Bright Money review
A budgeting app that helps reduce credit card balances, but you’ll pay a monthly fee to use it.Bright Money is an app that can help you pay down your credit card debt. Its automated system analyzes your spending habits to allocate unused funds and ensure your bills are paid on time.
But it’s not foolproof, as users have reported glitches that resulted in overdraft charges and late fees. Plus, you’ll pay at least $6.99 per month to use the service.
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Expert reviewBright Money is an innovative money management app that can help you pay down your credit card debt. But you’ll have to be comfortable with Bright’s AI technology accessing your checking account to withdraw funds and trusting that it’ll pay your credit card bills on time. And if you want some extra spending money, you’ll need to adjust your goals so Bright doesn’t pull all of your unused cash to pay down credit card balances.
Bright once offered a free plan, but to use the app now, you must pay a monthly fee of $6.99 or $8.99 depending on whether you sign up for an annual or semi-annual plan. And if you choose to pay month-to-month, the fee is $14.99. But you’ll get a 10-day free trial regardless of which plan you choose.
You’ll also want to note that some customers have reported glitches that caused overdrafts and late payments. But for the most part, Bright Money has positive reviews across iPhone and Android users.
How to sign up
Sign up for Bright in six steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- Input your email and choose Get Started.
- Select Continue to read through its testimonials and marketing cards. Hit Yes, let’s do this!
- Answer the questions to build a personalized financial plan. Choose Continue.
- Enter and verify your phone number.
- Fill in your personal information, including your name and date of birth, to create an account.
To get started right away, download the Bright Money app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
How much does Bright Money cost?Bright formerly offered a free plan with limited features, but the app now requires a paid subscription. You’ll pay $6.99 per month if you sign up for an annual plan, and you’ll pay $8.99 per month if you sign up for a six-month plan. If you want to use the app on a month-to-month basis, the cost is $14.99 per month. But all plans include a free 10-day trial.
How does Bright Money work?Bright uses a data-driven system called MoneyScience for personal money management. It learns about your finances to design a financial plan tailored to your situation. It calculates a specific amount of money to collect every two to three days from your checking account. The calculation carefully considers:
- Minimum payments due.
- Balances across all your credit card accounts.
- Potential interest savings in relation to paying down debt.
- How much extra cash you can afford to contribute toward reducing your balances.
The money is stored in your Bright Account and is then applied to your credit card payments. You can transfer funds held by Bright back to your checking account at any time. You can also limit how much money Bright moves every month, and you can set a low-balance limit to prevent Bright from withdrawing more funds from your account. As Bright’s AI learns more about your spending habits, it automatically adjusts how much it transfers from your account each week.
Is Bright Money safe to use?
Yes, your money and information are safe with Bright. It uses Plaid, a financial services company, to connect your banking and credit card information. Plaid uses multilayered security, including end-to-end data encryption and multifactor authentication.
And the money that Bright withdraws and stores in your Bright Account to pay your credit card bills is FDIC-insured. So your cash is always safe.
5 pros of Bright Money
Here are five things that make Bright Money unique:
- Avoid late fees. Bright handles your credit card payments, so they’re paid on time.
- Helps reduce card balances. Bright Money optimizes debt repayment by considering multiple variables, including your credit card balances and how to save the most in interest.
- Convenient. Since everything is automated, Bright Money helps you pay off debt without thinking about it. Its algorithm studies your spending habits to transfer funds from your checking account every few days, so you don’t feel such a big pinch when it comes time to pay the bills.
- 24/7 customer support. Bright Money has a real person standing by around-the-clock on chat support. You can also email email@example.com or call 856-832-6419 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
- Bright Savings. Create savings goals, and Bright will automatically set aside funds for you.
4 cons of Bright Money
Consider these drawbacks before committing to a Bright subscription:
- Monthly fee. Bright requires a monthly fee ranging from $6.99 to $14.99, but all plans include a 10-day free trial.
- Only supports credit cards. While Bright takes on credit cards repayments like a champ, it can’t help you if you have other financial liabilities, including personal loans, student loans car loans and mortgages.
- Limited website platform. Bright Money’s website platform is still in Beta with no timeline of an official release. We spoke with a customer service rep who explained that Bright is headed toward an app-only service and will eventually discontinue support for its web-based service. Plus, since its website and app are two independent systems, your info won’t sync to transfer.
- Not foolproof. While not all users experience bugs, some customers reported that Bright missed their credit card due date, which resulted in late fees. Others claimed that Bright withdrew too much money that caused their account to overdraw. And one reviewer said that Bright accidentally overpaid a credit card that had a $0 balance.
Since Bright Money is specially designed to help pay down debt, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you’re in the market for a budgeting app that monitors spending habits.
Bright Money reviews and complaintsBright Money doesn’t have any Trustpilot or Better Business Bureau reviews. But the Apple App Store gives it an average 4.7 out of 5-star rating based on 6,683 reviews, and Google Play users rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 4,338 reviews as of April 2022.
Customers enjoy Bright Money’s premium features, which have helped them painlessly pay down debt. Many comment that they didn’t even notice until their credit card balances were suddenly paid off. But a few users experienced bugs, including payments to credit cards that had a $0 balance and missed credit card payments that resulted in late fees.
Compare Bright Money to other budgeting apps
We’ve rounded up other budgeting apps so you can compare other options by fees and platforms.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.