerts for the savings goals you’ve created.
Unlike other money market accounts on this list, Capital One doesn’t make check writing available. Also important to keep in mind is that Capital One charges for non-bank ATM withdrawals. Each withdrawal can run you an additional $4.99 in bank fees, so make sure to keep them to a minimum.
Liberty Bank (1.25% APY) – Last on our list of best money market accounts is a regional bank. Liberty Bank is available to customers in MA, CT, and RI. They currently offer a solid 1.25% APY. The Max Money Market account requires a minimum deposit of $500, and the high APY is earned on all account balances less than $100,000. For balances greater than that, the APY is 0.20%.
Customers can access their account online at anytime. The bank provides a debit card after you open an account. The account has no ATM fees at ATMs displaying Cirrus, MasterCard, and NYCE logos. Liberty Bank offers 24-hour telephone banking support (automated) and six days per week live customer support. You don’t have to have a previous banking relationship with Liberty to open this account. However, money you deposit into your Max Money Market account must not come from an account already held with the bank.
- Check out the best online savings accounts for an alternative option to money markets.