MMAs, CD, savings or cash reserve?

As of this writing, the account with the highest return is a 9-month CD account provided by NASA Federal Credit Union with an APR of 5.65%. The top high-yielding savings and money market accounts also offer interest rates in excess of 5.00%, while the best cash reserve account among those we've reviewed is Robinhood's gold account, which has an APR of 4.65%.

However, that doesn't mean that all investors should put their money into a CD just because it tops this ranking. There are key differences between these accounts that may make some a better choice for you given your financial plans and needs.

Cash reserve accounts can simplify financial transactions

Although brokerage cash management accounts have the lowest prime returns of the account types listed above, some savers might find these accounts to be among the easiest to monitor. If you already have an account with a broker that offers a competitive interest rate on a cash reserve account, the process of transferring your money to cash reserve can be very simple. However, if you don't already have a brokerage account, you may prefer another option that offers a higher return.

Robinhood Gold subscribers currently receive the best return among cash reserve accounts at 4.65% APY, but they also pay a $5 per month fee. Few brokers offer similar interest rates for cash management accounts, including Wealthfront's cash management account, which pays 4.55%, and Betterment, which pays 4.50%.

With CDs you can secure yourself a competitive price

A major benefit of CDs is that they allow savers to lock in a high rate of interest, thereby guaranteeing a return at that level for the life of the certificate. CDs also allow for the flexibility of different maturities, from months to several years. On the other hand, many banks and credit unions levy a hefty penalty fee on depositors who withdraw money from a CD before the expiration date. As such, these accounts tend to be best suited for people who like to keep their money untouched for long periods of time.


The CD with the highest yield is currently a 9 month certificate. The top-paying CDs of other maturities offer different interest rates.

The best CD interest rates today range from 4.77% APY for a 5-year CD to 5.65% APY for a 9-month NASA Federal Credit Union CD. Regardless of the term, the best-paying CDs offer significantly higher interest rates than the national average. So it's always best to make sure the interest rate you're getting is competitive.

High-yield savings accounts exceed the national average interest rate

The nationwide average interest rate on savings accounts is a meager 0.40%, thanks in large part to large nationwide banks, which are able to offer low interest rates because they don't have to entice investors into making deposit money available to be exchanged and loaned can. The top high-yield savings accounts offer an interest rate that is more than 10 times higher than the national average.

Savings accounts offer flexibility that CDs don't offer. You can withdraw your cash or deposit more as you wish. Most high-yield savings accounts offer inter-institution transfers that take no more than a few days, meaning most savers can easily access their funds. However, interest rates on savings accounts change frequently and without warning, often in response to changes in the federal funds rate. A currently high interest rate therefore offers no protection against a subsequent sharp drop in yields.


When choosing a high-yield savings account, consider whether it requires a minimum initial deposit or balance to get the highest interest rate available.

Money market accounts offer the flexibility of saving but with checks

Money market accounts are largely interchangeable with savings accounts. The main difference is that they allow account holders to write checks, while traditional savings accounts do not. Both account types are good for savers who want to withdraw or deposit cash repeatedly. However, like savings accounts, MMAs can change interest rates at any time, leaving savers at risk of a sudden drop in interest rates.

The national median rate for money market accounts is 0.59%, well below the top-paying MMA rate of 5.25% APY at Brilliant Bank. A total of 10 MMAs are currently paying 4.50% APY or more.

Disclosure of Tariff Collection Methodology

Each business day, Investopedia tracks price data from more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer money market, savings and CD accounts to customers nationwide, and provides daily rankings of the highest paying accounts. To qualify for our listings, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions) and the minimum initial account deposit must not exceed $25,000.

Banks must be available in at least 40 states. And while some credit unions require you to donate to a specific charity or association in order to become a member if you don't meet other eligibility criteria (like not living in a specific area or working in a specific type of job). ), We exclude credit unions whose donation needs are $40 or more. For more information on how we select the best fares, see our full methodology.

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