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Oritani Bank 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.

Oritani Bank’s checking account options

TGIF Checking

This basic, no-frills account does not earn interest, but it’s a solid fee-free checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

The selling point for this account is that it is very easy to open and maintain with such a low opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee or minimum balance to maintain. This account also comes with free online and mobile banking, bill pay, a free MasterMoney debit or Oritani Bank ATM card and a free first order of basic checks.

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Choice Plus Checking

A step above the TGIF account, this one allows you to earn a bit of interest on fairly low balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account does earn interest on balances of $1,000 or more. While it does have minimal requirements compared to the TGIF account, the $6 monthly service charge is fairly easy to avoid if you have a monthly direct deposit or maintain a $500 minimum balance. This account also offers free online banking and bill pay, along with an Oritani Bank MasterMoney debit card and a free first order of checks. “Bounce protection” is also a possibility, though you’ll have to contact the bank to learn more about what that entails.

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Nifty-Fifty Checking

A checking account for customers 50 and older.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account is meant for bank customers who are 50 or older. Like the Choice Plus account, this one earns interest on balances of $1,000 or more. There are no monthly balance requirements, as well as no monthly fee, and this account offers unlimited check-writing. It also offers free online banking and bill pay services, a free 3-inch by 5-inch safety deposit box for the first year (with a 75% discount on other sizes), 50 free printed checks, an Oritani Bank MasterMoney debit card and bounce protection, though you will need to contact the bank about what that entails.

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Optimum Gold Checking

A checking account with a higher opening deposit account and lackluster tiered rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$1,000
0.20%$5,000
0.30%$10,000
0.40%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account earns interest at four different tiers. Although the rates aren’t extraordinary, this account does come with a higher opening deposit requirement and a $10,000 minimum monthly balance requirement to avoid a higher-than-average $20 fee. On the plus side, it does come with free transactions at all Oritani Bank ATMs, free FastBanking phone service, free Optimum Gold checks, 50 free printed checks, an Oritani Bank MasterMoney debit card and bounce protection, though you’ll need to call the bank to inquire about what that entails.

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NJ Consumer Checking

The bank’s cheap checking option, with minimal requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account does not earn interest. It’s another no-frills checking account option with a low opening deposit requirement, and then no balance requirement after that first minimum deposit. You can write up to eight checks a month for a fee of $3. You also get 50 free printed checks.

How to get Oritani Bank’s checking accounts

If you are a resident of New Jersey, you can open any of the above checking accounts at a branch. You’ll need to come with your government-issued ID, Social Security number and address.

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How Oritani Bank’s checking accounts compare

While most of Oritani Bank’s checking accounts come with low or no monthly fees and balance requirements, the interest rates on the accounts that offer it don’t stack up to the rates on our list of the best online checking accounts. Not only that, but the fact that you can only open an account in person could be an inconvenience if you don’t live near one of its branches. We say consider one of the accounts on our list instead.

Oritani Bank’s savings account options

Platinum Savings

This account offers an OK rate for a fairly high minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.00%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account is advertised as the bank’s “preferred rate consumer Statement Savings account.” Although it comes with a low opening deposit, the minimum to earn interest is pretty high in comparison. Interest on this account is accrued daily and paid out monthly. This account also comes with online banking services and can be linked to an Oritani Bank checking account. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

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Passbook Savings

This savings account comes with easier-to-meet requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account also requires a very low opening deposit. But the minimum balance to earn the APY is also low at $100. This account accrues interest daily and pays it out monthly. It is not eligible for electronic transactions. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transactions up to six a month.

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Statement Savings

The bank’s basic savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$250
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account also comes with the same $1 minimum opening deposit as many of the bank’s other accounts. The minimum balance requirement to earn the rate is fairly low, too. This account accrues interest daily and pays it out monthly. You can access the account via online banking, and you can link it to an Oritani Bank checking account. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transactions up to six a month.

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Super Passbook Savings

This account offers the same rate as the regular Passbook Savings, though the balance required to earn it is higher.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$250
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account claims to be an upgrade from the regular Passbook Savings account, but the rate begs to differ, as it is the same. But as we mentioned before, the balance required to earn it is slightly higher. This account accrues interest daily and pays it monthly. It is not eligible for electronic transactions. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transactions up to six a month.

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Super Saver Plus

Once linked to any active Oritani Bank checking account, this account can earn tiered rates depending on your daily balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$250
0.20%$5,000
0.25%$10,000
0.25%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account must be linked to an active Oritani Bank checking account. From there, you can earn one of four tiered interest rate levels. Interest is accrued daily and paid monthly on this account. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transactions up to six a month.

How to get Oritani Bank’s savings accounts

Like with the bank’s other personal accounts, these savings accounts must be opened in person if you meet the requirement of being a resident of New Jersey. Be sure to come with your government-issued ID, Social Security number and address.

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How Oritani Bank’s savings accounts compare

While the Platinum Savings account’s rate is on par with some of the accounts on our list of the best online savings accounts, none of the others are. Not only that, but on that specific account, you need to maintain a pretty steep balance to earn that rate. This — along with the fact that you can’t open any of these accounts online — would lead us to say that you should continue to shop around or consider one of our recommended products.

Oritani Bank’s CD rates

Standard Certificates of Deposit

The bank’s regular CDs, with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
TermAPY
3 months0.25%
6 months0.50%
12-15 months0.90%
18 months1.00%
19-24 months1.25%
30 months0.90%
36 months1.25%
48 months1.50%
60 months1.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On CDs of less than 12 months, the penalty is three months worth of interest at the rate it is earning; on CDs 12 months and longer, it’s six months worth of interest at the rate it is earning

These CDs are pretty standard as far as the minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties go. Interest on these accounts is compounded daily and credited monthly. The rates are fixed until the maturity date, at which point the interest may remain in the account, be automatically withdrawn by check or transferred to another Oritani Bank account. These certificates will automatically renew for the same term length upon maturity.

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Promo CDs, Loyalty CDs

The bank’s promotional CDs, with an opening deposit of $1,000.
TermAPY
6 month Promo CD1.50%
6 month Loyalty CD1.75%
12 month Promo CD2.00%
12 month Loyalty CD2.25%
15 month Promo CD2.25%
24 month Promo CD2.15%
24 month Loyalty CD2.40%
60 month Promo CD2.25%
60 month Loyalty CD2.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On CDs of less than 12 months, the penalty is three months worth of interest at the rate it is earning; on CDs 12 months and longer, it’s six months worth of interest at the rate it is earning

These are Oritani Bank’s promotional CDs, which are offered from time to time for various terms. These will automatically renew at a traditional term that is determined at the time the account is opened at maturity. There is a seven-day grace period following maturity during which principal may be added to or withdrawn without penalty.

How to get Oritani Bank’s CDs

Oritani Bank’s CDs are the lone product that is open to anyone, even if they don’t live in New Jersey. But you still have to visit a branch to open one either way, so that’s likely not a win for potential out-of-state customers.

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How Oritani Bank’s CD rates compare

Although the bank claims its CD rates are competitive, only the promotional rates prove to be on par with the accounts on our list of the best CD rates. If there’s one product to go for at Oritani Bank, it’s these CDs. Get one while you can if it’s convenient for you to visit a bank branch in person and you’ve done your research to know this is the best product available to you.

Oritani Bank’s money market account options

Money Market

Oritani Bank’s basic money market account, offering three tiers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$1,000
0.20%$5,000
0.30%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

Oritani Bank’s money market accounts can be opened with a fairly low deposit, though the $10 monthly fee is only waivable if a minimum $1,000 balance is maintained. It comes with a free first order of Money Market checks, an Oritani Bank ATM card or MasterMoney debit card with no monthly charges, online banking and bill pay services, FastBanking phone service, statements with check images online or by mail, automatic transfers to other Oritani Bank accounts, direct deposit capability and bounce protection (though you’ll need to contact the bank about what that protection entails). This account allows for unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals. But as a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits pre-authorized withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

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Diamond Money Market

This money market account offers a higher rate than the regular account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.05%$0.01
0.45%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

Like with the regular Money Market account, this account can be opened with a fairly low deposit, though the monthly $10 fee is only waivable if a $1,000 average balance is maintained. Offering a higher rate at two tiers, the Diamond Money Market account also comes with a free first order of Money Market checks, an Oritani Bank ATM card or MasterMoney debit card with no monthly charges, online banking and bill pay services, FastBanking phone service, statements with check images online or by mail, automatic transfers to other Oritani Bank accounts, direct deposit capability and bounce protection (though you’ll need to contact the bank about what that protection entails). This account allows for unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals. Keep in mind, though, that as a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits pre-authorized withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

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Premier Money Market account

The bank’s “premier” money market account doesn’t live up to its name as far as the rates are concerned.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.50%$0.01
0.45%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None at Oritani Bank or Allpoint ATMs; 50 cents to $2 on outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This account requires a higher opening deposit of $10,000, though the monthly $10 fee is only waivable if that $10,000 balance is maintained. It also offers a slightly higher rate at the first tier than with the Diamond Money Market account. The Premier Money Market account comes with the same account features as the Money Market and Diamond Money Market accounts. But as with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits pre-authorized withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

How to get Oritani Bank’s money market accounts

Like all of Oritani Bank’s personal banking products, its money market accounts must be opened at a branch. You must also be a New Jersey resident to open these accounts. Be sure to come with your government-issued ID, Social Security number and address.

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How Oritani Bank’s money market accounts compare

As far as rates are concerned, none of Oritani Bank’s money market accounts stack up against the competing accounts on our list of the best money market account rates. Not only that, but a few of the tier levels require an astronomical balance to even earn these subpar rates. Add to that the fact that you have to open these in person, and we say give these money market accounts a hard pass.

Oritani Bank’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Standard Certificates

Oritani Bank’s regular CDs available to open within an IRA, with a $1,000 opening deposit.
TermAPY
3 months0.25%
6 months0.50%
12-15 months0.90%
18 months1.00%
19-24 months1.25%
30 months0.90%
36 months1.25%
48 months1.50%
60 months1.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On CDs of less than 12 months, the penalty is three months worth of interest at the rate it is earning; on CDs 12 months and longer, it’s six months worth of interest at the rate it is earning

These are Oritani Bank’s CDs opened within an IRA. They, too, are pretty standard as far as the minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties go. Interest on these accounts is compounded daily and credited monthly. The IRA CD rates are fixed until the maturity date, at which point the interest may remain in the account, be automatically withdrawn by check or transferred to another Oritani Bank account. Like with the regular CDs, these certificates will automatically renew for the same term length upon maturity.

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Promo IRA CDs, Loyalty IRA CDs

The bank’s promotional IRA CDs, with a $1,000 opening deposit.
TermAPY
6 month Promo CD1.50%
6 month Loyalty CD1.75%
12 month Promo CD2.00%
12 month Loyalty CD2.25%
15 month Promo CD2.25%
24 month Promo CD2.15%
24 month Loyalty CD2.40%
60 month Promo CD2.25%
60 month Loyalty CD2.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On CDs of less than 12 months, the penalty is three months worth of interest at the rate it is earning; on CDs 12 months and longer, it’s six months worth of interest at the rate it is earning

Oritani Bank’s promotional certificates of deposit extend to its IRA CDs, which are also offered from time to time for various terms. Like with the regular ones, these will automatically renew at a traditional term that is determined at the time the account is opened at maturity. There is a seven-day grace period after maturity during which principal may be added to or withdrawn without penalty.

How to get Oritani Bank’s IRA CDs

Although these IRA CDs are available to anyone even if they live outside of New Jersey, you still have to visit a branch to open one. To do so, you’ll need to come with your government-issued ID, Social Security number and address.

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How Oritani Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Like with the regular CD products, Oritani Bank’s standard IRA CDs don’t compare to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates. But its promotional rates do, so if this bank is a convenient option for you (convenient enough that you can visit a branch to open an account, anyway), there’s no reason to not at least consider one of these products when doing your research.

IRA Savings

This account can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$250
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This IRA Savings account can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA. If you go the traditional route, some or all of your contributions may be tax deductible, which is dependent on your adjusted gross income. The interest can grow tax-deferred until you decide to withdraw it. If you open it as a Roth IRA, your interest can grow tax-free when withdrawn as a qualified distribution, though your contributions are not tax deductible. As with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals up to six a month. This account may also be subject to an additional early withdrawal penalty by the IRS if you withdraw funds before age 59½.

How to get Oritani Bank’s IRA savings account

As with all of Oritani Bank’s deposit accounts, you must open the IRA Savings account in person if you qualify to do so by being a resident of New Jersey. Be sure to come with your government-issued ID, Social Security number and address.

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Overall review of Oritani Bank’s banking products

When you look at the rates across the board for Oritani Bank’s personal banking products, none of them is anything to get excited about, save for its promotional CDs and IRA CDs, which you can open even if you’re not a New Jersey resident. But for those, like with all its personal banking products, you have to open them at a branch, which is sure to be a huge inconvenience for those who don’t live near one. If this alone causes you to give the bank a general pass, we can’t say we blame you.

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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Reviews

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.

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James Ellis
James Ellis |

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