Qapital Review: Make Saving Money Hassle-Free
If you’re looking to reach your savings goals, there are many apps that promise to help you do so. While many have similar features, Qapital offers something unique and different from the competition.
Launched in 2013, the Qapital app can give you more control over your spending, help you save money, as well as invest seamlessly into your future. You can set goals, and enjoy a variety of unique features that allow you to increase your account balance daily.
What makes Qapital particularly effective, is its anchoring in psychology – it was designed with Prof Dan Ariely, a bestselling author and one of the leading behavioral economists in the world.
Qapital offers the usual benefits of a digital bank, such as no fees and on-the-go accessibility, but with the addition of innovative tools for saving, budgeting, and investing that aren’t just fun to use, they’re actually very effective.
From making direct deposits to change round-up and savings rules (that even help you to save based on your social media use) – Qapital has a lot to offer. What I think you’ll really like is that it can make banking fun, ultimately making it easier to reach your financial goals.
In this article, I’ll be looking at what Qapital has to offer, what makes it unique, and how much it costs. Read on to learn more.
What is Qapital?
Qapital is an app that uses behavioral economics and microsavings techniques to help you save money. It has a bank account linked to it and works like a banking app, or you can choose to bank with Qapital from A to Z.
The bank account that comes with your Qapital savings account is held by Wells Fargo Bank, and is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
Qapital Account Types
You can set three different account types with Qapital. Each account type serves a different purpose and can help you reach your goals that much faster. The three types of accounts available are:
Qapital Savings Goals Account
This type of account is used to help you save money for a goal that you have. You can even have shared goals with another Qapital user.
Qapital Spending Account
This type of account is a checking account that is linked to a Visa Debit card issued by Qapital. It allows you to get to your money fast, and the card is fee-free.
It also includes a unique budgeting tool called Spending Sweet Spot, ensuring you optimize your budget without feeling deprived or obsessing over it.
It’s an investment account that Qapital offers to make it easier to save and invest for long-term goals. Each long-term goal gets its own account, and you can choose the risk-level you’re comfortable with.
Because Qapital is designed to help you save money, it is missing some important features that usually accompany bank account apps such as earning interest on your money. Having said that, if you are looking to save money and you’re not managing to do so, Qapital might very well be the answer to your problems.
Qapital uses micro-savings, which means that you’ll be saving little money but very frequently. This is thanks to the IFTTT rules, which we will discuss in more depth shortly. In a nutshell, Qapital’s IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a very clever service that goes beyond the roundup method.
It connects apps on your phone so that when you use that app a lot, you can automatically transfer money to your Qapital savings account every time you perform a certain action (for example, like or comment). It’s one of the most interesting Qapital features – more on it later.
Qapital’s features are mainly designed to help you save money towards specific goals in a fun and sustainable way. Whether you’re saving to pay down debt, buy a home, travel, or secure an emergency fund, you can see your progress along the way and stay motivated.
This means that you can save as much money as you want and are able to, and you can choose which features and rules you want to use or not use.
You can also pause rules or switch them off completely any time you want. While not ideal as it can prevent you from reaching your goals, it can be particularly useful if you’re having a tough month.
And let’s face it, many of us have been having a tough time since COVID-19 set in.
Now let’s look at some of Qapital’s features that can help you start saving money regularly.
- If This Then That (IFTTT) Rules: This is possibly the most interesting way that Qapital enables users to save. This rule tells the app to save money every time something happens. There are many different IFTTT rules to choose from, with new ones added on a fairly regular basis. Some of the options available include:
- Facebook: Save money every time you post a social media update
- Fitbit: Save a certain amount towards your goal every time you hit your step goal (tip: if you don’t have a Fitbit, you can also do this using the Health app on your iPhone)
- Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa: You could be saving a certain amount every time you say a certain phrase. Isn’t that cool?
- YouTube: Save every time you like a video – so you’re not just killing time, you’re also advancing towards your financial goals!
- Round-Up Rule: The Round-Up Rule feature allows you to round-up an amount you spend with the extra money going straight into your savings account.
- Set & Forget: Allows you to transfer money towards a specific goal, either daily, weekly, or monthly. You can just tell Qapital to do it, then forget all about it, Qapital will do all the work for you.
- Guilty Pleasure Rule: Set this rule to tell Qapital to save a set amount of money anytime you buy from a specific outlet or merchant. From too much fast food to too many clothes, this rule is designed to mimic punishing bad behavior; only you get to save money.
- Payday Divvy: Tell Qapital to save money every time you get paid. By taking out the money as soon as you receive your paycheck, you are less likely to notice the missing money and adjust your spending habits.
- Freelancer Rule: The freelancer rule works just like PayDay but is designed for freelancers who are usually paid smaller amounts but more frequently.
- Spend Less Rule: This feature allows you to set a budget for merchants. If you stay under budget, Qapital will save the difference for you. This can be a very rewarding incentive not to overspend as you will save money and reach your goals, such as making a down payment
- 52 Week Rule: The 52-week rule is a proven way to help you save money. The idea behind it is simple, which is one of the reasons why it can be so effective. You start by saving $1.00 on week one going up to $2.00 on week two, $3.00 on week 3, and so on until you save $52.00 on week $52.00. Use this method to save $1378.00 in just one year.
- Apple Health Rule: This rule can not only help you save money but get fitter for it. The app will save the amount of money you set when you reach certain fitness goals in the Apple Health.
- Money Missions: Available exclusively on Master plans, Qapital’s highest membership tiers, money missions rely on behavioral science to present you with challenges that aim to increase your money happiness and savings at the same time.
- Visa Debit Card: Get a fee-free Visa debit card issued by Lincoln Savings Bank and earn 0.1% interest transferred to your Goals or Spending account.
- Digital Wallet: This feature allows you to integrate your Qapital account to your digital wallet to make payments directly from your phone, available for both Apple and Android devices.
While Qapital used to be free, this is no longer the case. There are three different plans to choose from, starting from Basic and going all the way to Master.
The pricing is structured as follows:
This is the entry-level Qapital account and gives you access to Goals with Automated Rules.
This is the mid-tier Qapital account and provides everything the Basic plan does, plus a Spending Account, budgeting tools, and an Investing Account.
This is the top-tier Qapital account. It builds upon Complete but adds webinar invitations, Money Missions, and other exclusive content to help you become your best financial self.
Signing up to Qapital is super easy. You can sign up through the smartphone app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices.
The sign-up process can be completed in a few simple steps. You first get to choose your goals for the next 12 months. You can choose from options including paying off debts, building your emergency fund, and a few others, but you can set any goal you’d like.
Qapital members often share their goals on Instagram using the hashtag #MyQapitalGoal.
First, you will need to enter your phone number to receive a verification code. This will help you link your phone to your Qapital account safely and securely.
Once completed, you can link your bank account on the mobile app in minutes.
From time to time, Qapital may release promotions. You can find Qapital news in the blog section on their website where they announce new features such as the availability of new IFTTT rules and new Visa Debit Cards whenever these become available.
You can also filter news by categories to help you find what you’re looking for without having to go through each and every update.
Qapital promotions include the current referral bonus, where you can get a $25 bonus towards your savings goals for referring friends to the app. Promotions tend to be seasonal, which means that they are not going to be around forever.
From time to time, Qapital also organizes contests such as the #MyQapitalGoal contest. To participate in this contest, simply upload a picture of your goal to Instagram for a chance to win a $1,000 cash bonus towards your savings goal.
Qapital uses SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer / Transport Layer Security) to encrypt all communications between the app and their servers. Account verification procedures are used before any transfers are affected to or from your account.
Furthermore, all communication between Qapital and banks and other third parties is encrypted with no sensitive data such as SSN (Social Security Number) and bank login information stored on Qapital servers.
The app can use TouchID and passcode lock to provide an extra layer of security with regular updates provided to keep everything as secure as possible.
Qapital Customer Service
When it comes to customer service and support, you have a few options, like the Help center, starting a Live Chat, or dropping them an email.
The Help Center lists many different questions users have along with the answers. All questions, along with the answers, are nicely divided into separate sections making it easier for you to find the answers to your questions. While the online help is not very comprehensive, it does provide a nice base you can refer to should you get stuck.
Live chat promises the fastest way to get an answer and can be accessed directly from within the app. Once you open the chat, a bot will try to answer your questions and offer a way to get in touch with an agent if it cannot answer the question.
Email tends to be one of the more convenient ways of getting in touch. Qapital tries to answer all customer queries within 24 hours. Try to include as much information as possible to avoid having to go back and forth, delaying the answer you’re looking for.
Pros and Cons
Just like everything else, Qapital has its pros and cons. Knowing these can help you make the right decision for you and your circumstances.
- No minimum amount to open a Qapital account
- Fee-free Visa Debit Card
- Uses behavioral science to help you save money, manage your budget and invest in your future
- No telephone support available
- Monthly fees are slightly higher when compared to the competition
Alternatives to Qapital
Qapital has a number of unique features that no other app offers at this time. The IFTTT rules are unique to Qapital. Qapital also offers a unique set of features. When combined together, these features can help you save even more money.
Depending on your goals and circumstances, other micro-investing apps you might want to consider include:
- Acorns: Acorns is designed to help you save money. It includes automatic saving features such as Round-Up while including IRA savings account, cashback, investing options, and others. With the top-tier account maxing out at $5.00 per month, it is somewhat cheaper than Qapital. On the other hand, Qapital offers joint savings with friends, more diverse savings rules to allow for more personalization, and a contactless debit card.
- Stash: Stash is an app that aims to adjust your financial habits to help you save more money. Available account types include Banking, Investment, Retirement, and Custodial. Monthly costs start at $1.00 for a beginner account and go all the way to $9.00 for a Stash+ account.
Who Is Qapital Best For?
If you’re looking to improve your personal financial situation, Qapital offers a unique set of tools and features to help you save in a fun and non-intrusive way.
The IFTTT rules are certainly unique and creative. Many of the other rules use behavioral science to not only help you adjust your spending habits but help you save more money in the process.
Is the Qapital app safe?
Yes, the Qapital app is considered safe. All communication between the app and the servers is encrypted using SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer / Transport Layer Security) protocols to make sure your data is saved while in transit. You can also enable TouchID and Passcode Lock to add an additional layer of security.
Is Qapital FDIC insured?
Qapital itself is not FDIC insured; however, the account is. Qapital bank accounts are held at Wells Fargo Bank. This is FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Is the Qapital debit card good?
Qapital also recently launched a new debit card with all the bells and whistles one could hope for. This can be used wherever Visa cards are accepted. You will also earn 0.1% interest, which goes to your Savings or Spending account.
This makes the Qapital debit card great, especially since there are no fees associated with it.
How does the Qapital app make money?
Qapital makes money through the plan subscriptions. These are payable every month, and there are three tiers you can choose from.
- The most basic account is called Basic and costs $3.00 per month.
- The mid-tier account is called Complete and costs $6.00 per month.
- To get all of the features that Qapital has to offer, you will need to get the Master account (which you can get for $12.00 a month).
Qapital’s upfront subscription model also means you’ll never have to deal with pesky ads – a huge bonus.
Make Saving and Investing Easy With Qapital
Qapital is a great savings app to try out – both for seasoned savers and those new to saving. It’s fun, it makes it easy to save, and it is incredibly easy to use.
On top of the app’s ease of use, it has many excellent features that make saving seamless and hassle-free, while allowing you to stay in control.