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Updated on Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Albert is a money management app that acts as a concierge for your finances. Unlike other apps that solely focus on one specific money management tool, like building a budget or ramping up savings, Albert takes a more holistic approach.
Not all apps are worth the download, though. While Albert can certainly be a useful money management tool, it does have its drawbacks.
|Best for ...||Consumers who want to automate their savings and build healthy financial habits|
|Minimum balance||None; $1 for Albert Investing|
|Monthly fee||Minimum of $4 for Genius subscription|
|Annual bonus||Up to 0.25% on savings funds|
|Accounts offered||Savings account, individual brokerage account|
|Access to human financial advisors||Yes|
- What is the Albert app?
- Albert’s fees and additional features
- Advantages of the Albert app
- Downsides of the Albert app
- Albert vs. other money management apps
What is the Albert app?
Albert offers three core money management features in its free version: savings automation, budgeting and the chance to lower your bills.
Albert automates savings
With its Smart Savings tool, Albert analyzes your income and spending habits over time, and finds dollars you can afford to save here and there. It moves money for you gradually, stashing it in a digital wallet account included in the app.
With the free subscription to Albert, you’ll get one free Smart Savings deposit in Albert’s digital wallet per week. If you want more control, Albert also enables you to save a set amount on a weekly basis. Funds in your Albert savings are available for withdrawal at no cost at any time.
While Albert’s digital wallet does not pay any interest, the app will reward you with an annual bonus of up to 0.25% for Genius subscribers and 0.10% for regular Albert users. The bonus is paid out as 25 cents per every $100 (or 10 cents per every $100) you have saved over the course of a year, and it is paid at the beginning of each month. If your bonus is less than 5 cents, it will roll over that bonus to the next month until you reach a bonus amount over 5 cents.
The funds in your Albert savings account are held at accounts at partner banks, which provide Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) insurance up to the legal limit.
Albert helps you budget
Albert has a budgeting feature that automatically generates a personalized monthly budget made up of four components: income, recurring bills, savings and everything else. You can track your budget on Albert with visuals like pie charts, and the app will send you push notifications to alert you to excessive spending or bill due dates.
Within the budgeting feature is a financial health checkup score to help you gauge how you’re doing financially overall, taking into consideration aspects of your financial life. The score ranges from 0 to 100, and is calculated by examining your account data across four categories:
- Savings and investments: The score takes into account your balances in the savings and investing portions of the Albert app, as well as your linked checking account.
- Debt burden: This is determined by your ratio of total credit card debt to income.
- Insurance: This takes into account the insurance policies you own.
- Fees and rewards: These factor in what you pay in banking and credit card fees.
Albert can negotiate lower bills for you
Through a partnership with bill negotiating company Billshark, Albert also gives you the option to negotiate lower monthly bills for expenses like cable, phone and internet. When Albert identifies a bill it might be able to lower, it will alert you to it. From there, you can sign in, provide a few details about the bill and then negotiations will start.
It is worth noting that if Billshark successfully lowers your bill, it takes 40% of your savings as a fee.
Albert’s fees and additional features
Albert Instant: Albert can provide you with an instant cash advance up to $100 straight from your bank account, with no interest charged or late fees. The fee for this service ranges from $3.99 to $4.99, depending on whether you subscribe to Albert’s premium service (discussed in more detail below).
Albert Planning: This feature allows you to sign up for insurance policies directly from the app. Insurance types offered include life insurance, home insurance, renters insurance and car insurance. There is no stated fee for this service, but you will have to pay for the insurance policy.
Albert Genius: Albert’s premium service, Albert Genius, offers numerous added features, as well as guidance from financial experts. Albert charges fees under a “pay what you think is fair” model, although there is a minimum of $4 per month. You get access to a micro-investing account (more on that below), plus these three account enhancements:
- Ask for advice: You can ask Genius for tailored advice on a number of financial topics, like credit card debt, student loans, travel rewards, insurance, savings and investing.
- Smart Savings: Instead of being limited to one Smart Savings transaction a week, you’ll get access to multiple Smart Savings transactions per week.
- Increased savings bonus: You’ll receive an increased annual bonus of 1% on your savings.
Albert Investments: For those who get the Genius upgrade, the true highlight is the micro-investing account, Albert Investments. You get a custom investment portfolio crafted by Albert’s financial analysts, as well as guidance from its team of financial advisors. Albert Investments requires a minimum investment of $1, and features commission-free trades and automatic investing. Self-managed investing is also an available option.
Advantages of the Albert app
- Provides numerous features: Albert provides a full toolbox of features to help you manage almost every aspect of your financial life, from saving and budgeting to investing and lowering bills.
- Simplifies money management: Albert’s savings, budgeting and investing algorithms can take much of the grunt work out of money management.
- Provides a holistic financial view: The financial health checkup score provides a simple, top-level view of your finances.
Downsides of the Albert app
- Offers a minimal savings bonus: The 0.25% annual bonus added to your savings is minimal compared with the interest you can earn on savings in many other online savings accounts listed on our site.
- Limits savings transactions for some users: For non-Genius users, the Smart Savings tool that automatically saves money for you based on your spending habits is limited to just one savings transaction per week.
Albert vs. other money management apps
|Albert vs. Other Money Management Apps|
|Monthly fee||Minimum of $4 for Genius||$5.99 for Cleo Plus||Free for its budgeting features||$3 to $12 per month|
|APY||N/A, but up to 0.25% annual bonus||Up to 1.50%||N/A||0.10%|
Albert operates in the same vein as many other budgeting and money management apps, like Cleo, Mint and Qapital. Compared with these competitors, Albert falls somewhere in the middle. Mint’s robust budgeting features, which are free, arguably outshine Albert’s budgeting offerings. Meanwhile, Cleo’s offerings fall short when compared with Albert as it doesn’t offer an investment feature. Qapital comes with a noticeably steeper price tag for providing a very similar service as Albert.
Where Albert stands out is its offering a number of features that provide value. This includes its Investments tool, automatic Smart Savings feature, partnership with BillShark, added savings bonus and financial checkup score. By incorporating financial wellness scores with the ability to ask real financial experts for guidance on a range of topics, Albert seems committed to actually helping you learn the skills associated with money management, while also offering a holistic view of your finances.
All fees and rates mentioned in this article are accurate as of publishing.