Published on September 2nd, 2018 | by Chuck17
Acorns Investment App Review, Round-Up and Robo Investing with Additional Perks
We’ve written about various promotions from the Acorns investment app so I thought it’s worth writing up a quick review.
Acorns is an investment app whose leading focus is their ‘Roundups’ program. Here’s how it works: you link your bank and credit cards with Acorns, and they automatically ’round-up’ your purchases to the nearest dollar and pull that funds into your investment account. For example, if they see a $3.87 charge at Starbucks, they’ll pull $.13 from your checking account to invest. (They wait until you accumulate $5 to invest, so they don’t actually pull the $.13 immediately.)
Acorns also supports direct investments as well, including automated recurring investments. You can add or withdraw funds at any time.
When setting up the account initially, Acorns will tailor an investment strategy for you, depending on the degree of risk you want in your investments, and all future investments will run under that strategy. You can change at any later date as well.
Acorns unveiled the Acorns Later platform which allows your investments to go toward retirement funds. They’re also launching a checking and debit card product called Acorns Spend which promises to let you save even more by giving up to 10% back at places you shop every day.
On the Home screen you’ll see your current balance (“Present”), account history (“Past”), as well as your Potential. You can view performance graphs under the Performance tab.
- $1 for standard Acorns account (free for college students with .edu email address)
- $2 for standard + Acorns Later account
- $3 for standard + Acorns Later + Spend debit card account
An interesting feature of Acorns is their Found Money program. There you’ll find various offers which will earn you money in your Acorns investment account. Some of these offers are like regular online shopping portals whereby you’ll earn a stated percentage for clicking through and shopping at various retailers.
Yet other offers are special deals, like this $250 offer for hosting your first Airbnb or this $35 offer for new Rover customers. Most of the offers are from merchants who offer such signup offers under various mediums, and sometimes the Acorns offer is better than the standard offers found elsewhere.
Some of the offers require you to spend on a debit card linked in your Acorns account, yet other offers work with standard portal-type tracking, not tied to any card.
The standard referral bonus is $5 for the new member and the referrer. The $5 bonuses are only paid out if the new member completes signup and makes their first investment.
Acorns has also run huge referral bonus offers for limited times for those who refer many members. For example, they’ve offered $1,000 bonus for referring 12 friends. (That’s in addition to the standard $5 bonus for referrer and for new member.) I managed to hit that bonus once due to reader’s signups – thanks all! Here’s my referral link.
You’ll find your referral link in the Invite Friends tab at the top-right on the web version.
If you’re doing this strictly for the few dollars of roundups you’ll invest per month, the $1 monthly fee will easily eat up the value. There is additional value in their automated investment option which is something not offered by typical brokerages. And you can use them for regular investing.
Please do your research as to your best investment strategy; seriously, this post is not meant to be financial advice. Officially there are no fees other than the $1/month, but I’m not sure how they calculate returns (it could be the fees of the funds they are investing in are deducted off the top – I’m not entirely sure).
The Found Money feature is pretty cool – assuming you find yourself earning semi-regularly from those offers, that could justify the $1 monthly fee on it’s own. We also have to see if the debit card rewards program ends up being useful.
If you decided to signup, appreciate if you use my Acorns referral link.