The accounts that offer the best interest rates are commonly certificates of deposit, according to Nerd Wallet. Money market accounts pay the next highest interest rates, followed by savings accounts. Checking accounts pay the lowest interest, when it is offered. Generally, the less immediate access a user has to funds, the higher the interest rates.
Certificates of deposit, or CDs, have a maturity period in which there are restrictions and fees on any early withdrawal of funds, says Nerd Wallet. The longer the maturity period on a CD, the higher the interest rates it pays. Although money market accounts do not have maturity periods, an account owner is only allowed to make six withdrawals a month, sometimes fewer. Similar federal regulations also apply to savings accounts. Money market accounts pay higher interest rates than savings accounts, because the former requires a minimum deposit amount, unlike savings accounts, which generally have no minimum requirements and allow users to save whatever amount of money they wish to while still collecting interest.
Some checking accounts pay interest, but it is small compared to the other accounts, reports Nerd Wallet. Part of the reason for these low rates is that a user has maximum access to the funds deposited, with the ability to make unlimited purchases or withdrawals from the balance in the account.