Note: As of November 3, 2023, the Wealthfront Cash Account has a 5.00% APY. Read more about it here
At Wealthfront, we know you’re saving for important life milestones and getting ready to invest, so it’s crucial that your money is well protected and available when you need it. That’s why our Cash Account offers up to $8 million in FDIC insurance through our partner banks ($16 million for joint accounts).
We often get questions about how our Cash Account offers so much FDIC insurance when most bank accounts only offer $250,000 in coverage. In this post, we’ll dig into the details so you can feel confident your funds will be protected.
What is FDIC insurance?
FDIC insurance protects the cash held in bank accounts up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per account ownership category (like single accounts and joint accounts, for example). It is offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which was founded in 1933 as an independent agency of the U.S. government. In the unlikely event your bank suddenly lost your money, the FDIC would pay you as soon as possible, via either a new account at another insured bank or a check in the amount of your insured balance.
FDIC insurance is an important consideration when deciding where to keep your cash. Bank failures are relatively rare but not unheard of, as evidenced by the sudden closures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. FDIC insurance gives you peace of mind that, even in the event of a bank failure, you’re covered. More FDIC insurance is better.
Is Wealthfront FDIC insured?
Wealthfront is not a bank, but the funds in your Wealthfront Cash Account are FDIC insured up to $8 million through our partner banks where we sweep your deposits. This means you can benefit from more FDIC insurance without the hassle of dealing with multiple banks yourself. Every single partner bank in our program is FDIC insured, and you can see the full list of them here. All of our partner banks undergo an initial risk assessment to join the program and also undergo regular quarterly risk reviews to remain in the program. We sweep your money to up to 32 partner banks, keeping your deposits below the $250,000 threshold at each partner bank up to the limit.
Are funds insured when they’re in transit to a partner bank?
Clients sometimes ask us if their money is protected while it’s in transit to or from a partner bank, and the answer is yes. This rarely comes up because we sweep your cash to our partner banks on the same day we receive it. But even if your funds take a day to arrive, they’re still well protected because our Cash Account is offered by Wealthfront Brokerage, a federally registered broker-dealer, and therefore includes Securities Investor Protection Corporation or SIPC insurance. SIPC insurance covers up to $250,000 of your cash while it’s on its way to a partner bank, so you’re protected even before FDIC insurance kicks in.
The bottom line
At Wealthfront, we take the responsibility to keep your money safe very seriously. We’re proud to offer far more FDIC insurance than a regular savings account can.
The Cash Account is an ideal home for your short-term savings until you’re ready to invest to build long-term wealth. Thanks to our network of partner banks, it earns a high APY of 5.00% which is many times the national average and comes with absolutely no account fees—including maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or transfer fees. The Cash Account also has best-in-class automation features so you can organize your savings into categories, track your progress against your goals, and invest your money within minutes during market hours. And you can sleep better at night knowing your money has far more protection (in the form of FDIC insurance) than it would at your bank.
The information contained in this communication is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Nothing in this communication should be construed as tax advice, a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any security. Any links provided to other server sites are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Wealthfront Advisers or its affiliates endorses, sponsors, promotes and/or is affiliated with the owners of or participants in those sites, or endorses any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise.
The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for the Cash Account may change at any time, before or after the Cash Account is opened. The APY for the Wealthfront Cash Account represents the weighted average of the APY on the aggregate deposit balances of all clients at the program banks. Deposit balances are not allocated equally among the participating program banks.
The cash balance in the Cash Account is swept to one or more banks (the “program banks”) where it earns a variable rate of interest and is eligible for FDIC insurance. FDIC insurance is not provided until the funds arrive at the program banks. FDIC insurance coverage is limited to $250,000 per qualified customer account per banking institution. Wealthfront uses more than one program bank to ensure FDIC coverage of up to $8 million for your cash deposits. For more information on FDIC insurance coverage, please visit www.FDIC.gov. Customers are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each of the program banks to determine the extent of available FDIC insurance coverage in accordance with FDIC rules. The deposits at program banks are not covered by SIPC.
Cash Account is offered by Wealthfront Brokerage LLC (“Wealthfront Brokerage”), a Member of FINRA/SIPC. Neither Wealthfront Brokerage nor any of its affiliates are a bank, and Cash Account is not a checking or savings account. We convey funds to partner banks who accept and maintain deposits, provide the interest rate, and provide FDIC insurance. Investment management and advisory services–which are not FDIC insured–are provided by Wealthfront Advisers LLC (“Wealthfront Advisers”), an SEC-registered investment adviser, and financial planning tools are provided by Wealthfront Software LLC (“Wealthfront”).
Member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org.
Wealthfront, Wealthfront Advisers and Wealthfront Brokerage are wholly owned subsidiaries of Wealthfront Corporation.
Copyright 2023 Wealthfront Corporation. All rights reserved.
About the author(s)
Dave Myszewski is the Vice President of Product at Wealthfront where he oversees product development, consumer research, and client support. Prior to Wealthfront, Dave worked at Apple for 12 years including an engineering role on the first iPhone. Dave holds an MS and BS in Computer Science from Stanford University. View all posts by Dave Myszewski