When you’re trying to decide on a savings account, you’ve got plenty of options. A money market account includes many of the same features and perks as a no penalty certificate of deposit. But they’re not the same product.

How do you know which to pick? To choose the right one for you, you might think about what you need from your savings product.

Do you need a workhorse – an account you can build upon and access easily that still offers a strong interest rate? Or do you have long-term goals that make a less flexible account with a higher interest rate a better option?

Money Market Accounts


An Ally Bank Money Market account is a good option for the first scenario. It requires no minimum opening deposit, charges no monthly maintenance fees, offers daily compounded interest and the option to withdraw at any time.

One reason to open a money market account is ease of access. You can withdraw your money online or by phone, and you can fund your account with new deposits. (Certain withdrawals and transfers are limited to six per statement cycle.) You can write checks from money market accounts. Best of all, you can also access your money with a Visa® Debit Card.

The Ally Bank Money Market account offers a 0.84% interest rate (as of February 21, 2012) – one of the highest offered in the industry.

Certificates of Deposit


For more long-term savings, you might consider an Ally Bank No Penalty CD, which requires no minimum opening deposit, charges no monthly maintenance fees, offers daily compounded interest and the option to withdraw at any time (after the first six days following the date the account was funded).

Unlike a money market account, with a CD you only make one deposit (when you open your account), and one withdrawal (when you close it). But an Ally No Penalty CD offers a higher interest rate: 0.91% for an 11-month term (as of February 21, 2012).

Of course, depending on what you need from your funds, there are other great savings options. To look at all Ally savings accounts, check our online comparison.

What advice would you offer someone trying to choose between a money market account and a no-penalty CD?