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Best Money Market Accounts and Rates of July 2022

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Money market accounts are bank accounts that offer the high rates of savings accounts with the easier accessibility of a checking account. The best money market accounts offer check-writing capabilities, a debit card, or both -- and have low or no minimum balance requirements. Check out our picks for the best money market accounts below.

Rates as of June 29, 2022

The CIT Bank Money Market account offers one of best rates we've seen, plus a low minimum opening balance requirement of $100. It doesn't offer check-writing capabilities or a debit card like some of its competitors, but it does let you deposit checks and transfer funds using the bank's mobile app. If you're looking for a money market account that's low on fees and offers a higher rate than most high-yield savings accounts, the CIT Bank Money Market account could be a good fit for you.

Nationwide by Axos Money Market Plus

  • Variety of checking accounts
  • Domestic ATM fee reimbursements on all checking and savings accounts
  • Competitive APY on savings accounts
  • No maintenance fees on any account
  • Low APYs on CDs
  • No branch locations
  • Unimpressive customer satisfaction ratings

The high APY on this account makes it a compelling option to consider. The low fees and monthly ATM fee reimbursements are the cherries on top.

  • Few account fees
  • Competitive APYs
  • Rare account types
  • Great customer service
  • Somewhat high minimum deposit on CDs
  • No interest-bearing checking account

Discover's money market account stands out for the same reason as many of its other banking products. It offers low fees and a competitive tiered APY system that pays you more for higher balances. Plus, it provides easy access to your money, including a debit card, mobile banking tools, and check-writing capabilities. Discover Money Market Account customers also get access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

Ally Money Market Account

  • High customer satisfaction ratings
  • Competitive APYs
  • Loyalty bonuses on CDs
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No brick-and-mortar branches

Ally's banking approach carries over to its money market account with a high APY and a focus on cutting routine account fees to $0, including monthly maintenance. What's more, there are no minimum balance requirements.

Sallie Mae Money Market

  • Competitive rates on most accounts
  • No minimum opening deposits 
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Check-writing privileges with MMA
  • No ATM cards
  • No physical bank branches
  • SmartyPig Account rate decreases on larger balances

The Sallie Mae Money Market Account offers a pretty high APY, especially considering that it has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. It doesn't offer debit cards or ATM access at the moment, but you can manage your funds via electronic transfer or withdraw them directly from the account by writing a check.

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market Account

  • Good variety of account types
  • High APYs
  • ATM access with out-of-network fee reimbursement
  • Some branch locations
  • Difficult to gauge customer service

The TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Money Market Account offers a competitive APY for all balances. Like all TIAA Bank's Yield Pledge® products, its money market account is guaranteed to offer rates in the top 5% of competitive accounts, so you always know you're getting a good deal.

Synchrony Money Market

  • Competitive APYs
  • No savings account minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • ATM fee reimbursements
  • No checking account option
  • No physical branch locations

Simplicity is the name of the game with Synchrony Money Market. There's no minimum balance to earn the APY, account holders have checking and ATM capabilities, and the lack of nuisance fees means more money in your pocket.

What is a money market account?

A money market account is a deposit account that shares some checking and savings accounts features. Most banks offer this account type. Money market rates are comparable to those found with savings accounts, with the best ones offering around 0.50% APY or higher.

Unlike most savings accounts, money market accounts often come with checks and debit cards for direct fund withdrawal. Money market accounts are also FDIC insured, so your money is protected up to $250,000 per person per bank in case of bank failure.

How to choose the best money market account

If you're interested in opening a money market account, you'll want to be sure to choose the right one. Here's what you should look for:

  • FDIC insurance: This protects your money in case your bank goes under. Most money market accounts have this.
  • High APY: Look for an annual percentage yield (APY) that's close to the highest money market rates, but don't worry about choosing the highest-yield money market account. Banks change their rates and the best options can shift over time.
  • Debit card: Some accounts include a debit card in case you'd like to withdraw cash directly or use your money market account funds to buy things.
  • Check-writing capabilities: Some money market accounts come with check-writing capabilities instead of or in addition to a debit card. Look for an account that has this if you want to write checks directly from the account.
  • Branch locations: If you prefer to bank in person, open a money market account at a bank that has branches near you. Withdrawing funds from your money market account in person does not count toward your monthly withdrawal limits, so it's a way to take out more money without incurring extra fees.
  • ATM locations: If your money market account has a debit card, check where your nearest fee-free ATMs are and whether your bank charges fees for using an out-of-network ATM. The best banks may reimburse you for some out-of-network ATM fees each month.
  • Balance requirements: Check if your bank has a minimum initial deposit requirement or ongoing balance requirements, and if so, make sure you are able to meet them.

Who should open a money market account?

Money market accounts are a good idea when you:

  • Want to earn interest on your savings
  • Want convenient withdrawals from your bank account (withdrawing from a savings account can be a bit of a hassle)

A high-yield money market account allows you to earn money on your money. It also sidesteps the biggest problem of a savings account: With a savings account, you cannot usually withdraw funds directly. Instead, you have to transfer funds to a checking account first. Money market accounts, on the other hand, let you take out cash directly. Money market accounts also generally offer a debit card or checks (and some accounts offer both).

They're not a great replacement for a checking account, unless you rarely withdraw funds. But a money market account could replace your savings account if you wanted it to. Both money market accounts and savings accounts are subject to Regulation D, which limits you to six withdrawals per month and charges you extra for exceeding these limits. In response to the pandemic, the government waived this rule in 2020, but individual banks still restrict the number of monthly transactions you can make.

Money market terms to know

Here are some common terms used when discussing money market accounts and rates:

  • Annual percentage yield (APY): The APY is an annualized representation of the account's interest rate. APY stands for "annual percentage yield." People often use this term interchangeably with interest rate, but the two aren't the same. APY takes into account the actual interest rate as well as how often that interest compounds. A higher APY means more interest for you. APYs on money market accounts are subject to change at any time.
  • Minimum balance: Some money market accounts require a minimum deposit to open the account or to avoid monthly maintenance fees. These minimum balance requirements can be higher than the requirements for savings accounts.
  • Transaction limits: Money market accounts may be subject to restrictions on the number of convenient withdrawals you can make without incurring additional fees. Convenient withdrawals include electronic transfers, most check withdrawals, and online bill pay, but do not include things like withdrawals made at a branch location or cash taken out at an ATM.

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Alternatives to money market accounts

If you don't think a money market account is a good fit for you, here are some other options worth considering.

Savings account

A savings account is another type of deposit account that offers a similar APY to a money market account but has more restrictions on accessing funds. You're limited to six savings account withdrawals per month if you'd like to avoid fees, and most savings accounts lack check-writing capabilities or debit cards. But savings accounts tend to have lower minimum balance requirements than money market accounts, and some may not have minimum balance requirements at all.

To learn more: Check out our picks for the best savings accounts.

CD

A CD is another type of deposit account (CD stands for "certificate of deposit"). These can have APYs comparable to or even higher than money market account rates. In exchange for these higher rates, you have to pay a penalty if you withdraw your funds before the full length of the CD term. CD terms can range from a month to 10 years, with most falling in the six-month to five-year range. They can be a great place for savings you don't intend to use anytime soon, but you have to consider what interest rates are doing. CD rates are typically locked in for the full term length, which is great when rates are dropping but bad when they are climbing.

You can check out our top picks for the best CD rates below:

FAQs

  • Money market accounts are a type of deposit account that offers the high APY of a savings account with the easy accessibility of a checking account.

  • The best money market accounts have high APYs and give you multiple ways to access your funds when you need them. They're also FDIC insured and have affordable minimum balance requirements.

  • A good interest rate for a money market account is around 0.50% APY, though this can fluctuate over time.

  • Money market accounts are treated like regular savings accounts at both banks and credit unions. And like a savings account, a money market account is often insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) when it's in a bank, and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) when it's in a credit union.

  • Depending on the financial institution, a money market account may come with both a debit card and check-writing privileges. If that's important to you, make sure the bank or credit union you're working with grants those privileges.

  • The interest rates on money market accounts are variable. The rate of interest rises and falls over time.

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