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Updated on Monday, October 11, 2021
If you’re looking to save more money beyond your regular savings account, consider adding a money market account (MMA) to the mix. A money market account can earn at a higher rate than a savings account, especially if you have a larger balance to deposit. Many MMAs tier their rates as well, rewarding higher balances with higher rates.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the current average money market rate is 0.08% as of October 2021 — but you can do much better than that if you’re willing to break with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. With so many options out there, however, it may seem daunting to search for a new bank account. We’ve made it easier by rounding up the best money market accounts out there.
To identify the best options, we searched through over 12,000 banks and credit unions, looking for the highest interest rates, as well as considering an account’s minimum requirements and fund accessibility. Overall, we found that internet banks consistently beat the competition. You might not recognize all their names — new online banks continually crop up — but if it’s high interest rates you’re looking for, it might be worth branching out.
Best Money Market Accounts for October 2021
Here are our favorite accounts for October 2021:
Do you have a savings goal in mind? Tell us about it!
1. Premier Members Credit Union — 2.00% APY, no minimum balance to open
Premier Members Credit Union has the highest available top-line APY for a money market account with its 2.00% paid on balances up to $2,000. There are lower APY amounts for higher balance tiers, resulting in a blended APY. For example, a balance of $5,000 would receive 2.00% APY on the first $2,000 and 0.35% APY on the rest of the balance. Unless you’re planning on maintaining a much higher balance, PMCU provides some of the best APY rates.
PMCU is based in Colorado and offers broad-based membership through an affiliation with Impact on Education, a charity for the Boulder Valley School District.
2. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union — 1.00% APY, no minimum balance to open
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union currently offers a 1.00% APY on its Superior Money Market account for balances up to $25,000. Balances over that amount earn a blended APY. The account has no monthly service charge or minimum deposit requirement. Customers can access their funds through electronic transfers to and from their money market account.
Founded in 1930 and originally called State Capitol Credit Union, Affinity Plus FCU opens membership to members of various Minnesota communities as well as anyone who makes a one-time dues payment of $10 to the Affinity Plus Foundation.
3. Patelco Credit Union — 1.00% APY, no minimum balance to open
Patelco Credit Union offers 1.00% APY on its Money Market Select Account for balances up to $2,000. After that, you’ll earn:
- 0.50% APY on balances from $2,000.01 to $5,000
- 0.30% APY on balances from $5,000.01 to $10,000
- 0.25% APY on balances from $10,000.01 to $50,000
- 0.20% on balances from $50,000.01 to $100,000
- 0.15% up to $9,999,999
There is no minimum required to open an account and no monthly fees or minimum monthly balance. The APY applies to each dollar amount in a given range, so a $5,000 deposit would earn 1.00% on the first $2,000 plus 0.50% on the next $3,000 for a blended APY of 0.70%.
Patelco Credit Union is open to anyone through joining the Financial Fitness Association for $8 a year, although Patelco will pay your first annual membership fee. The credit union got its start in 1936 serving employees of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, which is now a part of AT&T. It has branch locations throughout southern California.
4. Prime Alliance Bank — 0.60% APY, no minimum balance to open
Established in 2004, Prime Alliance Bank is currently offering a Personal Money Market account with an APY of 0.60% on all balances. There aren’t any monthly fees with this account, nor is a minimum balance required to open the account.
This account can be managed online or via the bank’s mobile app.
5. Vio Bank — 0.55% APY, $100 minimum balance to open
Vio Bank currently offers 0.55% APY on its Cornerstone Money Market Account for all balances. You can open an account with $100, and you won’t be charged monthly fees as long as you opt out of paper statements. Account holders are allowed six free withdrawals per monthly statement cycle.
Vio Bank is the online bank division of MidFirst Bank, which is the largest privately held U.S. bank. Deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
6. Ally Bank — 0.50% APY, no minimum balance to open
Ally Bank is a popular internet-only bank, offering a 0.50% APY on its Money Market Account. 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.
By linking your money market account to your checking account, you provide overdraft protection there. The checking account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee.
7. National Cooperative Bank — 0.50% APY, $100 minimum deposit to open
The National Cooperative Bank is currently offering a 0.50% APY on all balances in its Impact Money Market account. While there is a $100 minimum deposit required to open this account, there is no required minimum balance in order to earn the APY. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. Note that this account charges a monthly maintenance fee of $25 if your average monthly balance dips below $5,000.
While the National Cooperative Bank has only one location in Ohio, its services are available to consumers nationwide, online.
8. First Internet Bank — 0.50% APY, $100 minimum balance to open
First Internet Bank boasts a robust rate of 0.50% APY on its Money Market Savings. There is a minimum deposit of just $100 required for this account. It also has a $5 monthly service charge, which can be waived by maintaining an average daily balance of at least $4,000.
First Internet Bank has roots dating back to 1999, and it claims to be the first FDIC-insured institution to operate entirely online.
9. Northern Bank Direct — 0.45% APY, $5,000 minimum to open
Northern Bank Direct currently offers a 0.45% APY on funds in its Money Market Account, but you’ll need to meet a high minimum opening deposit of $5,000 to take advantage of the rate. Balances from $250,000.00 up to $999,999.99 will earn a lower rate of 0.25% APY. There are no monthly service fees, and account holders can make up to six transfers and/or withdrawals per calendar month. ATM withdrawals, however, are unlimited.
Northern Bank Direct is the online version of Northern Bank, which was founded in 1960 and has branches throughout New England. Deposits are FDIC-insured through Northern Bank.
10. Sallie Mae Bank — 0.50% APY, no minimum balance to open
Sallie Mae Bank offers 0.50% APY, compounded daily and paid monthly, on its money market account. There’s no minimum balance to open an account, no monthly fees and no fees for transfers.
Even though the bank specializes in student loans, they offer deposit accounts like a savings account, money market account and certificates of deposit (CDs).
Money market accounts: FAQs
A money market account is a special type of savings account. Cash you put in the account remains deposited with the financial institution, where it earns a variable annual percentage yield (APY). Because the name of this deposit product has the word market in it, you may assume that a money market account is some kind of investment product, but it’s not.
Money market accounts are a good choice if you have a big deposit you’d like to keep safe and growing at a high interest rate. Then, when you need to access that money — perhaps for an upcoming purchase or in an emergency — you can often easily do so with an ATM or debit card or by writing a check.
Money market accounts often earn a higher rate than standard savings accounts. The caveat is that MMAs often require higher opening deposits or higher balances than a standard savings account. Even so, you may also find that one bank’s top money market rate earns at the same rate (or lower) as a savings account at another bank.
Another feature that differentiates a money market account from a savings account is that institutions generally make it easier to access deposited funds in a money market account by offering checks and ATM cards.
Money market accounts, like deposit accounts, provide FDIC insurance on your deposits up to $250,000. Money market funds, on the other hand, are investment accounts, most likely sold by your broker, and are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) instead. Money market funds invest in highly liquid cash and cash equivalent securities that typically mature within 13 months. Additionally, money market funds charge expense ratios, or management fees, that are charged as a percentage of your fund.
Money market accounts often pay much lower interest rates than CDs do. CDs allow you to protect your investments over the years by locking in today’s high rates in a long-term account, while also staying flexible for any potential rate increases with your shorter-term accounts. The interest rate on a money market account can change right away, at the bank’s discretion.
Another key difference between a money market account versus a CD is accessibility. While money market accounts allow your money to keep growing while still remaining accessible, you’ll likely face a pretty heavy penalty — typically three to six months of interest — if you need to access your CD funds before it matures.