By Ken McCormick
Vice President of Relationship Management;

How to Open a Money Market Account

Oct 21, 2020

  • Banking
  • Money Market Account

You’ve done some research and decided that a money market account may be the right savings account for you. Several financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, offer money market savings accounts online or at their branch locations. But is a money market account the best savings solution for your situation? 

Things to Consider Before Opening a Money Market Account

Due to their similar names, money market funds are frequently confused with money market accounts. Investment companies and brokerage firms offer money market funds as fixed-income securities invested in U.S. Treasury bills. Money put into a money market fund is not protected. 

This is not the case with a money market account. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) offer insurance to banks and credit unions to protect depositors. If a bank or credit union crashes, the FDIC and NCUA will cover up to $250,000.

Sometimes, a money market account does not offer the highest interest rate. A regular savings account may outperform a money market account, so shopping around is a good idea. A money market account's liquidity should also be considered. You might be able to write checks, access ATMs, or use a debit card. However, some banks may limit the amount of transactions you can make monthly, so if you need more access to your money, a high-yield checking account may be better suited for you.

Are you ready to start a money market account? Here are a few key steps you should take first.

Shop Around and Compare

Since many different financial institutions offer money market accounts, don’t settle for the first product you come across. Shop around. You can use several online tools to compare different financial institutions. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, check out each financial institution’s website, which typically offers more in-depth information. Some may even offer a bonus or gift to open a new account. Ensure you read the guidelines to understand the steps required to qualify.

Review and Choose Based on Features

If you want to have the ability to write checks, find the accounts that offer this feature. Some money market accounts will provide you with an ATM card, which you can use to withdraw cash within their network of ATMs. Be sure to check for fees involved if you plan to use ATMs outside the institution’s network. Other accounts may give you a debit card to use for your ATM access and use for purchases at retail stores or online. Withdrawal limitations may apply in these cases, so make sure that you keep that in mind.

Check Into Account Fees

Look for accounts that charge the lowest or no fees for the features you want. Fees can quickly eat up your interest. Make sure your savings strategy aligns with the account you choose. For instance, if an account requires a minimum deposit of $2,500 and it will be difficult to keep above that amount, you should cross it off your list.

Compare the Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements

You must put down an initial deposit to start a money market account. This deposit should be an amount you can afford comfortably without. Minimum balance requirements are typically around the same amount as this initial deposit. You could incur a penalty or maintenance fee if you fall below their minimum balance requirements.

Open the Money Market Account That Meets Your Requirements

Once you’ve found the right institution and money market account product, it’s time to open your account. You can usually enter the financial institution’s branch or open an online account. If you plan to visit a branch location, call them and ask what documents, such as a driver’s license or another form of identification, may be needed. Also, check to see what the institution will accept for paying the initial deposit, and then bring cash, a check, or a debit card with you.  

Opening a money market account with NASB is safe and easy. If you have any questions, call 800-677-6272 to speak with one of our experts.