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A Comprehensive Review of Popmoney

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

What is Popmoney?

Person-to-person (P2P) cash transfer services like Popmoney have become a popular and convenient way for exchange money via virtual hands these days. Powered by the tech service provider Fiserv, this service transfers cash from one bank account to another with a flat fee charged per transaction.

About 2,500 financial institutions offer Popmoney cash transfer services, allowing customers to send and request money by simply signing into their online bank account. If your bank doesn’t offer Popmoney for transfers, you can still send money through the Popmoney website or mobile app after creating a profile, but there are plenty of alternative payment apps out there to consider as well.

In this post, we’ll cover what you need to know about the service, including how to use the service, whether it’s safe and how it stacks up against other P2P cash transfer apps. Fees and pricing in this piece are accurate as the date of publishing.

How to send money with Popmoney

The process for sending money is different for people who have the Popmoney service offered through their bank.

If your bank participates with Popmoney: You initiate a transfer from your online bank account through your bank’s website. Find out if your bank participates here.

If your bank doesn’t participate with Popmoney: You need to create a Popmoney profile on the website to transfer money using your bank account or debit card.

You can send money to a friend or family member using their email, phone number or bank routing and account number. The recipient will be notified about the money transfer, and will be given instructions on how to receive the cash.

How to receive money with Popmoney

People can send you money in three ways — using your email, mobile number or bank account number. This process is a bit different for each method.

If someone sends you money using your phone number: You get a text with instructions on how to get your money.

If someone sends you money using your email address: You get an email with instructions on how to get your money.

If someone sends you money using your bank account: You get cash deposited straight into your account without a notification, unless the sender chooses to write a message.

You have 10 days to collect money if you get the cash by email or phone number. The payment is returned to the sender if it expires. There’s also an option to request funds. If the person you request money from isn’t already signed up, you should get cash within three days of them creating an account with Popmoney.

How long does Popmoney take to transfer money into a bank account?

It can take anywhere from one to three business days or more to transfer money depending on several factors including when you send the money, how you send the money and when the recipient accepts the cash.

Debit card transactions offer the speediest delivery. Payments can be delivered as early as the next business day if it’s sent using a debit card before 5 p.m. PST and the recipient accepts it by 10 p.m. PST.

Bank account transactions can take several days. Money paid by a bank account before 10 p.m. PST can take three business days to deliver.

Transfer limits

Popmoney limits how much money you can send and request through the platform.

When sending money, the limits are:

  • $500 per day and $1,000 every 30 days for debit card transactions
  • $2,000 per day and $5,000 every 30 days for bank accounts

For money requests, the limits are:

  • $1,000 per day and $2,500 every 30 days when you send money requests to someone else
  • $2,500 per day and $4,000 every 30 days when you pay someone else’s request

Popmoney fees

Receiving money is free. Sending and requesting money is what’s going to cost you a little bit. It costs $0.95 per transaction to send money to someone. It also costs $0.95 to request money from someone. However, you won’t be charged a fee if you make a request and the person doesn’t pay it. The fee is only deducted when you receive the money, and you have the option to transfer the fee to the person who sent you the cash.

Popmoney limitations

The service is only for people who live in the U.S. There are rules for how you can use the platform. Your payment may be canceled if you don’t adhere to the terms and conditions. Payments cannot be made that are related to the sale of tobacco, drugs, firearms or ammunition, illegal activities, gambling or gaming. You can read the full terms and conditions for the service here.

Is Popmoney safe to use?

Popmoney uses a verification process to make sure the person you’re sending money to owns the phone number or email address. If you send money to the wrong account, you can report it to the service, and an investigation may take place, but it offers very limited protection for users in this regard.

Popmoney may also give information to the receiver, like your name, address and phone number to fulfill the payment request. Because of this, you should be exchanging money only with people you trust. Overall, the service is safe to use. With that said, you should be cautious of any app when money is involved. There are two situations that could get you in trouble with a P2P app.

The first security risk is if someone gets access to your name, account number or debit card number, and initiates a transfer on your behalf. Identity theft is a real concern. People have reported fraudsters getting access to their bank account information and scheduling transfers. If this happens to you, and you catch it early, Popmoney offers some support.

According to the terms and conditions page, “your liability is no more than $50.00 should someone access your account without your permission” as long as you notify Popmoney within two days of finding out that your password or account could be compromised. Keep in mind, this means you need to notify them as soon as your wallet, password or bank account information is stolen. Your liability could be as much as $500 if you don’t notify them in time and they can prove that unauthorized use of your account could have been avoided if you had notified them earlier.

Ultimately, identity theft is something that can be challenging to catch right away. You may not even know someone has access to your personal information until money starts disappearing. Be vigilant and report stolen or lost information promptly.

Popmoney scams and how to avoid them

The second scenario where you can run into trouble with a P2P app is if you get duped into sending money to someone who’s requesting it as part of a scam. In this situation, there’s a good chance you won’t get the money back because transfers are cold, hard cash that someone can run away with. Popmoney does not offer fraud protection when you willfully make transactions. Compare this with a credit card which has certain purchase protections for members.

How can you avoid getting scammed? Remember — P2P apps like Popmoney are for transactions with trusted individuals. If you send cash for a one-off service or a Craigslist product that ends up not being what you want, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to file a dispute or track down that money.

Think twice if someone wants to sell you a used piece of furniture or show tickets, and can only take money from a cash app. These apps are meant to do straightforward transactions between trusted friends like splitting a bar tab or hotel stay, and are not meant for business transactions.

Which banks use Popmoney?

Popmoney and Zelle are two products available in the online bank account services of select financial institutions. Popmoney at this time has a wider reach than Zelle. Its service is offered by nearly 2,500 financial institutions including:

  • BBVA Compass
  • Commerce Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • MidCountry Bank
  • Midwest Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Regions Bank
  • US Bank

To see if your bank is participating, you can type in your bank name or routing number here to search.

Popmoney vs. other person-to-person payment networks

Here’s how Popmoney stacks up against the competition:

Popmoney vs. Paypal

PayPal is a household name. When using PayPal, your money goes from your PayPal balance, bank account, debit card or credit card to another person’s PayPal account.

Fees. PayPal is free if you send money to another person through your bank account. By comparison, Popmoney charges $0.95.

If you’re sending money through PayPal from one personal account to another via a linked bank account or eligible debit card (Visa or Mastercard), you have the option to do an Instant Transfer. Instant Transfers can happen within 30 minutes, and the fee is $0.25.

Things get a little expensive if you use a credit card with PayPal. There’s a 2.9% transaction fee, plus a $0.30 fixed fee when you transfer money using a card within the U.S. You pay a little bit more when you’re sending money from the U.S. to another country. You can review those international fees here.

Network reach. PayPal has a wider reach than Popmoney since you can send money stateside and internationally. PayPal connects with brick-and-mortar banks and even some online ones.

Payment types. There are more payment options here than Popmoney since credit cards are accepted.

Speed. Instant transfers arrive in a receiver’s bank account within 30 minutes, which makes this faster than Popmoney. However, the regular transfer via PayPal account is on par with the speed of Popmoney account transfers. Transfers from the PayPal account to the recipient’s bank account can take one business day if they submit the request before 7 p.m. EST. Transfers initiated on weekends or holidays can take several days. Popmoney also takes about one to three business days.

Safety. PayPal offers more robust fraud protections for buyers. If you’re purchasing something from someone — concert tickets, used furniture, memorabilia, etc. — PayPal is a better place to do it because of Purchase Protection benefits. You can file a dispute for eligible purchases and possibly receive full reimbursement. Read more about buyer protection here.

Popmoney vs. Zelle

Zelle lets you send money to other people enrolled in the app. Like Popmoney, Zelle is a system that’s offered by some banks within the online banking portal.

Fees. There’s no fee to use Zelle, although, Zelle recommends that you check with your bank to confirm that they don’t charge a fee for transfers through the app.

Network reach. Like Popmoney, Zelle can be accessed through your online bank account. Zelle currently participates with 100+ banks, far less than Popmoney’s 2,500 financial institution network. But the Zelle network is made up of major banks like Ally Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo and more. Plus, if your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle, you can download the app to send money anyway as long as the receiver has Zelle.

Payment types. You send money using someone’s mobile number or email address. Payments go directly from one bank account to another for those who have the app in online banking. If one party doesn’t have a Zelle account through online banking, it’s a transaction between a bank account and a debit card (Visa or Mastercard) instead.

Speed. Zelle is faster than PopMoney. The transfer can happen in minutes when both the sender and recipient have Zelle. A transfer between someone enrolled in Zelle and someone who isn’t can take one to three business days.

Safety. Like Popmoney, there may be some protections when someone initiates a fraudulent transaction from your account if you report it early enough. However, the Zelle’s terms and conditions clearly state that this is a service meant to send money bank and forth to people you know. Zelle takes no responsibility for loss or damages incurred because of scams. You’re also responsible for entering the recipient’s email and phone number in correctly.

Popmoney vs. Google Pay Send

Google Wallet used to be the name of the Google app used to send and receive money. Rebranding has caused some reorganization. Google Pay is now the umbrella payment system you can use to make in-store payments and much more. Within Google Pay is the Google Pay Send app, which can send and receive payments using your friend’s name, email address or phone number.

Fees. There are no fees to use this service compared with the $0.95 cost of Popmoney.

Network reach. You can use the Google Send Pay app on mobile or on desktop. Google Pay Send is part of Google Pay, which has more features overall since it’s a full mobile wallet. You can use Google Pay to pay for takeout, rideshares, transit and easy checkout when buying Google products.

Payment types. You link a debit card or bank account. Credit cards, prepaid cards, and PayPal accounts can’t be used to send and receive money at this time.

Speed. Again, PopMoney gets beat on speed. Money transferred will go to the recipient’s default payment method. If there is no method specified, it will go to the Google Pay balance. Money transferred to a debit card often happens within minutes, but it could take up to 24 hours depending on the bank. Bank account transfers can take up to three business days.

Safety. Google Pay offers Google Pay Fraud Protection which covers 100% of unauthorized transactions that are verifiable. Google Pay, like other services that offer P2P transfers, still recommends you only send money to people you know to avoid scams.

A transfer you make to someone who ends up scamming you could be considered authorized rather than unauthorized, and may not be covered. So, again, be careful with where you send money.

You need to report fraud within 120 days if you think you’ve been a victim of unauthorized payment activity. Google gives you double the amount of time to report fraudulent transactions compared with Popmoney.

Popmoney vs. Venmo

Venmo is a P2P payment service by PayPal. Money can be transferred from a Venmo balance, bank account, debit card or credit card. Compared with PayPal, Venmo has a more social interface because you can interact with users.

Fees. Using Venmo to transfer money with a bank account or debit card is free, $1 cheaper than Popmoney. Venmo lets you use a credit card for a 3% transaction fee.

Like PayPal, there’s an instant transfer option to move money from your Venmo balance to your debit card within 30 minutes. This feature costs an extra $0.25. Alternatively, standard ACH transfer from your Venmo balance to your bank account can take one to three business days.

Network reach. You need to live in the U.S. and have a U.S. bank account to transfer money from your Venmo balance. Venmo is not available through financial institutions like Popmoney.

Payment types. You can use a bank account, debit card, credit card, prepaid card or Venmo balance to transfer money. The credit card option is available (Popmoney doesn’t have this), but the convenience costs a 3% fee.

Speed. You can invest in instant transfer for $0.25 and get money faster here than you would from Popmoney. Otherwise, money comes in one to three business days, which is the same as Popmoney.

Safety. Similar to Popmoney, Venmo doesn’t offer buyer or seller protection, and the service takes very limited liability for mishaps. Payments for products or services are considered high risk and should be avoided. Both services are comparable as far as safety.

Popmoney vs. Square Cash

Square Cash is a mobile app known simply as the Cash App. You can send cash through debit card, credit card or from the balance you have in your Cash App account. You can pay through iMessage, Siri or Cash.me.

Fees. There’s no charge to send personal payments, making this option cheaper than Popmoney. However, personal payments sent through a credit card costs 3%. Standard deposits are free, but instant deposits cost 1.5%.

Network reach. The Cash App can be used in the U.S. only. If you are sent money through the Cash App, you’ll be asked to cash out by linking a bank account or debit card.

Payment types. Payments can be made with a debit card, credit card or the balance that you have in your Cash App.

Speed. There are two speeds that you can choose from — instant and standard. The instant deposit option sends money to your bank account right away and costs 1.5% for the convenience. The standard deposit happens within one to three business days.

Safety. The app offers security locks with two-step authentication that can prevent fraudulent transactions. However, like Popmoney, you need to be careful about who send money too because reimbursement for scams is not mentioned in the security terms.

Popmoney vs. Circle Pay

Circle was founded in 2013 and is a payment app that’s available in 29 countries. Circle Pay is the person-to-person cash transfer part of the Circle brand. Beyond Circle Pay, there’s Circle Invest and Circle Trade for investing and trading cryptocurrencies. You can transfer money using Circle Pay in U.S. dollars, British pounds, and euros with no exchange markups or fees.

Fees. Circle Pay doesn’t charge fees to transfer funds, although your credit card company may charge fees for a cash advance when using the app.

Network reach. Circle Pay has a farther reach than Popmoney because it’s something that you can use internationally. You can also use a credit card to transfer funds. Despite there being a possible cash advance fee from your issuer, it’s still an option not offered by Popmoney.

Payment types. You can use a debit card, credit card or bank account to make payments.

Speed. There’s an option to cash out instantly without a fee when depositing to a debit card.
Bank transactions can take one to four days, excluding holidays which is pretty much the same as Popmoney.

Safety. Circle Pay uses two-factor authentication and encryption to secure your account. There’s also reimbursement offered if an unauthorized transaction happens from your account. An unauthorized transaction is one that you did not initiate from your account. You must notify Circle Pay within 60 days of fraudulent transfers.

Same PSA applies here as with all the cash apps. The reimbursement comes into play if you did not authorize a payment. If you have authorized a payment for a product or service, and you’re duped by a seller, this transaction will probably not qualify for coverage.

Popmoney vs. Facebook Messenger

Over a billion people use Facebook per day on average. Sending and receiving money through this platform could be the most accessible for current users. There’s no need to sign up for another app when you use Facebook Messenger for payments.

Fees. It’s free to send and receive money through Facebook Messenger.

Network reach. You can send and receive money if you live in the U.S., France or United Kingdom. The preferred currencies are U.S. dollars, pounds and euros.

Payment types. You can send money using a debit card or Paypal account. To get started, you need to add one of these accounts to your Facebook messenger profile.

Speed. PopMoney has the edge here. Facebook Money transfers right away, but it may not show up in your account for five business days, depending on your bank.

Safety. According to Facebook, payments can only be made to family and friends. If they discover you’re making payments for business reasons, your account can be shut down. Facebook lists some popular scams here under commonly asked questions. Facebook works with users to identify users who are trying to swindle others.

People using Facebook Messenger to send or receive money may have to provide information to verify their identify like a legal name, date of birth, last four digits of their social and photo ID. This is more information than what’s required from a recipient through Popmoney making it a potentially safer option.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Reviews

Simple Bank Review — a Simple Way to Budget

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$90.1B

LEARN MORE Simple’s secure website

Like most things in the world of “adulting,” managing your finances isn’t always as simple as it should be. This is where online bank Simple stepped in seven years ago, providing customers with a mobile bank account rolled into a budgeting app.

Acquired by Spanish bank BBVA in 2014, Simple was founded in Portland, Ore. in 2009 and launched commercial operations three years later. The money in a Simple account is held by BBVA Compass, the American subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., and FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Though Simple offers only one type of bank account — consumer checking — it promises a simple way to save and budget while offering features found at bigger banks, such as photo check deposit, plus additional features, including Goals, Expenses, and Safe-to-Spend(R). In an effort to attract new banking customers, Simple is offering a 2.02% APY return on balances of $2,000 or greater in a Protected Goals Account. Otherwise, the APY is the normal 0.01%.

We’ll review Simple’s bank account, its pros and cons and what else you need to know to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Simple’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.02%

Checking

Simple Checking Account + Protected Goals Account*

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What is Simple?

The Simple bank account is a checking account that incorporates budgeting tools into a consumer’s everyday banking.

Simple banking is provided through both desktop and mobile applications, although you will need to download the app to deposit checks using a photo. The free mobile app is available for Android and iOS-powered devices. You can complete all other necessary banking tasks on both platforms.

The Simple account

Minimum deposit amount to open

$0

Annual percentage yield

0.01% ($0 - $2,000)
2.02% ($2,000+)

Overdraft fee

$0

Monthly service fee

$0

ACH transfer fee

$0

ATM fee

$0

Out of network ATM fee

$0

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Simple Visa debit
Simple customers are issued a Simple Visa debit card for daily purchases and to use at more than 40,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. In-network ATMs won’t charge you a fee, and are easily found using the ATM finder both online and in the app. Simple doesn’t charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, but you may be charged by other banks and ATM owners.

Simple bank review
Simple

Safe-to-spend
Simple’s Safe-to-Spend(R) feature helps you resist the temptation to spend every dollar in your bank account when those funds should be reserved for more important and urgent things. The budgeting algorithm sets aside funds for spending categories in your budget and your savings goals. The app subtracts the amount of money you’ve set aside from your total account balance so you can easily see how much money you have left to spend — your safe-to-spend number.

Goals
The Simple bank account makes it easy to set aside money for long- and short-term goals. The feature also serves as a digital envelope budgeting system for your monthly budgeting needs.

A warning to chronic overspenders: Although the amount set aside for goals is subtracted from your total balance so you know what’s safe to spend, the goal money is kept in the same account as the rest of your funds, so you can spend the money if you really need to. We will address how to use goals to save and budget in the following section.

Simple bank review
Simple

Analytics
Simple provides spending reports to give you more insight on how you’re spending your money. You can use the graphs and breakdowns Simple creates to analyze trends in your spending. With that information, you can evaluate whether or not your budget is meeting your needs or if you need to make adjustments in your spending habits. You can also add hashtags, notes and images to each transaction.
You will need to go online to view reports as the feature isn’t yet available in the Simple app.

Protected Goals
You can set up separate savings goals and an emergency fund within the Protected Goals account. Unlike the money for your short-term goals, money in the “protected” account is separate from your main Simple bank account. If you need to use your money, you can make unlimited transfers from a Protected Goals account to your regular Simple checking account. That means there’s no need to worry about hitting the six withdrawals per month limit most other savings accounts have under Regulation D, and the common fees associated with making excessive withdrawals.

If you are looking for a high-yield account, the Simple bank account may be the one for you. Right now, you can earn up to 2.02% APY if you maintain a balance of $2,000 or more in the entire Protected Goals Account. If you choose to set up an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal under the Protected Goals Account and the amount combined is $2,000 or more, you’ll still qualify for the 2.02% APY. If you don’t, a Protected Goals account with Simple earns 0.01% APY, which is lower than the national average yield on checking accounts. So if you’re looking to earn a return on your savings and can’t make maintain a balance of $2,000 or more, you may want to look elsewhere.

Although they may lack the bells and whistles Simple incorporates, there are many alternative high-yield checking accounts that earn a much higher yield on your money with no minimum deposit. You can also compare rates and terms on the best savings options currently available here that also have higher rates than this account.

Simple Shared
Simple offers joint accounts it calls Simple Shared accounts. The Simple Shared account is a separate Simple bank account that you co-own with someone else. The joint Simple Shared account allows pairs to plan budgets and complete savings goals together. Couples can even save for an emergency under the Shared account. Emergency Funds are now available for Simple Shared accounts.

Both co-owners of a Simple Shared account must have individual Simple accounts, too, and they have to keep the individual accounts open in order to have a shared account. Your individual accounts stay private.

Simple Instant
Simple Instant is a peer-to-peer payments system exclusive to Simple users. It’s the quickest way to send money to other Simple account holders instantly, for free. After you add the Simple user to your Instant contacts, you can send money to them using an email address or phone number.

Simple bank accounts work with most third-party p2p payment services like Venmo and Square Cash, too, so you can still send money to your friends who don’t use Simple, although you may be required to pay for instant transfers.

Where Simple falls short

A 1% fee for foreign transactions
Simple doesn’t charge you any fees for making foreign transactions, but Visa does. Each time you swipe your Simple card overseas, you may be required to pay a 1% International Service Assessment fee to Visa. That fee may not be a deal breaker for some frequent travelers, but it’s a bummer to pay any more than you have to, ever.

Additionally. there is a $1,000 daily spending limit for international transactions, but you can have that temporarily raised to $6,000 if you let Simple know you’ll be traveling.

No checkbooks
Simple users are not issued checkbooks to write paper checks. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to send a personal check or pay a bill, you can use Simple’s free bill pay service to have Simple send a check on your behalf. The bill pay feature is found online and in the app. You may also request a treasurer’s check — similar to a cashier’s check — from Simple.

Simple mobile app

When you don’t know exactly how much you have to spend on the things you want but don’t need, you’re either constantly running out of time, money or both. When you’re running around living your life most of the time, keeping track of your money can become a chore.

The Simple mobile app incorporates features that help you keep track of how much money you have left to work with for the month while on the go. You can even get instant push notifications that will send you spending updates in real-time.

Features that stand out

The goals feature is what sets the Simple app and account apart from other mobile-first fintech startups and online banks, which we will get into in detail below.

Using Goals to save money
When you create a goal in Simple — after naming it and adding an optional memo — you’ll set the amount and date by which you would like to complete it. You can fund the goal in two ways: (1) set aside money right away, or (2) elect to save over time.

When you save over time, an algorithm will calculate how much money to move over incrementally from your safe-to-spend amount to the savings goal so it’s fully funded by your preset completion date. You can move money each day, or set a custom funding schedule so the app only moves money on predetermined days.

Using Expenses to budget
You can use the Simple Expenses feature to mimic old-fashioned envelope budgeting. Envelope budgeting is a method in which you set aside cash in physical envelopes for each budgeting category. You set aside what you think you’d need to cover categories like gas, groceries or shopping for a period and if you run out of money for that category, you stop buying in that area. Simple offers a digital version.

You would create an expense and name them for each spending category in your budget for the month and determine how much to set aside for purchases made from that category. Here’s an example budget from Simple:

Simple bank review
Simple

Ideally, you would fund the expense immediately and not over time. That’s what Simple really focuses on doing. It’s a “set it and forget it” mentality. This feature runs off of “Funding Schedules”. So, once you create an expense through this feature, Simple will recreate the expense for you so that it’s paid off again the next month. You can set this up by creating an Expense and choosing the category you want the Expense to automatically come out of. You only need to set this up once. After you’ve set up all of your expenses, the funds will be automatically debited from the appropriate Expense each month.

What if I overspend?
As mentioned earlier, you can intentionally or accidentally spend money set aside for your goals if you go over your safe-to-spend amount. Of course, dipping into your goal money may cut into your progress. If you fall behind on saving or need to edit a goal, you can always edit the target date and/or amount, or delete the goal. On the flip side, if you complete a goal and want to save more money, you can choose to automatically save more over time.

Other features that deserve an honorable mention:

  • You can deposit checks — This is the only feature exclusive to the app and may be in found in the “Move Money” tab. Simple recommends submitting the deposit before 5 p.m. EST, as it allows the bank to process the deposit on the same day. However, if you submit the deposit after 5 p.m. EST, the deposit won’t be processed until the next business day. Keep in mind that “processing” is not the same as “funding”. For example, if you make a Photo Check Deposit before 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the deposit will be processed the same day, but won’t be posted to your account until Tuesday at 3 a.m. EST. If you make the deposit after 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the funds won’t post to your account until Wednesday at 3 a.m. EST.

The limit on how much money you can deposit using a photo check will depend on factors such as how long you’ve been with Simple and the number of checks you’ve recently deposited, so it varies by individual user. You can find out your current check limit under “Deposit a Check.” If the check is too large, you can deposit it by mail.

  • You can block and unblock your debit card — Blocking your card is useful if you lose your card or think it’s been stolen. Go to your profile and select “Your Simple Cards” then block the Simple Visa card. If you see any unauthorized transactions made on your account, you may be covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy if you report it in time.

How to open a Simple Bank account

Opening a Simple bank account is a quick and easy process (see how I didn’t use the word “simple” there? I saved you from a very punny sentence). Signing up takes all of about five minutes. Simple requires applicants to be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older with a Social Security number.

The company also recommends you have access to a device that can run its mobile app. The device will need to be running on either Apple iOS 10.0 or higher or Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

You can open an account online or on the Simple mobile app. The application requires you to create a username and password for your Simple bank account, and indicate how you plan to use the account. Then, it asks for personally identifying information like your name and Social Security number.

Simple bank review
Simple

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Who could benefit from the Simple bank account?

The Simple bank account would be most beneficial to individuals and household budgeteers who want to be able to manage their budgeting and bank account in one place, in real time.

Most household money managers are well aware how much their bills will come up to each month and what their short- and long-term monetary goals are. However, it’s naturally difficult to keep the numbers you’re juggling on the top of your head when you are busy and often on the go. Other budgeting apps may keep you organized, but you have to make an effort to keep them on track with your actual spending.

Simple makes keeping up with bills and savings goals effortless.

Simple’s safe-to-spend feature allows even the busiest among us to easily keep track of how much money you actually have available to spend freely. You can use Simple from virtually anywhere, desktop or on your phone, so there are no excuses. Just checking your bank account balance and seeing the difference between the total balance and your safe-to-spend will remind you of your budget and savings goals.

With Simple, you can create and automatically contribute to an emergency fund account, one separate from your other financial goals, so that it actually gets done this time around. The amount you want to save in your Emergency Fund is based on how much money you want to save in a certain period of time. Based on those two things, Simple will put together a daily contribution amount.

Simple’s Goals system can help you stay organized, compartmentalize your budget and keep your financial priorities straight. If you don’t immediately fund a goal, the app has your back. It calculates and makes small transfers to get you closer to your goal for you.

Alternatives

Simple is one of many fintech companies that have recently released a mobile-first or mobile-only banking option. Next, we take a look at how Simple compares with its peers: the Aspiration Summit account, Chime, Beam and Finn by Chase. Rates are as of  the date of publication.

Simple vs. Aspiration Summit account
 SimpleAspiration Summit

Overdraft fee

$0

$25

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

2.00% APY

APY on Savings

n/a

n/a

The Aspiration Summit account is the mobile-only banking option for those trying to be a bit more socially conscious. Aspiration’s standout feature is its Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), which measures your social impact based on where you spend your money.

You get a personal AIM score, calculated based on the businesses you choose to support, which also each get an AIM score. For businesses, the AIM score is split in two: a “people score” based on factors like employee pay and access to health care, and a “planet score” based on things like the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to knowing how the money you spend affects the world around you, you can feel confident knowing Aspiration donates $0.10 of every dollar it makes to financially-focused charities.

Like the Simple bank account, the Aspiration Summit account is a checking account. While the Simple bank account earns up to 2.02% APY, the Aspiration Summit account earns a slightly lower 2.00% APY on all balances. But, Aspiration doesn’t give you the opportunity to open a separate account to set aside savings like Simple does. Aspiration also doesn’t provide any budgeting and goal-setting features on its account, while Simple does. Aspiration requires a $10 minimum deposit to open an account, but no minimum balance to maintain the account.

Aspiration charges is a $25 overdraft fee and a $5 daily fee for each day your balance remains negative. Meanwhile, Simple charges no fees but won’t allow a transaction if it will overdraft your Simple bank account. Like Simple, Aspiration doesn’t charge its users a fee to access ATMs anywhere in the world but goes a step further by fully reimbursing you (on the 10th of each month) if you’re charged a fee by an out-of-network ATM. If you’re traveling overseas, you’ll be charged a fee equal to 1.1% of the transaction using the Aspiration Mastercard debit card.

Simple vs. Chime Bank
 SimpleChime Bank

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY

Chims is a fee-free, mobile-first banking option that features automated savings, but doesn’t come with the analytics and goal-setting features that Simple has.

With Chime, you can automatically save 10% of each paycheck in a savings account and, if you’re enrolled in direct deposit, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days earlier than the money would become available with most other standard checking accounts. Once enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings program, Chime will automatically round up each purchase made with your Chime Visa Debit Card to the nearest dollar and save the difference in your savings account.

If you ever need to split a bill, Chime does the math for you and lets you send a text to a friend with a link to pay you back using Venmo, or Chime’s in-app peer to peer payments feature (Pay Friends) if the friend is a Chime Member. Money sent between two Chime members is received instantly. Simple doesn’t do the math for you, but you can send money instantly to other Simple users using its built-in p2p system, Simple Instant.

Chime offers both a checking account and a designated savings account, unlike Simple, which offers a checking account and the option to save emergency funds in a “protected goals” account.

If your savings are in a Chime savings account, you won’t be granted more than a 0.01% yield on your funds. On the other hand, if you place your savings in Simple’s Protected Goals Account, you earn up to 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more. Neither Chime nor Simple charge overdraft fees. While Simple doesn’t charge you for using out-of-network ATMs, Chime charges $2.50. You can find more than 38,000 in-network ATMs using the ATM map in the Chime app.

Simple vs. Beam
 SimpleBeam

Overdraft fee

$0

n/a

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

2.00% APY; up to 4.00% APY

Beam is a fee-free, mobile-only high-interest deposit account. You can earn a much higher yield on your savings than you would with Simple. Beam accounts promise a minimum 2.00% APY compared with Simple’s 0.01% APY. Beam also gives its customers the opportunity to claim rewards that can earn them up to 4.00% APY on their funds daily. Beam calls its rewards “billies” and they can be earned by engaging with the app and doing things like referring a friend to Beam. The “billies” are awarded daily between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. Neither service requires a minimum balance to earn interest on funds.

Beam doesn’t issue users a debit card or give users ATM access like Simple does. Beam is intended for use alongside a primary checking account as a supplementary bank account, while Simple is intended to be used as a primary checking account. If you want to use your money in a Beam account, you must first transfer it out to a primary checking account, which can take up to two days. Beam also doesn’t have any special saving or budgeting features and doesn’t show you spending analytics like Simple does.

As of this writing, Beam is not yet available for widespread use, but Simple is. Beam is still in a “private beta” stage, so it can only accommodate a limited number of customers. If you want to use Beam, you’ll have to sign up on the waiting list, which currently has more than 126,000 names.

Simple vs. Finn by Chase
 SimpleFinn by Chase

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY; up to 0.04% APY

Finn by Chase is a free mobile-first banking option from Chase Bank. Finn by Chase offers checking and savings accounts, and you are required to have both types. For comparison, Simple only offers a checking account. Simple and Finn by Chase users earn the same 0.01% APY on balances below $10,000. For balances that are $10,000-$25,000, Finn users earn 3%, then 0.04% APY on higher amounts. Simple doesn’t offer increased interest on larger balances. Finn does not offer joint accounts, but Simple does.

Both banks issue users Visa debit cards for daily purchases and to use at the ATM. Finn charges $2.50 if you use an out-of-network ATM, while Simple doesn’t charge a fee at all. Finn says its users have access to more than 29,000 in-network ATMs while Simple advertises more than 38,000 in-network ATMs.

The banks both show users’ spending analytics and offer automatic saving features but differ in how their features work.

Finn lets users rate each transaction as a “want” or “need” and how it makes the user feel. Users can choose happy, sad or indifferent faces. Finn also provides users analytics via charts and graphs that summarize their spending habits.

Finally, Simple lets you send money instantly to other users using Simple Instant, but Finn by Chase lets you send money to anyone in the Zelle network, even if they are with a different bank, instantly for free. Both services let users send money with third-party platforms like Venmo, Google Wallet and PayPal.

The bottom line

The Simple bank account is a solid one-stop shop for hassle-free banking and budgeting. Simple, the company, doesn’t charge any fees, but BBVA Compass may charge fees. Make sure you to read the Simple Deposit Account Agreement. Fortunately, it won’t cost you to use their budgeting and analytics system if budgeting and saving is what you’re really after. Additionally, the 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more is a huge perk if you can meet and maintain that balance requirement.

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.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 2.10% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 06/03/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 06/17/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. The bonus will be credited to your account by 07/01/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM519 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.65%

18 months

2.65%

24 months

2.70%

30 months

2.70%

3 years

2.75%

4 years

2.80%

5 years

3.00%

7 years

3.05%

10 years

3.10%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.70% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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