Rate Leading History of the T-Mobile MONEY Checking Account

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I was reviewing my old liquid summaries, and I noticed that T-Mobile MONEY Checking account has been included in the summaries with a 1% APY for more than nine months. I first mentioned the account in the summary on October 13th. Amazingly, the 1% APY has held.

Other fintechs haven’t shared this rate longevity. Last October, the fintechs Affirm and Chime were also offering 1% APY. The Affirm savings account maintained 1% APY until December when the rate fell to 0.65%. That rate is still in effect, which is now very competitive for online savings accounts. The Chime savings account rate also fell in December. In that case, the rate fell to 0.50%, and like Affirm, that rate has held.

T-Mobile MONEY - company and rate history

No one knows how long T-Mobile MONEY can maintain a 1% APY. Accounts are held at Customers Bank which has recently lowered its nationwide Ascent Money Market Savings account rate to 0.50%. It seems likely that as T-Mobile MONEY attracts more deposits, the odds of a rate cut will increase. One thing that may help is that the T-Mobile MONEY may attract many small-balance customers who use it as their primary checking account. Small-balance checking account customers who actively use their debit cards can provide a profit for the bank due to interchange fees. However, those fees can only help so much.

T-Mobile MONEY used to be powered by BankMobile which was a division of Customers Bank. In January 2021, Customers Bank spun off BankMobile as a separate company, and the BankMobile name was changed to BM Technologies, Inc. To further complicate things, T-Mobile MONEY is now powered by BMTX, Inc, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of BM Technologies, Inc.

A history of Customers Bank, BankMobile and T-Mobile MONEY is provided in this Financial Brand article, and it highlights the importance of interchange fees for their profits. One interesting reason cited for Customer Bank spinning off BankMobile was the size of Customers Bank and its impact on interchange fees:

It was always Customer’s plan to spin out BankMobile, but the urgency to do so grew because Customers’ crossed the $10 billion asset threshold that had exempted it from the Durbin amendment’s limit on interchange fees.

This suggests that T-Mobile MONEY is able to profit from debit card interchange fees at the same level as small banks (with under $10 billion in assets) even though their partner bank is a large bank (with over $10 billion in assets). These interchange fees must be important in allowing T-Mobile MONEY to be able to pay the high interest rates.

T-Mobile MONEY checking account overview

With a liquid account, at least you’re free to move your money if the rate should happen to fall. Hopefully, T-Mobile MONEY will have many future months of 1% APY ahead. If you’re considering applying for an account, there are things to consider. Here’s an overview of T-Mobile MONEY and the checking account.

Using it as a high-yield savings account

If you’re looking at T-Mobile MONEY as an alternative to online savings accounts, you may only care about the 1% APY and a few important account features, such as the capabilities to transfer money into and out of the account.

The T-Mobile MONEY checking account has no minimum balance and no maintenance fees. Here’s the feature that’s most important for savers: “All customers earn 1.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)* on all balances.”

T-Mobile MONEY has an ACH transfer service, but there are small dollar limits. Bank-to-bank transfers are limited to $3,000 per day and a total of $10,000 per month. This information was based on my conversion with a CSR.

The best way to move large amounts of money into or out of this account is to use the ACH transfer service of another bank. Once the account is opened, you’ll have access to your T-Mobile MONEY account number (routing number is 067092886), and you can use those numbers to link it from another bank. Then you can initiate ACH transfers from your other bank without worrying about T-Mobile MONEY dollar limits. Since it’s a checking account, there’s no limit on the number of transfers.

T-Mobile MONEY does not offer outbound wire transfers capabilities.

Using it as a checking account

T-Mobile MONEY has several features that can make it useful to be used as your primary checking account.

You can write paper checks, but they don’t provide free checks. They provide you with three starter checks and refer customers to the third party printer, VistaPrint, for additional paper checks that you can purchase.

The standard online/mobile checking account features are freely available. These include online bill pay, debit/ATM card and mobile check deposit ($3k limit). Checks that are over $3k must be mailed in to be deposited.

There are no refunds of ATM fees that are charged by ATM owners. However, T-Mobile MONEY does not charge out-of-network ATM fees. T-Mobile MONEY is part of the Allpoint Network, which provides free access to over 55,000 ATMs worldwide.

Other features that often appeal to small-balance customers are early direct deposit, in which you receive your pay up to two days early, and an overdraft protection service that is called “Got Your Back”.

High-yield reward checking feature

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
4.00*%-$3kT-Mobile MONEYChecking Account - Qualifying
OTHER TIERS: 1.00% $3k+
Rates as of September 16, 2021.

T-Mobile MONEY also has a feature of a high-yield reward checking account. You can earn a 4.00% APY on balances up to $3k when you meet monthly requirements. This $3k balance cap is much smaller than most other reward checking accounts, and thus, it might not be worth the effort for many savers. Nevertheless, it does allow you to earn an extra $90/year ($7.50/month) over what you would earn with just the 1% APY.

The nice aspect of the T-Mobile MONEY account is that you can still earn 1% APY without meeting any activity requirements. Also, the portion of the balance above the cap earns 1% APY. For most reward checking accounts, you earn no interest or a de minimis amount of interest when you don’t meet the monthly requirements.

The T-Mobile MONEY monthly qualification requirements include,

  1. you are enrolled in a qualifying T-Mobile postpaid wireless plan.
  2. you have registered for perks with your T-Mobile ID.
  3. at least 10 qualifying purchases using your T-Mobile MONEY card have posted to your checking account before the last business day of the month.

In the terms and conditions disclosure, I don’t see any “expected use” warnings in which accounts can be flagged when debit card usage is done with minimal purchase amounts to just meet the monthly requirements. The terms do provide some details regarding what’s considered a “qualifying purchase”:

A "qualifying purchase" is a purchase of goods or services made through use of the T-Mobile MONEY Mastercard® Debit Card, whether you use the physical card, the card numbers (as with a "card not present" transaction on the Internet), or an e-wallet like Apple Pay®, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. Purchases will qualify regardless of whether "debit" or "credit" is chosen at the point of sale.

Customer service

One potential issue with banking with a fintech is customer support. Fintechs don’t always put enough resources into ensuring high quality customer support. For the case of T-Mobile MONEY, customer support is provided by T-Mobile MONEY Specialists who are available by phone from 8am to midnight every day. I called this morning at 9:30am, and it took 16 minutes before I was connected to a Specialist (that’s on the long side). At least the friendly and fairly knowledgeable Specialist was able to answer my questions.

No joint accounts or beneficiary designations

As is common with many fintech accounts, the account can only have an individual owner. As stated in the FAQs, “Joint accounts are currently unavailable.” Also, according to a CSR, it’s not possible to designate a beneficiary (i.e. POD or ITF) on an account.

Update #2 (7/28/21): I was able to reach the VP of Customer Experience at BM Technologies, Inc. The following is an excerpt of his email which describes the process a family member would need to take to receive funds from a deceased account holder.

In the event of a death of the account holder, we would require a death certificate and any required documentation for the state of residence of the account holder. Once the appropriate documentation is received. Reviewed and accepted, the TMobile Money account would be closed and a check would be mailed to the appropriate individual(s).

I removed the first update to avoid confusion. The previous update was based on my conversation with a T-Mobile MONEY Specialist (CSR). After being on hold for 30 minutes, I was forwarded to a T-Mobile MONEY resolution CSR who handles these types of requests. The CSR was not able to provide any form, and he did not seem too knowledgeable about this issue.

Availability

To be eligible to open a T-Mobile MONEY account, the standard banking requirements apply. These include being of legal age, having a government-issued ID, having a Social Security number, and having a street address within the U.S. or Puerto Rico (other U.S. territories are excluded).

The application must be done by either using the website application or by downloading the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Bank Overview

The T-Mobile MONEY checking account is powered by BMTX, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BM Technologies, Inc. The checking accounts are provided by Customers Bank, Member FDIC. Thus, the FDIC considers customers’ account deposits as being held by Customers Bank. Customers Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.42% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. The Bank has a DA capitalization grade (C-) that is below average. Customers Bank has originated a substantial number of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with funding through the Fed’s PPPL Facility. This resulted in a low DA capitalization grade due to an increase of assets without an increase in equity capital or loan loss provisions. Please refer to our financial overview of Customers Bank (FDIC Certificate # 34444) for more details.

T-Mobile MONEY used to be powered by BankMobile which was a division of Customers Bank. In January 2021, Customers Bank spun off BankMobile as a separate company, and the BankMobile name was changed to BM Technologies, Inc.

How T-Mobile MONEY checking account compares

When compared to nationally available liquid accounts (standard checking, savings account or money market account) tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which have no activity requirements or maximum balance limitations, T-Mobile MONEY checking APY ranks first, tied with the M1 Plus Checking account from the fintech M1 Finance (in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank). It should be noticed that the M1 Plus Checking has a $125 annual fee (first year is free).

The above information and rates are accurate as of 7/26/2021.

To search for the top liquid account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our tables of standard checking accounts, savings accounts and money market accounts.

Related Pages: checking accounts, reward checking accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks

Comments
milty
  |     |   Comment #1
Am afraid the No Joint/No POD account policy is a deal breaker for me in terms of depositing large sums? Any chance this policy might change?
me1004
  |     |   Comment #2
Question: Are you certain that you can initiate a withdrawal of any size from an outside financial institution? I ask because I had an account at a bank, whose name I can’t recall at the moment, that had a low limit on ACHing money out. They were ademant that if I initiated a withdrawal from an outside source over the limit, they would reject it. I was asking into it when opening a CD, and that interfered with my options to close the account at maturity. I asked again at maturity, same response.

Second, re the referral to VistaPrint to get checks, I just looked at VistaPrint’s list of everything it does, and about the only thing not on that list is checks.

https://www.vistaprint.com/all-products?xnid=TopNav_See+All+Products_All+Products&xnav=TopNav

For what its worth, you can consider getting checks from checks.com for as low as $5.45 for a box of 100 checks, with free shipping (that is not a first-order discount, that is always their price):

https://www.checks.com/p/836/safety-checks

And yes, no POD accounts taken nixes this account for me.
darkdreamer4u
  |     |   Comment #3
Do a search for 'checks' on the vistaprint website and thou shall find...
barry_NY
  |     |   Comment #5
I just opened this account. For the rare paper check that I write, I'll keep using my Ally MM account, with it's free checks. Besides, do you really want to invest in buying paper checks only to have T-Mobile's interest rate crash?
P_D
  |     |   Comment #6
My recollection is fuzzy on this as its been some time since I was in the industry, but I seem to recall that banks at least are generally prohibited by regulation from setting a limit on outgoing ACH transfers initiated from another financial institution. I have heard rumors of this happening, but have never encountered it myself even though I have done many large pulls from FIs that have minimal limits on pushes over many years.

Could fintechs somehow be excluded from this regulation if it does indeed exist?  I doubt it since the underlying institution is an FDIC regulated bank. But we do know that a lot of legal questions about a fintech's operations have yet to be hashed out (which by the way is a reason I avoid them).

However as I have stated before, as fintechs go, I do think that the T-Mobile brand name *might* make this particular one "safer" than the typical fintech as I think T-Mobile would be anxious to avoid damaging its brand.
#7 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#8 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
WheelinDealin
  |     |   Comment #4
Unfortunately the lack of beneficiary designation keeps me from depositing money at T-Mobile. Too bad, because the rate is competitive.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #9
I've pulled from my T Mobile account $65,000 from an external account with no problem.
Mikey1
  |     |   Comment #11
This post almost guarantees the TMobile 1% will disappear soon. It’s one thing to call attention to rates. It’s quite another to shine a brilliant spotlight in perhaps one of the longest articles you’ve ever written.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #12
Not having joint and POD prevents many from opening an account. May save the rate Hopefully
Choice
  |     |   Comment #13
Sooooo if one dies with funds in the accounts where do the funds go? The executor of the estate (in/for that state?) and if that is the case, if one can have an executor, why not a joint account or POA (or is that “dead people have standing” but live ones don’t ?”)  (Ken, that should all be covered above or did I miss it?) If any FI on DA that should not be listed, this one should be close to the top of the non-list!
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #14
You missed it:

No joint accounts or beneficiary designations
As is common with many fintech accounts, the account can only have an individual owner. As stated in the FAQs, “Joint accounts are currently unavailable.” Also, according to a CSR, it’s not possible to designate a beneficiary (i.e. POD or ITF) on an account.
Choice
  |     |   Comment #15
Really…Thus the FI retains the funds…Ken, any help? Should this listing be on DA…if so, could you please enlighten us? Thanks
P_D
  |     |   Comment #16
#13 & #15

Your question has a flawed premise. If you die, the financial institution has no say in what happens to your funds unless they are abandoned and then subject to escheat. If the account is in a bank is titled to a single owner, the funds will be distributed by the fiduciary of the estate of the owner (executor, trustee, personal representative, etc.) who will either be appointed in a will or a trust or, if there is no valid will or trust according to the laws of intestacy of the state. The bank does not decide who the assets are distributed to. It's no different than any other asset owned by an estate.

By the way a POA is invalid upon the death of the principal so that has no relevance to this issue.
Choice
  |     |   Comment #18
PD…You know that is what this FI does or what you think it should do? And if one is not domiciled in FI state…then ancillary papers in that state will need to be issued and if no will…on and on.  Why not copy the operative language from…for all to read
GreenDream
  |     |   Comment #22
Choice, I think you are conflating a couple of different things (it's hard to tell with your postings, as they're not the easiest to comprehend at the best of times).

POD & joint accounts are FI level designations. Estates are outside the FI (in essence they're a stand in for you. So in effect when they decide something it's a proxy for you making the decision). They're two separate things, and legally there's an order in which they're considered.

When you die, what happens to your account depends on how things are at both the FI and estate level. If you have a POD at the FI, that takes precedent over your will or what the estate would determine (unless, in the states that allow it, the heirs of the estate successfully challenge the POD in court). Absent a POD, the estate determines what happens to the account and the FI doesn't have much say in it.

In short if you've already told the FI what should happen (POD) that's what will happen, if you haven't told the FI what should happen (no POD) then it's up to your estate to determine what will happen.
Choice
  |     |   Comment #24
Thanks Green, reread Rick’s post…No POD allowed. Are you saying differently..unable to follow sometimes in face of reality.  And to follow up with Ken’s updated post above and below (much appreciated BTW)…upon confirmation of death the money goes to the state!  Reality time, folks.  Thanks to all who surfaced this turkey and had an interest in this matter (pun intended)!  
GreenDream
  |     |   Comment #38
Choice: "reread Rick’s post…No POD allowed. Are you saying differently"

Me: No. Just pointing out how it generally works,

Choice: "And to follow up with Ken’s updated post above and below (much appreciated BTW)…upon confirmation of death the money goes to the state!"

His Update to that update says differently. But even if that was the case, all that usually means is the money ends up in the states unclaimed property department waiting for the rightful owners (you, or in the case of you being deceased, your estate or rightful heirs) to claim it. It doesn't necessarily mean your heirs have lost that money for good.

Check your states unclaimed property website, you might find that you (or a relative) have unclaimed funds sitting there already. I had a rebate from years ago that apparently never made it to my mailbox. Claiming it was easy and they even paid interest on the money while it was in their hands.
Ken Tumin
  |     |   Comment #25
I updated the post with some additional information. I would be hesitant to open an account with them. Based on my call with T-Mobile MONEY, it would not be easy for family members of a deceased account holder to recover the money from the account.
MidAtlantic
  |     |   Comment #26
Ken, Your additional information compounds the confusion in this thread. If an account holder dies without a beneficiary or POD at the bank the funds go to the ESTATE of the deceased person (NOT the State). It is then for the executor of the estate to disburse the funds in accordance with the will or, if there is no will, in accordance with state law.
Ken Tumin
  |     |   Comment #27
I just reported what I was told by the CSR. The answers from the CSR certainly did not help ease concerns about this issue. They don't seem prepared to handle accounts of deceased account holders.
Choice
  |     |   Comment #28
A properly appointed executor in that jurisdiction has to make a timely FI claim…which may trigger litigation (costs are applied against the account). However in the interim it sounds like the FI wants to remove the account and transfer the funds to the state. If the funds have been previously transferred to the state the FI points the late arriving executor to the state….but in any event, is that an entity that you (I’m sorry your heirs, since you won’t be here) want to do business with…if so, go for it!
Ken Tumin
  |     |   Comment #29
I just did another update. This new update should more accurately reflect the actual T-Mobile MONEY process.
P_D
  |     |   Comment #32
"Update #2 (7/28/21): I was able to reach the VP of Customer Experience at BM Technologies, Inc. The following is an excerpt of his email which describes the process a family member would need to take to receive funds from a deceased account holder.

In the event of a death of the account holder, we would require a death certificate and any required documentation for the state of residence of the account holder. Once the appropriate documentation is received. Reviewed and accepted, the TMobile Money account would be closed and a check would be mailed to the appropriate individual(s)."

This is standard stuff. The holder of the assets has a right to demand sufficient evidence of the death of the account owner and the legal authority of the fiduciary of the estate. I provide certificates of death regularly in certain circumstances for the estates I manage. It's a very simple process. However, they may not legally withhold distribution of the funds to a legally appointed fiduciary of the estate after establishing that the account owner is deceased. Yes, like anything else, there are cases where there are questions about whether or not the fiduciary has the proper legal authority that might result in litigation. But that is not specific to this financial institution. It's a completely different topic.

It's also another reason why a trust can be better than a will. As a trustee of the trusts I manage, I have signature authority on the trust estates' accounts and have full authority to withdraw funds without any need to establish that the grantor of the trust is deceased. So it is not necessary for me to establish these facts in order for me to make distributions from the estate.

However, a downside, when it comes to banks and credit unions (and fintechs), is that many of them (such as this one) do not accept formal trust accounts. So your options for this type of asset are more limited. Most other asset types including stocks, real estate, etc. can be owned by a formal trust with no problem.
barry_NY
  |     |   Comment #30
I had an experience trying to recover a bank account when my mother passed away. The savings acct was POD, so that was no problem. But the checking acct wasn't. Because the size of the estate that wasn't covered by other planning was so little, it fell under small-estate rules, and not formerly filed in probate, meaning that I was not an "official" executor, although I was the executor. I had to sign a form with the bank that effectively stated that there was no will and no other heirs, even though the will covered this bank acct. I abandoned other small assets because they required a formal probate designation or to list and notify every 2-bit relative that there was 10 cents to fight over.
P_D
  |     |   Comment #33
Hi Barry,

I handled a New York case recently where all of the assets of the grantor's estate were in trust except their car. The attorney wanted to do a small estate probate to handle the cars. But I found a loophole that the lawyer either didn't know about or didn't want to tell me about that allowed cars under a certain value (I think it was $25k but don't remember with certainty) to be retitled to a family member without needing to go through probate.

So the estate avoided the costs associated with the probate and the title of the car was transferred under that provision of NY law.
111
  |     |   Comment #34
Barry and P_D -

Nearly every state has a statute authorizing a “small estate affidavit” (and that's usually the name it goes by, in each state). It allows assets that are not included in a will, trust, POD or “designated beneficiary form” - in other words, assets that would otherwise require probate - to pass outside of probate. So if the total of all otherwise probatable assets is less the limit for the decedent's state, no probate is required. (The limits for what constitutes a “small” estate vary wildly by state - https://smallestateaffidavit.com/small-estate-affidavit-limits/ ) Of course, there are some supplementary documents that must be provided with the affidavit, starting with the death certificate.

Frequently vehicles are inadvertently left out of trusts, because the vehicle title will usually have to be updated with the owner being changed to the trust, and usually the state will charge a full “new title” fee for that. Since the date of creation of the trust seldom coincides exactly with the annual title renewal, the owner is often advised to wait until time to renew to make this change. Sometimes they forget.
barry_NY
  |     |   Comment #37
I did take advantage of that provision with the car and transferred title to a family member with no fees. The rule applied to 2 or less cars in the estate and under a certain value. The problem was the bank had 1 form with no other option. The other problem was with the state unclaimed funds has no small estate provision.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #19
Anyone opening the account. Make sure either you don't activate or disable the debit card. I never used the debit but somehow illegitimate charges were made to Ali Express. After a bit of work T Mobile reversed the charges and credited my account with intrest.
#20 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Mikey1
  |     |   Comment #21
The debit card can be turned on and off thru the app. To qualify for the 4% on the first $3000 I turn the card on, make my 10 charges and then leave it in the OFF position for the remainder of the month.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #23
For those opening an account you have to be a T Mobile wireless customer to get the 4% on the first $3000 and make the required debit transactions.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #31
I had over 20 illegal charges made in 2 days to my T Mobile debit card that I never used for a total of $280. The amounts were the same 2x over which was a strange pattern and all to Aliexpress. T Mobile would not let make any external transfers until I activated the card.

After this mishap I keep the card deactivated. Aa mentioned before you can deactivate the card at anytime online.
enduser
  |     |   Comment #35
I can confirm that pulling out large sums of money using a external FI to do the push/pull has no limitations at T-mobile. When Zynlo bank offered the 1.25% APY account I pulled $125k out of T-mobile using Ally with no problem.
enduser
  |     |   Comment #36
Can no longer edit posts after they post. The save button no longer works after an edit.
GreenDream
  |     |   Comment #39
Experiencing the same. A couple of other posters have reported similar problems., so sounds like an issue with DA rather than something local to your computer.
Choice
  |     |   Comment #40
Operator issues abound
Zemo999
  |     |   Comment #41
Great article - thank you, Ken. I wonder if anyone has experience with this issue: if one 'pulls' funds from Tmobile money by initiating an ACH transfer from another institution (so the limits on the transfer are the other institution's, not Tmobile's $3,500 daily limit), how *long* does it take for the money from Tmobile take to appear at the other institution? This becomes important if, for instance, one is using the Tmobile account to fund occasional stock buys at a brokerage. The brokerage's policy is that payment for stocks bought must be there within 1 business day. Customers Bank has consistently been able to meet this fast timeline. When I spoke with Tmobile's frontline people, they said 2-4 business days, but I think they were confusing the timeline if it's initiated on Tmobile's end. I spoke with a supervisor, but all she could say that it was on the time schedule of the 'other', initiating institution. If anyone actually has experience with this, I'd love to hear the timeline, TIA. Also, not clear - does taking their debit card have a negative impact on one's credit score? Do we know if they do a soft or hard pull on one's credit history to approve and account? Thanks for all replies.
Review of T-Mobile MONEY
Written by Casey Hynes | Published on 10/11/2019

Rates mentioned in this article are as of October 11, 2019.
The T-Mobile MONEY checking account is a digital cash management account that offers up to 4.00% APY on monthly balances up to $3,000. Because T-Mobile is not a bank itself, it partners with BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, to offer the account.

In addition to an attractive interest rate, the account offers plenty of user-friendly features, including direct deposit and mobile check deposit. However, the 4.00% APY is...

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