Sweep Accounts Definition: Types and How They Work

Sweep Accounts Definition: Types and How They Work

When it comes to managing your finances, it's important to make the most of your money. One way to do this is by utilizing sweep accounts. Sweep accounts are a type of financial tool that can help you maximize your returns and minimize your costs. In this article, we will explore the definition of sweep accounts, the different types available, and how they work.

What are Sweep Accounts?

A sweep account is a banking arrangement that automatically transfers funds between different accounts to optimize the use of available cash. It is typically offered by banks and financial institutions to help individuals and businesses manage their cash flow efficiently. Sweep accounts are designed to ensure that excess funds are not left idle in low-interest or non-interest-bearing accounts.

With a sweep account, any funds that exceed a predetermined threshold in a checking account are automatically transferred to another account that offers a higher interest rate or investment opportunity. This process is known as “sweeping” the funds.

Types of Sweep Accounts

There are several types of sweep accounts available, each with its own features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common types:

1. Money Market Sweep Accounts

Money market sweep accounts are a popular option for individuals and businesses looking to earn a higher interest rate on their excess funds. These accounts typically sweep funds into a money market mutual fund or a money market deposit account, which offers a higher yield compared to a regular savings account.

For example, let's say you have $10,000 in your checking account, and the threshold for the sweep account is set at $5,000. Any amount above $5,000 will be automatically transferred to a money market account, where it can earn a higher interest rate.

2. Repurchase Agreement Sweep Accounts

Repurchase agreement (repo) sweep accounts are commonly used by institutional investors and corporations. In this type of sweep account, excess funds are swept into short-term investments known as repurchase agreements.

A repurchase agreement is a transaction where one party sells securities to another party with an agreement to repurchase them at a later date. These investments are considered low-risk and provide a higher yield compared to traditional savings accounts.

3. Line of Credit Sweep Accounts

Line of credit sweep accounts are often used by businesses to manage their cash flow and reduce interest expenses. In this type of sweep account, excess funds are used to pay down outstanding balances on a line of credit.

For example, if a business has a line of credit with a balance of $50,000 and excess funds of $20,000 in their checking account, the sweep account will automatically transfer the $20,000 to pay down the line of credit balance. This helps reduce interest charges on the line of credit while ensuring that the business has access to funds when needed.

How Do Sweep Accounts Work?

Now that we have explored the different types of sweep accounts, let's take a closer look at how they work:

  1. The account holder sets a threshold amount for the sweep account. This is the minimum balance that should be maintained in the checking account.
  2. If the balance in the checking account exceeds the threshold amount, the excess funds are automatically swept into the designated account.
  3. The swept funds are then invested in a higher-yielding option, such as a money market mutual fund or a repurchase agreement.
  4. When the account holder needs to access the swept funds, they can be easily transferred back into the checking account.

By utilizing sweep accounts, individuals and businesses can ensure that their excess funds are working for them, rather than sitting idle in a low-interest account. This can help maximize returns and optimize cash flow management.

Benefits of Sweep Accounts

Sweep accounts offer several benefits for individuals and businesses:

  • Maximized Returns: By automatically sweeping excess funds into higher-yielding options, sweep accounts help maximize returns on idle cash.
  • Improved Cash Flow Management: Sweep accounts ensure that funds are available when needed, while also reducing interest expenses on lines of credit.
  • Convenience: The automated nature of sweep accounts eliminates the need for manual transfers, saving time and effort.
  • Flexibility: Swept funds can be easily transferred back into the checking account when required, providing flexibility and liquidity.


Sweep accounts are a valuable financial tool that can help individuals and businesses make the most of their excess funds. By automatically transferring funds to higher-yielding options, sweep accounts maximize returns and optimize cash flow management. Whether it's a money market sweep account, a repurchase agreement sweep account, or a line of credit sweep account, there are various options available to suit different needs and preferences. By utilizing sweep accounts, you can ensure that your money is working for you, rather than sitting idle in a low-interest account.

So, if you're looking to make the most of your money, consider exploring sweep accounts and take advantage of the benefits they offer.

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