If you are looking for a higher interest rate than a traditional bank savings account offers, a money market account (MMA) may be a good investment for you. Like savings accounts, money market accounts are liquid savings accounts. They usually offer you the ability to write a certain number of checks from the account each month. Most banks and credit unions offer money market accounts that are insured up to $100,000 by the FDIC of the NCUSIF.
Money market accounts usually earn about twice as much interest as a regular savings account. However, many MMAs require a higher starting balance than savings accounts.
High-yield MMAs are money market accounts that offer double or triple the standard bank MMA rates. These high-yield accounts are usually found through online banks. There is a lot of competition for you deposits and online financial institutes usually have lower expenses resulting in better rates for you.
There are several large corporations, including General Electric and Ford, which offer high-yield MMAs to the general public. While the yields are very competitive, there is no FDIC guarantee on the account. You will be taking a little more risk in return for a higher-yield account. If the corporation goes bankrupt, you will lose your money.
Most MMAs offer check writing and money transfers only over a minimum amount. You are limited by federal regulations to only six electronic, telephone or pre-authorized transactions every month, with no more than three check, draft or debit transactions. There may be certain fees charged if you make too many withdrawals or if your balance falls below a certain level. Make sure you read and understand all terms before you open any account.