How Do I Find out About Money Market Accounts?

You consider some exciting and not-so-exciting things once you settle down: how to get green grass, lower utility bills, sneak in some romance before you fall asleep on the couch and manage your money. Just to prove how domesticated you are, you actually need to learn about about money market accounts. Even with limited returns on money market accounts, having a couple bucks within arm's reach may offer some security as you head toward the next stage in your domestic life.

Step 1

Ask about money market deposit accounts not money market funds. A money market fund invests in "low-risk securities," according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; however, a money market fund can lose value. Money market deposit accounts, available from banks, are FDIC-insured products.

Step 2

Visit a local bank. You can walk into most banks and open a money market deposit account in minutes. The process is similar, if not the same, to opening a checking or savings account. Brokerages and credit card companies that have a banking arm, such as Charles Schwab, Capital One and Discover, also offer money market deposit accounts.

Step 3

Go online to compare rates (see Resources) at websites such as bankrate.com and bankaholic.com, which publish the latest money market account rates. The higher minimum balance you can keep, generally the higher interest rate you'll receive. When you open an account online, you not only can choose from the brick and mortar banks that operate branches in your area, you can also access accounts at many banks without local branches or Internet-only outlets. The latter often offer higher interest rates since they tend to have lower overhead than banks with many physical locations.

Step 4

Ask your bank—online or off—about transaction fees associated with money market deposit accounts. Most allow you to write checks or access your cash with an ATM card; if you go over a certain number of transactions each month, you might face a service charge.

Step 5

Look at minimum deposit requirements. If you don't have at least $10,000 to put into a money market account, you might be better off with a savings account or certificate of deposit. While you might be able to find money market accounts with lower minimums, the interest might not be much more attractive than other conservative places to stash your cash.

About the Author

As a writer since 2002, Rocco Pendola has published numerous academic and popular articles in addition to working as a freelance grant writer and researcher. His work has appeared on SFGate and Planetizen and in the journals "Environment & Behavior" and "Health and Place." Pendola has a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from San Francisco State University.