Albert is an app that bears a lot of similarities to other money management apps like Digit, Qapital, or Clarity Money. Originally, the app focused on its automatic savings feature. But now it provides a large suite of tools to help you improve your finances including offering human advice, negotiating bills, and even helping you purchase all the essential insurance policies.
If you're someone who could use a little extra help with getting your financial house in order, Albert could be an app that's well worth downloading. Learn more about what the app has to offer in our full review below.
- Mobile banking with early direct deposit and free cash advances
- Automated saving using cutting-edge algorithms
- Commission-free stock investing
- Paid version (Genius) unlocks unlimited human financial advice
Albert App Details
Banking, automatic savings, bill negotiation, commission-free investing, human advice
Genius: Minimum of $4/mo
30-day free trial of Albert Genius
Who Is Albert?
The Albert Corporation was founded by college friends Yinon Ravid and Andrzej Baraniak in 2015. In 2016, it raised $2.5 million in seed funding shortly after the app launched earlier that summer. Since its launch, Albert has continued to expand its options including now offering micro-investing through its Albert Investments arm. Albert Investments, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
What Do They Offer?
Albert offers a robust suite of personal finance services and tools. These are some of the app's core features.
Albert has steadily added new features to its app, and Albert Cash is its latest addition. Albert Cash users receive a World Debit MastercardⓇ and can do virtually anything that can be accomplished in a traditional bank account such as:
In addition, Albert Cash users can receive an instant cash advance of up to $100 with no fees or interest. Plus, they can save and invest their money automatically (more on those features later).
As just mentioned, if you have a W-2 job where you receive a paycheck and you have an Albert Cash account, Albert will advance you up to $100 fee-free before your check arrives. However, even if you don't want to bank with Albert, you can still receive a cash advance of up to $250 through Albert Instant.
If you can wait three business days to receive your advance, you won't have to pay any delivery or repayment fees. However, if you choose instant delivery (arrives within 10 minutes), you'll pay a $4.99 delivery fee that is taken out from your next paycheck along with the amount borrowed.
These no-fee or low-fee loans could be perfect for getting through the last few days before you get paid. That said, they could also reinforce bad financial habits. It's ideal to keep around a $1,000 buffer in your checking account all the time (or the amount of your largest bill). That way if you forget about some major bill (annual insurance costs for example), you can handle it without running out of money.
Ask A Genius
Genius is Albert’s premium option. With this, you can send financial questions and receive financial advice. Individuals with questions about debt repayment, how to buy a car, where to save money, etc. can get advice from a human.
You can test out Genius risk-free for 30 days. After that, the service has a "pick your own price" fee structure. But the minimum you can choose to pay is $4 per month.
“Secret” And Automatic Savings
If you enable the "Smart Savings" option, Albert will use an algorithm to automatically save money for you when it recognizes that your income should outpace your expenses. It will transfer $25 to $100 per week out of your checking account to a savings account.
The total amount is usually spread across 2-5 transfers that each range from $5 to $30. You can transfer this money back to checking whenever you want. But the goal is to keep it growing.
Users can set up automatic transfers from checking accounts to savings accounts. And currently, Albert pays out annual cash bonuses to basic accounts of 0.10% and 0.25% for users who enable Genius.
Easy And Diversified Investing
Albert Investing offers commission-free buying and selling of stocks. It also offers managed portfolios for Genius subscribers. These investments are an after-tax brokerage account. That means they shouldn't be your first choice for retirement savings. But they could be a great option for someone with 5-to-10-year savings goals.
Budgeting And Tracking
Like other budgeting and personal finance apps, Albert has a built-in budgeting and financial tracking feature. The budgets are set using algorithms, but Albert’s has done a great job of simplifying it’s algorithm. It offers the following categories:
- Recurring bills
- Everything else
Albert focuses its attention on the “Everything Else” category by giving you a free to spend number (and the amount of time the money will needs to last).
The budget feature even allows users to adjust their budget if they have a variable income. The adjustments aren’t perfect, but they can make an inconsistent monthly income easier to manage.
Albert has also teamed up with BillShark to help users negotiate for lower rates on things like cable, internet, and insurance. According to Albert, BillShark helps its users to save an average of $250 per month. It should be noted, however, that BillShark will take a cut of the savings (40%).
Albert Planning can help you find and purchase a few different types of insurance policies. As of July 2021, users can sign up for:
- Life insurance
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Renters insurance
Policies are provided Albert Insurance Services, LLC. It appears that this service works the same for everyone, regardless of whether they choose to upgrade to Genius.
What Is Albert Missing?
With so many features, Albert seems like it’s the personal finance assistant that can do it all. However, I noticed that Albert doesn't currently offer many tools to help users address credit issues. It would be great for the app to direct those automated savings towards debt payoff goals rather than a savings account with a minimal yield.
Are There Any Fees?
The dramatic majority of Albert’s services are 100% free. However, Albert charges for its Genius platform (after its 30-day free trial). It lets you choose what you pay, but the minimum option is $4. The Genius platform gives you unlimited access to a human who can help answer questions tailored to your situation.
I’ve long believed that the human element of money and finance is critical. And I applaud Albert’s introduction of humans into the world of apps. I think the Genius service will give many people a gentle shove in the right direction towards financial wellness.
This isn’t a substitute for a comprehensive financial plan. But it’s a lot better than getting your advice from your neighbor’s best friend’s uncle. If you’re already paying for financial planning services, you won’t need to pay for Albert’s Genius feature. But other users who have specific financial questions may find that $4 per month is money well spent.
How Does Albert Compare?
Albert isn't the only app that uses machine learning to automate saving and investing. But it's one of the only ones that also offer support from human financial experts. Check out this quick comparison chart:
$0 to $4+ per month
$5 per month
$3 to $12 per month
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, in addition to usernames and passwords, users can enable Face ID, Touch ID, or PIN code account logins. All deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 through Sutton Bank. And investment accounts are SIPC-insured up $500,000 ($250,000 for cash).
How Do I Contact Albert?
If you've upgraded to a Genius membership, you can reach out to Albert's team of experts at any time through the app. However, if you're a basic user who simply needs technical assistance, there's no phone number to call.
There is a very solid Help section that answers many FAQs. But if you have a question that isn't covered there, you'll need to reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is It Worth It?
Albert has a ton of potential as a personal finance app. The convenient banking tools, free (or low cost) cash advances, secret savings, financial checkups from real humans are all helpful and motivating. I especially like it for people who are focusing on the first steps of financial management.
That said, Albert won't be a great solution for everyone. The low yields on the savings accounts and the taxable investment accounts aren’t ideal for people trying to aggressively save or invest.
If you're looking for a high-yield savings account, check out our list of the best options available today. And retirement savers should definitely read our recommendations for the best places to save for retirement. Finally, don't forget to compare Albert with the other top money management apps of 2021.
Cash Advance Fee
Types of Genius Portfolios Offered
Types of Financial Alerts Available
Savings Account Interest Rate
Debit Card Issued
Yes, for Albert Cash users
Fee-free access at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
Savings Withdrawal Transfer Time
ACH is used for bank transfers and most withdrawals will clear in 2 to 3 business days
FDIC Certification Number
5962 through Sutton Bank
Customer Service Phone Number
Customer Service Email
30-day free trial of Albert Genius
Albert App Review
Ease of Use
Commissions and Fees
Tools & Guidance
Albert is a personal finance app that offers automated savings, budgeting, bill negotiation, guided investing, and more. Most of their services are offered free of charge, but their premium Genius service costs a minimum of $4 per month.
- Easy automatic savings
- Free or low-cost cash advances
- Commission-free stock investing
- Human advice for Genius subscribers
- Low yield on savings account
- No retirement accounts available
- No desktop site
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.