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Merrill Cash Management Account review

One of the few cash management accounts that supports ATM deposits, but it has a high annual fee.

The Merrill Cash Management account, previously known as the Merrill Lynch Cash Management, offers more perks and privileges than most other cash management accounts. But it also requires a comparatively high annual fee and only provides the minimum amount of FDIC protection.

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$125 per year

Fee

N/A

APY

Details

APYN/A
Fee$125 per year
To waive the feeyou need to keep $250,000 across Merrill accounts
ATM transaction fee$0
ATM fee rebatesGet up to $200 in out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed a year
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
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Review by


Michael Benninger is a staff banking writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. Michael is passionate about all facets of personal finance and has written hundreds of articles about money management during the past decade.

Expert review

Merrill’s Cash Management account is best for those who want to deposit cash and checks via ATMs or if you want to take advantage of fee waivers and deferred debit card purchases. The account also comes with travel incentives like travel accident insurance and fraud insurance.

But you’ll pay $125 a year to maintain the account unless you keep $250,000 across your Merrill accounts. If you’re able to meet that requirement, make sure you’re not keeping it all in one account. You’ll only be insured up to $250,000, which is the minimum amount of coverage you’ll find. And to open this account, you’ll need to speak with an adviser.

If you plan to keep more than $250,000 you may want to look at other cash management accounts like Robinhood Cash Management, which insures your money up to $1.25 million.

How do I open a Merrill Cash Management account?

To open a Merrill Cash Management account, you must work with a Merrill adviser. Here’s how to find one near you.

  1. Visit the provider page and select Find an advisor.
  2. Enter your city, state or ZIP code, or allow Merrill‘s website to identify your location.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to select the services and designations you’re interested in.
  4. Choose your preferred language and select Search.
  5. Browse through the results and visit the individual websites of Merrill’s local teams.
  6. Contact an adviser to set up a meeting.

Eligibility

To open a Merrill Cash Management account, you must meet these requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident alien
  • Reside in the US

Required information

Have the following information ready when opening a Merrill account.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license details

What are the benefits of a Merrill Cash Management account?

Merrill’s Cash Management account offers several attractive features, including some perks that aren’t available with most other cash management accounts.
  • ATM deposits. Deposit cash and checks at ATMs.
  • Check writing. Write an unlimited number of checks with no additional fees.
  • Bill pay. Set up and manage bill pay via Merrill’s website or mobile app.
  • ATM fee reimbursements. Get up to $200 in out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed a year.
  • Fee waivers. You won’t get charged for stopped payments or returned deposits.
  • Deferred debit card. Purchases made with the CMA Access Visa card are only debited from your account once a month, so your funds have more time to earn interest.
  • Travel perks. The account’s debit card includes lost luggage reimbursement, common carrier travel accident insurance and an auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • Fraud insurance. In the event of fraudulent card use, you’re protected by a $0 liability guarantee.

What should I look out for?

This account has a lot to offer, yet there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind.

  • Annual fee. There’s a $125 annual fee that’s only waived if you keep $250,000 across Merrill accounts.
  • Minimum FDIC protection. Many cash management accounts are insured for $1 million or more, but this account has the minimum FDIC insurance of $250,000.
  • Must work with an adviser. You can only open this account by working with a Merrill adviser.

Is the Merrill Cash Management account safe?

Yes. Merrill accounts are insured for $250,000, which meets federal guidelines but is low compared to other cash management accounts. The Merrill Cash Management account’s Visa Access debit card also provides a $0 liability guarantee in the event of fraudulent card use.

Merrill Cash Management account reviews and complaints

Merrill is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it earns an A+ rating on the organization’s website based on 5,576 complaints. However, according to 413 customer reviews on BBB’s website, Merrill has an average rating of 1.09 out of 5 stars. On Trustpilot, Merrill has a rating of 2.4 out of 5 stars, but that score is based on only seven reviews. But none of the reviews we saw on either of these sites is specifically about Merrill’s Cash Management account.

Merrill’s ATM network and fees

The Merrill Cash Management Account comes with a Visa Access deferred debit card you can use to withdraw cash for free at any Bank of America ATM. You can also use Bank of America ATMs to deposit cash and checks into your account without filling out a deposit slip or using an envelope.

Merrill won’t charge you a fee for using a non-Bank of America ATM, but owners of those ATMs may assess fees. But if that happens, Merrill will reimburse you up to $200 in out-of-network ATM fees each year.

Compare Merrill Cash Management account with other accounts

Compare other cash management accounts based on their monthly fees, ATM networks and minimum initial deposits.

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 and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
SoFi Money
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
SoFi Money
0.25%
$0
$0
SoFi Money® is a cash management account that charges no account fees to save, spend, and earn cash back rewards when you spend on brands you love.
Robinhood Cash Management
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Robinhood Cash Management
0.30%
$0
15,000 international ATMs for free + 75,000 ATMs in the US
$0
This brokerage account feature offers interest and no monthly fees but Robinhood support is only available by email.
Unifimoney
Unifimoney
0.20%
$100
Free at hundreds of UMB ATMs and any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the US
$0.75
A digital mobile account with a fully-featured high yield checking account, credit card, and investing.
M1 Spend
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
M1 Spend
N/A
$0
$0
An FDIC-insured checking account integrated directly into the M1 app.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Merrill gives you several ways to move funds into and out of its cash management account.

Funding

To open a Merrill Cash Management account, you must meet these requirements:

  • Direct deposit. Your employer can deposit your paycheck directly into your Merrill Cash Management Account.
  • ATM. Deposit cash or checks without an envelope or deposit slip at any Bank of America ATM.
  • Incoming ACH bank transfers. Link an external bank account and transfer funds at any time.
  • Mobile deposits. Use the Merrill app and your phone’s camera to deposit paper checks.
  • Incoming wire transfers. Receive same-day wire transfers from other financial institutions.

Withdrawals

  • ATM. Withdraw funds from your account at any ATM, and avoid fees at Bank of America ATMs.
  • Paper checks. Write an unlimited number of checks without paying additional fees.
  • Outgoing ACH bank transfers. Send funds to external bank accounts via Merrill’s website or app.
  • Outgoing wire transfers. Send domestic wire transfers to other accounts, but you may pay a fee if you have less than $250,000 across your Merrill accounts.

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