Best Money Market Accounts of 2018

It can be confusing to distinguish between money market accounts and normal savings account. From a consumer's perspective, the key difference is that money market accounts come with higher average interest rates and higher minimum balance requirements. They're also more accessible, often coming with ATM cards and checks that you don't receive with savings accounts. We researched dozens of accounts to bring you the best rates among money market accounts available both online and at traditional banks.

Best Money Market Account Interest Rate: EverBank

Although its highest rate of 1.11% APY only lasts for the first twelve months, the EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market Account earns the highest possible rate in the first 12 months of opening the account. After the first year, the rate drops to 0.61%, but given that the current FDIC national average for money market accounts is 0.08% APY, this is still a much stronger rate than most other banks with similar accounts.

The opening minimum deposit at EverBank is $5,000, but you won't lose out on any interest even if your balance goes below that number later on. As its name suggests, the Yield Pledge Money Market Account comes with a promise from EverBank to keep the interest rate on the account within the top 5% of offerings found among the largest U.S. banks and thrifts. This account is a good investment for at least the first year, after which you may want to look at options with higher permanent APY.

EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market – Key Figures

  • First-Year APY: 1.11%
  • Minimum to Open: $5,000
  • Standard APY: 0.61%
  • Monthly Fee: $0

Best Online Money Market Accounts

Online banks often provide much higher interest rates than brick-and-mortar institutions, thanks to their lower physical operating costs. The same is true for their money market accounts, although the highest online rates usually come with regular savings accounts.

Ally Money Market Account

If the $5,000 required to open EverBank's money market account seems high, you should consider banks such as Ally, whose Money Market Account earns 0.90% APY for any amount you decide to keep on your balance. As usual with online accounts, the Ally Money Market Account charges no monthly maintenance fees, making it even easier to earn interest on the balance. In addition, it's easy to link your account to an Ally checking account, in case you want to arrange for automatic transfers or overdraft protection from your savings.

Ally Bank also presents several benefits from a customer service standpoint. The 24/7 phone support line allows you to speak with a bank representative at any time and place, a feature you won't find with other online banks. Also, Ally Bank was rated as the only bank in a 2015 Pew Report that fulfilled every good practice in consumer banking, such as clear disclosures, low overdraft fees and non-binding dispute resolution policies.

Ally Money Market Account – Key Figures

  • APY: 0.90%
  • Minimum to Earn APY: $0
  • Minimum to Open: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0

Synchrony Money Market Account

One of the highest rates you'll find for no minimum is at Synchrony Bank, which offers 1.05% APY on all money market account balances, the same rate as Ally Bank. Since most other money market accounts require high minimum balances, the Synchrony Money Market Account is a good opportunity for people with lower bank balances. This account also comes with Synchrony Bank Perks, which give long-time customers discounts on travel, limited ATM reimbursements and fee waivers on several bank services.

However, if you're willing to give up ATM access and checks, you may get a better rate with Synchrony's High-Yield Savings Account, which earns 1.05% APY. This is the reverse of the typical situation in which money market accounts earn higher rates than regular savings accounts, and it reflects the unusually strong interest rates of online savings accounts. While this account is a solid choice, there's no reason to select Synchrony over Ally Bank if you have the option.

Synchrony Money Market Account – Key Figures

  • APY: 1.05%
  • Minimum to Earn APY: $0
  • Minimum to Open: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0

Best Money Market Account for High Balances: Capital One 360

At 1.00% APY on balances of $10,000 or higher, the Capital One 360 Money Market account earns the best permanent rate among the money market accounts we researched. So long as you can commit to maintaining your balance at or above that level, you won't find a better option, even among other online accounts. Depositing at least $10,000 into a new account will also earn you a $200 bonus deposited into your account. Still, even a balance that falls below $10,000 will earn 0.60% APY at Capital One, which isn't significantly lower compared to the maximum rate on other money market accounts.

With no maintenance fee to worry about, Capital One 360 Money Market shares the advantage of other online accounts, ensuring that your balance will grow due to interest rather than shrink because of monthly fees. Still, there are some limitations to this account: unlike many other money market accounts, it does not allow you to write checks against the balance. While making payments out of a money market account is counterproductive to earning the maximum interest, you may want to avoid Capital One if you prefer to have the option of writing checks, just in case.

Capital One 360 Money Market Account – Key Figures

  • APY: 0.60%-1.30%
  • Minimum for Max APY: $10,000
  • Minimum to Open: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0

Best Money Market Account for Low Balances: Sallie Mae

The 0.90% APY you earn on a Sallie Mae Money Market Account doesn't require any minimum amount, making it the highest possible money market rate on low balances. While Sallie Mae's rate beats Ally Bank and Synchrony by a slim margin, the lack of ATM access may make the account unsuitable if you prefer to have quick access to your savings. If you're willing to go without an ATM card on your savings account, you may actually find better options outside of money market accounts.

Finally, you should think about whether or not you'll want to have a money market account that can't easily be linked to other banking products. Because Sallie Mae is not primarily a bank, it lacks the comprehensive range of options you may be used to seeing at a dedicated retail banking institution. While this won't be a huge problem if you plan on setting up an automatic transfer into the account and then leaving it alone to accumulate interest, you might run into complications if you plan on accessing it more frequently.

Sallie Mae Money Market Account – Key Figures

  • APY: 1.45%
  • Minimum to Earn APY: $0
  • Minimum to Open: $0
  • Monthly Fee: $0

Summary of Best Money Market Accounts

The following is a list of the best money market accounts in this article. Use this for a head-to-head comparison of all the options we've discussed.

Best Money Market Account For…Account NameAPYMinimum for APY
Highest APYEverBank Yield Pledge Money Market Account0.61%$5,000
Best Online Banking OptionAlly Money Market Account0.90%$0
Best for Loyalty RewardsSynchrony Money Market Account1.05%$0
Best for High BalancesCapital One 360 Money Market Account1.00%$10,000
Best for Low BalancesSallie Mae Money Market Account1.45%$0

Finding the Best Money Market Accounts

Any quick search of money market accounts will show that the rates found at online banks tend to be far higher than the offers you'll find at big banks like Chase and Wells Fargo. While this is true for every type of deposit account, it's important to remember that online money market accounts differ significantly from similarly-named accounts at traditional banks. They come with higher rates and lower minimum balance requirements, which sometimes make them difficult to distinguish from plain savings accounts. Check here for a quick comparison of rates and fees for different money market options.

If rates for savings accounts are similar or better than rates for money market accounts online, then the main benefit you gain with a money market account online is the ability to make ATM withdrawals and payments by check. These methods of accessing your balance can be important to people who find it difficult to use ACH transfers to withdraw funds from the account. However, if you don't need that level of immediate access to your deposit, you may end up finding better rates for your balance level with regular online savings accounts.

Other Money Market Accounts

If the options above aren't quite what you're looking for, we've provided a larger list of the best accounts we found in our research. You can refer to their rates and minimums as a guide to finding your own money market account.

AccountAPYAPY Minimum BalanceMinimum Opening Balance
Capital One 360 Money Market0.60%-1.00%$0 $0
Sallie Mae Money Market0.90%$0 $0
Ally Money Market0.85%$0 $0
Synchrony Money Market0.85%$0 $0
Bank of Internet Money Market Savings0.75%$0 $0
Everbank Yield Pledge Money Market0.61%$1,500 $0
TD Growth Money Market0.03%-0.35%$0-$100K$0
PNC Premiere Money Market0.03%-0.17%$1-$500K$100
Radius Retail Money Market0.05%-0.10%$10-$10,000$10
Bank of America Rewards Money Market Savings0.03%-0.06%$0-$100K$25
SunTrust Signature Money Market Savings0.01%-0.06%$0-$10,000$100
US Bank Standard Money Market0.04%-0.05%$0-$10,000$100

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