Qapital offers a mobile app and cash management account that helps you automate the process of saving money. Users establish savings goals and chose rules to trigger deposits to reach their goals—the app can round up everyday purchases and save the balance, or add money to savings whenever you walk a certain number of steps in a day.
Qapital’s clever savings goals and cash management account don’t come cheap, however: The app costs $3 to $12 per month, depending on which features you choose. The cash management account offers a very modest APY of 0.10%, as of the date of publishing. Qapital also offers an investing account to grow your savings in the stock market.
How does Qapital work?
Qapital aims to automate your savings. You set up one or more savings goals—for objectives such as a home down payment or a vacation—and then apply a rule to each savings goal.
For example, the Apple Health rule links to your iPhone Health app, which triggers transfers to your savings goal of choice every time you work out at the gym or walk a set number of steps each day. Do you have a weakness for online shopping? The Guilty Pleasure rule moves money to savings whenever you make a purchase from certain online merchants. The IFTTT rule triggers savings based on activity in apps like Twitter, Facebook, Fitbit and Google.
Qapital has three plans: Basic, Complete and Master. The table below offers a quick look at what each plan includes.
|Basic Plan||Complete Plan||Master Plan|
|Unlimited savings Goals|
|Automatic savings Rules|
|VISA debit card||-|
|Spending Sweet Spot||-|
Qapital Basic plan
The Qapital Basic plan provides an FDIC-insured savings account, which you link to an external checking account, and asks you to establish one or more savings goals. You can transfer money between goals to accommodate changes in your savings needs. The savings account does not earn interest under the Basic plan.
Qapital Complete plan
The Qapital Complete plan adds a spending account and an investment account. The spending account works like a conventional checking account at bank, and includes a Visa Debit Card and the ability to send checks in-app through a third-party provider.
Once you have a spending account, you also start earning interest at 0.10% APY, as of the date of publishing, on both your savings and spending accounts.
You can set up direct deposit into the spending account and make unlimited transfers between your spending and your savings accounts, as well as any external funding accounts. There are no account setup or overdraft fees.
To give you a fuller picture of your finances, the spending account includes Payday Divvy, a feature that lays out the assets, deposits and savings goals you’ve linked to your account. When the app recognizes a deposit in your account, it will prompt you to assess your financial needs and allocate your funds accordingly.
The spending account also includes a budgeting feature called the Spending Sweet Spot. After accounting for fixed expenses like monthly bills, Spending Sweet Spot helps you monitor your day-to-day expenses and determine how much you can safely spend each month.
Complete plan members also have access to Qapital Invest portfolios. Branded as “ideal for budding investors,” these exchange traded fund (ETF) portfolios diversify your funds for balanced investing. Each invest goal will have its own Invest account and requires at least $10 to open. To get started, you’ll need to provide a goal amount and an investment timeline to hit your goal. You can also choose the best option based on your risk tolerance. After that, Qapital will manage the portfolio for you.
Qapital Master plan
In addition to the features above, for $12 a month the Master plan gives you Money Missions, webinars and events. Webinars and events are not live quite yet, however, and will be launched soon.
Qapital describes Money Missions as “challenges designed to help you unlock insights about how you use your money now, so you can use it better in the future.” Set up like the app’s savings goals, Money Missions have labels like “have a worry-free night out” and “buy time not things,” and aim to help give you more control over your spending habits.
Qapital fine print
Since Qapital is not a bank itself, the company partners with Wells Fargo to hold savings funds in FDIC-insured accounts, and partners with Lincoln Savings Bank to hold Spending account funds in FDIC-insured accounts.
The Visa Debit Card that comes with your Spending account has daily limits you may want to keep in mind. You can spend up to $7,000 each day on the card, which includes card transactions, withdrawals and transfers. You can withdraw up to $510 from an ATM each day; this amount includes ATM fees.
Qapital charges no fees for ATM withdrawals, although you may face a fee from the ATM owner.
Qapital’s main website doesn’t provide much detailed information on its various accounts and features or how they work. To find out more about their products, you’ll have to navigate its labyrinthine Help Center. Even then, you may have to contact customer support to find the information you’re looking for.
Opening a Qapital account
You can create a Basic account either online or in the app. You’ll be prompted to provide your name and email. You’ll also have to select one or more short-term savings goals, choosing from options like “do something,” “pay off debts” and “rainy day fund.” You can then indicate whether you want to include Qapital Invest, a Spending account and Money Missions.
Once you’ve indicated these preferences, you’ll submit your phone number to receive a code. After that, you’ll choose your membership tier and link your checking account. Finally, you will be prompted to download the app.
Who is Qapital best for?
If you’re looking for help building your savings, Qapital’s Basic plan is your best choice. This gives you access to the app’s useful savings tools, although at $3 per month, Qapital Basic is at a disadvantage to similar fee-free services, like Simple.
The Complete plan offers more budgeting features and unlocks the ability to earn interest, although the low 0.10% APY (as of the date of publishing) doesn’t come close to the best savings accounts or best interest-earning checking accounts available. The Complete also gives you access to Qapital Invest, but people who want to start their investing journey would be better off looking at our choices for best robo-advisors.
The Master plan’s educational materials and Money Missions do not appear to be worth the extra money.