Best Money Market Accounts of 2021: High Rates and Easy 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 2021 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

Here’s a quick look at GOBankingRates’ list of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2021:

Best Money Market Accounts of 2021

Money Market Account Next Steps

U.S. Bank Elite Money Market Account

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PNC Bank Premiere Money Market

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Ally Bank Ally Money Market Account

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CIT Bank Money Market

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Synchrony Bank Money Market

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Sallie Mae Bank Money Market Account

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TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Money Market

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Discover Bank Money Market Account

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TD Bank TD Growth Money Market

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BBVA USA Money Market Account

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BMO Harris Bank Platinum Money Market

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Axos Bank High Yield Money Market

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Virtualbank eMoney Market

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First Internet Bank Money Market Savings

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NBKC Bank Personal Money Market

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Quontic Bank Money Market

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Amboy Direct Money Market Maximizer

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Bankdirect Money Market Plus

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Regions Bank Regions Money Market Account

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Apple Bank For Savings Apple Bank Money Market

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Learn More About Each Money Market Account

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 2021.

U.S. Bank: Best Money Market Account

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's Elite Money Market Account is a refreshing change, with a low $10 monthly fee.

Benefits

  • 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
  • Nearly 3,000 branches across the country

Drawbacks

  • You need a large balance to truly benefit from the account

Monthly Fees

$10

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$10,000

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.01%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Grow Your Savings Today

PNC Bank: Premiere Money Market

Why we like it: PNC Bank has a low minimum balance required to earn interest on your money market account, plus opportunities to earn a higher APY with a higher balance.

Benefits

  • Automatic savings transfers make it easy to watch your money market account grow
  • Online and mobile banking
  • 2,300 branches and 18,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • $100 minimum deposit

Drawbacks

  • Performance Select Checking Account and balance of $100,000 or more to earn the highest APY

Monthly Fees

$12

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$5,000

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.02%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Ally Bank: Ally Money Market Account

Why we like it: Ally Bank offers one of the few money market accounts with a $0 minimum and $0 fees, in addition to numerous perks.

Benefits

  • 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

Drawbacks

  • 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)

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Grow Your Savings Today

CIT Bank: Money Market

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

Benefits

  • Yields over 12 times the national average
  • No monthly service fees
  • 24/7 secure mobile and online banking, including remote check deposit

Drawbacks

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

Monthly Fees

$10

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$25,000

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.60%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Synchrony Bank: Money Market

Why we like it: Synchrony Bank has no minimum balance, no fees, and a high yield of 0.50%.

Benefits

  • No fee
  • No minimum balance
  • Debit card access
  • Online bill pay
  • Online and mobile banking, including remote check deposit

Drawbacks

  • Online bank only

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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.

Benefits

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

Drawbacks

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

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.70%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Grow Your Savings Today

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.

Benefits

  • 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

Drawbacks

  • 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

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$500

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Discover Bank: Money Market Account

Why we like it: Discover Bank has a user-friendly online interface, relatively high yields and no fees.

Benefits

  • Free standard checks
  • No excess withdrawal or insufficient funds fees
  • No minimum balance fee
  • No monthly fees

Drawbacks

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

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

APY

0.45%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Grow Your Savings Today

TD Bank: TD Growth Money Market

Why we like it: Earn even more interest as your balance grows, with no minimum deposit required to open an account.

Benefits

  • No minimum deposit required
  • Low monthly maintenance fee, waived if you link it to a TD checking account or maintain a $2,000 minimum balance
  • No monthly fees for adults age 62 and up
  • Earn up to 0.10% APY
  • Free online or paper statements
  • Mobile app and online banking
  • Earn a “bump” in interest when you grow your balance by $50 through a transfer from a TD checking account

Drawbacks

  • $35 overdraft fee

Monthly Fees

$12

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$2,000

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.05%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$2,000
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

BBVA USA: Money Market Account

Why we like it: The award-winning mobile app, low minimum deposit to open an account, and overdraft protection when linked with a BBVA checking account put this money market account on our list.

Benefits

  • Only $25 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Earn 0.15% for the first 3 months
  • Earn 0.05% APY with a minimum balance of $10,000
  • Free online banking

Drawbacks

  • Must hold $1 million or more in the account to earn the highest APY

Monthly Fees

$15

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$10,000

Minimum Deposit

$25

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Grow Your Savings Today

BMO Harris Bank: Platinum Money Market Account

Why we like it: Earn up to 0.35% APY with no monthly fees, and make unlimited withdrawals or transfers at a BMO Harris ATM, branch, or by messenger, phone, or mail.

Benefits

  • No monthly fees
  • No need to maintain a minimum balance
  • Unlimited withdrawals or transfers with no penalties when you use certain methods
  • Open an account easily online

Drawbacks

  • $5,000 minimum opening deposit

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$25

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$5,000
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Axos Bank: High Yield Money Market

Why we like it: Axos has a terrific APY and it's accessible through a number of means.

Benefits

  • Check writing privileges
  • Debit card access
  • Biometric security measures

Drawbacks

  • $1,000 minimum to open account

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

APY

0.70%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

VirtualBank: 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.

Benefits

  • Smartphone app allows account management, including mobile deposits
  • CD rates are also high
  • Low monthly fee, which can be avoided with $100 minimum balance
  • 0.80% standard APY

Drawbacks

  • $15 excess transaction fee applies to transactions in excess of federally mandated six per month
  • Online-only bank

Monthly Fees

$5

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$100

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.70%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

First Internet Bank: Money Market Savings

Why we like it: Earn a high APY of 0.50% with as little as $100 to open your account.

Benefits

  • Online account management
  • ATM surcharge rebate up to $10 per month
  • High yield

Drawbacks

  • Minimum daily balance of $4,000 to avoid $5 monthly fee

Monthly Fees

$5

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$4,000

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.70%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

NBKC Bank: Personal Money Market

Why we like it: No minimum deposit to open the account and maintain a balance of just .01 to earn a high APY of 0.40%.

Benefits

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum deposit required
  • Keep a minimum balance of just one cent to earn interest
  • No overdraft fees
  • Open an account easily online

Drawbacks

  • Branches only in the Kansas City region

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.80%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Quontic Bank: Money Market

Why we like it: This top-rated online bank offers a competitive APY and a low minimum opening deposit.

Benefits

  • Open an account with as little as $100
  • Access to 90,000+ surcharge-free ATMs
  • No monthly service fees
  • Mobile app and online banking

Drawbacks

  • Must have an account balance of $150,000 to earn the highest APY

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.45%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Amboy Direct: Money Market Maximizer

Why we like it: The online-only division of New Jersey-based Amboy bank offers an ultra-high APY for money market accounts with $30,000 or more in the account.

Benefits

  • Only $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No required minimum balance
  • Schedule automatic transfers from any checking account to make saving easy
  • Earn up to .65% APY (with minimum balance maintained)

Drawbacks

  • Must hold at least $5,000 in the account to earn interest

Monthly Fees

$0

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

APY

0.25%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$5,000
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

BankDirect: Money Market Plus

Why we like it: BankDirect’s Money Market Plus offers a sizable APY, but you’ll need to pony up to get that rate.

Benefits

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

Drawbacks

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

Monthly Fees

$10

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$10,000

Minimum Deposit

$500

APY

0.75%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Regions Bank: Regions Money Market Account

Why we like it: Regions offers two choices in money market accounts depending on how much you’d like to invest, plus award-winning service online and in branches nationwide.

Benefits

  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • Free online banking and bill pay
  • Low monthly fee, waived with a $2,500 minimum daily balance
  • Earn more interest the more you save
  • Earn Relationship Rewards to receive perks and benefits when linked to a Regions checking account
  • Access to a network of 1,900 ATMs across 15 states

Drawbacks

  • Low starting APY of .01%

Monthly Fees

$12

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$2,500

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.01%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0.01
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Apple Bank for Savings: Apple Bank Money Market

Why we like it: Apple Bank gives you an easy way to access your money with unlimited withdrawals at Apple branches.

Benefits

  • Write up to 6 checks per month
  • Low $100 minimum deposit to open an account
  • Earn 0.25% APY on balances of $2,500+
  • Low monthly fee, waived with a minimum daily balance of $2,500

Drawbacks

  • Must maintain $2,500 in account to earn interest

Monthly Fees

$10

Minimum to Avoid Fee

$2,500

Minimum Deposit

$100

APY

0.50%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$2,500
READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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

    Summary

    Many of the banks on this year’s list appeared on last year’s list as well 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 2021 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: To discover the Best Money Market accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the top institutions in terms of total assets size that had available published data. To determine rankings GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) money market APY rate (5) minimum balance needed in account to earn APY, (6) monthly fees associated with the account; (7) minimum balance needed to avoid the fee; and (8) the average mobile app rating between the android and apple stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (1) were weighted 1.5 times and factors (2) and (4) were weighted 2 times. All data is up to date as of 11/4/2020, rates and fees subject to change.

    John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

    About the Author

    Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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