Are you looking for a financial app that does pretty much everything well? Empower is a mobile app that has a comprehensive set of personal finance features and is perfect for people who want only one app to manage their finances.
It lives up to its name when it says that it empowers people to take control of their money.
Here’s what you need to know about Empower.
- Financial account aggregation and budgeting app
- $8 per month, 14 day free trial
- Great for tracking subscriptions and recurring payments
Free 14 Day Trial
How Does Empower Work?
Empower is a personal finance app that helps you take control of your money. Once you connect a checking account, you’ll be able to get a complete and accurate snapshot of your financial life and effortlessly cut unnecessary expenses, save for a rainy day and uncover additional savings.
Some of Empower's key features include:
- Track your spending
- Save with Empower's AutoSave features
- Find hidden savings based on your transaction history
- Flexible Interest Checking Account
Once you’ve connected your data, you can categorize expenses, track your spending, and more. Empower will automatically set a budget for each category. Empower also recognizes recurring bills including subscriptions that you might not be using.
However, other apps like Clarity Money are a bit easier to use.
Within the app, you can also set up AutoSave to pay down debt faster or to set money aside.
Pros and Cons of Empower
In a lot of ways, Empower is a financial app that says, “Me too.” However, it differentiates itself from the pack by doing so much well. As you can see, Empower has many more pros than cons.
Here are some Empower pros:
- Excellent design — it’s easy and intuitive to use
- Recognizes bills and subscriptions
- Categorization of spending categories
- Automatically sets spending limits
- Connects to cryptocurrency wallets
- Set up Interest Checking Account within the app
- Transfer money within the app
- Set up auto-savings within the app
Here are some Empower cons:
- Spending limits may not work for variable incomes
- Not great for proactive budget planning
Empower also offers a Checking Account and a AutoSave Account - however, you only earn interest in your AutoSave Account if you also have an Empower Interest Checking Account. The rate is competitive, but it is typically a bit lower than you'd find with the best high yield savings accounts.
Empower offers an integrated Interest Checking Account. This Checking Account connects with the app. You can control the debit card anywhere and anytime within the app plus get 24/7 notifications to track your spending. There’s also no account minimums, no overdraft fees, no insufficient funds fees and unlimited withdrawals.
Combining Empower's budgeting and goal setting features with their integrated Checking Account can make saving for future goals easy!
The Empower Debit Card also works with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Empower Checking Account users can add their Empower Debit Card to their digital wallet.
Empower Cash Advance
Empower recently rolled out a Cash Advance feature for their subscribers. The Cash Advance feature allows subscribers to get up to $250^ in fast cash for emergencies with no interest, no late fees, and no credit check.
Empower does use your bank account history and activity, recurring direct deposit, and average monthly direct deposit to determine if you’re eligible to receive a Cash Advance.^
See how Empower compares to other cash advance apps.
Eligibility Requirements Apply. Banking services for new accounts provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC.
How Much Does Empower Cost?
Empower is free for the first 14 days. After 14 days, Empower charges $8 per month for continued access to its full suite of money management tools.
Empower isn’t designed to be a proactive budgeting tool. For that, You Need a Budget, EveryDollar, or Mvelopes make more sense. Even Mint.com would be a better tool.
Are There Good Alternatives to Empower?
Empower is impressive in its design and how much it empowers users to take action within the app. In my opinion, its only rival on the design front is Clarity Money which offers as robust of design with better budgeting options.
If you look at each feature that Empower offers (such as transferring money, paying down debt, tracking spending, etc.) you can find an app that does it better. I think the Rize app makes a lot of sense for transferring money between accounts for example, and Mint.com or Personal Capital offer better financial tracking.
However, as a total package, Empower is a contender to be called the top new financial app.
Final Take on Empower
If you’re not tracking your finances, you should download Empower and start using it today. It’s a great app — designed for ease, information and action.
I’m impressed by the app, but not so impressed that I recommend switching from an app that’s working for you. If you have your finances under control, then you don’t need to check out Empower. But for everyone else, Empower could be the start of controlling your money for the first time.
Check out Empower here.
* Banking services provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. 0.05% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) may change at any time. APY as of March 30, 2021. Empower charges an auto-recurring monthly subscription fee of $8 for access to the full suite of money management features offered on the platform. The subscription fee will apply (a) after the 14-day free trial concludes for first-time customers, and (b) immediately for customers returning for a second or subsequent subscription.
^ Eligibility requirements apply. Minimum direct deposits to an Empower Checking Account, among other conditions, are necessary to qualify for advances greater than $50. Free instant delivery is available for eligible Empower Checking Account customers.
- Commission and Fees
- Ease Of Use
- Customer Service
- Features and Options
Empower is a financial budgeting app with built-in savings.
- Spending Tracking
- Robust Categories
- Easy to link accounts and transfer in the app
- The monthly fee is expensive
- Missing critical banking features
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.