Updated September 17, 2019

Top 5 Best Money Market Rates: December 2019

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Good money market accounts offer higher interest rates than CDs with more flexibility. Read on to find out what bank has the best money market account.

Money market accounts tend to be the "hidden gem" in the banking world. Not many people know of their versatility and better yet, higher interest rates.

Many brick-and-mortar banks offer money market accounts, but you'll likely find your higher interest rates with online banks.

Read on for the top money market rates currently on the market.

Low Opening DepositCIT Bank
Emergency FundsDiscover Bank
High BalanceTIAA Bank
IRA Money MarketSynchrony Bank
Best BonusCapital One 360

Some people compare the interest they make on money market accounts to the rates they might receive on a CD. The major difference is you don't tie up your money. It's as liquid as if you had the money stashed in your nightstand drawer.

What Are Money Market Accounts?

A money market is a hybrid of a savings and checking account. You typically get a higher interest rate, in exchange for a higher balance requirement.

It offers more flexibility than a savings account. For example, a lot of money market accounts have check-writing privileges and/or a debit card. But the FDIC limits you to six withdrawals/transactions per month.

The typical money market requires a higher average balance. If you don't meet that balance, you may pay a fee. Each bank has different rules. Banks may invest the money that you deposit in CDs or bonds. They are then able to pass along a higher interest rate to you.

Reasons You May Want to Choose a Money Market Account

You make decent interest.
The interest rates on money market accounts are typically higher than savings accounts. Though do some comparisons, because nowadays, online savings accounts offer high rates as well. But keep in mind that savings accounts won't have check-writing.

You don't have to tie up your money.
CDs may offer higher interest rates, but you have to tie your money up for a specified period. Money market funds are available as you need them, so they work great as emergency accounts. You don't have to worry about maturity dates or early-withdrawal penalties.

You don't have to worry about losing money.
If you were to invest your funds in stocks, bonds, or even mutual funds, there's always the worry that you'll lose money. Money market accounts are like ramped-up savings accounts, just with higher interest rates.

As long as you place your money with a bank that is FDIC insured, your deposits up to $250,000 are protected.

Money Market Account vs. Money Market Mutual Funds
Don't confuse a money market account with money market mutual funds. Money market mutual funds are subject to market risk, and therefore loss of your funds. Money market mutual funds are also not insured by the FDIC. Money market mutual funds are typically low risk, but there is a risk nonetheless.

What to Look for in a Money Market Account

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Most banks offer a money market account. Knowing what to look for in an MMA can help you make the right choice for your situation.

Minimum Opening Deposit Requirements
Each bank has their own minimum opening deposit requirement. They may start at $0 at some banks and be as much as $100,000 at other banks. Make sure you can meet the requirements along with the minimum average daily balance requirements in order to avoid penalties.

The Ability to Withdraw Money if Needed
Just because the FDIC allows up to six withdrawals from a money market account doesn't mean that every bank allows it. Some banks offer check-writing privileges, others offer ATM cards or online transfer options. Know what features you want and your withdrawal options.

High Interest Rates
Of course, you want the highest interest rate possible. But every bank will have their own requirements to earn that rate. Find the bank that offers the highest rate with requirements that you can meet.

FDIC Insurance
You always want to choose a bank that is FDIC insured. This ensures that your deposits are covered up to $250,000. All the banks on our list are FDIC insured.

Downsides of a Money Market Account
Money market accounts could have their downsides too:

  • You can only make a limited number of withdrawals, which makes your money a little less liquid than you might like.
  • The interest rates may be higher than savings account rates, but they may be less than your rate of return on other investments, such as stocks or mutual funds.
  • The introductory interest rate you receive may fluctuate. The rates may change often, which could mean a lower return than you anticipated.

Best Money Market Rates

Your best bet to find the best money market rates is to use online banks. With less overhead, these banks are able to offer higher interest rates.

We narrowed down the best money market rates for different types of accounts below.

Best Money Market With Low Minimum Deposit

CIT Bank Money Market
CIT Bank has a very competitive rate. And you only need $100 deposit to open. There is no monthly service fee.

However, the downside is that there is no ATM card. In fact, CIT Bank doesn't even have an ATM network. So you won't be able to withdraw your funds easily.

Best Money Market Rates for Emergency Funds

Discover Bank Money Market
Discover offers a money market fund with competitive interest rates. Discover offers easy access to your funds via ATM transactions or checks. This makes it easy to access your funds should you experience an emergency. Discover has more than 60,000 ATMs where you can access your cash fee-free.

Best Money Market Rates for $100,000

    Yield Pledge Money Market

    • 1-year 1.85% intro APY on balances up to $250,000
    • $5,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No monthly service fee
    • Move money up to 6 times a month
    • U.S. ATM fees reimbursement (unlimited with minimum average daily balance of $5,000; otherwise up to $15/monthly)
    • Top 5% yields always
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market
If you have a large sum of money that you don't want to expose to market risk, money market accounts can be an effective choice. Jumbo money market accounts may offer higher interest rates in exchange for the larger deposit.

TIAA Bank offers a very high first-year introductory rate for their money market account - one of the best on the market. However, after one year, the rate drops significantly depending on your balance. If you have $100,000 though, you will still maintain a high yield rate.

The required opening deposit is $5,000. You get ATM access and a debit card, so you have easier access to your money. TIAA Bank will reimburse 100% of the ATM fees charged by other U.S. banks if you maintain $5,000 balance.

Best Money Market Rates for IRAs

    Money Market

    • 1.20% APY
    • $0 minimum opening deposit
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No fees to open or maintain account
    • ATM card
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

Synchrony Bank IRA Money Market
If you are weary of putting your retirement money in the hands of risky investments, you may want to invest some of your money in an IRA money market account. This can help you get a little peace of mind, knowing that not all of your money is at risk of being lost.

Synchrony Bank offers IRA money market accounts in both Roth and Traditional IRA options. There is no minimum opening deposit. You can also rollover existing IRA contributions to a Synchrony IRA Money Market account.

The interest rate isn't the highest, but it will provide a secure place to park your retirement savings. You don't need to worry about the fluctuations of the stock market. And there are tax benefits. You can make additional deposits at any time, subject to IRS contribution limits.

Best Money Market Rates with a Bonus

Capital One 360 Money Market
In addition to competitive rates, Capital One 360 often offers bonuses on their 360 Money Market Account.

In order to get the bonus, you must open the account with the current offer code, which you can find here. You can receive a cash bonus up to $1,000, depending on the amount of your opening deposit. Make sure to read the fine print to see what the current offer requires.

Capital One's money market account is best for those who have $10,000 to deposit, because you'll receive a much higher interest rate. There is no monthly service fee.

Other Money Market Accounts to Consider

Here are some other money market accounts to check out:

State Farm
You probably think of State Farm when you need insurance, but they offer Money Market Accounts at competitive interest rates too. You need $1,000 to open. There is no service fee with direct deposit. Account comes with a complimentary ATM card.

With a deposit of at least $25,000, Bank Purely offers a very high rate on their money market account. It comes with an ATM card and you get fee-free ATM use on more than 55,000 ATMs. And plus, one tree will be planted for every BankPurely account opened.

Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae is known for student loans, but they offer a great money market account too. There is no minimum balance or monthly service fees. The account offers check writing.

Bottom Line

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Money market accounts can be a great way to grow your money a little without exposing yourself to market risk. Make sure to read the fine print and understand a bank's deposit requirements before opening an account. And remember that there are limitations on withdrawals, so it should not be used like a checking account.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on April 11, 2019. This content may have been updated on September 17, 2019. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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