Cash App is like five apps in one simple, easy-to-use package. It is very functional but unattractive. But the thing is, it works. Think of it as a cross between PayPal (or Venmo) and Robinhood, with a bank account thrown in for good measure. You will be able to send and receive money, spend with a debit card from your account, as well as trade stocks and bitcoins. It’s a solid app for newbie investors and a great one if you’re looking to transfer money. Still, Cash App ends up being something closer to a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.
If you’re just getting started with investing through a mobile app and are looking for a broker with a cash management account, you should also consider Robinhood or Webull, both of which give you much of the functionality of a bank account. If you’re looking for someone to manage your portfolio and also give you that attractive bank account, you might want to take a look at Wealthfront.
- Novice investors
- Mobile banking users
- Cost-conscious investors
Cash App at a glance
|Minimum account||$1 to start investing, otherwise no minimum|
|Marketable securities||Around 1,000 stocks and dozens of ETFs; Bitcoin|
|Account Types||Individual taxable|
|Cash management account||Debit card, 2-day advance direct deposit, Cash Boost rebates on card purchases, ATM access: $2 fee for CashApp, but all fees can be waived with direct deposits over $300 each month|
|Tools||Basic charts, basic watchlists, newsfeed and profile|
|Customer service||FAQs, email|
|Promotion||$15 referral bonus if friends sign up|
Pros: Where Cash App Stands Out
Easy to register and use
Cash App is so easy to sign up that you’ll be in your account before you even realize you have one. Give your name, add an email or phone number, choose your username (your cashtag, as it’s called) and you’re ready to roll, even without linking your bank account to transfer funds. Your cashtag serves as an identifier when you want to transfer money peer-to-peer.
Once inside, you will have an easy to navigate application with a few buttons that will allow you to switch between functions: money transfer, bank account with debit card, investment account, overview of your finances at Cash App and a referral tab that lets you invite friends and enjoy a $15 promotion for those who sign up and fund an account.
The app couldn’t be easier to use. And that can be a plus and a minus: it’s so stripped down that you’ll know exactly what to do as soon as you download and open the app, but that design also means it doesn’t offer more advanced features for apps. complex. things like investing. Still, the app strikes a good balance, especially for beginners, without being too restrictive.
Low costs and minimum account
It’s incredibly easy to get started with Cash App: link your bank account and transfer money and you’re set. Or set up direct deposit. Or download the app and ask someone for money. Regardless of how you start, maintaining the account is easy due to low costs and no account minimums.
To trade stocks, you will only need one dollar in your account and, of course, you can buy fractional shares. This way, you will be able to grow all your investment immediately, rather than having to buy only round stocks. It’s a small feature that adds functionality. Trading stocks does not cost you any fees, in line with the industry’s move to zero commission, although trading Bitcoin will cost you more, as explained below.
And otherwise, you won’t be hit with typical account fees, such as monthly fees or transfer fees for the cash management account. Again, Cash App is like a PayPal or Venmo account with a few extra features. And unlike a rival like Acorns, you won’t have to pay a monthly fee to access the features, although you won’t get the range of features from this app either.
Cash management account
The cash management account offers many basic banking functions, with the ability to send and receive money. You can have a paycheck directly deposited up to two days in advance, and you can get a debit card that offers spending rewards — or “boosts” as the company calls it. Again, these are the basic functions here, not the full range of benefits with other large cash management accounts.
As for ATM access, Cash App will charge you $2 from its side for each transaction, but if you have directly deposited at least $300 each month, it refunds all fees including operator fees .
However, it should be noted that the funds are not FDIC insured, so if something happens, you are not guaranteed to get your money back. This contrasts with other cash management accounts.
Cash App really allows to use Bitcoin as currency. The cash management account allows transfers in Bitcoin as well as dollars. Heck, you can even earn your Bitcoin rewards if you want. If crypto is your thing, here’s a way and a place to use it.
Access to Bitcoin
One of the draws for traders here is the ability to trade in Bitcoin. Cash App says it “may” charge a fee when you buy and sell, and that means Cash App will “charge” a fee. But how much? The app charges a base service fee for each transaction as well as a fee based on the volatility of Bitcoin traded on US exchanges. Cash App provides you with the fees before you trade, so you won’t be hit by any unexpected fees later.
It should also be noted here that Cash App will provide you with the appropriate tax forms if you are trading or spending Bitcoin. This is essential, as you will need to report transactions on your annual return to avoid breaking IRS laws. However, determining your basis for your transactions is up to you, Cash App says, so you’ll need to refer to your transactions data.
If you’re looking to automatically invest in Bitcoin or a specific stock or ETF, Cash App actually lets you set up a regular buying schedule. So you can set it and forget it with your stock purchases. You can configure the app to buy daily, weekly or every two weeks and then it executes your trade.
It’s a cool feature that you might not expect from such a simple app. Investing regularly is the kind of good discipline required to successfully grow your portfolio.
Cons: Where Cash App Could Improve
Limited shares and ETF selection
If you’re expecting to buy deep-seated stocks (as with other big brokers), you probably won’t find what you’re looking for. But you’ll likely find all the major stocks, with Cash App offering around 1,000 stocks on its platform, which meets most of the demand, the company says.
That said, the goal is to broaden the selection of supported stocks, focusing for now on companies that have a market capitalization of over $1 billion and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. or the Nasdaq, as well as a few other criteria. The app notes that it has not removed any securities from its platform, unless they have been acquired by another company or are otherwise required to do so, by the exchange due to a bankruptcy, for example.
Cash App also offers dozens of ETFs, and you can quickly find what’s available here by clicking a search tab in the investing feature. You’ll have access to ETFs from some of the best fund companies, including Vanguard and iShares. The most popular index funds are also represented, so you’ll have access to the best funds based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Nasdaq 100, for example, as well as many other potentially high-performing funds.
Again, Cash App’s offering is good within its limits, but may not have that off-the-beaten-track thing you want.
Basic graphics and functionality
Cash App offers simple setup if you click on an action to see more. You will get basic functionality, for example, on charts, which don’t even have numbers and axes, just a line indicating where the stock has gone over a few predefined time periods. You’ll also see a basic news feed with links to recent articles about the company and a quick company profile.
It is similar with the rest of the items in the investment tab. The main investment tab gives you a few pre-selected watchlists, such as most traded stocks or biggest moves, or you can create your own. If you are looking for an action by industry, a quick search tab allows you to find all the actions offered there. And that’s pretty much the extent of the tools here.
Lack of customer support
You’re dealing with a no-frills app, so don’t come to the table expecting full service like you would with a broker like Charles Schwab or Fidelity. Cash App offers a handy support section on its website, so you can get answers to basic questions. Once you’ve exhausted this option and browsed through the potential answers, you’ll come across the option to contact support staff via email.
Of course, this approach is in line with other similar apps such as Robinhood, where support response can take days. That said, Robinhood’s FAQ section seems more elaborate than what you’ll see on Cash App.
At the end of the line
Cash App is a solid offering that lets you do a lot in one simple app, especially if you need basic functions – banking, spending, money transfer, and basic investing. You’ll get it all in an easy-to-use form and be ready to ride seconds after loading the app.
But others looking for more complex features may be disappointed and want to look elsewhere. Robinhood or Webull could be good alternatives, with more extensive trading capabilities (including other cryptocurrencies) and strong cash management accounts as well. Or Wealthfront has an even better cash management account and investments to make for me. Finally, those looking for a full brokerage experience can look to the investor-friendly Fidelity and then add one of its attractive cash management accounts to complete the bill.
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