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- Fidelity Cash Management Account: Why It’s Great
- Get Instant Access to Aspiration Summit, the Best Checking Account in America
It’s been over 2 years since I first professed my love for the Fidelity Cash Management account. And about the same amount of time since I wrote about the Aspiration Summit account.
Both are fantastic checking account options because there are no fees, no minimum balances, and no direct deposit requirements. Essentially they’re free to open and keep forever, even if you never use them. Even better, both accounts reimburse ATM fees from ANY ATM in the world. And neither account incurs a hard credit pull to open.
There are a couple of key differences to them, though. I’ll highlight what they are. But, bottom line, you should have at least one of these accounts – if not both!
In This Post
1. Fidelity Cash Management Account
I can’t say enough good things about this checking account. You can use it anywhere without ATM fees. When you withdraw from a fee-bearing ATM, the fee is reimbursed the same day the charge clears your account. It’s instant.
It’s also an amazing tool for overseas travel. I transfer some cash into this account a few days before a trip. In the past, I’ve paid nasty interchange charges each time I’ve needed to access my cash. With this card, there is a 1% fee built-in but there are no additional fees. I don’t mind the 1% because it’s $1 per $100 – which is a small price, in my opinion, for all the convenience I get from this account. I love it.
I also use this account for my Airbnb business as a de facto business checking account. I let the balance build every month. Then I pay the rents and bills. And transfer the rest to pay down my student loans. Rinse and repeat each month.
It’s an incredibly easy way to keep all that separate from my (other) main Chase checking account – which I wouldn’t recommend these days. I got it forever ago and don’t pay fees to have it. If I did though, I’d have zero issue dumping it for this account. Now, I like how it keeps things apart per the envelope method.
What to know before you get a Schwab checking account
The inevitable question is, “How does it compare to the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account?”
They’re essentially the same. BUT:
- Schwab uses a hard pull when you open their account
- Fidelity uses a soft pull
- Schwab requires you to open an investment account, although you do NOT have to use it – ever – if you don’t want to
- Fidelity doesn’t require any other accounts
- Both have no fees
- Both reimburse all ATM fees (yes, worldwide)
- Both have free bill pay
- Both are great if you invest with the respective firms
I didn’t want the hard pull or an account I’d never use. Between them, the Fidelity account was better for me. And I’ve just stuck with it.
2. Aspiration Summit
So this account has several of the same features as the Fidelity account. And, it has a savings component.
Once you hit $2,500 in the account, you’ll earn 1% interest on the balance, which compounds monthly. So if you’re interested in saving too, this is a great account for an emergency fund.
You’ll also get $25 to donate to charity when you sign up.
There are no fees, no minimums, and no requirements to keep the account free. But there’s one important difference in how ATM fees are reimbursed: it happens when your monthly statement closes instead of when the charge clears, like with Fidelity’s account.
This isn’t a huge issue, but it’s something to be aware of so you can set your expectations.
If you’re interested in a no-fee checking account with global ATM access, this one is another contender.
Which one is best for you?
I give a slight edge to Fidelity for being able to link my IRA accounts. And an edge to Aspiration Summit for its versatility as a savings account. Net-net, both are excellent options.
I’d go with the Fidelity account if you:
- Already have other Fidelity accounts
- Want your ATM rebates back instantly
- Have a Fidelity Visa
And recommend the Aspiration Summit account if you:
- Don’t mind waiting for the ATM fee reimbursement
- Also want a high-yield savings account
- Like the charitable giving option
Both accounts a stellar choice for completely free banking. I’ve used both extensively and never had an issue. So I recommend either one wholeheartedly.
And if you are paying fees to have a checking account, to keep a minimum balance, or to access your money… stop that immediately! There’s no need to pay anything.
I know we get caught up on credit cards in this hobby of ours. But we all need checking accounts to make our payments. There’s simply no need to pay fees to have your money in an account or to access it – no matter where you are in the world.
I’ve withdrawn cash from my Fidelity account in Ireland, Japan, Germany, Chile… and occasionally withdrawn money when I couldn’t use a credit card.
I can personally vouch for either account. It mainly comes down to how quickly you want your ATM fees reimbursed. And if you want a hybrid savings option.
Even if you already have a checking account you like, consider the envelope method – both are great free options for this.
It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned these checking accounts – and I like each for different reasons. Even if you only use them for international ATM withdrawals, that’s reason enough.
So now I’m curious – what’s your favorite checking account? Are there any better than these 2?
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