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Banking

Review of the Trim App

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

If you feel like you’re spending too much, Trim can help you cut costs. Branded as a personal financial assistant, Trim tracks your spending patterns and helps you identify problem areas. It can even cancel old or unwanted subscriptions.

Trim itself is free, as are its tracking and budgeting features. Trim’s more advanced features, however, will cost you. The app charges either a one-time fee or a monthly fee, depending on the service, although its prices aren’t unreasonable. Features that will cost you include the app’s Bill Negotiation and Debt Payoff services, as well as the Trim Simple Savings account — however, this savings account isn’t the most remarkable option on the market, at 1.60% APY and a monthly fee of $10, both as of September 12, 2019.

Still, Trim can be great for those who need some help spring cleaning their finances. Read more about Trim’s features and fine print below to learn how you can get a grip on all of your accounts, transactions and savings in one place with the Trim app.

How does the Trim app work?

Once you link external accounts to your Trim account, you’ll have access to your personal dashboard. This dashboard tracks your transactions and savings to give you a better view of your finances in one place. You can break down your spending by category to see how much you spend at select merchants or check your monthly spending habits. Trim also allows you to set a monthly target budget that you can monitor on your dashboard.

By tracking your spending habits, Trim removes the hassle of manually cutting out frivolous spending. Trim identifies all of your recurring subscriptions and shows them in one place. If you decide you no longer need a subscription, you can ask Trim to cancel it for you.

Further, Trim may help lower your bills with Bill Negotiation, which is offered for a fee (more on that below). If you think you’re paying too much on your cable or internet bills, for example, Trim may be able to work with your providers to cut your bill by as much as 30%. You can directly connect your Comcast, Time Warner (Spectrum) and AT&T accounts in your Trim account. For any other service providers, you can upload or email a bill to Trim. With this unique feature, Trim acts as your personal advocate, which most other financial apps do not do.

The app also includes a Trim Simple Savings account to help grow your savings more proactively. It earns at a 1.60% APY (as of September 12, 2019) and allows for automated weekly transfers from a selected checking account. You can send any amount up to $500. This feature costs a small fee (outlined further below), unless you have a Debt Payoff subscription.

For a monthly charge, Trim’s Debt Payoff program creates a custom plan to help you pay off your debts faster with the help of an AI calculator. They’ll set up calls with you and your bank to negotiate better loan interest rates and automate transfers to your credit card through Billpay to help pay down balances faster. Debt Payoff also includes unlimited email access to a financial planner, as well, whom Trim recommends contacting once you sign up. They can answer a range of financial questions from how to pay off any kind of debts to how to start saving for retirement.

Trim fees and fine print

FeatureCost
Bill Negotiation33% of annual savings (with successful negotiation)
Debt Payoff$10 per month
Trim Simple Savings$2 per month OR free with Debt Payoff

Trim is free to download and use for most features. This includes personalized spend alerts, overdraft fee detection and subscription tracking and canceling.

The app’s paid features include Bill Negotiation, Debt Payoff and Trim Simple Savings. With Bill Negotiation, if Trim successfully negotiates your bill down, you’ll owe 33% of your annual savings from Trim’s negotiations. For example, if Trim knocks $10 off your monthly internet bill for a year, you’ll pay Trim $40 (about 33% of the $120 they saved you for the year). This is typically a one-time charge, but Trim can split the payment into 3 to 4 charges, if you request it.

Debt Payoff will also cost you, charging $10 a month. It comes with a 90-day money back guarantee if, according to Trim, they don’t “make enough of a positive impact on your investment.”

If you pay the fee for Debt Payoff, you won’t be charged for a Trim Simple Savings account. Otherwise, this savings account costs $2 per month. This amount is debited from the checking account you link at signup. Trim’s banking services — which include FDIC insurance on your money — are provided by Evolve Bank, through Trim’s banking software provider, SynapseFI.

Trim stresses its dedication to security. It works with Plaid (a company that provides the technology to connect consumers to developers and financial institutions) to process your bank account information so that information is not stored on Trim’s services. Rather, this information is sent to Plaid and then sent back to Trim as encrypted tokens. Trim also utilizes 256-bit SSL encryption, two-factor authentication and read-only access.

Opening a Trim account

You can get started with a Trim account by signing up online with your email address or Facebook login. Once you create an account, you’ll also need to connect your Facebook messenger or your phone number. Then, you’ll connect your bank account and/or credit card to start using Trim’s features. Trim supports over 15,000 financial institutions, so you should be able to connect your accounts without a hitch.

If you elect to open a Trim Simple Savings account, you will need to connect an external checking account in order to fund the savings account.

Who is Trim best for?

Trim is best for those who need some help streamlining their spending and savings. Trim provides a holistic view of your finances, depending on the accounts you connect, allowing you to browse both easily and in-depth. Trim lets you set budgets and actively helps you cut out unnecessary costs, like those forgotten subscriptions that keep draining your savings each month.

Trim’s paid services are also helpful. Bill Negotiation is great for folks who don’t have the time or know-how to negotiate their bills down — just watch out for the 33% fee that Trim will charge for the year they make a successful negotiation. Debt Payoff is helpful in the same way for folks who can’t seem to conquer their debt from credit cards or student loans, for example. Again, just watch for the $10 monthly fee that Trim charges.

However, Trim is not for those who are looking for a competitive savings account. The Trim Simple Savings account is more of a nice add-on to the app’s handy features, thanks to its solid 1.60% APY (as of September 12, 2019). The account costs $2 per month, unless you have Debt Payoff, which pales slightly against other online savings accounts that are out there. Instead, you may be better served by using Trim to focus on cleaning up your finances and improving your habits.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Banking

Review of Clarity Money

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Clarity Money aims to bring transparency and simplicity to your money management habits. The app and its few features are relatively simple, which can be a plus for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of other apps.

It includes standard budgeting tools, including a spending breakdown by month or by merchant. It has the added perk of identifying recurring subscriptions, so you can more easily spot areas where you can cut costs. Plus, Clarity itself doesn’t cost a cent to open or maintain.

Clarity Money isn’t quite a one-stop shop for finance management, though. A Clarity account merely allows you to view all of your financial accounts, rather than consolidating checking, savings and investment accounts in one place — and if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here.

Nevertheless, Clarity is a great tool for decluttering and demystifying your finances. Learn more about its easy-to-use features below.

How does Clarity Money work?

To get started, you must link at least one account from a supported institution, such including Chase Bank, Wells Fargo or USAA — in fact, over 9,000 institutions are available to link to your Clarity Money account. Plus, there’s no limit to the number of external accounts you can link to the app.

As a Goldman Sachs Bank USA brand, Clarity Money also offers the ability to open a Marcus Online Savings Account — which consistently offers one of the best online savings account rates in the industry.

Once you’ve linked at least one account, Clarity will display the available balances and transactions associated with those accounts. This includes savings and checking accounts, credit cards, investments and loans. That way, you have a more holistic view of your finances all in one place.

The app tracks your spending and displays it in a few different ways. Each transaction can be categorized under a label like bills, entertainment or travel, which you can edit at any time to best fit your preferences. Then, you can see which categories you might be spending more or less in.

You can also sort your spending by merchant and by timeframe. For example, you can see how much you spent on Lyft within the past year. You can also sort to see a more complete history of your spending month over month. This view includes both line and pie charts (shown above) that compare your income to your spending, providing more insight and visibility to your spending habits.

Additionally, Clarity highlights any recurring expenses, such as monthly bills and subscription services that you’ve signed up for. Clarity lists them, and can even help you cancel many recurring memberships or accounts right from the app itself. Even if that option isn’t available for a certain expense, the feature still allows you to more easily keep an eye on recurring expenses and cancel any useless or outdated ones manually.

To help you stay on top of your finances, rather than just giving you just a passive overview, the app enables a handful of useful notifications. For example, it can send reminders whenever a credit card payment is due if you link a credit card to your account. It can also notify you if you’re spending more (or less) than normal or are on track with your monthly budget. You can also set up notifications for paycheck deposits and low balances.

Clarity Money fees and fine print

Clarity Money is free to use, without any monthly or usage fees. The Marcus Online Savings account also has no fees. There is no minimum deposit required to open either account.

Note that the app itself is solely for organizing and tracking your budgets. It’s neither a checking nor a savings account, so it does not include a debit card or earn interest on any balance. Only the separate Marcus Online Savings Account earns interest at 2.00% APY.

High-yield Online Savings Account from Goldman Sachs Bank USA

High-yield Online Savings Account from Goldman Sachs Bank USA

APY

2.00%

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$0

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on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Opening a Clarity Money account

You can open an account either online or through the app, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play. You’ll need to provide an email address to open an account. Once your account is created, you’ll need to link at least one supported external account to gain access to the app’s features.

Additionally, you can open a Marcus Online Savings Account directly within the Clarity Money app via the Marcus Savings tab. To open an Online Savings Account, you must link an eligible checking or savings account and verify your email address.

Who is Clarity Money best for?

This app is best for folks looking for a truly simple approach to getting a grip on their finances. The app allows you to organize and track your finances in one place, leaving room for personalization based on your organizational preferences. Additionally, the app’s simplicity can be good for those who can get distracted or overwhelmed by other features, like a new debit card or complex earnings systems.

That said, this app won’t be good for people who want to consolidate all of their financial dealings in one place. Clarity Money isn’t a checking, savings and investment account all in one — it simply displays all of your existing accounts in one place. Still, if you have all of your accounts in separate places but just need an easier interface to get a better look at them all, this app may be worth considering.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Best of

Best Savings Account Bonus Offers

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

There’s no shortage of checking account bonus offers, with everyone from small local banks to the big household names offering hundreds of dollars to new customers. Banks know it’s hard to get you to leave your old bank, especially when you’re comfortable with the accounts you have. But what better way to entice you than with a big cash bonus?

You’ll find these bonus offers attached to more checking accounts than savings accounts. After all, checking accounts are a crucial part to banking, as they allow you to easily access your money for purchases and transfers.

That’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities to earn money with a new savings account. We’ve found six of the best savings account bonus offers as of the date of publishing. It’s easy to go straight for the highest amount, but pay attention to the bank and the account you’re getting ready to open. Make sure it’s a bank you actually want to do business with.

Further, double check that you’ll be happy with the new account for months to come. It can take months to meet the offer requirements and even longer to actually receive the bonus. If there’s a monthly fee on the account, you could be stuck paying that unnecessary fee, especially if you can’t meet the balance requirements to waive it. You may not even be happy with the interest rate on the account, which might make the savings account bonus offer not entirely worth it.

The 6 best savings account bonus offers in 2019

Methodology

To find the best savings account bonus offers, we looked for the highest bonus amounts offered. Below, you’ll find the six biggest bonus offers on savings accounts being offered. Offers are current as of this publication date and we will update the article periodically to show the freshest ranking.

Citi — $500 bonus with $15,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 9/30/2019

Offer rules: You must be a new Citibank customer and open a Citibank Account Package, which includes a checking and savings account. Within 30 days of opening these accounts, you must deposit at least $15,000 in either of these two accounts with money new to Citibank, and maintain a minimum balance across both accounts of $15,000 for 60 days.

After meeting the above requirements, you’ll get $400 in bonus money deposited into your checking account (or savings account if you’ve closed the checking account). If you make at least two ACH deposits into the checking account portion of the Account Package within 60 days of opening the account, you’ll receive an additional $100.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new customer to Citibank and enroll in the bank’s “$400/$500 Checking and Savings Offer” either in person, over the phone, or online.

Account details: There’s a $25 monthly maintenance fee, which you can avoid be keeping a minimum of $10,00 deposited across both accounts (which you’ll want to do anyone in order to qualify for the bonus, which requires a minimum of $15,000). You may not want a checking account and are free to close it, but keep in mind in order to get the $100 bonus (to bring the total amount to $500) you need to make the ACH deposits into a checking account, not a savings account.

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on Citi’s secure website

Wells Fargo — $250 bonus with $15,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 12/31/2019

Offer rules: Open a new eligible savings account with a $25 minimum opening deposit by December 31, 2019. Then within 10 days of opening, you must deposit at least $15,000 in new money, which is money not already held at Wells Fargo. You must maintain a $15,000 minimum daily balance in the account for 90 days from account opening as well, to earn the $250 bonus.

Who’s eligible: Only new Wells Fargo checking and savings customers from Dallas and Washington, D.C. are eligible to redeem this offer. You must also not have received a bonus for opening a Wells Fargo consumer checking or savings account within the past 12 months.

To receive the offer code, Complete the Open In Branch form online here to receive a bonus offer code that you can bring to a branch to open your new account.

Account details: Wells Fargo offers two savings accounts, the Way2Save® Savings and Platinum Savings accounts. Both require a $25 minimum deposit and both charge waivable monthly fees. The Platinum Savings account also earns interest.

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

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Discover — $200 bonus with $25,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 10/07/2019

Offer rules:Discover customers can benefit from a $200 bonus by opening a Discover Online Savings account for the first time by October 7, 2019, which is the same date this offer ends. You’ll then need to deposit at least $25,000 into the account by October 21, 2019.

If you can’t meet that minimum amount, you can earn a $150 bonus instead by depositing at least $15,000 into the new account by October 21, 2019.

The bonus will be credited to your account by November 4, 2019.

Who’s eligible: You must be a new Discover savings customer to qualify for this savings account bonus offer. You must not have had a savings account that was co-branded or an affinity account provided by Discover either.

You can apply for the offer with the code “MM919” either online or by phone.

Account details: Discover’s Online Savings Account earns at a competitive interest rate of 1.90% on all balances. There are no fees associated with this account. Keep in mind that the bonus is considered interest and will be reported on a 1099-INT form.

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Chase — $150/$350 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 10/14/2019

Offer rules: In another bonus offer from Chase, you can get $150 when you open a new Chase Savings account. You’ll need to deposit at least $10,000 in new money (not previously held with Chase or its affiliates) within 20 business days and maintain at least that minimum balance for 90 days.

Want to do more banking with Chase and open a Chase Total Checking account, too? Opening both a new checking and savings account can get you a $350 bonus, as long as you follow the above savings account rules and set up direct deposit on your new checking account.

Who’s eligible: You’re eligible for the Chase Savings account bonus offer if you are not already a Chase savings customer. You also cannot have had an account that was closed within 90 days or with a negative balance.

If you close this new savings account within six months after opening, Chase will deduct the bonus amount from the account at closing.

Account details: The Chase Savings account earns interest at a nominal rate of 0.01% APY, which isn’t ideal for savings growth. There is a $5 monthly fee on the account. You can waive the fee with one of the following, each statement period:

  • A daily balance of at least $300
  • At least one repeating automatic transfer of $25 or more from your personal Chase checking account or Chase Liquid® Card
  • An account owner who is younger than 18
  • Linking this account to a Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking or Chase Private Client Checking account

You could also face a $5 fee for each excessive transaction you make over the six-transfer limit per statement cycle.

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

Hancock Whitney — up to $100 bonus with $2,000 average balance

Offer ends 9/30/2019

Offer rules: For starters, you’ll need to open a new Silver Savings account with at least $500 in new money. You can earn a $25 bonus with a $500 average monthly balance, a $50 bonus with a $1,000 average monthly balance or a $100 bonus with a $2,000 average monthly balance. You must maintain the average monthly balance through 11/30/19. You can only redeem one bonus amount; it is not cumulative.

Enter your email address on the offer’s page and bring the promo code sent to you into a financial center to redeem the offer.

Who’s eligible: The offer is available only in states with Hancock Whitney branches.

Account details: The Silver Savings account earns 0.01% APY on all balances. It charges a $3 monthly fee, which you can waive by maintaining a $200 minimum daily balance, linking a Connect or Priority Checking Account or being under the age of 18 or age 65 and over.

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on Hancock Whitney’s secure website

Member FDIC

Associated Bank — $100 bonus with $10,000 minimum deposit

Offer ends 12/31/2019

Offer rules: Opening a new Associated Bank Money Market account can get you a $100 bonus. You’ll need to deposit at least $10,000 in new money (held outside Associated Bank) at opening and maintain at least that much in the account for 90 days to receive the bonus.

The bonus will be paid within 120 days of account opening if you meet the requirements. The account must be open at that time. You must also keep the account open for at least 12 months.

Who’s eligible: You can redeem this offer online or by taking a coupon sent via email to an Associated Bank branch. This offer is limited to one per household. Households who have or have had an Associated Bank Money Market account within the last six months do not qualify. You must be 18 years or older to apply for the bonus. If you close the new account within 12 months of opening, Associated Bank can deduct the bonus amount from your funds at closing.

Account details: The Associated Bank Money Market account is a true money market account, with the ability to write convenience checks and access Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs. It earns interest, too, between 0.03% and 0.05% APY. You can earn at higher rates by having a higher balance and a qualifying Associated checking account.

The money market account does charge a $16 fee, which you can waive by maintaining a $1,000 minimum balance.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

How do these accounts compare to the best online savings accounts?

When looking for the best online savings accounts, you won’t find much overlap here. Bonus offers tend to come from brick-and-mortar banks, as incentives for you to place your deposits with them.

Online banks still win by and large. But don’t let these financial carrots mislead you into thinking they are the best on the market — many of the best accounts are being offered by online banks these days. Online accounts tend to have the highest interest rates and the lowest fees — what more could you want? That’s why you’ll find most sign-up bonuses being offered by brick-and-mortar banks.

Know the pros and cons. You should figure out whether it’s worth it for you to open a new account with a traditional bank just for a bonus offer. Don’t forget, you can’t open a new account for a bonus offer and close it immediately. Qualifying for and receiving the bonus takes months. You could even lose your bonus offer if you close the account too soon. Plus, a savings account bonus offer is a short-term boost in savings, rather than the ongoing growth of a high-yield account. It won’t help your savings situation if your new account charges a monthly fee that you can’t waive, either.

Factor in fees. If you do desperately want to snag a couple hundred dollars by opening a new account, make sure you won’t be paying a monthly fee for the months you have the account. That way, you won’t lose any of that bonus right off the bat. Again, double check the account’s closing terms to ensure you won’t lose the bonus at closing, either. It’s also important to be able to meet the account’s minimum balance requirements. It may not make sense for you to keep $10,000 in a low-earning account just to earn a $200 bonus, for example.

Do the math. Let’s say you do deposit and maintain $10,000 in a new savings account that has an interest rate of 0.01%, which is typical of brick-and-mortar savings accounts. After a year, you’ll have earned $1 in interest. Add that to your $200 bonus and you can add a whopping $201 to your savings. Now, if you were to forgo the bonus offer and deposit your $10,000 into a high-yield savings account with a 2.25% APY, you’ll earn just over $227 after a year (with monthly compounding) — a better savings boost than the savings account bonus offer.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here