For a long time, banks only offered two types of accounts: checking and savings. If you wanted to earn interest, you would have to rely on long-term savings accounts. Today, there are numerous options, including certificates of deposit and money market accounts. The latter is a hybrid between a savings account and a checking account: it allows you to write only a limited number of checks each month or make limited purchases with debit, but your money will earn higher interest than with a savings account. You should first look for the best money market returns before opening an account.
And you will find the best returns if you deposit your money in an online bank. If you stick to a traditional bank, you will get MUCH LESS than a 1% rate on deposits of less than $ 100,000. With an online bank, you could get at least 1%.
Note: Whatever you do, don’t confuse money market accounts with money market funds. The latter is a type of mutual fund that is not backed by the FDIC. It may be something that interests you at some point, but for the least amount of risk possible, it’s best to stick with an online bank that offers the best money market returns.
You will likely need to maintain a minimum balance, which varies from bank to bank. You are also expected to keep that certain account balance at all times (for the agreed duration) to avoid fees and continue to perform well.
The best money market returns require no monthly fees
You should NOT have to pay any monthly maintenance or service fees. Cross out any bank that tries to charge you for it. This is why you should take the time to read the terms and conditions, although they can be tedious.
You will most likely be charged a penalty if you are below the minimum balance requirement, so just put money in which you are absolutely sure you won’t for at least a year.
Here are some of the banks that are offering the best money market returns right now (just remember to research each one individually and read the terms and conditions):
• TIAA Bank: introductory rate of 1.85%
• Electronic access for investors: 1.75% APY
• Sallie Mae: 1.75% average per year
• CIT Bank – 1.85% APY (only $ 100 memory required)
Overall, CIT Bank is probably your safest bet for the best money market returns. You will earn a high APY regardless of the balance. There are also no maintenance fees to worry about, and your money is FDIC insured.