When you’re looking to grow your savings but have funds easily accessible, your best bet is a good savings account. The top savings accounts offer yields that, although small, beat the going rate. Money market accounts are another possibility; they may provide a little better return or pluses such as a debit card or check-writing ability. Minimum balance requirements, however, are usually higher than with a regular savings account.
If you decide to go with a money market account, it’s important to shop around. Compare factors besides savings rates, such as fees, customer service and access to free ATMs. To help, NerdWallet has researched the best money market accounts:
1. Capital One
To get that leading rate, however, you’ll need a balance of $10,000 or more. If you don’t have that much, you’ll have to settle for a rate of 0.6% on balances up to $9,999. Still, that’s head and shoulders above the national average rate on money market accounts.
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Ally’s money market account shines in other ways, too. For one, it comes with a debit card, and there’s no limit on the number of free ATM withdrawals at more than 43,000 Allpoint cash machines. The convenience of unlimited ATM access is an outstanding feature, since federal regulations limit most savings withdrawals to six per month.
Ally offers live customer care 24/7, and it reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for fees incurred at ATMs outside the bank’s network.
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Synchrony offers 0.85% APY on all of its money market terms. They range from six months to five years, and there’s no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee.
Synchrony also has a vast free network of more than 2 million Star, NYCE and Plus ATMs. The bank offers a monthly $5 rebate on fees incurred for using cash machines outside the free network.
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You’ll need at least $5,000 to open an account. Online bill pay is free, and there’s no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement, though if you keep at least a $5,000 balance, EverBank covers all your ATM fees charged by other banks.
Santander’s current promotion means a $10,000 minimum balance on a new money market account coupled with a new or existing Santander checking account earns an APY up to a stellar 1.20%, depending on where you live. On-sale money market rates are subject to change at any time.
The account earns 0.30% APY on balances below $10,000 and above $5 million.
You can open an account with just $25. A $10 monthly service fee is waived if you also have a Santander checking account or if you have a $10,000 average daily balance in a money market account.
Verified Feb. 3, 2017.
A previous version of this article misstated the types of accounts available at Everbank; the bank now offers a traditional savings account. This article has been corrected.
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 over 60 financial institutions: the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, Internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry.
Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Bank5 Connect, BankDirect, Bank of America, Bank of Internet, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MemoryBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, People’s United Bank, PNC, Radius Bank, Regions Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Simple, Star One Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, Zero Financial and Zions Bank.