Techniques for Money Market, CD, and Savings Rankings

Techniques for Money Market, CD, and Savings Rankings


We make it simple to locate the greatest rates on savings accounts, money market accounts (MMAs), and certificates of deposit (CDs) by providing you with a daily rating of the best rates. You may also be sure you’re viewing a list of the greatest possibilities accessible because we rank the highest-paying accounts only based on annual percentage yield (APY), not on the affiliations of the financial institutions that advertise with us.

Since 2019, we have been investigating and presenting the top CD, savings account, and money market account rates. The financial institutions and accounts we list undergo a rigorous evaluation process and to be eligible, they must fulfill certain requirements. These standards and the mechanics of our ranking system are described in this guide.


How to Locate the Best Prices

There are over 200 physical and virtual banks and credit unions in our universe that are accessible nationwide. Of these, about 200 offer CDs that fit our requirements, 100 offer money market accounts, and 100 offer what are known as high-yield savings accounts.

Every business day, our staff uses both automated and manual techniques to monitor the deposit rates at these institutions to make sure we locate all the best deals and update any rates that are out of the current. Additionally, we frequently add institutions when they become more accessible or we become aware of new national players.

The majority of institutions use various time zones to update their rates online in the morning, and we gather any updated rates data throughout the day. Every business day, we update our listings. You can determine whether a page has been updated for the day by looking at the “updated” date on the page.

Qualifications for Inclusion

Organizations Meet The Requirements

To be listed in our rankings of deposit accounts, financial institutions must fulfill two main requirements. They have to be:

  • Federally insured
  • Available nationwide

Federally Insured

This denotes membership in the FDIC for banks and the NCUA for credit unions. This guarantees that, if the institution fails or is seized, the U.S. government will protect each customer’s savings up to $250,000 (per person, per institution, and ownership category, such as single account or joint account). We only ranked FDIC and NCUA members, so you know that any money you deposit with these institutions—up to a maximum of $250,000—will be secure.

Consequently, take notice that this implies both online and physical banks are both qualified for inclusion. Whether or not an online bank has physical branches, savings are as safe there as they are at any other FDIC-insured institution if the bank has FDIC protection.


Available Nationwide

We only list banks and credit unions that welcome clients from all across the nation to provide our readers with the most nationwide service. This means that you can register an account online and that you can live in any state in the union.

We do allow some exceptions for banks that service the majority of the nation but not all of it; a bank must serve customers from at least 40 states to qualify as a nationwide bank. While the great majority of the banks in our rankings do service all 50 states, we have included an asterisk to denote those who do not.

Credit unions function somewhat differently because membership is required. The “field of membership,” which determines an individual’s eligibility to join, is frequently based on residency in a specific area or employment with a specific company.

However, a lot of credit unions around the country welcome members who don’t ordinarily fit the criteria through a special route. This can be done for free at times, or it might cost a one-time donation or membership fee to the nonprofit affiliate of the credit union. We provide the requirements for joining the credit unions that we feature in our articles on the best CDs, savings accounts, and money market accounts. We do not list credit unions that have membership requirements of $40 or more.

Money market and savings accounts that meet the requirements

We include money market accounts and savings accounts with minimum balances of no more than $25,000 in our rankings of high-yielding accounts. Additionally, we exclude those who limit their high-yield rate to only low balances, which we define as less than $5,000. To put it another way, a savings account that claims to offer a high annual percentage rate (APY) but only applies it to the first $1,000 of your balance is ineligible for our rankings.

Furthermore, we differentiate between money market accounts and savings accounts based on the ability to write checks. We base our approach on the conventional notion that money market accounts have historically permitted check writing while savings accounts have not.

But take note that the phrase “money market” has become a marketing cliche; some banks even use it in the name of their savings account when it doesn’t include issuing checks. For our purposes, an account qualifies for our savings account rankings even if it prohibits writing checks. It may rank among the best money market accounts if it permits checks.

Finally, we mandate that any savings or money market account that can only be accessed via a mobile app be compatible with both iOS and Android.

Acceptable Certificates of Deposit

If a certificate of deposit requires an initial investment of little more than $25,000, it may be eligible for consideration in our regular CD rankings. For our jumbo CD rankings, a minimum deposit of $50,000 to $100,000 is required. Although certain CDs with balances of at least $250,000 are available in the market, these so-called “super jumbo” certificates are not tracked or ranked by us.

Additionally, CDs need to have a set rate that is known for the period to be included in our rankings. Indexed certificates, sometimes known as “flex CDs” or “variable-rate CDs,” are therefore ineligible since their rates are subject to sudden changes based on a variety of uncontrollable factors, including the prime rate or federal funds rate.

“Bump-up” certificates, which provide you the opportunity to increase your rate during the term—typically just once and at initiation—are one exception. We do accept these certificates in our CD rankings because exercising the raised rate option would only increase your return and because you are still guaranteed the original rate if you would prefer it for the entire term.

How Our Rankings Are Formulated

Order of Merit for Money Market and Savings Accounts

We rank all of the money market accounts and savings accounts that meet our criteria countrywide based on their interest rates, with the accounts that offer the greatest annual percentage yield (APY) at the top of the list. The continuous balance needed to obtain the APY is our second criterion for ranking accounts that pay the same rate. Therefore, an account that only requires a $500 monthly balance, for instance, would rank higher than one that demands $10,000. We rank according to the least amount needed for the first deposit if there is still a tie after taking into account the minimum ongoing balance. After that, ties are resolved alphabetically.

Certificates of Deposit Rank Order

As with savings and money market accounts, certificates of deposit are originally ranked with the greatest annual percentage yield (APY) at the top. The maturity term, or duration, of the certificate, serves as the initial tie-breaker for any two identical rates. In terms of ranking, shorter terms are given a higher ranking than lengthier ones. This is significant since many odd-term certificates are available in the market, meaning that not all CDs have the typical period of 3, 6, 12, etc. months. Thus, for the 6-month CD rating, we classify CDs according to term ranges, like 5–9 months, 10–14 months, and so on.

The minimum needed deposit is the third sort criterion used when two CDs are tied for both term and APY. CDs requiring a significant cash commitment rank higher than those requiring a lesser deposit. Following this third sort, if there is still a tie, the CDs are arranged alphabetically.

Selecting Your Ideal Account

Doing some research before choosing where to store your money might have a significant financial impact. Choosing a premium rate over a standard one can result in long-term financial gains of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

By selecting the highest-paying options from thousands of deposit products, our rankings are designed to make choosing a savings, money market, or CD account as simple as possible. However, the account you select is still entirely up to you. That one is significantly more handy because you may already have a relationship with an institution that pays the seventh-best rate rather than the greatest.

You might also want to continue with a bank over a credit union, or you might wish to steer clear of a specific institution because of a bad experience in the past. Certain product attributes, such as CD length and minimum deposit, may also make it a better choice for you than another.

Because of this, our rankings usually have at least 15 possibilities for each sort of product, allowing you to select the one that best suits your needs and be sure that it’s one of the highest-paying accounts in the country.

Get to know the Banking Reviews Team.

  1. Sabrina Karl has been writing on savings, certificates of deposit, and other banking subjects for more than 20 years. Currently employed as a staff writer at Investopedia, she is among the nation’s foremost authorities on maximizing returns on bank deposits. She has written for RateSeeker, DepositAccounts, CreditCards, and Bankrate in the past.
  2. At Investopedia, where she manages educational content regarding consumer financial products like checking accounts and life insurance, Yasmin Ghahremani holds the position of Associate Editorial Director. She worked for The Balance for almost four years in a comparable capacity before joining the team in January 2023. She has worked as a contract editor at LendingTree and as a managing editor at CreditCards.com and Wise Bread for more than ten years, during which time she has educated people about personal finance.Yasmin has also worked for several foreign media sites, such as CNN, CNBC, and Asiaweek magazine, covering technology, business, and the environment. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master of International Affairs degree.
  3. With more than ten years of experience in journalism, Hilarey Gould is a specialist in social media, SEO, content strategy, editing, and more. She has worked as an editor at The Balance, Bankrate, SmartAsset, and realtor.com before taking the position of Editorial Director, Financial Products and Services, at Investopedia. Hilary is a University of Missouri journalism master’s graduate.




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