Do you ever feel the whole financial system is conspiring against you?
They don’t make it easy, do they? They make managing your money feel like tiptoeing across a tightrope. Take your eye off the ball for a second and you’ll fall into a pit of endless fees — overdrafts, ATM fees, dipping below daily minimums, ugh.
What if there was a financial app that was totally on your side? That’s Albert, an all-in-one app that combines banking, savings, investing and budgeting.
What really sets Albert apart is its Genius service, which allows you to text or Zoom with real human financial experts who can give you advice on any financial topic. They’ll help you figure out what to do with your money.
This growing app has 8 million members who have collectively saved over $1 billion. Subscribers to the Genius service save an average of $400 in their first six months, Albert says. (A lot of us have pretty much nothing in savings right now.)
Also, you get a sweet $150 bonus when you sign up. Details below.
We decided to review Albert and the various services it offers. Here’s our rundown of its five main features:
1. Albert Instant
Here’s the best thing about Albert: You can get a cash advance of up to $250 to tide you over when you need it — and you’ll pay no interest on it. Just pay it back with your next paycheck.
Grade: 5/5 stars
2. Albert Cash
Albert Cash is a legitimate account you can use for your banking. Just like the brick-and-mortar bank down the street, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The account also has bank-level security.
Here are its other features:
- You can get paid up to two days early.
- You can earn up to 20% cash back on purchases.
- There’s no minimum balance and no maintenance fees.
- It’s easy to send or deposit checks.
- Genius subscribers can use 55,000 free ATMs.
Grade: 4.5/5 stars
3. Automatic Savings
Having trouble saving money? Put it on autopilot and see what happens.
Albert analyzes your income, bills and spending habits, then sets aside small amounts of money to help you save toward all your goals.
Or if you want, you can take control and set up a customized recurring schedule for funneling money into savings.
Genius subscribers receive an annual savings bonus of 0.25% over the course of a year. All other Albert members receive an annual savings bonus of 0.10% of their total balance.
Grade: 4/5 stars
4. Ask a Genius
Like we said before, this is what sets Albert apart from its competition. Everyone could use a genius on their side.
For as little as $6 a month (try the first month free), you can text Albert’s team of real live human financial experts anytime for advice on questions like how to pay down debt faster, open a college fund for your kid, set up a will or build wealth.
The Albert Genius team responds to 10,000 to 20,000 member texts per day, ranging from answering personal finance questions to providing support for Albert’s app.
You can try Genius for free for 30 days. If you’re not impressed, it’s easy to opt out.
Grade: 5/5 stars
5. Investing with Albert
Ultimately, investing is the best way to build wealth. You have to subscribe to Genius to start investing with Albert. But once you do that, it only takes $1 to start investing.
You can invest in stocks or ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The only drawback is that you can’t invest in a tax-advantaged retirement plan like an IRA through Albert. You’ll have to go somewhere else for that.
You can either pick your investments on your own, or have Genius do it for you — which tends to be the best option for hands-off investors.
You can set up Albert to invest for you weekly, monthly, or twice a month.
All of the investing is commission-free.
Grade: 4/5 stars
6. Budgeting and Financial Planning
Budgeting is tough. So Albert will help you map out a budget.
It’ll send you alerts to help you avoid mistakes. For example, the app will let you know if you receive a tax refund, have a bill coming up, pay an unexpected fee — pretty much anything that happens with your money.
You can automatically track your spending and see your available funds. Genius can show you insights on your budget as well as your financial planning timeline.
Grade: 4/5 stars
Albert has a couple of other useful offerings:
You can get good deals on insurance through the app — all kinds of insurance. Auto, home, renters or life insurance. It’s easy to get quotes and see if you can get a better deal than what you have now.
With its feature called “The Post,” Albert breaks down the biggest daily stories in money, from investing news to government policy to topics like student loans.
How Does Albert Stack Up?
With so many useful features, Albert functions as a one-stop shop for all your financial needs. It can help you make all kinds of important decisions.
Pro: The Genius service puts real human financial experts at your fingertips, for a bargain price.
Con: Albert doesn’t have a phone number you can call for customer service, and that’s a drawback. It has customer service via text, though. And Genius subscribers can ask questions about their finances via Zoom.
Albert’s users appear to like it. The app is highly rated in Apple’s App Store, with 4.7 out of 5 stars from 119,000 users. In Android’s app store, it’s rated 4.0 out of 5 stars with 45,000 reviews.
Our overall grade for Albert: 4.5 out of 5 stars
It only takes a few minutes to sign up.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
To be eligible for direct deposit bonus, receive a qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 within 45 days of sign up and every 30 days for 90 consecutive days. Spend at least $200 on qualifying goods and services with your Albert debit card every 30 days during the same 90-day period. Terms apply. See app for details.
Download to see if you qualify for Albert Instant. Repay the Instant advance with your next paycheck. Fees may apply.
Albert is not a bank. Banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC.
The Albert Mastercard® debit card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Early access to direct deposit funds may vary depending on the payer’s deposit timing. Cash back subject to terms. ATM fees may apply.
Albert Savings accounts are held for your benefit at FDIC-insured banks, including Coastal Community Bank and Wells Fargo, N.A. Savings bonus may vary.
When you join Albert, you’ll set up an Albert Cash account and a 30-day trial for Albert Genius as part of the sign-up process. If you cancel within 30 days of signing up, you will not be charged for your subscription. Your subscription will auto-renew until canceled.
All investments involve risk. Advisory services provided by Albert Investments, LLC. Securities products and services offered to self-directed investors through Albert Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.