Advertiser Disclosure
Fortunly's Guide

The Best Money Market Accounts for 2021

By
Julija A.

October 13,2021


Growing your funds with a traditional savings account often takes a lot of time and money. That’s why money market accounts offer an alternative, giving customers interest-earning power through a high annual percentage yield.

Combining the best features of checking and savings accounts, money market accounts offer more flexibility and allow you to access your funds any time you want. Despite the transaction limits, these accounts are a great option if you want to start saving for short-term goals. Check our reviews of the best money market accounts to start saving smarter. 

Show More...

Banks with the Best Money Market Rates

Min. opening deposit
$2,500
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fee
None
APY
0.30%-0.35%
Open Account
Offer details
Min. opening deposit
$100
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fee
None
APY
0.45%
Open Account
Offer details
Min. opening deposit
$1,000
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fee
$8/month, can be waived
APY
0.50%
Open Account
Offer details
Min. opening deposit
N/A
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fee
$8/month, can be waived
APY
0.50%
Open Account
Offer details
Evaluation Criteria

How We Compare Money Market Accounts - Review Methodology

We used a special set of criteria to select the best providers of money market accounts, which can also educate potential customers about the many features on offer. Before delving into our detailed reviews, check out the list of some of the basic things you should know when opening a money market account: 

FDIC insurance

Our list only includes reliable and reputable online banks where money market accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This independent federal agency guarantees that the money you deposit into your personal or business money market account is insured up to $250,000. If your bank fails for any reason, you won’t lose your money. 

APY rate

Of course, anyone who opens a money market account is looking to accelerate their interest-earning. Almost all banks offer money market accounts with variable interest rates, which are highest during the introductory period. 

Minimum opening deposit

After finding the options with the top money market rates, it’s important to know how much cash you need to deposit when opening the account. The initial deposit requirement varies from bank to bank and can be as low as $100 or as high as $10,000. Of course, there are banks that don’t require a minimum deposit, giving you the best rates regardless of how much money you have.

Minimum account balance

The minimum account balance is another crucial aspect to consider when trying to figure out where to open the highest paying money market accounts. Some banks are strict when it comes to the minimum daily/monthly balances and slap fees on customers that fail to meet these requirements. 

Transaction fees

Traditionally, the Federal Reserve enforced a limit on how many times customers could tap into their MMA savings. But as part of the government’s response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, those limits have now been suspended. 

Bear in mind, however, that your bank or credit union may still impose a fee if you exceed the traditional monthly limit. That’s why it’s important to check with your bank about the six-per-month transaction limit before you open the account. 

Other fees

Many of the providers of the top-rated money market accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee. However, certain banks will waive the fee if you meet the minimum balance requirements that some of the banks have. 

Checks writing privileges and debit cards

Another great thing about money market accounts is the variety of deposit and withdrawal options. Many clients prefer money market accounts because they come with debit cards and check privileges. You can apply for these when you open the account, and in most cases, you’ll get them for free. Note that some banks don’t have money market accounts with checks and debit cards. When looking for the best APY money market accounts, make sure that some of these perks are available. 

Customer service

When using online banking services, you can run into problems with anything from the application process to making deposits and withdrawals. This is when you need a responsive and knowledgeable customer support team. We evaluated the quality of the customer service by checking the channels on offer and whether the agents are available 24/7.

Account security features

We made sure to include FDIC-insured accounts offered by reputable banks, which employ the latest and most advanced security measures to protect your transactions and account details.

Quick Breakdown

The Best Money Market Rates in 2021:

Detailed Reviews

Discover Bank Money Market Account Review
Discover Bank Money Market Account Review Logo Open Account

On Official Website

APY
0.30% APY for balance under $100,000; 0.35% for balance of $100,000 or more
Minimum opening deposit
$2,500
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fees
N/A
Excessive withdrawal fees
N/A

Discover Bank is an online bank owned and operated by Discover Financial Services. It’s one of the largest banks in America that’s widely known for its rewards credit cards. But its 50 million clients use many of the bank’s other financial services.

When it comes to Discover’s top money market accounts, the bank offers accelerated interest-earning and convenient withdrawals via checks and debit cards. 

Account features 

If you want to open a Discover money market account, you need to deposit at least $2,500. Although most banks require a minimum deposit when opening an account, they usually don’t ask for more than a few hundred bucks. When compared to some of the competition, Discover’s minimum deposit is notably high. 

On the plus side, you don’t need to worry about a minimum monthly account balance because Discover doesn’t set balance limits for its clients. Also, the bank doesn’t charge account maintenance fees. 

Discover offers high rate money market accounts. The interest that the bank pays on your deposit is 0.30% APY for balances below $100,000, while for accounts with $100,000 or more, the APY is 0.35%. 

Reasons to choose Discover Bank Money Market Account

One of the main advantages of having a money market account at Discover is the variety of options for withdrawing and transferring funds. 

First off, you can withdraw funds from the bank’s nationwide network of more than 60,000 ATMs, without paying any transaction fees. Second, you get online account access that enables you to pay your bills via your mobile devices or desktop. Finally, for convenience purposes, the money market accounts come with checks and debit cards. 

In addition to the best money market savings accounts, Discover provides free expedited delivery for paper checks and debit card replacement. 

One of the particularly popular features is the bank’s modern mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It’s simple to use and highly functional. You can make as many deposits as you want, check your balance and manage your account on the go, and search for the nearest ATM. Another great thing about the app is that you can take a picture of paper checks and add a deposit to your account. 

On the bank’s site, you’ll find lots of informative articles that can help you decide whether a money market account is the right fit for you. The bank also provides top money market account customer support. You can get access to polite and knowledgeable agents who are available round-the-clock. 

Reasons to look elsewhere 

Like other providers, Discover Bank traditionally limited customers to six transactions per month.   In 2020, the federal government responded to the widespread financial distress by suspending withdrawal limits to make it easier for people to access their savings. However, banks like Discover may still charge excessive withdrawal fees. 

Discover is also not an ideal place for those who are looking for the best jumbo money market rates. Since you pay the minimum deposit of $2,500, the bank should provide you with high money market rates. However, the APY of 0.35% applies only during the introductory period, meaning that your money market interest rates can drop at a later stage. 

Reasons to apply: 

  • More than 60,000 ATMs nationwide
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Knowledgeable and polite customers service
  • Interest is compounded daily
+ Show more
CIT Bank Money Market Account Review
CIT Bank Money Market Account Review Logo Open Account

On Official Website

APY
0.45%
Minimum opening deposit
$100
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fees
N/A
Excessive withdrawal fees
$10, capped at $50 monthly

Another place to find some of the best money market interest rates is CIT Bank. It’s a modern, online-focused company that delivers an ideal experience to its clients. The bank offers various types of deposit accounts, including savings accounts, CDs, money market deposit accounts, and recently launched eChecking. 

CIT Bank is a subsidiary of CIT Group, a reputable company that provides financial services and products to businesses and individuals across the US. Although it’s unlikely that a bank with $58 billion in assets can fail, the accounts are FDIC-insured, which means that your savings are protected. 

Account features 

Thanks to the bank’s online-focused approach, the application process for a CIT money market account is easy, and approvals are quick. To open the best money market account, you’ll need to provide a few personal details, including your name, address, and Social Security number and make a minimum $100 deposit. 

CIT bank interest rates are not the highest in the industry, but they are appealing enough to open the account. With this account, you’ll get an APY of 0.45% during the introductory period. After that, the APYs and the interest rates may change without notice. 

Reasons to choose CIT Bank Money Market Account

As is the case with the best online money market accounts, there are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. In addition to saving customers money, CIT bank money market accounts are also ideal for clients who prefer online-focused banks. That means you won’t need any hard copy documents to open the account, and you can complete the entire process on CIT’s website, which is remarkably easy to navigate. You’ll also be able to use the bank’s mobile app for free to manage your account and access funds wherever you need cash. 
Another great thing is that you can use the bank’s online calculator to check money market savings account rates. This online tool can help you decide whether a money market account is a good option for you. 

Reasons to look elsewhere

Although it’s one of the best banks to open a money market savings account, CIT has a few drawbacks. Due to the bank’s online-focused approach when opening accounts and making transactions, it’s not the best option for clients who prefer traditional brick-and-mortar banks and face-to-face communication. 

Unlike other best high-yield money market accounts, CIT also charges transaction and overdraft fees. You’ll be slapped with overdraft fees for payments that exceed the funds in your account. This fee is $25, but you can avoid it easily by not making payments that you don’t have the money for. Meanwhile, transaction fees cannot be avoided unless you have at least a $25,000 balance. For balances under this amount, the transaction fee is $10. 

Reasons to apply: 

  • Great online and mobile banking experience
  • No account maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Competitive rates 
+ Show more
Nationwide by Axos Money Market Plus Review
Nationwide by Axos Money Market Plus Review  Logo Open Account

On Official Website

APY
0.50%
Minimum opening deposit
$1,000
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fees
$8/month, waived if you keep a $1,000 minimum daily balance
Excessive withdrawal fees
$10

The next bank on our list that offers high-yield money market accounts is Axos Bank. Established in 2000, Axos is one of the first banks in America to become an online-only bank. It uses the latest software technology to deliver a safe and fast digital banking experience for its clients. Axos Bank offers a wide range of products and services, including money market accounts, savings and checking accounts as well as personal and mortgage loans. In 2018, the bank entered a partnership with Nationwide. 

Account features 

Axos Bank digitized its application and approval procedure, meaning that you can open an account from your laptop or mobile phone. Setting up high-interest money market accounts is even simpler if you already have a checking or a savings account at Axos Bank. 

The bank requires the minimum opening deposit of $1,000, but it won’t charge you an application fee. A minimum monthly balance of $1,000 is required if you want to avoid the $8 per month fee for account maintenance. 

Like with other types of savings accounts, you can make additional deposits any time you want. When it comes to withdrawals, the bank may charge additional fees for more than six transactions in a single calendar month. 

Reasons to choose Nationwide by Axos Money Market Plus

Numerous online reviews applaud Axos for offering the highest money market account rates and simple withdrawal options. Axos Bank will give you a free ATM card that you can use at more than 90,000 locations in the US and will even reimburse all domestic ATM fees of up to $10. 

Among the many available digital banking tools is Online Bill Pay, which you can use to set up single or recurring payments from your online banking dashboard.  

Another reason why Axos Bank is considered one of the best banks for money market accounts is that it employs sophisticated security measures for protecting your transactions. The bank safeguards your username and password and automatically logs out accounts that are not active. Two-step authentication is another procedure that the bank uses to make sure that you’re the only person who can access your account. Furthermore, Axos Bank uses 128-bit encryption technology and antivirus protection tools. 

Reasons to look elsewhere

Axos Bank is a great bank for those who are able to maintain an account balance of $1,000 or more. If your daily balance is under $1,000, be prepared to pay maintenance fees. 

However, this is not the bank’s sole defect. Although it offers the best money markets interest rates, the maximum introductory APY you can get is 0.50%, and it stays the same regardless of how much money you deposit. If you’re looking for a jumbo money market account with the highest interest rates, it’s better to skip Axos Bank. 

Reasons to apply: 

  • 128-bit encryption
  • Antivirus and malware protection
  • Reimburses ATM fees up to $10
  • Free paper checks 
+ Show more
Ally Money Market Account Review
Ally Money Market Account Review  Logo Open Account

On Official Website

APY
0.50%
Minimum opening deposit
N/A
Minimum balance
N/A
Maintenance fees
N/A
Excessive withdrawal fees
$10

Ally was formerly known as the General Motors Acceptance Corporation before being rebranded in 2009. As one of the largest banks in the US, Ally specializes in providing the highest money market accounts as well as other types of savings accounts and financial services. 

Account features

The bank’s money market account helps you increase your earnings with an APY of 0.50%. You can start earning interest regardless of how much money you’ve deposited. The money market rate is compounded daily and enables you to get more funds faster. 

Like other money market account providers, Ally may impose additional fees on clients who exceed the six-transaction limit per month. That limit extends to withdrawals and other transactions that you make through this best money market savings account whether you're using debit cards, checks, or online transfers. 

Reasons to choose Ally Money Market Account

Designed for consumers who want to increase their savings with a low minimum balance requirement, Ally Bank has a large base of account holders. Money market accounts are especially popular because Ally doesn’t set any strict requirements when it comes to the minimum opening deposit and monthly balance. In other words, you can open the account and get the best money market interest rate regardless of the amount you deposit. 

Ally Bank money market accounts are also popular nationwide because this is one of the safest places to keep your money. The accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000. 

You can also make unlimited ATM withdrawals for free if you use one of the 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs, and you’ll be reimbursed up to $10 per month for fees charged at other ATM networks.

Additionally, Ally Bank offers several options for depositing money into your account. Like other best money market account providers, Ally allows you to deposit funds online. You can also make wire transfers or mail the funds to your account. Ally eCheck Deposit is another popular option that enables check deposits from your mobile device. 

Finally, Ally Bank’s customer support is one of the most reliable in the industry. Agents are quick to respond and knowledgeable, and what’s more important, they’re available 24/7. You can get in touch with an agent by phone, via live chat, or by sending an email. 

Reasons to look elsewhere

Although Ally Bank’s money market rates are above the industry standard, you can still earn more with the bank’s high yield CD where a 12-month term has an APY of 60%. Another drawback is that Ally Bank only provides digital services and doesn’t accept cash deposits. 

Reasons to apply: 

  • High APY rates
  • 43,000+ ATMs nationwide
  • eCheck deposits
  • 24/7 customer service 
+ Show more

How the Best Money Market Accounts for 2021 Work?

Money market accounts are one of the safest options to save money for emergencies, large purchases, or investments. Banks and credit unions pay higher interest rates on these accounts than on regular savings accounts, meaning that you can earn more funds in a shorter period of time. Most banks will also offer you checks and debit cards with money market accounts, which gives you easy access to your funds. 

Opening a money market account is the same as opening any other kind of deposit account. Most banks ask for personal details, such as your name, address, and Social Security number. Before you deposit money and open the account, check if you can get the best money market rate from the bank you choose. Interest rates on money market accounts are variable, meaning they’ll fluctuate depending on the market conditions. You also need to check with your bank how interest is compounded (daily or monthly) because it can determine your interest-earning power.  

Money market accounts are similar to certificates of deposit accounts. Both of them pay higher interest rates than savings accounts and require higher initial deposits. Unlike CDs, money market accounts allow multiple deposits, and they are more flexible when it comes to withdrawals. CDs come with a fixed term that can range between three months to five years. If you withdraw funds before your account matures, you pay steep penalties. With the highest yielding money market accounts, you don’t need to lock money for a specific period of time, but there are withdrawal limits. 

If you’re considering opening a money market account, make sure you’re familiar with its many features. Educate yourself about the similarities and differences between this type of account and other savings and checking accounts in order to find the best option for your unique needs. 

FAQ
Which bank has the best money market account? +

We evaluated banks that offer the highest money market rates through a high APY. Currently, the top three options on the market are Discover Bank, CIT Bank, and Nationwide by Axos.   Read our detailed reviews to find out which one is the best for you. 

Can you lose your money in a money market account? +

Money market accounts from our list are FDIC-insured, meaning that your money is safe regardless of what happens with the bank. 

What is the safest money market account? +

We only evaluated banks that offer FDIC-insured accounts and are protected with industry-standard security features. Whatever account you choose, you can rest assured that your money is safe.

Which is better, CD or money market account? +

The best money market accounts are better if you want flexible access to your funds, but if your goal is to maximize your earnings, a CD account offers higher interest rates.

-->