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How to open a money market account in 3 easy steps

What we'll cover

  • What to consider when evaluating different banks

  • Information you will need to open a money market account

  • Different ways you can make your first deposit

You’ve discovered that a money market account hits the sweet spot for deposit accounts—right between less accessible certificates of deposit (CDs) and the relatively low interest offerings of checking accounts. What’s next? If you’re wondering how to open a money market account, it couldn’t be easier. Here’s how in 3 easy steps.

1. Choose a reputable bank.

One of the appealing features of money market accounts is that they’re among the safest places to keep your savings. So, when you’re shopping around for the right bank, make sure the banks you consider are FDIC members. That way you know your deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC ) up to the maximum amount allowed by law.

Then consider things like customer service ratings, how long the bank has been in business, and account accessibility. You’ll also want to check out each bank’s minimum deposit requirements, minimum daily balance requirements, and website usability. Paying attention to the terms of each account you consider will keep you from getting stuck with unpleasant surprises like unexpected maintenance fees.

Ally Bank Tip: Be sure to include online banks as you compare financial institutions. Online banks don’t have the overhead of traditional brick-and-mortar banks and can pass that savings on to you in the form of great rates. In fact, online banks offer some of the best annual percentage yields (APYs) in the business. Plus, the best online banks offer top-notch security, 24/7 access, great customer service, and innovative mobile features.

2. Gather basic information.

Once you’ve found the bank that’s a good fit for you, gather the following basic personal information for each account owner:

  • Full name

  • Social Security number

  • Date of birth (you must be 18 years of age)

  • Residential street address

  • Transfer information for your initial deposit

With this information in hand, you’ll be ready to open an account at most financial institutions. Additional information may vary by bank or credit union, especially if they have specific membership requirements.

3. Open the account and make your deposit.

The next step is simple. Visit the bank or the bank’s website and open your new account. If you’ve chosen an online bank, you can open your account any time, anywhere you have secure internet access. You should also expect a user-friendly process along with available real-time assistance via chat or phone.

Most banks allow you to make that first deposit in a variety of ways. For example, you usually can transfer funds from other accounts, wire money, use remote deposit capture, or mail a check.

Now you can start making your money market account work for you. You may even want to open multiple accounts for different purposes. Think emergency funds, IRAs, college savings, and more. If you want to earn interest and maintain flexible access to your money, a money market account really does hit the sweet spot.

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