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Best Money Market Rates & Accounts – July 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Updated July 6, 2017

Traditional banks are paying very low interest rates on money market accounts. For example, Bank of America pays between 0.03% and 0.06% APY. Fortunately, you do not need to settle for such ridiculously low rates. You can easily find the best money market rates at internet banks paying 1.05% or more. If you put $50,000 into Bank of America’s account at 0.03%, you will only earn $15 of interest over one year. That same money in an account paying 1.05% would earn you $525 of interest. And you can typically open and fund an online money market account in less than 10 minutes.

MagnifyMoney has searched for money market accounts paying the highest interest rates – and this list gets updated monthly. Here are the best rates for April 2017:

1. Top Choice: Sallie Mae – 1.15% APY, no minimum balance and checks available

If you have student loan debt, you probably are not very excited to see Sallie Mae at the top of this list. However, many people are unaware that Sallie Mae also operates an internet-only FDIC-insured bank with some of the best interest rates in the country. You can earn 1.15% APY, compounded daily and paid monthly. There is no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fees. You will have check-writing capabilities (although the standard money market limit of six per month applies to this account). The easiest (and best) way to fund and access your funds is via electronic transfer from your existing checking account. If you want a simple account with no fees and check access – this is a good bet. You can get a higher interest rate if you are willing to give up check-writing, or join a credit union and keep at least $500 in your account (#2 and #3 on the list).

2. High Rate: ableBanking – 1.30% APY, $250 minimum, but no check-writing

ableBanking is a division of Northeast Bancorp, a community bank headquartered in Maine since 1872. The bank has over $1 billion in assets, and your deposit would be FDIC insured up to the legal limit. At 1.30% APY, this is the highest money market rate that we have been able to find (from a bank) in the country. There is now a minimum deposit of $250, no monthly fee and you do not need to be a resident of Maine (any US resident can open an account). Unfortunately, the account does not come with check-writing privileges and there is no ATM access. You can deposit and access your funds via ACH (electronic transfer), which can take a couple of days. Just remember: there is a limit of 6 withdrawals per calendar month. When we called to ask questions about the account, we could reach a customer service representative very quickly. This is a good new option (just added to the list in June) from a small bank with a great high rate.

3. High Rate: Self-Help Credit Union – up to 1.35% APY, $500 minimum deposit and minimum balance

Self-Help is a credit union that anyone can join. If you don’t live, work or worship in one of their eligible counties, you can join by donating $5 to the Center for Community Self-Help. The contribution is tax deductible and will make you eligible for credit union membership. (You can learn more about how to join the credit union here.) At a credit union, your funds are insured up to $250,000 – but it is by the NCUA instead of the FDIC. The money market offers an APY of 1.26% on balances from $500 to $500,000. Even better – you can earn 1.36% on balances above $500,000. However, you need to deposit at least $500 and the balance during the month cannot go below $500 – otherwise you will be charged a monthly maintenance fee. You are allowed 6 free withdrawals or transfers from the account each month (including checks).

4. Good Rate: EverBank – 1.21% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit (1-year intro APY)

EverBank, recently acquired by TIAA-Cref, is a rapidly growing bank that conducts most of its business online (even though it is based in Florida). In 2017, EverBank has become very aggressive on interest rates. Its products have regularly made our list of best CD rates, and – not surprisingly – it also appears on the best money market list. This is a great product, but you should be aware of a few pieces of fine print. The APY is only valid for one year. EverBank does promise that the rate, after the first year, will “never stray from the top 5% of competitive accounts.” Just be prepared for a lower rate after 12 months. You need at least $5,000 to open the account. You will only earn the 1.21% APY on balances up to $250,000. There is no monthly account fee.

5. Good Rate for Big Deposits: Capital One 360 – 1.10% APY on balances above $10,000 (0.60% on balances below)

Capital One has become more aggressive in recent months on the rate that it pays for online CDs and money market accounts. Capital One is focused on big balances: if you don’t have a lot of money, you can get much better deals elsewhere. But if you have a lot of cash and want another FDIC-insured account, Capital One is a strong option. You earn 0.60% APY on the first $9,999.99 that you deposit. You will then earn 1.10% APY on deposits from $10,000 up to $250,000. There is no monthly fee associated with the account.

6. Favorite Online Package: Ally – 0.85% APY, no minimum deposit, and link to free checking

Ally Bank is a very popular internet-only bank. Although the interest rate on the money market account is not the highest, Ally does offer a very competitive overall package – particularly if you link the account to an Ally checking account. The checking account has no minimum balance and no monthly fee. You can link your money market account to your checking account to provide overdraft protection. Money would be transferred to your checking account with no transaction fee if you ever made a mistake. You would be able to access your money market account with your Ally ATM card, which has free AllPoint access and up to $10 of non-Ally ATM fees reimbursed every month. This money market account is a nice way to provide yourself with overdraft protection while earning interest. If you don’t need check-writing capabilities on your savings, you would still be better off with Ally’s savings account.

3 Questions To Ask Before Opening A Money Market Account

1. Should I open a savings account or a money market account?

Many years ago, money market accounts were higher risk and paid higher returns. The financial crisis of 2008 changed all of that. Money market accounts are now FDIC-insured up to the legal maximum ($250,000 per institution per individual). Interest rates are now very similar – and there is no material difference. In other words – choose whichever account you want.

In general, you tend to get slightly lower interest rates on money market accounts because you have check-writing capabilities. The best savings accounts pay at least 1.15% APY – very similar to the rates on this page. But at Ally, for example, you can get 1.00 APY on a savings account (no check-writing) and 0.85% on the money market account (with check writing).   

We have written a full explanation of the difference between money market and savings accounts here.

2. Am I willing to make a longer term commitment? 

Savings accounts and money market accounts pay much lower interest rates than CDs. Right now you can easily get a 1-year CD paying 1.35% APY (with only a $2,000 minimum). You can find the best CD rates here. If you build a CD ladder, you can take advantage of 5-year rates that are now as high as 2.30%.

Money market accounts are great places to keep money that you might need immediately. But the interest rate on a money market account can change right away, at the bank’s discretion. To lock in a higher interest rate, you should consider a CD. If you need to get access to your CD early, would forfeit interest (typically from 3-6 months). In most circumstances, putting more of your money into CDs can really help boost your returns.

3. Is a money market account the same as a money market fund? 

No, money market accounts (offered by FDIC-insured banks) are not the same as money market funds (most likely sold by your broker). In fact, we really don’t know why people even buy money market funds in the current environment.

For example, Vanguard offers the Prime Money Market Fund. Like other money market funds, this one “invests in short-term, high-quality securities.” Its objective is to keep the fund trading at $1 and generate a decent return. Right now that return is 0.89% – a bit lower than the returns you see from the money market accounts listed in this article. However, money market funds do not have FDIC insurance.

Most people compare the return of a money market fund (sold by their broker) to the interest rate paid by a traditional bank (0.03%, sold by their local bank teller). As a result, they are willing to take the risk of a money market fund. However, as you can see from the best money market accounts in this article, you can get FDIC insurance and beat the return of most funds. Why earn 0.89% with no FDIC-insurance when you can easily earn 1.05% and have FDIC insurance.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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Capital One Platinum or Quicksilver: Which is Best for You?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Capital One Platinum or Quicksilver

There are so many credit card companies on the market today and many of them also offer multiple products, which can make choosing the right credit card an even more difficult decision for you.

For example, Capital One is a company that currently offers 12 different credit cards from which consumers can choose. Two of the most popular options offered by Capital One are the Capital One Platinum card and the Quicksilver card. But which one is right for you? Here are some facts to help you decide.

Capital One Platinum

According to the Capital One website, the Capital One Platinum card is specifically tailored toward those who have an “average” credit score. Capital One defines average as someone who has defaulted on a loan in the past five years, or someone with limited credit history, meaning they’ve only had credit accounts open for less than 3 years.

The Capital One Platinum card has no annual fee, a $0 fraud liability (which is pretty standard), and all of the traditional Platinum MasterCard benefits, such as:

  • Extended warranty on purchases made on your credit card.
  • Auto rental insurance if you rent a car with your credit card.
  • Travel accident insurance for loss of life or limb when you use your credit card to purchase your travel fare.
  • 24-hours travel assistance. If your credit card is lost or stolen while traveling, you can get an emergency card replacement and a cash advance.
  • 24-hour roadside assistance if your car breaks down or you are locked out.
  • Price protection to reimburse you the difference in price on eligible items if you find a lower price for the same item within 60 days of your purchase when you use your credit card.

The Capital One Platinum card is also eligible to be used with Apple Pay.

Because this card is for those with average credit, it’s not surprising that this is not a rewards credit card. However, it does offer access to a higher credit line after you make your first 5 monthly payments on time. Plus, as a cardholder you also have access to CreditWise to help your monitor your credit score. (Although the fine print reveals that CreditWise is a free program that is available to everyone, even if you are not a Capital One cardholder.)

As expected, this credit card does have a high variable interest rate at 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers. However, there is no fee for balance transfers and provides the option to select your own monthly payment due date.

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Quicksilver

Another popular product offered by Capital One is the Quicksilver card. Capital One’s website shows that this credit card is for people with “excellent” credit, which is defined as someone who:

  • Has never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on loan
  • Has not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan in the last year, and
  • Has had a loan or credit card for over three years with a credit limit over $5,000.

The Quicksilver card is a rewards credit card that offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits and no rotating “bonus” categories to keep track of. Quicksilver also offers a $100 cash bonus if you spend $500 on new purchases within 3 months of opening a new credit card account. The rewards earned with Quicksilver don’t expire and are eligible to be redeemed at any amount with no minimum threshold for a statement credit or a check.

Quicksilver is a Visa Signature card and thus offers all of the standard benefits that come with that designation, such as:

  • Travel upgrades and savings
  • Shopping discounts
  • Complimentary concierge service
  • Extended warranty
  • Special access to events
  • 24-hour travel assistance services

There is no annual fee on the Quicksilver card.

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Pros and Cons

Capital One Platinum Card

Pro: Allows cardholders to re-build credit. The Credit Steps program allows cardholders access to a higher credit line after they make their first 5 monthly payments on time.

Con: No rewards.
This card offers cardholders no chance to earn rewards for their spending.

Pro:
No annual fee. There’s no annual fee to contend with as you use this card to build your credit.

Con:
High APR. As people with an “average” credit score are more of a risk to credit card companies, the APR on the Capital One Platinum card is high.

Pro: Ability to select your own monthly payment due date.
This option will allow you to pick what day of the month your payment is due so you can make sure you have the cash flow available to pay your bill.

Quicksilver

Pro: 1.5% cash back. Cardholders can earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with their Quicksilver card with no limit on rewards.

Con: Requires “excellent” credit to qualify.
In order to open a Quicksilver credit card account, you have to meet Capital One’s definition of someone with excellent credit.

Pro: No annual fee.
Earning cash back is free, with no annual fee.

Pro: 0% Introductory APR.
At the time of publication, new cardholders were eligible for a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers until January 2017.

Con: 3% balance transfer fee.
There is a fee to transfer a balance from another credit card, so this is not the best balance transfer card available to help you pay off debt.

Pro: No rewards cap and rewards never expire.
Many rewards credit cards require a minimum threshold be met before you can redeem your cash back rewards, but the Quicksilver card doesn’t. Plus, rewards never expire as long as you remain a cardholder in good standing.

Other Options

Another rewards credit card to consider if you have excellent credit is the Citi Double Cash card. It offers double rewards all purchases. 1% is earned up front when you make purchases and another 1% is earned when you pay off your bill.

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Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card is similar to the Citi Double Cash card and gives you unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases when you deposit cash back into an eligible Fidelity account. Eligible Fidelity accounts include:

  • Brokerage accounts
  • Fidelity Cash Management Accounts
  • Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plans
  • Retirement accounts like the Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA and SEP IRA

In order to redeem points for a cash deposit, your point balance has to reach 5,000 or $50. You can redeem points for travel, merchandise, gift cards or statement credit starting at 2,500 points. The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature does not have an annual fee.

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Which Card is Best For You?

Deciding between the Capital One Platinum credit card and the Quicksilver card really comes down to a couple of factors.

One thing to consider is your current credit score. If you fall into the range of “average” as defined by Capital One, you would be better off applying for the Capital One Platinum card to help you improve your credit score instead of applying for the Quicksilver card and being denied.

However, if you already have “excellent” credit, the Quicksilver card is the way to go. It offers cash back rewards on all purchases, a $100 cash back bonus, a 0% introductory interest rate, and a lower APR afterwards. Consider your credit history and all of the options available carefully before you make your credit card selection.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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Goldman Sachs Enters Consumer Deposit Market With GE Acquisition

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Magnify News

Note: Goldman Sachs has launched its savings account – and the interest rate has been updated on June 9, 2017.

1.20% APY with No Minimum Balance

GS BankGoldman Sachs has launched its long awaited online savings account. The bank, long known for serving the wealthiest individuals and corporations, is now offering a high yield savings account that requires only $1 to open. Here are the details of the product:

  • 1.20% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
  • No minimum deposit – you can open the account with just $1
  • There is a deposit limit – you can only deposit a maximum of $250,000
  • You can access your money by electronic transfer, wire transfer or by check.

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MagnifyMoney has a list of the best savings accounts here.

Below is the original story: 

Goldman Sachs Purchased GE’s Savings Accounts

Goldman Sachs purchased $16 billion of GE Capital Bank’s consumer deposits. $8 billion of the deposits are online savings accounts and CDs, and the other $8 billion are brokered certificates of deposit. In addition to the deposits, the employees of GE Capital responsible for the deposit business have been transitioned to Goldman Sachs.

The acquisition accelerates two big trends in consumer banking. General Electric has decided to exit the consumer financial services market, and has been rapidly shedding businesses all over the world. Goldman Sachs is building out a consumer banking strategy as it diversifies its business. Earlier this year, it announced that it will be entering consumer lending. And now, with a meaningful consumer deposit business, it will be active on both sides of the balance sheet.

Without the cost of a branch network, Goldman Sachs is able to pay higher interest rates to consumers while still obtaining funding advantages. Goldman Sachs is looking to diversity its funding, and sticky consumer deposits can be attractive. As interest rates increase, consumer deposits, due to their inertia, are typically not as responsive to increases in interest rates.

Goldman Sachs: Building The Consumer Bank Of The Future

FinTech companies, largely in the Silicon Valley, have started to change the way financial services are delivered to consumers. Marketplace lending has brought a better product and experience to consumers, a higher return to investors and more advanced credit risk analytics to lending decisions. Internet banks, by avoiding branch networks, are providing savers with higher interest rates and banks with low-cost funding sources. Goldman Sachs is out to prove that even a large, existing bank can take advantage of these trends.

Goldman Sachs will be launching a digital lending business. It has hired a former senior executive at Discover to lead the expansion. With the acquisition of the GE deposit franchise, Goldman Sachs will be a formidable competitor to the large incumbent banks. Why receive 0.01% on your savings account from Bank of America, and pay 19% interest on your credit card to Citibank, when you can get 1% on savings and pay 12% on loans to Goldman Sachs? Because Goldman does not have a legacy business to defend or cost structure to rationalize, it is uniquely positioned to challenge the large consumer banks in America.

At the moment, the marketplace lenders are taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates to grow. Investors are pouring money into any investment that offers yield. However, as interest rates increase, having access to low-cost consumer deposits will become a competitive advantage. Deposit rates for consumers do not increase as rapidly as interest rates in general. Goldman Sachs could end up with a funding cost advantage in a rising rate environment. Not only would the large consumer banks suffer, but the Silicon Valley start-ups may find it harder to compete.

Good News For Consumers

Many people have an immediate, negative reaction when they hear the name Goldman Sachs. However, in the consumer deposit and lending space, Goldman Sachs will be a challenger brand. In order to win as a challenger, you need a better product, experience, or both. Consumer loans and savings accounts remain entrenched with four big lenders who became even bigger after the financial crisis. Consumers will benefit by having well-funded new entrants looking to steal market share. Goldman Sachs is both large and well-funded. Consumer should expect better rates on savings accounts and loans in the years to come, as competition intensifies.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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