Your money has been parked in your checking account for years. All that time, however, it hasn’t made you any interest. With a money market account, you can change that.
A money market account is a savings account with checking account features, and it’s FDIC-insured up to $250,000. You can make up to six withdrawals per month, and you may get a debit card and checks. You might need to meet a minimum deposit as well as pay other fees to maintain your account.
Note that the average percentage yield (APY) for a money market account fluctuates as banks adjust their rates to the market. As you can imagine, rates have been dropping lately because of the worldwide crisis. You should look at account features other than APY – like fees – for this very reason. If you’re interested in locking in your savings APY, consider a certificate of deposit (commonly referred to as a CD). CIT has a no-penalty CD that is popular with risk-averse investors who are concerned about accessing their cash.
If you’re ready to open your money market account, here are five different kinds to look into. They are all FDIC-insured up to the legal limit of $250,000, so you can feel safe and secure.
We like the UFB Direct money market account because it offers a solid APY of 1.6% if you have a minimum balance of $25,000; this APY is 20x the national average. You need to have a minimum balance of $5,000 in your account at all times to avoid paying a $10 monthly fee. The minimum opening deposit is $5,000 as well, so if you don’t have this much, it isn’t a good option. If you have $0- $24,999.99 in your account, your interest rate will only be .50%.
UFB Direct, which is a product from the San Diego-based Axos Bank, offers 24/7 access through its digital banking tools, so you can see what’s in your account whenever you want. You must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien in order to apply and have a Social Security number, a valid state ID and a valid U.S. address that isn’t a P.O. Box.
With only a $100 minimum deposit to open and a 1.40% APY, the CIT Bank money market account is a great choice if you want to start small and work your way up. You’ll earn interest on your entire daily balance, and that interest will be paid out monthly. There is no monthly service fee, but you will pay an overdraft fee of $25 and a $10 fee per excessive withdrawal (with a $50 monthly cap). If you send an outgoing wire transfer (domestic only), you will pay $10 if your account has less than $25,000 in it.
CIT doesn’t offer the highest interest rate out there, but at least you only need $100 to start your account. After that, there’s no minimum balance required. The bank provides 24-7 online access to your account, which you can easily link to your Zelle or PayPal to make payments.
The downside is if you go under $1,000, you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee and you won’t earn interest. On the plus side, you can fund accounts with mobile deposit, wire transfers, checks and bank transfers, and you’ll have access to more than 2,000 ATMs free of charge. To apply for an account, you must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and provide your address, Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID. You must initially fund your account with electronic transfer (ACH).
Premier Members Credit Union
There is a very low minimum deposit of $5 to open the account, which is ideal if you don’t have a lot of money to put into your account right now. Dividends are paid out monthly and they provide checks as well. A big upside of this account? There is no minimum balance required. This account may not be for you if you have several thousands of dollars to invest since you can unlock a higher APY with a different bank.
Capital One 360
If you don’t have much money to transfer into a money market account but still want a solid APY, then this is the account for you. The drawback is that if you do start earning more, you won’t be gain access to a higher APY – it’ll still be 1.30%. And if you go over the federally regulated six transactions per month three times in 12 months, you are at risk of having your account shut down. To apply for a single or joint account, you’ll need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and other personal information, along with your employment status, annual income and countries of citizenship.