Having a Money Market Account that provides you with a High Interest Rate is important in order to take advantage of free money available to you.
If you are keeping all of your money and savings in a checking or savings account, you are not taking advantage of potentially hundreds of dollars.
Checking and Savings Accounts carry a very low interest rate. You collect minimal interest if you are keeping all of your money here. Checking accounts are great for paying your bills, but that is about it.
Money Market Accounts carry a much higher interest rate, so you need to make money market accounts work for you with any money that is not tied up.
WHAT IS A MONEY MARKET ACCOUNT
A money market account is a mix between a checking account and a savings account. This account allows you to write a limited number of checks or allows a limited number of transfers each month.
By law, you are only allowed six (6) transactions per month. These transactions only count if money is leaving your account. Checks to pay rent, transferring money to your checking account, or paying a credit card all count as transactions. Any ATM withdrawal does NOT count as a transaction.
A money market account pays interest based on current interest rates which are almost are always higher than those of savings accounts and checking accounts.
Most banks, however, require a higher minimum balance in order to avoid monthly fees and to earn the higher interest rate.
A money market account is kind of like having a savings account, but with higher interest rates, and having the flexibility of a checking account.
PROS of a Money Market
- Money market accounts are FDIC insured. Each account is insured up to $250,000. Therefore, there is no risk in losing any of your money.
- You’ll earn higher interest on your money. Depending on the bank, current interest rates are ranging anywhere between 1.0% and 1.9%. Checking accounts are about 0.15%
- Flexibility of a checking account. You can still have up to six transactions per month.
- Your money has high Liquidity. You can move as much money as you need to wherever you want without paying any fees. This is the opposite if you had your money tied up in a Certificate of Deposit, or CDs.
CONS of a Money Market
- One of the disadvantages of a Money Market is that you need a higher minimum balance just to open an account. This varies by bank but it typically ranges between $10,000 and $25,000. The higher balance usually means a higher interest rate.
- You must maintain that minimum balance or else you will be subject to a fee. You can not let your balance fall below the minimum threshold or your interest gains will just be canceled out by the fees that you have to pay.
- You only get 6 transactions per month. This can make it difficult to pay all of your bills. That is why you should usually have a checking account in addition to the money market account. That way, you can transfer the total amount of your bills into the checking account, and then make each of your payments out of your checking account.
BEST MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
CIT Bank offers the highest rate of 1.80% with only a $100 Minimum Deposit. This is an amazing offer because the minimum deposit is so low. Click here for more information on CIT Bank
TIAA Bank has a very lucrative interest rate of 1.75% with a minimum deposit of $500. This account also offers NO-Fee ATMs. Click here for information on TIAA Bank
Sallie Mae also has a high interest rate of 1.50% with NO minimum deposit. Click here for information on Sallie Mae
IS A MONEY MARKET ACCOUNT RIGHT FOR YOU?
When deciding if a money market account is right for you, it comes down to what kind of access you need to your money and also the high interest rates.
If you usually keep a high balance in your checking or savings account, if you write only a few checks or have a few transactions per month, AND if you want to have easy access to your money, then a money market account is perfect for you.
Money Market accounts are a great opportunity to receive higher interest rates and have easy access to your money. Make money market accounts work for you by taking advantage of the banks listed above to have your money grow instead of letting it sit in a checking account.
Eugene is a Chemical Engineer with a passion for personal finance and is constantly learning new tricks to make his money work for him. He obtained an MBA part time and hasn’t stopped finding ways to make money, save money, and properly invest money. He currently lives at the Jersey Shore with my wife and two children.