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4 ways to find the best money market rates


If you're looking to grow your money in a low-risk account, you probably already recognize that your standard savings or checking account may not yield much of a return. Rather than look at annual interest earnings sheet of a few pennies, you can explore money market accounts for a safe way to an increased return. Here are a few guidelines for finding the best money market rates.

Save more to earn more

Many banks offer money market accounts with interest rates that vary depending on your account balance. Once your balance crosses incremental thresholds, you reap the reward of higher interest rates. Do your research, though. At many banks, the best money market rates are reserved for big balances over $10,000. If you plan on carrying a smaller balance in your account, a high-yield checking account may be a better option than an MMA.

Go direct

Many customers are turning to direct online banks for higher interest rates. While some of these institutions limit perks such as free nationwide ATM access and in-person banking, those sacrifices can reward you with better rates. Bankrate's list of the top high-yield MMA and savings rates includes many online institutions with APYs that top the 1 percent mark.

Avoid fees

Getting the best money market rates won't matter if your account terms don't match your spending and saving lifestyle. Many MMAs include balance minimums, transaction limits and other regulations. If these aren't followed, you may be slapped with fees that overshadow any of your earnings. Be sure to know the ins and outs of your MMA before you open an account.

Four crucial letters

The vast majority of money market accounts are FDIC-insured, but there are a few that do not include the $250,000 depositor insurance. With a growing list of bank troubles and failures, making sure the FDIC is behind your money is an essential piece of your saving puzzle.

Ready to start searching for the best money market rates? Use Bankrate's MMA Comparison tool to determine where you should move your money.

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