Joint accounts

How to manage money with a partner at Betterment

Account details

Is a joint Cash Reserve account covered by FDIC insurance?

Yes. A joint Cash Reserve account offers up to $2,000,000† in FDIC insurance once funds are deposited into our program banks. This is separate from any cash held in an individual Cash Reserve account, which offers up to $1,000,000 in FDIC insurance once deposited into our program banks. Learn more about special considerations.

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Eligibility

Who can I open a joint Cash Reserve account with?

A joint Cash Reserve account can be created with any other Betterment customer, as permitted under your state’s laws. If you want to create a joint Cash Reserve account with someone who is not a Betterment customer, they must first open an individual Betterment account (but there is no obligation that the individual account be funded if they only wish to use the joint Cash Reserve account).

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Getting started

How can I also see my spouse’s Betterment account balances?

If your spouse also has a Betterment account, you’ll each have a separate login that uses your own email address. If you want to see your spouse’s account balances, you will need to connect your spouse’s Betterment account as an instantly connected account by using an app password. In order to do this, you’ll need their consent and participation, as they will need to provide their login information. Using an App Password: Please note, connecting another Betterment account to your own will ...

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How do I open a joint account?

First, create an individual Betterment account. Remember, you do not have to fund your individual account, and you can delete it afterwards without any fees or penalties. After you’ve created your individual account, follow the steps below to create a joint account. Log in to Betterment, either on a web browser or your mobile app. Click “Add New” from the menu if on a web browser, or “Add goal/account” if on the mobile app. Follow the on-screen prompts. An email invitation will be sent to the ...

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Who will be the primary account holder?

The account holder that opened the joint account is designated as the primary account holder. To see who the primary account holder is, log in and navigate to Settings > Accounts. We aren’t able to transfer primary ownership of a joint account once it’s been created. However, remember that a joint account is legally owned by both parties associated with the account. The IRS requires only the primary account holder be listed on tax statements. (Publication 550, page 3) Both account holders ...

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Who can I open a joint account with?

Joint accounts can be created with any other Betterment customer, and you do not need to be married. If you want to create a joint account with someone who is not a Betterment customer, they must first open an individual Betterment account. There is no obligation to fund the individual account if they simply want to use the joint account that’s created after. The individual account can even be closed once the joint account is set up.

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How is a joint account different than just having a beneficiary?

Two customers with a joint account have dual ownership of the assets in the account. Each owner can transfer money, create goals, change allocations, and more. Upon the death of one of the joint account owners, the assets are transferred to the surviving account owner. On the other hand, a beneficiary does not have access, control, or ownership over the account while the account owner is alive. Upon the death of both of the joint account holders, the assets are transferred to the beneficiary.

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Can I have more than one joint account?

You can only have one joint account at a time. Should you ever need to open a new joint account with a new person, you can simply close your old one. Note that while you can only have a joint account with one person, you can set up multiple taxable investment goals within that joint account.

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What is a joint account?

Our joint accounts enable two people to save and progress toward investment goals together. Both holders in a joint account have joint ownership of the assets in the account and are able to create goals, transfer funds from the linked checking account, make allocation changes, and view the account. We only support joint accounts with rights of survivorship. This means that upon the death of either owner of the joint account, the ownership of the account goes to the surviving joint account ...

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Who will be the primary account holder of a joint Cash Reserve account?

The account holder who opened the joint account is designated as the primary account holder. To see who the primary account holder is, log in and navigate to Settings > Accounts. We aren’t able to transfer primary ownership of a joint account once it’s been created. However, remember that a joint account is legally owned by both parties associated with the account. The IRS requires only the primary account holder be listed on tax statements. The primary account holder, which is the person ...

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Can I open a joint Cash Reserve account?

Joint Cash Reserve accounts and joint cash goals are available. If you don’t have an account with Betterment yet, sign up now. If you already have a Betterment investing account, log in now. The sign up flow will prompt you to determine whether you will be the only person using Cash Reserve, or whether you would like a joint account. Please note that Cash Analysis and Two-Way Sweep are currently only available on individual Cash Reserve accounts.

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How is a joint Cash Reserve account different than just having a beneficiary?

Two customers with a joint Cash Reserve account have equal ownership of the assets in the account. Each owner can transfer, deposit, and withdraw money. Upon the death of one of the joint Cash Reserve account owners, the entire interest in the account is transferred to the surviving account owner. On the other hand, a beneficiary does not have access, control, or ownership over the account while the account owner is alive. Upon the death of both of the joint account holders, the assets are ...

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Managing my account

Will I still be able to use Tax Loss Harvesting+ or other tax features?

If your joint account is with your spouse and you file your taxes jointly, you can enable TLH+. When you enable TLH+ on your Betterment account, you’ll be asked for your spouse’s account information so that we can look across both your accounts for opportunities to harvest losses, while seeking to prevent wash sales in your Betterment accounts. If you already have TLH+ turned on, you’ll need to turn it off and set it up again to include your spouse. Learn more about TLH+.

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Do both joint account owners need to approve actions in the account?

Most actions do not require consent from both customers. These include closing the account, deposits, withdrawals, most types of transfers, creating new goals, allocation changes, changes to the linked checking account, and beneficiary changes. Both account holders will receive email notifications any time a deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or allocation change occurs.

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Is there a limit to how much I can deposit into my joint account?

Unlike IRA’s, 401(k)’s, and other employer sponsored plans, joint brokerage accounts do not have contribution limits. Individuals can contribute as much as they would like to a joint account. At Betterment, any individual above the age of 18 can contribute to a joint account, regardless of their AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). While joint accounts may not have contribution and income limits, it's good to keep in mind that these accounts are not tax sheltered and may be subject to capital gains ...

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How will fees work?

Like an individual account, Betterment’s fee will be based on your joint account’s balance. Betterment offers automatic householding for customers who open joint accounts, which combines your balances and can be beneficial for the purposes of meeting minimum balance requirements for our various plans.

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Can I have an IRA in a joint account?

No. Because IRAs are Individual Retirement Accounts they can only be held in your individual Betterment account. However, you can have both a joint account and an individual account. This will allow you to create non-IRA goals in your joint account, while keeping your IRA in your individual account.

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How will our goals be displayed?

You’ll each log in with your own email address and password. You’ll see any of your individual goals alongside your joint account goals when you log in. You will not be able to see each other’s individual goals.

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Can I transfer between my individual Betterment account and joint account?

Yes, you can transfer between your individual and joint investment and cash accounts. Within accounts held at Betterment, we only allow transfers involving individual and joint investing accounts if you are listed as married to the account owner. Note: This requirement does not apply if you created the joint account and are the primary account owner. Confirm spouse details, or, if you are not married, contact us and we can help you with a manual transfer. To transfer between your individual and ...

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How can I close my joint account?

Either joint account holder can close the joint account. Log in from a web browser and navigate to Settings > Accounts. Click the three dots towards the right of the account you are looking to close, and select “Close Account”. There are no trading fees or penalties for closing accounts.

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Can we link more than one checking account?

Yes, you can link up to three external bank accounts to fund your joint account. Additionally, you can always use Checking to fund your joint account. Log in and change your linked bank accounts. See wire instructions instead. Checking accounts and the Betterment Visa Debit Card provided by and issued by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. Funds deposited into Checking are FDIC-insured up to $250k for individual accounts and up to $250k per depositor for joint accounts. Betterment Checking made available ...

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Can I transfer between my individual Cash Reserve and joint Cash Reserve accounts?

You can transfer between your joint and individual Cash Reserve accounts, or between your cash goals within your Cash Reserve account, up to 5 times per day. Your funds are generally available same-day, but sometimes may take longer, particularly if you have recently deposited funds into your Cash Reserve account. Note that bank holidays do not count as business days. You can see a list of bank holidays here. Transaction Timeline Table

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Can we connect more than one checking account to a joint Cash Reserve?

You can connect up to three funding accounts as a funding source for your individual or joint Cash Reserve accounts or joint cash goals. However, we recommend that you connect checking accounts as funding sources rather than savings accounts, because savings accounts typically limit the number of monthly withdrawals you can make. No matter how many funding accounts you have connected, you’ll always be able to fund your goals with Checking.

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How can I close my joint Cash Reserve account?

Either joint account holder can close the joint account. Log in and navigate to Settings > Accounts. Click the three dots towards the right of the account you are looking to close, and select “Close Account”. There are no trading fees or penalties for closing accounts.

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Is there a limit to how much I can deposit into my joint Cash Reserve?

There is no overall limit to how much you can deposit in a joint Cash Reserve account. However, please note that the largest deposit you can make per day via ACH is $300,000.

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Do both joint account owners need to approve actions in Cash Reserve?

Most actions do not require consent from both account owners. These include closing the account, deposits, withdrawals, most types of transfers, changes to the connected checking account, and beneficiary changes.

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