You Should Never Leave a Balance in Venmo—Here's Why

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This story is part of CNBC Make It's One-Minute Money Hacks series, which provides easy, straightforward tips and tricks to help you understand your finances and take control of your money.

If you use your smartphone to send money to friends and family, chances are good that it's happening on Venmo. The peer-to-peer payment service has more than 50 million users in the U.S. who sent nearly $160 billion to each other in 2020. 

But despite the ease with which Venmo allows you to pay rent or split the dinner bill, you should always keep an eye on your Venmo balance and make sure it doesn't get too high.

Here are three reasons why you should always transfer the bulk of your balance to the bank.

1. Your Venmo balance doesn't earn interest

Unlike money in your investments or savings account, your Venmo balance isn't working for you. Rather than increasing in value over time, your balance remains the same no matter how long you keep it in the app.

Instead, putting that money into a high-yield savings account will allow it to grow. High-yield accounts currently offer rates as high as 0.6% APY.

2. Your Venmo balance isn't insured

Unlike your bank account, your Venmo balance isn't insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. If your bank were to go under, the government insures up to $250,000. But Venmo has no such guarantees.

That means that in the unlikely event that the service goes down, Venmo isn't responsible for you getting back whatever funds you had sitting in your account. 

It's smarter to minimize your risk by not leaving any significant sums of money in the app.

3. Venmo transfers take time

Because Venmo reviews all of its transfers, you could be left unable to pay a bill because your funds are stuck in limbo.

Venmo says transfers typically arrive to user bank accounts within one to three days, but warns that reviews may cause delays. If rent is due and you don't have access to your funds, that could be a big problem. 

While it may be convenient to keep some cash in Venmo for quick transfers, keep the majority money safe and working for you

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistated the annual earnings from a high-yield savings account.

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