How to Manage Your Money With a Vault Bank Account

By Jackie Lam · June 25, 2024 · 6 minute read

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How to Manage Your Money With a Vault Bank Account

Saving money for the future might be a financial priority for you, but putting intention into action can be challenging. Perhaps you have multiple goals: an emergency fund, money for next year’s big vacation, and saving toward the down payment on a house. You may wonder how much to put towards each and how to keep those savings separated but growing steadily.

Enter the vault bank account. This kind of sub-savings account can help you stash cash for different dreams and needs while staying organized. Read on to learn more about vault bank accounts and how they can help you make steady progress toward your money goals.

What Are Vault Bank Accounts?

Also known as a sub-savings account, a vault bank account is a digital banking feature that allows you to safely tuck away money towards multiple goals. This cash is usually tracked separately from your main savings account balance, making it easy to keep tabs on your different savings targets.

However, these accounts are not available at all banks. What’s more, banks that do offer them vary in what they call them, and they may have slightly different nuances in how they function. The main purpose is to provide an easy way to set aside and track funds for your various savings goals. For instance, you could have a general savings account balance, a vault for your emergency fund, and a vault for cash that’s earmarked to buy a new laptop.

With a vault bank account, you can typically name each sub-account. You might call one “Paris trip” and another “Emergency fund.” In many cases, you can set target dates (by when you’ll have accrued a certain amount) and automate savings into the sub-accounts. That means a specific amount can be automatically transferred into the vault at a preset frequency.

The Advantages of Using a Vault Bank Account?

As you might imagine, a number of pluses come with a vault bank account.

•   Easy tracking of savings goals. Instead of having all your savings pooled into a single balance, your vault funds can be tracked separately from your main savings account balance.

For instance, you can create separate vaults for holiday gifts, vacations, home improvements, or to save for a car or home. A vault bank account makes it easy to see exactly how much you’ve saved for each goal. You can tell at a glance how much progress you’ve made by saving.

•   Streamlined savings. Besides making it easy to track your different goals, vault accounts mean you won’t have to open multiple bank accounts — which can be labor-intensive and involve various account fees and requirements.

•   Ability to automate your finances. By using recurring transfers, as noted above, you don’t have to fret about whether you’re steadily saving for that vacation, mountain bike, or wedding fund. Automating your savings keeps you moving right along to achieve your goals as your money grows via additional deposits and interest.

•   A motivation boost. Easily keeping tabs on your progress can keep you motivated to continue saving. When you see how much progress you’ve made after months of saving consistently, you’ll likely feel your sense of financial security soar.

•   Accessibility of your funds. When you’re ready to tap into your funds, a savings vault makes it simple to move the money from your vault to your checking account.

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How to Transfer Funds Into and Out of Vaults

While it depends on the financial institution you have a savings vault with, moving money in and out of vaults should be pretty straightforward. Depending on the bank, you usually can transfer funds in and out of your vault to your checking account, main savings account, or external linked account.

For instance, you might first select the vault sub-savings account you’d like to move your funds into, then hit “Transfer,” and choose a linked account. You can typically pick either a one-time or recurring transfer when choosing your transfer. Then, click on “Next” to continue and complete the transaction.

Recommended: How Do Savings Accounts Work?

Are Vault Bank Accounts Secure?

As vault bank accounts are extensions of your savings account, they are protected up to the insured limits, just like with another deposit account, in the very rare instance of a bank failing. If your vault savings account is with a bank, it’s most likely insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, per insured institution. Savings vaults with credit unions are typically protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, per insured institution.

Vault bank savings accounts are considered sub-accounts or accounts within an account. In turn, all the different funds within your savings are protected as a single account and are insured up to $250,000.

In addition, most banks have advanced, state-of-the-art security measures in place, such as encryption. You will likely be offered two-factor authentication, and it can be wise to use that feature.

Vault Bank Account Fees and Pricing

Pricing and fees for a vault bank savings account depend on the financial institution. Some may charge a monthly account fee and require you to keep a minimum balance in your savings account. There might also be inactivity fees and overdraft fees, among others. However, some vault accounts are free and carry no fees.

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The Takeaway

A vault bank account can be a simple, streamlined way to save for different goals. It has sub-accounts you can dedicate funds towards for, say, rainy day expenses, a down payment on a house, or a big purchase, like new furniture. When shopping for a vault account, it’s important to be mindful of potential fees or account balance minimums. By finding one with no or minimal fees, more funds can be put toward your savings. For this reason, SoFi’s savings vaults can be a good option.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What is a vault bank account?

A vault savings account is one that has sub-accounts you can use to set up separate savings goals. The money in these savings goals is separate from your main savings account balance, and you can typically label them and set target savings dates.

How can I transfer money from my vault to my available balance?

Moving money from your vault to your checking account is usually straightforward and quickly executed. This can easily be done through your mobile banking app.

Are vault bank accounts secure?

While no bank account is 100% secure, vault bank accounts are very safe. They’re usually backed by either FDIC or NCUA insurance, plus the security measures the bank deploys to protect your identity and finances.

Can I have multiple vaults in my bank account?

You can have multiple sub-accounts or vaults in your savings account, if your bank offers this feature. The maximum number of vaults varies by the bank, with some allowing up to 20 active vaults at one time.

Are there any fees for using a vault bank account?

Depending on where you bank, your financial institution might charge such fees as a monthly account fee, among others. Some might require that you keep a minimum balance. However, there are also banks that provide this type of account with no or low fees, so it can be wise to shop around and read the fine print.


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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


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