Banking today looks very different from what it did even a decade ago. Mobile apps allow us to manage our bank account without ever having to set foot in a branch. Fintechs like Albert have a financial app not only allows offer checking and saving accounts but also allows us to reach many other personal finance goals.
Most notably, Albert is an investing app that enables you to trade or use automated stock and ETF portfolios. You can even get access to human financial advisors. But is the Albert App the right service for your saving and investing needs? We’ll cover everything you should know in this complete Albert App review.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
What is the Albert App?
Yinon Ravid and Andrzej Baraniak founded the Albert Corporation in 2015. These college friends raised $2.5 million in seed funding after launching the app that summer.
The offerings provided by Albert have expanded to include Albert Investments that enable mico-investing. Albert Investments, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
Albert Investments doesn’t actually manage your investment portfolio. They offer several different assets that you use to build your portfolio.
What does the Albert App Offer?
Albert is an all-encompassing financial app for budgeting, savings, and investing. You also get access to a human for financial advice on the investment side.
Below are the different products and features that you can get with Albert.
Albert Cash Bank Account
Since the Albert App is not a financial institution, they have partnered with Sutton Bank to offer its checking account. Albert Cash is one of its newest products, allowing users to receive a World Debit Mastercard International Incorporated.
Basically, this allows you to do anything you can with a traditional checking account, including:
- Set up a qualifying direct deposit and get paid up to 2 days earn
- Send and deposit checks
- Access over 55,000 fee-free ATMs to get cash
With this bank account, you also get some neat features that you don’t see with bank accounts from others.
If you set up a checking account with Albert that includes your direct deposit, you will automatically receive an advance of up to $100 fee-free before your check.
You can still receive an instant cash advance of up to $250 with Albert Instant if you don’t sign up for a bank account.
The cash advance is available after three business days without a delivery or repayment fee. If you want instant delivery that arrives in about 10 minutes, there’s a $4.99 delivery fee. That amount is taken out of your direct deposit funds the next time you get paid.
This cash advance is available without a credit check, interest requirement, or late fees. You must have consistent income over the past two months and have a positive checking account balance to qualify.
The extra money can help you get through a few days before getting your paycheck. It’s not the best personal finance habit to rely on, however.
The Albert App savings accounts come with come with all the tools that you need to help you save money. Albert savings accounts come with a 0.10% annual bonus on your savings. That increases to 0.25% if you also enable Genius, which we will talk about a little later.
Albert savings accounts also come with a feature that will analyze your income and spending. The goal is to help you build a rainy day fund for emergencies.
The app establishes separate savings account specifically for that goal. You can also create other savings accounts for other purposes. Albert savings will look for money that you can put aside to save money and put it towards that.
The Smart Savings algorithm that Albert Savings uses can help you save from $25 to $100 a week. The transactions that Smart Savings looks for are between $5 to $30.
The app will initiate a transfer from your linked bank account to each savings account as long as it determines your balance won’t be too low. You can transfer funds that your Albert savings account anytime you wish.
There are no transaction fees when you do this.
Having a good financial life typically means finding ways of saving money, lowering your debt burden, etc. Albert also acts like other money management apps that help you do this by budgeting.
With the Albert app, you can generate a personal monthly budget automatically. There are four main components to this budget, including income, recurring bills, savings, and everything else.
You can view and track your budget on the Albert App with nice visual interpretations through pie charts, for example. It even allows you to receive push notifications when a bill is coming due, or there’s excessive spending.
What’s another unique feature of the Albert App from similar money management apps is that it calculates your financial health checkup score. The financial checkup score is intended to help you get a pulse on how you’re doing from a financial perspective.
It takes different aspects of your financial life and gives them a score between 0 to 100. Looking across the following four categories will determine how you score overall:
- Savings and investments – Your score is compiled using the balances on your savings and investing accounts with Albert. Additionally, it will look at your linked primary checking account.
- Debt burden – Calculated by looking at your total credit card debt to income
- Insurance – Calculated by looking at the various insurance policies you have
- Fees and rewards – Your banking and credit card fees are taken into consideration
Lower your Bills
Billshark has a partnership with the Albert Corporation to enable this feature. Albert accounts are eligible to use its service to help lower monthly bills like phone, internet, and cable.
When Albert identifies a bill that there is the possibility of being lowered, you will be sent an alert. Users can log in to their account and provide a couple of details about the bill.
From there, Billshark will start the negotiations. If they are successful in lowering your bill, they will take 40% of your savings as a fee.
Using the app, Albert allows you to sign up directly for insurance policies. Life insurance, home insurance, renters insurance, and car insurance policies are all offered.
There is no fee for this service. You pay for the insurance policy that you choose.
The Albert app will look for discounts and compare them to what will get you the optimal level of coverage.
Getting into investing is a priority for many people these days. You can build a custom portfolio with both U.S. and international funds. There are three ways on the app that Albert allows you to approach investing: Self-managed, Portfolio by Genius, or both.
There is a minimum investment of $1. You can make commission-free trades too.
Using self-directed investing, you can find different themes such as “U.S. companies” that you can choose to invest in. With this option, you choose the securities that fit your preferences.
This is Albert’s premium service that adds on several features. It is a minimum of $4 a month, on Albert’s “pay what you think is fair” model.
This option gets you access to a micro-investing account plus the following enhancements:
- Smart Savings – You get multiple Smart Savings transactions per week rather than being limited to one
- Ask for Advice – Is there a personal finance topic that you want to learn more about? Credit card debt, student loans, insurance, travel rewards, saving, and investing are among the topics you can ask a Genius.
- Increased savings bonus – Your cash bonuses increase to 1% in your savings annually
Albert Genius is best for those who wish to take a hands-off approach to their investing. Based on your time horizon, investment goals, and risk tolerance, Albert Genius will build create a diversified portfolio.
The risk profiles found on Albert Genius include conversation, moderate, and aggressive risk profiles.
Using the auto investing tool, you can set a schedule for withdrawals from your bank account to your investment portfolios. The money can be transferred on a weekly, monthly, or semimonthly basis using this Albert Genius premium feature.
With Genius, you can also talk to a financial advisor about your questions, like which retirement accounts you should be considering.
Albert App Cost
The majority of the Albert App’s services are available completely free. You get a free 30 day trial with its Albert Genius platform. After that, you can pay what you wish, as long as it meets the minimum of $4.
The Genius feature allows you to talk to someone about your financial situation. Genius subscribers who have paid for financial planning services, in particular, will find the low $4 a month charge, money well spent.
Is the Albert App Safe?
You get bank-level security with the Albert App. That’s pretty much a standard requirement for companies that handle information as personal as your banking details.
Your money is FDIC-insured through Albert’s banking partner, Sutton Bank. These deposits are insured up to $250,000.
In addition, your investment accounts are SIPC-insured up to $500,000 ($250,000 for cash).
The Albert app secures your account with the username and password that you choose. You can add more levels of security by adding FaceID, Touch ID, or a PIN code.
How to Open an Albert Account
Opening an FDIC-insured account with Albert only takes a few minutes. Simply apply for an account on their website.
You will need to enter general information such as your name, email address, and password. Additional details such as your date of birth, occupation, the primary source of income, home address, and Social Security will also be entered through the process.
Once your personal details have been confirmed to verify your identity, you can link up your existing financial account. This can also be skipped for now if you wish.
To open an account with the Albert App, you must meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- At least 18 years old
- Have an account with a U.S. financial institution
- A mobile phone number and plan that’s provided by a U.S. mobile carrier
During your signup process, you should have the following information handy:
- Social Security number
- Existing account information
- Email address
- Name, address, and other personal information
Albert App Alternatives
The app Acorns allows you to build savings through a passive approach. It will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit that amount to your savings.
This is a completely passive approach to savings which is helpful for those who have trouble saving.
The money that’s saved is invested into its robo-advisor platform. Acord offers two plan levels – $3 and $5 a month. Both of these plans are professionally managed on your behalf.
What Acorn doesn’t offer is the ability to connect you with a real person to discuss your finances. It also doesn’t negotiate to lower your bills.
Digit is another micro-savings app that links up to your accounts and analyzes your spending. It sets aside money that it finds that can be safely put in your Digit account.
Money from the account can be withdrawn anytime, and there are no minimum requirements.
You can also set up Overdraft Prevention which sets a minimum balance that you wish to keep in your checking. If you do get charged an overdraft fee from Digit, they have its Overdraft Reimbursement.
Digit can also help pay down your debts. You can connect your Digit account to your credit card issuer or student loan servicer. The service will then save money to be used towards these debt payments.
Albert App Pros and Cons
Pro: Variety of Offerings
You get a ton of features to manage about every aspect of your financial life. With Albert Cash, you get faster access to your direct deposit than your other bank accounts. The Albert debit card allows you to make purchases and get access to fast everywhere.
The savings account will help you find money and make automatic savings deposits. The budgeting features can review your cash flow and help you reach goals like paying off your student loans.
That’s not even the end of what the app Albert offers. Use it to lower your bills, prevent late fees, and notify you when you’re overspending.
The investing portion of the app has no trading fees and allows you to self-direct, take advantage of automatic investing, and more. It truly does offer a full range of financial services to its users.
Pro: Money Management tools
The algorithms that Albert uses will help you save, budget, and invest. This simplifies the process and makes it much easier to manage.
Pro: Minimal Fees
Other than Genius subscribers, you won’t be charged a monthly fee for using the service. There are no inactivity or monthly account fees.
Pro: Ability to get your Paycheck Early
If you set up your direct deposits, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days early. There are no disadvantages to getting your money a little bit early.
Pro: Receive Cash Back
Your Albert debit card can also take advantage of available rewards. This allows you to earn cashback at grocery stores, delivery services, restaurants, and other retailers.
You need to activate the current offer to receive rewards. After you’ve been rewarded, another offer can be activated.
Pro: Cash Bonuses
Your savings account will get an annual bonus of 0.10%. This gets bumped up to 1% when you sign up for Albert Genius.
Pro: Flexibility in Investing
Choose between self-directed or a portfolio that’s built based on your preferences. These taxable investment accounts are also commission-free. The auto-invest feature removes one more step in reaching your investment goals.
Pro: Cash Advances
Albert allows you to get up to $250 in advances up to three times per pay period. There are no cash deposit fees, late charges, or interest. Albert will simply deduct the amount from your next paycheck.
Pro: Get Expert Advice with Albert Genius
Having financial experts available at your fingertips is a valuable feature of Albert Genius. You can get answers to your questions and advice on your financial situation from a trusted resource.
Pro: Financial Health Score
Using the checkup score, you can get a top-line view of your finances. This offers a simple way to assess how you’re doing financially.
Con: Low Savings Earning
There are some financial apps that don’t offer any interest on its savings. Albert does offer one, but it’s pretty low. You can probably find better rates elsewhere.
Con: Lacks Mobile Deposit
There is no way to seamlessly deposit your checks. Without a mobile check deposit, you have to have another account with a different provider and transfer that money to your Albert Cash account.
That can turn out to be a hassle if you receive a lot of checks or if you want to consolidate your financial accounts.
Con: Savings transactions can be Limited
You have to be a Genius subscriber to enable more than one savings transaction per week.
Con: No Desktop version
Albert is only available for Apple and Android-enabled devices. Some users may want or prefer having a desktop version to manage their finances.
Albert App Review Ratings
Features and Benefits – 4.5/5
With features like automatic savings, budgeting, early payday, etc. Albert is packed with financial goodness. If you’re considering getting into investing but the idea of it is overwhelming, Albert has you covered.
Simply choose your investment preferences and Albert will build you a customized portfolio. You can also handle the trading yourself if you want.
Commission and Fees – 4.25/5
There is no monthly fee or any charges for your Albert account. Access to the majority of its features is included with its free version.
If you upgrade to Albert Genius, it adds $4 a month to your cost. That’s still a bargain considering you get real humans to talk to about your financial questions and seek advice from.
Ease of Use – 4.5/5
Using Albert is incredibly easy to use. From opening an account to using it to manage your money, the experience is intuitive.
Users of the Albert must also feel that way. The app has nearly a 5-star rating out of over 95,000 downloads.
Customer Service – 3/5
This is probably the area that Albert lacks in most. There is no live customer service or number you can dial if you need help.
There is a help section that covers the basics and the different features that Albert has. If you need support, you will have to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bottom Line: The Albert App
Albert is a great choice for an all-in-one money management tool. It provides tools to help you budget, save, and invest. The app is incredibly simple and straightforward to use.
Most of the features of Albert are available at no cost. It is still worth upgrading to the $4 monthly plan to get the ability to talk to a financial expert about your situation.
Keep in mind that it is missing some features like mobile deposits, so you will likely need to have other financial accounts if this is something you need. But otherwise, Albert can be just the thing to jump-start your finances.