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Fortunly's Guide

5 Best Cash Management Accounts for 2021

By
Julija A.

October 20,2021


Cash management accounts (CMAs) are unique financial products that incorporate features of checking, savings, and investment accounts. With CMAs, you can keep a large amount of money safe and insured while earning interest on your funds. The best thing about this account is that your money is entirely in your hands, and you can use it anytime you want to pay your bills, go shopping, or invest in securities. 

Various non-traditional financial institutions and branchless banks offer CMAs, so finding those that are secure and work in your best interest can be a bit complicated. Luckily, our team of experts did research on your behalf and found the best CMAs providers: 

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Cash Management Accounts: Fortunly's Picks

Monthly maintenance fees
$0-$5.99/month
APY
5.0% (Aspiration Plus)
Debit card
Yes
Bonus
$200
Open Account
Offer details
Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.05%
Debit card
No
Bonus
No
Open Account
Offer details
Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.10%
Debit card
No
Bonus
No
Open Account
Offer details
Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.10%
Debit card
Yes
Bonus
No
Open Account
Offer details
Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.01%-0.25%
Debit card
Yes
Bonus
$100
Open Account
Offer details
Evaluation Criteria

How We Compare Cash Management Accounts (CMAs) - Our Review Methodology

Before we came up with the list of the good accounts for money management, we did some thorough research. We checked dozens of online investment firms, automated investing platforms, and other financial institutions that offer this type of financial product. We found many good candidates but also plenty of scammers and providers with suspicious business backgrounds. 

To provide our readers with only reputable and secure financial services, we made a list of criteria to follow when evaluating the candidates. 

FDIC insurance

The first thing to check when choosing any type of account is whether it is insured or not. The most common type of insurance is FDIC insurance, and most regular accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

When it comes to money management accounts, the insurance limit is usually much higher. For example, SoFi offers accounts with the FDIC limits of $ $1,500,000. Such high amounts are possible because these financial products are made in partnership with several banks and funnel money into multiple bank accounts.

Some of the best financial institutions will offer you joint accounts with insurance coverage of over $2 million per depositor. Regardless of the type of account you choose, always check if it is FDIC-insured first. 

APY and Fees

One of the main reasons to open a CMA is to earn some interest. Unlike traditional banks, the financial institutions that offer this type of account usually provide above the average interest rates. Despite that, some money management accounts offer meager interest rates, so don’t forget to check this information first. 

Another reason for choosing this account type is that it comes with low or no fees at all. Unlike regular savings accounts that require a minimum deposit to open an account, with this financial product, you don’t need to worry about this either. Most accounts don’t require a minimum opening deposit and don’t charge monthly maintenance fees.

Account Features

The next thing to have in mind when searching for a CMA is this account’s additional benefits.

The first thing to check is whether the account comes with a debit card or not. In most cases, you will get a Mastercard or Visa for ATM access, but some financial institutions don't offer debit cards at all. This means that you’ll need to open a checking account at a partner bank and link it to your cash management account. 

Additional features, like cashback rewards and welcome bonuses, are also very nice to have. You should see what your provider offers before applying for an account. 

Ease of Use

All financial institutions that offer CMAs allow you to open this type of account online, and that’s one of their main advantages. But it is not the only thing to consider. This account type provides features of checking, savings, and investment accounts, so it should be functional enough to enable you to switch between them easily.

You should look for basic management tools, like an option to create various saving goals and set up direct deposits for each of them. Also, you should be able to transfer funds to your investment portfolio quickly. 

Mobile App

Every cash management account in 2021 can be managed through the online dashboard or a mobile app. For most customers, it’s more convenient to have a mobile app installed on their phones. This allows them to access the accounts any time they want to pay bills or transfer money to their investment accounts faster.  

Security

Although it is not the first criteria on our list, this is one of the most important things to consider when looking at CMAs. From protecting your private information to taking care of your funds, the best accounts utilize a wide range of security measures, like 2FA, firewall protection, SSL encryption, and more. 

Support

In almost all cases, you will open this account online and communicate with the company’s agent online. These financial institutions are not like traditional banks, meaning that most don’t have physical branches. For this reason, they must provide effective online support via various communication channels, including live chat, phone, and email support. The agents for money management will review your requests quickly and answer you in the shortest possible time.

Quick Breakdown

Best cash management accounts in 2021:

Detailed Reviews

Aspiration
Aspiration Logo Open Account

On Official Website

Monthly maintenance fees
$0 with Aspiration; $5.99/mo (billed annually) with Aspiration Plus
APY
5.0% if you spend at least $1,000/month with Aspiration Plus
Debit card
Yes
Bonus
$200
FDIC insurance limit
Up to $2.46 million per depositor

Aspiration is a California-based financial institution that offers cash management services. The company’s co-founders, Andrei Cherny and Joseph Sanberg started the company in 2013. Their mission was to provide free financial services while protecting the environment.

Namely, the company’s various programs allow its customers to help plant new trees by offsetting their gas purchases or rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar if they wish to. By now, the company has over three million clients, and they have helped plant more than 10 million trees.

The company’s Spend and Save plans include two different accounts called Aspiration and Aspiration Plus. 

APY and Fees 

Unlike many other money management accounts, Aspiration charges monthly fees. However, Aspiration clients have an option to choose how much to pay for the company’s services.

With the Aspiration account, you will not be required to pay anything if you don’t want to. Aspiration asks customers to pay what they think is fair, and if you think it’s $0, they will not charge you anything. However, the fees are mandatory with the Aspiration Plus account, and they are $5.99 per month if billed annually.

We recommend applying for the Aspiration Plus account even if you can get Aspiration with no monthly costs because it comes with a potentially massive 5% APY.  Based on our research of various financial institutions, this is the best interest rate that you can get with a cash management account.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to spend $1,000 or more per month with their debit card, or the APY will go down to 0.25%.

Features 

Both accounts come with a cash reward program. You will get 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases with the basic Aspiration account, while Aspiration Plus offers 10% cashback rewards and one out-of-network ATM reimbursement each month.

Another great thing about these accounts is that all new account holders get the first set of paper checks for free. Unlike other companies, Aspiration doesn’t have an option to send checks online, so you’ll need to pay a shipping fee on your orders. You can sign up for the direct deposit program and get your paychecks up to 2 days earlier. 

The company promises that it won’t fund fossil fuel production or support weapons manufactures and allegedly plants one tree every time users round up their debit card transactions.

Application and Ease of Use

Like other cash management companies, Aspiration enables online applications. Just go to the company’s website, and choose the account type you want to open. There are no deposit fees regardless of the plan you choose. The only requirements you need to meet are being a U.S. citizen that’s at least 18 years old. 

Thanks to the company’s partnership with Allpoint, you will get access to over 55,000 free ATMs across the state. If you use your debit card to withdraw money from out-of-network ATMs, expect only one reimbursement per month, and only if you’re using the Aspiration Plus account. 

Another thing that Aspiration offers is the ability to sign up for a direct deposit program. With this program, you can get your paychecks up to two days earlier. 

Security and support 

If you apply for a money management account at Aspiration, you may rest assured that money and private information are in safe hands. The company offers accounts that are FDIC-insured across up to ten banks for up to $2.46 million per depositor in total. When it comes to online security, website transactions are protected with 256-bit encryption and monitored 24/7.

Key Features:

  • Eco-friendly company
  • High interest rates
  • Free paper checks
+ Show more
Read Full Review
Personal Capital Cash
Personal Capital Cash Logo Open Account

On Official Website

Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.05%
Debit card
No
Bonus
No
FDIC insurance limit
Up to $1.5 million

Founded in 2009, Personal Capital was originally a wealth management firm. The personal cash management service is an additional product designed for clients who regularly make large deposits and withdrawals. One of the main perks of this account is that you can withdraw up to $1 million without worrying about any fees.

Unfortunately, this is not a great account if you’re looking to earn good interest on your savings. 

Compared to some high-yield savings accounts, Personal Capital Cash offers far worse APY, and that’s without even looking at competitors from our list, such as Aspiration. There are many other benefits to consider, though, so let’s see what you can get with this account. 

APY and Fees

When it comes to APY, the interest rate with this cash management account is lower than the national average for savings accounts. If you open the Personal Capital Cash account, you may expect 0.05%. The interest is accrued daily, and the payouts happen on the first business day each month.  

The online cash management account comes with no monthly maintenance costs. Also, you do not need to worry about account balance fees since there are no daily/monthly balance requirements. The same goes for overdraft fees.

This is one of the best accounts we have found for clients who are used to making large withdrawals. You can withdraw up to $1 million via wire transfer and pay no fees. The daily limit is $250,000 for both deposits and withdrawals. 

Features 

Personal Cash capital offers a variety of additional features that you might find very useful. For example, you can apply for a  joint online cash management account. There are several types of joint accounts, helping you save more on fees. 

The account comes with no daily balance limits, and it allows you to set up direct deposits for your paper checks. You can also connect the account with an existing checking account to pay monthly bills easily. 

The biggest downside when it comes to Personal Capital Cash features is the lack of debit cards. While other similar products offer free debit cards, Personal Capital doesn’t have them yet. 

Application and Ease of Use

If you want to open a money management account at Personal Capital, you need to fulfill the following requirements: 

  • Be at least 18 years
  • Be an American citizen
  • Provide your personal information 

If you want to deposit money and withdraw from your Personal Capital Cash, you need to link it to an external bank account. The account management goes through the online dashboard or the Personal Capital mobile app. 

Security and Support 

If account security is your main concern, Personal Capital Cash is the right solution for you. The account comes with some of the best protection tools for online money management in the industry, with multi-layer authentication and top-notch cybersecurity protection. For example, after you download the app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, you can set up an authentication code or use fingerprint authentication.

Key Features: 

  • Withdraw up to $1 million without fees
  • Cash management joint accounts 
  • Advanced security features
+ Show more
Read Full Review
Betterment Cash Reserve
Betterment Cash Reserve Logo Open Account

On Official Website

Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.10%
Debit card
No
Bonus
No
FDIC insurance limit
Up to $1 million per depositor

Betterment Cash Reserve was founded in 2010. The company’s mission is to help ordinary people to make everyday investments, no matter how small they are, and benefit from them in the future. The company has over 650,000 clients across the U.S. and handles $32 billion in funds, spread across numerous Checking and Cash Reserve accounts. 

Unlike many other brokerage cash management accounts, this one is completely free and enables you to create different savings categories easily. In our Betterment Cash Reserve review, we will highlight the account’s main advantages and drawbacks.

APY and Fees 

Like other similar products, Betterment cash management combines features of savings, checking, and investment accounts. That means you can earn interest on your savings without keeping you out of reach for years. However, the interest you earn is as high as with a traditional savings account, and you can look forward to a 0.10% APY. Not impressive compared to some competitors on our list, but certainly above the national average. 

When it comes to money transfer fees, Betterment Cash Reserve doesn’t charge any. You can make as many deposits and withdrawals as you want without having to pay any fees. There are none on account balances either.

Features 

One of the things that you’ll like the most about Betterment’s cash management system is how flexible it is. With the Cash Reserve account, you can create different savings goals and manage them from your mobile app. You can use the auto-deposit feature and set the deposit amount for each of the savings goals you create. You can also add budgets for every expanse you have. For example, you can create a spending category for your vacation, house renovation, and so on.  

Another great thing about this account is that it doesn’t only help you to save money but also to learn how to grow your funds. Betterment provides personal reports with analyses of your spending patterns and gives recommendations aimed at helping you save up and multiply your profits.

Application and Ease of Use 

The biggest downside when it comes to this cash management tool is that you’ll need to transfer funds from it to your checking account to withdraw money. It doesn’t feature a debit card, so you’ll need to use an existing one or open a Betterment Checking account that offers one and transfer money to it when you want to get your hands on some cold, hard cash. 

Security and Support 

We introduced the essential features of this account, but we didn’t answer the question: “Is Betterment FDIC insured?” All Betterment products, including Betterment Cash Reserve, are insured with up to $1 million per depositor (up to $250,000 at four different banks). There are also joint accounts with FDIC insurance of up to $2 million. 

Betterment has fantastic customer service that is available via phone, email, and live chat. A rich FAQ can help you find out more about your account, while the knowledge section has great articles about managing finances.

Key features: 

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Set up direct deposits for different saving categories 
  • Live chat, phone, and email support  
+ Show more
Wealthfront Cash
Wealthfront Cash Logo Open Account

On Official Website

Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.10%
Debit Card
Yes
Bonus
No
FDIC insurance limit
Up to $1 million

If you are looking for a cash management brokerage account, Wealthfront is the right place to go. In 2019, Wealthfront launched Wealthfront Cash, an account that combines features of both savings and investment accounts. You can quickly connect it with the company’s money investment account and benefit from both products simultaneously. 

Praised for its robo-advisor services, Wealthfront has over 450,000 clients, and it is one of the most reputable financial institutions offering cash management accounts.

APY and Fees 

Like most accounts for cash management, Wealthfront doesn’t have any fees. You don’t need to pay monthly maintenance fees or account balance fees. It’s also great to know that at Wealthfront, clients don’t need to pay any transfer fees either. 

When it comes to the Wealthfront Cash account interest rate, the account holders can expect 0.1% APY, regardless of their monthly balances. Wealthfront APY may not be the best in the industry, but the zero fees and additional features of this account make it worth considering. 

Features 

Wealthfront Cash comes with a variety of useful tools and features for online money management. The first thing worth mentioning is the Wealthfront debit card. Once you open the account, you will get a debit card that you can use on Wealthfront ATM machines. You will get access to over 19,000 ATMs to withdraw money from for free, but if you use it out-of-network, expect to pay industry-standard ATM fees. 

As mentioned, the Wealthfront Cash account combines various features that help you save and invest your money better. You create different spending categories and fund them easily. You can also create emergency funds, and the amount of money you set up will be transferred to those funds automatically.

The rest of the money that you may have left can be used for investments. You can transfer it to your investment portfolio quickly with the Wealthfront Cash mobile app.

Application and Ease of Use

To get this cash management account with a debit card, you need to be at least 18 years old and have a permanent U.S. residence. You can complete the application through an online dashboard, or you can use the mobile app.

Aside from providing personal information (like name, home address, and Social Security Number), you’ll also need to deposit $1 to open an account. 

Security and Support

Unless you have an account at Wealthfront, you will have difficulties getting in touch with the company’s representatives. Live chat and phone support are not available, but you can send the message by filling out the online form on the Wealthfront website.

It can take a while before you get the answer, so it’s always a wise choice to check the FAQ page. It’s loaded with articles that explain various financial topics - from cash management and investment accounts to lines of credit and taxes. 

If your next question is: “Is Wealthfront FDIC insured?” you don’t need to worry about account Insurance limits. All depositors are insured up to $1 million through Wealthfront’s partner banks.

Key Features: 

  • Easy connection with an investing account
  • Over 19,000 ATMs
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android
+ Show more
SoFi Money
SoFi Money Logo Open Account

On Official Website

Monthly maintenance fees
$0
APY
0.01% with monthly deposits lower than $500; 0.25% with monthly deposits of $500 and more
Debit card
Yes
Bonus
$100
FDIC insurance limit
Up to $1,500,000

SoFi is a financial institution that started operating in 2011 as an alumni-funded lending organization by Stanford Business schools students. Today, SoFi has over 2 million members, over $50 billion in funded loans, and over $22 billion in paid off debt. SoFi offers various financial products, including SoFi FDIC insured cash management accounts. 

A SoFi Money account is an excellent choice for consumers who want to benefit from early paychecks and competitive interest rates. Continue reading our SoFi Money account review to find more. 

APY and Fees 

When it comes to cash management account interest rates, SoFi offers two options, depending on the size of your monthly recurring deposit. It’s a type of deposit that helps consumers build savings and, of course, earn interest.

SoFi Money APY for accounts with regular monthly deposits of $500 or more is 0.25%. If your account gets topped up with less than $500 each month, your interest will be only 0.01%.

SoFi Money doesn’t impose any deposit limits or minimum account balance per month. If you accidentally go over your account limits, there’s no reason to worry, as SoFi Money overdraft coverage protects you up to $50 without charging you any fees. The negative balance on your account will disappear when the next direct deposit lands on your account. 

Features

SoFi Money is a cash management account for individuals that allows users to benefit from early paychecks by setting up direct deposits. You can get paychecks up to two days earlier and use your money to pay bills on time or make some investments. Once you set up the direct deposits, other benefits will also become available for you, such as the $100 welcome bonus. 

Another great thing is that with this account, you get an excellent rewards program. For every purchase you make, SoFi Money gives you up to 15% cash back. 

SoFi Money also offers an extensive network of free ATMs. Over 55,000 Allpoint machines are available to you in different locations across the U.S. However, if you use out-of-network devices, you will need to pay additional fees not subject to reimbursement.

Application and Ease of Use 

To become a client at this cash management company, you can apply for an account through the SoFi website. SoFi’s product offers excellent mobile cash management. You can download and use the mobile app to pay bills and transfer money to other SoFi members.

Another benefit of using this account is the ability to deposit checks online, directly from your phone, without having to deal with the hassle of old-fashioned paper checks. 

Security and Support 

The account features all standard security tools, like two-factor authentication and fingerprint recognition through SoFi’s mobile app. If you need any help from SoFi customer support, you can talk with an agent via phone or use your mobile app to contact them.

Key Features: 

  • Online checks
  • Direct cash deposit up to 2 days earlier 
  • Welcome bonus 
+ Show more
FAQ
What is a cash management account? +

A cash management account is an account that combines the features of checking, savings, and investment accounts. Praised for their functionality, CMAs allow consumers to grow their money and make investments without switching from one account to another.

Are cash management accounts FDIC Insured? +

Our cash management account reviews focus only on FDIC-insured accounts. That was our first criteria for evaluating different financial services that provide this financial product. FDIC insurance typically goes up to $250,000 per bank, but the nice thing about these types of accounts is that they insure your funds across several partner banks.

Why use a cash management account? +

The advantages of using a CMA are numerous. Since non-traditional financial institutions offer these accounts, they usually provide above-average APY so you can earn more on your savings. At the same time, you will get access to your funds anytime you want, meaning that you will not be time-limited like with traditional savings accounts. Another great thing is that cash management systems are usually connected with your investment portfolio, enabling you faster money transfers that you can use to trade.

Can you invest with a cash management account? +

Usually, a CMA is separated from a brokerage account, but you can easily connect the two account types. Some brokerages will offer you one account that combines brokerage account features with money management features.

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