Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.
You can withdraw cash from your MMA using checking account features, such as writing checks or transacting at an ATM. And, like a savings, you earn interest on the money that sits in your account and it grows over time.
Some of the best MMAs, such as the Ally Bank Money Market Account, even offer debit cards where you can spend the cash in your account directly on purchases at a store like you would if it were cash from a checking account.
The Ally Bank Money Market Account ranks as our best overall for giving users access to both checks and a debit card (good for ATM access), as well as a higher-than-average interest rate. Its 24/7, high-rated customer service, easy-to-use mobile app and out-of-network ATM reimbursements makes this account top notch.
Below, we review the Ally Bank Money Market Account and give you all the details on its features, including the annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this MMA is right for you.
Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D
$10 for each transaction that exceeds the limit*
See our methodology, terms apply.
The current APY is 0.50%. Users of the Ally Bank Money Market Account start earning interest right away with no minimum balances required in their account and interest compounds daily.
Ally Bank makes it easy (and affordable) to access your savings.
Users can make unlimited ATM withdrawals at any one of 43,000+ Allpoint® ATMs for free. If you choose an out-of-network ATM, Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle for any fees those providers charge.
All other withdrawals (such as on your debit card or via checks) and transfers are limited to up to six per statement cycle as required by federal law (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D). Ally mails your debit card and first set of checks for free within 10 business days from opening and depositing funds into your account.
When you want to add money into your savings, you can deposit checks remotely using the Ally eCheck Deposit℠ feature. Manage your money on the go by just taking a photo of your check from your smartphone. Users can also deposit funds via online transfers from another bank or an Ally Bank account, direct deposit, wire transfer or by mailing a check.
The Ally Bank Money Market Account offers users a little bit of everything: above-average interest rates, check-writing privileges, debit cards, broad ATM access (with out-of-network fee reimbursements), no minimum balances required, zero monthly fees and 24/7 customer service.
The bank's products in general come highly rated, with users saying the mobile app is user-friendly and customer support is easy to find.
In addition to having no minimum balance requirements, the Ally Bank Money Market Account also offers no monthly maintenance fees.
There is a $10 excessive transactions fee for each transaction that exceeds the six-per-statement-cycle limit. (Note that this is currently waived amid the ongoing pandemic.)
Ally charges a $25 overdraft fee for an overdraft item paid or overdraft item returned (maximum of one fee per day).
If you are looking to open a money market account, without a doubt the Ally Bank Money Market Account makes a smart option. You will be able to write checks, make purchases from your debit card and have unlimited ATM access — in addition to earning a higher interest rate than you would in a checking account.
For savers who like having immediate access to their funds but are looking for a higher rate on the money they keep in their account, consider the Axos Bank High Yield Money Market Account. Just note that opening an account requires a minimum $1,000 deposit.
To determine which money market accounts (MMAs) offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of MMAs offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions.
We found that the APY offered by online banks and credit unions far outpaced those offered by most national brick-and-mortar banks. While many credit unions have good MMA options, they didn't make our final list because the majority require membership, which can require you to jump through several hoops to qualify. This is a ranking of only MMAs, excluding any money market funds (which are investment products).
We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those accounts that offer competitive APYs, or higher-than-average rates, as well as no (or low) required minimum deposits to open an account and zero monthly maintenance fees.
While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each MMA on a range of other features, including check-writing abilities, debit card and ATM access, website and mobile features, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and the frequency with which the interest compounds.
All of the MMAs included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person. If you are opening a joint account MMA, the insurance limit is doubled.
The rates and fee structures banks advertise for their MMAs are not guaranteed forever. They are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. If you open a MMA, the APY you earn is a variable rate — meaning it can go up and down at any time.
Your earnings depend on the amount you deposit into your MMA, your APY, any additional contributions and associated fees, as well as withdrawals that you make from your account. Generally, larger deposits and a higher interest rate will earn you the most money. Any withdrawals will lower your principal balance/earnings.
To open a MMA for the first time, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.