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.
- Kids’ banking products
- Cash management accounts
- Fintechs and neobanks
- 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
- Bachelor of Arts in business administration and marketing | Rowan University | 1998–2002
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
110 articles written by this author
The Extra debit card offers rewards and a credit score boost, but is it legit?
Till encourages your kid to be a smart spender, but it has some limitations.
Northpointe Bank’s Kids Savings account earns an unmatched interest rate on balances above $1,000.
Bank of Missouri’s Show Me Savers earns 0.1% APY but can’t be opened online.
Navy Federal’s Visa Buxx card has no fees, but you must qualify for membership with the credit union.
We weigh minimum deposits and APYs relative to term length when rating CDs and share certificates.
We look for the following features when rating kids debit cards: monthly fees, features, availability, customer service, interest rate and more.
This account has no fees and a low minimum deposit, but it earns little interest.
PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking is free for six years but can then get pricey.