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Wealthfront Cash Review: Online Cash Management Account

The Wealthfront Cash account offers a high APY and no fees but has some limitations, including no cash withdrawals or deposits.
Aug. 21, 2019
Banking, Checking Accounts, Personal Finance
wealthfront-cash-review
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4.0 NerdWallet rating

 

Where Wealthfront Cash shines:

  • Stellar 1.82% interest rate.
  • Unlimited ACH transfers and withdrawals.
  • No fees.
  • Highly rated mobile app.

Where Wealthfront Cash falls short:

  • No cash withdrawals or deposits.
  • No debit card.
  • No check deposit or writing.
  • No branches.

The bottom line

Wealthfront

at Wealthfront


Cash management accounts, or cash accounts, typically are a sort of hybrid of a checking and savings account and are usually offered by non-bank financial service providers, such as Wealthfront, rather than banks. It’s important to make sure all of the features and limitations of these accounts work for your needs. The high interest rate and lack of fees on the cash account offered by Wealthfront, a top robo-advisor, make it a worthy account to consider. However — since customers can only withdraw their money by transferring it via ACH to an outside account — Wealthfront Cash can be limiting to customers who want immediate access to their funds.

» MORE: What Is a Cash Management Account? 

Checking and savings features


4.0/5.0

Upsides

High interest rate. At 1.82%, Wealthfront has one of the highest interest rates in the market. Keep in mind, however, that rates on deposit accounts can fluctuate in accordance with the federal funds rate.

Free unlimited transfers. Unlike traditional savings accounts — which are federally regulated to allow only six free withdrawals/transfers per month — the Wealthfront Cash account allows customers to transfer money out of their accounts as many times as they like.

No fees. Wealthfront doesn’t charge any maintenance, withdrawal or other fees on this account.

FDIC coverage up to $1 million through affiliated partner banks. Wealthfront sweeps customers’ cash balances into third-party banks that provide FDIC insurance on deposits. The FDIC typically insures up to $250,000, and Wealthfront uses more than one bank to ensure coverage of up to $1 million.

Downsides

No immediate cash withdrawal. It takes 1 – 3 days for your Wealthfront funds to arrive at your bank once you initiate an ACH transfer.

No debit cards. Wealthfront currently doesn’t offer debit cards for its cash management account but says it plans to make them available in the “near future.”

No writing or depositing checks. There is also currently no way for customers to write or deposit checks with their Wealthfront Cash account; the company says it plans to support checks in the future.

Interest rate may fluctuate. Savings interest rates tend to rise and fall along with the federal funds rate, so even if an APY is high when you open an account, there’s a chance the rate could drop without much warning. This includes at the third-party banks that hold Wealthfront’s cash account funds, and rate fluctuations are passed on to customers.

Other things to consider

No overdraft program. Wealthfront rejects any transaction that can’t be covered by the funds in your account. While that means no overdraft fees, it also means you have to be careful about keeping track of how much you have in your account so you don’t unexpectedly come up short during a transfer.

» MORE: Read NerdWallet’s review of Wealthfront’s investment services

Customer experience


4.0/5.0

Upsides

Solid website. The Wealthfront website is well designed, and it’s easy to find information about different account offerings as well as FAQs and general information about the company.

High app ratings. Both Apple and Android users give the Wealthfront app high ratings.

Downsides

No branches. Wealthfront Cash is an online-only service, so if you prefer face-to-face interaction with customer service reps, you may struggle with having to communicate remotely.

No weekend human phone support. Wealthfront has extended weekday hours for phone support — 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday — but it doesn’t offer human phone support on weekends.

No chat support. If you prefer online chatting to phone calls, you’re out of luck at Wealthfront.

No mobile check deposit. Since writing and depositing checks isn’t currently available, there’s no way to deposit checks via mobile; this may change should Wealthfront add check capability.

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