Douugh Review – Should You Use This Banking App?
Douugh is a banking app powered by artificial intelligence. This app is designed to offer a one-stop-shop for money management by combining budgeting, saving, and investing all in one place.
Available for iOS and Android, Douugh features handy tools like round-ups and auto-saving. But is a Douugh account the right answer for you?
In this Douugh review, we’ll talk about this banking app’s key features, pros, cons, and much more to help you decide. So, without anything further, let’s get started!
What is Douugh?
As a financial technology company, Douugh isn’t a bank. The Douugh bank account and debit card are issued by Choice Financial Group.
With its partnership with a financial institution, Douugh’s customers are FDIC insured for up to $250,000. Its investment advisory services are provided by Douugh Wealth LLC, which is an SEC-registered investment advisor.
Andy Taylor founded the company in 2016 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is also a co-founder of SocietyOne, the first P2P Lending platform in Australia.
Douugh’s mission is to democratize banking and make the world financially healthier. It uses its AI technology to help people spend wisely, save more, and build wealth.
It received $2.5 million in funding through a corporate round and is listed on ASX (Australia’s stock market exchange). At the beginning of 2021, Douugh acquired Goodments for $1.5 million.
Its banking services are available in all 50 U.S. states.
What does Douugh Offer?
Douugh provides users with a bank account that includes a checking and savings account. The Douugh app has budgeting features that allow you to tell it how much you want to save so it can handle the rest.
Checking Account with Debit Card
Douugh users get a checking account that doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee or other fees. You also get a Mastercard debit card that can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.
When you sign up for a Douugh account, you can use the virtual debit card to make transactions while you wait for the physical card in the mail. Simply add the virtual card to your wallet and use it in stores or online.
Your debit card is fully managed through the mobile app. You can change the PIN, report it lost/stolen, and lock/unlock the card at any time.
When signing up for a direct deposit, you will get access to early pay. This feature allows you to get paid up to 2 days early.
Douugh is a mobile-only bank account, but you can access your money at over 37,000 ATMs nationally. Using the MoneyPass network, you won’t get charged fees at these locations.
Spending Jars and Paycheck Management
Paying bills takes up a big portion of a person’s paycheck. Douugh checking accounts allow you to divide up your paycheck into a variety of different buckets. Create buckets for bill payments, savings, and investing.
Access your spending snapshot to see how much you’ve spent, where, and on what. Set up spending limits on categories like shopping, groceries, food/drink, and easily keep track of where you’re at each month. You get notifications as you approach your target to help manage your money better.
Douugh has a Chrome extension that you can download to your desktop/laptop browser. You’ll automatically earn cash back from over 30,000 merchants.
Amazon, Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Petco, JC Penny, Academy Sports, and Foot Lock are among the retailers you’ll find. Become a smarter shopper and save money by using the extension to find available coupons and cashback offers.
If you refer a friend and send them a unique link, you can also earn cash back on their purchase. To receive a payout, you must have a least $5 in your earnings balance and a connected PayPal account.
For those recurring payments, you can use Douugh’s Bills jar to manage and pay bills. Bills Jar allows you to link up your external accounts to your water, electricity, car loan, rent, and other bills.
Bills that are recurring on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. basis can be linked up. With the payee’s information, Douugh automatically pays those bills on your behalf.
Good savings habits are essential to a healthy financial life. Douugh allows you to create any short-term savings subaccounts as you want. Known as Savings or Stash Jars, you can give each subaccount its short-term goal or purpose.
All new Douugh users automatically start with an Emergency Jar which is intended to be a rainy day fund. The built-in goal of the Emergency Jar is $1,000, though you can customize the goal amount if you wish.
Your money in your Stash Jars is FDIC insured for up to $250,000. However, the balances don’t earn interest.
Grow Jars or Portfolio Jars
Douugh also offers long-term investing subaccountsThese Grow Jars or Portfolio Jars also have unlimited investment subaccounts.
You can set each Jar up with a specific or general purpose and customize the balance goal. For example, you can set a Portfolio Jar as a vacation fund and another as a new baby fund.
Exchange-traded funds or ETFs are used to build diversified portfolios. Depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance, you can choose from three portfolio types: Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive.
Out of these managed portfolios, the Conservative portfolio will have the most bond exposure and least stock exposure. Aggressive portfolios are exactly the opposite with the most stock exposure and least bond exposure.
Brokerage services through Douugh won’t be charged trading commissions or management fees on the balances in your Grow Jars. There are typically fees and expenses charged by the component funds, however.
Automate your Account
The key selling point of Douugh is its automation feature. The algorithms will tell you much you have left to spend and ways to maximize your savings and investments.
It takes your paycheck and automatically divides it up for you. Called the Autopilot feature, you can turn it off and on as you like.
Pulse Account Dashboard
Called “a real-time read on your financial fitness,” Pulse provides a dashboard that clearly shows you a snapshot of your finances. By linking up external accounts to your Douugh account, you can view your complete net worth.
What does Douugh Cost?
The Douugh bank account with all the fantastic features is available for $4.99 per month. There are no overdraft, maintenance, or transfer fees. Douugh’s bank accounts also have no minimum balance requirements.
If you’re not sure that you want to try out Douugh and pay its monthly fee, you can try out a 28-day free trial. Other than the monthly fee, a few miscellaneous charges might apply like:
- $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM cash withdrawals
- $3 fee for international ATM cash withdrawals
- 3% fee for international debit purchases
- $20 fee for faster shipping on a replacement debit card
- $5 debit card replacement fee
How to Sign up for Douugh
Signing up for Douugh just takes a few minutes. You’ll need to download the Douugh app on your smartphone. Douugh has an iOS and Android mobile app.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll enter your email address and create a password. After that, enter your full name and mobile phone number.
There’s additional personal information you’ll need to enter, such as your mailing address. Link another bank account to Douugh to fund it.
Your card arrives in 7 to 10 business days. But you can start using the virtual card to make purchases at retailers and online.
Eligibility and Requirements
To open a Douugh bank account, you need to meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizen or resident
- 18 years old or more
- Valid U.S. postal address
When opening your account, you’ll also need a Social Security number and government-issued ID such as a driver’s license.
To move money in and out of your Douugh bank account, you have several options, including:
- Direct deposits
- Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) transfers
- ATM withdrawals
- Transfers using Venmo
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, and Venmo
Is Douugh Secure?
Security is always a big concern when it comes to your banking information. Douugh takes measures to protect your account.
It has bank-level encryption, secure data storage, and an AI-powered fraud monitoring service.
Add biometric authentication to access the app. You’ll receive alerts if there is any suspicious activity on your account.
If you ever lose your card, the app allows you to lock and unlock it quickly. Your deposits are protected for up to $250,000 through FDIC insurance.
How does Douugh Compare?
Douugh isn’t the only smart bank account out there or an alternative to a traditional bank. Below are a few of the key competitors of Douugh.
With no monthly fees, Chime offers users a basic bank account with savings. Checking accounts with Chime also provides a 2-day early paycheck if you sign up for a direct deposit.
Its savings account offers some interest-earning, unlike Douugh. Its also known for its sleek and simple interface. Chime doesn’t have as many budgeting tools and features, however.
Offering a Spend and Save account for money management, Aspiration also gives you up to two days early access to your paycheck when you add your deposits.
Earn up to 10% cash back with your Aspiration Plus debit card when making purchases at socially responsible businesses. Aspiration is focused on making a difference in communities, and customers can decide how much they wish to pay for fees.
Money Management apps
Mint is a free budgeting app that can be linked to your accounts and credit cards so you can see your whole financial picture. The app allows you to set up a budget for various spending categories like restaurants and shopping.
With its alerts, you can get notified if there is a change in your net worth or if you’re getting close to hitting your budget.
Goodbudget is an app geared toward planning your finances versus keeping track of it. It uses the envelope budgeting system to divvy up your monthly income into specific spending categories.
You can’t connect your banking and checking accounts to the app. Alternatively, you can manually add your account balances, income, and debts.
Douugh Pros and Cons
Pro: No Fees on Bank Account
Other than the monthly fee, you don’t have to worry about other costs like maintenance and overdraft fees. As long as you use an ATM in its network, there are also no ATM fees.
Pro: Commission-Free Investments
The diversified portfolios managed by Douugh have no trading commissions or management fees on the balances of Portfolio Jars. Commission-free trading platforms have grown in popularity over the years. But the management fee waiver is unique and rare to see.
Pro: Multiple Savings Subaccounts
Douugh encourages users to reach their financial goals. You can create unlimited subaccounts for your different savings goals.
Each Stash Jar can be fully customized with a specific savings purpose and amount. You can visualize and track progress easily over your goals with a tap of the finger.
Pro: Investment Subaccounts
Your Douugh bank account also provides unlimited Portfolio Jars. Using different subaccounts, your different goals can be separated into short, medium, and longer-term goals.
Pro: Access to Fee-free ATMs
With over 40,000 ATMs in Douugh’s partner network, you can withdraw cash from anywhere. By using its network, you can avoid paying fees.
Pro: FDIC Insurance
Your Douugh bank account is insured for up to $250,000. This protection is provided due to its partner bank, Choice Financial Group.
Pro: Access to a Virtual card
With your virtual debit card, you don’t have to wait for your physical card to come in the mail.
Pro: Automated Budgeting
Among its most amazing features, is how Douugh completely automates your money. Your Douugh bank account includes its Bills Jar, which automatically pays your bills, allows you to create spending targets, and help you to save and invest.
It’s legitimately life-changing for those who need help with managing money. Other money management apps don’t offer all Douugh’s robust tools.
Con: No interest on savings account
Making bank deposits to your savings subaccounts won’t earn any interest. Other competitors like Chime offer interest-bearing savings.
Con: Monthly Fee can’t be Avoided
Whether you have $10 or $10,000, the $4.99 monthly fee won’t be waived. In the past, Douugh offered a free version of their app.
Con: High out-of-network atm fees
You don’t have to pay to withdraw cash when using an ATM in Douugh’s network. But if you are not near one, the atm charges are higher than comparable fees with competitors.
Con: No mobile check deposit
Despite all their amazing features, one key miss is that there’s no mobile check deposit. You’ll either need to keep your existing bank account or consider other options.
Con: Lacks a Desktop version
Without a desktop version, you’ll need to rely on your mobile app to manage your account. Some people may prefer accessing their accounts via a desktop. It’s also just nice to have that option, particularly if you want to view things on a bigger screen.
Bottom Line: Douugh Review
Douugh is best for people who make a consistent income each month. Its AI technology is not as good at helping automate finances for freelancers or those with irregular incomes. You also have to be ok with not getting interested in your savings or having a mobile check deposit.
However, Douugh has some great features to help improve your money management. It can automate paying your bills, savings, and investing. Specifically, their Bills Jar helps keep you on track with paying recurring bills. For those who want to automate their budgeting with a “set it and forget it” approach, Douugh might be the right banking partner.