You are trying to decide between a savings or money market account. An MMA is a type […]

You are trying to decide between a savings or money market account. An MMA is a type savings account so the choice between them is not as easy. It is more about which type of savings account you prefer.

Savings account vs. money market account

While both bank deposit accounts earn interest, there are differences. MMAs offer the option to use debit cards or write a few checks per month. Regular savings accounts do not. High-yield savings accounts may be a better option because of their potential benefits. Learn more about the differences between these accounts and how you can choose the best one for you.

Easy Access

MMAs make it easy to get your money fast as they often offer a check-writing and a debit card. Although it is rare for savings accounts to offer checks or a debit card, some offer ATM cards for cash withdrawals. However, if a savings account does not offer an ATM card you can withdraw your money by visiting a branch (not an option for online banks), or electronically transferring the funds to another savings or checking account. This could take several minutes or even days and could be more time-consuming.

But MMAs should not be confused with checking or other everyday spending accounts. A debit card can make it easier for you to access your money in an emergency. However, a money market account should not be used for daily spending.

Both savings and money market accounts have a limit of six monthly withdrawals per type. You could be charged a fee for every transaction that exceeds this limit. The six-per-month limit does not apply to withdrawals made in person or at ATMs.

The federal limit was once a requirement. However, the Federal Reserve Board eliminated the rule in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An institution may still charge the fee. You should check the rules of your financial institution before opening a savings or money market account.


A checking account is a better option if you are looking for a regular account to make purchases. Although checking accounts won’t earn as much interest than savings or MMA accounts, they will have a lower transaction limit.

Fees and APYs

A bank’s money-market account typically has higher monthly service charges but offers a higher interest rate than its savings account. Online savings and MMA accounts are not always the same. They both have low to no monthly fees and competitive rates. Online savings accounts can offer better rates than money market accounts and have the highest yields.

Federal insurance

Federal insurance covers both savings and money market accounts. Federal insurance ensures that your money is protected in the event of a bank’s failure, as long as you have enough insured funds. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. typically insures bank accounts up to $250,000 per bank and per ownership category. A “single” account is one ownership category. A “joint” account is another. Credit unions are typically federally insured by National Credit Union Administration. This includes up to $250,000 per owner, per credit union, and per ownership type.

Note that a similar product is available, the money market fund. This is an investment, and not federally insured. To learn more, you can consult our primer on money-market funds. )

Savings account vs. money market

Below is a list of online money markets and savings options from a few institutions. Also included are their annual percentage yields. If you receive estatements, all accounts have no monthly fees.

Financial Institution and Account

APY calculated based on a balance of $5,000

Discover Money Market account

Find Online Savings Account

UFB Prefer Money Market Account

4.55%. Minimum balance of $5,000 is subject to a $10 monthly fee.

UFB Prefer Savings Account

Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account

4.30%. Vio Bank does NOT offer check-writing or debit cards.

Vio Bank Online Savings Account

Savings account vs. money market account: How to Choose

Accounts with high APYs, low or zero monthly fees are desirable. Consider how quickly you may need access to your funds.

An online savings account that offers a high APY and allows you to access your funds immediately is a good option.

A high-yield savings with an ATM card is a good option if you don’t intend to write checks but plan to withdraw cash. A money market account could be the right choice for you if you are looking to earn more interest than your checking account and still have the ability to make purchases or write checks.

Savings accounts and money market accounts can be used to build your savings. MMAs might be easier to access, but high-yield savings accounts may be a better choice due to their high APYs or minimal requirements. To help you weigh your options, take a look at the top savings accounts and best money market accounts.