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8 Best Money Market Accounts of 2021

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The best money market accounts have rates that help you grow your bank balance faster than money market accounts with average rates.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

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 may also offer a debit card and the ability to write checks. Money market accounts sometimes offer higher rates than savings accounts, but they also may have higher minimum requirements.

Weigh your options: Some high-yield savings accounts beat money market accounts’ rates and have lower fees, which means you’ll come out ahead with the former. And the best savings accounts have low to no minimum deposits. But, without debit cards or checks, it might be slightly harder to access your money in a regular savings account.

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

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. You earn extra money with no extra effort. Read on for more details about NerdWallet’s top money market accounts.

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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 $0.01 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 and fee: There's a minimum opening deposit of $100 and no monthly maintenance fee.

What you should know: CIT Bank also has an online checking account that earns interest and refunds up to $30 in out-of-network ATM fees.

Read Full Review

Sallie Mae Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Sallie Mae Money Market Account

APY

0.50%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: Earn 0.50% APY on any balance.

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

What you should know: This account also comes with check-writing privileges.

Read Full Review

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Money Market

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
TIAA Bank Yield Pledge® Money Market

APY

0.40%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: TIAA Yield Pledge Money Market account holders can earn a 0.40% APY on all balances.

Minimum balance and fee: 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: TIAA Bank also does not charge ATM fees. In addition, if you use domestic ATMs that are not in the bank’s network, TIAA Bank will reimburse any ATM fees charged by the machine owner, up to $15 each month. 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 $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

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

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

What you should know: This account offers a debit card and the ability to write checks.

Read Full Review

Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Account

APY

0.56%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Account earns 0.56% APY on all balances.

Minimum balance and fee: There is a $100 minimum deposit to open the account and no monthly fee.

What you should know: Vio Bank also offers high-yield online savings accounts and CDs with no monthly fees.

Read Full Review

BrioDirect High-Yield Money Market Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BrioDirect High-Yield Money Market Savings

APY

0.55%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: The BrioDirect money market account earns 0.55% APY.

Minimum balance and fee: There is a $100 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees.

What you should know: BrioDirect is an online subsidiary of New York-based Sterling National Bank. Sterling Bank's mobile apps include BrioDirect accounts and receive high app store ratings.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Navy Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

APY

0.40%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: APY starts at 0.40% APY on balances of at least $2,500 and is 0.45% APY on balances of $10,000 or more.

Minimum balance and fee: You need a minimum daily balance of $2,500 to earn dividends. There is no monthly maintenance fee.

What you should know: You’ll need to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to open an account. Navy Federal has over 10 million members, but in order to join, you need to have served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces, worked for the Department of Defense or a DOD contractor or be a family member of someone eligible for membership.

Read Full Review

Zynlo Money Market Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Zynlo Money Market Account

APY

0.80%

With $0.01 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Rate: The Zynlo Money Market Account earns 0.80% APY on balances up to $250,000, and 0.10% APY on amounts above that level.

Minimum balance and fee: There is a $10 minimum deposit to open an account and no monthly fees.

What you should know: Zynlo Bank is an online bank. While it doesn’t have any branches, it does have customer service representatives available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services are backed by PeoplesBank, which is based in Massachusetts.

Read Full Review

This article provides information for educational purposes. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend specific investments, including stocks, securities or cryptocurrencies.

Why high money market rates matter

Your funds grow faster in a high yield account. The average money market rate is a fraction of a percent, while the best money market accounts earn rates that are four to five times higher.

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 typically requires a higher minimum balance to open than a standard savings account. It traditionally earns a higher interest rate, though recently some high-yield savings accounts have been offering better returns with lower minimum balance requirements.

Some money market accounts also come with a debit card or checks — 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 does not 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.

» 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 they are a deposit account that comes from a bank or credit union that is federally insured. Most banks, including the online banks listed on this page, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank, per ownership category. If the account is with a credit union, the account will likely be federally insured through the National Credit Union Administration, also up to $250,000 per depositor, per credit union, per ownership category.

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 federally 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 federally insured accounts, which also pay great rates.

  • American Express Personal 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 September 10, 2021

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People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.40%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

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, LendingClub, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, 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