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M1 Finance Spend review

Earn 1% APY and cash back on purchases — but only if you’re an M1 Plus member.

finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0

★★★★★

M1 Spend is a digital checking account that seamlessly integrates into the M1 Finance investing platform. It’s ideal for current or soon-to-be M1 investors. But you’ll need a paid Plus membership to access perks like 1% APY and 1% cash back on debit card purchases.

From $0 per year

Fee

1.00%

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY1.00% but you’ll need to be enrolled in M1 Plus
FeeFrom $0 per year
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATM fee rebatesone ATM reimbursement each month with M1 Standard or four ATM reimbursements each month with M1 Plus
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Foreign transaction fee0%
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Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

M1 Spend is a solid option for investors who already use M1 Finance and want to manage their bank and investment accounts in one place. It has no fees or minimum balance requirements. Plus, you get some ATM reimbursements depending on your membership plan.

The drawback? You need to have an M1 Plus membership to earn interest and cash back on your account, which costs $125 a year. Unless you want the investing perks that come with having an M1 Plus membership, the banking perks may not be worth the annual price tag.

How do I open a M1 Spend Plus account?

You must have an M1 Finance investing account before you can open an M1 Spend account.
Follow these simple steps to open an M1 Finance account:

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. From the official M1 Finance website, click Get Started.
  3. Enter your email, create your password and click Sign Up Now.
  4. Confirm your email address and click Continue.
  5. Follow the steps to create your portfolio, verify your identity and fund your account.

After that, follow these steps to open an M1 Spend account:

  1. Log in to M1 Finance and click Spend from the menu options.
  2. Follow the prompts to connect to an external bank account and fund your account.

Eligibility

If you meet these requirements, you’re eligible for an M1 Spend account:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident
  • US residential address
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Existing M1 Finance account
  • External bank account

Required information

Make sure you have the following information on hand when opening your account:

  • Legal name
  • Mailing address
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID number
  • Login information for external bank
  • Login information for M1 Finance

Compare M1 Spend to similar accounts

We gathered a quick comparison of similar accounts to help you decide if M1 Spend is right for you. For more options, select “Compare accounts” to compare even more accounts for your banking needs.

M1 Spend Plus

Not yet rated

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Fee

$125 per year

APY

1.00%

Minimum deposit to open

$0

ATM network

HSBC Premier Checking

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5

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Fee

$50 per month

APY

0.01% on balances of $5+

Minimum deposit to open

$0

ATM network

Free to use at all ATMs in the US

What are the benefits of a checking account with M1 Finance?

M1 Spend is a cash management account that comes with standard banking features like FDIC-insured deposits up to $250,000, mobile banking and direct deposits. Other features include:
  • Free option. If you don’t want to pay for M1’s Plus plan, you can sign up for a free account that doesn’t charge fees for monthly maintenance, low balances, foreign transactions and more.
  • No minimum balance. You don’t need to keep a certain balance to open the account or earn interest.
  • M1 Plus member perks. Those with an M1 Plus membership earn 1% APY on their total account balance and 1% cash back on debit card purchases. Plus they’ll get access to Smart Transfers, a feature that lets users set maximum and minimum limits on their money in their Spend Plus account.
  • ATM fee reimbursements. M1 Standard members get one ATM fee reimbursement each month and M1 Plus members get four per month.
  • Integrates with investment account. Sweep money into your investment account when you’re ready to grow your money.

M1 Finance’s ATM network and fees

M1 Finance doesn’t have an ATM network. Instead, it reimburses one to four ATM operator fees a month depending on your membership tier.

M1 Finance membership tiers

M1 Finance has two membership tiers:

  • M1 Standard. This membership is free for everyone and comes with a free checking account, a debit card and one ATM reimbursement each month.
  • M1 Plus. This membership costs $125 a year but comes with a free checking account that earns 1% APY, a tungsten metal debit card that earns 1% cash back and four ATM reimbursements each month.

What should I look out for?

Although M1 Spend is an attractive checking account for investors, it has some potential drawbacks:

  • Required investment account. To open an M1 Spend account, you must have an M1 Finance investing account first.
  • Basic account for Standard members. M1 Standard members don’t get any interest or cash back bonuses for having M1 Spend. Those perks are reserved for Plus members only.
  • No joint accounts. At the time of writing, M1 Finance doesn’t support joint checking accounts.
  • ATM withdrawal limit. Although its $510 daily limit falls within the industry average, some banks have higher limits than this.
  • Must connect to an external bank. You must have an existing bank account to open an M1 Spend account.
  • Limited customer support. For support you’ll need to fill out the request form on its website or call 312-600-2883 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

If you’re looking for an interest-bearing checking account that doesn’t require a paid membership, compare your options until you find one that suits your needs.

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

There are a few ways to access your money in your M1 Spend account:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • ACH transfer from another bank

Withdrawals

  • ATM using your debit card
  • Cash back at a retailer
  • ACH transfer to another bank

Is M1 Spend safe?

Yes. M1 Spend accounts are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 and SIPC insured for up to $500,000. Also, M1 uses two-factor authentication to protect your account, and all data transferred and stored on the platform are protected by 4096-bit, military-grade encryption.

M1 Spend reviews and complaints

M1 Finance is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it earns an A- rating based on its handling of 52 reviews in the past three years. As of July 2021, 33 customers have reviewed M1 on the BBB’s website, and the average rating from those reviews is 1.52 out of 5. However, none of the reviews are specifically about M1’s Spend account.

Also, out of eight reviews on Trustpilot, M1 earns 2.9 out of 5 stars. And similar to M1’s reviews on the BBB’s website, none of the reviews on Trustpilot are specifically about the Spend account. The positive reviews mostly relate to the app’s interface and ease of use, while several of the negative reviews mention unpleasant experiences with M1’s customer service department.

How do I contact M1 Spend customer support?

If you have questions or need help with your M1 Spend account, you can contact the company in two ways.

  • Fill out the request form on M1’s website, and a representative will reply.
  • Call 312-600-2883 on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

Frequently asked questions

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