Money Market Withdrawal Penalties

by Helen Akers, Demand Media
    Some young couples use a money market account to save a portion of their discretionary incomes.

    Some young couples use a money market account to save a portion of their discretionary incomes.

    A money market account is a good savings option if you want to start building an emergency cash fund. These accounts are also easily accessible for young adults since most banks and credit unions offer them. While money market accounts might be a good way to save emergency cash, it is important to pay attention to withdrawal restrictions and penalties.

    Minimum Balance

    Prior to opening a money market account, check the bank's minimum opening deposit requirements. You should also be familiar with any minimum average daily balance requirements. Some banks will charge a monthly maintenance fee if your money market account balance falls below the minimum balance requirement. To avoid maintenance fees, don't make too many withdrawals that might drop your account balance below the minimum.

    Federal Withdrawal Limits

    The federal government restricts the amount of monthly withdrawals to six per money market account, according to the United States Senate Federal Credit Union. This withdrawal limit is per statement cycle or calendar month, depending upon the bank or credit union. The federal restriction means that you are allowed only six withdrawal transactions, which could include pre-authorized transfers, ATM withdrawals, written checks, or withdrawals initiated through a bank teller. This is different from most checking or savings account, which let you make unlimited withdrawals penalty-free.

    Activity Fees

    Banks might charge you an "excess activity fee" for any monthly withdrawals that go over the federal limit, according to WellsFargo.com. Check with your bank to go over its money market account rules and customer agreements. The bank's account agreement should state the fee amount that you will be charged per transaction. These fees are similar to checking account overdraft fees, which are charged per item rather than as a flat one-time fee.

    Interest Tiers

    Quite a few money market accounts offer separate interest tiers that are dependent on the average daily balance. For example, a money market account with a balance between $1,000 and $10,000 might earn an annual interest rate of .20 percent. The same account that maintains a balance between $10,001 and $50,000 might qualify for an annual interest rate of .50 percent. When you consistently withdraw enough from your account to drop its balance down to the next tier, you risk losing higher interest rates.

    About the Author

    Helen Akers specializes in business and technology topics. She has professional experience in business-to-business sales, technical support, and management. Akers holds a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Devry University's Keller Graduate School of Management and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

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