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Betterment Everyday™ Checking FAQ

We are releasing access to Betterment Everyday™ Checking over time, rather than all at once. If you are on the waitlist, we will notify you via email when your spot opens up.

Articles by Betterment Editors
By the Editorial Staff Betterment Resource Center Published Oct. 23, 2019 | Updated Mar. 10, 2020
Published Oct. 23, 2019 | Updated Mar. 10, 2020
16 min read

TABLE OF CONTENTS


What is Betterment Everyday™ Checking?

Our checking account and debit card help take the hassle out of traditional checking. Checking will be provided by Betterment Financial LLC, in partnership with nbkc bank. The Betterment Visa Debit Card will be issued by nbkc bank; Member FDIC. Debit cards will accompany checking accounts.

Checking is new—over time, you can expect to see additional features beyond what we are offering currently.

✓ ATM fees reimbursed worldwide‡

Plus, use your debit card anywhere Visa is accepted.

✓ No overdraft or other checking account fees

While we were at it, we did away with minimum balances.

✓ FDIC-insured up to $250,000

Spend with confidence, knowing your money is secure.

How can I sign up?

We are releasing access to Betterment Everyday™ Checking over time, rather than all at once. If you are on the waitlist, we will notify you via email when your spot opens up.

Once your spot opens up on the waitlist and you get a notification via email or in your Betterment account, you’ll be able to sign up for a checking account. The email will contain a signup link.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your spot has opened up, log in to your account on a web browser or on the mobile app. You’ll see a notice if your spot has opened up and you can now sign up for Checking.

Checking is new—over time, you can expect to see additional features beyond what we are offering currently.

Are there any fees or account minimums?

Betterment does not charge any account fees on Betterment Everyday™ Checking, and we reimburse ATM fees worldwide, including the Visa 1% transaction fee on foreign transactions, purchases, and ATM transactions‡.

There is no minimum balance or deposit requirement to use Betterment Everyday™ Checking.

Do you charge a fee for overdrafts?

No. Betterment does not charge any fees for account overdrafts.

If you overdraw your account, we’ll alert the vendor that there aren’t enough funds in the account to cover the transaction, and the transaction will be reversed.

Is my cash FDIC insured?

Yes, Betterment Everyday™ Checking is covered by up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.

Our checking services are provided by nbkc bank. If you already have cash at nbkc bank separately from what you hold through Betterment Everyday™ Checking, the total amount of FDIC insurance available to you through Betterment Everyday™ Checking will be lower as a result.

All funds held at nbkc—whether held through Betterment or held directly through nbkc—will be totaled for purposes of determining FDIC insurance. This means that some of your funds in Betterment Everyday™ Checking may be left uninsured if the total amount deposited through your separate nbkc account and your Betterment Everyday™ Checking account exceeds $250,000.

Does my checking account earn interest?

No, the cash you hold in Betterment Everyday™ Checking does not earn interest.

Is Betterment a bank?

Neither Betterment LLC nor Betterment Financial LLC, nor any of their affiliates, is a bank.

Who is eligible to use Betterment Everyday™ Checking?

You must reside in the U.S. full-time to use Betterment’s services. You must also be at least 18 years old, as we are not able to provide services to minors.

Am I required to use both Checking and Cash Reserve?

We know that everyone’s needs are different, and we want to provide you with the flexibility to decide which of our cash management and investing products serve you best. When you open Checking, we’ll automatically open Cash Reserve for you.

Cash Reserve is provided by Betterment, LLC, which is not a bank, and cash transfers to program banks are facilitated by Betterment Securities. Checking will be provided by Betterment Financial LLC, in partnership with nbkc bank.

If Cash Reserve isn’t for you, you can go ahead and close it by following the instructions below.

If you have individual taxable investment goals:

  • Log in on a web browser.
  • Select your Cash Reserve from the menu on the left.
  • Click on Account Settings on the right hand side of the page.
  • You’ll see the option to close Cash Reserve.

If you don’t have individual taxable investment goals:

  • Log in on a web browser.
  • Click Settings on the left.
  • Click the Accounts tab.
  • Click the three dots to the right of your Personal Account.
  • You’ll see the option to close it.

Will you run a credit check?

No. Credit checks are not required to use any of Betterment’s products. However, we will collect your personal information upon signup. We are mandated to collect this information by our regulators and the IRS.

Can I open more than one checking account?

At the present time, an individual cannot open two separate accounts through Betterment Everyday™ Checking. We’ll be sure to monitor customer requests for this, as we may be able to offer the possibility in the future.

Can I open a joint account?

Joint accounts are not available through Betterment Everyday™ Checking at the present time. We’ll be sure to monitor customer requests for joint accounts, as it’s something we may be able to offer in the future.

Can I open an account for a company or LLC?

Corporate and LLC checking accounts are not available through Betterment Everyday™ Checking at the present time. We’ll be sure to monitor customer requests for corporate and LLC checking accounts, as we may be able to offer them in the future.

Can I open an account for my trust?

Checking accounts for trusts are not available through Betterment Everyday™ Checking at the present time. We’ll be sure to monitor customer requests for checking accounts for trusts, as it’s something we may be able to offer in the future.

How can I fund my checking account?

Use Your Linked External Bank Account

Link an external bank account to use as the funding account for Checking. If you’ve already linked a bank account to your investment accounts with us, you’ll still need to separately link an external bank account to fund Checking.

You can only link an external bank account to Checking if your bank is eligible to be linked electronically and the bank account is in your name.

Electronically link bank on web browser: 

  • Log in and click on Settings on the left.
  • Click the Funding Accounts tab at the top of the page.
  • Under Checking, select Link Bank Account.
  • You’ll have the option to choose one of your bank accounts that’s already electronically synced to your Betterment account.
  • Or, you can select “choose a different bank account” and search for a new bank.
  • Type your bank’s name in the search box.
  • If no results are found, this means your bank isn’t eligible for electronic linking.
  • Need instructions for transferring directly from another bank account instead?

Electronically link bank on mobile app: 

  • Log in to the mobile app and select the three bars in the top left corner.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select Funding Accounts.
  • You’ll be able to add or change the funding account that’s linked to Checking.

You can change the bank that’s electronically linked to Betterment Everyday™ Checking a maximum of two times within 90 calendar days.

Transfer Directly From Another Bank Account

You can use your Betterment Everyday™ Checking routing and account numbers to move cash into Betterment directly from another bank account.

Simply log on to your other bank’s website, and they should have the option for transferring directly into another bank account. You’ll provide your Betterment Everyday™ Checking routing and account numbers so that they know where to send the money. Note that they may automatically register the account as an nbkc account rather than a Betterment account, due to the fact that our banking services are provided by nbkc.

Need help finding your Betterment Everyday™ Checking routing and account numbers?

Set Up Direct Deposits From Your Paycheck

You’ll need to set up direct deposit through whatever process your employer has in place. Your HR department will typically give you a form and you’ll share your new account and routing numbers. Your employer or payroll provider might even provide the option to request the change online through an online portal rather than via a paper form.

If your HR department will accept it, you can fill out our form and provide it to them. Download a blank direct deposit form.

Make sure to ask your employer when they expect the change will take place.

Currently Unavailable Options

Right now, we currently do not support the following account funding options:

  • Depositing paper checks by uploading a photo—Coming soon!
  • Depositing via a wire transfer
  • Depositing cash through an ATM
  • Depositing paper checks through an ATM

How long do deposits take?

Transfers initiated within your Betterment account:

Transfers initiated into Checking from within your Betterment account—drawing from a linked external bank account—will add to your Checking balance by the following business day if placed by 4 PM ET. However, these funds will be in a “pending” status until the funds are fully available to you to use. The pending status usually lasts for 4 to 5 business days. We’ll display an estimated completion date for any deposits you make into Checking.

Transfers initiated from another bank:

If you initiate a transfer into Betterment from another bank’s side—either through their website or with assistance from your other bank— the funds will typically be fully available to you within 1 to 2 business days.

Transfers initiated via direct deposit:

When you set up direct deposit through your employer, your funds will be available in Checking on the same day that you get paid. Make sure to find out when your employer expects the change to take place after you provide them with your new Betterment Everyday™ Checking account and routing numbers.

How long do withdrawals take?

If you use your debit card to make a purchase from a vendor, or withdraw cash from an ATM, the transaction amount will reduce your available Checking balance immediately.

Withdrawals to your linked external bank account generally take 1 to 2 business days to fully complete.

In some situations, withdrawals may take longer. An example of this would be if you make a deposit and then withdraw it to your linked external bank account immediately, which could lead to your withdrawal taking up to 6 business days to be fully received.

Are there any limits on transactions?

Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit: $500

This limit includes any ATM surcharge fees charged by the ATM operator. Remember that we’ll reimburse ATM fees at any ATM worldwide.‡

Daily Debit Card Transaction Limit: $2,000

Transferring To And From Your Linked External Bank Account: Withdrawal limits start at $2,000 per transaction and deposit limits start at $10,000 per transaction, but may be subject to increases depending on the situation.

Contact us if you have questions about transaction amount limits and how they may apply to your specific situation.

Can I transfer money to and from my investing goals, or to and from Betterment Everyday™ Cash Reserve?

To transfer money from Checking to your investing goals or to Betterment Everyday™ Cash Reserve, you will need to add Checking as the funding account for those accounts. You can also add or change the funding account for each of your other accounts.

We are working on ways to make transferring between Checking and your investment goals, or transferring between Checking and Cash Reserve, more seamless.

Cash Reserve is provided by Betterment LLC, which is not a bank, and cash transfers to program banks are facilitated by Betterment Securities. Checking will be provided by Betterment Financial LLC, in partnership with nbkc bank.

What are my account and routing numbers?

You can easily find your Betterment Everyday™ Checking account and routing numbers in your account on either a web browser or on your mobile app.

On a web browser: Log in and select Checking from the menu on the left. You’ll then be able to see your account and routing numbers on the right hand side of the screen.

On the mobile app: Log in and select Checking. Select “manage account” and you’ll see your account and routing numbers.

How do I set up direct deposit through my paycheck?

You’ll need to set up direct deposit through whatever process your employer has in place. Your HR department will typically give you a form and you’ll share your new account and routing numbers. Your employer might even provide the option to request the change online through a portal rather than via a paper form.

If your HR department will accept it, you can fill out our form and provide it to them. Download a blank direct deposit form.

Make sure to find out when your employer expects the change to take place after you provide them with your new Betterment Everyday™ Checking account and routing numbers.

Do you offer bill pay services?

Bill pay services are not something that we currently offer. We are exploring the possibility and we may offer bill pay services in the future.

You can set up automatic payments directly through vendors that you use, usually by providing them with your debit card information or your checking account and routing numbers.

Can I use Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or Zelle?

Right now, Checking is not compatible with Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®, Google Pay™, or Zelle. It’s something that we are looking into and we may offer compatibility in the future.

Apple and Apply Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc. Google Pay is a trademark of Google LLC. Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

How can I request physical checks?

At the current time, we do not provide physical checks or checkbooks. This is something that we are exploring and we may offer checks in the future.

Do you offer cashier’s checks or money orders?

At this time, we are unable to offer cashier’s checks or money orders.

Learn more about how you might be able to get a money order or a cashier’s check. This information is not provided by or endorsed by Betterment, and we are not liable for any actions you might take as a result of following these instructions.

Do you offer international money transfer services?

We are not offering international money transfer services at this time.

What will my debit card look like?

You will receive a Betterment Visa Debit Card in the mail within 6 to 8 business days of account opening. The card is made out of plastic and has a vertical design.

The card allows for contactless payments at vendors who support contactless card systems.

Front and black of our blue debit card

How long will my debit card take to arrive?

You will receive a Betterment Visa Debit Card in the mail within 6 to 8 business days of account opening. There will not be a tracking number for you to track the shipment while it’s on the way. If you do not receive your card after 8 business days, contact us.

How do I activate my debit card?

Just head to betterment.com/activate to quickly activate your card once it arrives. When your card arrives, activation instructions will also be included.

How can I replace a lost or stolen card?

If your card is lost or stolen, the first thing you should do is lock your card so that no one else is able to use it. This can be done at any time in your account either on a web browser or on the mobile app. You should also review your recent transactions to ensure your card has not been used without your authorization.

Next, contact us and we can issue you a replacement card.

How can I lock my card?

You can temporarily lock your card to prevent it from being used. This can be done at any time in your account either on a web browser or on the mobile app.

On a web browser: Log in and select Checking. Look towards the right and you’ll see the option to easily lock or unlock your debit card.

On the mobile app: Log in and select Checking. Click on Manage Account and you’ll see the option to easily lock or unlock your debit card.

If you can’t access a web browser or your mobile app and you need to lock or unlock your card, contact us and we can help.

I forgot my PIN, can I reset it?

Yes, you can reset your pin directly from your account.

On a web browser: Log in and select Checking. Look towards the right and you’ll see the option to change your PIN.

On the mobile app: Log in and select Checking. Click on Manage Account and you’ll see the option to change your PIN.

Can I use my debit card for foreign transactions?

Yes, but please note your card will only work at ATMs where Visa debit cards are accepted.

While you must also reside in the U.S. full-time to use Betterment’s services, you can use your debit card overseas for purchases and at ATMs while you travel. If your Betterment Visa debit card transaction is successful, we can reimburse your ATM fees worldwide, including the Visa 1% transaction fee on foreign transactions, purchases, and ATM transactions‡.

Please contact us at least a week before traveling abroad so that we can ensure your Betterment visa debit card is ready to be used in the countries you will be visiting. Card usage in certain countries may be blocked.

Do I need to set up travel alerts for when I travel?

Yes. Please contact us at least a week before traveling abroad so that we can ensure your Betterment visa debit card is ready to be used in the countries you will be visiting. Card usage in certain countries may be blocked.

As always, please note that if unusual activity is detected on your card, you may be requested to confirm the flagged transactions. Keep in mind that you can always place a temporary lock on your debit card if you need to. If you suspect fraud on your account, lock your card and contact us during business hours for further assistance.

How does ATM fee reimbursement work?

We’ll automatically reimburse ATM fees , which are known as operator surcharges, for any ATM worldwide‡. You can expect a credit to your checking account by the following calendar day.

Do you reimburse foreign ATM fees?

If you’re traveling, make sure to notify us beforehand. We will automatically reimburse any operator surcharge fee from any ATM worldwide, including the Visa 1% transaction fee on foreign transactions, purchases, and ATM transactions‡.

How can I report suspected fraud?

If you suspect fraud, lock your card by logging in to your account on a web browser or on the mobile app. Once you lock your card, it will not be able to be used to make transactions. After locking your card, please call us during business hours so that we can further assist you.

How can I dispute a transaction?

To dispute a transaction, please contact us.

If you suspect fraud, call us. Be sure to lock your card by logging in to your account on a web browser or on the mobile app to prevent your card from being used in the meantime—especially if our office is closed and you can’t get in touch with us right away.

What are my account and routing numbers?

You can easily find your account and routing numbers in your account on a web browser or on your mobile app.

On a web browser: Log in and select Checking from the menu on the left. You’ll then be able to see your account and routing numbers on the right hand side of the screen.

On the mobile app: Log in and select Checking. Click on Manage Account and you’ll see your account and routing numbers.

Where can I find account statements?

You can download monthly account statements from a web browser. Log in and select Documents from the menu on the left, and you’ll be able to download monthly statements.

Where can I update my personal information?

On a web browser: Log in and select Settings on the left. You’ll then be able to edit your personal profile.

From the mobile app: Log in to the mobile app and tap the three bars in the top left corner. Then, choose Settings, and you’ll be able to edit your personal profile.

If you need to change your legal name, please email us for further assistance.

How can I change my name?

To change the legal name we have on file for you, please email us for further assistance.

How do I add a beneficiary to my account?

To add a beneficiary, log in on a web browser, select Settings from the menu on the left, and click on the Accounts tab. Enter your primary beneficiary information for Checking. Checking does not currently support additional contingent beneficiaries.

Betterment only supports accounts for individuals 18 or older. If a minor should be appointed as a beneficiary of an account, we may require additional documentation. Choosing a minor as a beneficiary may cause unforeseen delays.

How can I close my account?

Before you can close the account, you must withdraw the funds so that the account is completely empty.

Once your account is empty, log in from a web browser and select “Settings” from the menu on the left, and then select “Accounts.” Click the three dots to the right of Checking and you’ll see the option to close it.

There are no fees to close your checking account.

What happens to my account upon my death?

The funds in your account will be disbursed to your designated beneficiary or the court appointed executor if no beneficiary is designated. Your beneficiary or family member should contact us to initiate this process and we will walk them through what documentation is needed to move forward.

To add a beneficiary, log in on a web browser, select Settings from the menu on the left, and click on the Accounts tab.

Do you accept Power of Attorney arrangements?

Yes. If you have a power of attorney arrangement, please email estates@betterment.com to receive further instructions.

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Learn About Betterment Everyday™ Cash Reserve

Learn About Investing


Betterment Everyday Checking

‡ Checking accounts and the Betterment Visa Debit Card provided by and issued by nbkc bank, Overland Park, Kansas, Member FDIC. Funds deposited into Checking will be eligible for up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance. Betterment Everyday Checking made available through Betterment Financial LLC. Neither Betterment Financial LLC, nor any of their affiliates, is a bank. Betterment Financial LLC reimburses ATM fees and the Visa® 1% foreign transaction fee worldwide, everywhere Visa is accepted. Checking accounts do not earn APY (annual percentage yield). Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve and Betterment Everyday Checking are separate offerings and are not linked accounts.

Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve

Betterment Everyday Cash Reserve (“Cash Reserve”) is offered by Betterment LLC. Clients of Betterment LLC may participate in Cash Reserve through their brokerage account held at Betterment Securities. Neither Betterment LLC nor any of its affiliates is a bank. Through Cash Reserve, clients’ funds are deposited into one or more banks (“Program Banks“) where the funds earn a variable interest rate and are eligible for FDIC insurance. Cash Reserve provides Betterment clients with the opportunity to earn interest on cash intended to purchase securities through Betterment LLC and Betterment Securities. Cash Reserve should not be viewed as a long-term investment option.

Funds held in your brokerage accounts are not FDIC‐insured but are protected by SIPC. Funds in transit to or from Program Banks are generally not FDIC‐insured but are protected by SIPC, except when those funds are held in a sweep account following a deposit or prior to a withdrawal, at which time funds are eligible for FDIC insurance but are not protected by SIPC. See Betterment Client Agreements for further details. Funds deposited into Cash Reserve are eligible for up to $1,000,000.00 (or $2,000,000.00 for joint accounts) of FDIC insurance once the funds reach one or more Program Banks (up to $250,000 for each insurable capacity — e.g., individual or joint — at up to four Program Banks). Even if there are more than four Program Banks, clients will not necessarily have deposits allocated in a manner that will provide FDIC insurance above $1,000,000.00 (or $2,000,000.00 for joint accounts). The FDIC calculates the insurance limits based on all accounts held in the same insurable capacity at a bank, not just cash in Cash Reserve. If clients elect to exclude one or more Program Banks from receiving deposits the amount of FDIC insurance available through Cash Reserve may be lower. Clients are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each Program Bank, including existing deposits held at Program Banks outside of Cash Reserve, to ensure FDIC insurance limits are not exceeded, which could result in some funds being uninsured. For more information on FDIC insurance please visit www.FDIC.gov. Deposits held in Program Banks are not protected by SIPC. For more information see the full terms and conditions and Betterment LLC’s Form ADV Part II.

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