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American Southwest Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

American Southwest Credit Union’s checking account options

Classic Checking

A free, noninterest-bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union and Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

This no-frills, fee-free checking account does not earn interest. While there aren’t any true bonuses or perks that come with this account, that convenience alone might be enough to customers looking for a headache-free way to manage their money. This account also offers low-cost duplicate checks, a Visa® debit card, overdraft protection from your savings account and for checks, Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers and recurring debit card transactions, and free online banking and bill pay.

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Prestige Checking

Another noninterest-earning checking account with slightly stricter requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union and Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

Despite what its name suggests, this checking account doesn’t offer much more than the basic checking account, except for a $10 monthly fee and a somewhat high $2,000 balance requirement to be able to waive it. This account also doesn’t earn interest, minimizing its appeal. But it does offer free credit union checks, a Visa® debit card, overdraft protection from your savings account and for checks, ACH transfers and recurring debit card transactions, and free online banking and bill pay.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts

If you meet the requirements to become a member and open a Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open either of American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts online. To do so, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

As we mention in our roundup of the best online checking accounts, the best products will earn interest, as well as have no account and ATM fees and a user-friendly online interface. These two checking accounts win on a couple of these fronts, but not enough to make them must-have accounts. We say consider one of the accounts on our list to be able to earn interest on your funds without any added hassle.

American Southwest Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

This account is required to become a member of American Southwest Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union or Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

This account is a requirement for anyone interested in joining American Southwest Credit Union and wanting to open any other personal banking products. It earns a very small amount of interest on amounts over $50. It also comes with a Visa® debit card and online banking. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

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Savings Safari Club for Young Savers

A simple savings account for children younger than 13.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: N/A
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is designed to help kids learn how to save. It doesn’t earn interest, nor does it have ATM access. Account holders will receive a special gift when they open the account and have the chance to win a $10 deposit to their account every month. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals up to six a month. A parent or guardian must be an existing American Southwest Credit Union member for a child to open this account. Once the account holder turns 13, this account will turn into a regular Share Savings account.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s savings accounts

If you qualify to be a member of American Southwest Credit Union, you’ll have to open the Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5 before opening any other products. You’ll need your Social Security number and a valid form of ID to do so. To open the Safari Club account, you’ll need to visit the credit union to open it with a parent or legal guardian.

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Although American Southwest Credit Union’s Share Savings account earns dividends, it’s not competitive compared to those on our list of the best online savings accounts. Sure, it has a very low deposit requirement and no monthly fees, but it offers virtually nothing in the way of additional perks. If you’re not ultimately after one of the credit union’s other products that require you to open this account, we wouldn’t recommend seeking this account alone. The Safari Club is a nice bonus for parents who are members and want to teach their kids about savings, but it also isn’t a must or a reason to seek out American Southwest Credit Union specifically.

American Southwest Credit Union’s CD rates

Term Share Certificates

CDs offering two tier levels with mediocre rates.
TermAPY
6 months1.40% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.65% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
12 months1.60% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.85% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
18 months1.70% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.95% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
24 months1.85% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.05% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
30 months2.05% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.25% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
36 months2.20% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.40% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
48 months2.25% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.45% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
60 months2.50% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.70% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: It depends on how long the certificate has been opened and the amount that it’s worth. Contact American Southwest Credit Union for specific details.

Aside from the second tier having a high minimum deposit requirement, these are run-of-the-mill CDs. They come in term options ranging from six months to five years, with no monthly service charges and the ability to have their monthly dividends compounded or transferred to one of your share accounts with the credit union.

There is a potential added perk in that American Southwest Credit Union offers the opportunity for relationship pricing, in which you can earn an additional 0.05% APY if you have a checking account with the credit union and have a direct deposit or otherwise regularly recurring deposit set up with it. A credit union representative can provide more information on this potential perk.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s CDs

As with American Southwest Credit Union’s other personal accounts, these CDs can be opened online once you’ve verified that you qualify to become a member and open your Share Savings account. You’ll need to be sure you have your Social Security number and government-issued ID on hand to do so.

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Despite American Southwest Credit Union boasting of offering competitive rates on its certificates, these CD rates don’t stack up against those on our list of the best CD rates. Not only that, but the minimum deposit amount on the higher tier is astronomical compared to the rate it offers. We say give these CDs a hard pass and take the time to find something that will provide you with a bigger bang for your buck.

American Southwest Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

A basic, tiered account offering subpar rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.10%
$2,000
1.20%
$20,000
1.30%
$50,000
1.40%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account allows you to earn interest at four tiers. Interest earned with this account comes only from credit union funds. As with all savings accounts, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals up to six a month.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s Money Market account

After establishing membership and opening a Share Savings account, customers can open American Southwest Credit Union’s Money Market account online. You’ll need a valid government-issued ID such as a driver’s license and your Social Security number to do so.

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on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s money market account compares

Many banks and credit unions these days are offering very low rates on money market accounts, and American Southwest Credit Union is no exception. You can earn about double these rates on some of the accounts on our list of the best money market rates, with virtually the same or better requirements. We’d advise you to strongly consider one of those instead.

American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Term Share Certificates

The credit unions CDs, available to open within an IRA.
TermAPY
6 months1.40% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.65% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
12 months1.60% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.85% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
18 months1.70% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.95% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
24 months1.85% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.05% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
30 months2.05% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.25% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
36 months2.20% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.40% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
48 months2.25% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.45% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
60 months2.50% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.70% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: It depends on how long the certificate has been opened and the amount that it’s worth. Contact American Southwest Credit Union for specific details.

These are virtually the same as the Term Share Certificates, just with the ability to open within an IRA. They come in term options ranging from six months to five years, with no monthly service charges and the ability to have their monthly dividends compounded or transferred to one of your share accounts with the credit union. But one bonus is that American Southwest Credit Union offers the opportunity for relationship pricing, in which you can earn an additional 0.05% APY if you have a checking account with the credit union and have a direct deposit or otherwise regularly recurring deposit set up with it. A credit union representative can provide more information on this potential perk.

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

As with the regular certificates, the rates on American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA CDs don’t compare to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates, even with the potential bonus. When you’re saving for retirement, you want to make sure you’re giving your funds the best possible opportunity to grow. We urge you to do your research to find the best IRA product, which could include one on our list.

Regular IRA Shares

This account can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.10%
$50
    Minimum opening deposit: $5

  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Annual account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is a basic IRA savings account, which can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA. It also allows you to earn a bit of interest on all amounts over $50. While it doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, there is a $10 annual fee on this account. Like with all savings accounts, this IRA is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA products

Just like with all of American Southwest Credit Union’s other personal products, you can open one of its IRAs online after becoming a member and opening a Share Savings account. You’ll need to be sure to have your government-issued ID and Social Security number ready to get started.

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Overall review of American Southwest Credit Union’s banking products

Not surprisingly, none of American Southwest Credit Union’s personal banking products is a standout. While any associated fees and requirements are on the low end, the rates don’t come close to many of the better offerings out there. If you’re on the hunt for a product that will help you to grow your funds, take the time to do your research to find the best one to suit your needs. It likely isn’t one offered at American Southwest Credit Union.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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Review of Edward Jones CD Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

What are brokered CDs?

Edward Jones offers brokered CDs, which are a bit different from the standard bank-issued CDs that most investors are familiar with. Bank-issued CDs, as the name implies, are issued by individual banks for their customers. Since Edward Jones is a broker and not a bank, it cannot issue its own CDs. Instead, the firm offers a range of CDs issued by other banks and thrifts but sold via Edward Jones.

For the casual investor, it can be hard at first glance to tell the difference between bank-issued and brokered CDs. However, there are some important distinctions:

  • No early withdrawal penalties: Brokered CDs don’t have early withdrawal penalties. If you need to get out of your CD, you can usually sell it back to another investor through a brokerage firm. This means that brokered CDs carry some additional risk, as the price of these CDs may fluctuate on the open market.
  • Higher APYs: You can often get higher yields on a brokered CD than with a bank-issued CD. Brokers are able to negotiate higher CD rates since they can guarantee a large pool of buyers to CD issuers. In the era of online banking, however, even brokered CDs do not always garner the absolute highest rates.
  • Longer-term options: Brokered CDs often have longer-term options than are available with traditional bank-issued CDs, which are generally short-term investments only.

CD rates from Edward Jones

Edward Jones offers a fairly comprehensive range of CD maturities, ranging from three months to 10 years, although the firm doesn’t offer 6-year CDs, 8-year CDs or 9-year CDs. Rates and availability change frequently, oftentimes daily. The longer-duration CDs offered by the firm aren’t traditionally available at banks.
Edward Jones CD Rates
TermMinimum deposit to earn APYAPY
3 months$1,0001.95%
6 months$1,0002.00%
9 months$1,0002.00%
1 year$1,0001.95%
18 months$1,0001.90%
2 years$1,0002.05%
3 years$1,0002.15%
5 years$1,0002.20%
7 years$1,0002.45%
10 years$1,0002.60%

For all maturities, Edward Jones requires a $1,000 opening deposit, which is the same minimum required to earn the stated APY. As these are brokered CDs, there is no early withdrawal penalty. However, investors are subject to current market prices if they need to get out of a CD prematurely. If interest rates have risen since the date of purchase, you’re likely to get less money back than you originally invested in the CD.

One important difference between Edward Jones CDs and standard bank-issued CDs is that interest does not compound with Edward Jones CDs. All interest is paid directly into a money market or insured bank deposit at Edward Jones, unless you request it to be distributed. Either way, you can’t reinvest your distributions into your existing CD.

Unlike some banks, Edward Jones doesn’t offer any type of hybrid or alternative CD, such as a step-up CD or an adjustable-rate CD. There are also no bonus APR CDs available at the current time, just standard rates. Edward Jones also does not offer special rates for jumbo CDs, which traditionally require a $100,000 deposit. However, you can use the firm’s wide range of CD maturities for certain CD strategies, such as building a CD ladder. You can also buy their brokered CDs in an IRA.

Unlike bank-issued CDs, the brokered CDs offered by Edwards Jones do not automatically roll over into new CDs. At maturity, the banks that issued the CDs pay the proceeds to Edward Jones, which then forwards the money to your account. At that point, you can either select a new brokered CD to purchase, or keep the funds in your Edward Jones money market or insured bank deposit account.

How to get CDs from Edward Jones

You’ll need to open a brokerage account at Edward Jones to buy any CDs. The account minimum to open is $0, but as Edward Jones is a full-service brokerage, you’ll need to go into a branch and visit a financial advisor to open an account. There is no facility to open an account online.

You can open your Edward Jones account as rapidly as you can fill out the paperwork and fund the account. As soon as your deposit clears, you are free to buy a CD through your Edward Jones broker. If you change your mind, you can generally withdraw your funds within 4-6 business days after deposit, although this hold period may extend to 11 business days for new clients. Once you buy a CD, you can sell it at any time on the open market. As noted above, the amount you receive may be less than the amount you originally paid.

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How do CD rates from Edward Jones compare?

Edward Jones CD rates are well above the national average, but they still fall considerably short when compared with the best available rates nationwide.

Unlike with many firms, Edward Jones doesn’t currently have any special-rate CDs, where certain maturities pay dramatically higher rates. Instead, rates at Edward Jones land along a traditional curve, gradually increasing in yield as maturities lengthen.

For example, as of July 3, 2019, the Edward Jones 2-year CD rate of 2.05% is far below the best available 2-year CD rates. Three-year CD rates top out nationally at 3.00%, but Edward Jones pays 2.15%. The pattern continues throughout the maturity curve, with the top 5-year CD rates nationally hitting 3.00% or more, while the 5-year at Edward Jones pays 2.20%.

As such, all rates at Edward Jones fall in the general area of being well-above national averages but still notably short of the best available rates.

Overall review of CDs from Edward Jones

You won’t be wasting your time investing in CDs from Edward Jones, as you’ll be earning rates far above the national averages. You’ll also benefit from the ability to construct a CD or overall investment strategy with the assistance of a full-service advisor. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best CD rates for your money, there are plenty of online banks that can pay you a higher rate.

CD investors who like a wide range of products may be disappointed at Edward Jones, as popular options such as step-up or no-penalty CDs are not currently available. However, Edward Jones CDs do benefit from offering brokered CDs. This provides a range of flexibility that standard bank-issued CDs cannot offer, as you can liquidate your CD position at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

The bottom line is that yield-hungry investors that enjoy managing their own portfolios may be better suited at any number of online competitors. Those looking to incorporate decent-yielding CDs into their overall investment portfolio with the help of a full-service broker might prefer working with Edward Jones.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Wealthfront Cash Account Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fintech startups are challenging incumbents in every corner of the financial services industry. Robo-advisor Wealthfront is part of this trend, one of many new investing apps that also offer cash management accounts with high APYs and a mix of features offered by traditional bank accounts.

Cash management accounts combine features like easy access to your money and a decent interest rate, typically found separately in checking accounts and savings accounts, respectively.  Wealthfront admits that its Cash Account won’t replace your checking account, instead touting it as a place to stash your emergency savings or achieve other savings goals and enjoy a high 2.57% APY, all with the FDIC protections of a traditional bank account.

Wealthfront Cash Account Pros

Wealthfront Cash Account Cons

  • Offers a high APY compared to other online savings accounts
  • Charges zero fees, $1 minimum balance requirement
  • Deposits are covered by FDIC insurance up to $1 million
  • Ability transfer funds from Cash Account into Wealthfront's taxable investment account.
  • Takes 1-3 business days to access your funds
  • You cannot make payments from the account

Let’s take a closer look at how Wealthfront’s Cash Account compares to both traditional bank savings accounts, and similar cash management offerings from other fintech startups, so you can determine whether it’s right for your savings.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. online savings accounts

Wealthfront markets its Cash Account as a place to deposit savings you plan on spending in the next five years, or as a good place for an emergency fund. For longer-term returns on your money, Wealthfront advocates investing in the stock market using its core robo-advisor functionality. As an additional incentive to do so, Wealthfront allows you to transfer money from your Cash Account into one of the company’s taxable investment accounts. However, there is nothing in Wealthfront‘s terms of service that would discourage you from treating this account like any other online savings account.

Here’s how Wealthfront’s Cash Account stacks up against the highest-earning online savings accounts from our best online savings accounts review:

Financial InstitutionAPYMinimum balance
Wealthfront

2.57%

$1 minimum, no monthly fee
Vio Bank

2.52%

$100 minimum, no monthly fee
Customers Bank

2.50%

$25,000 minimum, no monthly fee
Barclays

2.10%

None
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

2.15%

$1 minimum, no monthly fee
Ally

2.10%

None

Judged by APY alone, Wealthfront‘s Cash Account emerges as one of the strongest contenders out there, surpassed only by Vio Bank’s online savings account. Like many online savings accounts, there’s a limit to the liquidity of the money placed in Wealthfront‘s Cash Account.

However, there is no option to withdraw funds or make payments from the account via check or ATM card. Your only way to get money into and out of the account is via ACH transfers to and from a separate checking account that’s held in your name. Transfers take one to three business days, and Wealthfront permits an unlimited number of transfers into and out of your Cash Account (with a daily limit of $250,000).

Wealthfront is not a bank, so it has deals with a network of regional banks that are FDIC insured. After you deposit your money in a Cash Account, your funds are swept into multiple accounts with Wealthfront’s bank partners, giving you FDIC insurance coverage up to $1 million (or $2 million if you have a joint Cash Account). This a big advantage that makes the Cash Account an attractive choice for anyone who wants FDIC coverage beyond the $250,000 limit available with a single online savings account.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. robo-advisor cash management accounts

Many other robo-advisor firms offer cash management accounts. These accounts take varying forms: Some resemble a personal savings account, others have both savings and checking account features, while some are a type of investment account. Below we compare the Wealthfront Cash Account with cash management offerings from robo-advisors Betterment and SoFi.

Account nameFunctionFeesYield
Wealthfront Cash Account

FDIC-insured savings account

None

2.57% APY

Betterment Smart Saver

Low-risk bond investments

0.25% annual fee

2.14% APY

SoFi Money

FDIC-insured checking/savings hybrid account

None

An average of 2.25% APY

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. Betterment Smart Saver

Betterment‘s Smart Saver account is a low-risk investment account, not a deposit account, so it plays by a different set of rules than Wealthfront‘s Cash Account. For one, as an investment it does not have FDIC coverage. Betterment‘s website claims you could earn returns of 2.14% (which factors in the standard 0.25% Betterment charges for its services) — notice the word “could.” Money placed in the Smart Saver account is invested in a mix of treasuries and corporate bonds—fairly safe investment vehicles—but it still can’t guarantee the 2.14% return in the same way a deposit account can guarantee an APY.

The Smart Saver account does have some bells and whistles that may make it an appealing choice for your savings. These include:

  • Smart Sweep: This feature aims to maximize your investing returns by only maintaining as much cash in your linked checking account as you need for day-to-day spending. It works like this: After giving  access to your checking account, the app analyses how you spend money. Then it sweeps money above and beyond what you need to pay 35 days of expenses — up to $5,000 per sweep — into the Smart Saver investment account. Likewise, if the app thinks you’ll need more money to cover your expenses, it will sweep money from the Smart Saver investment account into your checking account. You can read more details here.
  • Tax relief: While you can’t avoid paying taxes entirely, the fact that 80% of the money placed in the Smart Saver investment account will be invested in U.S. Treasury bonds means that some of the earnings from the Smart Saver account won’t be subject to state and local taxes. You can read more details here.

Like Wealthfront’s account, there is an inconvenient waiting period to withdraw money from the account — four to five business days, which is longer than Wealthfront‘s one to three business days. This longer period accounts for the fact that your money is invested in bonds, making it less liquid than funds placed with Wealthfront in FDIC-insured deposit accounts.

Wealthfront Cash Account vs. SoFi Money

SoFi Money is a checking and savings hybrid account, meaning you earn both a high yield — 2.25% APY vs. Wealthfront‘s 2.57% APY — and enjoy instant access to your money with a debit card and paper checks.

Similarly to Wealthfront, SoFi Money spreads any funds you deposit across multiple FDIC-insured bank accounts — six in this case — providing up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance vs. Wealthfront‘s $1 million.

SoFi Money may lag behind Wealthfront in terms of APY, but it makes up for this by providing the utility of both a savings and checking account. You can use your debit card to make purchases and withdraw money from ATMs (there is a daily limit of $610) just like you would with any other checking account. You can read more details on SoFi Money in our review.

Who should get a Wealthfront Cash Account?

If you’re looking for an FDIC insured account that provides one of the highest APY’s available, than the Wealthfront Cash Account may be right for you. However, you won’t have easy access to your funds like you would with a hybrid checking/savings account, such as SoFi Money. However the simplicity of the account, and the promise of additional features in the future such as a debit card and ATM withdrawals, could make it a compelling option for your savings.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here