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How to Open a Money Market Account Online

Updated
Kevin Payne
Cole Tretheway
By: Kevin Payne and Cole Tretheway

Our Banking Experts

Ashley Maready
Check IconFact Checked Ashley Maready
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield

Money market accounts combine the easy access of a checking account with the higher interest rate of an online savings account. From a single account, you can write checks and earn interest. It's easy -- that's what makes these bank accounts so appealing.

It used to be that to open a money market account -- or a regular checking or savings account -- you had to visit a physical branch location. But online banking makes it possible to open accounts digitally in just minutes. You get to choose whichever method is more convenient for you. Opening an account online is secure and relatively easy. Follow along to skip the lines and quickly open a money market account online.

1. Find the best money market account for you

If you want to open a money market account, the first step is finding the right bank. Though savings accounts are more common than their money-market cousins, dozens of online banks offer money market accounts. When shopping around, consider these features:

  • Access: You should be able to make at least six convenient withdrawals per month. If you need to write checks, make sure you have that option. Most online banks also offer you debit cards so you can pay for purchases with money stored in your account.
  • High interest rates: Look for money market accounts that offer high APYs. Watch out for tiered rates: Some banks require you to deposit thousands of dollars before giving you access to advertised rates. Make sure you meet the account's requirements.
  • Low fees: You shouldn't be losing money to keep your money safe. Tons of deposit accounts let you bank for free; your money market account should charge you zero monthly fees. If the bank imposes balance requirements, these should be affordable.

It's also worthwhile to look for promotional offers for opening a money market account. Some of these are worth hundreds of dollars. Although these typically impact long-term finances less than big fees and interest rates, they're worth considering.

Ready to shop around for a money market account?

Check out our top picks for the best money market accounts to find the right one for you.

2. Fill out and submit an online application

Filling out paperwork to open a bank account has been a hassle for years. If you show up to a bank branch without the proper documents, you have to head back home to retrieve them. Online applications have changed that. Now, you can open a deposit account anywhere you have access to basic personal and financial information:

  • Full name
  • Physical address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license

The big benefit of online applications is that you're often approved in minutes. Once your account has been approved, you only need to do one more thing before your account is open and ready to use.

3. Fund your money market account

Once your bank has approved your money market account, you need to deposit money into it. Most banks let you move money electronically from another bank account, regardless of whether it's at the same bank or a different financial institution.

You typically need the routing and account numbers of the bank account you're withdrawing from to fund your money market account. It could take minutes or days for the funds to land in your new account. If you're doing all your banking in one place, this could be instantaneous.

Can't transfer funds electronically? You may be able to deposit money by mailing a check or wiring money. If you open a money market account online with a brick-and-mortar bank, you may be able to deposit cash at the nearest branch. These alternatives typically cost extra.

Once you've made your deposit, be prepared for your bank to put a temporary hold on the money. It typically takes only a few days before you'll have full access to your money.

4. Start using your new account

Once you fund your money market account, you can start earning interest on deposits right away. If you have a linked debit card, you can start swiping. Keep in mind, unlike checking accounts, your withdrawals are likely to be limited to six per month (per old Regulation D rules that some banks still enforce).

A money market account may be right for you if you'd like to open a savings account alternative that comes with a debit card and check writing. Like the best high-yield savings accounts, they offer good rates that are better than standard savings accounts. Like the best checking accounts, they may offer debit cards and check-writing privileges.

Still on the fence? Consider reading up on the differences between a money market account vs. savings account. The two account types differ in ways that are slight but meaningful.

High-yield savings account comparison

We recommend comparing high-yield savings account options to ensure the account you're selecting is the best fit for you. To make your search easier, here's a short list of standout accounts.

Show Best Offers Available in

Account APY Promotion Next Steps
up to 4.60%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. to earn: $0
N/A
4.35%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 4.35% annual percentage yield as of February 23, 2024
Min. to earn: $1
N/A
5.32%
Min. to earn: $1
N/A

FAQs

  • Yes, if it earns you income and doesn't overcomplicate your finances.

    Money market accounts are low-risk, low-return investments. You can withdraw money easily and frequently, and deposits are insured by the government in case your bank fails. 

  • Avoid opening a money market account if doing so would overcomplicate your finances. You can only open so many accounts before things get too hard to manage. Know your limit. 

    What's more, don't open a money market account to earn returns that beat the stock market. Yes, they offer higher returns than average savings accounts, but these still hover around the inflation rate. Money market deposits are low risk, low return.

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