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NerdWallet’s Best Money Market Accounts of 2016

Banking, Savings Accounts
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NerdWallet's Best Money Market Accounts

With interest rates as low as they are, you might be looking for any way to earn a bit more on your savings.

One option is to open a money market account. The deposit requirements for such accounts may be higher than for standard savings accounts, but the interest rates also are usually higher. And you still have the security of FDIC insurance protecting your deposits.

Think of money market accounts as a mix of security and a little extra growth — though at a rate typically lower than you’d earn with more aggressive investment options, such as an individual retirement account.

Here’s a roundup of the best money market accounts.

Best interest rate

ableBanking, 1.00% APY

At this writing, the national average APY for money market accounts was 0.08%, the compounded interest rate your money will earn over a year. It’s not hard to beat that rate elsewhere, but few financial institutions offer annual percentage yields as high as ableBanking, a division of Northeast Bank in Maine.

The ableBanking money market account, with a 1% APY, requires a minimum opening deposit of $250, but after that you need to keep only a single penny in the account to maintain it. There’s no monthly account fee.

Easiest to access your money

Bank of Internet Money Market

Because of federal limits on “convenience” withdrawals from a money market account (six per month), it’s unlikely you could get by without also having a checking account. But Bank of Internet USA’s offering comes pretty darn close to providing that simplicity.

This account comes with the ability to write checks (the bank provides the first set for free if you order them when the account is opened), a debit card and online bill-payment services. There are a few unusual perks too, such as providing postage-paid envelopes for deposits by mail. Bank of Internet also offers an array of online and mobile banking tools, including check deposits and fund transfers.

If you want a savings account with many of the same features as a checking account, Bank of Internet’s money market account may be a good choice.

Ally Money Market

Ally Bank offers a debit card with its money market accounts, and there’s no limit on the number of ATM withdrawals. This feature alone puts Ally out in front of most competitors. Because federal regulations limit most withdrawals (via check, online transfer or debit card purchase) to six per month, having the convenience of unlimited ATM access is a boon.

The interest rate isn’t too shabby either. At an APY of 0.85%, it’s roughly 10 times the national average.

ATM withdrawals are free at more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs, and Ally will reimburse up to $10 per statement cycle for fees incurred at out-of-network cash machines.

Best introductory rate

EverBank, 1.11% APY

EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Florida, offers an introductory APY of 1.11% for the first year on its Yield Pledge® money market account for first-time money market account holders. After 12 months, the yield drops to the bank’s standard APY, currently 0.61%. The introductory rate is for balances of up to $250,000.

You’ll need $1,500 to open a money market account. For customers with average daily balances above $5,000, EverBank will cover 100% of the fees charged by out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.

Lowest minimum deposit


You can’t beat zero, and that’s what Ally Bank requires to open a money market account. The account earns a 0.85% APY, one of the highest yields around. Ally does not charge any monthly maintenance fees, allows unlimited deposits and ATM withdrawals, and provides a debit card for up to six additional transactions each statement period.

Best accounts at brick-and-mortar banks

PNC Bank Premiere Money Market

If you live in the Midwest and prefer banking at a traditional institution, PNC Bank offers a good product. You can open a Premiere money market account online or in any of its more than 2,600 branches for as little as $100.

The APY you earn depends on your balance and whether you have a checking account with the bank. If you have a Performance Select checking account, for example, your money market account could earn as much as 0.8% APY. Even though you can open an account with a small initial deposit, you’ll need a $5,000 average balance to avoid a $12 monthly service charge.

Santander Money Market Savings

Santander Bank has more than 650 branches across the country, and its money market savings account begins with a 0.10% APY. But as with many bricks-and-mortar institutions, it takes a high minimum balance to get the most from the account. You need only $25 to open, but the average balance will need to be at least $10,000 in order to avoid a $10 monthly fee and to get a rate that ranges from 0.8% to 1.0% APY, depending on your location. (You also can avoid the monthly fee by having a Santander checking account.)

Santander is especially good for those who like to bank on the go. Its Apple and Android mobile apps receive consistently high reviews.

BBVA Compass Money Market

BBVA Compass’ money market account earns an attractive 0.65% APY for balances from $10,000 to $5 million. (You don’t need that much to open it: just $25.) You can apply online, by phone or in person at one of nearly 700 branches, many in the Sunbelt region.

If you have a lot to deposit and prefer to bank at traditional branches, BBVA Compass may be for you.

Bank of America Rewards Money Market Savings

This Bank of America account can be opened for as little as $25, and the initial APYs are pretty small, at about 0.03%. But if you have other accounts with BofA, you can take advantage of its relationship booster to earn a slightly higher yield. You’ll also be able to bank at one of its nearly 5,000 locations nationwide.


Margarette Burnette is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @margarette. NerdWallet writer Virginia C. McGuire contributed to this report.

Updated Sept. 12, 2016.

Want to see what else is out there? Check out our money market tool for more options.


To determine the best accounts, we took a close look at more than 50 financial institutions: the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume and Internet search traffic, the nation’s largest credit unions with broad-based membership requirements, and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry.

Financial institutions surveyed: ableBanking, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, American Express, AmTrust Direct, Associated Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Bank of Internet, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Discover Bank, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Convenience Bank, GoBank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, Moven, M&T Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, Santander, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Simple, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, SunTrust, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, Union Bank, USAA, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

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