Prudential Builder Cash Management account review
No monthly fee and three investment options, but it earns little interest.
The Prudential Builder Cash Management account (CMA) gives you three investment options, and unlike other cash management accounts, it doesn’t require you to work with an adviser or visit an office. But the account lacks some standard features, and it has a low 0.01% APY.
$0 per month
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.
The Prudential Builder account makes sense if you already have a relationship with Prudential, but there aren’t many compelling reasons to open this account otherwise. It’s missing standard features such as mobile deposits, and it only earns 0.01% APY.
How do I open a Prudential Builder Cash Management account?
Opening a Prudential Builder Cash Management account takes 5 to 10 minutes.
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- Select Investments then Cash management then Open an account.
- Enter your first and last name and your email address, which will be your username.
- Enter your phone number and home address, then declare whether you’re a US citizen.
- Add contact details if you’d like to include a trusted contact. Otherwise, select Next.
- Enter your date of birth and Social Security number or tax ID, then choose a security question and provide the answer.
- Choose whether you want to open one of the money market funds or the bank deposit sweep, then select Next.
- Select Yes, I would like to receive my Prudential Builder debit card, then click or tap Next.
- Answer questions about your employment, finances and affiliations, then select Next.
- Review and agree to the terms and conditions, then select Open account.
- Link a funding source and make your first deposit.
To qualify for a Prudential Builder account, you must meet the following requirements:
- At least 18 years of age
- Reside in the US
Have the following information ready when opening a Prudential Builder account.
- Email address
- Phone number
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number or tax ID
- Employment details
- Financial information
What are the benefits of a Prudential Builder account?
The Prudential Builder account offers the following benefits.
- No monthly fee. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement to maintain this account.
- No ATM fee. Prudential doesn’t charge fees at any ATMs, but if you use a machine without a Visa, Plus or STAR logo, the owner of the ATM may impose a surcharge.
- Online account opening. Unlike some CMAs offered by other brokerages, you don’t have to work with an adviser or visit an office to open a Prudential Builder account.
- Three investment options. This account lets you invest your funds in two money markets funds or an interest-bearing FDIC-insured deposit account.
What should I look out for?
There are also some drawbacks to keep in mind when opening a Prudential Builder account.
- Minimal interest. Cash kept in the Prudential Builder money market funds or deposit account only earns 0.01% APY. Several other cash management accounts offer up to 1% APY.
- Check writing isn’t free. Some cash management accounts offer free check-writing privileges, but Prudential charges $5 a year for this service.
- Some fees. Prudential charges $10 for stopped checks, $15 for returned checks and $25 for domestic wires, returned deposits and stopped payments.
- Minimum FDIC limit. Funds swept into the FDIC-insured deposit account are only insured for the federal minimum of $250,000. Several other cash management accounts, like SoFi Money, offer insurance of $1 million or more.
- No mobile deposit. You can’t deposit checks into your account using a smartphone and Prudential’s app.
Is the Prudential Builder account safe?
Yes. Funds kept in the Prudential Builder deposit account are insured for the federal minimum of $250,000. This amount may seem high, but it’s low compared to many other cash management accounts, which insure balances of $1 million or more.
Prudential Builder reviews and complaintsPrudential Financial is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the company doesn’t have a rating on the BBB’s website. However, Prudential does have 17 customer reviews on the BBB’s website, and the average rating is 1.06 out of 5 stars. On Trustpilot, Prudential has an average rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars based on 43 reviews. On both websites, customers complain about long hold times and poor customer service. But none of the reviews we saw were specifically about Prudential’s Builder account.
Prudential’s ATM network and fees
When you sign up for a Prudential Builder account, you can choose to open an accompanying checking account with a debit card. The Builder debit card is issued by Prudential’s partner, PNC Bank, and the checking account is administered by BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company.
You can use the debit card to withdraw cash for free from any of the 35,000 ATMs across the country that feature a Visa, Plus or STAR logo. If you use an ATM without any of those logos, Prudential won’t charge you a fee, but the owner of the ATM will likely impose a surcharge.
Compare Prudential Builder with other cash management accounts
Compare other cash management accounts based on their fees, ATM networks and minimum required deposits.
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
Compared to other cash management accounts, there are relatively few ways to deposit and withdraw funds from your Prudential Builder account.
- Incoming ACH transfer. Link an external bank account and transfer funds at any time.
- Direct deposit. If you sign up for a Builder checking account, you can receive direct deposits from your employer.
- Incoming wire transfers. Accept incoming wire transfers for no additional fee.
- Outgoing ACH transfers. Send funds to linked bank accounts from Prudential’s website.
- Check writing. You can write personal checks, but there’s a $5 annual fee for this service.
- Outgoing wires. Wire money to other bank accounts for a $25 fee.