What we’ll cover:
If you come across CDs and money market accounts while exploring ways you could earn a little more interest for you cash savings, but aren’t sure which option could be a better fit, we have news: you can strike “compare CDs vs. money market accounts” from your to-do list. We’ve done the legwork for you.
A certificate of deposit is a type of account that typically offers a higher APY than a traditional savings account. The catch is that you have to keep your money in the account for a fixed amount of time. Break the CD before your term is up, and in most cases, you could cough up a penalty.
We’ve got a brief rundown on CDs below, but if you’re looking for more in-depth material, check out our Guide to CDs. And if CDs are something that appeal to you, Marcus offers both high-yield certificates of deposit and a no-penalty certificate of deposit.
Here’s a quick rundown on what we found with many CDs:
There are two types of money markets you may have read about: money market accounts (offered by banks and credit unions) and money market funds (offered by brokerage firms). Similar names, different rules. We’re focusing on the ones offered by banks – money market accounts.
Money market accounts offer APYs that are generally lower than ones you’d find with certificates of deposit, but money market accounts offer access typical CDs don’t: You can add money on a regular basis and may be able to withdraw funds with a debit card and/or checks along with digital transfers. Bank regulations limit these types of withdrawals, among others, to six total per month, but this limit may not apply to in-person withdrawals.
Here’s a quick rundown on what we found with many money market accounts:
Now that the basics of these savings vehicles are out of the way, we can dig into what probably qualifies as an existential question in banking – why these accounts exist.
CDs and money market accounts could add oomph to your savings because they offer ways to get higher APYs than you would with a traditional savings account along with FDIC insurance protection. But how you could use them to your advantage depends on what you need from the money you’re looking to deposit.
A fixed-rate certificate of deposit could help you save for a time-bound goal, like a down payment on a house, because you can just leave the money in the account and wait until the CD matures to remove the cash.
If you’ve got money you may need at a moment’s notice but you can generally leave it in the account, a money market account could be an option. The relatively easy access could be helpful if you’re building something like an emergency fund or just want the ability to deposit funds on a regular basis.
Certificate of Deposit
Money Market Account
Certificate of Deposit
Money Market Account
Could be high, rate is fixed
Could be high, rate is variable
Can you add money to the account?
Not after the funding period
You can deposit funds on a regular basis.
Can you withdraw money from the account?
You'll typically pay a fee if you withdraw money before the term ends.
You can withdraw funds but some transactions are limited to a total of 6 per month.
Is the rate fixed?
Yes, the rate is fixed for the CD term.
No, the rate is variable.
Typically the fees associated with CDs result from breaking the CD early.
If you exceed the withdrawal limit, or have less than the minimum balance, you may pay a fee.
To save money for long-term goals, like a down payment.
To save money and add to the balance, while keeping funds in easy reach(if needed, for say, an emergency).
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