Betterment Checking review April 2021 [Enjoy $0 fees] | finder.com
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Betterment Checking review

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Offers no monthly fees and unlimited ATM reimbursements, but it’s missing key banking features.

finder.com’s rating: 3.8 / 5.0

★★★★★

The Betterment checking account, formerly know as the Betterment Everyday checking account, offers unlimited ATM reimbursements, no fees and no minimum balance. But it misses the mark on common banking features — you can’t deposit cash, make wire transfers or open a joint account.

$0 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$10

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$10
ATMsNo access to ATMs
ATM fee rebatesUnlimited ATM reimbursements
Foreign transaction fee1%

Expert review

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Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

If you’re looking to open a free checking account with a major robo-advisor, the Betterment Checking account may be for you. It has no fees or minimum balance and comes with unlimited national and international ATM reimbursements.

But despite these attractive perks, it still falls short in some areas. You can’t deposit cash, send wire transfers or open a joint account. Plus, there’s a low $500 daily limit on ATM transactions.

Depending on your banking needs, these cons may or may not be dealbreakers for you.

How do I open a Betterment Checking account?

Open an Betterment Checking checking account in five steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. Form the Betterment’s website, click Spend from the navigation menu.
  3. Then click Get Checking.
  4. Enter your email address and click Continue.
  5. Enter a password and click Continue.
  6. Enter your personal information, including your full name and address. Then follow the prompts to open your account.

Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to open a Betterment Checking account:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US resident
  • Social Security number

Required information

When you’re ready to apply, make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • US residential address
  • $10 opening deposit

What are the benefits of a checking account with Betterment Checking?

The Betterment Checking account features FDIC-insured deposits, a Betterment Visa debit card that you can lock if lost or stolen, and other perks like:

  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements. Betterment reimburses all ATM operator fees within 24 hours, including international travel fees.
  • No fees. Betterment never charges monthly maintenance, overdraft or ATM fees.
  • No minimum balance. Don’t worry about keeping a set amount of money in your account at all times.
  • Comes with a Betterment Cash Reserve account. When you open a checking account, Betterment automatically opens a Cash Reserve savings account for you. You can close the savings account at any time.
  • Cellphone insurance protection. Betterment partnered with insurance company Sure to provide coverage for cellphone theft or damages — as long as you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your Betterment debit card.

What should I look out for?

The Betterment Checking account misses the mark on some key banking features:

  • No joint accounts. Betterment doesn’t currently offer joint accounts, but it is planning to add them.
  • No checks. Betterment doesn’t offer physical checks or checkbooks.
  • Doesn’t support wire transfers. You can’t receive funds via wire transfers.
  • Can’t deposit cash. You can’t deposit cash at an ATM.
  • Low daily withdrawal limits. There’s a $500 limit for ATM withdrawals and a $2,000 limit for debit card and bank transfer transactions.

If you’re after an interest-bearing checking account with more ways to make deposits and withdrawals, compare other checking accounts before you decide.

Is Betterment Checking safe?

Yes. Betterment Checking accounts are FDIC insured for up to $250,000. And if your debit card gets lost or stolen, you can lock the card or change your PIN from the app.

Betterment Checking reviews and complaints

Betterment has relatively few customer reviews online. It isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it only has a handful of customer reviews on that organization’s website. On Trustpilot, Betterment has an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars based on one review.

There have been a few discussions about Betterment on Reddit, but most of them are more than a year old when Betterment was offering APYs of 2.14% and above. Users at the time commended the company’s competitive APYs, but they also noted that rates were dropping, and this was prior to the pandemic.

Betterment’s ATM network and fees

Betterment doesn’t have any in-network ATMs. Instead, it reimburses you for all ATM fees you accrue. Reimbursements are expected to hit your checking account within a day.

Betterment doesn’t charge any international travel fees, but international travelers are subject to Visa’s 1% transaction fee, which Betterment won’t reimburse.

Compare Betterment Checking with other checking accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
0.50%
$0
No access to ATMs
$2.50
Earn a $300 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01%
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus in the first six months (up to $600) or $450 welcome bonus when you open your account with qualifying activities. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by June 30, 2021, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Betterment doesn’t support cash deposits or wire transfers, but you can access your money by:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit
  • Transfer from an external bank
  • Mobile deposits for paper checks

Withdrawals

  • ATM using your debit card
  • Transfer to an external bank
  • Cashback at a retailer

How do I contact Betterment customer service?

Email support@betterment.com or call 718-400-6898 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET to speak with Betterment customer support.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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