Money market accounts are a great way for consumers to benefit from higher interest rates without taking on the risks associated with investing in stocks or bonds. Money in a money market account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) just like a normal savings account, which means that even if the bank goes out of business, the government guarantees that you will receive the money you had in your account. A money market savings account is the safest way to make a guaranteed return while still being able to withdraw your money.
There are many things to watch for when opening a money market savings account:
- Pay attention to the number of withdrawals you can make and be sure it is a number that you are comfortable with. Money market savings accounts are not intended to be your primary checking account; rather, they should be an account that you dip into a few times a month to get extra money.
- Pay attention to the minimum required balance and be sure it is also a number you are comfortable with. Unlike many standard savings and checking accounts, money market savings accounts require a higher minimum balance. If you are short on cash, this may not be the best option for you.
- Check into any fees associated with the account. Just like normal savings accounts, money market savings accounts can have many fees attached to them. The two typical fees to watch for are fees for making too many withdrawals in one month and fees for not maintaining a minimum required balance.
Opening a money market savings account is very similar to opening a standard checking or savings account. Simply apply for an account at a bank of your choice and you will receive a register – similar to a checkbook register. This will contain your beginning balance and all of your future deposits and withdrawals in order to ensure you are not going over any limits. Each month, you will also receive statements that you should reconcile with your register to make sure everything is well.
In the end, money market savings accounts are the safest way to make a guaranteed return while still being able to access your money. They are not ideal for people looking to withdraw money all the time nor people who typically spend most of their free cash at any given time.