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BBVA Compass Review of 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.

BBVA Compass checking account options

ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Get additional benefits such as free checks and the ability to earn interest.

APY for New Customers

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

0.00%

0.05%

$0.01

0.00%

0.05%

$25,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • ATM fee: None.
  • ATM fee refund: Up to two refunds per month

This checking account is meant for those who want to earn interest and intend on using their account fairly often. Though the monthly maintenance fee seems a bit steep, you can get it waived in one of four ways:

  • Have an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in your account.
  • Have an average daily balance of at least $25,000 across your checking and money market accounts.
  • The primary account holder has Premier Personal Banking status with the BBVA Premier Personal Banking program.
  • You’re a BBVA Compass Global Wealth client.

In addition to the features you get with the free checking accounts, you earn a tiered interest rate. Also, you won’t get charged when you use an out-of-network ATM and get two ATM fee refunds per month. Other perks include free checks and no monthly maintenance fees if you choose to also open one of BBVA Compass’ money market accounts.

The rates you see above are promotional rates. To qualify for the better rate, you can’t have opened a checking account within the last 90 days.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Opening an account can take as little as a few minutes by filling out an application form on the BBVA Compass website. Enter personal details such as your address, income information and ID to verify your identity. Once approved you can then fund your account.

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Free Checking account

Take advantage of full-service features without the price tag.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to four transactions per statement cycle for a $5 monthly fee
  • Overdraft fee: $12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

This account is a great option for those who want to save money on banking fees while still being able to get access to a whole host of features. The downside is that this isn’t an interest-bearing account.

There are no monthly service charges nor fees for in-network ATMs. There is a fee for out-of-network ATMS, but you can pay $5 each month as an add-on and BBVA Compass will reimburse you up to four times a month. It could be worth it if you make a lot of ATM transactions and there aren’t any in-network ATMs around.

The account is set to default to decline any transactions that will cause your account to go into overdraft, but you can link it to a savings account or a line of credit. If you choose this option, then you’ll be charged each time a transfer occurs.

As for other features, you get free online and mobile banking, including bill pay and mobile deposit. Account holders also get a free Visa debit card and the ability to earn cashback rewards every time you make a qualifying purchase. Let’s not forget free online or paper statements, which other banks tend to charge for a few bucks a month.

Unfortunately, the free checking account is only available to those in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. If you don’t live in any of these states, the ClearConnect checking account is a great alternative.

How to get BVAA Compass’ Free Checking account

Residents in any of the above mentioned locations can fill out an application form online. Before entering your personal details, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code. You’ll need to provide name, address, a government-issued ID, and employment information. After agreeing to BVAA Compass’ terms, you’ll then fund your account, confirm your information and the checking account is considered open.

Otherwise, you can open a Free Checking account at your local branch.

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ClearConnect Checking account

A great option for those wanting a free checking account option with numerous features.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund:  none
  • Overdraft fee:$12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

There aren’t many differences between the Free Checking account mentioned above and this one. The fees for this non-interest bearing account — including the monthly maintenance and ATM fees — are pretty much the same, except you’ll need to pay $3 a month for paper statements. Account holders also get free access to online and mobile banking as well as bill pay.

With your free Visa debit card, you can earn cashback rewards with the Simple Cash Back program. You can select rewards once you log into your account online or via the mobile app. Account holders earn rewards by doing simple tasks such as making a qualifying purchase.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearConnect Checking account

U.S. residents can open an account online. Head to BBVA Compass’ application form and fill in your personal details. This includes your name, employment information and a piece of government ID. Once approved, you can then fund your account.

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Easy Checking account

A great opportunity for those who don’t qualify for the free checking account options.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $13.95
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $12 if opted into overdraft protection

The Easy Checking account is for those that don’t qualify for the Free Checking account, perhaps because of bad bank or credit history. You’ll get limited account features until you’re able to get another BBVA Compass checking account.

While there are no opportunities to waive the monthly maintenance fee, you do get free ATM access for in-network ATMs and at all Allpoint© ATMs. You also get free online and mobile banking so you can keep an eye on your account anytime you want. Included in this account is a Visa debit card with cashback rewards on qualifying purchases.

Once you have this account open for a minimum of 12 months, you may be able to upgrade to another checking account if your account is still active and has a positive balance. To do so, you’ll need to call customer service or go to any BBVA Compass location.

How to get BBVA Compass’ Easy Checking account

BBVA Compass encourages new customers to apply for the Free Checking or ClearConnect checking account first through its website. If your application is rejected, then you can open a Easy Checking account by visiting your local branch or by calling customer service.

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How BBVA Compass’ checking accounts compare

Compared with other online banks, the rates for the interest-bearing checking account fall a bit short. Many of its competitors have checking accounts with no fees and much higher APYs. However, BBVA does stand out in that it does offer ATM fee reimbursements, a rewards program and free checks. If you earn enough cash back through its program, it may be worth it to open an account.

BBVA Compass savings account options

Compass ClearConnect savings account

Account holders earn a minuscule amount of interest with no maintenance fees.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a basic savings account that offers free online and mobile banking. Like most big banks, the interest you earn is pretty minuscule. However, this account can be useful if you want to store some extra cash if you plan to link it to a checking account for overdraft protection.

As with all savings accounts, Federal Regulation D limits up to six transfers and electronic payments a month. However, BBVA Compass will charge you $3 per transaction if you make more than four withdrawals every statement cycle.

How to get a Compass ClearConnect savings account

Opening an account is easy as you can do it online via BBVA Compass’ application form. You’ll need to provide personal information like your name, address, employment information and a government-issued ID. You’ll then need to fund your account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank.

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Compass ClearChoice savings account

A basic savings account with a low rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This savings account doesn’t seem all that much different from the ClearConnect account, except that it comes with a quarterly account maintenance fee. You’re still getting the same rates and features, including the excess transaction fee of $3 if you make more than four withdrawals a month.

What does make this account different is that it seems to encourage you to save money instead of it just being an account you can link to for overdraft protection — the minimum daily balance requirement of $500 in order to waive the monthly maintenance fee is a built-in incentive. You may also waive the monthly maintenance fee by transferring a minimum of $25 every month from a BBVA Compass checking account.

How to get a Compass ClearChoice savings account

You can open an account within a few minutes by heading to BBVA Compass’ website and filling out its online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service department.

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Build My Savings account

Earn bonuses just for saving money.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a unique account in that it is a hybrid between a regular savings account and a CD. You choose the length of your savings goal — six or 12 months — and then choose an amount you want to have automatically transferred from your checking account. Account holders have the ability to earn a match transfer bonus. BBVA Compass will match up to 1% of the total amount you saved, up to $25 for the six-month plan and up to $50 for a 12-month plan. You must set up an automatic transfer of a minimum of $25 every month to qualify for the bonus.

If you cancel your account or withdraw money before your designated term is up, you won’t be eligible to receive the bonus. You’ll also be charged $10 per withdrawal and a $15 quarterly service charge if you don’t make automatic transfers of a minimum of $25.

How to get a Build My Savings account

You can only open this account in person. Click here to check for a location closest to you or by calling the bank.

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How BBVA Compass’ savings accounts compare

Unfortunately, like many other big banks, BBVA Compass’ saving accounts fall short when it comes to their rates. Many online competitors offer much higher APYs on their savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees, though some may require higher minimum balances. However, BBVA’s Build My Savings account does offer a unique opportunity to earn some extra cash, but it may not be enough to make up for the low rates.

BBVA Compass CD rates

Fixed Term CDs

Offers competitive rates, but with limited terms.

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

2.00%

1.30%

15 months

2.00%

0.10%

18 months

1.90%

2.00%

36 months

1.90%

2.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY:  $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

With BBVA Compass’ CDs, you tend to get better rates when you open an account online, though you don’t get access to shorter terms. Terms range from seven days to 15 years for CDs opened at a branch.

Interest earned will only be paid when your account matures if you open it online. However, if you open a CD in person, you have the option to have interest earned paid out either monthly, quarterly, twice a year, annually or at maturity. The interest can be paid out to another account, via check or kept in the CD.

Account holders will receive a written notice before the account matures. Once it does, you’ll have a 10 day grace period in which to withdraw funds, renew for a different term or add additional funds. Otherwise, your CD will automatically be renewed at the current rate, which will be different from the promotional APY.

How to get a BBVA Compass CD

You can take advantage of the promotional rates by filling out an application form online. You’ll be asked to select the CD term you want then personal details such as your name, employment information and government-issued ID. You’ll then provide details on how you want to fund the account and confirm your information. Upon approval your account will be considered opened. If you’re looking for short term rates, you’ll need to head to your local branch.

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How BBVA Compass’ CD rates compare

The bank’s CD rates are pretty much on par with what is offered out there. Although its rates are slightly lower compared with other banks with the same terms, BBVA Compass’ offers a lower minimum opening deposit. Unfortunately, there aren’t many longer term options. In addition, those rates mentioned above are only for the initial term, so if that’s a concern then you may be better off looking at other CD options out there.

BBVA Compass money market account

ClearChoice Money Market account

Offers one of the best APYs out there for those who qualify.

APY for New Customers Online

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

0.05%

$0.01 - $99,999.99

0.05%

0.10%

$100k - $999,999.99

0.05%

0.15%

$1m+

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to another BBVA Compass account

BBVA Compass’ money market account is best for those who want a higher interest rate than what the bank’s savings accounts offer and an account to provide overdraft protection for a linked checking account.

You can waive the monthly maintenance fee if you have at least $10,000 in your account each quarter or if you set up an automatic transfer of least $25 from your BBVA Compass checking account each month.

The promotional rate you see above is only good for those who open an account online and only for the first 12 months. You also cannot have opened another money market account within the last 30 days of account opening. After the 12 month promotional period is over, you’ll earn the regular rate. Depending on your deposit amount, the APY could still be higher than a savings account.

Because this is a type of savings account, Federal Regulation D states that you can only make a maximum of six withdrawals a month. BBVA Compass charges a $10 for each excess withdrawal.

How to get BVAA Compass’ ClearChoice money market account

You can open an account within a few minutes by filling out BBVA Compass’ online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service number.

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How BBVA Compass’ money market account compares

BBVA Compass offers one of the highest rates from our list of the best money market accounts out there. It doesn’t require a minimum balance to earn this rate, though it does have a high minimum balance to waive the maintenance fee. Many other competitors have mobile banking just like BBVA does. However, the rate for this money market account is only good for the first 12 months, so if you’re not happy with the regular rate (or don’t qualify for the promo one), you may want to go with another institution.

BBVA Compass IRA account options

IRA CD

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

2.00%

1.30%

15 months

2.00%

0.10%

18 months

1.90%

2.00%

36 months

1.90%

2.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

BBVA Compass also offers CDs as an IRA. With that option, the rates and terms are pretty much the same except you’re able to make another two deposits a year, up to the IRS limit. Currently, this is $5,000 per year or $6,000 for those who are 50 years and older.

If you do make an early withdrawal, you’ll be subject to BBVA Compass’ penalties plus any additional taxes and other fees as mandated by the IRS. Considering the competitive rate for the IRA CD, it’s a great way to possibly save money in a tax deferred account (if you opted for a Traditional IRA).

How to get BBVA Compass’ IRA savings account

Even though you can open a regular CD account online, with an IRA account you’ll need to do so in person. You can click here to find a location closest to you or call the bank to find out more.

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Overall review of BBVA Compass’ banking products

BBVA Compass does offer some unique features such as different options to get cashback rewards with its Visa debit card. It also offers rate matching for its Build My Savings account. Its CD, money market and IRA rates are on par with the best rates out there, even if it’s just for the first 12 months.

Sadly, its checking and savings accounts fall short. There are better rates, many at triple the APY that’s currently being offered at BBVA Compass. Even with perks like no-fee accounts and free checks, other online banks offer many of the same options at higher rates.

If you’re only after the highest rates for checking and savings accounts, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you want some of the best money market and CD rates out there, then BBVA Compass is a great choice.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
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Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li 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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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

2.20%

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.

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James Ellis
James Ellis |

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