In the world of personal finance, it often seems like banks are at odds with customers. Huge financial institutions will entice you to move your life savings to their accounts with $100 or even $200 sign-up bonuses. But afterwards, you’ll feel lucky to earn even 1% on your deposits.
New fintech (financial technology) companies have been working to shake up the stodgy financial industry.
First, these companies focused on giving consumers access to credit information. Then came a wave of companies focusing on lower-cost investments (in the stock market). We’ve seen companies focused on lowering the cost of debt.
And finally, we’re seeing a wave of companies looking to boost the interest rate you earn on your savings and deposits.
Here’s a profile of some of the newer entrants to the market, with Credit Karma being the latest one. We partner with Credit Karma to highlight these changes and help you understand how you can put your cash to work. Check out Credit Karma Money here >>
Credit Karma Money
Credit Karma isn’t a bank, and it’s not about to become one. Instead, this company, known for its free tax filing and free credit-scoring services, is partnering with 800 national banks. It will use a “dispersed” funding model for users to get a higher-than-average yield on their savings.
The “Credit Karma”-branded account (but not Credit Karma account), will yield 0.30% APY (at least right now), and come with $5 million of FDIC insurance.
When SoFi first launched its checking/savings combo product, the company was offering an unheard-of 2.25% APY. Since then, it has quietly dropped rates to a less exciting 0.25% APY. Still, SoFi offers accountholders valuable perks including career coaching, networking events, and help from fiduciary financial planners.
SoFi Money is a brokerage account, not a bank account, so the actual FDIC insurance is provided by one of SoFi Money’s partner banks.
Betterment Everyday is a checking account and savings account combination. The checking account is completely fee-free, and all fees (such as ATM fees from other banks) are reimbursed if they are incurred. However, the checking account is only available to select users.
The savings half of the combo offers a 1.10% APY on all deposits.
Betterment offers FDIC insurance on up to $1 million. Deposits in the Betterment Everyday account aren’t held by Betterment. Instead, they are held by a partner bank.
Wealthfront recognizes that a lot of financial goals are short-term in nature. Saving up for a new car or a big trip? You’ll probably spend that money in just a few years. Most people save for weddings and honeymoons for just a few months or years.
Even bigger goals, like a home down payment, usually only have savings horizons of three or four years. With goals that short, you need to earn a great interest rate on your money, but not take on market risk. The Wealthfront Cash account offers $1 million of FDIC insurance, no market risk, and a 1.40% APY.
This account also offers unlimited withdrawals.
It is important to note that Wealthfront itself is not a bank, and does not act as a bank. Instead, your deposits are held at one of a network of partner banks.
Robinhood Cash Management
Robinhood, the app known for offering free trades on stocks and ETFs, absolutely botched its entrance into the world of savings and deposits when, in December 2018, it announced a launch of an SIPC-insured checking account. However, the account, which was never actually implemented, had not been insured, and offered an unsustainable 3% yield on deposits.
After the botched attempt, Robinhood is making a new run at the world of savings. It has announced Robinhood Cash Management, a checking/savings hybrid account with up to $1.25 million in FDIC insurance through major partner institutions like Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and others. The initial rate on these accounts is set at 0.30% APY.
Right now, only a set of beta users can access Robinhood Cash Management, but it seems like the company is hoping to scale up users quickly.
Personal Capital Cash
Like many of the savings account alternatives, Personal Capital Cash offers a high interest rate by partnering with a network of banks.
Right now, people who use Personal Capital’s advisory service can earn up to 0.05% APY while others can earn 0.05% APY. You can have FDIC deposit insurance on up to $1.5 million of deposits through Personal Capital.
The Empower app is financial coaching and a high-yield checking account rolled into a single platform. Right now, the app offers 0.01% APY through Empower’s partner bank, Evolve Bank & Trust.
While a 0.01% yield may not seem that impressive, the difference to note here is that Empower is a checking account. You’ll earn an impressive rate at the place where you deposit your paycheck.
Are you earning at least 0.25% on your savings? If not, it’s time to switch up your bank. Check out Credit Karma Money and get started right now. Open an account here >>
Hannah is a wife, mom, and described personal finance geek. She excels with spreadsheets (and puns)! She regularly explores in-depth financial topics and enjoys looking at the latest tools and trends with money.