Sallie Mae Money Market Account 2023 Review
Money market accounts can offer the best of both worlds to savers.
You can get a great rate on your money with some of the features of a checking account. Depending on where you open a money market account, you might be able to escape high monthly fees.
The Sallie Mae Money Market Account helps you grow your savings faster with an above-average interest rate. As an added plus, you can write checks from your account.
Is a money market account the right place for your savings? It could be if you're looking for flexibility.
Our Sallie Mae Money Market Account review takes you inside this account's features and benefits.
Sallie Mae Money Market Account Pros & Cons
How Much Interest Can You Earn?
Money market accounts can pay interest just like regular savings accounts or certificate of deposit (CD) accounts.
The rates you can earn on your money market savings will depend on where you're keeping it.
Sallie Mae pays an annual percentage yield (APY) that's well above the national average. In fact, it's similar to what you'll find with high-yield savings accounts offered at the top online banks.
Why does Sallie Mae's money market offer such a high rate?
Online banks tend to have lower overhead costs than brick-and-mortar banks. That means they can pass savings on to their customers by paying out a higher APY on balances.
Is Sallie Mae the best money market account for earning interest? It's definitely at the top of the list when you compare it to other online money market accounts.
Interest compounds daily and is paid out monthly. There are no balance tiers, so you get the same superior rate no matter how much or how little you save.
The main highlight of the Sallie Mae Money Market Account is the APY, but that's not the only benefit.
There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements and transfers are free.
You can write checks from your account to pay bills or make purchases. And even though it's an online money market account, deposits are FDIC-insured.
If you're trying to save money the last thing you want is to have to pay high fees.
The Sallie Mae Money Market Account is like other online savings accounts, in that it's fee-friendly.
You won't pay a monthly maintenance fee, which you might run into at traditional banks. For example, you may pay anywhere from $5 to $10 per month for a money market account at a brick-and-mortar bank.
There are a few fees associated with this account, but they're on par with what most banks charge.
Sallie Mae Money Market Account Fees
|Monthly maintenance fee||$0|
|Expedited check reorder||$10|
|Stop payment fee||$15|
|Outgoing domestic wire transfer fee||$20|
You can transfer money between linked Sallie Mae bank accounts or accounts at another bank without a fee.
There are some limits on e-deposits:
- $5,000 daily (up to 5 deposits)
- $5,000 weekly (up to 5 deposits)
- $20,000 monthly (up to 10 deposits)
It's important to keep those limits in mind if you're planning to move significant amounts of money into your money market account.
ATM and Excess Withdrawal Fees
Some banks offer an ATM or debit card with a money market account. That makes them even more like a checking account.
Sallie Mae doesn't offer a debit card or ATM card with its money market account.
If you need to withdraw cash, you can either:
- Transfer funds to another account at a bank that does have ATMs
- Write a check out to cash
Since there's no debit card, you don't have to worry about ATM fees.
Using Your Sallie Mae Money Market Account as Overdraft Protection
Overdraft protection is an optional banking service that can help you save money on overdraft fees.
Here's how it works:
- You link a savings account or money market account to your checking account.
- When you opt-in to overdraft protection, your bank transfers money from savings to checking for you if you're in danger of overdraft.
- The bank may charge a small fee of $10 to $12 for each transfer.
If you don't opt in then your bank can reject any transactions that might put you into overdraft.
Since Sallie Mae doesn't offer checking accounts. So there's no need or option to use your money market account as overdraft protection.
You could still link your money market account to a checking account at another bank. But you wouldn't be able to use it as overdraft protection for the account.
Accessing Your Money Market Savings Account
Sallie Mae gives you a few ways to access and manage your money market account.
The options include:
- Online banking
- Mobile banking
- ACH transfers to an external bank account
- Outgoing wire transfers to another bank account
Remember, you won't get an ATM card or debit card for this account. But that's not unusual for a savings account.
After all, the whole point of opening a money market or savings account is to save money. So it doesn't really make sense to be able to use it like you would a checking account.
If you want to order checks for your Sallie Mae Money Market Account, your first order is free when you open the account. After that, you'll pay $5 for each reorder.
Are Online Money Market Accounts Better?
Online money market and savings accounts have become increasingly popular ways to save.
The reason is simple: they can offer better features and benefits than traditional savings accounts.
Here are some of the best reasons to consider an online money market account:
- Interest rates and APYs are usually higher
- Online savings and money market accounts may charge fewer fees or no fees at all
- Minimum opening deposit requirements tend to be lower
- There may be no minimum balance requirements to meet
- Convenient access through mobile and online banking
Of course, there is one thing you typically don't get with online money market and savings accounts. And that's branch banking.
Whether that matters to you depends on how often you need to visit a branch. If you rarely or never step foot in a bank branch, then an online money market account could be a great fit.
If you're thinking about opening an online money market account, here are a few things to consider:
- What types of accounts the bank offers (i.e., savings, money market, CD, checking, etc.)
- Monthly maintenance fees and other fees
- Interest rates and APYs
- Minimum opening deposit and minimum balance requirements
- Daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits
- Daily, weekly or monthly withdrawal limits
- Excess withdrawal rules
- ATM or debit card access
- ATM network, if an ATM or debit card is offered
- Check-writing privileges
- Overdraft protection benefits
- Added benefits, such as automatic savings features
- Online and mobile banking features and tools
- User experience
- Customer service and overall reputation
Also, be sure to check whether the bank is FDIC-insured. The FDIC insures deposits at member banks up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution.
As mentioned, Sallie Mae's Money Market Account is FDIC-insured so you don't have to worry about losing money in the rare event that the bank fails.
Who Should Choose a Sallie Mae Money Market Savings Account?
The Sallie Mae Money Market Account offers a competitive rate with minimal fees. You might consider opening one of these accounts if you:
- Want to be able to write checks from your money market account
- Are looking for a money market account with a low opening deposit requirement
- Would like to avoid monthly maintenance fees
- Want to get a stellar rate on balances
- Are interested in Sallie Mae's other savings products, including high-yield savings accounts and CDs
You might consider a different savings option if you're also hoping to open a checking account. And of course, you may want to look for a traditional money market account if you'd like to be able to bank at a branch.
If getting the best rate for your money matters, then Sallie Mae could be an excellent choice.
Comparing savings rates at other banks is a good idea, since you might find higher rates elsewhere. Using an online savings calculator can help you estimate how much your money might grow over time.
Thinking about what you need from a money market account can point you in the right direction for where to open one.