Best money market accounts for May 2023
Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. Matthew has been in financial services for more than a decade, in banking and insurance.
Nell McPherson is the banking editor at Bankrate, where she leads a team of reporters dedicated to helping readers make the best decisions about their savings and checking accounts, CDs and money market accounts.
Greg McBride, CFA, is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Analyst, for Bankrate.com. He leads a team responsible for researching financial products, providing analysis, and advice on personal finance to a vast consumer audience.
Money market accounts are very similar to savings accounts. The biggest difference between the two: money market accounts tend to offer check-writing privileges while savings accounts generally don’t come with this feature. Although a money market is considered a liquid account, most financial institutions limit the number of withdrawals you can make per monthly statement cycle. Read more
Here are the best money market account rates:
- First Internet Bank of Indiana: APY: 3.56%-5.20%*, Minimum balance to open: $100
- Vio Bank: APY: 4.85%, Minimum balance to open: $100
- Sallie Mae Bank: APY: 4.15%, Minimum balance to open: $0
- Ally Bank: APY: 4.00%, Minimum balance to open account: $0
- TIAA Bank: APY: 1.90%-4.25%**, Minimum balance to open: $500
- Discover Bank: APY: 3.80%-3.85%***, Minimum balance to open: $2,500
- Synchrony Bank: APY: 2.25%, Minimum balance to open: $0
- Navy Federal Credit Union: APY: 0%-2.25%****, Minimum balance to open: $0
- CIT Bank: APY: 1.55%, Minimum balance to open: $100
*More than $1 million is required for the top APY. All balances of $1 million or below earn the lower tier.
**3.85 percent APY for balances of $100,000 or more and 3.45 percent APY on balances of $50,000 to under $100,000. Yields range from 1.9 percent to 3.05 percent APY on balances less than $50,000. TIAA Bank also currently has a one-year introductory APY if you’ve never had a TIAA Bank money market before. The intro APY is 4.25 percent for balances up to $250,000.
*** 3.70 percent APY for balances of $100,000 or more. 3.65 percent APY for balances less than $100,000.
**** $1 million minimum balance required for the highest APY offered.
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The following accounts can be found at most banks and credit unions. They’re federally insured for up to $250,000 and offer a safe place to put your money while earning interest.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
CDs are best for individuals looking for a guaranteed rate of return that’s typically higher than a savings account. In exchange for a higher rate, funds are tied up for a set period of time and early withdrawal penalties may apply.
Checking accounts are best for individuals who want to keep their money safe while still having easy, day-to-day access to their funds. ATM and other transactional fees may apply.
Savings / Money Market Accounts (MMA)
Savings and MMAs are good options for individuals looking to save for shorter-term goals. They’re a safe way to separate your savings from everyday cash, but may require larger minimum balances and have transfer limitations.
A closer look at the top money market accounts for May 2023
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of May 17, 2023. Bankrate's editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products. Bankrate only includes FDIC-insured banks or NCUA credit unions.
Vio Bank is known as the online banking division of MidFirst Bank. The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account has a very competitive yield. The account only requires $100 to open, and there’s no monthly maintenance fee. This account doesn’t have check-writing privileges or a debit card available.
- The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account earns a very competitive yield.
- You’ll only need $100 to open a money market account at Vio Bank.
- The account doesn’t have a monthly service fee, as long as you choose e-statements.
- Vio Bank has phone customer service hours seven days a week.
- This account charges a $5 paper statement fee. There are no check-writing privileges or a debit card offered with this account.
- Vio Bank’s Cornerstone Money Market Savings account has a much higher yield than the bank’s Online Savings Account.
- The account has a $30 outgoing wire transfer fee for domestic wires.
Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae is known for its student loans. But it also offers competitive deposit accounts as Sallie Mae Bank. The Sallie Mae Money Market Account comes with check-writing privileges and doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit. The money market account also doesn’t have a monthly service fee. Sallie Mae Bank also offers two savings accounts and CDs.
- Sallie Mae Bank offers a competitive yield with its Money Market Account.
- Its money market account doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit.
- It has check-writing privileges.
- Sallie Mae Bank’s money market account earned a higher yield than its savings account during Bankrate’s review.
- You’re only able to reach Sallie Mae Bank during the week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. The bank doesn’t have weekend hours.
- Some banks offer higher APYs on money market accounts.
Ally Bank’s money market account doesn’t have a monthly service fee, and there’s no minimum balance requirement. The account comes with check-writing privileges and it is a part of Allpoint’s ATM network. That network allows you to withdraw cash at any of its ATMs without paying a fee. Ally Bank also has 24/7 phone customer service.
- Ally Bank’s money market account offers a competitive yield.
- It also reimburses up to $10 of out-of-network ATM fees during your statement cycle.
- Ally Bank’s app has mobile deposit.
- The account has check-writing privileges and a debit card.
- All three of Ally Bank’s balance tiers had the same yield during our review. But this could change in the future.
- You need to make a deposit within the first 30 days you have this account to keep it open.
- The bank charges $15 for expedited items, such as checks or a debit card.
TIAA Bank is known for its Yield Pledge accounts. This pledge means your account will have a highly competitive APY. TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Money Market account offers a competitive yield. You only need $500 to open this account. It also rewards you for depositing more with tiered yields based on your balance.
- TIAA offers a competitive yield on its money market account. The account features a debit card, and the bank reimburses you up to $15 per month when other banks charge ATM fees.
- You can use mobile deposit to deposit checks with this account.
- TIAA is planning to sell TIAA Bank.
- Different balances earn different yields — with balances of $100,000 or more earning the top yield and balances of $50,000-$99,999.99 earning the second-highest yield.
- You’ll need at least $500 to open a TIAA Yield Pledge Money Market account.
Discover Bank offers a competitive yield on its Money Market Account. You’ll need at least $2,500 to open this account and $100,000 to earn the top APY. But the top-tier APY was only five basis points higher than the yield for balances under $100,000 at the time of this review. So there isn’t much of a reward for having $100,000 or more in this account.
- Discover Bank offers a money market account that has a debit card.
- The account has check-writing privileges.
- The bank is a part of a 60,000-ATM network.
- Discover Bank gives you free official bank checks and free regular checks with its money market account.
- You’ll earn only a slightly higher yield on balances of $100,000 or more. Also, other online banks have lower minimum opening deposit requirements.
- The Discover Bank money market account requires a minimum opening deposit of $2,500. Those without $2,500 could actually get a slightly higher yield with Discover Bank’s Online Savings Account, which has no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirements.
Synchrony Bank is known for its credit cards and deposit accounts. Its money market account earns a competitive yield but isn’t close to being the highest-yielding money market account. Synchrony Bank’s money market account doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit.
- Synchrony Bank’s money market account offers a yield that’s much higher than the national average.
- This account lets you access your money from an ATM and has check-writing privileges.
- Some money market accounts have a more competitive yield.
- Synchrony has three balance tiers that were paying the same yield during our review. But this could change in the future.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union is known for being the credit union for the military and its family. Active duty service members, retired service members and veterans — and certain family members — are eligible to join Navy Federal.
Navy Federal’s Money Market Savings Account has tiered balances, with balances of at least $1 million earning the credit union’s top yields. A $1,000,000 minimum balance is needed to earn the top APY.
- Navy Federal offers a yield much higher than the national average on its money market account.
- The account also has check-writing privileges and ATM access.
- You’ll need to be eligible for Navy Federal membership to get this account.
- Balances under $2,500 don’t earn interest.
- You’ll need $1 million to earn Navy Federal’s top jumbo-tier APY.
CIT Bank is known as being a part of First Citizens. It offers a money market account and nearly every type of deposit account you could need. Compared with some of its other products, the money market account isn’t the highest yield at CIT Bank. For instance, CIT Bank’s Savings Connect account had a much higher yield during Bankrate’s review.
- CIT Bank’s money market account offers a yield much higher than the national average.
- The account also doesn’t have transaction limits.
- You only need $100 to open a CIT Bank money market account.
- There are banks that pay higher yields on money market accounts.
- CIT Bank’s Savings Connect savings account earns a much higher yield than CIT Bank’s money market account.
- CIT Bank’s money market account doesn’t have a debit card for ATM access.
In the news
The Federal Reserve raised rates for a 10th time on May 3. This could potentially be the Fed’s last rate increase in the current cycle. But it’s impossible to predict the future of rates.
Now could be the time to lock in a long-term CD or even a one-year CD, since savings rates would likely decrease if the Fed starts cutting rates. But having your money in a competitive money market account now, means it will likely stay competitive even if the Fed decreases rates in the future. But you always should make sure your money market account yield is competitive on a regular basis.
How to choose a money market account
Money market accounts are a good option for achieving your savings goals. Choosing the right money market account should help you earn a competitive annual percentage yield (APY). Some of the best money market accounts allow savers to earn a high yield as well as have check-writing privileges. Follow the steps below to see if a money market account is right for you.
- Determine what you’re saving for and when the funds will be used.
- Research banks and credit unions. Compare accounts to find a good match. A competitive APY, check-writing capabilities and ATM access are some of the top features to look for.
- Be aware of any minimum balance requirements and whether there are potential monthly service fees.
- Assess whether the account comes with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or National Credit Union Association (NCUA) insurance. Always make sure your money is within FDIC or NCUA limits and guidelines.
- Open the money market account and make your initial deposit. Consider downloading the bank’s app, if available.
What is a money market account and how does it work?
A money market account is a type of savings deposit account that can be found at banks and credit unions. Money market accounts work like a savings account, where you can deposit and withdraw money. You will also earn interest on the money you keep in a money market account.
Money market accounts generally let you withdraw money, but banks may limit withdrawals and transfers. Unlike most savings accounts, money market accounts may provide check-writing privileges. You also might have a debit card and be able to access money at an ATM. The check-writing capability of money market accounts provides a degree of flexibility and liquidity often not found in other savings accounts.
High-yielding money market accounts may pay a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts, but their minimum deposit and balance requirements might be higher, too.
Important money market account terminology
- Check-writing privileges: A money market account may allow you to write checks against the account. This is one of the main differences between money market accounts and savings accounts. Savings accounts don’t usually offer this.
- Interest: Money that you earn for having your funds deposited with a bank.
- Compound interest: Earning interest on the previous interest you’ve earned.
- Interest rate: The percentage of your balance that is paid to you over the course of one year for having your funds on deposit. This number doesn't take into account the effects of compounding.
- Annual percentage yield (APY): Takes into account the effects of compounding during the year. The best way to compare yields is to use this number, rather than comparing interest rates. The higher the APY, the more income you’ll earn on your cash.
- Minimum balance requirement: The amount you have to keep in a savings account in order to avoid a monthly maintenance fee.
Money market accounts and compounding interest
Money market accounts typically credit interest monthly, and it’s typically paid on or about the same date each month. Compounding interest happens when your interest earns interest.
The published APY on an account includes the effects of compounding during the year. The best way to compare interest rates earned on different money market accounts is to use an apples-to-apples approach: Compare APYs and not interest rates.
Bankrate’s compound interest calculator can help you determine the potential earnings on a money market account.
What is a high-yield money market account?
A high-yield money market account is a money market account that earns a competitive yield. Generally, these money market accounts with higher rates are found at online banks and top credit unions. Some don’t have any minimum deposit requirements or monthly service fees while others may require a minimum opening deposit and could have minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly service fee.
Considerations for opening a money market account
How do I open a money market account?
Opening a money market is as easy as choosing which bank and account is right for you. Some money market accounts don’t have a minimum opening balance requirement, so you won’t have to worry about keeping a certain amount in the account or incurring a maintenance fee. Compare the top APY accounts with the minimum balance that you’re comfortable with to make the best decision for your saving needs.
Prior to opening a money market account online you’ll want to:
- Have your government-issued photo identification with you.
- Be prepared, if needed, to lift a security freeze on your credit file to open the account.
- Have your routing number and account number handy for the account you’re using to fund this new account.
- Have your social security number available.
Almost all of this information may also be needed if you open a new account in person. You may need cash or a check (or checks) to fund a new account opened in a branch.
What is a good money market account?
A good money market account carries a competitive APY, has minimum balance requirements that fit your needs and helps you avoid incurring any fees. If the money market account requires a higher balance, the best money market accounts reward you with a higher APY for keeping this balance. The balance requirement doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s within what you plan on keeping in the account so that you earn a maximum APY and don’t incur fees.
Other perks often associated with good money market accounts include an ATM card and check-writing privileges.
Is a money market account safe?
Money market accounts are safe at an FDIC-insured bank or a federally insured credit union as long as they’re within limits and guidelines. FDIC deposit insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. An account at an NCUA credit union is insured up to the same amount as an FDIC bank. At both an FDIC bank and an NCUA credit union, your money that’s within limits and guidelines is protected and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government should the bank or credit union fail.
To check whether a bank you're considering is FDIC-insured, you can use the FDIC’s BankFind tool. The tool may also help you realize if multiple banks use the same FDIC certificate. Always double-check with the FDIC or NCUA and your financial institutions to confirm insurance coverage.
Who should get a money market account?
Anyone looking for a safe place to stash a good chunk of money and earn some interest may benefit from a money market account. But these accounts make particularly good sense in a handful of situations, such as:
- Setting up an emergency savings fund.
- Saving for a goal, such as a home purchase or a vacation.
- Growing your savings in a high-yield account that may offer the opportunity to write an occasional check.
- Earning a higher yield than you’re receiving in your current savings or checking account.
When should you open a money market account?
Consider opening a money market account if:
- You want an account that offers liquidity, safety and often a higher interest rate than traditional savings or checking accounts.
- You want the ability to write checks and/or use a debit card.
- You want immediate access to funds if you're ever in a bind.
- You want a good spot to keep your emergency fund.
- You don't want to lock up your money in a CD for an extended period, but you still want a comparable interest rate and the safety of an FDIC- or NCUA-backed account.
Money market account pros and cons
Some money market accounts have certain features that you won’t find in a savings account. Here’s a look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of money market accounts.
You can earn a competitive APY.
You may have check-writing privileges and/or a debit card.
Some money market accounts allow you to withdraw money from an ATM.
Some savings accounts and CDs might have higher APYs
You may be restricted to six withdrawals per statement cycle at certain banks.
Money market accounts vs. alternative account types
You’ll want to compare money market accounts with other accounts to make sure it’s the right place for your money.
Comparing money market accounts with savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, NOW accounts and money market funds makes sense, since all of these are useful for different financial situations or goals.
Money market accounts vs. saving accounts and checking accounts
If you want the ability to write checks or use a debit card, money market accounts are a good alternative to traditional savings accounts. And you'll often get a better return. But if earning a high return is your priority, compare rates on high-yield savings accounts found at online banks, which may be superior to money market accounts and traditional savings accounts.
Meanwhile, money market accounts often combine the perks of paying interest and allowing some transactional features such as check-writing and debit card access. Most checking accounts are noninterest bearing, but they typically have no limits on the number of transactions each month.
Money market accounts vs. CDs
A money market account is for money that needs to be accessible. A CD is for longer-term savings that you won’t use during the CD’s term, mainly because you don’t want to incur an early withdrawal penalty fee. Since money market account yields are usually variable, a CD could give you a fixed APY to protect you from future money market account rate decreases.
Sometimes you’re rewarded with a higher APY in a CD than you would earn in a liquid money market account. Which one is better for you will depend on your financial goals.
Money market accounts vs. NOW accounts
A negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) account is classified as a transaction account, while a money market account is a non-transaction account, according to the Federal Reserve.
NOW accounts allow for an unlimited number of third-party payments, while money market accounts are restricted to six “convenient” transfers or withdrawals per month under Regulation D. Some banks may restrict money market account transactions further.
Money market accounts vs. money market funds
Money market funds and money market accounts are different products. You’ll find money market accounts at FDIC-insured banks and at NCUA credit unions.
You’ll likely find money market funds at a brokerage. Money market mutual funds aren’t insured by the FDIC or the NCUSIF at an NCUA credit union. But they’re considered to be low-risk investments that are liquid. Some money market funds may also be exempt from income taxes.
Both money market accounts and money market funds may offer the ability to write checks.
Regular money market accounts vs. jumbo money market accounts
A jumbo money market account is likely to have a higher minimum balance requirement than a normal money market account. Generally, a jumbo deposit product requires a minimum balance of $100,000. The same minimum balance requirement is also true of many jumbo CDs.
Jumbo money market accounts aren't very common, but there are at least two institutions that offer them:
- Navy Federal Credit Union offers up to 2.25 percent APY on balances of $1 million and higher.
- Canvas Credit Union offers a jumbo money market account that requires a $100,000 minimum balance to earn the account’s top yield of 3.50 percent APY.
Money market account FAQs
A high-yield money market account can be both a worthwhile investment and short-term savings tool for liquid money. It’s a good place for money that needs to earn a competitive APY and be kept safe. There are other investments, such as stocks, that may provide higher rates of return, but they may also put your principal at risk.
So, a money market account may be a worthwhile investment for funds you can’t afford to lose.
Generally, a high-yield money market account pays a higher APY than a checking account because banks can assume that your money will be in there for a longer period. You can withdraw from a money market account just like a checking account, although you may be limited to a certain maximum number of transfers or withdrawals per month.
The average APY on a money market account is 0.31 percent, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of institutions. Yet some banks are offering rates a lot higher than that. That makes it crucial to shop for the best deal when you're searching for a money market account.
Most money market rates are variable, not fixed. That means the rate and APY you receive can rise or fall as market conditions change. A fixed introductory APY is the exception. During the promotional period, the fixed yield gives you a certain APY for a specific period of time. You might lose the fixed yield, however, if you don’t follow certain rules. An introductory rate may also require a deposit made with new money, which usually must come from outside the bank.
All taxable and tax-exempt interest must be reported on your federal income tax return. Most interest that you receive or that’s credited to an account that you can withdraw without penalty is taxable income in the year it becomes available to you, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Consult with an accountant to answer your specific tax questions.
Having funds in a money market or standard savings account can be important during emergencies, yet just 43 percent of Americans could cover an unplanned $1,000 expense, a recent Bankrate survey found.
Unlike CDs or stock market investments, money market accounts can provide easy access to your funds, since some provide debit cards and/or check-writing privileges, which can come in handy if you’re hit with a sudden pricey car repair or an emergency room visit. Unlike stocks or bonds, money market accounts at an FDIC bank are backed by the federal government, so there’s little risk of losing your funds.
Methodology for Bankrate's best money market accounts
Bankrate’s editorial team regularly updates rates featured on this page about every two weeks. We mainly look for the highest APYs and break ties using the minimum balance to open a CD. Bankrate’s editorial team has reviewed nearly all of the banks and credit unions that it tracks, and researches rates weekly for more than 70 popular banks and credit unions. These institutions were selected because they offer competitive APYs, are larger (based on the amount of deposits or assets), frequently appear in internet searches or other possible factors. These banks and credit unions typically offer accounts that are available nationwide. All of these banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and all of the credit unions are National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions, insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Choosing an FDIC-insured bank or NCUA-backed credit union ensures your money is safe as long it’s within insurance limits and guidelines.
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Banks we monitor
These financial institutions are featured in our money market account rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank 5 Connect, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bask Bank, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Credit One Bank, Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, SoFi Bank, State Employees' Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank (California), USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.