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Fidelity Review: Online Cash Management Account

Sept. 18, 2019
Banking, Checking Accounts
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4.5 NerdWallet rating

Where Fidelity shines:

  • ATM fee reimbursements nationwide.
  • No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit requirements.
  • FDIC insurance on cash balances.

Where Fidelity falls short:

  • Limited in-person support. 
  • Interest rate is on the low side for cash management accounts.

Where Fidelity shines:

  • ATM fee reimbursements nationwide.
  • No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit requirements.
  • FDIC insurance on cash balances.

Where Fidelity falls short:

  • Limited in-person support.
  • Interest rate is on the low side for cash management accounts.

The bottom line

The Fidelity Cash Management account is technically a brokerage account, which means it’s not a bank account and doesn’t have the same regulations or offerings (like a savings account) that a bank would have. The FDIC insurance that it offers comes from the partner banks that Fidelity works with. As is the case with most cash management accounts, Fidelity “sweeps” its customers’ deposits into these banks and the deposits are given FDIC insurance by extension. It also has consumer-friendly overdraft policies and earns interest.

Best if: You’re looking for a free cash account that earns a little interest to go alongside a Fidelity brokerage account.

Read on for more information about Fidelity’s cash management account features and customer experience.

» What is a cash management account? Check out NerdWallet’s guide to this financial product

Checking and savings features

4.5/5.0

The Cash Management Account is not technically a checking account, but it operates similarly to one, in that it offers a debit card, check-writing and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protection through Fidelity’s partner banks.

Upsides

Great ATM access. Account holders can access cash at more than 1 million ATMs worldwide.

ATM fee reimbursements. Fidelity reimburses ATM fees charged by other institutions nationwide (note that for transactions outside of the country, a 1% foreign transaction fee still applies).

No monthly fees. This account also has no minimum balance requirements.

Fidelity doesn’t charge overdraft or continuous negative balance fees. Transactions will be either be covered from a backup source, such as a Fidelity brokerage or margin account, or rejected.

Downsides and things to consider

Overdraft transfers need to be funded from a separate Fidelity account. These accounts include a Fidelity brokerage account or a Fidelity margin account.

Low interest rate. The account earns just 0.94% APY for balances under $100,000. Other banks with interest-bearing checking accounts offer higher APYs.

» Want to explore other checking options? Check out NerdWallet’s best checking accounts.

Customer experience

5.0/5.0

Upsides

Strong remote customer service options. Teller support is available 24/7, and Fidelity’s Twitter page is active and responsive. Chat support is available on the website.

High app store ratings. Both Apple and Google Play users rate the Fidelity app highly.

Mobile check deposit. Customers can deposit checks into their cash management account through the Fidelity mobile app.

A downside

Branch support is hard to come by. There are only about 190 financial planning offices scattered across the country.

» Interested in CDs? Read about Fidelity’s extensive list of brokered certificates of deposit

No fees and great ATM access

If you’re looking for a fee-free account with excellent ATM coverage to manage your spending money, Fidelity’s Cash Management account will serve you well. Although there are no overdraft fees, you’ll need to have a Fidelity investment account if you want to take advantage of its free overdraft protection.