A cash management account (CMA) combines many of the best aspects of checking and savings accounts. It lets you earn strong interest rates while keeping it easy to access and spend your cash. While CMAs can’t do everything a dedicated checking or savings account can do, many people find CMAs sufficient for their financial needs.
Financial companies target CMAs at consumers who have large cash balances they need to insure. People who want the easy access a checking account provides – without sacrificing the interest rate savings accounts offer – also use them.
But so many companies offer CMAs it can be hard to choose the best one. Which one is right for you depends on how much money you plan to deposit and whether your primary goal is earning interest or easy access to your money. The good news is there are plenty of top options, no matter your financial goals.
Best Cash Management Accounts
Up to 0.30% Interest; No Minimum Balance; No Monthly Fees; Up to $1 Million in FDIC Insurance
Betterment is a robo-advisory service that can help you invest your money for the future. Robo-advisors are programs that automatically invest your money. You answer some questions so the software knows your investment goals and risk tolerance, and the program automatically allocates your funds, giving you efficient, hands-off investment services.
If you’re in the market for a robo-advisory service, opening a CMA with Betterment lets you keep your cash and investments in the same place, making it easier and faster to add or remove money from your portfolio. For cash management, the company offers Betterment Everyday, a CMA with features like:
- Rates: Betterment offers two accounts with its cash management service: a checking account and a cash reserve account. The CMA offers up to 0.30% interest.
- Fees: Betterment’s CMA charges no monthly fees and has no minimum balance requirements, though you must make a $10 opening deposit when you first open the account. The account also charges no ATM fees or overdraft fees. If you use an ATM that charges fees, Betterment reimburses the fees you pay.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: The cash reserve account offers up to $1 million in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insurance. Combined with Betterment’s checking account, which has $250,000 in FDIC insurance, you can protect up to $1.25 million in Betterment’s CMA.
- Features: Betterment’s CMA comes with a debit card you can use to make withdrawals at ATMs or purchases at stores. Your account is linked to your Betterment investing account, making it easy to move money in and out of investments as you need to.
1.6% Interest; No Minimum Balance; No Monthly Fees; Up to $1.5 Million in FDIC Insurance
SoFi also gives its members valuable perks, whether you use its CMA or lending services. For example, you can get financial planning advice from certified financial planners or career advice from personal coaches. If you prefer getting help from peers, SoFi has a Facebook group open only to account holders.
The company’s CMA, SoFi Money, is a mobile-focused cash management solution. It’s ideal for people who want to keep their money and loans with the same company or who like to have on-the-go access to their accounts. If you get one of your friends to sign up for SoFi Money, you receive a referral bonus. CMA holders also get discounts or rate reductions on their SoFi loans if their account balance meets certain minimums. Even if you have no loans with SoFi, the CMA offers many worthy perks.
- Rates: SoFi Money pays 1.6% annual percentage yield (APY) with no minimum balances or other requirements to meet.
- Fees: SoFi Money has no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, foreign transaction fees, or overdraft fees. The account doesn’t charge any ATM fees and reimburses fees charged by other ATM owners worldwide.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: The account offers up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance. You’d need to open accounts at six different banks to get the same level of protection.
- Features: SoFi Money is a feature-rich CMA. The company designed SoFi Money with mobile users in mind. According to SoFi, sign-up takes less than a minute, and you can manage your account from your phone. You can make transfers, deposit checks, and contact customer service, all without getting out a computer or speaking to someone face-to-face. The app also has built-in person-to-person transfer capability that allows you to send money to anyone you know. If the person receiving money also uses SoFi Money, the transfer is instantaneous.
1.78% Interest; No Minimum Balance; No Monthly Fees; $1 Million in FDIC Insurance
Wealthfront is a robo-advisory service. Like other robo-advisors, Wealthfront makes it easy for you to invest your money without having to manage it on your own. Just answer some questions about your goals and let Wealthfront do the rest for you.
One perk of Wealthfront is tax-loss harvesting. This service reduces your taxes by harvesting investment losses that reduce your taxable income. While many robo-advisors have high minimum balance requirements for this service, Wealthfront offers basic tax-loss harvesting for all customers, regardless of their balance. If you keep a lot of money in taxable brokerage accounts, tax-loss harvesting is a compelling argument in Wealthfront’s favor.
The company offers a CMA called Wealthfront Cash to pair with its robo-advising and tax-loss harvesting service, putting the money it saves you straight to use.
- Rates: The Wealthfront Cash account offers 1.78% APY. Wealthfront only requires you to make a minimum deposit of $1 when you open the account. There is no minimum balance to earn interest.
- Fees: There are no monthly fees for the Wealthfront Cash account. If you also use Wealthfront’s robo-advisory service, they don’t include the money in your CMA when calculating your service fee.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: The Wealthfront Cash account offers FDIC insurance on up to $1 million in deposits, the equivalent of opening savings accounts at four separate banks.
- Features: The account lags behind many of its competitors when it comes to features. There is no debit card or check access to your money. You also can’t link your account to a person-to-person transfer app like Venmo. That means the only way to make a withdrawal is to transfer funds to a checking account at another bank. This restriction means the Wealthfront Cash account works best as a fee-free savings account or a place to store money you want available for investing on short notice.
4. Personal Capital
1.55% Interest; No Minimum Balance; No Monthly Fees; Up to $1.5 Million in FDIC Insurance
Personal Capital is an online financial advising company that helps you manage and track your money. Investors can also make use of its wealth management offerings.
Personal Capital is a practical choice for people who need to track their income and spending to the dollar. It offers a robust online portal that helps customers view all their transactions in one place. You can track your spending against budgets you set in the portal, making Personal Capital an all-in-one money hub.
The portal works with external accounts and all the company’s account types, including their CMA, Personal Capital Cash.
- Rates: The Personal Capital Cash account pays 1.55% APY (1.60% for advisory clients). There’s no minimum balance required to earn interest and a minimum opening deposit of just $1.
- Fees: There are no monthly maintenance fees or other fees charged on the Personal Capital Cash account. They don’t include money in the account when calculating fees if you also use Personal Capital’s wealth management services.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: Personal Capital Cash offers up to $1.5 million in FDIC insurance, which is six times the coverage you receive from one standard bank account.
- Features: The Personal Capital Cash Account lacks many of the features that make CMAs useful. Instead, it functions more like a high-yield savings account or a place to store uninvested funds you want available to move into the market. The account doesn’t offer a checkbook or debit card, so you can only make withdrawals by transferring funds to an external bank’s checking account.
1.00% Interest; $50 Minimum Deposit; Choose Your Own Monthly Fee – Even If It’s $0; Up to $2 Million in FDIC Insurance
Aspiration is a socially conscious financial firm that offers retirement, investing, and charitable giving services. For example, Aspiration doesn’t invest customer funds in businesses that pollute the environment. It also helps you gauge your own social responsibility, giving you a spending-habits report card showing how much you’ve supported green companies.
Aspiration also avoids investing in businesses that don’t treat workers well or that don’t pay fair wages. If you care about supporting businesses that share your ideals, Aspiration can help you do that.
In addition to letting you support socially conscious companies, Aspiration’s CMA, the Spend & Save account, lets you earn interest and keep easy access to your cash.
- Rates: The Aspiration Spend & Save account offers 1.00% APY, which is notably lower than other CMAs.
- Fees: You pay what you think is fair, even if it’s $0 – no catches. But note that 10 cents of every dollar you do pay for your monthly fees goes to one of their designated charities.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: The account offers up to $2 million in FDIC insurance, which is eight times the insurance limit of a standard bank account.
- Features: Aspiration’s Spend & Save Account offers a variety of perks that can make it appealing despite its low interest rate. Account holders receive a debit card they can use to make ATM withdrawals and purchases. Aspiration charges no fees for ATM withdrawals and reimburses up to five fees charged by other banks’ ATMs each month. You also earn cash back when you make purchases using the card, which is unusual for a debit card. Another debit card perk is free cell phone insurance. If you use your card to pay your monthly phone bill, Aspiration offers up to $600 in cell phone insurance for free. The company also provides up to $1,000 in expense reimbursements if someone steals your identity.
1.80% Interest; No Minimum Balance; No Monthly Fees; Up to $1.25 Million in FDIC Insurance
Robinhood is a mobile-based brokerage that lets you trade stocks, options, and cryptocurrency with no commissions. The company focuses on mobile, making your phone the primary way you interact with your account. You can read analyses, track stock prices, and even trade outside regular trading hours. Robinhood gives frequent traders more flexibility as they buy and sell stocks and options.
Robinhood also offers a CMA tied to your brokerage account, giving you a safe place to store your extra cash while it’s not in the market.
- Rates: Money in your Robinhood CMA earns 1.80% APY.
- Fees: There are no fees or minimum balance requirements to open or use the account.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: Robinhood’s CMA offers $1.25 million in FDIC insurance, which is the equivalent of having accounts at five different banks.
- Features: Robinhood’s CMA links directly to your Robinhood brokerage account. You can use the funds in the account to directly purchase securities or options, and Robinhood deposits the proceeds from any sale you make straight into the account. When you sign up, you can choose from four different debit card designs. You can use the card fee-free at more than 75,000 ATMs. You can also use it to make purchases anywhere that accepts MasterCard.
0.82% Interest; No Minimum Deposit; No Monthly Fees; Up to $1.25 Million in FDIC Insurance
Fidelity is a financial firm that offers mutual funds, financial advising, and investment services. You can work with Fidelity for banking, advising, and lending services, meaning you’d never have to look for another financial company to meet any of your needs. Fidelity’s variety of services lets its customers do all their money management in one place without having to shop around every time they want a new loan or account.
Fidelity’s cash management account keeps your cash safe and easy to access, with multiple features that make it a prudent alternative to a less robust standard checking account.
- Rates: Fidelity’s CMA offers lower rates than most, paying just 0.82% APY on all balances.
- Fees: There are no monthly fees or minimum balances required to keep the account open.
- FDIC Insurance Limit: The Fidelity CMA offers $1.25 million in FDIC insurance, which is as much as five standard bank accounts.
- Features: The CMA comes with a debit card you can use to make purchases or ATM withdrawals. Fidelity doesn’t charge ATM fees and reimburses all ATM fees for withdrawals made within the United States. You also get free checkbooks if you need to make payments by check. If you want to manage the account from your phone, it’s mobile-ready. You can make transfers and check deposits from the Fidelity app. You can also pay your bills and get a quick overview of your Fidelity accounts by using your account dashboard.
Cash management accounts provide a useful mix of savings and checking accounts with the extra perk of huge FDIC insurance limits. If you’re in the market for a CMA, look for the account that offers the level of accessibility you need and the best interest rate possible. If you don’t need debit card access to your money, you can choose an account with other features that benefit you, like high interest rates or additional FDIC insurance.
Do you have a cash management account? Which one do you use?