Robinhood is a solid zero-commission online investing platform. It was one of the earliest apps to join the playing field, and caters to new or less experienced investors.
Nonetheless, Robinhood offers a strong slate of features designed to provide the experience you’re looking for.
Cash Management is an option offered through your brokerage account that lets you use Robinhood to spend and earn interest on your idle cash. If you opt into Cash Management, you can take advantage of a deposit sweep program and have your uninvested cash automatically “swept” or moved into deposits at a network of program banks. There are currently six program banks that participate in Robinhood’s deposit sweep program. The banks will pay interest on the swept cash, and the current APY you can earn from these banks is 0.30% Keep in mind, the program banks may change the APY at any time at their discretion.
When you sign up for a cash management account, you will also get a debit card issued by Sutton Bank. You can use your debit card and routing and account numbers to buy groceries, pay bills, send checks, and more.
There are limits set by Robinhood for using your debit card.
When you use your Robinhood debit card, Robinhood will hold money from your account to cover the cost of your purchase. You’ll see a Pending item in the Recent History section of the Cash tab. Your transaction will show up as Pending until the purchase amount is final and the money has been moved out of your account.
When you upgrade to Cash Management, you can pick from four sleek designs for your debit card:
If you don’t want a physical debit card, you can select a virtual debit card only when you first upgrade to Cash Management. You can use the virtual card online and through Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. If you ever change your mind, you can request a debit card.
To activate your debit card:
You can use your Robinhood debit card virtually anywhere that Mastercard is accepted around the world. You can make purchases at stores or online, reserve a hotel or open a tab at a restaurant, get cash, whatever you would typically use a card for.
If you opted for the virtual debit card only, you can use it online and through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
You can use your Robinhood debit card 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as you have enough available cash in your brokerage account to cover purchases.
Available cash is any cash that you have in your brokerage account that you can withdraw or spend. You can find the amount of available cash you have at the top of the Cash tab.
Robinhood will decline transactions that you don’t have enough cash or margin available to cover. However, there are some exceptions when the final amount of a transaction exceeds the amount Robinhood originally approved.
For example, if you leave a large tip on your debit card at a restaurant and the final transaction value exceeds the cash in your account, you may experience an account deficit.
If you have Cash Management and surpass your borrowing limit, it’s also possible to get a margin call or account deficit. A margin call happens when a margin account runs low on funds due to trading or spending. When a margin call occurs, the investor must choose to either deposit more money in the account or sell some of the assets they hold.
Your Robinhood debit card supports Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. You can do this by taking a photo of your card or manually entering your card information from the mobile wallet app of your choice.
Robinhood’s debit card is a competitive player in the crowded field of debit cards offered. It gives you all the bells and whistles you would expect from a debit card such as free ATMs and being able to use it pretty much anywhere you go.
But the swept cash feature is a bonus worth taking a look at. Instead of your uninvested idle cash sitting and collecting dust, it’s sent over to a bank where it will earn a good APR. This is all done automatically, without any effort on your part, and who doesn’t want that?