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Michael Benninger

Michael Benninger

Staff writer

Michael Benninger is a banking writer at Finder who’s published over 100 articles focused chiefly on kids’ banking products, cash management accounts and fintechs. His expertise has been featured on GoBankingRates and Yahoo Finance, among others. As a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer, he’s written for industry-leading outlets including Intuit, Business Insider, the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune. Michael is passionate about all facets of personal finance and has written hundreds of articles about money management over the course of his career. He earned his BA in business administration and marketing from Rowan University.

Expertise

  • Kids’ banking products
  • Cash management accounts
  • Fintechs and neobanks

Highlights

  • Expert in kids’ bank accounts and prepaid debit cards
  • Published by leading publications, including Business Insider, the Los Angeles Times, Mint, Intuit and more
  • Researched and reviewed dozens of cash management accounts
  • Author of more than 200 articles on personal finance
  • Expert commentary featured on Yahoo Finance and GOBankingRates, among others

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in business administration and marketing | Rowan University | 1998–2002

Featured Publications

Industry insights from Michael Benninger

We asked Michael to demonstrate his expertise by answering a few questions about kids’ banking and cash management accounts.

How can you involve kids in budgeting?

If your kids are still wrapping their young minds around the concept of money, take them grocery shopping and let them pick out dinner with a fixed budget of $10 to $15. Emphasize the importance of buying based on price rather than brand, and encourage them to look for items on sale. If your kids are teens, involve them in your household finances, and explain where your dollars go each month. Use a pie chart or spreadsheet as a visual aid to help underscore the importance of budgeting.

When might a cash management account be a good or bad idea?

Using a cash management account is a good idea if you’re an active investor and plan to spend or reinvest money in the account within a few weeks or months. In general, cash management accounts aren’t a great option for long-term growth because they often don’t earn competitive interest rates. There are exceptions, of course, but your money is more likely to earn a significant amount of interest in a high-yield savings account compared to a cash management account.

How are fintechs and neobanks challenging brick-and-mortar banks?

Fintechs and neobanks are revolutionizing the way people manage their money by making banking faster, cheaper and more convenient. So-called “challenger banks” are able to thrive because they exclusively exist online and therefore have much lower operating costs than traditional banks. This, in turn, allows them to offer reduced fees and higher interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. As a result, physical bank branches are closing in record numbers and may disappear completely by 2034.

Latest articles by Michael Benninger

137 articles written by this author

Fidelity® Youth Account review

Fidelity Youth Account is a brokerage account for teens, but parents must also use Fidelity.

Michael Benninger 20 January 2022
Fidelity® Youth Account review

Donut savings review

Donut earns up to 10% APY, but you must have an iOS device.

Michael Benninger 13 January 2022
Donut savings review

Monie savings review

Monie offers 5% APY on deposits, but funds aren’t insured and the interface is buggy.

Michael Benninger 12 January 2022
Monie savings review

Eco savings review

Earn up to 5% APY with Eco’s crypto savings account, but funds aren’t insured.

Michael Benninger 14 December 2021
Eco savings review

GoHenry vs. Greenlight: Which is best for your family?

Read this side-by-side comparison to see if Gohenry or Greenlight is best for your kid.

Michael Benninger 3 December 2021
GoHenry vs. Greenlight: Which is best for your family?

First Citizens Bank Free Checking review

First Citizens Bank Free Checking includes budgeting features, but it’s not available nationwide.

Michael Benninger 17 November 2021
First Citizens Bank Free Checking review

First Citizens Online Savings review

First Citizens Bank Online Savings helps you manage your money, but its APY isn’t competitive.

Michael Benninger 16 November 2021
First Citizens Online Savings review

How old do you have to be to get a debit card?

Age can make a difference when choosing between prepaid debit cards and kids’ checking accounts.

Michael Benninger 15 November 2021
How old do you have to be to get a debit card?

First National Bank Freestyle Checking account review

First National Bank Freestyle Checking has no monthly fee, but it doesn’t earn interest.

Michael Benninger 10 November 2021
First National Bank Freestyle Checking account review

First National Bank eStyle account review

First National Bank eStyle is an online bank account without check-writing privileges.

Michael Benninger 9 November 2021
First National Bank eStyle account review
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