Needing flexible access to your savings shouldn’t mean getting short shrift on interest returns. With a little homework, you can find a money market account that keeps your money safe, gives you flexible access, and offers a competitive interest rate to help your balance grow.
However, you don’t want to rush out and open whatever account happens to be offering the highest rate the day you start looking. There’s more to making sure you choose the money market account that works best for you. Here’s how to find the best money market accounts out there, great rates included.
Finding out which money market accounts currently offer the highest rates is a good first step. Comparison sites like Bankrate.com and mybanktracker.com make it easy to compare annual percentage yields (APYs) from different banks. You can also estimate your earnings with different rate and balance scenarios.
Be aware that money market account rates are variable, which means they can go up or down after you open the account. Some banks offer services to alert you when your rate changes. In any case, you want to be sure to keep an eye on things even after you’ve decided on a particular account, so you don’t miss out on potential earnings.
Ally Bank Tip: Online banks tend to offer higher APYs because they don’t have the overhead costs of their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Be sure to include online-only money market accounts in your comparisons.
Read the fine print.
You don’t want to be surprised when a great introductory rate plummets down to next-to-nothing after the promotion runs out. Or find out too late that the rate you were planning on is only available if you maintain a certain minimum balance.
Make sure you understand the terms of any account you consider. Pay attention to things like maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, and introductory period end-dates.
Make compound interest work for you.
Any money expert will tell you compound interest is your friend when it comes to getting the most for your savings buck. That’s because when you earn interest on your principal and your interest combined, your overall balance grows faster.
Some banks compound interest monthly, quarterly, or even annually. Look for a bank that compounds daily—that’ll maximize your return.
Ally Bank Tip: You can always be sure you’re comparing apples to apples if you compare APYs (annual percentage yields) rather than interest rates because APYs take into account frequency of compounding.
Do the math.
Calculating interest manually takes a bit of mathematical prowess, but an interest calculator can help make the job easier. A quick internet search will give you plenty of options, or you can check out our calculator to see how much you can expect to earn based on your projected balance and current rates.
Plugging your numbers into an interest calculator helps you plan ahead and also gives you an idea of how different balance tiers could affect your earning potential.
Don’t ignore the “x” factor.
Remember, all banks aren’t created equal. Along with an attractive rate, you want your money market account at a reputable bank backed by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
You should also expect top-notch customer service and a few extras, like a mobile app and remote deposit options, that simply make banking more convenient.
At Ally Bank, we offer straightforward terms, competitive rates, convenient access, and great customer service. Go here to learn more about our money market account and how it could fit into your savings plan.