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Acorns is an investment app that lets you easily invest your spare change from purchases made on linked credit or debit cards. This money can go into investment accounts that match your risk tolerance. Acorns only offers managed portfolios of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) for investing, but it also provides checking accounts and bonus investments for shopping with over 12,000 brands.
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- Automatically invests spare change
- Earn bonus investments for shopping
- Sustainable portfolios available
- Bitcoin-linked ETF available
- Can only invest in ETFs
- $50 ETF transfer fee
The Acorns app makes it simple for you to invest automatically. Additional perks, like checking accounts with smart deposits, can help you earn more. However, you might want a more robust platform for serious investing.
What is Acorns?
Acorns strives to make investing more accessible through automatic micro-investing and related services, like providing FDIC-insured checking accounts and bonus investments for shopping at certain stores.
Users can create investment accounts with diversified ETF portfolios, and Acorns offers both traditional and sustainable portfolio options. You can also invest up to 5% of your overall portfolio in a bitcoin-linked ETF or invest your money in one of Acorns’ child- or retirement-focused investment accounts.
If you want to add to your earnings, Acorns partners with ZipRecruiter to help you find a new job, and you can earn bonus investments for shopping from select brands.
You can also learn more about investing through the company’s educational resource library, which covers money and micro-investing basics, and its digital magazine.
How does Acorns work?
At its core, Acorns is essentially a robo-advisor that invests your money into managed portfolios of ETFs that reflect your investment risk tolerance.
One of the company’s main selling points is that you can automatically invest your extra change from purchases on linked cards or your Acorns checking account. However, you can still invest as little as $5 on a recurring or one-time basis into your portfolio of ETFs.
The company then diversifies your investments across over 7,000 stocks and bonds, making sure to keep within your target allocations by automatically rebalancing your portfolio.
You can also set up recurring contributions for your retirement account. The app analyzes your goals, income and employment to recommend your best IRA plan.
Acorns offers a few different products and features to help you manage, save, earn and invest your money.
Acorns has several investment programs:
- Acorns Invest provides pre-built ETF portfolios based on your investment style: conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive or aggressive. Depending on the portfolio, you might be investing in a blend of companies, bonds and markets in traditional or sustainable portfolios. Sustainable funds are chosen based on factors like ESG rating and environmental business practices.
- Acorns Later offers three types of retirement accounts: traditional, Roth and SEP (simplified employee pension) IRAs. You can fund these accounts through recurring or one-time contributions.
- Acorns Early lets you open a UTMA/UGMA account to invest in your child’s future. Because it’s a custodial account, your child can’t access the funds until they’re an adult. The account works the same as Acorns Invest.
It’s not a stand-alone investment program, but Round-Ups is a feature that automatically rounds up purchases in each active account to the nearest dollar, saving the difference each time. When your Round-Ups balance reaches $5, Acorns invests the money into your ETF portfolio.
- Acorns checking accounts, provided through Lincoln Savings Bank, function like traditional checking accounts but have Acorns products, like Invest and Later, built in. Other features include a metal debit card, direct deposit and FDIC protection.
- With Acorns Earn, shopping with one of Acorns’ retail partners earns you bonus investments that are put into your Acorns Invest account. The amounts can be fixed or a percentage of your purchase. Under Acorns Earn, you can also browse job listings to help you earn more money in a new occupation.
Acorns offers two membership tiers: Personal and Family.
The Personal tier provides access to an automated investment account with features like Acorns’ signature Round-Ups program for spare change investing as well as recurring investments and bonus investments when you shop with any of over 12,000 brands. You also get access to a retirement account and a checking account with a metal debit card, automatic investing and up to 10% bonus investments. Checking accounts have no low-balance or overdraft fees, plus access to over 55,000 no-fee ATMs in the Allpoint network.
The Family tier provides all the benefits of the Personal tier, plus investment accounts for kids with automatic recurring investments, no added cost for multiple children, exclusive bonus investments, family financial advice and potential tax savings.
Acorns charges $3 per month for its Personal membership tier and $5 per month for its Family membership tier.
While Acorns’ monthly fees are reasonable, they may actually be a better deal for investors with larger balances. If you don’t have much to invest initially, you may pay less with other investment platforms that charge a percentage of your assets. Acorns only starts charging fees based on assets when your accounts total over $1 million.
Acorns also charges relatively steep fees to transfer investments when closing your account — $50 per ETF. If you have four ETFs, that’s a $200 fee. Other platforms may charge lower flat rates to transfer out all your investments.
- What does Acorns invest in?
- Acorns lets you invest in diversified ETF portfolios it puts together. You can choose from various portfolio types based on your risk tolerance and see breakdowns of each portfolio type on Acorns’ website.
- Has anyone made money on Acorns?
- Acorns doesn’t specify any dollar amounts or averages its members have made by investing through its platform. However, the company has been around since 2012 and claims it has had over 9 million people sign up. So, while no investment platform can guarantee you’ll make money, Acorns’ growth and popularity signal that there are likely some users who have benefited financially.
- Does Acorns cost money?
- Acorns’ monthly membership fees are either $3 or $5 per month, depending on your chosen tier. There’s no minimum to open an Acorns account, but you need at least $5 to start investing.
- Is Acorns FDIC-insured?
- Acorns’ checking accounts and debit cards are FDIC-insured for at least $250,000 since they’re issued by Lincoln Savings Bank, but this doesn’t apply to investment accounts.
- Is Acorns investing safe?
- It depends on what you mean. Acorns has several features that make its products safer from unauthorized access, including FDIC-insured bank accounts, SIPC-protected investment accounts, SSL encryption, account alerts, bank-level physical security and account safeguards. However, all investments have some risk, depending on the market.
Is Acorns worth it?
Acorns’ robo-advising platform makes automatic investing simpler, even if you don't have large sums of money, advanced investment knowledge or a personal broker to act as a go-between. However, its monthly fees can be pricey for smaller account balances, and its ETF transfer fee is pretty high. Regardless, Acorns can still be a worthwhile option if you want hands-off investing for yourself or your family.
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I have been with Acorns for a few years. I deposited a check on 6/16/22 for $3,600. Acorns froze my entire account including money not related to the check. I have no funds to get to work or eat. No warning or statement on their website says they will do this. I am a travel nurse. I am out of gas and I can’t access my own money. They say they will be in touch by 6/27/22 which is 2 weeks away. I will be unemployed by that time for missing work. I have reported to FDIC and FINRA. Sham of a company. Stay far away!!
I opened a checking account with Acorns about a year ago, attracted by their "no fees" advertising. (False, by the way, you're charged $5 a month.) Within my first year, I had to order a new card twice due to mysterious, unexplained data compromises. It took them more than a week to ship me a new card, during which time I had no access to the cash in my checking account. The second time they shipped me a new card, their explanation for the long wait time was that the special steel card had to be "etched" and customized. They still took 10-14 business days to send the card... and it was plastic.
The FINAL straw was Acorns placing a 90-day freeze on any check deposits into my checking account, without even bothering to notify me. I made an incorrect payment to a credit card company, and the payment was returned. After correcting the amount with my credit card company, I retried the payment and it went through. Little did I know that because of that returned payment, Acorns placed a hold on my account accepting any new check deposits for THREE MONTHS. I was never notified. I only found out when attempting to deposit a large check, which was mysteriously rejected. No explanation from Acorns until I called their extremely unhelpful, untrained, and unknowledgeable customer service. The woman placed me on hold for 20 minutes just so she could LOCATE the rejected check transaction. Horribly disorganized. She refused to explain or lift the 90-day freeze on my account.
In another instance, I requested Acorns put a stop payment on an incorrect bill statement. They assured me over the phone that the payment would be stopped. It went through anyway, and was declined. I called again and told them to stop the payment, and not let a second attempt go through. I was assured no second attempted payment would go through. Lo and behold, the payment went through a second time, and was declined. I incurred a fee for the two failed payments from the vendor, which Acorns declined to reimburse me for.
I am in the process of closing my account and moving all of my assets to Chase. Horrific company. Irresponsibly managed. Customer service has close to no training, are all overseas, and can barely communicate in serviceable English. This is a joke of a "bank" and I advise all against trusting them with your money.
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Acorns robbed me of a deposit of $100.00 and a $2,000.00 totaling to $2,100.00. After the $2,000.00 USD deposit, my account was froze and I was asked to show proof of ownership of my primary/linked account via email by requesting a pdf file of my bank statement. The requested was fulfilled and checked completely out all this confirmed. After a bank call and documents via email, the customer service rep then proceeded to inform me that the request to urgently unlock my account within one business day.
The A.M. of the business day I received an email stating that they Acorns/Lincoln Banking has decided to permanently close my account. In which my deposits will be transferred back to my original/primary/linked account etc. Within 1-3 business days I'm on my third business day, a closed account, and absolutely nothing in my linked/primary account. No answers, different stories. I was informed twice that the deposits did and were showing and available in my Acorns' account!
I have been trying to get my account unlocked since Feb 14, 2022; all I can get is foreign customer service representatives that work from home and they have been no help with this issue. I have submitted all the required information that ACORNS CSR have asked for, I have gone over and over with them proving who I am and nobody has helped me solve this issue. I have replied to all emails that have been sent and I have also followed through with the email from Acorns that they sent as a possible resolution from the contact with the Better Business Bureau as per request. Once again I have submitted the requested information and I still have not gotten a response to help me unlock my account. I am not sure if I need to seek legal advice but that can be done as well.
All I want is a responsible manager that actually works within the walls of the ACORNS business and not a CSR from a work at home helpline situation. I'm all for everyone being able to work from home but I also need to be able to have access to my personal money in this account. I am at a loss with this lack of common courtesy that this company has given me. I want a responsible party that can actually help me resolve this situation contact me.
After I spent practically a full day talking their customer service people, which by the way is outsourced to who knows where, and speaking to people with names like Cherish and Princess, I mean really why choose stripper names? I didn't get my issue resolved. Acorns has my account locked because they needed to verify with my bank that it's really me with the account. None of this made sense since the transfer showed that it had gone when I looked at my bank statements. Anyways, I went ahead and did what they asked and they called my bank. Everything got verified and now I'm waiting for them to unlock my account. After reading the reviews from various sites and sources, I've decided that I don't want to work with them anymore and will eventually close my account after I know for sure that I have access to it.
I have been using Acorns for several years now. Loved the idea, although multiple times they would go in, sometimes more than once in a day and take my 'round-ups'. Since the market is very unsteady now, I decided to cash out. I was told on the app, just how much I would be receiving. When I went to check my account to see if the funds had been received 4 days later, I saw that they continued to take funds from my account, and still had not deposited my funds. I called and complained, and was told to wait a few more days, and that they would not be taking any funds from my account.... but not refunding what they had taken after my account had been closed. It's not enough for me to go after them for, I just would never work with them again and do not recommend.
Closed my account in October and they kept charging me $3 a month. I called them on 2 different occasions to have them stop charging my account. Finally in February I blocked them using my bank. They apologized a lot but it's obvious that the customer service people didn't know why I was being charged and had no clue on how to fix the problem. I guess if they can't make money on the money you invest they will just charge you subscription fees until you notice. Horrible experience.
I woke up this morning to find ACORNS took $126.44 from my account. All I wanted was the spare change to go into Acorns. Called and texted customer service. Guess what? They blocked me. Used my mother's phone to call this company and they have a whole different name. The number magically disappeared, They froze my account. I had to pay my bank $35 to stop the transaction... STAY FAR AWAY FROM ACORNS.
I have had an investing account with Acorns for a couple years now with no issue, but recently I get my round ups restarted, open a retirement account, and a checking account with them as they were offering a couple promotions. Well as soon as my direct deposit confirms to my Acorns checking account and my debit card is activated, my ENTIRE account is suspended because suddenly they are "audited" and need to confirm my address. They didn't halt transfers, or restrict a couple features, no they completely suspended my entire account refusing me access to even SEE my own account balances or check on ANYTHING. I supply them with a renter's insurance policy bill, internet bill, home security bill, water bill, energy bill, and gas bill, all in my name at the address in question. They state that it will take 1-2 days to review, completely unsatisfied with that answer I go to their site to chat with a live agent.
It takes almost 30 minutes to get a live agent who does nothing but says my ticket has been submitted to an "internal review team" and will take 1-2 days before I can access my account again. Still unsatisfied, I call them and wait on hold for 2 ENTIRE HOURS, to be told the same thing and when I ask to be directed to this "internal review team" I am told that they can't be reached but my ticket will be given the "highest priority". How is a high priority supposed to mean anything when you can't even reach these people?
How is this acceptable that I have an account about to receive my entire paycheck and I can't access it to pay any of my bills? I won't be able to see my money and confirm it has been deposited, I won't be able to access it for groceries, bills, rent, or gas, and I can't even log in to withdraw from my accounts so I can cancel them and take my business elsewhere. Completely unacceptable service from a financial institution. Steer very clear from Acorns.
Acorns is great. The round up feature helps to remember to invest. It's also fun to watch my balance grow. I have referred this company to my friends and family as well. They seem to love it. I will continue to use this service.
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