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Vectra Bank Colorado 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.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking account options

Anytime Checking

A no-frills, noninterest-bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7, unless you make 10 debit or credit card purchases, receive direct deposits of at least $250 per month or are 25 or younger
  • ATM fee: None at Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This checking account does not earn interest. But it does have a low opening deposit requirement, as well as a low monthly fee that’s fairly easy to avoid. It also offers online and mobile banking. Account holders have the option to receive electronic statements.

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Anytime Interest Checking

This account takes it a step up, as you can earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500 or have a combined deposit and consumer balance of at least $10,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
Although this account does earn interest, you’ll have to contact the bank to find out the rate. It also comes with a low minimum opening deposit and monthly fee. While the fee is waivable, the balance requirement is higher than on the no-interest Anytime Checking account. This account also offers mobile and online banking, as well as the option to go paperless with e-statements.

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Premium Interest Checking

A tiered-interest checking account that has a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20, unless you maintain a combined deposit balance of $10,000 or a combined deposit and consumer loan balance of $25,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs, as well as up to three out-of-network ATM withdrawals; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This premium checking account has the same low opening deposit requirement as Vectra Bank Colorado’s other options, but its monthly fee is steeper, as are the requirements to waive it. While it boasts the ability to earn a premium interest rate on its checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, you’ll have to contact the bank to find those rates.

You can get the fees waived on additional Vectra Bank Colorado savings and money market accounts linked to this one, as well as prevent overdrafts from occurring by having these accounts linked and setting up automatic transfers. You’ll also get a complimentary safe deposit box (3 inches by 5 inches or smaller) during your first year and the first box of Vectra Bank Colorado Exclusive Checks. Lastly, this account comes with online and mobile banking services.

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Senior Advantage Checking

A checking account for those 62 or older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This free, noninterest-bearing account is designed for seniors 62 and older. It comes with a low minimum deposit, mobile and online banking platforms, a Vectra Bank Colorado debit card, a complimentary safe deposit box, free Vectra Exclusive Checks and the ability to go paperless with electronic statements.

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Military Advantage Checking

Military members can sign up for this checking account, which won’t earn interest but doesn’t come with a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account is only for Vectra Bank Colorado customers who are members of the military. While it doesn’t earn interest, it comes with a low opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee. It also comes with a complimentary safe deposit box rental (where available) and the first box of Vectra Exclusive Checks. Lastly, it comes with the same mobile and online banking platforms as the other accounts, as well as the ability to go paperless with electronic statements and documents.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts

All the bank’s checking accounts, except for the Military Advantage Checking account, can be opened online or in person. The Military Advantage Checking account must be opened in person. To open the accounts, you will need your Social Security number and a form of identification, such as a driver’s license, as well as information to fund your new account.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts compare

Most of Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts have minimum requirements and low fees that are easily waivable (or no fees at all). That, along with online and mobile banking platforms and other small perks, wins the bank a few points for those shopping for a simple checking account.

But it’s difficult to say how these accounts stack up to those on our list of the best online checking accounts without knowing the interest rates on those that offer. Be sure to contact the bank to comparison shop before settling on one of these accounts.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings account options

Savings

A basic savings account with minimal requirements and fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.10%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, unless you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $200 or receive a minimum of a $25 automatic transfer from a linked checking account
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This basic savings account earns a small amount of interest on any balance, which is compounded daily and paid monthly. It also comes with a low opening deposit requirement and easily waivable monthly fee. Customers can manage this account through the bank’s mobile and online banking platforms. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 from the bank if you exceed that number.

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Young Savers

A savings account for customers 25 and younger.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account is for Vectra Bank Colorado customers 25 and younger. It comes with a low opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee. While it does have the ability to earn interest on any amount, the rate is low — albeit higher than the regular Savings account.

This account also comes with mobile and online banking platforms. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 if you exceed that number from the bank. Once the account holder turns 26, this account will turn into a regular Savings account.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings accounts

Both of these accounts can be opened online or in person if you’re at least 18. You’ll need your Social Security number, as well as a form of ID — such as your driver’s license — and an existing account to fund your new one. Those younger than 18 who are wanting to open the Young Savers account will need a parent or legal guardian to be a joint owner on the account. They will also need to open the account at a branch.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings accounts compare

While these accounts have low requirements and low fees, they also come with low interest rates. It’s also a bit of a drawback that the regular Savings account’s rate is lower than the Young Savers’ rate, especially for those wanting to upgrade when they reach age 26. We suggest going with one of the products on our list of the best online savings accounts, many of which come with the same perks and advantages, along with much higher rates.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Standard CDs with a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.45%
18 months0.80%
2 years1.09%
3 years1.19%
4 years1.29%
5 years1.34%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 31 days, all interest earned; for terms of 32 days to one year, it’s 90 days’ interest; for terms over one year, it’s 180 days’ interest

Vectra Bank Colorado’s standard fixed-rate CDs are your typical run-of-the-mill CDs with average term lengths, minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties. They typically renew for a similar term length once they reach maturity, and the grace period for withdrawing funds is 10 calendar days after they reach maturity, or three days if the term of the CD is 31 days or less. The early withdrawal penalty is calculated based on the amount of interest paid at the time of withdrawal.

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Jumbo CDs

Vectra Bank Colorado’s Jumbo CDs, with a $100,000 deposit.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.55%
18 months0.90%
2 years1.19%
3 years1.29%
4 years1.39%
5 years1.44%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 31 days, all interest earned; for terms of 32 days to one year, it’s 90 days’ interest; for terms over one year, it’s 180 days’ interest

Vectra Bank Colorado’s Jumbo CDs offer similar term lengths, rates and early withdrawal penalties, but a much higher requirement for the minimum opening deposit compared to the regular CDs. As with the regular CDs, these typically renew for a similar term length once they reach maturity, and the grace period for withdrawing funds is 10 calendar days after they reach maturity, or three days if the term of the CD is 31 days or less. The early withdrawal penalty is calculated based on the amount of interest paid at the time of withdrawal.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s CDs

You can open any of these CDs online or in person. You’ll need to be sure to have your Social Security number, a form of government-issued ID and an account to fund your CD.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s CD rates compare

While the basic details such as term length, minimum deposit requirements (for the regular CDs, anyway) and early withdrawal penalties are pretty standard compared to others on the market, the rates on both Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular and Jumbo CDs don’t come close to those on our list of the best CD rates.

The minimum deposit requirement for the Jumbo CDs is quite steep compared to other products out there with much better rates. We say skip these CDs and consider going with one on our list instead.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market account option

Money Market

A flexible savings account option offering tiered interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
0.15%
$100,000
0.20%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $1,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

At first glance, this account might appear to be a more appealing option than Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular savings account. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the rates are mostly the same — but with much higher balance requirements. This account also has a much higher opening deposit requirement than the regular Savings account, as well as a higher balance requirement to avoid the monthly fee. This account also comes with online and mobile banking platforms. As a savings account, this money market account is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain transfers and withdrawals up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 from the bank if you exceed that number.

How to get Vectra Bank’s Money Market account

You can open the bank’s Money Market account online or in person. You’ll need a form of government-issued identification, your Social Security number and an account number to fund this one.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market account compares

To put it bluntly, we’ll give this account a hard pass. It’s essentially the same as the Savings account in that it offers low rates, but with much higher balance requirements to earn them.

These rates also don’t even come close to those on our list of the best money market rates available, so consider one of those or do some comparison shopping before settling on this account from Vectra Bank Colorado.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA CDs

Vectra Bank Colorado’s CDs opened within an IRA at the same rates as the regular CDs.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.45%
18 months0.80%
2 years1.09%
3 years1.19%
4 years1.29%
5 years1.34%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Dependent on the term and amount on deposit; contact the bank for further details
Vectra Bank Colorado offers IRA CDs at the same term lengths and rates as its regular CD products. They come with a fixed interest rate, which is compounded daily, as well as mobile and online banking platforms to regularly view your balances.

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IRA Jumbo CDs

These CDs come with a steep minimum opening deposit and uncompetitive rates.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.55%
18 months0.90%
2 years1.19%
3 years1.29%
4 years1.39%
5 years1.44%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Dependent on the term and amount on deposit; contact the bank for further details

As with Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular Jumbo CDs, the opening deposit requirement is pretty steep compared to the low rates you’re getting. These CDs can be managed with the bank’s online banking platform.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA CDs

You can open the bank’s IRA CDs at a branch or by calling 844-210-3604. You’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID and an account with which to fund your CD.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA CD rates compare

Just like with Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular CDs, these IRA CDs appear to be pretty standard at first glance, but the rates don’t stack up to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates. The opening deposit on the Jumbo IRA CDs is also quite steep for the low rates you’re getting. We urge you to shop around and possibly consider one of the products on our list.

IRA Money Market

This account comes with low rates and low fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.10%
$2,000
0.20%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market IRA comes with minimal requirements and no monthly fee, but very low rates on very high balances. While you can make additional deposits at any point, any withdrawals made before age 59½ may be subject to federal taxes and penalties from the IRS.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA Money Market

Customers can open Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA Money Market accounts at a branch or by calling 844-210-3604. You’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID and an account with which to fund the account.

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Overall review of Vectra Bank Colorado’s banking products

While most of Vectra Bank Colorado’s deposit accounts offer minimal requirements and easily waivable fees, the rates on all of them don’t stack up to the competition. If you are interested in growing the funds you are socking away, we urge you to take the time to comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in choosing a new account.

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