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Knoxville TVA Employees 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.

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s checking account option

Regular Checking account

A basic, non-interest-bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None if you choose to receive e-statements; otherwise $2 with paper statements
  • ATM fee: None on in-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This no-frills checking account does not have the ability to earn interest. It does however have no minimum balance requirements and makes it easy to avoid its already very low monthly fee.

In addition to mobile and online banking, mobile check deposit, free Visa debit card, bill pay and checks, this account comes with uChoose Rewards®, which allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for cash. All you have to do is be sure to sign for purchases as credit when you use your debit card.

You can opt into overdraft protection by linking one of the bank’s savings accounts to this one in the event that you overdraw your checking account and would like to avoid that fee.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s checking account

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union allows eligible customers to open its checking account in person or online. All you have to do is first open a Regular Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. You’ll need to have your Social Security number and government-issued ID on hand.

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How Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s checking account compares

As we outline in our review of the best online checking accounts, you’ll want to do your best to seek out a checking account with no monthly fees, the ability to earn interest, no ATM fees, reimbursement of outside ATM fees and a strong mobile and online banking user interface.

While this checking account off most of those boxes, its lack of interest is a big one that will probably have you leaning toward choosing a product that has that and more. Consider one on our list instead.

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings account

This account is required to establish membership at the credit union.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.15%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None if you choose to receive e-statements; $2 with paper statements
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This account is Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s base membership account, which is required to open any other products. Although requirements are minimal, so is the interest rate. With this account, dividends are accrued daily and compounded quarterly. This savings account earns a small amount of interest. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals up to six per month.

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Centsible Savings Program

This account collects the spare change from your checking account, earning interest all the while.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is basically a “set-it-and-forget-it” account that allows you to stash away some savings from your checking account that can quickly add up and earn interest with regular debit card use. Each purchase on your debit card is rounded to the nearest dollar, and your “change” is then transferred to this account. Contact the bank for rate information. There’s no minimum balance requirement and the account does allow withdrawals. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

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Member’s Special/U-Name-It account

This account is virtually the same as the Christmas and Vacation accounts; it just allows you to name it for whatever savings goal you have (e.g. “new car,” “college fund,” etc.)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account allows you to save for whatever special goal you’ve got on your horizon. It does have the ability to earn interest, but you’ll have to contact the bank to find out the rate, as this information is not published online.

This account also does not have ATM access, which makes it even easier to avoid touching your funds or overdrawing your account. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain debits up to six per month.

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Christmas account

A savings account that allows you to save specifically for the holidays.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.00
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

As the name implies, this fee-free savings account is intended specifically for saving for the holiday season. If you know of a certain amount of cash you’d like to stash aside, this account is a great option to do so while earning a small amount of interest on it.

This account doesn’t have ATM access, which makes it easy to avoid overdrawing it (or touching your funds at all before you hit your goal).

On Oct. 1, all funds will be transferred to the checking or savings account of your choosing, though there is no penalty for withdrawing these funds early (assuming you don’t go over the maximum six certain withdrawals or transfers per month, per Federal Reserve Regulation D).

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Vacation account

A special savings account to save for an upcoming trip.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.00
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is virtually the same as the Christmas and U-Name-It accounts; the only difference is that it’s specifically designated for vacation savings funds that can earn a bit of interest. It doesn’t have ATM access, which allows you to avoid overdrawing the account. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows you to make a maximum of six certain withdrawals or transfers per month.

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Health Savings account

A health savings account with the ability to earn interest.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.75%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on in-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This account is intended specifically for health care-related purchases, and as such, it does come with a debit card and ATM access. The fact that it earns interest, albeit a fairly small amount, is a nice touch. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits you up to six certain debits per month.

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Jump Start Savings account

This account allows you to initially earn a higher rate than the Regular Savings account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
3.00%
$5-$500
0.15%
$500.01+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on in-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This account doesn’t differ much from the bank’s Regular Savings account. The only true difference is that you can earn a much higher rate on up to your first $500 deposited into the account, but then the rate goes down to match that of the Regular Savings account. Otherwise, this is pretty much another no-frills account with minimal fees and requirements, but no real perks either.

As a savings account, this one abides by Federal Reserve Regulation D, a rule that limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s savings accounts

Qualified customers can open one of the credit union’s savings accounts either online or in person. They’ll just have to be sure to open a Regular Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5 to start. To open an account, you’ll need your Social Security number and a government ID, such as a driver’s license.

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How Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Save for the rate on the first $500 on the Jump Start Savings account, the rates on the rest of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s savings accounts are really nothing to get excited about. Not only that, but none of these accounts really offer anything in the way of perks.

That said, don’t seek out Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union for its savings accounts alone. Instead, we recommend shopping around and possibly going with one of the offerings on our list of the best online savings accounts.

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

These are standard, run-of-the-mill certificate products.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
6 months0.50%
$2,500
12 months1.20%
$2,500
18 months1.25%
$500
24 months1.60%
$500
30 months1.65%
$500
36 months1.70%
$500
42 months1.75%
$500
48 months1.80%
$500
60 months2.00%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see table
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For those with maturities of 17 months or less, it’s 90 days’ worth of dividends. For those with maturities of 18 months or more, it’s 180 days’ dividends.

These accounts are pretty typical as far as CDs go. Most of the minimum balance requirements are fairly low, with the exception of the 6 and 12 month certificates, which don’t offer higher rates to match them. Dividends are compounded monthly, and if you open a certificate with an initial minimum of $100,000, you can earn 0.10 more on the dividend rate. If you open one with an initial minimum of $250,000, you may add 0.20 to the dividend rate.

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Certificate Specials

These CDs give you the option to deposit half the funds as new money in order to earn a slightly higher rate.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
12 months2.15% or 2.10%$1,000
18 months2.40% or 2.70%$1,000
36 months2.60% or 3.00%$2,500
60 months2.80% or 3.40%$2,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see table
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For those with maturities of 17 months or less, it’s 90 days’ worth of dividends. For those with maturities of 18 months or more, it’s 180 days’ dividends.

These CDs require higher deposits to open than the regular CDs, with the option to earn an even higher rate if at least half of your deposit is new money. In either case, these CD rates are definitely more competitive than Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s regular certificates. Dividends are compounded monthly on these certificates.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s CDs

As with most of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s personal banking products, eligible members can open these CDs in person or online after also opening a Regular Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. To open a CD, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a government ID, such as a driver’s license.

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How Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s CD rates compare

If you’re going to go with one of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s CDs, the ones on special are the way to go. The deposit requirements are higher than the regular products, but the competitive rates are a definite trade-off, and they are in line with those on our list of the best CD rates available.

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s money market account option

Member-Managed Funds account

This is Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s only money market account, which offers four tier levels.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$2,500
0.30%
$25,000
0.40%
$50,000
0.50%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on in-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

While this account doesn’t have a set amount required to open it, you will need to put away a decent amount to be able to earn interest. If you open this account as a checking account, you can get unlimited withdrawals with this account. If you open it as a savings account, this money market account is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which means certain withdrawals and transfers are limited up to six per month.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s money market account

Eligible Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union members can open this account at a branch location or online after also opening a Regular Savings account. You’ll need to be sure to be prepared with your Social Security number and a government ID.

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How Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s money market account compares

While the rates offered on this account aren’t really anything to write home about, this account would be a better option than the bank’s Regular Checking account for the fact that you can earn interest on it at all, especially since there aren’t any fees associated with it. On the whole, though, this account’s rates can’t compete with those on our list of the best money market rates.

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA Certificates

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s CDs are available to be opened within an IRA.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
6 months0.50%
$2,500
12 months1.20%
$2,500
18 months1.25%
$500
24 months1.60%
$500
30 months1.65%
$500
36 months1.70%
$500
42 months1.75%
$500
48 months1.80%
$500
60 months2.00%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see table
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For those with maturities of 17 months or less, it’s 90 days’ worth of dividends. For those with maturities of 18 months or more, it’s 180 days’ dividends.

These certificates are virtually the same as Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s regular certificate accounts; the only differences are that these can be opened within an IRA, and IRA CD holders are able to earn 0.10 more on the rate. Dividends are compounded monthly on these IRA CDs.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s IRA CDs

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union members can open this account after opening a Regular Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. However, unlike with the rest of the bank’s products, you’ll have to open the IRA in person at a branch.

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How Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Unfortunately, these IRA CD rates don’t compete with those on our list of the best IRA CD rates. Unlike with the regular certificates, the bank doesn’t offer IRA CD specials with higher rates. We say give these IRA CDs a hard pass and do your research to find one that will give you a better return on your investment.

IRA savings account

An IRA savings account offering four tier levels.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.30%
$5,000
0.35%
$25,000
0.45%
$50,000
0.50%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is a typical IRA savings account, which allows you to earn a small amount of interest at four different tier levels. It doesn’t have any monthly fees or balance requirements, however. As with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

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Accumulation IRA

This IRA has a low opening deposit and balance requirement to earn the rate.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.30%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This IRA doesn’t differ much from the IRA Savings account, save for the fact that it has very low opening deposit and balance requirements to earn the rate, which happens to be the same as the lowest tier rate on the other account. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transactions up to six per month.

How to get Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s IRA savings accounts

Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union members can open this account after opening a Regular Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. As with the IRA CDs, however, you’ll have to open the IRA in person at a branch.

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Overall review of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s banking products

Overall, most of Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union’s personal banking products aren’t anything to write home about, especially when you take a close look at their mediocre rates and lack of perks. The CD specials are definitely impressive, but who knows how long those will actually remain available. If that’s the product you’re after, call the bank to find out more details before committing to opening any of its other products.

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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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.

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James Ellis
James Ellis |

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