Many individuals and households struggle to save. Even if they have money they could reasonably set aside for a rainy day, they might have trouble starting a savings habit. If you fall into that category, automating your savings might be the answer. It lets you use a set-it-and-forget-it approach to socking money away. Qapital is an app that embraces that mindset. If you have a smartphone and a checking account, you could get started in minutes. But is Qapital right for you? If you are considering Qapital for your savings needs, here’s a look at whether you should be saving with the company.
How Qapital Works
Qapital is fairly unique in regards to how it approaches savings. After you open an account, which is FDIC-insured, and connect a funding account, you outline your savings goals. This can include anything you want to stash money away for, such as an emergency fund, a vacation, or a car down payment.
Once you have your savings goals, you’ll apply some rules. The rules are triggers that cause money to move from your funding account to your Qapital account. For example, with an IFTTT (if this, then that) rule, you might tell the app to shift $10 to your Qapital account every time you buy gas for your car. This is the feature that makes Qapital interesting, as you have a lot of options for your rules, allowing you to sneak savings opportunities into your everyday activities.
There are other rule options, as well. If you use the Spend Less Rule, you’ll stash away the difference if you come in under budget. With the 52 Week Rule, you’ll save $1 on week one, $2 on week two, and so on throughout the year. Self-employed individuals might enjoy the Freelancer rule, which socks away a percentage of any income when it’s received. There are other options available as well, all of which are interesting approaches to saving.
Qapital offers other account options, as well. The Qapital Spending option is a checking account with a debit card. Qapital Invest focuses on long-term savings, allowing you to put money into an ETF portfolio.
Qapital Interest Rates and Account Fees
With Qapital, you do earn a little bit of interest if you have a qualifying account. However, as of this writing, it’s only 0.1 percent (compounded monthly). That is lower than you might be able to find at other online banks.
Plus, you have to pay a membership fee to use the service. After your 30-day free trial, you’ll be charged monthly based on your tier. If you only use the Qapital Goals savings account, that’ll cost you $3 a month. For those who want to access the Spending and Invest account options, you’ll have to pay $6 each month.
There’s also a higher tier plan called “Master” that costs $12 a month. With that, you’ll gain access to additional tools. However, Qapital doesn’t divulge many details about what this membership level involves beyond that.
However, in nearly every case, your membership fees will far outweigh what you earn in interest (if you qualify for an interest-earning account). As a result, by using the service, you’re probably going to end up with less money than if you used a traditional savings account.
Should You Be Saving with Qapital?
The only benefit of using Qapital is the wide variety of rules that you can use to help you save. The options are certainly interesting, and might make it easier for some people to stash a significant amount of cash quickly.
However, most savings accounts allow you to automate deposits. You could set up a weekly transfer to move a certain amount of money from your checking to your savings account at almost any bank. While that approach doesn’t align with some of Qapital’s gimmicks, it does work.
Plus, with Qapital’s membership fee structure, you’ll be paying to save in nearly all cases. It would take a substantial amount of money in those accounts to earn enough interest to offset the fees. Unless you seriously struggle with saving and another automated option hasn’t helped, Qapital probably isn’t right for you.
But, if the unique rules would let you put money away when you haven’t been able to before, it could be worth the cost. Just understand that you’re probably losing some cash along the way, even if you get an interest-earning account.
Have you tried Qapital? Are you thinking about giving it a shot? Do you think it’s worth the membership cost? Share your thoughts in the comments below.