This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
This One Finance review will show you all the features that set One’s digital banking service apart from other online banks and whether or not it’s going to fit your needs for an online bank account in 2021.
The following is a sponsored post with One Finance. All opinions are 100% my own.
One is a new banking startup created by former Personal Capital, PayPal, and Capital One executives. Its mission is to allow users to better optimize their earnings, share money more easily, and bridge financial gaps should they occur.
All One accounts are held and FDIC insured through Coastal Community Bank and protected by 256-bit encryption (basically it would take a supercomputer working nonstop for millions of years to crack.) There are no overdraft fees, cash advance fees, or account minimums making One a flexible and safe mobile bank to try out.
One Finance Referral & Sign up Incentives (Up to $125!)
Before we get into the features and benefits of this One Finance review, let’s talk about the sign-up bonuses.
Once you complete your first transfer of $100 or more into your Spend account, One will add $20 to it. Then, after you make your first purchase using your One card you’ll get $5.
Finally, you’ll get $20 every time someone signs up for a One account with your referral link (LIKE THIS ONE RIGHT HERE) and makes their first $100 transfer. You can refer up to five friends or family for a total of $100.
That’s $125 available in sign up incentives! If that’s not enough to get you to try out One then let me tell you about the other goodies they offer.
A Complete One Finance Review
Signing up for a One account was a pretty easy process, I just needed to do a few things to verify my identity. They did a soft credit check (which didn’t affect my credit), had me upload a front and back picture of my driver’s license, and finally, take a selfie for face verification.
When I got into the app I saw a lot of terms I wasn’t familiar with but after looking through I realized they’re just different words for features you hear all the time. The interesting thing about One is that they’ve taken these common features and repurposed them into a banking product that’s unique and useful for middle-class families.
Types of Pockets with One Finance
Pockets are the foundation of your One bank account. They are basically accounts. They just call them pockets because they’re so customizable. You can have your money in different categories to easily allocate your spending without having 10 different checking account numbers. There are three types: Spend, Share, and Save.
Basically your checking account, but you can split it up like a virtual cash envelope system. One great thing about their spend account is that they allow you to round each purchase up to the nearest dollar and transfer the roundup amount to your Auto-Save pocket. This is a great feature that will help you save even more money a little at a time.
You can also set up an Early Paycheck feature with your One Spend Pocket. You can qualify if you have a direct deposit set up for your pocket. You can receive your paycheck up to 2 days early.
Your savings account that you can also split into multiple sinking funds. This Save Pocket is paying 1% APY as of February 2021. This is huge!! Right now, most other banks are only giving .50%.
This is a Spend or Save pocket you’ve shared with other One user(s) to collectively save for or buy things. This is great if you and your partner don’t combine finances!
Great Things About Pockets
You can create multiple Spend pockets and while most banks allow you a max of six transfers out of your savings account, there are no limits for the number of transfers in or out of your Save pockets.
How to Add a New Pocket to Your Account Effortlessly
- Go to the pockets section of your app
- Tap on the black plus sign next to create and share pockets
- Give your pocket a name and hit create a pocket
The big draw for a lot of users to come to One is its high-yield Save pocket. As of August 2020, you can earn an incredible 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield in the Auto-Save pocket and 1.00% in your main Save pocket. You can create other Save Pockets but only Auto-Save and your main Save will earn interest.
One only allows you to auto-save up to 10% of your direct deposit paycheck into the 3.00% APY Save Pocket but even at 1%, your regular Save Pocket is higher than most other high-yield savings accounts right now.
Let’s look at a possible example: Say your after-tax and deduction take-home pay is $36,000 a year, or $3,000 per month, and you want to save $400 per month. You set your entire paycheck to be directly deposited into your One bank account and set up the maximum amount you could get 3.00% APY on which comes out to $300 per month.
So $300 will be auto-saved into the 3.00% APY Save pocket every month and you’ll set up another auto-transfer to your 1.00% Save pocket for an additional $100 to get to $400.
After 12 months, $300 per month compounded monthly at 3% will earn about $50, and the other $100 accruing interest at 1.00% APY will earn just over $5. So in this situation, someone saving $400 a month with One would make $55 after a year.
Alternatively, if you put $400 per month into a high-yield savings account earning 1.00% APY (which is higher than the average in August 2020) you’d earn a total of $22 in a year.
This is just an example. What you’ll earn will depend on the size of the paycheck you have direct-deposited into your One bank account and how much you’re saving in total. But this is a great feature that all One customers should be taking advantage of.
Another thing I wanted to cover in this One Finance Review is its integrated borrowing. When you set up a direct deposit from an employer, you’re eligible for a Credit Line up to the value of your paycheck.
This protects users from overdraft fees because should you ever overdraft you automatically start spending from your Credit Line instead of being charged a fee. You don’t pay interest on any amount used from your Credit Line as long as you pay it back in the same month you spent it (don’t worry because One will automatically pay it back with your next direct deposit.)
If you carry a balance over it’s charged interest at 1% every month, which is 12.00% APR. That’s lower than the average credit card APR which is currently 16%.
This feature is designed to help you make ends meet, avoid bouncing payments, etc. Not to put you into debt. So your Credit Line limit may start at $20 but it’ll never go higher than the average of your most recent direct-deposited paychecks.
Also, Credit Line doesn’t replace an emergency fund for big expenses. Should you need emergency funding that you haven’t saved for you’re better off getting a personal loan. The national average APR for personal loans is currently 9.41%.
One Card for all
The last feature that makes a One account stand out is the versatility of its debit card. First off, you don’t have to wait to get your card in the mail to use it. You can access your card online and in the One mobile banking app as soon as you’re approved. And you can just as easily lock it in the app if you lose it.
You can also use money in any Spend pocket or Credit Line by simply assigning the card to it in the app. That means you can buy gas with your Spend account then switch the card to the shared Spend pocket you have with your roommate, go into the gas station and buy toilet paper for the house.
Finally, you can use your One card fee-free at almost 55,000 ATMs. Just look for the Allpoint network logo on the ATM.
The Best Features of One Finance Accounts
There are many great features of One Finance accounts.
- The unlimited number of pockets to create buckets of money to make organizing your finances easier.
- Auto-save feature on Spend Pocket which rounds up the purchases and transfers to Save Pocket.
- 55,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.
- Save Pocket offers 1% APY which is significantly higher than other banks.
- High Yield Auto-Save Pocket offers 3% APY which is HUGE compared to other banks.
- Integrated Borrowing is a credit line that prevents you from being charged overdraft fees.
- The Credit Line is interest-free if you pay it off during the same calendar month.
- Share Pockets make it easier to share money with other people. You can have Shared Spend & Save Pockets with other people.
- You can receive up to $125 in sign-up bonuses.
- Don’t limit transfers between pockets like most banks do. (The national average is 6 transfers a month).
There Are Some Improvements One Needs to Make
No One Finance review would be complete without needed improvements. The One app is available for iOS and Android and has a 4.8-star rating from over 400 ratings. One has made a lot of improvements to its app in 2020 and a bulk of the one-star review complaints have been addressed.
My biggest concern is that you can’t yet connect a One bank account to third-party budgeting tools like Mint, YNAB, or Personal Capital (Which will give you $20 for connecting an investment account!) But they are planning on making that available in the future. Mint users can request the app include One and speed up the process!
At this time, you can’t deposit checks into your One Finance Pockets. The feature is coming soon, so if you’re reading this in the future, definitely want to check that out to see if they offer that feature now.
Lastly, the main features that One uses to attract you to the account are pretty restrictive. You need direct deposit to qualify for the 3% pocket and only a percentage of your paycheck is actually eligible for it. And the borrowing could cost you more than a personal loan if you don’t pay it all off by a certain date every month.
A Good Bank For People Who Need to Get Back on Their Feet
2020 has thrown many people into financial situations they would’ve otherwise never experienced. If you’re on the edge and need a little help getting back on your feet, One’s integrated borrowing could be just the boost you need to avoid a cycle of returned checks and insufficient fund fees.
One could also be good for families who want to integrate their finances while still having autonomy. Shared pockets make saving and spending for parents, kids, even pets, easier to track and maintain.
If you’re looking for a bank account with a unique perspective on banking then I hope this One Finance review was helpful in making your decision. It may bring the extra sense of security and convenience your brain could use a little more of right now.
One Finance is FDIC insured and is a great option for a lot of people. Because they don’t have the brick and mortar building like a lot of other banks, they can offer higher interest savings accounts and more advanced features than local or even national banks.
Even if you’re not trying to get on your feet financially, you can still take advantage of what One Finance has to offer because of their higher interest rates.
If you want to take this to the next level and really get your budget on the right track, try our free Better Budget Course. It’s a quick free course delivered to your email every day over the course of a few days. Each day you’ll get bite-sized actionable tasks to help you create a better budget that will be easier to stick to and stay on budget.
Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.
As an enthusiast and expert in the field of personal finance and digital banking, I've had the opportunity to explore and analyze various online banking services. My depth of knowledge comes from hands-on experience with different platforms, including a keen understanding of financial products, their features, and their impact on users' financial well-being.
Now, let's dive into the concepts used in the provided article on One Finance:
One Finance Overview:
- One Finance is a digital banking startup created by former executives from Personal Capital, PayPal, and Capital One.
- Mission: Optimize earnings, facilitate easy money sharing, and bridge financial gaps.
Security and FDIC Insurance:
- All One accounts are held and FDIC insured through Coastal Community Bank.
- Accounts are protected by 256-bit encryption, ensuring high-level security against unauthorized access.
No Fees and Account Flexibility:
- One offers a flexible and safe mobile banking experience with no overdraft fees, cash advance fees, or account minimums.
- Users can earn up to $125 in sign-up bonuses, including bonuses for the first transfer, first purchase using the One card, and referrals.
Pockets and Account Structure:
- Pockets serve as customizable accounts categorized into Spend, Save, and Share.
- Spend Pocket: Similar to a checking account with the option to round up purchases and transfer the roundup amount to an Auto-Save pocket.
- Save Pocket: A savings account that can be split into multiple sinking funds, offering a competitive 1% APY.
- Share Pocket: A shared spending or saving pocket with other One users.
- One's Auto-Save pocket offers a high yield of 3.00% APY (as of August 2020), allowing users to earn substantial interest on their savings.
- Users with direct deposit are eligible for a Credit Line up to the value of their paycheck, providing overdraft protection.
- Interest is only charged if the borrowed amount is not paid back in the same month.
One Card Versatility:
- One's debit card is versatile, allowing users to access and use it online and in the mobile app as soon as they're approved.
- The card can be easily locked and assigned to different pockets, offering flexibility in spending.
Features and Benefits:
- Unlimited number of pockets for organizing finances.
- Auto-save feature rounds up purchases and transfers to the Save Pocket.
- Access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.
- Share Pockets facilitate easy money-sharing with others.
- Competitive interest rates on Save and Auto-Save pockets.
- The One app lacks integration with third-party budgeting tools like Mint, YNAB, or Personal Capital (planned for the future).
- Check deposit feature is not available at the time of the article but expected soon.
- Some restrictions on the features, such as the need for direct deposit to qualify for the 3% pocket.
- One Finance may be suitable for individuals seeking financial stability, especially those facing challenges in 2020.
- Families looking for integrated finances with shared pockets for easier tracking and management.
- One Finance is FDIC insured and offers unique features due to its digital nature, such as higher interest rates compared to traditional banks.
In summary, One Finance presents itself as a compelling digital banking option with innovative features, competitive interest rates, and a user-friendly interface. However, users should be aware of certain limitations and improvements that are expected in the future.