Posted by Chuck on August 4, 2019
High-Yield APY Accounts

Published on August 4th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Betterment Savings 2.44% APY Promotion Rate Through 2019 For Joining Waitlist

Update 8/4/19: Rate reduced due to fed rate decrease. Currently, the rate is 2.44%, that will vary over time with the fed rate, as discussed below.

[Update: Edited and reposted to clarify that the 2.68% savings account is already live and valid. Also added a few important clarifications to the end of this post.]

Betterment will soon release a checking account which you can join via waitlist. The checking account advertises no fees: get ATM fees reimbursed worldwide, with no account fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balances.

They also offer a savings account with a regular competitive interest rate of 2.43%.

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • As a launch promotion, Betterment is offering a promotional interest rate of 2.68% through December 31, 2019 on the savings account for those who join the waitlist on the checking account.

Savings account can be opened already now, and there is no obligation to actually signup for the checking account, you just need to join the waitlist to be eligible for the rate boost.

The Fine Print

  • 2.69% APY is a promotional offer for individuals who sign up for the Betterment Everyday Checking waitlist and applies to cash deposited into Savings for the duration of 2019.
  • APY is 2.43% as of 07-10-2019 without the promotional offer.
  • APY is a variable rate and may change at any time.
  • No minimum balance is required.
  • There is a minimum deposit of $10.
  • Betterment LLC clients may choose to participate in Betterment Everyday Savings (“Savings”), through which clients’ funds are deposited into one or more banks (“Program Banks”) where the funds earn a variable interest rate and are eligible for FDIC insurance. FDIC insurance is not available until deposits are received by the Program Banks. There are currently at least four Program Banks, which allows funds deposited into Savings to be eligible for up to $1,000,000.00 of FDIC insurance (up to $250,000 at each program bank). Clients are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each Program Bank, including existing deposits held at Program Banks outside of Savings, to ensure FDIC limits are not exceeded, which could result in some funds being uninsured. The FDIC calculates the limits based on all the accounts held at a bank, not just cash in Savings. If you elect to exclude one or more Program Banks the amount of FDIC insurance available to you through Savings may be lower. For more information on FDIC insurance please visit www.FDIC.gov. The deposits in Savings are not covered by SIPC. See Program Terms and Conditions for additional information.
  • Checking accounts and the Betterment Visa Debit Card (collectively “Betterment Everyday Checking” or “Checking”) provided by and issued by nbkc bank, Overland Park, Kansas, Member FDIC. Funds deposited into Checking will be eligible for up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance. Betterment Everyday Checking made available through Betterment Financial LLC. Betterment Financial LLC does not charge foreign transaction fees for the use of the Betterment Visa Debit Card outside of the United States. However, Visa charges a foreign transaction fee of 1%. Betterment Financial LLC does not reimburse this 1% transaction fee on foreign ATM transactions or on any other foreign transactions or purchases.

Our Verdict

You’ll get more than 5 months of a 2.68% rate which is nice. The regular rate of 2.43% is also very competitive; see Best Savings Rates here. Especially makes sense for those who use Betterment investing.

We’re seeing more and more of these investment firms opening various kinds of checking or savings or combo accounts. I’ll just add a warning that technically the funds in these kinds of accounts may not be fully secure in between the time of deposit until it hits the FDIC insured bank account. Regular banks are a little more secure, I’d try using those all else being equal.

A few updates/clarifications, based on the Betterment CEO’s Reddit post:

  • All accounts get the 2.68% rate, but they are subject to Betterment’s .25% asset fee. The promotion for joining the waitlist is basically to waive that fee, thus giving you the full 2.68% rate. (This is good news since it should mean that if you are eligible for free asset management from referral or some other promo, the higher rate can potentially be valid for the long term.)
  • Betterment will almost certainly have other promotions and offers, even beyond 2019, which will allow us to earn the higher rate. For example, it’s possible they’ll make and offer that if you open the Betterment checking account, they’ll waive the asset fee and you’ll be able to get the higher rate for the long term.
  • The interest rate on the savings account is based on the Fed Funds Effective rate which is currently 2.43%. Currently, Betterment is offering FFE+25bps for a total of 2.68%. That amount will fluctuate over time. (The 2.69% number is apparently based on a rate of 2.44% from a few days ago.)

So it seems the 2.69% rate is actually not fixed through 2019, rather dependent on the FFE rate + .25%. As of the time of this posting, that rate is 2.68%. It’s not so good that the rate is variable, but overall that may actually be a good thing as the fact that it’s based on the FFE should mean the account will be a solid rate long term.

Thanks to all those who sent this in



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Mjs
Mjs

There’s a potential downside in that you have to supply your SSN now as part of the waitlist.

While they claim they don’t do hard pulls, there’s a chance they do a Chexsystem pull now, so it could hamper the ability to open up another bank account later (who might be Chexsystem sensitive) since as you mentioned there is no idea how many months at the high interest rate will be offered.

Mikey
Mikey

Didn’t see anywhere that a SSN was needed simply to be put on a waiting list. The provided link leads to a page asking only for an email address.

Avi
Avi

[Please delete]

Gary
Gary

Yea i was asked for ss number

S.
S.

I wasn’t asked for the SSN but I don’t know if I supplied it in the past when I opened their other betterment account where it was like 80% of some bond and 20% of another. It made me convert that account into the savings account

Avi
Avi

It’s so confusing! But here’s what I’ve determined: you’ll have to scroll down to where you enter your email for the waitlist (don’t click “Start Saving” at the top of the page). Once you’re on the waitlist (no SS# required) you can immediately earn 2.68% APY (not sure why it’s not 2.69%) in their savings account if you choose to open a Betterment account, which does require a SS#. I actually didn’t notice the waitlist email entry, and clicked “Start saving” instead, opened an account and see 2.68% APY anyway, so not sure joining the Checking waitlist is required.

Avi
Avi

I just opened an account and it looks like you can currently earn 2.68% APY in their savings account if you sign up for the waitlist for the checking account. It’s a little confusing, I know.

Here’s the fine print:
“The last reported Betterment Everyday Savings (“Savings”) annual percentage yield (“APY”) is 2.68%, which is a promotional offer for individuals who sign up for the Betterment Everyday Checking waitlist and applies to cash deposited into Savings for the duration of 2019. APY is 2.42% without the promotional offer. APY is reported daily. APY is a variable rate and may change at any time. No minimum balance is required. There is a minimum deposit of $10.”

Avi
Avi

From the waitlist confirmation email:

“Thanks for joining the waitlist for Betterment Everyday Checking‡. You now have access to future promotions and inside looks while we launch.

Also, because you joined the waitlist, we’re boosting your Betterment Everyday Savings rate to 2.68% APY*. There’s no commitment necessary to ultimately open a Checking account; we’ll simply email you to let you know when Checking is available.”

Ram

You’re #6240.
Thanks for joining the waitlist for Betterment Everyday Checking‡. You now have access to future promotions and inside looks while we launch.

Also, because you joined the waitlist, we’re boosting your Betterment Everyday Savings rate to 2.68% APY*. There’s no commitment necessary to ultimately open a Checking account; we’ll simply email you to let you know when Checking is available.

Know any friends who could benefit from Betterment Everyday? Invite them to join our waitlist today, and you can get Checking even sooner.1

Invite a friend:

https://wwws.betterment.com/cw/XXXXXXX

Ram

Invite your friends to join Betterment
Give your friends the gift of better investing and get your entire balance managed free for up to 17 months.

Referrals completed Total time managed free
1 referral 1 month
2 referrals 2 months
3 referrals 1 year + 3 months
4 referrals 1 year + 4 months
5 referrals 1 year + 5 months

Dennis
Dennis

They couldn’t sign me up because of my social security number… I’m not sure if I got a chex pull or anything but other backs usually would deny me because of Chex

RJH
RJH

Just to clarify: Will the checking account give interest, if so what is the rate? I have SoFi Money for checking and Wealthfront for savings so I’m not sure if this is really worth the effort.

Sam
Sam

Did this once with Robinhood and got burned.

Avi
Avi

This is different. The savings product already exists and you can immediately earn 2.68% APY if you sign up for the waitlist for the checking product which doesn’t yet exist.

lenny
lenny

I already had an existing betterment account for robotrading that I emptied about a year ago. When i logged into just now it gave me option to open savings right now with 2.68% guarenteed until end of year and be put on wait-list for checking. It said there was no obligation to eventually open a checking. So i did and transfered some money over. Let’s see. Last time I used betterment everything was smooth just the robotrading had worse results than the market.

Ryan Goldstein

Underperforming the market (I assume you mean the S&P 500) is likely because most Betterment portfolios include a relatively high exposure to foreign equities, and US equities have been outperforming foreign equities for the past few years. In the long term, foreign markets (especially emerging markets) are expected to outperform, with higher volatility in the short term.

SMan
SMan

Betterment asked me all the info including SSN, address, birthday and opened a savings account. But email says My account is wait listed. Betterment even informed me, that small deposits will be made into my account on July 24 for linking. APY is 2.68%

Ryan Goldstein

Most likely, what’s wait listed is the checking account, which is not available yet (and you need to join the waitlist to get the 2.68% rate).

SMan
SMan

Yes Savings account is opened. Checking account is wait listed.

midas89
midas89

SMan, if you happen to find out what their ACH transfer limits are, that would be appreciated. I’m assuming they will allow ACH transfers pushed out from Betterment to external accounts (and they’ll have a monetary limit per day, etc.). Regarding being able to push money into Betterment or pull money out where the ACH is initiated from your external accounts, Betterment might not allow this, similar to the way Wealthfront is as of today. I don’t know, of course.

SMan
SMan

Sorry I could not find the info. Can you please visit https://www.betterment.com/resources/betterment-everyday-FAQ/#1 .

It says “The smallest deposit amount you can make is $10. The largest deposit you can make per day via ACH is $300,000.” . But withdrawals I could not find any info. The website says “Access your cash in 1-2 business days
No limits on withdrawals”.

midas89
midas89

Thank you, SMan. The link you posted was informative. It is good that Betterment won’t restrict on ACH withdrawals initiated from Betterment to the external linked account.

I am guessing people won’t be able to pull money out from or push money into their Betterment Savings Account initiated from their external account.

Avi
Avi

I can verify that (at least from Ally), it’s not possible to add Betterment as an external account to push money to via ACH. The trial deposits never make it through.

Creek
Creek

The Savings account launched today.

The promo rate is NOT a guaranteed of 2.69% through 2019. The promo is an extra 0.25% over whatever the variable base savings rate is.

To get the promo rate through the end of 2019 you need to signup for the waitlist for the Checking account (there’s no obligation to open an account when they launch).

The current rate is 2.42% APY or 2.68% APY with the promo.

The interest rate is already lower than the one they have plastered everywhere.

https://wwws.betterment.com/app/offers/checking_waitlist_boost_q3_2019

banana
banana

Interesting. Remember Betterment came out with a product called Smart Saver a couple of months ago, which was an investment account that tried to act like a savings account. Seeing as other fintech companies (Wealthfront, Personal Capital) have come out with FDIC-insured products since then, Betterment was probably forced to do the same.

SK
SK

I had the same thought. I saw no purpose to their Smart Saver account when you can get essentially the same Yield at an FDIC-insured account w/o risk of losing principal value from the bonds.

This new account is a direct shot across the bow at Wealthfront, which also has an above-average high yield savings account.

I do have an an investment account at Betterment but stopped contributing to it as I was disappointed in the returns. I have not sold it because the tax bill would be enormous, at least until all gains are long term gains.

CreditHunter
CreditHunter

Fed rate cut coming middle of next week. This won’t be 2.68% for very long.

ZEROCAL
ZEROCAL

Signed up for waitlist and got email for 2.68% savings and signed up……was quick

Schmekel
Schmekel

Only can be linked to one bank for ACH. Can cancel and change that bank anytime.
ACH limit of 300k in, no outgoing limit. 2 business days normally.
No charges of any kind including no ACH charges.

Took 15 minutes + to get a live person on the phone.

That was too easy (the online signup).
Has anyone signed up, got the instant account, and then contacted a few days/weeks later asking for further verification or account closed (locked?)?
I’m sure they do verification beyond what was done online, although I wish it was the entire process and that every bank was that easy.

I almost always get my address questioned and have to send in additional proof of that for bank accounts (not as often for credit cards), and I don’t want to make a big deposit until all is settled.

Schmekel
Schmekel

Yesterday I called and pressed # for “Not a Betterment account holder” and it took 15 minutes + to get answered.
Today now that I have an account I pressed # for “Betterment account holder” and it took 25 minutes.

I didn’t ask the correct question yesterday when I called – “Do you have a routing number for my account?”

Answer – No. Nor an account number.

So it’s like Wealthfront, and one is at their mercy to withdraw one’s funds.
For me that’s a pass.

Avi
Avi

Not sure if it’s possible to transfer money in by pushing from an external account using ACH, but you can view the routing number (031101114) and your account number by attempting to transfer over the limit of $300k. Your account number will be displayed, intended for wiring money.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Note that ACH and wire routing and account numbers are not necessarily the same.

Avi
Avi

Ah, I didn’t know that.

Avi
Avi

To your point, I tried to add Betterment as an external account to Ally for ACH, and the trial deposits never posted at Betterment.

SMan
SMan

The interest is only 2.44% .

S.
S.

Mine said 2.68% this morning, I just checked and now mine says 2.44% too. I’m on hold to see whats up because their webpage says it should be 2.69%

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