In the arena of smart investing there are few outlets more secure than a money market account. Designed to earn a higher interest rate for the customer, withdrawal rules for money market accounts can be very restrictive and closely monitored by banking institutions. This interest rate is variable and bank determined, so customers should shop their money around to find the best interest rate and terms before selecting a bank to grow their money.
A money market account is a type of savings account offered by most banks and credit unions, though it requires a higher minimum balance than regular savings accounts. The typical initial deposit for money market accounts will be between $1000-$2500. Money market accounts allow three checks to be written on the account per month. The goal of a money market is to grow money, so withdrawals will be limited.
Banks compete for money market accounts with varying interest rates. This rate is often based on a tier system dependent on the amount of revolving account balance. That is, the more money in the account, the higher the tier and the higher the interest rate. Unlike stock investments, money market accounts are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 to enable consumers to have a safer way to grow their assets without the risk/reward of the stock market. As of late 2009, Interest.com currently rates Capital One Direct Banking the money market account with the highest annual percentage rate at 1.60.
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Because a money market is a type of savings account, it is subject to the federal restrictions on withdrawals imposed on all types of non-transaction accounts. Money market accounts allow a total of six withdrawals per month, with a maximum of three of those withdrawals being in check form, though some money market accounts do not allow check writing. Banks impose stiff penalties on customers that exceed this limit in the form of high fees and even the outright closure of the account.
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