April 2018 – Bankerage: Brokerage Cash Management Features and Credit Cards

Retail brokerage firms typically offer modified investment accounts or additional features to accommodate standard banking services, such as check-writing, bill pay and ATM withdrawals. Through these accounts and services—what we refer to as “bankerage” products—clients have the combined convenience of standard brokerage capabilities with services that are commonly offered only through traditional bank deposit accounts. We also include brokerage credit cards as several firms in our coverage group offer credit cards marketed specifically to brokerage clients. We last examined this topic in 2016.

Of the 17 firms in the Broker Monitor coverage group, 16 offer cash management services, down one since 2016 as Capital One Investing has oddly removed this capability. Nine firms provide the services to all clients while seven offer it as an optional add-on to brokerage accounts. Additionally, three firms—Morgan Stanley, TIAA and Wells Fargo Advisors—tier their services, reserving certain services for clients with more assets under management at the firm. Standard features are common, with every firm in this report offering check-writing and all but Ally Invest providing online bill pay. Eleven firms offer credit cards, with eight providing more than one card. The majority of firms failed to update their offerings significantly since our 2016 report.

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