Put your finances on autopilot with automatic transfers and budgeting tools.Astra is a savings automation app that lets you automatically transfer funds between accounts, create routines to automate your savings and track your progress toward goals. But you can’t use it to automate bills.
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Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
Expert reviewAstra is an intuitive app that allows you to fast-track your savings goals. It uses automation to enable interaction between your accounts in a seamless way. It allows you to set up dynamic rules to automate transfers between accounts making the process of saving money almost effortless. Astra is also free and at that price point, the app is definitely worth trying. It can be a great way to put your savings on autopilot.
But if you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to your daily cash flow or want greater control over your personal investment accounts, Astra may not be the app for you. Apps like YNAB and Acorns are better options for this. YNAB allows you to track every dollar in your account while Acorns provides a number of investment options.
How to sign up
Get started with Astra in six steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the provider site, select App and then Download App.
- Enter your phone number.
- Download the app on the iOS or Android app store.
- Enter your full name, mailing address, date of birth and Social Security number to create a verified account.
- Link all your checking and savings accounts by signing into the bank accounts through the app.
How does Astra work?Astra syncs with over 10,000 financial accounts through Plaid. Once you connect your accounts, you can view all your balances in the Astra dashboard. Astra lets you split your existing bank accounts into virtual subaccounts for your savings goals.
Also, set up automations to automate transfers based on predefined rules. For example, one rule could say, “Starting February 1, 2021, transfer all funds over $1,000 from my Chase checking account to my Marcus savings account on the first of every month.”
If the app tries to make a transfer that will bring your balance below $0, it’ll decline the transfer.
What are the pros and cons of Astra?Astra is designed to reduce the complexity of your financial life and has these pros and cons:
- Automate your transfers. Instead of having to remember to transfer money, Astra does it for you using dynamic automation rules you create.
- Fast-track your savings goals. Astra allows you to set up savings goals for each of your accounts and track your progress toward those goals.
- Free to use. Astra is free to use, unlike competitor Digit that charges $5 a month and Qapital that charges $3, $6 or $12 depending on the plan.
- Can’t overdraw on your account. If you have a low balance or insufficient funds in your account, the app won’t initiate transfers. You can set up threshold notifications to limit these transfers.
- Can’t pay bills. The app only lets you automate transfers between accounts and can’t pay bills to external vendors.
- Transaction limit. There is a limit of $1,000 per transaction, which is low compared to other apps. For instance, Qapital allows transfers and withdrawals up to $7,000 each day and Stash limits daily transfers to $10,000.
- Can’t connect to PayPal. You can’t connect your PayPal account to Astra, which could be a drawback if you use it to send and receive money.
Looking for an app with higher transaction limits? Check out our best money savings apps guide to learn more about the apps that make saving easier.
Is Astra safe to use?
Yes, Astra is safe to use. The app links to your accounts through Plaid, an encrypted software owned by Visa. The app also has integrated fraud protection and SSL encryption.
Compare Astra to other budgeting apps
Use this table to see how Astra stacks up against the competition: