Money market accounts (MMAs) offer more flexibility and higher interest rates than many savings accounts. Here are our top picks for the best money market accounts.

A money market account or MMA is a kind of savings account that pays interest on your balance. MMAs combine some features of traditional savings accounts with some features of checking accounts to give you a level of flexibility somewhere in the middle. Because they’re insured, they’re considered to be really safe and low-risk.

Though you can get a money market account through just about any bank or credit union, you should be picky about where you open one to get the most bang for your buck.

We found the best money market rates for 2022 and put this list together to help you choose the right account for you.

Best Money Market Accounts

We reviewed several money market accounts offered by different banks and came up with our list of the best money market accounts today.

  • Best Overall: Quontic Bank
  • Best for Beginners: CIT Bank
  • Best Customer Service: Discover Bank
  • Best for Low Balances: Vio Bank
  • Best for High Balances: UFB Direct
  • Best for Flexibility: Ally Bank
  • Best for No Minimum Deposit: Sallie Mae
  • Best Bank Money Market Account: TIAA Bank
  • Best Credit Union Money Market Account: Credit Union of America

Best Overall: Quontic Bank

Features

  • APY: 1.85%
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • No tiered interest
  • Debit card
  • Check writing
  • Zelle transfers

You can open a Quontic Money Market Account with a deposit of just $100. Currently, all balance tiers earn the same interest rate and any positive balance (balances of $0.01 or more) earns interest. These are just a couple of reasons this is our favorite money market account out there.

Quontic Bank is a digital bank that anyone can join, and it has above-average customer satisfaction across the board. The feature-packed Quontic app and website are easy to use and make managing your money market account very simple. Interested is compounded daily and credited monthly.

There is no monthly maintenance fee to worry about for this account, regardless of your balance. There is also no overdraft fee. This is one of the best money market accounts for people who want something flexible like a checking account because it offers a debit card, check writing privileges, bill pay, and even Zelle transfers.

Quontic Bank money market accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a Quontic Bank money market account.

Best for Beginners: CIT Bank

Best Money Market account - CIT

Features

  • APY: 1.55%
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • No tiered interest
  • Bill pay

If you’re looking for an all-around great money market account with a solid rate and low opening deposit, this could be the account for you.

The CIT money market account requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open, but no minimum balance is required to qualify for interest. The bank offers a mid-range interest rate at 1.55% APY. And because this account does not use a tiered balance structure to determine interest, it’s a good option for people who plan to keep a lower balance. Promo: Deposit $15k and receive a bonus of 1-year Amazon Prime subscription-cash value of $139! Offer available for both new & existing customers.

There is no monthly maintenance fee for this account regardless of how much money you keep in it. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Bill Pay is a unique feature of this product. You can use it to set up automatic bill payments out of your money market account — just remember these will count toward your monthly limit of six. This account does not include a debit card or check-writing capabilities.

CIT Bank MMAs are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a CIT Bank money market account.

Best for Customer Service: Discover Bank

Features

  • APY: 1.90% 
  • Minimum deposit: $2,500
  • Debit card
  • Check writing
  • Bill pay

The Discover Bank Money Market Account has everything you could want in a money market account. It offers a debit card that can be used at more than 60,000 ATMs, bill pay features, check-writing capabilities, and a competitive interest rate. And on top of all that, there are no fees for anything.

This account pays an interest rate of 1.90% APY for balances below $100,000 and 1.95% for balances over $100,000. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. The only catch is that you need to make a deposit of at least $2,500 when opening.

Discover Bank is known for providing top-notch customer service, so you’ll be in good hands if you ever need help. It also has a really solid app and online platform.

Discover money market accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a Discover Bank money market account.

Best for Low Balances: Vio Bank

Features

  • APY: 1.65%
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • No tiered interest
  • Auto transfers

The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Account has one of the highest earnings rates currently available. And with a required minimum deposit of just $100, it’s also one of the easiest to open.

There’s no monthly fee (unless you want paper statements, in which case you’ll pay $5 a month) and all balances earn the same interest rate, making this our top pick for people with less than $1,000 to save. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

But for all it has going for it, this money market account does not include check-writing capabilities or a debit card, so it’s less liquid than some of the others on our list. 

To help yourself save more after making your initial deposit, you can set up auto transfers from a linked savings account into this money market account. This feature is free.

Vio Bank money market accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a Vio Bank money market account.

Best for High Balances: UFB Direct

Best Money Market Accounts UFB Direct

Features

  • APY: 2.61%
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Check writing
  • No tiered interest
  • Cash deposits accepted

If you can afford to deposit a little more into a high-yield money market account, you can’t do much better than the UFB Rewards Money Market Account. UFB offers one of the highest interest rates out there at 2.61%.

Although UFB does technically use balance tiers, all accounts currently earn the same rate. You can use your money market account to write checks but there is no debit card.

The biggest downside with this account is that you have to deposit at least $5,000 to get started and keep your balance at or above this to avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $10. We only recommend this money market account to anyone with more than $5,000 to put away.

Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. This MMA offers an impressive annual percentage yield, so it would be a great idea to use this like a savings account and let compound interest do its thing.

Money market accounts from UFB Direct are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a UFB Direct money market account.

Best for Flexibility: Ally Bank

Features

  • APY: 1.25%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Debit card
  • Check writing
  • No tiered interest

Online-only Ally Bank has some great savings accounts, and the Ally Bank Money Market Account is no exception. This money market account pays the same interest rate on all balances and charges no monthly fees. Even overdrafts and incoming wire transfers are free.

This account has no minimum opening deposit or balance requirements. As long as you fund it within 30 days of opening it, it will continue to earn interest. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Flexibility and a great rate make this one of the best money markets you can get. Plus, Ally’s MMA includes a debit card, checks, and ATM fee reimbursement of up to $10 every month. 

The Ally Bank Money Market Account provides more funding options than most too. Mobile check deposits, internal and external transfers, direct deposits, wire transfers, and mailed checks are all permitted. If you’re looking for something really flexible, think about going with this money market account.

Ally Bank MMAs are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open an Ally Bank money market account.

Best for No Minimum Deposit: Sallie Mae

FeaturesSallie Mae logo

  • APY: 1.20%
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • No tiered interest
  • Check writing

You might not think of MMAs when you think of Sallie Mae, but with an annual percentage yield of 1.20% on a Sallie Mae Money Market Account, maybe you should.

There is no monthly maintenance fee for this money market account and no minimum balance requirement for earning interest. That means you’ll be paid dividends as long as you have at least a penny in there and your account is in good standing. Users can order checks for just $5, but they won’t get a debit card.

Unfortunately, you won’t receive any extra benefits for having student loans with Sallie Mae (sorry if you were hoping for that). But having both through one bank could make your life a little easier.

Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly. Sallie Mae MMAs are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a Sallie Mae money market account.

Best Bank Money Market Account: TIAA Bank

Features

  • APY: 0.90%
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • No tiered interest
  • Debit card
  • Check writing

The TIAA Yield Pledge Money Market Account requires a minimum opening deposit of $500 to open and start earning interest. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Normally, you might see different interest rates for different balance tiers, but this isn’t the case right now.

If you’re wondering what the “Yield Pledge” part of this account means, this refers to a guarantee by TIAA Bank that their rates will always stay within the top 5% of competitive MMAs. They check weekly and adjust their interest rates as needed to make sure this is the case.

Although TIAA Bank’s money market account doesn’t have the best interest rates, it does offer the benefit of branch locations. If you like to do some or all of your banking in person, TIAA Bank has 126 full-service branches across the U.S. with at least one location in 44 different states.

But if you don’t want to use physical branches, you can also manage your MMA completely online via the site or mobile app.

This account includes a debit card, check-writing privileges, and reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees. If your balance is less than $5,000, you’ll qualify to have up to $15 in fees reimbursed each month. And if your balance is over $5,000, you’ll qualify for unlimited ATM fee reimbursements in the U.S.

Every TIAA Bank money market account is FDIC insured up to $250,000.

Open a TIAA Bank money market account.

Best Credit Union Money Market Account: Credit Union of America

Features

  • APY: 0.30% – 3.00%
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • Blended interest rate

Last but not least, there’s the Credit Union of America Balance Boost Money Market Account. This account is unique because it pays a blended interest rate, which means you’ll earn multiple interest rates on your balance.

See the current interest rates by balance below:

  • $0.01 – $2,500: 3.00% APY
  • $2,500.01 – $5,000: 0.75% APY
  • $5,000.01 – $15,000: 0.45% APY
  • $15,000.01 – $25,000: 0.40% APY
  • $25,000.01 – $50,000: 0.35% APY
  • $50,000.01+: 0.30% APY

The lowest tier earns the most interest and you’ll earn that rate for any balance between the minimum and maximum for that tier. If your balance is less than $2,500, you’ll earn 3.00% on the whole thing. If your balance is greater than $2,500, you’ll earn 3.00% on the first $2,500, 0.75% on the next balance tier, and so on.

If you plan to keep a low balance, this might just be your best option.

This is one of the best money market accounts for people who like being a member of a credit union. Benefits of credit union membership can include a more personal banking experience, lower fees, and better customer service.

You can join the Credit Union of America with a share deposit of just $1. If you don’t qualify for membership through a family member, your employer, or your geographical location (i.e. being a resident or employee in one of many counties in the state of Kansas), you can join the nonprofit American Consumer Council (ACC) for free to qualify.

Every money market account through the Credit Union of America is insured by the NCUA up to $250,000 per depositor.

Open a Credit Union of America money market account.

What Is a Money Market Account?

A money market account is a deposit account that earns interest on the money you save. Sometimes, MMAs use a balance tier structure. This means the higher your balance, the higher your interest rate. Other MMAs pay the same variable rate on all balances.

A money market account works a little like a savings account and a little like a checking account. Let’s talk about what a money market account is and what it’s not.

A money market account is a type of savings account, but it’s not just a regular savings account. The biggest difference is cash access. A lot of money market accounts come with debit cards and check writing privileges, making it easier to spend your money.

But MMAs are not checking accounts, despite offering debit cards and checks. They’re under a lot of the same restrictions as savings accounts.

For example, you’re almost always limited to six transactions per statement period with a standard money market account. This is because money market savings accounts follow Regulation D, a requirement by the Federal Reserve Board that limits total transactions from a savings account to six per statement cycle.

Transactions can include:

  • Electronic transfers
  • Bill payments
  • Debit card purchases
  • Checks

Usually, any transactions you try to make using a money market account after reaching the monthly limit will be charged an excessive withdrawal fee. For most accounts, this fee is $10.

How Do Money Market Accounts Work?

You fund a money market account when opening it (or very shortly after) and can make as many deposits as you want over time. The money is always there when you need it.

Your balance will earn interest as long as you meet the requirements set by your bank. Often, you need to maintain a certain average daily balance to continue earning interest or avoid fees. This is called the minimum balance requirement. Different financial institutions have different minimums, but this can be anything from $0 to $5,000.

Most money market accounts earn variable interest rates. This means you’re not locked into the rate you start with when you open the account and it can change at any time without notice.

Banks and credit unions decide how much interest to pay based on market rates set by the federal government. Money market rates tend to change every week.

If your account uses a tiered rate structure, whichever balance tier your account falls into is used to determine your interest rate.

How Is Interest Calculated?

Interest usually compounds, or gets calculated, daily for money market accounts. This means your bank will take your balance at the end of the day, divide it by the number of days in a year, and multiply the result by the annual percentage yield (APY).

The interest you earn is not deposited into your account right away after it’s calculated. Instead, it’s credited on whatever schedule your bank uses.

Crediting frequencies may be:

  • Weekly (not common)
  • Monthly (most common)
  • Quarterly (less common)

Because dividends are credited back into your MMA, you’re paid interest on your principal balance plus the interest it accrues. This is called compound interest and it’s a beautiful thing. You can take money out of your account if you want, but leaving the interest in there is the best way to grow your money more quickly.

Related: Compound Interest Calculator

Is Money Market Interest Taxable?

Yes, money market account interest is taxed. The dividends you earn are considered income, so don’t forget to report them. This is standard practice for all interest-bearing deposit accounts including checking and savings accounts.

Pros and Cons of MMAs

Pros

Low risk: Money market accounts are considered one of the safest investments available. You’ll get back every penny you put in.

Cash access: You can still access your money relatively easily with a money market account. This can be helpful if you need to make a large purchase or have an unexpected expense.

Safe and secure: Money market accounts are typically FDIC or NCUA insured, so your money isn’t going anywhere until you remove it.

Flexibility: Many MMA’s offer benefits like check-writing capabilities and debit cards, so you can treat them like a savings account when you don’t need the money and like a checking account when you do.

Cons

Limited withdrawals: Money market accounts have restrictions on how often you can withdraw money. This can be a problem if you need frequent access to your funds.

Fees: Be sure to check for any monthly fees associated with a money market account before opening one. Some accounts charge maintenance fees, transfer fees, and other hidden fees that can quickly eat into your returns.

Lower returns: Money market accounts typically offer lower interest rates than other investments, so they won’t make you rich. However, the safety and security of these accounts may make up for this.

Balance requirements: In order to earn interest on your money market account, you may have to maintain a certain minimum balance. This can be difficult if you have a limited amount of money to work with.

Variable interest: Your rate can change at any time, without notice. Significant drops aren’t unheard of.

How To Choose the Best Money Market Account

Choosing the best money market account for you is a little more complicated than just finding the highest rate of return.

You also want to consider the following factors:

  • Minimum opening deposit requirements
  • Funding and deposit options
  • Minimum balance requirements (and penalties for not meeting them)
  • Benefits like check-writing privileges and debit cards
  • Account management options (online platform, mobile app, in-person banking, etc.)
  • Fees

Fees To Consider

There are more than a few types of fees to be on the lookout for when choosing a money market account. These include:

  • Monthly service fees
  • Low balance fees
  • Transfer fees (incoming and outgoing domestic or international wire transfers, external transfers, etc.)
  • Excessive withdrawal fees
  • Overdraft fees

No money market account is completely fee-free, so look for the lowest fees. Hidden fees can seriously deplete your interest earnings.

Who Should Open a Money Market Account?

Money market accounts are a good fit for many people. Usually, they make the most sense for short-term saving.

MMAs provide a safe place where you can store extra money without giving up access to it completely. Consider opening a money market account if you have some money you’d like to invest but don’t have immediate plans for or want to build an emergency fund. Many people choose MMAs over savings accounts for their emergency savings because they offer better rates.

But money market accounts aren’t investments. If you’re after high returns and long-term growth, you’ll need to look beyond money market deposit accounts.

Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and other investments that carry greater risk than money market accounts also have the potential to be much more rewarding. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and never put any money into these investments that you can’t afford to lose.

MMAs are for playing it safe, not investing all your money. Remember to focus on diversifying your portfolio with a variety of different investments.

Related: How to Invest in Stocks: The Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market

Are Money Market Accounts Insured?

Yes, money market accounts are insured up to $250,000 per person, per account. MMAs through banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and MMAs through credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Most, but not all, financial institutions qualify for insurance coverage. As long as you’ve chosen an FDIC-insured bank or NCUA-insured credit union, your money market account will be insured too. You don’t need to apply or pay for insurance when you sign up for a money market account.

How Your Money Is Protected in a Money Market Account

FDIC and NCUA insurance protect deposits in the event that an institution shuts down or goes bankrupt. This means you’re not at risk of losing the principal and interest in your account up to that $250,000 limit.

Can You Lose Money?

No, you can’t lose money in a money market account because they don’t lose value. It’s not like investing in the stock market or real estate where you may never see the money again depending on the performance of your investment. You’ll get back every penny you put into an MMA, plus whatever interest it’s earned.

How To Open a Money Market Account

You can open a money market account online or visit a brick-and-mortar branch to fill out an application if you’re going with a traditional bank or credit union.

Most applications take anywhere from three to 15 minutes to complete, depending on the institution. If you’re already a member somewhere, this tends to speed up the process.

After your account is approved, you just fund it with at least the amount required to start earning interest. There are a variety of ways to transfer money into your new account.

Funding options for MMAs are:

  • ACH transfer from an external account
  • Internal transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Check deposit
  • Direct deposit
  • Cash deposits (sometimes)

If your account includes a free debit card, you may need to request one after opening and funding your account. This is also the time to order checks if they weren’t ordered for you automatically.

Make sure to read the terms and conditions (before completing an application) to find out what the rules are for withdrawals. A lot of banks restrict withdrawals for the first week or month after opening a new money market account.

What’s the Difference Between a Money Market and Savings Account?

As a general rule, money market account rates are higher than rates offered by savings accounts. This is one of the main differences between the two products, but it all depends on the market.

Right now, the national average rate for a money market account according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is 0.09% and for a savings account is 0.08%.

These rates are terrible, but this is the average for all accounts out there. The best options blow these out of the water. And right now, competitive money market and high-yield savings accounts have comparable rates, but MMAs are slightly better.

Another difference is that money market accounts may let you write checks and/or come with a debit card. But money market accounts that don’t allow for check writing or debit card purchases are not much different than savings accounts.

Usually, money market accounts and savings accounts have the same withdrawal restrictions, (six per statement period), the same processes for depositing funds, and similar monthly fees. But often, an MMA will have a higher minimum balance required to earn interest than a savings account.

Finally, both money market accounts and savings accounts are highly liquid, but savings accounts can be a little more liquid than MMAs. Money market accounts may set restrictions on how soon you can make a withdrawal after opening but savings accounts don’t.

You don’t have to choose one or the other. If you have different emergency funds or goals you’re working toward, you may decide to open both a money market account and a high-yield savings account.

Related: Money Market Vs. Savings Account – Which One Should You Use?

What’s the Difference Between an MMA and CD?

A CD, certificate of deposit, or certificate account is another type of interest-bearing deposit account. Certificate accounts are FDIC- or NCUA-insured up to $250,000 per depositor and they also don’t lose value.

But though they share similarities, CDs work differently than MMAs. Most standard CDs have a set term length, typically ranging from 30 days to 5 years, at which point they mature and can be cashed out. Interest accrues on the CD during the term and deposits back into the certificate.

Unlike an MMA that usually permits up to six withdrawals per month, the money in a CD is locked away for the length of the term and you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you need to access it before then. The early withdrawal penalty is usually equal to the amount of interest you earned over a set number of months, depending on the term length. For example, withdrawing early from a 12-month CD may cost you six months’ interest.

Some CDs give you the option to have your interest paid out on a regular basis and sent to another account. This lets you get around the early withdrawal penalty and can serve as a (small) source of income.

Another key difference between these accounts is how you earn interest. Most CDs are fixed-rate, meaning you’re guaranteed to earn the rate you lock into when you open the account until it reaches maturity. Money market accounts, on the other hand, almost always earn a variable rate. The rate can and will fluctuate over time.

Because money market accounts offer more flexibility, they’re lower commitment than CDs. CDs are ideal for long-term saving such as retirement whereas money market accounts are better for short-term saving and goals you expect to meet in the near future.

Related: Best CD Rates

What’s the Difference Between an MMA and Money Market Mutual Fund?

A money market mutual fund or money market fund is not the same thing as a money market account. Confusing, we know. Money market funds are a type of mutual fund that invests your money into short-term, low-risk securities like CDs and government debts.

The first difference between the two is how you open them. You open money market accounts with financial institutions like banks and credit unions, but you often open money market funds through brokerages. Money market funds are investment accounts, not deposit accounts. 

Money market accounts are federally insured through the banks and credit unions that administer them, which means your money is safe and sound. Money market funds are not insured, so they’re technically riskier.

But while there’s no guarantee you’ll get all of your money back with a money market fund, you’re not likely to lose it either. These funds only invest in liquid assets that are close to term, so they’re still very low-risk. Money market funds can be a great place to store money temporarily.

As a rule, money market accounts often offer lower interest rates than money market mutual funds. However, money market mutual funds tend to have higher minimum investment requirements than MMAs and may also have higher monthly service fees.

Alternatives to Money Market Accounts

If a money market account isn’t really sounding like a good fit for you right now, you may consider a CD or high-yield savings account instead.

To choose between these options, think about:

  • Your timeline for saving
  • How much money you want to put away
  • How much liquidity you want to maintain

A high-yield savings account is a good place to park your cash. Money market accounts can offer better rates than savings accounts, but you may not be able to meet their higher minimum balance and deposit requirements. If this is the case, choose a savings account. You may also choose a savings account over a money market account if you want the option to easily make transfers to your checking account.

CDs generally offer the highest interest rates, but they carry hefty early withdrawal penalty fees. This makes certificates of deposit ideal for long-term saving and a poor choice for your emergency fund. Choose a CD over an MMA if you know for certain you won’t need your money back before maturity.

If you don’t already have a checking account, we recommend opening one before you consider an MMA. A money market account isn’t a replacement for a checking account, since withdrawals and cash access are limited.

There are so many great no-fee, interest-bearing checking accounts to choose from.

Related: Best High-Yield Checking Accounts Compared

Summary

Money market savings accounts can be a valuable tool for growing your money. The best money market accounts offer high interest rates and low fees, making them a good option for anyone who wants to grow their savings worry-free. And because money market accounts are insured, they’re a safe place to keep the money you aren’t using until you’re ready to put it to work.

If you need an account where you can save for a short-term goal but still maintain liquidity, a money market account might be just the thing you’re looking for. Come back to this article to find the best money market accounts and rates each month.

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Lauren Graves is a personal finance writer specializing in honest brand and product reviews. She wants to help people feel less stressed when they spend their hard-earned cash and do her part to make money make sense.