How To Open a Money Market Account: 4 Simple Steps

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Savers looking for a place to store their hard-earned dollars might turn to a money market account.

Money market accounts offer competitive yields and they give accountholders extra features. A few common perks include access to a debit card or check-writing privileges directly from the account. If you are wondering how to open a money market account, you are in the right place. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide.

How To Open a Money Market Account: Step by Step

It’s worth noting that opening a money market account shouldn’t take you very long. If you find an account you are comfortable with quickly, the entire process could be done in less than 30 minutes.

Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Explore your options
  2. Gather the documents
  3. Submit an application
  4. Fund the account

Step 1: Explore Your Options

The first step of opening a money market account is determining which one you want to open. After all, there are countless money market accounts available. You’ll need to decide which one is the best choice for your situation. As you sort through your options, keep the following details in mind:

  • Annual percentage yield: The APY is the total amount of interest you can earn on your savings during a year. A higher APY means you’ll earn more interest. Most savers choose to prioritize accounts with relatively high APYs.
  • FDIC insurance: When you work with an FDIC member bank, your funds are protected for up to $250,000 per depositor per account category. If you opt to work with a credit union, look for National Credit Union Association coverage, which offers similar protections for credit union savers.
  • Fees: As with all bank accounts, the fees tied to a money market account matter. In general, you’ll want to pick an account with lower fees. Ideally, you’ll find an account without a monthly maintenance fee or any ATM withdrawal fees.
  • Balance requirements: Some money market accounts come with minimum balance requirements. Depending on the requirements, you might determine some accounts aren’t feasible for your situation.
  • Privileges: The ability to write checks and use a debit card are privileges that come with some money market accounts. But not all money market accounts offer these privileges. If you have a particular mode of access you prefer, make sure the account you choose offers it.
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The right account for you will strike the appropriate balance between all of these features. Luckily, there are many great money market accounts out there that can meet all your needs.

Step 2: Gather the Documents

After you’ve selected the money market account that suits your needs, it’s time to sign up. In many cases, you’ll be able to sign up for this type of account online. But some financial institutions will only allow you to open an account in person.

Either way, you’ll need to provide some documentation to open the account. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Government-issued ID: A few common forms include your driver’s license, state ID and passport.
  • Social Security number: If you don’t have a Social Security number, you might be able to use a Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Contact information: Most banks will need to know your phone number, email address and physical address.

Gathering this documentation before heading to submit your application will streamline your experience.

Step 3: Submit an Application

With all of the information you need on hand, it should only take a few minutes to fill out an application for a new money market account.

In general, you’ll be able to submit this application online and find out about the status within a few minutes. But for some financial institutions, completing your application will include a visit to your local branch.

Step 4: Fund the Account

Last but not least, it’s time to fund your new account. Many financial institutions require you to make a minimum opening deposit. But even if you aren’t required to make an initial deposit, you’ll want to fund your account at some point.

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Here are some ways you might be able to fund the account:

  • Make an online transfer.
  • Make a remote check deposit.
  • Deposit cash or a check at your local branch.

Most banks will let you know ahead of time what your funding options are. In some cases, you might even be able to link a direct deposit from an employer to this account.

Final Take

Opening a money market account can give you more control over your finances. The relatively flexible nature of the account might strike the right balance between access and interest-earning potential.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding money market accounts.
  • How much money do you need to open a money market account?
    • The amount of money you need to open a money market account varies from account to account. In some cases, you can open a money market account without making an opening deposit at all. But in other cases, you may need to transfer $1,000 or more to open the account.
  • What is the downside of a money market account?
    • Money market accounts tend to come with transaction limitations attached. While the rules are blurry in the wake of the pandemic, you should confirm the transaction limitations with a financial institution before diving in.
  • How can I open a money market account?
    • You can follow these steps to open a money market account:
      1. Explore your options
      2. Gather the documents
      3. Submit an application
      4. Fund the account
  • What is needed to open a money market account?
    • When opening a money market account, you will most likely have to provide the following:
      • Government-issued ID
      • Social Security number
      • Contact information

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