Self-Help FCU offers best money market account rate


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A California-based credit union is offering the nation’s best rate on money market accounts.

At Self-Help Federal Credit Union, savers who deposit a minimum of $500 can earn 1.31 percent APY.

That’s one basis point higher than the best savings account deals offered by ableBanking, BankPurely and DollarSavingsDirect. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Top savings and money market account rates
Institution APY Minimum balance for APY
ableBanking 1.3% $250
BankPurely 1.3% $1
DollarSavingsDirect 1.3% $1
United Bank 1.25% $500
Goldman Sachs Bank 1.2% $1

A 1.41 percent APY applies to high rollers with at least $500,000 to sock away.

Who should opt for an MMA

Money market accounts usually give savers more access to their funds. Unlike traditional savings accounts, they often let account holders write a limited number of checks.

If you plan to withdraw some of your savings from time to time, a money market account could be a good fit for you.

But if you want an account with a higher rate of return, you should compare CD rates.

How to join

To join Self-Help Federal Credit Union for free you must:

  • Live, worship, take classes or work in the districts or counties within the field of membership
  • Be an employee or pensioner of an employer associated with the credit union
  • Be a member of certain associations (or in some cases, a member’s relative or household member)
  • Be a former member of a credit union that merged with Self-Help Federal
  • Be an immediate family member of someone eligible for membership

Don’t fall into any of those categories? You can pay a one-time $5 fee and join the Center for Community Self-Help. That’s the nonprofit made up of all the entities in the Self-Help network.

According to the website, you can’t join Self-Help Federal if you’re in North Carolina. You’ll have to become a member of Self-Help Credit Union, a member of the same nonprofit organization that owns Self-Help Federal.

Opening a Self-Help money market account

To open an account, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Provide proof of address
  • Provide a copy of a valid ID issued by the U.S. government

Print and sign the membership application found on the credit union’s website. Then visit a local branch or mail your paperwork and deposit to the main branch in Modesto, California.

Terms and conditions

Account holders can make up to six transfers or withdrawals each month for free (and write checks). After that, you’ll pay a $10 fee with each of those transactions.

The minimum daily balance for the money market account is $500. If your account balance falls below that threshold, you’ll pay a $5 monthly service fee.

You’ll receive free electronic statements and earn interest on all average daily balances of $500 or more.

About Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Federal Credit Union has full-service locations in California, Florida and the greater Chicago area (operating as Second Federal). While it strives to offer everyone affordable services, the Self-Help community specifically supports women, low-income individuals, minorities and rural communities.

Deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Self-Help earned five out of five stars on Bankrate’s latest Safe & Sound Ratings, which measures the financial health of banks and credit unions throughout the United States.