Best Money Market Accounts & Rates for 2021

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You’ve probably heard about CDs and high-yield savings accounts, both of which can pay higher interest rates on your savings. But how much do you know about money market accounts (MMAs)?

MMAs also pay higher rates than traditional savings accounts, and unlike CDs, they don’t limit when you can access your money.

Not all MMAs were created equally. Some outshine their competitors – and you should know which money market accounts are topping the list and why.

So, what are the best money market accounts – and what makes them so great?

Let’s take a look. Keep in mind these rates are not fixed and could change before I get a chance to update this page. If you’re not sure about a rate, check the bank’s site.

10 Best Money Market Accounts for October 2021

Here is our list of the best money market accounts right now:

  1. 🏆 CIT Bank: Best Overall
  2. UFB Direct
  3. Discover Bank
  4. BBVA
  5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  6. FNBO Direct
  7. Popular Direct
  8. Sallie Mae
  9. TIAA Yield Pledge
  10. Capital One

1. CIT Bank Money Market Account

If this isn’t your first time here, you’ll know I’ve talked about CIT Bank in several posts recently. It’s an online bank with a lot to offer.

CIT Bank’s money market account pays a variable rate of interest, allows deposits, withdrawals, and transfers, and charges no fees. It’s a model for versatility and flexibility. You can earn high APY on all balances which are about 5 times the national average for a savings account.

You could open and fund your account online within minutes. You’d need to transfer in the minimum balance of $100 – but that’s low compared to some of the other top money market accounts. Interest compounds daily and pays monthly.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: 0.50% APY (on all balances)
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Deposit checks remotely, and make transfers using the CIT Bank top-rated mobile app (4.6 stars on the App Store, 4.2 on Google Play)

Learn More:

2. UFB Direct Bank Premium Money Market

UFB Direct offers a high-yield money market account that’ll earn you buckets of money – but only if you deposit a big bucket in the first place. You’d need to deposit $5,000 to open an account – you could definitely find lower minimum deposit requirements out there.

But if you have a lot of cash already saved up, give this bank a close look. The UFB Direct Bank Premium Money Market pays great APY on balances of $25,000 and higher. You’ll see solid earnings for a savings account.

If you don’t have $25,000, you’ll earn substantially less interest and should probably look elsewhere.

This account comes with a complimentary Visa debit card, limited check-writing privileges, and free transfers between direct deposit accounts. There are no monthly maintenance fees.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: 0.20% APY (on balances $25,000 or greater)
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Complimentary Visa debit card, free transfers between direct deposit accounts, mobile deposits, SMS banking

Learn More:

3. Discover’s Money Market Account

Discover Bank shines in almost every aspect – from delivering competitive private student loans to offering multiple rewards and cashback credit cards. Discover Bank also has a solid money market account worth considering.

You will earn the highest APY on balances greater than $100,000 with Discover Bank Money Market Account – however, balances less than $100,000 still earn rates still earn excellent rates.

Few banks pay higher interest rates, and you’ll find Discover Bank’s additional features worthwhile. This financial institution charges no fees, requires no minimum balances and gives you access to your money through its 60,000+ ATMs nationwide.

Customers also seem to love the bank’s mobile app (4.8 stars on the App Store, and 4.7 on Google Play).

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: up to 0.35% APY (balances of $100,000 or more)
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Top-rated mobile banking app, no fees, over 60,000 nationwide ATMs, you can open a money market account in a few simple steps online, customer service available 24/7

Learn More:

4. BBVA Money Market Account

BBVA is a brick-and-mortar bank with branches in warm weather states — from Arizona to Florida. BBVA also operates as an online bank with a full array of services.

Its MMA rates won’t blow you away when compared to online banks like CIT Bank or Ally, as the annual percentage yield in a BBVA money market account moderately tops the national average.

Unless you have $10,000 to deposit, you’d earn a more pedestrian 0.01 percent APY. BBVA’s interest rates also vary by location and online, so make sure to check rates in your area.

You probably wouldn’t choose BBVA because of its MMA rates alone. But you might choose this national bank for its customer care and full line of products which range from loans to checking accounts with online bill pay to credit card accounts.

This bank has more than 600 branches across the South – and that’s a big advantage for those who prefer personal customer service.

Like a lot of full-service banks, BBVA charges a monthly service fee of $15, but you can waive the fee by keeping $10,000 or more in your accounts or by setting up an auto-transfer of at least $25 from your BBVA checking account into your MMA.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $15 (can be waived if you meet the criteria)
  • Interest rates: up to 0.10% APY for 3 months with their sign-up promotion
  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Manage your account online with an award-winning mobile banking app, highly-rated customer experience

Learn More:

5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online High-Yield Savings Account

Marcus, the online bank run by Goldman Sachs, the global investment and securities firm, pays competitive rates without a minimum balance requirement, which is great for those looking to start small.

Though not technically an MMA, the Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account offers excellent APY on all balances up to $1 million – without charging monthly fees.

Many other banks require a more substantial account balance or a large minimum deposit to earn a high-yield APY. Marcus by Goldman Sachs doesn’t – and that’s what sets it apart.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: up to 0.50% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Link your savings account to other accounts to receive and send transfers, US-based customer support center seven days a week

6. FNBO Direct Online Savings Account

FNBO Direct is another online bank that can pay higher interest rates with no minimum balance requirements in your savings account.

The FNBO Direct Online Savings Account pays high interest APY on all balances – no matter how high or low (although there is a maximum principal deposit balance of $1 million).

Since there are no required average account balances, your money can grow while you sleep – even if you deposit only a few hundred dollars.

The account’s minimum deposit is just $1. And for a savings account, FNBO Direct has added in some nice perks, like P2P payments, digital payments (like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay), and mobile banking.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: 0.40% APY (on all balances)
  • Minimum deposit: $1
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: digital payments (like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay), Person to Person payments, online and mobile banking

The Popular Direct Ultimate Savings Account offers an impressively high APY – but it does come with a minimum balance requirement of $5,000, funded from an external bank when you open your account.

This bank does not offer checking accounts – nor are there physical bank branches to visit. This explains the higher interest payouts. But if face-to-face support and advice aren’t must-have features for you – and if you’re looking for an account to store a substantial amount of cash, then Popular Direct is an option worth considering.

There are no monthly service fees but have a look at the bank’s disclosures for a detailed list of fees.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: 0.55% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Live customer service available 24/7 by phone

8. Sallie Mae Bank

Sallie Mae isn’t only about student loans anymore. Sallie Mae’s savings bank has online money market account rates that compare well with industry leaders.

You could earn high yield on all balances with no minimum balance requirements to worry about. As you shop for your best money market account, you’ll notice a trend: a high APY often requires lower levels of service.

If there’s a sweet spot between high-interest rates and thorough customer service, Sallie Mae has claimed it. And, Sallie Mae pays even higher rates on its SmartyPig accounts which don’t have the flexibility money market accounts offer.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: up to 0.35% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Easy access to your money through check-writing and electronic transfers.

9. TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account

TIAA Bank offers a healthy annual percentage yield during your first year as an account holder on any money market savings balance. Mix in the bank’s lack of fees — and its reimbursements for other banks’ ATM fees — and you could have an ideal home for your money.

After the first year, however, you may not feel so welcome unless you bring more money to the table. TIAA’s normal MMA rates are tiered which means you’d need high balances to earn the best rates ($100,000 or more).

You’d earn much lower APY on balances less than $10,000. Not terrible rates, but you could find higher yields with CIT Bank or Sallie Mae.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: up to 0.40% APY (during year one)
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Live customer service available 24/7 by phone.

10. Capital One Bank’s High-Yield Online Savings

Capital One’s high-yield savings doesn’t qualify as a money market but it pays a high rate on any balance with no fees — so I decided to include this account anyway. It may provide what you’re looking for.

Capital One’s online bank has the muscle to be your every-day bank. You could open a checking account, receive a bank-issued ATM card, sign up for overdraft protection — all the usual resources we’ve come to expect from a bank. Plus Capital One Bank now has IRA accounts.

Simultaneously, Capital One high APY on any balance without charging monthly service fees.

Quick Overview:
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Interest rates: 0.40% APY
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • FDIC insured: Yes
  • Other features: Full-service banking and high-yield rates.

Learn More:

Other Similar Banks to Consider

  • Synchrony Bank: Like Capital One, you’ll get a full-service experience with online bank interest rates.
  • Ally Bank: Another all-online financial institution with great rates on savings and certificates of deposit.
  • Barclays: This British bank serves U.S. customers online, specializing in high rates of savings and CDs.
  • BMO Harris: Like BBVA, BMO Harris has a physical footprint — in BMO’s case it’s the Upper Midwest — and above-average rates online.

What Is A Money Market Account?

Money market accounts offer a hybrid between a checking and savings account. An MMA combines features from both checking and savings.

For example, with a money market account, you can earn high-yield interest rates on your savings while still writing checks and accessing your funds using your debit card (though you’re limited to six transactions a month per bank account).

It’s an excellent option for someone who is determined to save money but doesn’t have the freedom to lock money away in certificates of deposit (CDs). Short-term savers also like MMAs because they don’t have to wait for a CD’s term to expire before using the money. Your money market funds could grow on your schedule.

Traditional savings accounts pay much lower interest rates — sometimes a fraction of a percentage point. So even if your MMA or other high-yield online savings account pays only 1 percent APY, it’s still outperforming the national bank down the street.

Money market account rates vary a lot, though. Your neighborhood bank or credit union’s money market rates may stand out, especially if the financial institution has a special running.

Which Money Market Account Is Best For Your Needs?

With many familiar account benefits, such as access to debit cards, checks, ATMs and online banking, money market accounts combine flexibility with earning power.

But which MMA should you choose? As you can see above, rates for these best accounts vary this month from 0.10 to 1.51 percent APY. Rates change with the broader banking environment. When the Federal Reserve cuts rates, your MMA or high-yield savings rate will decrease, too. (If you’d like to lock in a fixed rate you’d need to buy a CD; we’ll get into those below.)

To find the best money market account for your needs, consider the interest you’d earn and the features you need. To get the highest rate you may need to sacrifice some banking services. The best rates tend to come from banks that specialize in savings accounts and don’t offer loans, credit cards, ATM machines, and in-person branches.

You may be willing to shave 0.25 percent or even 0.5 percent off your savings rate in exchange for more access to your money through check-writing, mobile apps, ATMs, and free wire transfers.

But you should never sacrifice FDIC insurance which protects up to $250,000 of your money. (A federal credit union has a similar program, NCUA, to insure deposits.)

High-Yield Savings or Certificates of Deposit?

Certificates of deposit can pay high rates of interest, and most banks with high yield money market accounts also sell CDs.

With a CD, you give up some of your financial freedom in exchange for a higher interest rate. Specifically, you agree not to use your money until the CD reaches its maturity date. Usually, a saver could unlock the highest rates with a 5-year CD.

A CD also has a fixed interest rate, most of the time. So even if the Fed cut rates, as it did earlier this year, your CD’s interest remains fixed until the CD matures. This can work to your advantage or, if the Fed raises rates, it can cut into your earnings. Some CDs let you bump up your rate once during their term.

If you do need to spend money out of a CD account prematurely, you can. You’d just pay a penalty that usually equals a few months’ worth of interest, effectively lowering the rate to that of a savings account.

A money market or online savings account won’t pay as much interest as a long-term CD, but your rates won’t depend on leaving the money alone.

Most savers, eventually, want to keep money market funds and CD accounts going simultaneously. The money market account could hold your emergency fund or the money you’re saving for a down payment on the car you plan to buy next month. CDs can hold your longer-term savings.

To learn more about saving with CDs, see my post about the best CD rates.

How to Work With an Online Bank

For centuries banking has been a personal profession. Even if you didn’t know your bank’s top brass you could get to know the tellers and loan officers over the years.

This kind of banking is still alive and well, but the emergence of online banks has changed the industry over the past few years.

Overall this has been a good change. You can still keep your local bank or federal credit union account when you open an online bank account. In fact, this is the best scenario. Your online and traditional banks should work together.

When you open an online account, for example, you’d need to transfer money into your new account. One of the easiest ways to fund an online money market account is through an ACH that originates from your local bank.

And the money can flow both ways. If you needed to withdraw from an online bank, you may choose to schedule an ACH into your local bank. Then you could withdraw the money more easily.

Of course, some banks, including several on my list above, have online checking accounts, too. Others offer online mortgage loans or auto loans. You get to decide whether to borrow or save locally or online.

Do Money Market Accounts Limit Access to Funds?

Ideally, you’d never need to withdraw from savings except to transfer money into longer-term savings or investment accounts. But you can withdraw from a money market account up to six times a month without penalty.

Why do banks limit you this much? Your bank generates a higher interest in money market accounts because it’s investing your money in other accounts such as CDs and loans. The bank needs some level of stability to keep your rate high.

Money market accounts present a few other limitations you should know about before opening an account:

  • Minimum Balances: I referenced this in my top 10 above. Banks and credit unions often require an initial deposit of $500 or $1,000 to open an account. Some banks like CIT Bank do not require a minimum balance.
  • Minimum Amount to Earn Interest: Even if a bank lets you open an account with a few dollars it may not pay interest until your account reaches a pre-set minimum balance.
  • Maximum Amount to Earn Interest: Often, a money market account will cap its interest rate if your account reaches $500,000 or $1 million. If you want FDIC or NCUA protection you wouldn’t have more than $250,000 in an account anyway.
  • Temporary Rates: National banks do this sometimes. They offer higher introductory rates and then, after six months or a year, lower your rate to the national average. Since rates aren’t fixed, they can fluctuate to meet the bank’s needs. Of course, you could move your money any time so it works both ways.

How an MMA’s Limits Can Help You

Nobody likes having limits on their money. But I think a money market account’s limitations can encourage good saving habits. How can limitations be good?

Fewer Transfers Create Strategic Transfers

When you have only six transfers per statement period, you’re less likely to move money mindlessly. This limitation can prompt you to think about why you’re transferring money. Could you come up with a better solution to the problem? If so, your savings will stay on track.

Also, this limitation has a way of encouraging savers to plan their transfers. Planning your upcoming expenses is almost always a good thing.

Minimum Balances Encourage Savings Goals

If you need to save $1,000 to earn 1.3 percent interest, for example, you already have a built-in savings goal. Just for reference, 1.3 percent APY on $1,000 would turn your $1,000 into $1,013.08 after the first year. Sure, this $13.08 won’t make you rich. But compare it to 0.1 percent APY on $900 which would generate just 90 cents in a year.

If the minimum balance requirement encourages you to save that extra $100 to get the better rate, you’d have yet another incentive to kick your savings into a higher gear.

Of course, my favorite bank on this list, CIT Bank, pays its high-yield rate on all balances. It’s hard to beat that.

Rate Ceilings Remind You to Move Money

Let’s say you become a master saver, have a string of great years, and then find yourself with $250,000 in the bank. When your money market account informs you it will no longer pay its top-tier bank rate because your balance is too high, you’ll know it’s past time to diversify your financial life.

Since federal deposit insurance won’t protect your balance beyond $250,000 anyway, you should start putting more money into CDs, mutual funds, and other securities. Or at least open another account at a different bank.

Let’s Crunch Some Numbers

For most people, saving $100 a month is a good goal. If that’s too much for you to set aside, try saving $50. If you set up automatic transfers from checking to your money market savings account, you may find you don’t even miss the money.

For now, let’s assume you can do $100 a month. You could save the money in a money market account at 1.4 percent or in your traditional savings account at 0.1 percent.

I’ve noticed these kinds of numbers don’t have much real-life impact for a lot of people because they haven’t seen the tangle effects yet. So let’s take a look:

Saving $100/month 1.4% MMA 0.1% Traditional
After 1 year $1,207.73 $1,200.55
After 2 years $2,432.48 $2,402.30
After 3 years $3,674.48 $3,605.25
After 4 years $4,933.99 $4,809.41
After 5 years $6,211.24 $6,014.77
After 6 years $7,506.48 $7,221.34
After 7 years $8,819.98 $8,429.12
After 8 years $10,151.99 $9,638.10
After 9 years $11,502.76 $10,848.29
After 10 years $12,872.57 $12,059.70

As you can see, over 10 years, saving $100 a month and never withdrawing funds, a money market account generates an extra $812.87 without you doing anything any differently.

The more you can save, the bigger impact your better rate will have. And, keep in mind, we’re seeing historically low-interest rates right now. Hopefully, in a couple of years, rates will return into the 2 to 3 percent range.

Additional Disclosures: Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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