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BestMoney.com

Betterment Cash Reserve Review

Secure accounts with zero fees

Reviews 20
Betterment Brand
Betterment Brand
Average
Reviews 20
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Bestmoney Staff
Nov. 15, 2022
1 min read
BestMoney Staff
Betterment Brand Summary
Betterment Cash Reserve is a high-yield savings account offered by the Betterment savings and investment app. This account offers better interest than many on the market, and you’ll benefit from the Betterment app’s savings advice and the ability to divide your money into buckets. If you want to set and meet particular financial targets, including investment, Betterment’s Cash Reserve account also works well alongside its other account types.

Pros

  • Higher APY than many competitors, reaching up to 0.30%
  • No limits or fees when you want to move your money
  • Guidance from Betterment’s app to help you meet financial goals

Cons

  • No physical branches
  • You can’t set up a direct deposit for your paycheck

Betterment Brand at a glance

8.8
Editorial score

Fees?

Most products are fee free; foreign transaction fees
8.0

Security

FDIC insured and SSL/AES encrypted account
8.0

Customer service

Early morning, evening and weekend service with multiple communication options and a dedicated fraud team
8.0

Online experience

Excellent user friendly site with transparency of rates and full online banking capabilities
10.0

Mobile experience

Excellent mobile app with all mobile banking features enabled, including digital check deposits
10.0

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Advantages Over Traditional Banks

Betterment’s service is centered around its investment accounts, with its Checking and Cash Reserve accounts designed to work in conjunction with each other to help you set and meet financial goals. With no fees on the Cash Reserve and a variable APY linked to the Federal Fund Reserve, this could be a good way to make the most of your money while keeping it accessible. 

Additionally, although Betterment is not a bank, it is a fiduciary. This means it’s required by law to put its clients’ interests first, which not all financial advisors are. In short, this means that Betterment’s advice is focused on helping you rather than increasing its profits. Whilst this is most pertinent to its investment advice, it also applies to the spending and saving guidance offered through its app. 

Cutting-Edge Banking Services

Betterment’s app analyzes your Checking account activity, as well as that of any external accounts that you sync up. It will notify you if you have spare cash that you could move into your Cash Reserve to make extra interest. It will even make predictions about your future spending. This can help you build your savings and move into investment if this is something that’s right for you. The Cash Reserve account also gives the option to divide your money into separate buckets so you can build savings for particular goals.

Traditional Banking Services

You can set up a joint Cash Reserve account to build and access savings with a partner. You can access your money via an ATM if you have a Betterment Checking account, and the good news is there are no ATM fees. That said, other traditional banking services are limited.

Interest Rates and Fees

FeesNone
Interest ratesA flexible APY, up to 
0.30%

Customer Service 

Betterment has a comprehensive FAQ section on its app where you can find the answers to most common questions, as well as phone support from 9 am-6 pm EST. You can also engage with a support chatbot, which can send an email to the support team on your behalf.  

Mobile App 

The Betterment app is available on Android and iOS. It covers the full range of the company’s solutions—focusing on investment—but also allows you to manage your Checking and Cash Reserve accounts. And you can get guidance on meeting your financial goals.

Security

Your money is insured up to $1,000,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or up to $2,000,000 for a joint Cash Reserve account. Betterment’s app uses industry-standard encryption, and data is stored on secure servers.

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Summary

Betterment’s Cash Reserve account could be a good choice if you’re looking for a cash savings solution with a better-than-average APY of up to 0.30%, plus support from the app in setting and meeting financial goals. The Cash Reserve account’s true potential is probably best met when used in conjunction with the Checking account, so you can take advantage of the app’s spending analysis and easy transfers. And if your goal is investment, Betterment can help you take the next steps. Although it doesn’t have physical branches or the same range of products as a traditional bank, for an easy way to manage and grow your money, Betterment Cash Reserve could be the right choice for you.

Methodology

Information to complete this review was gathered directly from the Betterment website.

BestMoney Staff
Written by
Bestmoney Staff
Our editorial staff consists of writers who are knowledgeable about financial services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right provider for your needs.
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Trustpilot reviews
See what some customers are saying about Betterment Brand
Betterment Brand
Average
Reviews 20
on
Excellent
10%
Great
5%
Average
5%
Poor
5%
Bad
75%
E
eugene
3 months ago
Excellent robo-advisor
Excellent robo-advisor. I'm a member since 2016 with multiple account types and never had any problems. Especially with transferring in and out. On a few occasions I needed to call them, and they were able to answer my questions. I do wish they could have offered financial advice package for less than $299, but overall I'm very happy with the service!
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karen larson
a month ago
Cool mission, a lot to learn as a business.
For a company that tries to make their account management look easy, it is excessively difficult to actually manage and move around your money, even within betterment. The best product is their savings account, which has a high APY and once you can finally get transferring to/from your primary checking account setup, it’s easy and painless. However, if you’re looking for a primary checking and bank account, betterment is not it. They have some pretty odd practices around access and a LOT of random restrictions around transferring money. They had prevented us from transferring funds within two betterment accounts because the initial transfer came from outside, and they needed my husband to verify for a second time that the move was allowed. My confirmation wasn’t enough, even though both accounts were joint and my name was on both. Worse, you can’t accept a wire transfer (so if you’re selling property, as we are selling our first home) and they can’t accept more than $50k in deposits per day. I was attracted to betterment based on their option to invest in companies that have a mission of doing good in the world. And if you want to get into investing, perhaps they are better at that. While the last few years probably aren’t a fair indicator of their ability, I had a few thousand in a low risk investment account to help save up a little faster for our move. We lost a good amount of it and the only reason I’m keeping it open is to get it back to where it was hopefully before we make our next house purchase.
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alyssa dolson
a month ago
Account locked for no reason
I opened up a checking account which I was excited for about initially, but within a few days my checking account randomly gets locked for no apparent reason. There are no issues on my account. Meanwhile I have deposits coming in but they are getting returned due to the account getting locked. I have contacted support and security multiple times. They tell me 3 business days max, it has been at least a week. I need this issue resolved ASAP so I can get my funds, withdraw them, and use another checking account with a different bank/ service immediately.
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james s.
2 months ago
Originally
Originally, I applied for an account, followed the process, and was rejected. They provided no information on why I was rejected and no alternatives to open an account. Two and a half years later, they send me an email letting me know their about their FDIC insurance benefits, the only email I've received outside their Support team. I replied asking if I could open an account and they just closed my ticket without a reply. The lack of communication and consideration is frustrating, especially for a company that doesn't even want to do business with me. I have no experience with their actual services, but their Support team leaves little to encourage real problems could be resolved.
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customer
2 months ago
Delayed closing due to withheld funds
I deposited funds from another savings account 3 months ago due to their exceptional interest rates as I was saving for a down payment. I then promptly canceled that account other acciunt. When I found a house, I initiated a transfer from my account 1 week prior to closing to insure that I had closing funds available to wire. After 3 days, the funds were still not available so I called for a status update. At the time I was told that they needed proof of the origin of those funds deposited 3 months prior and that the documentation I provided (the final statement from the other account) wasn’t sufficient despite that account being listed as a transfer account on my betterment account and despite the fact that I initiated that transfer on the betterment app from the beginning. There was no record of any issue in my betterment app or on the desktop site. Now there will be 1-2 days of delays to approve my documents followed by another 1-3 days which will cause a delay of my house closing. Run away as fast as you can. The interest is great but this will cost me money as my closing is getting pushed back and has already cost me hours of my time. If you actually need your money, you cannot trust that it will be available to you.
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ricky doyle
5 months ago
I attempted to open the savings account…
I attempted to open the savings account and prompted me to choose a password but they don't like any of my passwords. I tried 30 different ones and they keep suggesting I change it to something else. This company is very stupid to be like this. I don't have problems with other banks or accounts but I can't get through the password,so this company must be full of idi..ots
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k king
6 months ago
If you like having your money stolen, hire Betterment!
Wow where do I even begin? We found through an internal audit that they took over $900 that they weren't entitled to out of our bank account. We raised the issue with them on March 3 expecting a basic level of professional decency and courtesy but nope! Should have come to Trust Pilot first! We sent them THREE emails before they even bothered to get back to us over a week later. THEN they said they were looking into it. So I followed up last week but no, just crickets. So they stole over $900 from us and can't be bothered to have the courtesy to keep us up to date on their so called "investigation" (probably because they don't need one, stealing is a pretty straightforward thing). I just tweeted at them, filed a report with CFPB and will continue to do what I need to do to make sure everyone knows exactly how Betterment operates and get our money back in the process.
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mary b blackiston
7 months ago
Blocked my account for no reason
They suddenly blocked my account (claiming that I "don't reside in the US"). Not sure where they even got that information. Now they tell me I have to close my account. Ridiculous as I pay US taxes and AM a permanent US resident. On top of that the customer service team was rude and snotty.
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noor singh khalsa
9 months ago
Nobody home
I transferred my money out of Betterment, and it took a total of six weeks to drag all the information out of them so the `funds could be properly re-invested. They just kept blowing me off.
K
kirsten barron
9 months ago
Awful customer service...multiple screw…
Awful customer service...multiple screw ups during onboarding, no response from "support" or account advisors....impossible to get in touch with a human via email or phone....if they are this clueless and incompetent with customer service I can't trust leaving our personal and employer 401K accounts with them anymore!
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activate health
9 months ago
Horrible customer service : Just don't do it.
Horrible customer service. I did a Roth rollover and an individual investment account. The Roth lost nearly 200.00 in two days while the other went up a smidgen. Same allocation of funds. I called to find out why. She had no idea. I asked her to investigate the stocks and bonds invested. She was silent. Obviously she didn't know anything. I asked that someone call me. Nobody did. In the meantime my account was going down by the hour. The next customer service agent had a bad connection and when the call was lost mid sentence no email attempt or call back to continue to help. I realized I had entrusted my money with amateurs - remote workers with no knowledge or ability to get the help I needed with my money. I have now transferred everything out - though as it turns out I was losing money from an unsettled Roth account. So the transfer will take awhile. Wow.
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vitalie vitalie
a year ago
Awful service, keep away!
Awful service, don't ever trust them! They closed my account because they claimed I am not in the US while I was. They advertise their debit card as "all atm fees reimbursed", while it is not the case. They didn't liked I have used their card overseas and it seems like they don't like to offer those reimbursements and thus, decided to close the account. It seems like I was not a good customer for them. Several through the year they asked for proofs and in the end I was to tired to deal with them more. There are other banks that offer same atm fee reimbursements if you travel and they don't close your account as Betterment does. Don't ever trust them, even if their advertisements sounds so good. Once you will start receiving reimbursements, they will close your account forever!
T
tommy wallace
a year ago
They forget it's our money and think it's theirs. Care absolutely nothing about their clients and hold your money hostage and do everything the opposite as their mission statements suggest
They do the opposite of their mission statement. They preach nonstop how time in the market is so much better than market timing. Then when you need to transfer your IRA out they liquidate you and take weeks to send your money to your new custodian. They force you to try to time the market and remove you from the market for weeks. Took about 4 months to transfer my IRA out because of their nonstop screw ups and fraudulent unauthorized transfers. They do in kind transfers in, but will not in kind transfer out. Very hypocritical and very slow painful process. After 6 months since my first transfer out I am still waiting on my cost basis which they are still playing games with. Terrible excuse of a so called legitimate company.
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tony
a year ago
All Automated, No Service Or Help, Debit Card Fail
I was very happy, overall, with Betterment when I was using them for my IRAs and investments. However, after opening a checking account with them, I've had some rather major issues. Betterment Financial LLC manages your account, but they aren't the bank, NBKC Bank is the actual bank. That said, you can't contact NBKC Bank, as you're a Betterment customer, but then Betterment can't always assist you either because they aren't the bank. You get stuck in a weird limbo. Betterment doesn't allow customers to speak to anyone in management, it's all filtered through customer service representatives to have authority to do nothing. If the customer service rep decides they don't want to talk anymore, they literally just hang-up on you. Other than that, when you're trying to spend your money, you have to use their app to select which account you want to use and then wait an hour for them to link your card to that account, it's ridiculous. The positives are that their website is nice, and the mobile app loads your information quickly, otherwise, they're difficult to use or work with.
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koby
a year ago
One of the best robo-investors out there...
I'll admit - I got into Betterment at the "bottom" of the market in [pandemic-panicked] April of 2020. Because of that, my returns have been pretty good, so obviously I'm happy with all of my accounts' performances. I have an IRA, a "safety-net" account, and a general investing account at Betterment. But putting that aside, I do like how they operate their online account system. They use a "goal" approach and predict what future returns might be under various circumstances. This has helped me to answer some questions like "am I saving enough for retirement" and "do I have enough saved for emergencies?" I also think that their expense rate is pretty good for what they offer. While you can probably do a little better elsewhere, you're going to run into other limitations at those robo-investors (like a very limited pool of investments to choose from). I'll add that I've had no issues transferring money in and out of Betterment. But it might be challenging for someone who isn't tech and financial savvy to understand what they are doing. The app and website are both very good and get updated regularly. Finally, I'll just point out that much of the "growth" from my accounts come from dividends (and they are auto-reinvested). I'm not sure if this is an intentional approach from Betterment, but I'm pointing this out because of the possible tax implications of short-term dividend income.
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annette smith
2 years ago
I have betterment checking and savings…
I have betterment checking and savings accounts since a few months. Since 3 days I cannot log into the site at all. Pop-up message claims account has been locked due to security reasons. No response to emails, the hotline refers to a different emails. I cannot pay bills!
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daniel gerding
2 years ago
Terrible customer service and zero…
Terrible customer service and zero security controls. Not only are they unresponsive, but even when they do respond it's simply a key word search of their database and then copy/paste -- zero thinking, attention to detail, or any real attempt to solve issues. Furthermore, they allowed a 3rd party to randomly withdraw from my account without my permission.
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daniel potter (dlp)
2 years ago
Excellent Fintech Service
Betterment has been an outstanding fintech solution for me, an excellent place to set up my Roth IRA and other accounts, including Individual Investing, Checking, and more. The fees are reasonable, the website clear and the iOS app also very useful (including face recognition). I couldn't be more pleased with the ETF choices made by Betterment; ESG is prioritized, for those who care about putting their money into responsible places.
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charles defiore
2 years ago
WARNING!!
Do not use there checking account services, they will freeze your account, they do not offer any real support and they don't support self employed people and returned my ppp loan and froze my account with 0.28 cents in it. Haha you can keep the change. Now I need to jump through hoops to get my loan redsposited, I should've just used my main checking account from the begining
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dj sanders
3 years ago
Tried to sign up several times but it…
Tried to sign up several times but it will for some reason not go through and tells me I am using the wrong password. Then goes to a 404 page. Online banks need to get their tech together!