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7 Best Money Market Accounts of 2021

Margarette BurnetteJanuary 5, 2021
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The best money market rates help you grow your bank balance faster compared with accounts that offer average rates. Depending on your needs, a high-yield savings account might also help you save more. We’ve included a few options at the bottom of the page to help you compare.

What is a money market account?

A money market account is typically a type of savings account that often requires a minimum deposit and may offer a debit card and the ability to write checks. Weigh your options: Some high-yield savings accounts beat money market accounts’ rates, which means you’ll come out ahead in the long run. And the best savings accounts have low to no minimum deposits, but it might be slightly harder to access your money. (Both money market accounts and savings accounts may be subject to a limit of six transfers out per month.)

The difference a high rate makes

The average money market rate is less than a tenth of a percent. Say you save $10,000 in such an account; after a year, your balance would earn less than ten bucks. Put that same amount in a money market account with a 0.50% APY, and you would earn just over $50.

Summary of Best Money Market Accounts of 2021

CIT Bank Money Market Account
Learn more

at CIT Bank, Member FDIC

CIT Bank Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
CIT Bank Money Market Account

APY

0.45%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at CIT Bank, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Rate: CIT Bank has a 0.45% APY on its money market account.

Minimum balance: There's a minimum opening deposit of $100.

What you should know: There is no monthly maintenance fee, and you can send and receive funds using Zelle and PayPal.

Read Full Review
Axos Bank® High Yield Money Market
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Money Market

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Money Market

APY

0.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC


Why we like it

Rate: This account earns 0.25% APY on all balances.

Minimum balance: There are no monthly maintenance fees.

What you should know: You’ll need at least $1,000 to open an account.

Read Full Review

Sallie Mae Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Sallie Mae Money Market Account

APY

0.40%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: Earn 0.40% APY on any balance.

Minimum balance: There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee.

What you should know: The money market account offers check-writing privileges and free transfers, up to six total withdrawals a month.

Read Full Review

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Money Market

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Money Market

APY

0.45%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: First-time TIAA Yield Pledge Money Market accountholders can earn a 0.45% APY introductory rate on all balances below $250,000 for the first year. (To qualify, money must not be transferred from an existing TIAA Yield Pledge Checking or Money Market.) After the first year, accounts earn a slightly lower rate.

Minimum balance: You must deposit $500 to open the account, but you still earn interest if your balance dips below that amount. There is no monthly fee.

What you should know: If you use domestic ATMs that are not in the bank’s network, TIAA Bank will reimburse your ATM fees each month, up to $15. And if your average daily bank balance is at least $5,000, the ATM fee reimbursement is uncapped.

Read Full Review

Ally Bank Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Bank Money Market Account

APY

0.50%

With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: The Ally Money Market Account earns 0.50% across all balance tiers.

Minimum balance: There is no monthly fee or minimum amount required to open an account.

What you should know: Ally also offers an online savings account with helpful savings tools.

Read Full Review

Synchrony Bank Money Market Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Synchrony Bank Money Market Account

APY

0.35%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: The Synchrony Money Market account earns 0.35%.

Minimum balance: There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.

What you should know: Synchrony Bank does not offer a checking account, though its money market account has an optional check-writing privilege.

Read Full Review

Redneck Bank Mega Money Market

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Redneck Bank Mega Money Market

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: Redneck Bank’s Mega Money Market is not a savings account, though it pays interest like one: 0.50% on up to a $50,000 balance, and 0.25% APY above that amount.

Minimum balance: You’ll need $500 to open the account.

What you should know: There’s no monthly fee on this account if you receive electronic statements; if you want paper statements, you’ll pay $3 per month. You are allowed only six debits monthly, even at ATMs. After that, you’ll be charged $5 per excess debit each month.

Read Full Review

Why high money market rates matter

Your funds grow faster in a high-yield account. The average money market rate is a small fraction of a percent, while the best money market accounts earn rates that are several times more.

» For more savings options, check out NerdWallet's best high-yield online savings accounts

What is the difference between a money market account and a standard savings account?

A money market account is a type of deposit account that often requires a higher minimum balance to open than a standard savings account and traditionally earns a higher interest rate, though recently some high-yield savings accounts have been offering better returns with lower minimum balance requirements.

Some MMAs also come with a debit card or checks — which you won’t find with savings accounts — but institutions may require that they not be used more than six times per month. Some will charge a fee if you go over that number.

A high-interest savings account earns attractive rates but typically doesn't have debit card or check-writing access.

The main reason to open a money market account is to have a higher interest rate compared with a traditional savings or checking account, while also having the ability to write a few checks.

Keep in mind that, in some cases, money market rates and savings rates are fairly similar these days.

» Curious about the difference between money market accounts, basic savings and CDs? Check out NerdWallet's primer on types of savings accounts.

Are money market accounts insured?

Yes, as long as it is a deposit account that comes from a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Most banks, including the online banks listed on this page, are insured — up to $250,000 per depositor. If the account is with a credit union, the account will likely be federally insured through the National Credit Union Administration, also for $250,000 per depositor.

If a bank or credit union were to fail and go out of business, you would not lose the money you have in the account, up to the insured amount. Note that this is different from money market funds, which are not insured.

» Want to know more about how your money is protected? Read how FDIC and NCUA insurance programs work.

The difference between a money market account and a money market mutual fund

A money market account is a federally insured account that earns interest. A money market mutual fund, on the other hand, is an investment in short-term debt. It is considered low risk but doesn't have a guaranteed return.

» Learn more about both by reading NerdWallet’s guide on money market mutual funds and primer on federally insured money market accounts.

Top traditional savings options

These days, there isn’t always much difference between the rates paid by money market accounts and the best savings accounts. If you don’t need checks or a debit card, you might consider one of these accounts, which also pay great rates.

  • American Express High Yield Savings, 0.40% APY (read full review).

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Savings, 0.50% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 11/17/2020 (read full review).

  • Barclays Online Savings Account, 0.40% APY (read full review).

  • Citizens Access Online Savings Account, 0.40% APY (read full review).

Last updated on January 5, 2021

Methodology

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions surveyed are: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comenity Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E*TRADE Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, FNBO Direct, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, USAA, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank and Zions Bank.

Frequently asked questions