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Money Market Account 101: How They Work

Money market account 101 - how they work

A money market account is a type of savings account that usually offers higher interest rates than a traditional savings account. Money market accounts are a good way to grow your savings while still having access to your money if you need it. Here’s what you need to know about how they work.

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What Is A Money Market Account?

A money market account is a type of savings account that typically earns higher interest than a traditional savings account. They are offered by banks and credit unions and are usually FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Money market accounts typically require a higher minimum balance than a traditional savings account and may have more restrictions on withdrawals. They are a good option for people who want to earn higher interest on their savings and who don’t need immediate access to their money.

How Does A Money Market Account Work?

A money market account is a type of savings account that typically requires a higher minimum balance than a traditional savings account. In exchange for this higher balance, banks will usually offer higher interest rates on money market accounts. The interest rates on a money market account are often tiered, meaning that the higher your balance is, the higher your interest rate will be.

Money market accounts also typically offer check-writing and debit card privileges, which can be helpful if you need to access your money but don’t want to incur the fees associated with a traditional checking account. However, there are usually restrictions on how many checks or withdrawals you can make from a money market account per month.

One of the biggest benefits of a money market account is that the funds in the account are typically FDIC-insured, meaning that your money is protected in the event that the bank fails.

What is a money market account and how does it work
What is a money market account and how does it work

What Type Of Interest Do They Earn?

One of the main benefits of a money market account is that it allows you to earn compound interest, which is when the interest you earn is added to your account balance and then earns interest on top of that. This can help you grow your money even faster.

Pros And Cons Of Money Market Accounts

Money market accounts can be a great way to save money and earn a bit of interest on your balance. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider before opening one. For example, money market accounts typically have higher minimum balance requirements than savings accounts.

Additionally, you may only be able to make a limited number of transactions from your account each month. So, if you need to access your money frequently, a money market account may not be the best option for you.

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Pros:

  • A money market account is an account that offers a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account.
  • These accounts also offer the ability to write checks, which can be helpful in an emergency.
  • Are FDIC insured, just like a regular savings account.

Cons:

  • The interest rate on a money market account is often lower than the interest rate on a certificate of deposit.
  • Usually only a limited number of transactions can be made each month.
  • A higher minimum balance is typical required than a savings account in order to earn interest.
  • Fees may be applied if you fail to maintain the minimum required balance.

Who Are They Suitable For?

Money market accounts can be a good option for people who are looking to save money for a specific shorter term goal, such as a down payment on a house or a new car. They are not suited to saving longer term such as for retirement as they don’t offer as much growth potential as other savings products such as CDs or other investment assets.

They typically require a higher minimum balance than a traditional savings account, but they can still be a good option for people who are able to meet that minimum balance.

How does a money market account work
How does a money market account work

Difference Between Money Market Account & Money Market Fund

You may also be aware of money market funds, this should not be confused with a money market account as the two are different.

As we’ve already covered, a money market account is a type of savings account offered by banks and credit unions that usually requires a higher minimum balance than a traditional savings account. In return they often have higher interest rates than regular savings accounts.

Whereas a money market fund is an investment vehicle that invests in short-term debt securities such as government bonds, corporate bonds, and commercial paper. Money market funds are typically used by investors seeking to preserve capital and earn a relatively stable return on their investment. They are not FDIC insured.

Not sure whether saving or investing is the right option for you? Then you might want to check out our post comparing the pros and cons of saving and investing.

Savings Interest Calculator

It’s not always easy comparing different bank accounts as each often has different minimum balance requirements, tiered interest rates, minimum terms and different interest compounding and payment periods such as daily or monthly.

Use our savings interest calculator below to see what kind of return you could be getting on your savings. Adjust the inputs accordingly to compare the difference between interest rates and compounding periods. You’ll then be able to see a complete breakdown detailing how much interest and capital growth you could receive over that time period.

Compound Interest Calculator

Finding The Best Money Market Accounts

The best money market accounts (MMAs) offer competitive interest rates and low fees. To find the best account for you, compare several MMAs from different banks and credit unions. Look for an account with a high interest rate and low fees. Also, make sure the account is FDIC insured.

To get the best interest rate possible, open an account with a bank that offers a tiered interest rate. This means that the interest rate will increase as your balance grows. To avoid fees, choose an account that requires no minimum balance and has no monthly maintenance fees.

Restrictions and requirements vary from bank to bank. Some banks require a minimum deposit to open an account, while others do not. Make sure you understand any restrictions or requirements before opening an account.

One of the easiest ways to compare savings accounts is to use a savings marketplace like SaveBetter. Browse the latest offers from trusted banking providers and conveniently open and hold multiple savings products in one secure location.

Many of the banks available on SaveBetter offer among the highest yields with no fees and a required opening balance of just $1!

Check out the best savings account rates on SaveBetter

Finding the best money market accounts
Finding the best money market accounts

Money Market Account Alternatives

There are many alternatives to money market accounts that are offered by banks including regular savings accounts, certificate of deposit accounts, high yield accounts, checking accounts and rewards checking accounts.

Regular savings accounts are a simple, easy access savings account offered by most banks. They typically have no or very little initial deposit or minimum operating balance. But they also usually offer among the lowest interest rates.

Certificate of deposit accounts are another type of savings account that typically pays a higher interest rate than a standard savings account. With a certificate of deposit account, you agree to keep your money in the account for a set period of time, usually anywhere from six months to five years. If you withdraw your money before the end of the term, you typically have to pay a penalty.

High yield accounts are another type of savings account that typically pays a higher interest rate than a money market account. With a high yield account, you also typically have to keep a higher balance in the account and it may have more restrictions.

Checking accounts are another type of bank account that allows you to write checks and use a debit card to make purchases. With a checking account, you typically have to maintain a minimum balance in the account or you may be charged a fee. Some of these accounts may pay interest or come with other perks.

Rewards checking accounts are another type of bank account that allows you to earn rewards points for every dollar you spend. With a rewards checking account, you typically have to maintain a minimum balance in the account or you may be charged a fee.

If you are saving for the long term such as retirement and wish to earn a better rate of return, you are often better investing. Check out these 21 types of investment assets to grow wealth.

Money Market Accounts Conclusion

Now that we know how money market accounts work, it’s time to start thinking about whether or not one is right for you. If you’re looking for a safe place to grow your savings, a money market account could be a good option.

Remember to do your research and compare different accounts before making a decision.

Check out the best savings account rates on SaveBetter

And if you need more help, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and check out our blog for more personal finance tips.

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