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What Is IntraFi Network Deposits?

By Dan Miller · July 21, 2022 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

What Is IntraFi Network Deposits?

IntraFi Network Deposits is a banking network that allows customers to deposit more than $250,000 and have the funds be FDIC-insured. The FDIC (or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) offers $250,000 of deposit insurance for most bank customers in the event that the bank fails. This applies per depositor, per institution, per ownership category.

While this may be more than enough for many people, individuals with very high net worths or businesses may have the need for additional FDIC insurance on larger sums. For those in that situation, there are an array of strategies to get the insurance coverage needed for peace of mind.

One option is to use IntraFi Network Deposits. This allows you to work with one bank which facilitates your money being spread between multiple institutions to make sure that you remain under the FDIC limit. Here, learn more about this process by diving into:

•   How does IntraFi Work?

•   What steps do you take to use IntraFi?

•   What are alternatives to IntraFi?

How Does IntraFi Work?

IntraFi Network Deposits (previously known as CDARS or ICS) is a network that links many of the largest banks and financial institutions in a shared network. If you have more than $250,000 in savings accounts or certificates of deposit in an investment plan, you might want to consider using the IntraFi network. It can help you bank your money while maintaining FDIC insurance.

You create an account with one custodial bank in the network. Think of that bank as managing your relationship with others, because they spread your total deposit amount out over multiple different financial institutions.

Your funds are split up into multiple accounts of $250,000 or less, each fully FDIC-insured, at various institutions, with IntraFi Network acting as your hub. This can be a valuable solution for high net-worth individuals as well as businesses.

Think about the big picture: Most investors want to make sure that they are investing in safe accounts; ones that are unlikely to lose value. There are, of course, various ways to accomplish this. Security is one reason you might look at how CDs compare to bonds, for example. IntraFi Network Deposits is an avenue for those who appreciate a consolidated approach to investing large sums of money and enjoying FDIC insurance.

FDIC Limits

The FDIC is an independent agency of the United States government, tasked with insuring bank depositors against a bank failure. FDIC deposit insurance guarantees that money up to $250,000 per depositor.

If you have more than that to invest, you might consider spreading out your money to different institutions. This will help make sure that all of your money is protected.

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Using IntraFi Deposits

IntraFi Network Deposits can be thought of as your one-stop shop for dividing your money into separate, fully insured accounts. Read on to learn how exactly this organization functions to help make this process easier for you.

Participating Banks

The first thing that you will want to do to use IntraFi Deposits is to find a participating bank. Most of the largest banks in the country belong to the IntraFi network, including 84% of the largest banks in the country. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a network bank that will fit your needs. Check with your current bank or other ones in your area, if you like, or use a search engine to locate one. Found one you are ready to bank with? This is called your custodial bank.

Deposit Funds

Once you’ve found a participating bank, the next step is to complete the required paperwork and then deposit funds (say, by transferring money from another bank account). Even though your funds will be spread throughout several different financial institutions, you will always work directly with your custodial bank. You will deposit funds through that one bank, and they will set the interest rate that you’ll earn on all your funds across the network.

Your custodial bank will be responsible for separating your money into FDIC-insured accounts, each of $250,000 or less, and managing them.

Track Your Funds

Your custodial bank is responsible for verifying your identity, accepting your deposits, and handling all communication with you. How certificates of deposit work with IntraFi is similar to how it would work if you only had an account with one bank. You will receive regular statements from your custodial bank, just as if you had an account directly and only with them.

If you have questions about which financial institutions your money is invested in, you can track that information through your custodial bank and the bank statements they issue.

Is IntraFi Safe?

Savvy investors are concerned with which investments have the lowest level of risk. While no investment is 100% safe in all situations, the IntraFi Network has been tested with billions of dollars over its lifetime. In addition, it has been endorsed by the American Bankers Association.

How Much Does the IntraFi Service Cost?

IntraFi Network Deposits does not charge a fee directly to consumers who take advantage of the service. You will choose a product and a rate directly with the custodial bank that you elect to sign up with. That rate and product will determine your total return on investment (ROI).

How Many Banks Participate in the IntraFi Network?

Nearly all of the biggest banks in the United States participate in the IntraFi network. The IntraFi network includes more than 3,000 financial institutions, representing around 50% of the total banks in the country. Of the banks in the network, 95% are community banks, and 66% of minority-owned banks are members. This means it should be fairly simple to find a participating bank that works for you.

Alternatives to IntraFi Network Deposits

Of course, there’s the possibility that IntraFi Network Deposits doesn’t align perfectly with your needs and goals. If you have more than $250,000 in funds that you want to deposit so it’s FDIC-insured, there are other options to consider, listed here.

Open accounts with multiple banks

One alternative to using the IntraFi Network Deposits program is to just open accounts with multiple banks yourself. You would just need to keep the total amount at less than $250,000 per ownership category, per institution.

While this does give you more control, it also increases potential headaches as you try to track all of your money manually. Another possible negative is that you may not be able to get the highest rates with every financial institution. Deciding how many bank accounts to have is a personal decision, depending on your money style and your goals.

Open different types of accounts

FDIC insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. One way to enjoy that FDIC coverage when you have more than $250,000 to deposit is by opening up different categories of accounts. There are a number of different types of account ownership categories, including such options as:

•   Single accounts

•   Joint accounts

•   Revocable trust accounts

•   Irrevocable trust accounts

•   Certain retirement accounts

•   Employee benefit plan accounts

Check with your financial institution to see if this might work for you as an IntraFi alternative.

Accept the risk of bank failure

You do also have the option to keep all of your money in one bank account, even above the $250,000 FDIC limit. This can involve taking on a substantial risk however. If that bank fails, you may lose any money held by the bank above the FDIC limit. This really boils down to a matter of your personal comfort level.

The Takeaway

If you have more than $250,000 in funds that you want to invest in a savings, money market, or certificate of deposit account, you may want to spread your money out to make sure that it is all FDIC-insured. FDIC insurance will cover $250,000, but beyond that, you may well need a solution. One way to do this is through the IntraFi Network Deposits program, which will divide your money into separate accounts that are fully insured. They can simplify this money management process for you and help you enjoy more peace of mind.

If you are looking for a bank that is a member of the IntraFi Network, SoFi can help. But even if you have much less money to stash, online banking with SoFi can also be a great choice. When you set up our Checking and Savings with direct deposit, you’ll enjoy a competitive APY and you’ll pay no account fees.

Better banking is here with up to 3.25% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Are IntraFi accounts safe?

While no investment can be guaranteed as 100% safe in all situations, the IntraFi Network Deposits program has been tested with thousands of depositors and billions of dollars over the years.

How do you use IntraFi?

Whether you are creating an investment plan for a child or want to invest a large amount of money for another reason, using IntraFi is very straightforward. First, find a participating bank and complete the required paperwork. Then, you will make your deposits, and your funds will be placed into CDs or deposit accounts with other banks in the network. Your custodial bank will send you periodic statements with the details of your activity.

What is the interest rate for IntraFi?

IntraFi does not set the interest rate on deposits. Instead, it is your custodial bank that sets the interest rate for the total amount deposited. Whether you have a no penalty certificate of deposit or any other type of account, the interest rate will be up to your custodial bank. You will also receive your statements and other correspondence from the bank where you made your initial deposits.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 3.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 2.50% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 11/3/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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