Evergreen Money “Liquid Treasuries” Review: Checking Account + T-Bill Combo, $250 Bonus

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Evergreen Money is a new fintech startup focused on tax-smart money management by Bill Harris, previously CEO of Intuit, PayPal, and Personal Capital (now Empower). Here a short video clip of his Bloomberg TV appearance. They are starting out with their “Liquid Treasuries” product, which combines a bank account and Treasury Bills using two different accounts:

  • Traditional checking account through Coastal Community Bank, member FDIC. You get the usual fintech bank stuff: ATM/debit card, ACH routing/account numbers. Currently pays 5.00% APY as of 4/1/2024. As with all checking accounts, the APY may change at any time.
  • US Treasury Bills held inside a brokerage account through Jiko Securities, Inc, member SIPC. US Treasury Bill are fully backed by the US government. Current yield for a 4-week T-Bill is ~5.48% and the interest is exempt from state and local taxes.
  • There is a 0.03% monthly fee for their Treasury Bill service, which works out to a 0.36% annual fee.

Here’s a visualization of how this works:

At a very high level, this is already how my Fidelity Brokerage and Cash Management Account works. Their money market mutual fund holds mostly Treasury bills and repos, which are also very safe, and then when I need money to pay for stuff, they sell some of those securities and my kids have new goggles to lose. Fidelity also charges a similar 42 basis points (0.42% annual expense ratio) for SPAXX.

However, I can see the appeal here because the Treasury Bill interest would be “pure” and 100% exempt from state and local income taxes. Very often, money market fund interest (like SPAXX) is not 100% exempt from state taxes as it holds a lot of stuff that isn’t T-Bills, and even something like the Fidelity Treasury Only Money Market Fund (FDLXX) that I manually buy was only about 90% exempt in 2023.

There is currently a $10,000 minimum to open account at Evergreen Money. T-Bills are sold in $100 minimum increments, so if you kept at least $10,000 there (which they technically require), they could probably get pretty close to maintaining 99%+ of assets in T-Bills.

You could also create your own ladder of T-Bills, either directly at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a broker with an auto-roll feature like Fidelity, but that is still some degree of work to manage. If you have significant cash assets, this might probably be worth saving the expense ratio, whereas 0.36% on $10,000 is $3 a month ($36 a year).

$250 New Client Bonus. Currently, if you open and fund with the $10,000 minimum buy 6/30/24, they will give you a $250 bonus. There doesn’t appear to be a minimum hold period, but it will take 15 days for the credit to post and I’m not sure if they will close your account if you go below $10,000. Their Rates and Fees page lists a “Minimum Relationship Balance Requirement: $10,000 (We may waive this at our discretion)”. The fine print:

To qualify for the $250 New Client Bonus, you must open a new Liquid Treasuries account and fund it with deposit(s) of at least $10,000 between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 11, 2024 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time and June 30,2024. The full $10,000 must be cleared and posted to your account prior to 11:59 Eastern Time on June 30, 2024 to be eligible for the bonus. The one-time bonus will appear as a credit to your account within 15 calendar days from the date the qualifying deposit has cleared and posted. Evergreen employees and paid testers are not eligible. You are responsible for any taxes owed. This offer is non-transferable and Evergreen reserves the right to change or cancel this offer at any time.

You know I can’t help myself with these things, so I decided to open an account and try it out. Expect the usual fintech ID verification process where you have to take a picture of your ID with your smartphone. I also had to send in a bank/credit card/utility bill with my name and address on it. Here’s a screenshot of my account (funds are still in-transit).

Despite the fact that the EvergreenMoney.com website has a very generic feel, after doing my own due diligence, they do appear to be a legit company trying something different (although Jiko has done the T-Bill thing with the Public brokerage app). I do wonder why Jiko is licensing out their technology when they themselves offer a very similar product called Spendable T-Bills. I am guessing Evergreen Money has the marketing budget, as they are on a hiring binge with many job openings on LinkedIn in Miami, Florida. I wonder what features they will add next. Thanks to reader Larry for the tip.

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Comments

  1. Needs bill pay and atm rebates.

  2. I wonder how popular this type of thing will be whenever interest rates go back down.

    • I dunno, we’ve been around long enough to see the top after-tax yields come from all kinds of sources. Sometimes it was bank accounts, sometimes T-Bills, sometimes money market funds or other ultra-short commercial paper, and sometimes even muni money market funds.

  3. I can’t find a signup link

  4. Got an “Unable to Enroll” error. Oh well.

    • Got that as well after going through the sign up process. They claimed they were unable to verify my information. Not sure what that is supposed to mean. Guess I will be skipping this one.

  5. Xin Checking Ye says

    I was able to sign up and opened the account just now. It didn’t ask for a picture of my ID, nor did it ask me to send in my bank/credit card/utility bill with my name and address on it.

  6. James Lin says

    Why it continuously states that I had enrollment error because it could not verify my information?

  7. It seems like they use a third-party for their anti-fraud identity verification. Perhaps it swings very wildly from zero extra security questions to completely blocking enrollment? They took my opening deposit, so it appears I am approved.

  8. Hi, I appreciate your post on this. Wanted to see if you will do a follow up post on how efficient they were about giving the $250 bonus and returning money after closure. Thank you!

  9. I set up an account last week. They forced me to use my phone for passkey if I wanted to get into their website. Evergreen would not set up a push transfer to either of 2 big banks or my local bank. They received a small transfer from my local bank, but I cannot yet withdraw from Evergreen. I will not send thousands of $ until I know I can withdraw. The CSR suggested I use the Debit Card.!?

    • Hey. Thanks for your post. Just curious if you had a resolution to this….I’m interested in the offer too, but to your point, need to know the money comes back to us.

    • Jason Boxman says

      That’s not encouraging; Their site claims in bold font:

      “Debit Card. Visa® Debit Card
      ATM Access. Cash withdrawals
      ACH Transfers. Electronic funds
      Direct Deposit. Earn immediately
      Wire Transfers. Same-day receipt
      Client Service. All day every day ”

      Seems unambiguous.

  10. How exactly does the treasury bill sweep work? Do you have to set up a preferred bill (e.g., 4 week or 8 week) to sweep to? Does it sweep instantly or only at set times – e.g., weekly or at the next Treasury auction of the chosen duration bill?

    • It will be swept immediately, they said one to two days after you transfer settles. Be careful letting ur balance get under $10k from using debits. I heard there were fees for that, but then someone else had said that they’re leaving them for now, so just double check with customer service

  11. Website is buggy, there is no app, customer service is barely existent, can’t activate debit card, but the bonus was paid within a week of opening!

    • Thanks for posting this. I Wanted to make sure they were actually paying. Have you been able to Access your funds? Like, can you transfer the bonus out or your original funds?

  12. Jason Boxman says

    fyi verification fails w/ Google Voice, had to try again w/ terrestrial number which I never use or give out. Sigh.

    Looks like you can “fund later” as a link when signing up

    All happens in a browser on your phone, only way, the verification included photo ID photos and selfie.

    • I was able to fund right away using Plaid. No ask for drivers license or anything like that. I transfer the funds in a couple of days ago, it’s been deducted from my external bank and shows in everything money, but it able to transfer backs. They said it takes 3 to 5 business days for the money to be accessible

  13. Jason Boxman says

    Looks like it’s all done via a web app on mobile; there’s no easy way to get in on desktop. It tries to use some kind of secure keys thing on Mac, but it doesn’t sync w/ my Mac and iPhone, because reasons, so I guess I can’t get in on desktop, only with mobile app. What a hassle. I’ll take my $250 and walk as soon as I can. There’s no “login and password” or whatever. It’s using faceID on my iPhone. Sigh.

  14. Jason Boxman says

    Never mind, I figured out the pass key thing. If you’re not using at least MacOS 13, you cannot login on desktop apparently. Hooray! Enjoy the mobile experience I guess. Or buy a new Mac. Maybe this works correctly on Windows/Android setups, but I have none. I see no “escape hatch” for Evergreen users that do not have MacOS13+ and want to bank on desktop/laptop computers.

    “Note: To use passkeys, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, or tvOS 16 (or later) is required. iCloud Keychain and two-factor authentication must also be turned on.”

    https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/use-passkeys-to-sign-in-to-apps-and-websites-iphf538ea8d0/ios

    • Jason Boxman says

      Nope. Now I can’t login on iOS. I have two pass keys for some reason; neither work. Got an email that my ID couldn’t be verified, and I need to re-upload, I guess through the app?

      So this is just DoA. If I can’t get in or reverify, and there’s no “desktop” Web access, this is just a joke.

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