Saving money in a place like a money market account can assure that the money will be there safely when you need it. A money market account is an alternative to savings account, and usually pays more interest rate than a savings account.
Overall, money market accounts are worth it, especially if you’re saving for a short-term goal. However, like any investments, there are some disadvantages to money market accounts.
In this article we will address three main things: what is a money market account and what are the advantages and disadvantages of money market accounts.
What is a money market account?
Before we get to the advantages and disadvantages of money market accounts, it’s best to define what a money market account is.
A money market account is an interest bearing account that you can open at a bank or credit union. It is more like a savings account, though there are some key differences.
Money Market Accounts Advantages and Disadvantages.
Let us consider the advantages of money market accounts.
Interest rate: The main benefit of a money market account is that the interest rate is much higher than that of a regular savings account. For example, CIT bank offers a money market account with 1.00% APY. Whereas the interest rate for a typical savings account is anywhere around 0.10%. MMAs interest rates are similar to those of certificate of deposits. The main difference, however, with a CD you earn a fixed interest for a fixed amount of time. And CD rates are higher than MMAs. And a penalty may apply if you withdraw your money early.
FDIC Insured. One of the benefits of money market accounts is that they are FDIC insured. Your money is secured by the federal government of up to $250,000. If you have more money than that, then you will need to open another account so all of your money can be protected.
To recap, money market accounts are FDIC insured, they offer higher interest rates than savings accounts, and they permit check writing privileges. Despite these many advantages, money markets also have disadvantages.
What are the disadvantages of a money market account?
Minimum balance: Most money market accounts require a minimum deposit account of $1,000. Although, that’s not a big amount, it may not be feasible for a young saver. Plus, a penalty will apply if your balance falls below the minimum requirement.
Limited check writing: While MMAs offer check writing privileges, there is a limit. With a money market account, you can only write six checks per month against your balance, which can be a disadvantage if you pay a lot of bills every month. So, money market accounts are a disadvantage for those who need to write more than six checks per month.
Account fees: Another disadvantage of money market accounts is the fee. If you don’t maintain the required minimum balance, a fee will apply. So, maintaining the minimum balance is important because any fee will eat out your interest or earnings.
Taxes: Taxes are another disadvantage of money market accounts. You will pay taxes on whatever interest you earn in a MMA.
Inflation: just like taxes and account fees can reduce your interest, inflation can do the same thing. Let’s suppose you generate a 3% return on your money market account per year, and the inflation is 4%. That can impact your total return significantly.
Best Money Market Accounts
CIT Bank Money Market Account
The CIT Bank money market account is one of the best ones out there. Currently, the money market account offers a 1.0% APY.
This is very competitive comparing to other MMAs. Moreover, CIT Bank’s MMA has a required account minimum of only $100.
While money market accounts offer several benefits, there are disadvantages as well. The main disadvantages are that the minimum balance can be high for a young investor. Moreover, taxes and account fees can eat away whatever interest you might earn.
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