Glint is a fintech app taking an interesting new approach to current accounts and finance. At its core, Glint works like many other challenger banks, providing a system for customers to spend their money from the convenient platform of their smartphone. However, Glint differs in one crucial area: rather than using the traditional currency, Glint is attempting to bring back gold.
Read on to find out more about Glint and whether it might be an option for you.
What is Glint?
Glint felt that “it was unfair that money is prone to depreciate in ways we have no control over”, and sees the solution in gold. According to Glint, gold is a trustworthy form of money – an independent and more stable currency that gives some control back to the consumer.
With a Glint account, your transactions are backed by gold, and, because it isn’t exclusive to one country, you can make them anywhere.
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Like most other challenger banks and fintech companies, Glint works almost entirely from your smartphone, with the exception of the physical card that they will send after registering.
Getting started is simple. You register by entering your name and address, and the process of receiving your card and completing your registration is just as streamlined. Once in the app, it’s easy to find your way around the home page.
Only the essentials are featured on the app. These include:
Markets. Glint has a collection of third-party providers offering a variety of services for you to choose from. Browse through them from here.
Tailoring. Customise your account, review settings and security, and more.
Homescreen. From the homescreen you can see your Glint Mastercard balance and its equivalent value in gold and a number of other currencies. Glint also provides a net value estimate.
Transfer between accounts. Transfer money from one account to another – great for managing your budget and travelling.
Top-up funds. Add more money to your Glint account – transfer via your bank or through a deposit.
Invite a friend. Invite a friend to join. Keep in mind that Glint is only on the Apple App Store, so your friend best have an iPhone.
Account. In the top right of your homepage you can find your account overview. From here you can manage and change your account details.
Using Glint abroad
Glint is a great travel tool. Not only can it be used anywhere via the app, but because gold’s value is recognised in many different countries you don’t have to struggle with exchanging currency. Additionally, because Glint uses Mastercard, your Glint card is accepted in over 30 million locations worldwide.
If you're travelling abroad
If you are heading overseas and are thinking about travel money, head to our travel money section for the cheapest deals on foreign currencies, or to our travel section for tips on how to get cheap flights!
Glint fees, limits and pricing
Opening a Glint account costs nothing, but Glint does come with a handful of fees and limits. These include:
The gold exchange fee comes with a charge of 0.5% of the transaction value. Similarly, the foreign exchange fee is 0.5% of the transaction value.
Point-of-sale transactions are free with a limit of £5,000 per day; ATM withdrawals cost £1.50 with a limit of £300 per day.
Topping up via debit card is free, but is limited to £2,000 per day. You cannot load money using a credit card.
Bank transfers are free.
There are no insurance or storage fees on your end, though your gold is stored and insured.
Account closures also cost nothing.
Is Glint safe?
Glint is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, meaning your money is always safe even in unforeseen circumstances. Your money and sensitive details are kept behind a password, and registration requires proper authentication before you are approved. You can only activate your card once it’s reached you, so if it’s stolen before it’s arrived it’s completely useless.
Pros and cons of Glint
Reasonable fees and limits.
Gold is not exclusive to one country.
Contactless debit card.
Simple and functional app design.
Quick and easy registration.
Great to travel with.
Safe and secure.
Fully registered with the FCA and PRA.
Currently unavailable for Android users.
Gold is still vulnerable to market movements and its value can fluctuate.
Compared to other challenger banking apps, Glint’s app offers far less features to help manage your finances.
Traditional banks are still necessary for most of your banking and financial needs.
While Glint doesn’t work as a replacement for traditional banking services, it does make a great companion to them. The work that has gone into creating such a complex app definitely shows, and hopefully it will be available to everyone at some point in the future.
Compare Glint against its competitors
Updated September 19th, 2019
Frequently asked questions
Although Glint offers its services for free, it still needs to make money, which it does in a handful of ways. These methods include:
Interchange fee. Every time you perform a transaction with your Glint Mastercard Glint earns a small fee for processing it. This is the interchange fee.
Fees and limits. Although Glint’s fees are fairly low, over time they add up. These fees are one of the main ways Glint makes a return.
You don’t, Glint doesn’t provide accounts, just a service to manage them. Your regular bank accounts are still needed to store your money.
No, Glint doesn’t currently charge for card replacements.
Yes, even if you misplace your Glint card, or if it’s yet to arrive, you can use your Glint account to buy and sell gold.
No, Glint doesn’t currently credit check applicants. However, you may see an identity check in your credit report. An identity check is a form of soft search that is noted so that there’s a record of who’s viewed your credit history. This search does not affect your credit score.
Yes, any gold you buy through Glint is legally owned by you, so you’re certainly able to redeem it.
No, you can’t currently transfer physical gold into the Glint app.
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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