Money Market Account vs. High-Yield Savings Account

Here's what you need to know when deciding between a money market account vs. a high-yield savings account.

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Torn between opening a money market account vs. high-yield savings account? With so many savings account options out there, choosing where to store your cash can be challenging. Both money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts can help you build your savings, but deciding between the two can be tricky. This is because they don’t have many drastic differences. 

Because of this, it’s important to research which account is better suited to you and your financial needs. You can start by comparing the features of each account.  


Most money market accounts make accessing your funds easier than high-yield savings accounts. This is because money market accounts offer check-writing privileges, and in some cases, even allow you to pay directly from your account with a debit card or easily pull funds from an ATM.  

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On the other hand, to spend the money in a high-yield savings account, you’ll often have to connect the account to an existing checking account and then transfer funds from one account to the other, making it a bit more difficult to access your cash. For this reason, if an emergency arises and you need quick access to your savings, a money market account has an advantage over a high-yield savings account. 


When it comes to protecting your cash, both money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts are solid choices. This is because many of these accounts, regardless of the type, are FDIC or NCUA insured. 

If your bank fails and goes under, you won’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned cash. FDIC insurance protects up to $250,000 in individual deposit accounts and up to $250,000 for each person’s share of joint accounts. NCUA insurance is similar, covering accounts held at credit unions. NCUA insurance covers up to $250,000 per credit union member.

Interest rates

Both money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts possess much higher savings rates than those offered by traditional savings accounts. However, high-yield savings accounts sometimes beat out money market accounts when it comes to APY, so it’s important to compare rates before opting for one account over the other. 

See our list for top money market accounts and best high yield savings accounts to compare current rates today. You can also compare current rates among high-yield savings accounts by using the tool below. 

Minimum balance and deposit requirements  

While money market accounts offer easier access to your cash, they often have higher minimum balance requirements when compared to high-yield savings accounts. Because of this, money market accounts typically carry more fees, and as such, it'll be easier to fall below your account minimum. 

Alternatively, many high-yield savings accounts have very low balance and deposit requirements, making them accessible to more people, even those with low savings balances.

Which is best?

Overall, there aren’t extreme differences between a money market account and a high-yield savings account, and both have their pros and cons. So, when should you choose a money market account over a high-yield savings account? 

Typically, money market accounts are better suited to people with larger amounts of money they’re looking to save, as they’ll be able to meet any minimum balance requirements and therefore avoid fees. On the other hand, individuals who are just beginning to save and don’t have large amounts of cash to put in an account should opt for a high-yield savings account.  

Additionally, because cash is more accessible in a money market account, it’s a good choice for individuals who plan on spending from their account fairly often.

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.