Wealthfront Cash Account Review [2024]: Earn a Higher APY Than Average

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
Wealthfront’s Cash Account offers a high-yield checking account that lets you earn interest on all of your money and get your paycheck up to two days early. See what you stand to gain with this account.
Updated Oct. 24, 2023
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Wealthfront Cash Account Review

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Have you ever wondered why you can’t earn interest on the money in your checking account? You stash funds there to pay your bills and build an emergency fund, but because most checking accounts don’t pay interest, a big chunk of your cash isn’t earning you anything.

That's why the Wealthfront Cash Account could be an excellent option if you want to earn more on all of the money in your bank account and get paid up to two days early. 

This account offers an APY (annual percentage yield) that’s well above the national average as well as the checking features you need, including a debit card and the ability to set up automatic bill payments.

Learn what you need to know about the Cash Account and how it works in this Wealthfront review.

Quick Summary

Earn interest on your money while having it easily accessible in this smart cash account.

  • Grow your money more quickly with an APY many times higher than the national average
  • Improve your cash flow and get your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit
  • No account fees and most account transactions are without cost
In this article

Wealthfront overview

Wealthfront is an app and robo-advisor that’s primarily designed for automated index investing. Its cash account holds your funds and allows you to transfer money into your investment portfolios easily.

Its investing portfolios offer tax-loss harvesting and automatic rebalancing for a fee of 0.25%.

In addition to its cash account, It offers these account types:

  • Traditional IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • SEP IRAs
  • 529 accounts
  • Individual and joint taxable accounts
  • Trust accounts

Wealthfront Cash Account basics

APY 5.00%1
Minimum balance for APY $1
Minimum deposit to open account $1
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access Yes, nationwide network of 19,000 fee-free ATMs
Transactions per month No limit
FDIC insured Solo accounts: up to $8 million
Joint accounts: up to $16 million

What we like about the Wealthfront Cash Account

If you’re considering opening up a Wealthfront Cash Account, it offers some significant benefits that set it apart and lands it on our list of the best banks:

  • The account offers a much higher APY: When you open an account, you’ll earn 5.00%. That’s much higher than the national average of 0.47% (as of Feb. 8, 2024).
  • Direct deposit and get paid early: Get paid up to two days early when you set up direct deposit. Your cash will also immediately begin earning interest.
  • Mobile check deposit: This account includes the convenient feature of mobile check deposits with the Wealthfront mobile app. This means you don't have to visit a bank anymore if someone pays you with a paper check.
  • Conveniently spend and access cash: The Cash Account debit card makes it easier for you to make purchases and access cash. Use your debit card to get cash from a network of 19,000 fee-free ATMs. There's a fee of $2.50 plus an ATM owner fee for using an out-of-network ATM. 
  • Pay with checks: Wealthfront recently added the ability to send checks from your account. Instead of writing your own checks, Wealthfront can write them and send them for you.
  • Pay bills using routing info: You can also set up automatic bill pay with your Cash Account routing number and avoid late or missed payments on credit card bills, utility bills, and more.
  • Intelligent automated savings: With Wealthfront's Self-Driving Money system, you can easily create savings categories based on your personal goals, and also savings rules for your account to automatically follow. This allows you to teach your account how much you want put aside, how often, and toward which goal.
  • Pay friends using Venmo, PayPal, and more: Link your Cash Account to your Venmo, PayPal, or other payment service providers to quickly pay friends and family.
  • There’s a low account minimum: Some companies require you to have hundreds or even thousands saved before you can open an account. With Wealthfront’s Cash Account, you can get started with as little as a $1 minimum deposit.
  • There are no fees: There are no monthly fees, maintenance fees, or advisory fees to worry about.
  • You can complete unlimited transfers at no cost: You can deposit and withdraw money as often as you want; there’s no limit to how many transfers you can complete, and there’s no cost to move your money.
  • Your balance is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $8 million: With a Wealthfront Cash Account, you get up to $8 million in FDIC insurance through Wealthfront's partner banks. Wealthfront automatically allocates your money across up to 20 partner banks. Traditional banks usually only offer $250,000 of FDIC insurance, so Wealthfront accounts have 32 times the typical amount.

Wealthfront Benefits

  • Boost your savings with a rare APY of 5.00%2
  • No account fees, withdraw anytime
  • App Store rating of 4.8/5 stars as of April 2023
  • Up to $8 million in FDIC insurance

What the Wealthfront Cash Account could improve

While a Wealthfront Cash Account can be a smart savings vehicle for your money, there are some drawbacks you should consider before opening an account:

  • No paper checkbook: A Wealthfront Cash Account can’t replace a traditional checking account if you find yourself in situations where you simply need to write a paper check on the spot to pay for something. The option for a traditional check is not available with this account.
  • Transferring money between Wealthfront accounts may be limited: For some users, the ability to transfer internally between Wealthfront accounts may feel limiting. For others, it may not present an issue. Currently, Wealthfront supports transfers between Cash Accounts and Taxable Investment Accounts, and it also supports making contributions from Cash Accounts to IRAs (Traditional, Roth, SEP). There are some other transfers you cannot make, though, like transferring between Cash Accounts or transfers to and from a 529 College Savings plan.

How to open a Wealthfront Cash Account

To open a Wealthfront account, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid U.S. Social Security number, have a permanent U.S. residential address, and currently reside in the United States. You also must have a working U.S. phone number capable of accepting text messages.

If you meet those criteria, opening a Wealthfront Cash Account is simple:

  1. From Wealthfront’s home page, click on “Start saving” or "Get started."

Wealthfront screenshot

  1. Wealthfront will ask who the Cash Account is for.

Wealthfront screenshot

  1. Next, the site will prompt you to enter your name and email address, then create a strong password. 

Wealthfront screenshot

Wealthfront screenshot

  1. Next, Wealthfront will ask for your phone number and text you a security code. 

Wealthfront screenshot

  1. Choose your bank or brokerage account to fund your new Wealthfront Cash Account. Major banks like Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One, and Bank of America are all supported. If your bank isn’t listed, you can still use it to fund your new account by manually entering your information.

Wealthfront screenshot

  1. Enter the amount of money you’d like to transfer from your bank or brokerage account to your Wealthfront Cash Account.
  2. You’ll receive a confirmation email. Click on the link in the email and Wealthfront will complete the transfer, usually within one business day.

How to withdraw money from a Wealthfront Cash Account

You can withdraw money from your Wealthfront Cash Account in several ways. For online transfers, log in and select “Transfer Funds” at the top left of your screen. The site will prompt you to enter how much you want to withdraw and where you want to send it. Withdrawals typically take one to three business days to complete.

With the Cash Account debit card, you have access to a nationwide network of 19,000 fee-free ATMs. You can withdraw up to $1,000 each day this way. Or, you can receive up to $2,500 cash back at point-of-sale terminals if the merchant offers this option.

Other Wealthfront Cash Account fees

Overdraft fee N/A
Stop payment fee N/A
ACH transfers $0
Incoming wire $0
Outgoing wire N/A

Wealthfront Cash Account customer service

If you need help opening an account or with account management, Wealthfront only offers customer support online and over the phone; there are no branches for you to visit in person like you can with most major banks. You can submit questions through Wealthfront’s secure online form. If you want to call customer service, you can find the contact number by logging into your account.

FAQs about the Wealthfront Cash Account

Is Wealthfront Cash Account FDIC insured?

Yes, a Wealthfront Cash Account is FDIC insured. In fact, it will be insured for up to $5 million. This is 20 times the amount of insurance available through traditional banks. This is possible because Wealthfront is not a bank. Instead, they partner with a number of different banks that actually hold your money. 

So instead of your money being held in one account, it could be spread across up to 20 different ones, each of which is insured for $250,000. This makes for a grand total of $5 million in FDIC insurance that is available to you.

Is a Wealthfront savings account safe and legitimate?

A Wealthfront Cash Account may be a safe and legitimate way to grow your savings. The account isn’t subject to market fluctuations, so you don’t have to worry about losing money. And your money is protected by up to $5 million of FDIC insurance.

Is Wealthfront a bank?

No, Wealthfront isn’t a bank. When you open a Wealthfront Cash Account, the company sends your funds to different financial institutions that accept those deposits. Your cash balance is swept to one or more banks and is eligible for FDIC coverage. 

Is Wealthfront free?

Your Wealthfront Cash Account doesn’t have any fees and is free to use. Instead, the company makes money by receiving a portion of the interest earned on the money in your Cash Account.

Is Wealthfront a money market account?

A Wealthfront Cash Account is not a money market account. It is a cash account with checking features. A money market account is more like a high-yield savings account with check-writing abilities. Like savings accounts, money market accounts have a monthly limit of six payments or withdrawals. A Wealthfront Cash Account has no such limitations.

Can the interest rate on a Wealthfront Cash Account change?

The APY on Wealthfront’s Cash Account is 5.00%. However, Cash Account interest rates are variable and can change over time, coinciding with movements in market interest rates.

What other products and services does Wealthfront offer?

In addition to its Cash Account, Wealthfront also offers other financial products, including an investment account and the option to access a portfolio line of credit. The company also offers a variety of financial planning tools to help you reach your goals, whether you're interested in padding your retirement account or saving for an upcoming vacation.

With a Wealthfront investment account, you can invest on autopilot with Wealthfront's robo-advisor tool. To get started, you simply answer a few questions about your risk tolerance and goals, and Wealthfront will build a customized portfolio of low-cost ETFs based on the information you provide. It offers relatively low management fees and convenient features like tax-loss harvesting and automatic rebalancing, which could make it a good choice for investors who prefer a hands-off approach to portfolio management.

Alternatives to Wealthfront

If Wealthfront doesn’t sound right for you, there are other options.

SoFi, for example, offers a checking and savings account with a 4.60% APY with direct deposit.3 SoFi also offers automated investing, loans, and other financial products, and a membership that provides assistance with financial planning and other perks.

Learn more in our SoFi Checking and Savings review.

Or visit SoFi

Like Wealthfront, Betterment offers a high-yield cash account with up to 5.50% (as of Jul. 31, 2023) APY.45 It also has automated investing and crypto investing.6

Learn more in our Betterment review.

Or visit Betterment

Final thoughts

While the right account for you will depend upon your financial situation, taking advantage of the ability to earn a high rate of interest on your best checking account could make a lot of sense. By transferring your money into a Wealthfront Cash Account, you can earn more than you would with a traditional savings account while still having the ability to access and spend your money.

Wealthfront Benefits

  • Boost your savings with a rare APY of 5.00%2
  • No account fees, withdraw anytime
  • App Store rating of 4.8/5 stars as of April 2023
  • Up to $8 million in FDIC insurance

Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a personal finance expert focusing on practical financial matters, including student loans, debt repayment, side hustles, insurance, and healthcare. Drawing from her personal experience, she aims to simplify complex financial topics and provide individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions.

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