Empower Personal Cash Review 2024

Personal Capital Cash

8.5

8.5/10

Strengths

  • Earn interest on uninvested cash
  • No minimum balance

Weaknesses

  • Not highest interest rate
  • No debit card or checks
  • Online only

It’s become very popular for fintech companies to offer a way for customers to earn a higher rate of interest on their cash deposits.

Empower, which acquired Personal Capital and its Personal Capital Cash services, also has a wealth management advisory business where offering a higher interest rate makes sense.

The product is called Empower Personal Cash, previously known as Personal Capital Cash, and it’s available to Empower Personal Dashboard users even if they aren’t using the wealth management services.

The current interest rate is 4.70% APY – but is it worth getting?

(below, we refer to the product as Personal Capital Cash but it’s been re-branded to Empower Personal Cash)

What is Personal Capital Cash?

Personal Capital Cash is a cash management account that offers high interest rates that is comparable with many high yield savings accounts and no minimum balance requirement.

A cash management account is similar to a checking account except it’s not “technically” a checking account. It’s a neobank in that Personal Capital is not a bank, it has partnered with a bank to offer banking services.

Personal Capital Cash works with several partner banks and offers up to $2 million in FDIC insurance. Typically, you get up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance but because Personal Capital Cash works with several banks, you get more (up to $250,000 each).

UMB Bank is the partner bank and the program banks are:

  • Associated Bank
  • Axos Bank
  • Bell Bank
  • Eagle Bank
  • East West Bank
  • New York Community Bank
  • Northpointe Bank
  • Third Coast Bank
  • Truxton Trust

The advantage of using Personal Capital Cash is that you can earn a high rate of interest on your cash while your other investments are being managed by Personal Capital’s wealth management services.

There are downsides though – you can’t spend directly from the account. There are no checks and no debit card, so you’ll have to transfer funds before you can use them. You can withdraw up to $100,000 a day so it’s not an issue of them wanting to limit access, they simply set it up that way.

Learn more about Personal Capital

Other Personal Capital Features

Personal Capital Cash is just one part of what they offer and it’s arguably the least notable one – earning a bit of interest on cash is fine but Personal Capital is known for its wealth building tools.

They offer a:

All for free and you don’t have to use their wealth advisory services. We recommend them because they are so useful. You will have to answer phone calls about becoming a wealth advisory client but you can politely decline and the calls will stop. There are no ads on the platform and the business model is to try to get you to sign up to be an advisory client.

If you are interested in having your assets managed by Personal Capital, there are two tiers:

  • Investment Services for $100,000 – $200,000 portfolios where you get a managed ETF portfolio and access to a team of advisors
  • Wealth Management for $200,000 to $1,000,000 where you get a broader range of investment options and two dedicated financial advisors plus quarterly portfolio reviews

The tools are free but the annual advisory fee is 0.89% on balances up to $1,000,000.

Our Personal Capital review goes into much greater detail on these tools.

Learn more about Personal Capital

Alternatives to Personal Capital Cash

If you’re not a customer and are just looking at the interest rate, there are better alternatives. If you are looking for an alternative to the tools, review this list of Personal Capital alternatives.

If you want higher yield, your two best options are looking at the highest rates on our high yield savings account page or consider opening a no-penalty certificate of deposit.

As of this writing, the highest rates on both of those pages are greater than the rate you get from Personal Capital Cash.

Should You Use Personal Capital Cash?

If you are already a customer, it makes sense to use it for your uninvested cash. 4.70% APY is a competitive rate but not the highest among banks but it’s better than zero!

In the past, the interest rates for advisory clients and non-advisory clients were different. That appears to be gone now, everyone earns 4.70% APY on their cash.

It’s a good offer for what it is.

Learn more about Personal Capital

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools, everything I use) is Empower Personal Dashboard, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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