Banking » Guides » Money Market Vs Saving Accounts: Which Is Better For You?
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Money Market Vs Saving Accounts: Which Is Better For You?

Both saving accounts and money market account (MMs) considered as a safe, reliable and solid investment. However - there are a couple of differences between them you have to understand before getting a decision. MMs vs Saving Accounts - which of them is the right investment for you?
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

Savings are a crucial part of financial stability. Whether you have an emergency fund or investment funds, savings can provide security against unforeseen events or situations. As you can see in this chart using FED Survey of Consumer Finances data, Americans are saving more. 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Money market account typically offers higher interest rates, but savings accounts might be a better choice for those people who are starting with smaller amounts. 
  • In money market accounts, banks usually required their clients to make a minimum deposit ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. At the same time, savings accounts usually do not have such requirements.
  • It might be easier for savers to access their money using the money market account. Banks allow their clients to access their money by ATM card or even write some checks, something which is not the case with savings accounts.

What Is A Savings Account?

When it comes to the best place to deposit your money, you’re looking at a savings account. These accounts allow you to deposit money and keep it safe and still withdraw money, and you’ll earn interest.

A savings account is considered a ‘time deposit.’ These are accounts that your bank can require you to keep for a set period without making a withdrawal, or they can charge you some type of penalty.

Usually, you won’t have these requirements, but you may have a limit on the number of withdrawals that you can make in an account in a single month. You also might have monthly fees for these types of tabs, and those fees might be based on how much money you have in the account. Plus, you’re not going to get checks.

In general, telephone or electronic withdrawals are limited to only 6 in a single statement cycle, which generally runs about 30 days (though you’ll have to talk with your institution to find out for sure).

What is a Money Market Account?

These accounts are somewhere between a checking account and a savings account in some of the best ways. For example, you’re usually going to get a slightly higher interest rate than a savings account. That will depend on the institution that you go with, though.

You’re also going to have an ATM card and the ability to write checks and make a cash deposit. That means you don’t have to go into a bank or credit union and make a request for your money. Of course, you may not get these features, so you’ll have to talk to the institution, and you may have to request them.

Generally, you’ll get a slightly higher interest rate here than you will with a savings account.

If you’re looking at saving some money for a specific goal that’s more than a couple years down the road but not quite a decade out you may want to look at a money market account. Larger purchases, like a mortgage, could be great for this type of account because you’re going to get a little more interest built up than if you just put the money into a savings account.

Of course, it’s not just about high-interest rates. There are going to be other aspects you need to pay attention to. For example, your institution might require a minimum balance so you can avoid having to pay fees. The balance may also affect the interest rate that you get. For some, it could be a few hundred dollars and others might require thousands of dollars.

Comparing Money Market and Savings Accounts

Despite the similarities, money market and saving accounts have a couple of differences:

Savings Money Market
Access to Your Fund Electronic transfer/phone call ATM, debit card, check
Minimum Balance Required None $1,000-$2,500
Interest Approx. 3-4% Approx. 3-4%
Withdrawal Restrictions 3-6 per month 3-6 per month
Fees Little to none Little to none
Protection FDIC protects up to $250,000 FDIC protects up to $250,000
Availability High Medium

Both money market and savings accounts carry the same interest on deposits and provide a way to protect some of your savings from inflation. In some banks, you'll get higher rates with savings accounts. Also, most financial institutions don't offer money market accounts.

Overall, the difference is minor.

Bank/Institution
Savings APY
Money Market APY
Capital One
3.30%
0.80%
Discover Bank
3.30%
3.20% – 3.25%
TIAA Bank
3.35%
3.35%
Quontic
3.20%
3.50%
Axos Bank
Up to 4.21%
0.25%
Ally Bank
3.30%
3.30%

You’ll need more money in a money market account than in savings. This means you have to have a set amount in the account, according to the bank. It could be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 or more.

With a savings account, the idea is to be able to store your money more securely. That means there’s generally no or a low minimum than other options. A savings account is not uncommon to have no average daily balance or opening balance.

One of the biggest things that you’ll find differences between a savings account and a money market account is how you can access your money. With a money market account, you can generally write checks and get a debit or ATM card.

With a savings account, you generally have to call the bank, make in-person requests, or use an electronic transfer to get your money.

When it comes to either of these accounts, banks are generally going to make more in interest on the loans they’re lending your money out for than they will spend on paying interest to you.

That means they’ll likely have very little in the way of fees if anything. If it doesn’t cost them much, they’ll not worry about charging you.

With either of these accounts, you could have a set amount you can withdraw at any given time. However, You’ll generally be limited to 6 withdrawals in a month or billing cycle.

Any more than this, and you could be charged a fee. Just make sure you know what the fee will be before you go over your withdrawal limit.

You don’t want to keep your money stashed around your house because it’s unsafe there. What’s great is that when you open an account with a bank or credit union, it will likely be covered by the FDIC.

That’s the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and they make these institutions guarantee your money up to $250,000 because they’re taking on a lot of your personal information. You don’t have to do anything to get this coverage, and you don’t have to pay for it either. It’s just there, waiting for you.

Only a few banks offer money market accounts to their customers, while almost all of them offer a savings account option.

The accessibility to savings accounts is easier compared to money market accounts.

Comparing Money Market and Savings Accounts
(Photo by Rodica Vasiliev/Shutterstock)

When To Consider A Savings Account?

If you need to build up an emergency fund or put money aside for a short-term financial goal that you want to achieve in the next couple of years, a savings account is a terrific solution.

Because you can't usually make purchases directly from a savings account, conserving money can help you avoid overspending. You can, however, rapidly access the cash in your savings account if you need them for an unanticipated emergency.

Savings deposits pay extremely little interest, so you'll want to retain just little amounts in them and put bigger quantities in a higher-interest account.

Assume you're working toward a medium- or long-term goal, such as saving for a down payment on a house or paying for your children's college tuition. In that situation, you'll want to place your money in an account with a higher interest rate than inflation.

If you're looking for an inflation hedge, gold may be better than savings account.

When To Consider A Money Market Account?

Interest rates on money market accounts are often greater than on savings accounts. Depending on how much you invest, earned interest rates for money market accounts can be more than twice as high as for savings accounts.

As a result, keeping money in a money market account for medium-term goals — those that are more than a few years away but less than a decade — is a better choice. If you need money for a down payment on a house, for example, putting it in a money market account will almost certainly make you more money over time than putting it in a savings account.

Banks entice you to deposit and leave more money in a money market account in a variety of ways, including greater interest rates. To avoid costs and obtain the higher interest rate, money market accounts often require you to maintain a minimum amount. The amount you'll require can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Bottom Line

If you’re debating between a money market account and a savings account keep in mind that you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can get some great benefits no matter which way you go. If you want to make sure your money is more accessible but still saved you might want to go with a savings account. They don’t give you a lot of access but they’re available.

If you want to have more access to your account but you don’t want to have it freely available like with a checking account then a money market account might be the better way to go. This type of account gives you the ability to write checks occasionally without having to worry about transferring money, but it’s not quite as free and easy as a checking.

Just remember, you can have more than one and you could have both of these types of accounts.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.