Best Money Market Accounts of 2020

Money markets pay interest with checking or debit card access.

    Looking for the high yield of a savings account with the check-writing access of a checking account? Consider a money market account. Most banks offer some type of money market, but it pays to shop around as rates can vary wildly from bank to bank. Fees can also differ from institution to institution, so it’s important to do your homework.

    GOBankingRates compiled a list of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2020 based on an analysis of the following factors:

    • Minimum deposit to open a money market account
    • Annual percentage yield (APY)
    • Minimum balance to earn the APY
    • Monthly maintenance fees
    • Minimum account balance to avoid the monthly fees

    If you want to jump ahead to learn more about money market accounts, click on one of the following links:

    Here’s a quick glance at the Best Money Market Accounts of 2020:

    Best Money Market Accounts & Rates of 2020
    InstitutionMoney Market AccountStandard Rate (APY)Minimum Balance RequiredMinimum Opening DepositMonthly Fees
    Sallie Mae BankMoney Market Account1.83%$0$0$0
    Discover BankMoney Market1.55%-1.60%$0$2,500$0
    TIAA logo 2017TIAA BankYield Pledge Money Market AccountIntroductory APY of 1.85%; percentage varies by tier$0$500$0
    CIT BankMoney Market Account1.85%$0$100$0
    Ally BankMoney Market Account0.75%$0$0$0
    Axos Bank logoAxos BankHigh-Yield Money Market1.05%$0$1,000$0
    VirtualBank logo 2019Virtual BankeMoney Market2.01%$0.01$100$5
    BOK Financial CorporationPersonal Money Market0.13%$0$50$7.95
    US Bank logo 2017U.S. BankPackage Money Market Savings0.04%-0.07%$0$25$0
    BankDirectMoney Market Plus1.51%$10,000$500$0

    Best Money Market Accounts of 2020

    All money market accounts share certain features, such as FDIC insurance. However, other important characteristics — including fees, rates, features and benefits — can vary significantly from institution to institution. Here’s an overview of the main characteristics of each of our Best Money Market Accounts of 2020.



    Sallie Mae Bank: Money Market Account

    Why We Like It: The Sallie Mae Bank Money Market Account has all of the characteristics you should look for in a money market: a high APY, no fees and no minimum balance requirement.

    Perks: 

    • Online account management
    • Check writing capability
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimums

    Things To Watch Out For:

    • $10 fee for each transaction in excess of federally mandated limits of six per month

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $0

    APY: 1.83%

    How To Open an Account: You can open a Sallie Mae Money Market account online. You’ll need to provide standard personal and financial information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number and bank account information.



    Discover Bank: Money Market

    Why We Like It: Discover Bank has a user-friendly online interface, high yields and no fees.

    Perks: 

    In addition to no monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees, Discover Bank’s Money Market account offers free standard checks, free withdrawals at more than 60,000 ATMs nationwide and the following additional perks, all with no additional charge:

    • Replacement debit card
    • Official bank check
    • Online bill pay
    • Expedited delivery for debit card replacement
    • Expedited delivery for official bank checks
    • Deposited item returned
    • Excessive withdrawal fee
    • Stop payment order
    • Insufficient funds
    • Account closure

    Things To Watch Out For:

    • Lower APY paid on deposits of $100,000 or less

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $2,500

    APY: 1.55% / 1.60% for $100,000-plus

    How To Open an Account: Discover Bank Money Market accounts can be opened online in a few minutes with personal and financial information.



    TIAA Bank: Yield Pledge Money Market

    Why We Like It: TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge guarantee assures that you will always receive one of the best rates available — that’s a pretty good promise for a no-fee account.

    Perks:

    • No charges for ATM usage
    • Reimbursement of all third-party ATM fees on balances of at least $5,000
    • Reimbursement of $15 per month in third-party ATM fees on balances of less than $5,000
    • Yield Pledge guarantee that your rate will always be in the top 5% of available money market rates
    • Online and mobile banking, including mobile check deposits

    Things To Watch Out For:

    • Ongoing, non-promotional rates currently range between 1.01% and 1.80%
    • Transactions in excess of the federally mandated six per month face an excessive transaction fee of $10; repeated violations could result in the closure or conversion of the account to a checking account

    Fees: $0

    Minimum Deposit: $500

    APY: 1.85%

    How To Open an Account: You can open your TIAA Pledge Money Market account online with your name and address, birth date, Social Security number, email address and employment information. You’ll also be asked to select a PIN for your account.



    CIT Bank: Money Market Account

    Why We Like It: A high APY, low minimum balance and no monthly fees make CIT Bank’s Money Market account a solid choice.

    Perks:

    • Yields over 20 times the national average
    • No monthly service fees
    • 24/7 secure mobile and online banking, including remote check deposit

    Things To Watch Out For:

    • Certain transactions in excess of the federally mandated six per month are hit with a $10 fee per occurrence, up to $50 monthly

      Fees: $0

      Minimum Deposit: $100

      APY: 1.85%

      How To Open an Account: You can open a CIT Money Market account online in about five to 10 minutes. You’ll need your primary home address, valid email address, valid phone number and Social Security number.



      Ally Bank: Money Market Account

      Why We Like It: Ally Bank is one of the few money market accounts with a $0 minimum and $0 fees, in addition to numerous perks.

      Perks:

      • 24/7 customer service with a live person
      • No fees or account minimums
      • Use any Allpoint ATM in the U.S. for free
      • Up to $10 per month in domestic third-party ATM fees reimbursed per month
      • No fees for standard or expedited ACH transfers, copies of online statements, incoming wires, postage-paid deposit envelopes or official/cashier’s checks

      Things To Watch Out For:

      • Rates aren’t as high as those of competitors
      • Fee of $10 for certain withdrawals in excess of the federally mandated six-per-month limit (ATM withdrawals are unlimited)

        Fees: $0

        Minimum Deposit: $0

        APY: 0.75%

        How To Open an Account: Ally Bank accounts can be opened online in about five minutes. You must be 18 years or older with a Social Security number and a U.S. residential street address, and you’ll need to provide your legal name and birth date.



        Axos Bank: Money Market Account

        Why We Like It: Axos Bank’s Money Market Account has no ongoing minimum balance requirements, no fees and a good APY. Plus, the account is accessible through a number of means.

        Perks:

        • Check writing privileges
        • Debit card access
        • Online bill pay
        • Online and mobile banking, including remote check deposit
        • Two-step account authentication and other security measures

        Things To Watch Out For:

        • $1,000 minimum to open account

          Fees: $0

          Minimum Deposit: $1,000

          APY: 1.05%

          How To Open an Account: You can open your Axos Money Market account online. When you start your application, the bank will ask if you want to add on a no-fee, Essential Checking account to your application, which may make sense for certain customers.



          Virtual Bank: eMoney Market

          Why We Like It: The current promotional rate on Virtual Bank’s eMoney Market account is one of the highest money market APYs available, and the monthly fee is easy to avoid. 

          Perks: 

          • Smartphone app allows account management, including mobile deposits
          • CD rates are also high

          Things To Watch Out For:

          • Standard APY is 0.80%
          • $15 excess transaction fee applies to transactions in excess of federally mandated six per month
          • Requires $100 balance to avoid $5 monthly fee

          Fees: $5

          Minimum Deposit: $100

          APY: 2.01%

          How To Open an Account: After agreeing to a consent form, you can open your Virtual Bank eMoney Market account online with basic personal and financial information.



          BOK Financial Corporation: Personal Money Market

          Why We Like It: No-fee check writing and free access to more than 32,000 ATMs nationwide make the BOK Financial Corporation Personal Money Market account a good option, but only for those who can make a larger initial deposit.

          Perks: 

          • Free access to more than 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
          • Live chat available
          • Can elect to use QuickSave programs for automatic saving when you use the BOK Financial debit card or bill pay
          • Mobile app
          • No-fee check writing

          Things To Watch Out For:

          • Requires $1,000 minimum to avoid $7.95 monthly fee
          • Excess transaction fee of $10 per transaction, with a $50 maximum per cycle
          • 3% fee for use of international ATMs, in addition to any terminal fees

            Fees: $7.95

            Minimum Deposit: $50

            APY: 0.13%

            How To Open an Account: You can open your BOK Financial account online in about five minutes. You’ll need to provide names, physical addresses, Social Security numbers and birth dates for all applicants, who all must be U.S. citizens.


            US Bank logo 2017


            U.S. Bank: Package Money Market Savings

            Why We Like It: U.S. Bank is a financial powerhouse, offering a one-stop shop for all your financial needs. Whereas large banks often charge higher fees, the U.S. Bank Package Money Market Savings account is a refreshing change, with a $0 monthly fee. 

            Perks:

            • U.S. Bank can meet any of your financial needs, from investments and loans to checking and savings accounts
            • Online and mobile banking, including remote deposit
            • Electronic statements
            • No fee for U.S. Bank ATM withdrawals
            • Automated account alerts
            • More than 3,000 branches and 4,700 ATMs available across the country

            Things To Watch Out For:

            • Requires you to maintain an open U.S. Bank Silver or Gold Checking Package
            • $15 excess withdrawal fee; account may converted to a checking account with repeated violations

              Fees: $0

              Minimum Deposit: $25

              APY: 0.04%-0.07%

              How To Open an Account: You can open a money market account online at U.S. Bank if you are 18 or older and a legal resident of the United States. You’ll need a Social Security number or tax ID number, a valid driver’s license, state ID or military ID and an opening deposit.



              BankDirect: Money Market Plus

              Why We Like It: BankDirect’s Money Market Plus offers a sizable 1.51% APY, but you’ll need to pony up $10,000 to get that rate.

              Perks:

              • Interest compounds daily
              • First 50 checks free upon request
              • Free ATM card
              • Four reimbursed ATM fees per statement cycle
              • Unlimited ATM withdrawals without penalty

              Things To Watch Out For:

              • Rate drops to 0% for amounts below $10,000
              • $10 excess transaction fee

                Fees: $0

                Minimum Deposit: $500

                APY: 1.51%

                How To Open an Account: You can fill out a new account form online and submit it electronically at BankDirect, but you’ll then have to sign a deposit agreement and mail it to the bank with your opening deposit. Alternatively, you can contact Client Support at 877-839-2737.


                Tips for Choosing the Best Money Market Account

                When picking a money market account, you should look for a combination of high yields, low minimum balance requirements, zero fees and debit card/check-writing access. Since most accounts don’t rank at the top in every single category, you’ll have to shop around for an account that best matches your own personal financial needs.

                For example, if you plan on using your money market account mainly as a parking place for your funds, you may not need an account that offers debit card or check-writing access. However, if you want to use the account as a higher-yielding alternative to a checking account, access might be your paramount concern.

                Money Market Accounts vs. Savings Accounts

                Money market accounts can pay competitive yields, but they are often more like checking accounts than savings accounts. Money market accounts are generally designed to be more accessible than savings accounts, with ATM access, check-writing capability or both. Savings accounts may have ATM access but don’t allow check writing. Here’s a look at some of the differences between money market accounts and savings accounts

                Advantages of a Money Market Account

                • May have debit card access
                • May have check-writing capability
                • Higher yields than traditional checking accounts
                • FDIC insurance

                Disadvantages of a Money Market Account

                  • May have higher minimum deposit requirements than savings accounts
                  • Yields often below those of online savings account

                  Best Money Market Account Rates

                  Many of the banks on this year’s list appeared on the Best Money Market Accounts 2019 list because banks that do things right often continue excelling. However, you shouldn’t evaluate a money market account simply on the basis of rates. Fees, minimum balances and access to your money also are important considerations. The Best Money Market Accounts of 2020 each offer something exceptional, so you should be able to find a quality account that meets your financial needs in the above list.

                  FAQ

                  Money market accounts aren’t generally as well-known as their deposit account cousins — checking and savings accounts. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly asked questions regarding money market accounts.

                  What Is a Money Market Account?

                  A money market account is a type of hybrid deposit account, combining elements of a savings account, a checking account and a CD. Money market accounts carry FDIC insurance and usually pay higher yields than checking accounts, yet many still offer ATM and/or check-writing access.

                  Why Should I Care About High Money Market Rates?

                  You should care about high money market rates because it’s always great to have additional options for parking your money. If you don’t write very many checks, for example, a money market account might be a viable alternative to a traditional checking account, with the added benefit of a high yield.

                  Are Money Market Accounts Safe?

                  Yes, true money market deposit accounts carry the same FDIC insurance as CDs and savings accounts. You’re covered up to $250,000 per account. Note that money market mutual funds are a different product and are not covered by FDIC insurance.

                  Can You Lose Money in a Money Market Account?

                  Money market accounts are FDIC-insured, so you don’t have to worry about losing money in one. Money market mutual funds, on the other hand, are not FDIC-insured, so you potentially can lose money in those investments.

                  What Are the Disadvantages of Money Market Accounts?

                  Money market accounts are a type of hybrid investment, sharing characteristics of both checking accounts and savings accounts. However, you won’t have as much access to your money as you would with a checking account, which allows for unlimited withdrawals, and you generally earn as much interest as you would with a straight savings account.

                  How To Open a Money Market Account

                  You can open a money market account at most financial institutions either online or in a branch. You’ll generally need personal and financial information, such as your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and bank account number.

                  More From GOBankingRates

                  Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the Best Money Market Accounts of 2020 based on the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open a money market account, (2) annual percentage yield, (3) minimum balance to earn the APY, (4) monthly maintenance fees and (5) minimum account balance to avoid the monthly fees. GOBankingRates’ rankings for the Best Banks of 2020 were based on rates and other information compiled from individual institutions’ websites and/or conversations with representatives from the financial institutions throughout September 2019 and October 2019. All rates and other information pertaining to each account listed in the article were last verified in November 2019. All costs, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of each financial institution. For more information, see the complete methodology for the rankings.

                  About the Author

                  After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.