Finding the best money market accounts

Money market accounts can give you a better return than a run-of-the-mill savings account, but they have higher minimum balance requirements. Since the amount of interest you'll get on a money market account varies from one bank to the next, finding the best money market account requires you to shop around.

A money market account is a savings account offered by banks and credit unions. With a money market account, you typically get higher interest than a traditional savings account, but are required to have a higher minimum balance. Many of the best money market account rates are reserved for account holders with balances of $10,000 or more. Unlike with traditional savings accounts, you're allowed to write as many as three checks per month with a money market account.

Do your homework

Checking with multiple banks before opening up an account will ensure you find the best money market account. Finding and comparing interest rates on the account are the first and most important steps, but there's more to it. You have to consider fees that the banks charge and the convenience factor. Banks typically charge a fee if you don't maintain a certain balance in the account and could charge you if you write more than three checks or hit the ATM more than the set number of times. Banks also charge service fees, so make sure to ask about those when comparing money market accounts.

Internet can give better rates

Another option is to open up a money market account online. Many of the online banks offer better rates because they don't have the costs associated with having physical locations. With an online money market account, you may not get free ATM access or in-person banking, but you do get better rates. Many of the best money market account rates are from online banks.

Money market account rates are easy to find using tools like Bankrate's MMA comparison tool. With it, you can search for the highest yield available nationally or for a local rate. It also lets you search based on the minimum balance you want to carry.

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