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Moneybox is a saving and investing app that aims to make both a seamless part of everyday life.
With as little as £1, you can invest in companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Nintendo, Unilever and Disney via Moneybox’s tracker funds.
It takes the whole investment process out of your hands too. All you have to do is spend and the app will round up your purchases to the nearest pound and invest the spare change. Or you can deposit lump sums weekly or monthly yourself.
By connecting a spending card to the Moneybox app, you can set up an investment account from your mobile phone in a couple of minutes. This gives those with little or no investment experience an easy starting point.
The streamlined smartphone app gives everyone the opportunity to invest by following a few simple steps:
With Moneybox Round ups you can regularly squirrel small amounts of money away. As the name suggests, it rounds up your transactions to the nearest pound, before putting the spare change in a savings pot.
If you buy a £2.40 coffee, for instance, it will round the transaction up to £3 and then put the spare 60p in your “digital piggybank”.
Your Round ups will be automatically calculated every two days. Or you can do them manually. Head to the account section in the app and choose between the automatic or manual round-up options.
All these round-ups will build up in your weekly savings total, which you can see as a blue circle on your home screen. At midday Wednesday, this little savings pile is taken by your pre-arranged direct debit and invested in your account.
Moneybox’s investing offer is quite thorough. You can choose among the following:
You can now also apply for a Moneybox pension account along with an ISA or general investment account. You can move your old pensions to Moneybox, and will then be able to track them in the app, set your investment strategy and keep track of how much they’re earning.
To set up a Moneybox pension, you’ll need to complete the following steps:
However, Moneybox doesn’t accept a pension you or your employee are currently paying into, or any old pensions that provide guaranteed benefits when you retire.
When you get started with Moneybox, you’ll be asked about your risk profile. Depending on what you choose, Moneybox will apply a different investing strategy. You have three basic options:
Full details of Moneybox’s pre-set investing strategies can be found on this page. If you’re a bit more expert, you can also manually edit your investing strategy and decide which percentage of your money goes into which fund. Don’t do that until you are 100% clear on the risks each fund entails though.
If you’re worried about the impact of your investments, you can choose Moneybox’s “socially responsible” option. If you do, the default global shares fund in your investing strategy will replaced by the Socially Responsible fund, which Moneybox offers in partnership with Old Mutual Investment Group.
When deciding which company to invest your money in, this fund takes into account a range of ethical values, from environmental impact to human rights to transparency. It’s based on what is commonly referred to as ESG (environmental, social and governance) scoring.
The Socially Responsible fund charges a 0.18% managing fee, which is slightly higher than the standard global shares fund’s fee (0.12%).
Moneybox’s savings accounts aren’t directly offered by Moneybox, but by its partners; which means that you can open them from the Moneybox app, but your money will actually be hold by the partner bank.
For now, Moneybox currently offers one type of savings account:
OakNorth doesn’t normally offer lifetime ISAs, so it’s an exclusive offer, while you can get a notice savings account directly with Investec at a slightly better rate, but only if you invest at least £10,000. Both Moneybox savings accounts can be opened with as little as £1.
They’re two very different things, so you should think carefully about what you want to do with your money. Savings accounts’ rates aren’t exactly stellar these days and apps like Moneybox make investing easier, so it can be a tempting option. Here are a few things to take into account:
These are the fees you’ll be charged to use Moneybox for investing:
There are no fees for opening a savings account with Moneybox.
As with all investing, the value of your investments are subject to rise and fall. It is important to know that there is some risk involved. You could get back less than you invested.
Moneybox is FCA authorised and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). So if it were to go bust, your investment would be protected up to £50,000. However, this does not protect your money if investments fall in value.
Similarly, all savings accounts offered by Moneybox are covered by the FSCS, which means that deposits are protected up to £85,000.
Finally, Moneybox use 256-bit TLS encryption for all your personal information and will never share any of your details with third parties without your consent.
We carried out a customer satisfaction survey in July 2020.
Moneybox customers like that you can round up your transactions and find that its 10 year forecasting feature is useful for planning. They think that it’s easy to use, innovative and reliable.
A few reviewers found that it takes direct debits from your bank accounts on unusual days which takes some getting used to but find that it has very good customer service.
If Moneybox is not up your street, then there are a number of alternative apps on the market to choose from.
Squirrel is a budgeting app designed to help you save money. It does this by taking a personalised overview of your monthly finances, helping you ring-fence what you need to pay bills, set a limit on your optional spending and then save whatever is left.
Squirrel is not a traditional current account, but you will need to get your monthly income paid into it in order for it to manage your finances. You can do this either by transferring the money in yourself from your main bank account or by asking your employer to pay your salary into your Squirrel account.
A subscription for a Squirrel account costs £3.99 a month. You can check out our Squirrel review to learn to more about it.
The Chip app is designed to a be a hassle-free way to save small amounts of money on a regular basis. You connect Chip to your current account. It uses an artificial-intelligence-based algorithm to look at your finances and work out how much you can realistically afford to save.
Chip then moves this money from your current account into your Chip account however frequently you choose – maybe every few days or once a week.
If you don’t want to save anything that week, you can cancel any transactions before they go ahead. And once you’ve reached your ultimate savings goal you can draw that pot of money back out and into your current account.
There’s no fee for downloading and having the Chip app, although it will charge £1 if it sets aside more than £100 for you during a 28-day period. This means your maximum charge over one year could be £13.
Find out more about how it operates by crossing over to our Chip review.
Starling is a British challenger bank, allowing customers to open and manage a personal current account all through a mobile banking app.
There are a lot of savings-friendly features with this current account. These include the personalised spending data, which is designed to help you budget more effectively, plus the ability to round up transactions to the nearest pound and save the spare change.
These savings can be ring-fenced into money buckets called “goals” – with the idea that you’re saving towards a specific financial goal or treat.
Starling’s personal account is free to use and being a full current account it comes with a host of other features, which you can read about in our Starling review.
Since the early days, Moneybox has branched out into offering savings products, so now it’s “Round ups” feature can be coupled nicely with shorter term goals. (Remember, investing is generally best done over the long term!)
Overall, Moneybox is a good option for beginner investors or savers who are looking to put money towards a shorter term goal. The round-ups feature is really fun and Moneybox makes a big deal out of you achieving your goals which is really nice to see. There are other apps out there which allow you to round up though (such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank), and may be better suited to your needs.
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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