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Chip App Review – Is It The Best To Save And Invest?

What is Chip?

The Chip app is designed to assist you with saving money, using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse your spending. The app calculates an amount that you can easily save on a regular basis. It will automatically move that amount from your bank into Chip. They also have a variety of saving and investment options that you can use to grow your money. Chip was launched in 2016, and in 2021 announced that they had over 400,000 users of their app – an increase of 60% during 2021. In addition, the average amount each customer held in their Chip account increased significantly.

Chip App Review
How to save money with Chip? | Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Contents

How does Chip work?

Chip uses Open Banking technology to connect to your bank account. This means that you can connect the Chip app to your primary bank account, and your transaction data will be automatically sent to Chip, and then their AI can analyse the data.

Once your money is in Chip, you can then decide on how to then either save or invest it, via the options they have available.

The main idea behind Chip, is that their AI will calculate an amount that you can easily afford on a regular basis, so that you will not even notice that it is gone, and therefore you are saving without any effort.

Chip Features

Chip offer 2 tiers of product. Chip, which is free, and ChipX, which has a monthly subscription fee.

The standard Chip features available on both tiers are:

  • Automated saving via the Chip AI
  • Pay Day Put Away – set the monthly amount to be saved
  • Use the Chip savings accounts
  • Set savings goals
  • Invest with the Chip General Investment Account (GIA)
  • Access 3 basic investment funds

The below features are only available on the paid version of Chip – ChipX:

  • Reduced cost annual platform fee for investing of 0.25%, compared to 0.50% on Chip standard.
  • Access to the Chip stocks and shares ISA.
  • Access to ethical, cleaning energy and emerging markets funds.
  • Access to actively managed funds, and innovative funds such as cryptocurrency.

Savings

Chip are partnered with Allicia Bank, to offer an Easy Access savings account. As of early 2022, they are paying annual interest of 0.61%.

Investments

Chip offer a variety of different investment funds, that are managed by third parties such as Blackrock.

If you are using the free version of the Chip app, then you will only be able to invest via their general investment fund. With ChipX however, you have access to a far wider selection of funds, with varying risk and return levels.

How much does Chip cost?

Subscription Fees:

From mid January 2022 onwards, Chip will only have 2 tiers – Chip, which will be free, and ChipX, which will cost £3.00 every 28 days.

Investment Costs:

Chip have an annual platform fee for investments, which is collected monthly. The amount depends on which tier of Chip you use:

  • On Chip Free – you will be charged 0.50% of the amount invested per year, with a minimum of £1 per month.
  • On ChipX, it is 0.25% annually, with no monthly minimum.

There are also additional fees charged by the companies, such as Blackrock, who manage the funds that Chip offer. These vary depending on which fund you are using to invest. For example, the Blackrock Balanced Consensus fund is charged at 0.22% per year of the amount held in the fund, whilst the Blackrock Emerging Markets Fund is charged at 0.97%.

Who is Chip for?

In general, Chip is best for people who find it hard to save, as Chip’s AI is designed to take amounts from your account that you can easily afford, and potentially won’t even notice being taken. Chip do have certain budgeting functions, similar to the budgeting apps. However, Chip can only integrate with one bank account at once, rather than many, like other budgeting apps. Therefore, for Chip to be worthwhile to you, you need to also be taking advantage of their saving options.

Bank of ScotlandHSBCNatwestTSB
BarclaysLloyds BankRBSUlster Bank
DanskeM&SRevolut
First DirectMonzoSantander
HalifaxNationwideStarling

You will need to have your main account with one of these banks, or you will not be able to use Chip.

Is Chip safe?

FSCS

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protects customer’s deposits in case a financial institution goes out of business. Up to £85,000 per customer is covered. Chip are not directly covered by this, as they are not a licensed bank. However, all of their savings and investment accounts are provided by financial institutions who are, so, your funds would be protected with Chip.

Data Security

Chip use Open Banking technology to connect to your bank account. This means that they have read-only access to your data, and never see your login details or passwords, and cannot make changes on your account. Chip also state that they use bank level encryption for all of your data.

Investments

As with any investment, the value can go down as well as up, so it is your responsibility to understand this, and research any investment you are making accordingly.

Chip Reviews – what are people saying?

Chip has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot from nearly 1000 reviews. 71% of the reviewers give Chip 5 out of 5, and many praise how much the app has help them to save, largely due to them not even noticing the amount that is taken out of their account by Chip.

18% of reviews rate Chip as 1 out of 5 – Bad. Some customers complain that any charges are not clear enough, and that it is hard to take money out of Chip.

Chip Alternatives

Chip is very much a multi-purpose app in that it provides both budgeting and saving/investing functions. The closest products that also offer these elements are:

If you wish to have just the budgeting functions, without the saving side, then you can look at products such as:

Bear in mind however, that Chip can currently only connect to one bank at a time, whilst the other budgeting apps can integrate with multiple institutions per customer.

Finally, most of the Fintech providers in the banking space will also provide money management tools, such as:

Conclusions:

Chip combine Open Banking with their AI to see what amount you can comfortably save, and then give you a wide variety of saving and investment options to use once your money has reached Chip. The app could be just the thing that you might need if saving is something that you find hard to do.