Acorns and Qapital are designed to help you manage money and build wealth. The key differences between Acorns and Qapital are their primary foci and functionality. Acorns is designed to turn spending and saving into investing, while Qapital is an excellent banking app for goal-based savings and money management, with an investment component. Both investment platforms are reliable and successful.
We’ll focus on each app’s similarities and differences and help you understand how the two money-saving and wealth building apps cater to the needs of different people.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Overview
The most suitable app between Acorns and Qapital depends on your overall goals. Both platforms allow you to save money effortlessly, but the difference is that Acorns starts with round ups to help investors begin investing for retirement. Round ups take the difference between debit card spending and the next whole dollar amount, and transfer the difference into an investing account. Designed for new investors, education and bonuses are woven into the Acorns app.
On the other hand, Qapital is more complex and enables users to automate the conditions under which their money transfers to savings, investments, bills and spending accounts. Goals might include saving money to buy an item, pay off debt, or pay for a holiday. Qapital offers customizable round ups along with many rules-based ways to improve saving, spending and investing. Qapital is customizable and appropriate for saving for multiple goals. Both platforms’ investment portfolios’ are robo-like accounts with five portfolios for conservative through aggressive investors.
*Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Top Features
|Digital financial planning and investment app with automated saving and investing features.
|Automated investment management robo-advisor that invests "spare change" in a portfolio of ETFs.
|Minimum Investment Amount
|$0 - $10 to begin investing.
|$0 - Acorns automatically invests round-ups after the total reaches $5.
|Basic - $3 per month
Complete - $6 per month
Premier - $12 per month
|Acorns Personal - $3 per month
Acorns Family - $5 per month
|Goal-based saving, budgeting and investing
Customizable round ups and many automated saving rules
Robo-advisor investment manager
|Save and invest money while you shop with round ups
Partners, make additional contributions to your portfolio
Robo-advisor investment manager
|Single and joint taxable investment accounts
|Individual taxable, IRA and checking
|Promotions and Website
- Round up feature transfers money from debit card purchases into an investment account. The amount transferred is the difference between the purchase price, and the next whole dollar. With a $10.25 purchase, $0.75 goes into your investment account.
- Expert-built investment portfolios with local and international exposure to REITs, bonds, stocks, and Bitcoin-linked ETFs. Includes automatic rebalancing.
- Daily customer support availability from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT via phone, live chat, and email.
- No minimum amount for an account opening, but a $5 minimum to start investing.
- Socially responsible portfolio options with ESG Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs) at no extra cost.
- Custodial accounts for children are available.
- Many ways to save with IFTTT (If This Then That) logic for savings automation.
- Unique spending “Rules” for saving. For example, turn making purchases or sending tweets into a trigger to automatically save money.
- Unlimited number of savings goals.
- Diversified investment portfolios with automated rebalancing.
- Customizable round ups, available, upon request.
What is Acorns?
Acorns is an online banking and investing app (robo advisor) that rounds up your debit card purchase’s spare change to the nearest dollar and invests it on your behalf. For instance, if you spend $5.20, the app rounds it up to the nearest dollar, which is $6.00. Acorns will transfer the difference ($0.80) into your investment account.
The funds go into an automated robo-investing account comprising well-diversified portfolios of ETFs. You can also set recurring investments, for instance, $12 a day or $200 per month, or make a one-time investment.
The banking component enables direct deposit, automatic transfers into your investment account and checking features.
You’re better off using Acorns than having your money sit in a checking account. It’s a great app for people who have never invested before and want to invest passively and allow their spare change to grow and compound in the financial markets. You also earn bonus investments and boost your investment knowledge while at it.
You can expect to pay a $3-$5 per month service fee, depending on the features you choose.
What is Qapital?
Qapital is a set-and-forget micro-saving app that saves your money automatically using unique rules that trigger automatic saving and investment rules. The Qapital invest account allows you to save towards long-term goals such as; paying off debt, going for a holiday, or buying something.
For example, you can set a goal of $400 and break it down further to $20 weekly savings transfers. Then Qapital will give you options such as “set and forget,” which automatically makes your set weekly deposits from your account.
Over time your savings grow, and Qapital will send a notification once you hit the goal.
It’s an excellent tool for automatically adding money into your savings, investing, and spending accounts the moment money reaches your bank account. The goals and rules based choices are great for those saving and investing for multiple goals. Although Qapital APY yields are lower than many high yield robo advisor cash accounts.
Once you set your goals, relax and watch your savings grow. Qapital costs $3-$12 per month and has a 30 days free trial.
Both apps have transparent pricing, allow you to cancel anytime, and guarantee the safety of your money in the savings account through FDIC insurance at partner banks. Be aware that any money invested in the financial investment markets, like stock and bond exchange traded funds (ETFs), will fluctuate in value. No returns are guaranteed, when investing in financial assets.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Who Benefits
Acorns is an ideal app for starter investors and forgetful savers. It teaches you the benefits of saving and investing without a lump sum deposit of funds. If you fall under this category, you can start building ETF portfolios that align with your financial goals with a $3-$5 monthly fee.
If you want a child custodial account, Acorns offers that option. In general, if you’re just beginning your money management journey, then Acorns is a simpler app to manage.
Qapital is better suited to those with greater financial assets and a more sophisticated money situation. You’ll gain more from Qapital when you have specific saving, investing, or spending goals. The app helps you automatically save, invest, and spend money with its preset custom rules. So, if you have a project that requires a considerable amount of money, then the Qapital app helps you save money in your investment or savings account until you hit the target.
Acorns and Qapital are both solid robo-advisory investment managers. Each platform offers five well diversified investment portfolios in risk tolerances from conservative to aggressive. However, you’ll benefit more from Acorns when you want to start investing or have a poor saving culture. Additionally, Acorns’ fee is slightly lower than Qapital’s.
Consider that if you only use round ups for investing, then it might take quite a while to build up a meaningful investment account. Additional recurring deposits will typically move you closer to your investing goals.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Fees and Minimums
Acorns has no minimum balance for account opening, but you must have a minimum balance of $5 to start investing.
Acorns monthly management fees:
- Personal: $3 per month
- Individual investment and retirement accounts
- Banking, debit card, 55,000 fee-free ATMs
- Investment portfolio
- Family: $5 per month
- Everything in personal plus children’s custodial accounts
Qapital also has zero minimum requirements for account opening. However, you’ll need a $10 minimum account balance to realize your investment goal. Qapital offers a 30-day free trial, which is nice for those who want to test drive the app, before signing up.
Qapital monthly management fees:
- Basic: $3 per month
- Joint and individual accounts.
- Unlimited savings savings goals
- Complete: $6 per month
- Everything in basic plus investment accounts
- Visa debit card
- Payday Divvy
- Spending Sweet
- Premier: $12 per month
- Everything in Complete plus Money Missions
- Early access to new features
Note: Using a Qapital Spending account for purchases or transfers is free, but you may incur charges when using ATMs with linked Qapital Visa Debit Card at a participating bank.
Acorns only offers individual accounts, no joint options are available. Acorns is also unique with their children’s custodial accounts.
Qapital offers both individual and joint savings and investment accounts. Unfortunately, they don’t provide retirement, IRA accounts or custodial account options.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Deep Dive
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Round-ups
Both Acorns and Qapital use ‘Round ups.’ For Acorns, every time you make an Acorns debit card purchase, the amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The spare change automatically goes to your pre-set investment portfolio.
Here’s how Round ups work at Acorns: If you purchase an item worth $3.35, the app rounds up the figure to $4.00, and the difference ($0.65) is the spare change set aside for your investment. Acorns automatically invests the cash on your behalf instead of holding it as savings.
Qapital also applies the ‘Round Up’ (but with a custom Rule) on linked purchases. The app automatically rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically transfers the extra change to a designated account.
Here’s how the Round-up Rule works at Qapital: Link one account to the app. If you choose $1 as your ‘Rule’ amount and spend $3.50 in a coffee shop, $0.50 goes to your Qapital account. If you select $3 as your rule, $3.50 is rounded to $7, and the difference ($2.50) is transferred into your goal. But, if your round-up Rule amount is $1 and you purchase coffee worth $1, what goes to your goal is $1.
Be careful to spend your money wisely as you try to reach higher saving/ investment goals.
Be aware that you can only link an external checking account to the Qapital app. That means it’s important to make sure you have enough money in your checking account to cover the Round ups.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Savings
Qapital’s rules enable complex, goal based saving. The app uses the ‘Set & Forget Rule’ to automatically transfer cash to your savings account daily, weekly, or monthly. The tool just makes saving easy. With the pre-set rules, Qapital distributes your money among the saving (banking), investment, and spending accounts.
Acorns boosts your savings, but the money doesn’t remain in your savings account. Instead, it goes straight into your pre-set, well-diversified investment portfolios. You don’t have to hit the $5 goal to invest; the app will instantly invest your money in real-time Round-ups.
Additionally, Acorns offers cashback at over 350 partner shops when linked to debit or credit cards. Acorns also provides educational content.
Qapital offers unlimited saving goals, unique Saving Rules, transfers and round ups for debit and credit card-linked accounts.
Both platforms provide FDIC insurance through partner banks for savings and SIPC insurance for investing. The SIPC coverage protects your money, should the company go out of business. No insurance protects your account from the normal fluctuations in investment markets.
Acorns and Qapital can significantly advance your saving strategy. But, Acorns savings will go directly into your investment goal, while Qapital accumulates cash in savings and investment accounts to achieve a specific savings goal. At Qapital, you set up rules to meet your needs. If your intention is solely saving towards a goal, Qapital is the ideal choice. If you want a simpler app, then choose Acorns.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Investing
Acorns is a diversified investing tool. In addition to lump sum deposits, the app invests more on your behalf using its Round Up strategy. The app rounds up the spare change and automatically sends the difference into expert-built investment portfolios every time you spend with your Acorns debit card.
With Qapital, you can invest in the future by saving money in its ready-made investment plan. Using the ‘Set & Forget Rule’ and the’ Round-up Rule,’ the app transfers money into your investment portfolio until you hit your goal.
Both apps have well diversified robo-advisory investment portfolios, Both portfolios are constructed with low-fee exchange traded funds and include U.S. and international stocks as well as various types of bond and cash investments. The portfolio that’s best for you is typically determined by a quiz that you’ll complete upon signing up for the app. The initial quiz queries your time frame, investing goals, and risk tolerance level. The five choices at each platform range from conservative, with more bonds than stocks, to aggressive, with more stocks than bonds.
Neither app offers access to financial advisors and each charges a higher relative management fee for small balances.
You might prefer SoFi with fee free investment management, high yield savings accounts, lending and financial advisors.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Customer service
Acorns offer chat, email, FAQ and help center. Users can contact Acorns by phone during normal business hours.
Qapital offers email and a help center with FAQ. No phone customer service or chat is available.
Acorns has a better customer service plan. The 24/7 live chat is convenient to most users because it’s affordable and always available.
- Acorns Earn: Connects you to more than 350 leading brands that give 5-10% cash back into your Acorns brokerage account.
- Acorns Early: Custodial accounts for kids’ investment accounts with tax benefits.
- Acorns Later: An Individual Retirement Account aligned with your goal and lifestyle. It has distinct eligibility requirements and tax benefits.
- Acorns Spend: A checking account allowing Acorns partners to put up to 10% of your qualified purchase into your investment account.
- Acorns Grow: Gives you access to educational content and tutorials to boost your investment knowledge.
- Round-up Rule: Rounds up your linked card purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $3, $4, and $5, and deposits the difference to your Qapital account.
- Set & Forget Rule: Automatically make daily, weekly, or monthly money transfers to your savings account.
- 52 weeks Rule: Saves money based on your set week of the year ($1 for 1 week, $10 for 10 weeks, $52 for 52 weeks, and so on).
- Freelancer Rule: Transfers a certain percentage of your deposits to a Qapital account for tax payment.
- IFTTT (If This, Then That): Transfers money to your Qapital account whenever you use your social accounts.
- Apple Health Rule: Set automatic transfers once you hit your Apple Health app goal.
- Guilty Pleasure Rule: Saves money whenever you purchase from a Guilt Pleasure location.
- Spend Less Rule: Saves every coin below your usual budget at a particular store.
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Pros and Cons
- Offers cash back at select retailers
- Provides educational content
- Expert-built ETF investment portfolios
- Automatically rebalances portfolio
- $0 minimum deposit for account opening
- Rounds up everyday purchases into investing account
- Sustainable Portfolios for ESG investing
- Compounding returns for long-term investments
- Retirement accounts and Custodial accounts for kids available
- High fees on small account balances
- Financial advisors unavailable
- No joint accounts
- Unlimited savings goals
- Unique savings “Rules”
- Offer cash back at over 450 retailers
- Purchases round up linked to debit or credit cards
- Well diversified investment account with rebalancing
- Compounding returns for long-term investments
- Joint accounts available
- High fees on small balances
- Can only link one checking account
- No retirement accounts
- Financial advisors unavailable
- No phone customer service
Acorns Vs. Qapital: Summary Wrap up
We like both Acorns and Qapital as aids to financial management. Although there’s no cure for overspending and under investing. If you rely only on round ups for investing, it will take you a long time to grow your investing into a five or six figure portfolio. So, it’s wise to set up automatic deposits into the app’s investment account.
No minimums at each make both Acorns and Qapital easy for beginners and new investors to start managing their money. We are pleasantly impressed with each of the apps investment offers with well diversified investments in all of the risk-related portfolios.
The fees are relatively high for small balances at both. As total account values rise, the assets under management (AUM) percent fee is lower. For example, the $3 monthly, or $36 annual fee is 3.6% of a $1,000 investment. In contrast, M1 Finance offers free investment management, customized and DIY investing. Mint is also a free saving and spending app.
If you like the idea of automating all of your savings and investing goals, Qapital does the job. Also, we like that you can round up larger amounts at Qapital. Joint accounts are available at Qapital, which is good for partners to jointly manage their money.
In contrast, if you want to save for retirement, you’ll need to choose Acorns. Also, children’s custodial accounts are only available at Acorns as well. There are fewer savings rules at Acorns, making the app a bit more straightforward.
If you need help managing your money, saving and investing on your own, then either app will work. The best money app for you depends upon your goals and preferences.