Acorns Review: Micro-Investing & More

Acorns  logo

Acorns

9.0

BankBonus.com rating

Bottom Line

Acorns is a low-cost investment platform that allows you to automate your account balance and personal finances. You'll have a diversified portfolio, automatic rebalancing when necessary, and financial advisors to guide you along the way.

Pros

  • Great for new investors
  • Low Fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Expert financial advice

Cons

  • Micro-Investing only
  • No savings account
  • Monthly fees

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Sign Up

at Acorns.com

Backed by leading investor and innovators, Acorns is an app that makes micro-investing in the stock market virtually foolproof. The app is built for beginners and allows you to learn about markets while your money steadily grows. Continue reading this Acorns review to learn about how this app can help you kickstart your investing journey.

How Does Acorns Work?

With more than 9 million users, Acorns is arguably the most popular robo-advisor app available, allowing beginner investors to invest their spare change.

Here’s how Acorns works:

When you sign up, you’ll link your debit or credit card with your Acorns account. Then, every time you make a purchase, Acorns rounds up the spare change of the transaction to the nearest dollar. It then takes that change and drops it into a diversified Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) portfolio built by its industry experts.

The app also automatically reinvests any dividends that you earn.

Acorns has grown over time to offer even more products to help you earn and grow your money. Below is a brief review of the Acorns app’s products and features.

Acorns Product Review

The app offers the following financial products, all built around its signature low-fee, easy-to-use platform.

Acorns Invest

With the Acorns automated investment account, you can start your portfolio for as little as $3 per month. From there, Acorns takes the reins.

Fortunately, you’ll still retain some control over your investment strategy. You can choose a conservative portfolio option, with low-risk slow burn investments, or choose to be more aggressive. It all comes down to your risk tolerance, and you can adjust your approach at any time.

It’s important to note here that, while the Round-Ups™ feature is handy, investing your spare change is not a get-rich-quick avenue. So while your money will almost certainly grow in your Acorns account, don’t expect to turn around massive gains quickly, no matter how aggressive you are.

Acorns Earn

Acorns Earn is formerly known as Found Money. With this feature, the app dips its toes into the world of cash back affiliate marketing.

Acorns offers a browser extension, which you can download from the website. Once it’s active, it tracks your online purchases from its partner retailers. These include Walmart, Apple, Nike, and more.

When you make purchases, you’ll earn cash back bonus investments. These bonuses automatically transfer to your account, but can take at least 60 days to show up.

Acorns Later

Acorns Later is the platform’s retirement account, and it comes included when you sign up for a standard investment account. You can choose from a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or SEP IRA, and Acorns will help you select the best option.

You can start investing in your retirement with as little as a $5 minimum investment. From there, it’s easy to make regular, automated contributions to the account.

Acorns Early

Acorns Early is a custodial account for children. If you upgrade to Acorns Family ($5 per month), you can open multiple Early accounts for each of your kids.

Acorns Early works similarly to Acorns Later. Just set up recurring deposits of at least $5, and watch that money grow.

Early accounts are designated as UTMA/UGMA, meaning that the contents of the account can be used for anything that benefits the child. It also means that the money is easily transferable when your kid comes of age.

Acorns Checking

Acorns Checking, formerly known as Acorns Spend, is an online checking account. It’s included when you sign up for either a Personal or Family plan and has no additional fees.

The main benefit of the checking account is a simplified transaction. Your round-ups and recurring deposits will get into your investment accounts faster, and you won’t have to worry about linking anything.

The bank account also comes with a debit card, early direct deposit, and access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.

Acorns Sustainable

Acorns Sustainable is the platform’s newest product. It’s essentially an alternative version of the standard investment account that focuses on investments in more sustainable companies and industries.

With a Sustainable account, your money goes into iShares ETFs that meet the standard of Global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. While you can feel good about supporting sustainable solutions, you can also expect your account to perform on par with a standard account.

Your asset allocation might consist of small company stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds, and more. The common thread is that each one will be sustainable.

Features

Mobile App

Acorns is an entirely digital platform, so you can access your accounts from the website or the app. The app boasts a 4.7-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store, and a 4.6 star rating in the Google Play Store. Needless to say, the mobile app is well-liked by its users.

Debit Card

With Acorns Checking, you’ll receive a matte green, heavy metal debit card that comes with your signature engraved in it. You can use it anywhere Visa is accepted, and you can withdraw cash for free at any Allpoint ATM.

Education

As an entry-level brokerage account, the company also takes financial education seriously. As a member, you’ll have access to a wealth of financial knowledge, plus expert tips to help you along the way.

Pricing and Fees

As I’ve mentioned, there are two different all-inclusive membership tiers. Each one comes with a management fee, which is the only charge that you can expect to see. There are no fees for account minimums or overdrafts.

Let’s take a look at what comes with each option.

Acorns Personal

  • $3 monthly fee
  • Acorns Investment Account (or Sustainable Account)
  • Acorns Later Account
  • Acorns Checking Account
  • Bonus Investments
  • Educational Tools

Acorns Family

  • $5 monthly fee
  • Acorns Investment Account (or Sustainable Account)
  • Acorns Later Account
  • Acorns Checking Account
  • ​Acorns Early
  • Bonus Investments
  • ​Exclusive Educational Content

How to Sign-Up

Getting started is simple. Download the app, and you can set up your account in minutes.

Once you select your membership tier, you’ll gain access to your accounts. There’s no credit check required, and accounts are open to US citizens with a Social Security number at least 18 years old.

Promotions

Here are some of the best Acorns promotions going on right now:

1. Acorns Invest [Referral Program] - $500 bonus

Expires: July 2, 2022

Seemingly every week, Acorns reintroduces its referral bonus, which gives you cash for referring friends to the FinTech. This week, Acorns is again offering a $500 bonus when you refer 2 friends who open a new Invest account and make their first investment. This is one of the highest we've seen!

You don't need to already have an Acorns account to qualify, either.

Just sign up for one using the link below, and you'll have instant access to your unique referral link, which you can then pass along to your friends. In your account, you'll be able to see the number of pending and successful referrals so that you can keep track of your progress to the bonus.

This offer will also automatically stack with their regular $5 referral bonus, for additional earnings.

How to earn the bonus

The Acorns Invest [Referral Program] sign up offer requires you to complete the following in order to earn the $500 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. If you do not already have an Acorns Invest account, create one using the link below.
  2. Refer 2 friends using your personal referral link during the promo period, and ensure they make their first investment during this time.
  3. Bonus will be deposited within 14 days of promotional period ending.

read the full terms

2. Acorns Invest - $10 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

Acorns is offering a $10 welcome bonus when you open a new Invest account. You just need to open the account and fund it with $5 to earn the reward.

What's more? You can stack this offer with their $75 checking account bonus to earn a total of $85. PLUS, they've been running amazing referral bonuses. So, sign up for a new account and then share your referral link with friends and family, and you could be pocketing $300+.

How to earn the bonus

The Acorns Invest sign up offer requires you to complete the following in order to earn the $10 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Acorns Invest account.
  2. Fund account with at least $5.

read the full terms

Security

With Acorns, your online and financial security is a top priority. The app partners with Lincoln Savings Bank to provide FDIC insurance on its deposit account, but it has a bunch of other measures in place, too. Take a look at what you can expect:

  • SSL Encryption: The website and app are secured with 256-bit encryption
  • SIPC Protected Accounts: Every account comes with up to $500,000 of protection
  • Account Alerts: Acorns will contact you about unusual account activity for protection against fraud
  • Bank-level Security: Secure servers, security, and privacy verified by the top digital security and privacy companies
  • Account Safeguards: Multi-factor authentication, automatic logouts, and ID verification help prevent unauthorized access

Online Support & Customer Reviews

Acorns’ online help center hosts a ton of helpful information to help you troubleshoot the app. The site also offers a virtual assistant, though it’s effectively a search bar for the FAQ section.

If you do need to speak with someone, you can reach out via email (support@acorns.com) or over the phone (855-739-2859). Customer service hours are 5 am to 7 pm Pacific Time, every day of the week.

Unfortunately, not everyone is thrilled with their approach to customer service. On Trustpilot, the app has a lackluster rating of just 2.4 stars (out of 5).

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great for new investors
  • Low fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Expert financial advice

Cons:

  • Micro-investing only
  • No savings account
  • Monthly fees
  • Poor customer service ratings

Alternatives

Acorns is far from the sole contender in the realm of investment apps. Here’s a look at a few of our top alternatives to check out:

M1 Finance

M1 Finance is a one-stop shop for investing, borrowing, and spending. Each of these functions work together all from within the app in a seamless fashion. We cover the ins and out of this industry stalwart and pioneer in our M1 Finance review.

Betterment

Betterment is another app that aims to make investing easy. It’s just as accessible, but takes a slightly more hands-on approach, using fractional share investing and tax loss harvesting. It also offers a connected checking account.

Wealthfront

Wealthfront offers automated, diversified investment portfolios. With the platform, you can open an investment account and a checking account, and you can also open a line of credit.

Vanguard

Vanguard is a more traditional investment platform. It’s an all-in-one wealth management company and is well-known for keeping its fees generally lower than most of its big-name competitors.

FAQs

Does Acorns actually make you money?

Yes, but not a ton right away. You’ll see your balance grow, but you won’t get rich. Think of Acorns as a starting point to investing, not a one-stop solution on its own.

Can Acorns be trusted?

Yes. Acorns is a reputable financial technology company, and it’s one of the most popular apps in the space. It has a partnership with an FDIC-insured bank and is a perfectly legitimate place to put your money.

What is the catch with Acorns?

There’s no catch, as long as you know what to expect. Micro-investing is a great way to get started. But, as I’ve mentioned, it isn’t a great way to get wealthy. The monthly fee is small, but so are your monthly returns. As long as you’re earning more than you’re paying, there’s no catch here.

Is Acorns worth it?

It depends. If you’re a new investor, the knowledge you’ll get is very likely to be worth it. From a monetary standpoint, you’re unlikely to lose money, so you can consider it worth it there, too. Before you sign up, think about what you want to get out of it.

Is Acorns Right For You?

Based on our review of Acorns, the app is a low-cost investment platform that allows you to easily automate several aspects of your personal finances. Still, the app isn’t for everyone.

There are a ton of different investment options out there, and if you’re more experienced, you might be better off with a more advanced platform. No matter where you choose to open an investment portfolio, my advice is to find one that fits your experience level. As you get more comfortable, you can work your way up. From there, the sky’s the limit.