Ever wonder where all your money goes at the end of the month? You’re not alone. Overspending is a common problem, and the vast majority of people simply cannot stick to a budget.
The key is to establish a budgeting system. With a solid framework in place, the goal should be changing your spending habits and your overall relationship with money.
Fortunately, modern digital tools exist that can help you get on the right track. Qube Money is a banking app that aims to help you build a sound financial roadmap.
In this post, I’ll explain how Qube Money works, what it has to offer, and how it compares to other apps like it.
What is Qube Money?
Qube Money, or just Qube, is equal parts mobile bank account and budgeting app. It’s a cashless alternative to the Envelope Budgeting Method, also known as the cash envelope system, which Dave Ramsey made famous.
The idea of the Envelope Method is to create spending categories. Within each category, you then allocate a certain amount of your money each month.
Then, traditionally speaking, you would put physical cash into each category’s envelope. When the cash is gone, you’re done spending on that particular category for the month. Qube Money has modernized this method and turned it digital.
Qube officially launched in early 2021, but it’s been in the works since 2015. A Qube membership comes with a checking account, budget automation, and digital envelopes called Qubes to organize your spending.
Qube Money Features
To give you a better idea of how Qube works, let’s take a look at the features that come with an account.
Qube is entirely mobile-based. You can sign up for an account on the website, but the banking and budgeting happen on your smartphone. The Qube Money app is still fairly new, but it seems to be off to a good start. It has a 4.3-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store and a 3.7-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
Qube Debit Card
Your Qube account comes with a Visa debit card, which you can use to spend money and withdraw cash.
What makes the Qube card unique is its Zero Default Technology, which helps members identify their available spending money. Here’s how it works:
All of your money is separated into the various Qubes you set up within your Qube account. Your debit card always has a zero balance, and you need to pull money from one of these Qubes to use it.
For example, say you want to buy groceries. Before using your card at checkout, you go into the app, allocate money from your grocery Qube, and the funds are instantly available on your card.
The idea here is to allow yourself to be more thoughtful and intentional before you swipe. Every transaction affects your overall budget, and Qube can help keep the big picture in mind.
Qube is not a part of any ATM network, but it does reimburse for ATM fees. Qube issues ATM fee refunds on the 20th of every month, up to $10 — just keep in mind that there’s a $250 maximum per day, and you need to have an open Qube to get cash.
Along with the app’s budgeting tools, Qube offers additional support through Qube Masters, a learning platform that provides financial coaching and online courses.
If you choose to use it, you get one-on-one financial guidance from your Qubee Coach, who can help with everything from paying down debt to saving for a house.
Qube Masters courses consist of five Waypoints, which help you build and sustain a financial foundation.
Early Direct Deposit
Payday comes early with a Qube Money account, and you can expect to receive direct deposits up to two days ahead of schedule. The feature depends on participation from your employer but can help you get ahead of upcoming bills.
Qube Money Products
Depending on what you’re looking for, Qube offers a few different membership levels of the Qube Money account. Each one is built around digital cash envelopes, but they come with different features for different needs.
Here’s a look at what comes with each membership tier:
Qube Basic Plan: $0/month*
- Individual bank account
- No monthly fee
- 10 Qubes (budget categories)
- Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Peer-to-Peer Transfers
- Early Direct Deposit
- Subscription Controls
- Default Zero Technology
- Virtual Debit Card Number
*One-time account set-up fee of $5
Qube Premium Plan: $8/month
- Everything Included in Basic, plus…
- Unlimited Qubes
- Recurring Transfers
- Option for a Joint Account
- Monthly Reports
- Virtual Account Number for Bill Qubes
Qube Family Plan: $15/month
- Everything Included in Premium, plus…
- 5 Authorized User Accounts (for kids, teens, or adults)
- Parent Permissions
- ‘Browse-As’ View for Authorized User Accounts
- Kid/Teen Card Designs
Aside from the fees for a Premium or Family plan, Qube Money is a free platform.
There are no ATM fees, minimum balance requirements, or transfer fees.
Qube also doesn’t charge overdraft fees, but this is only because you can’t overdraft your account. If you try to spend more than you have, your Qube card will just decline.
Overall, I recommend the basic plan unless you need an account for the whole family. Premium comes with some intriguing features, but not enough to justify the added cost.
To sign up for your Qube account, download the app or head to QubeMoney.com.
Once your account is set up, you can browse the app, deposit money, and create your budget. You’ll get a virtual debit card right away, and your physical card will take a few days to arrive.
Qube is not offering any sign-up bonus at the moment, but it has in the past. As recently as early 2021, Qube offered a $50 sign-up bonus or a free year of Premium for new members.
If this bonus or others like it pop up, I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.
Security is a huge part of what Qube does, and it has a ton of features to protect you and your money.
It all starts with the Qube card. While Default Zero Technology functions as a budgeting tool, it’s also a security measure. Since your card always has a zero balance, it’s unusable if it ends up in the wrong hands.
On top of that, here’s a look at some of the other measures Qube has in place:
- 128-bit encryption
- FDIC insurance through Choice Financial Group
- Instant transaction notifications
- Biometric authentication
When you have questions about your account, you have plenty of options for support. Qube’s online help center has a wide range of FAQs, which should solve most basic issues.
If you need to speak with someone, you can reach out via email, live chat, or the customer service phone line (800-226-2261).
Pros & Cons
- Envelope-based budgeting
- Great mobile app
- Few fees
- ATM fee reimbursements
- Membership fee for Premium and Family Plans
- No savings account or APY
- No sign-up bonus
- No physical branches
Alternatives to Qube Money
Though it does take a unique approach, Qube is far from the only digital banking option to incorporate cash envelope budgeting. Here are a couple of other options to check out.
Mvelopes is the original envelope budgeting app. Like Qube, Mvelopes helps you take control of your finances by breaking them down into categories.
The biggest difference between the two is that Mvelopes is not a bank account. Instead, it’s a money management app that links with your external account to give you a better idea of where you’re at. Also, Mvelopes does not offer a free version of its platform.
Ally is the biggest online bank in the world. Though it isn’t a full-fledged envelope account, it does use some of the same principles with its savings buckets.
With an Ally online savings account, you can set goals and allocate your money to each one. An account comes with up to ten buckets and, best of all, each one earns a high-yield APY.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Qube money legit?
Yes, Qube Money is a legitimate platform that could help you build better money habits. It’s FDIC-insured and has all of the expected security measures in place.
Does Qube cost money?
Qube’s Basic plan is completely free, but if you want to upgrade, it’ll cost you. So as you think about signing up for an account, consider which features are essential for you.
What bank does Qube Money use?
Qube partners with Choice Financial Group, which is a North Dakota-based FDIC-insured financial institution.
How do you use Qube Money?
Qube’s platform is intuitive and easy to use. Once you sign up, it’s as easy as building your proactive budget and working within it. For most, the most unfamiliar feature will be the debit card. It might seem strange at first to add money to your card every time you want to use it, but the idea is to help you think a bit more before you swipe.
Is Qube Money Right For You?
Budgets are never a bad idea. If you’ve struggled with one in the past, it’s possible that all you need is a different approach.
With Qube, you can get proactive. Money management is all about having a plan, and an app like Qube can help you take charge of your personal finances.
In my opinion, Qube is the best fit for those who struggle with overspending. If you’re looking for more balance in your financial life, a tool like Qube is the perfect thing to try out.
That said, it’s unlikely that it’ll make sense for those a little further along. Of course, budgeting is a good idea for anyone, but Qube’s features could feel limiting if you have a good financial grasp already.
As you browse around for your next banking and budgeting partner, always remember: The best bank is the one that helps you reach your personal finance goals faster.
Here’s to seeing them through!