Robinhood’s Upcoming Checking & Savings Account Looks to Make a Splash
It’s now been about a year since I first started using the free investing app Robinhood. In that time, I’ve been able to purchase shares of The Walt Disney Company, earn a free share of Sprint for referring a friend, and (unfortunately, at the moment) trade cryptocurrency. As much as I’ve enjoyed using the app, when it comes to setting aside extra money and savings, I’ve looked to other options like Long Game and Clarity Money instead. However, following Robinhood’s latest announcement, it looks like that could change.
Yesterday, Robinhood unveiled plans to launch a checking and savings account product, which includes a Mastercard debit card. That’s already kind of cool but the real selling point of this impending product is the 3% interest they’ll be offering on all checking and savings funds. For perspective, that’s a full point higher than the already impressive 2% APY I’m currently getting from my Discover Bank account and absolutely crushes the national average of .09%.
What’s more, Robinhood says these accounts will come without a minimum balance fee, monthly fee, foreign transaction fee, etc. Additionally, users will have free access to more than 75,000 ATMs with their Robinhood cards. Plus, CEO Baiju Bhatt says users will not need to invest funds on the platform in order to maintain a Robinhood Checking & Savings account (though that may change as you’ll see later).
According to Robinhood’s blog post, the first of these debit cards will begin shipping in January 2019. Currently, a wait list for the company’s checking and savings product is open and growing, with more than 600,000 people in line as of this writing. That said, users can invite friends to sign-up and will move up 10,000 spots if they do. If you visit the new Checking & Savings tab in Robinhood after you join the list, you may also find another way to move up the list one spot at a time. I won’t reveal the details of that little Easter egg here but, if you do find this handy trick, you’ll be able to move up as many as 1,000 places per day.
While there are still many questions that need to be answered regarding Robinhood’s Checking & Savings account, it’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on. I should note that Axios now reports that the company didn’t seem to talk to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) before announcing this expansion and the regulator isn’t exactly on board with Robinhood’s assertion that these accounts would be insured by the agency. Admittedly, this is definitely concerning and perhaps even embarrassing for the company. Still, I have faith that everything will get resolved there and that things will move forward as planned. Needless to say, I’m excited to be on the waiting list and look forward to giving Robinhood’s Checking & Savings a full review ASAP.
Also published on Medium.