Vanguard Cash Deposit Program: New Cash Sweep Option (Currently Invitation Only)

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Vanguard has been gradually rolling out a new option for the cash settlement sweep in your Vanguard Brokerage Account. The Vanguard Cash Deposit is FDIC-insured via partner banks and is currently available to select customers on an invitation-only basis:

Currently, enrollment in the Vanguard Cash Deposit program is by invitation only to existing clients who have at least one Vanguard Brokerage Account. Mutual fund accounts, 529s, or other accounts are not eligible for Vanguard Cash Deposit.

Here is a quick comparison of the interest rates from the two available options:

Banking Partners (as of 8/10/2022)

  • Valley National Bank (FDIC cert. 9396)
  • NexBank (FDIC cert. 29209)
  • Synovus Bank (FDIC cert. 873)
  • Bank of Baroda (FDIC cert. 33681) (coming soon)
  • Synchrony Bank (FDIC cert. 27314) (coming soon)

Commentary. Vanguard’s existing cash sweep fund, the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX), already invests “at least 99.5% of its total assets in cash, U.S. government securities, and/or repurchase agreements that are collateralized solely by U.S. government securities or cash (collectively, government securities).” In other words, everything inside is also fully backed by the US government. I am a big fan of FDIC insurance, but even I don’t lose any sleep at all about the safety of VMFXX, not to mention I’ve found VMFXX historically tracks short-term interest rates quite well. As of this writing (8/10/22), VMFXX is yielding about 35 basis points more than the Cash Deposit sweep.

I don’t know if this new cash sweep option is in response to consumer demand, or if it will serve as a profit source for Vanguard. I’m sure that some people out there will prefer having FDIC insurance, even it means less interest income. (Be sure not to exceed the FDIC limits at any of the partner banks, such as having separate account held there.) For now, I’ll pass. If the Cash Deposit sweep does start earning a lot more, I would consider switching.

If you wish to opt in to this option, you can try to check if you are “invited” by visiting the product page, clicking on “Choose Vanguard Cash Deposit”, and logging into your Vanguard brokerage account. I was also repeatedly greeted by a pop-up window upon login.

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