Notice: Due to the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to near-zero, some of the robo advisor high-yield savings accounts like Personal Capital Cash aren’t returning the same great interest rates they once were.
While we strongly believe this is going to turn around soon, we currently recommend M1 Spend, which is holding out at a respectable 1.0%.
They are, at the time of this writing, the only high-yield savings account through robo advisors that are still above the national average savings rate.
0.06% APY. This is the current national average interest rate on savings accounts. Sounds bad, doesn’t it?
Well, it is.
That’s why there’s been a surge in the popularity of high-yield cash accounts offered by many popular robo advisors. These high-yield accounts typically earn between 1.0% and 2.0%. That’s not a typo – that’s around 20x the national average.
And you can open one today.
To put that into perspective, a balance of $10,000 in an account that has a 0.06% APY will earn you $6 annually (keeping the math simple and calculated annually), while an account with a 1.50% APY will earn you $150 the same year. You can see why these accounts are so popular.
What is Personal Capital Cash?
Personal Capital is known for its human-assisted robo advisor and free money management tools. Cash is the company’s high yield savings account with no monthly fees, no minimum balances, and no transaction limits. However, you don’t get a debit card, so you can only transfer your money online.
Personal Capital Cash competes with a handful of other high-yield cash accounts offered by other popular robo advisors and a small few other banks.
Cash’s biggest competitors would be the Cash accounts of Betterment, Wealthfront, Wealthsimple, and M1 Finance. We compare those accounts below.
Competitive Interest Rates
One of the most important factors to consider when looking for a savings account is its APY. You don’t want your rainy day fund going down the drain when your APY doesn’t even keep up with inflation (estimated at 2.26% in 2021). In this regard, Personal Capital’s Cash Account is a worthy competitor at 0.05%. If you’re already a Personal Capital Advisor client, you get an automatic 0.05% APY increase in that rate – a little bonus for being loyal.
While it’s not the highest interest rate out of the high-yield cash accounts offered by robo advisors, it’s not the lowest either, and Personal Capital is a very highly regarded brand with some other great features we’ll get into below.
Interest accrues daily and is paid out monthly.
This is one of the best parts of the Personal Capital Cash account – no fees. It’s very common for banks to charge account holders a monthly fee, transaction fees, or other hidden fees for various services.
But since banks use these fees as part of their revenue, how can Personal Capital afford to offer no fees at all? Well, Personal Capital Cash does not offer some of the standard services that banks offer on savings accounts.
For example, with Personal Capital Cash, there aren’t any physical branches, and you don’t have any ATM services or bank cards (yet). However, you do get unlimited deposits and withdrawals, which can save a lot of money on fees.
Is Personal Capital Cash Safe?
Just like with other bank accounts, money in your Personal Capital Cash account will be insured by FDIC. Here’s the good news; the amount of insurance that you receive with Personal Capital is significantly higher than the amount you receive with most other banks.
For the most part, bank accounts will be insured by FDIC for up to $250,000 for each account that you own. While this is adequate for most people, high-net-worth individuals will need more.
This is where Personal Capital comes in. Your Cash account is insured for up to $1.5 million. If you have a joint account, that amount can increase to $3 million! This is because Personal Capital is in partnership with 6 different program banks.
Each of these banks offers FDIC insurance of up to $250,000. With Personal Capital, the money that you deposit will be stored with one or more of these banks. The money in them earns interest and gains eligibility for FDIC insurance.
Since each bank receives the same amount of your deposit, you get assurance from all of them. For example, if your deposit is shared among three program banks, each of the banks can assure you up to $250,000. Thus, you will have total assurance of $750,000. High net worth individuals can take advantage of this system.
No Minimum Balance
Personal Capital Cash is a high-yield account. Nevertheless, it is possible to find banks that offer higher rates on their savings solutions. So how is Personal Capital different?
In some cases, the banks that offer a higher rate have a tiered interest rate. This means that your APY will grow based on your account balance. Some banks will also require a minimum balance before you can earn eligibility for a higher interest rate.
Personal Capital Cash does not ask for a minimum opening balance. Regardless of the amount you have, you are still eligible for a Cash account, and you’ll still get the same interest rate. This is in line with the high-yield cash accounts offered by other robo advisors.
Things to Look Out For
Regardless of the benefits of the Personal Capital Cash account, there are a few things that you should be aware of:
Although they’re working on it, you won’t be getting a debit card or have access to ATMs with the Cash account.
The account operates on bank sweep. This means that your money may be spread between 5 banks, so you get that extra FDIC insurance. The disadvantage is that it can take a few days to carry out deposits, transfers, and withdrawals.
To open an account, you need to be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or resident, and not be subject to IRS backup withholdings.
To verify your account, click on Text My Phone or Call Me Instead
Once the security code is verified, go to Banking and click Open an Account
Select “Earn More Now”
Fill out the required contact information and continue
Fill out the required identity information and agree to the terms of service then continue
Once done, review your details before you submit them.
The Personal Capital Cash account is one that we think is worth considering. While it doesn’t earn quite as high of an interest rate as some other robo advisors’ high-yield savings accounts, Personal Capital offers some other very good services such as free Financial Tools and excellent free Personal Finance Dashboard.
If you’re already a customer of one of the other popular robo advisors that offer a high-yield savings account (such as M1 Finance, Wealthfront, Betterment, or Wealthsimple), we suggest looking into their accounts for the simplicity of having everything in one place.
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with Personal Capital’s great tools, no fees, and high APY.