Investing Simple Logo
Menu
Get Started on Robinhood With 1 Free Stock!
Robinhood is offering new users 1 free stock worth between $3 and $225 when you open an account and fund it with any amount of money.
Written by Cari Scribner on November 18, 2020
Category: 
FTC Disclosure

M1 Spend Review 2021: Best Debit/Checking Account?

M1 Finance is an online brokerage platform offering commission-free trades on stock/ETFs as well as a variety of other features. The minimum investment is just $100 and there are no commissions or portfolio management fees.

The platform gives you the ability to create your own customized portfolio or select from one of the more than 30 pre-built portfolios. You can build portfolios containing low-cost ETFs or individual stocks, or both. It also allows fractional share investing in which you buy a portion of a whole stock. This is a feature that is not offered by many online investing apps.

They also have M1 Spend, a checking account within the app. Here's our review of M1 Spend!

M1 Spend
  • Cash Back
  • APY/Interest
  • Annual Fee
  • User Friendly
  • ATM Fee Reimbursement
  • Integration
4.3

Summary

M1 Spend is a checking account and debit card offering from the brokerage platform known as M1 Finance. M1 Spend is meant to be used alongside M1 Borrow and M1 Invest. However, you can still use this as a standalone project if you wish.

If you have the M1 Spend Plus membership, which is $125 per year, you get a few additional features. First of all, 1% cash back on all spending. Second of all, you earn 1% APY on your balance in your checking account. They also reimburse international fees.

You can get an M1 Spend account for free without paying the annual fee, but this basic account has 0% APY and 0% cash back.

Pros

  • Links with your M1 investing account to seamlessly funnel available cash into your portfolio
  • Good APY if you have the M1 Spend Plus account
  • Interest earned could offset annual fee for M1 Spend Plus
  • 100% free option available

Cons

  • M1 Spend Plus account costs $125 annually, which could eat into your interest earnings
  • If you don't invest with M1 Finance, you can't use all the integrations

What Is M1 Spend?

M1 Spend is a checking account within the app. In order to open an M1 Spend account, you must have an M1 Finance investing account first.

M1 Spend is FDIC-insured and works like any checking account offered by major consumer banks. It comes with a Visa debit card.

It also gives you a continuous connection to your investment accounts, letting you easily transfer money from the checking account into your investment portfolio. This is one of the biggest advantages of M1 Spend.

The M1 Spend Plus account carries a 1% APY, which is far greater than the national average APY for a checking account.

However, you need to pay an annual fee of $125 for the M1 Spend Plus account. If you stick to a basic account, you won’t pay any fees, but you also will not earn interest. The plus account also gives you 1% back on qualifying purchases.

Here are the perks of M1 Spend Plus Account:

  • 1% APY checking account that will earn you 25 times the national APR for a bank checking account.
  • Earn 1% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases. Historically, cash back on purchases was only done when using credit cards.
  • 2% loans through M1 Borrow. You will get a 1.5% reduction on the base rate of M1 Borrow, its flexible, already-low-cost portfolio line of credit.
  • An afternoon trade window that lets you get more control over how you invest: Invest in the morning or the afternoon, or both when you have more than $25,000 in your investment portfolio.
  • Smart transfers give you even more automation and keep your money moving in the right direction to reach your financial goals, pre-set so you don’t even have to think about it.
  • 4 ATM fee reimbursements per month.

m1 spend

About M1 Finance

M1 Finance helps you with the construction and maintenance of your custom investment portfolio. After you create your portfolio, M1 utilizes its proprietary system to automate all of your trading activity from dividend reinvestment to rebalancing.

M1 Finance Free Training

We put together a free 30 minute video training that walks you through the entire process, step by step. This training will help you get up and running in no time at all.

GET THE GUIDE

Auto-invest is the most frequently used option by M1 users. With auto-invest on, any time your cash balance meets or exceeds $25, M1 will automatically invest into your portfolio. To select this option within the app, turn auto-invest on and set your minimum cash balance to $0.

M1’s target customers have longer-term goals for their investments. They can be saving up for their child’s education, for a down payment on a home, or even to build up a solid emergency fund. They may have had experience with using other traditional online brokerages to invest in stocks and ETFs.

M1 was made for these potential investors as a lower-cost alternative due to its free offerings. They also allow investors to have a large amount of control over the contents of their portfolio. This is a key difference between M1 and many other competing apps. Often, investors must give up much of the control in exchange for the portfolio management services. M1 successfully treads the fine line between automation and customization.

Best Bank Account Offers

BankPromotionLink
Robinhood LogoEarn 0.30% APYOpen Account
Betterment Robo AdvisorEarn 0.40% APYOpen Account
M1 Finance Robo Advisor1% Cash Back Debit CardOpen Account

Conclusion

M1 Spend is a good choice for investors who already use M1 Finance and want to manage their bank and investment accounts in one place.

However, if you do not pay the annual fee of $125, the checking account really has nothing to offer. Your best bet is to pay the membership fee in order to earn the 1% interest and 1% cash back.

Best Free Stock Promotions

BrokeragePromotionLink
Robinhood Logo1 Free Stock (Up To $225)Download
Webull Logo2 Free Stocks (Up To $1,850)Download
Firstrade trading platform2 Free Stocks (Up To $400)Download
Public LogoFree $20 Stock SliceDownload
M1 Finance Robo AdvisorGet $30 When You Deposit $1,000Download
Acorns LogoFree $10 BonusDownload

M1 Spend Review
Article written by Cari Scribner
Cari Scribner is a career journalist with 20 year’s experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Now a freelance writer, she is also a published fiction writer with more than 15 short stories in literary mags. She recently completed a novel that is on the desk for consideration at two publishing houses. She lives with her two small dogs, Miloh and Lucy, in Upstate NY.

Latest Posts

Power Your Investing

Choosing the right product and service is essential for your investing. Here are some of the tools and services to help your portfolio grow.
Robinhood
Robinhood provides an easy-to-use free trading platform for beginner investors. Robinhood has $0 account minimums. Get a free stock when you open an account below.
Try Robinhood
M1 Finance
M1 Finance offers a free investing platform where users can build portfolios of stocks and ETFs. Users can also choose from a variety of pre-built portfolios offered for free.
Try M1 Finance
Fundrise
Passively invest in private real estate deals with as little as $500. Fundrise allows you to own residential and commercial real estate across the U.S. starting at a 1% annual fee.
Try Fundrise
© Copyright 2018 - 2020 Investing Simple LLC. All Rights Reserved. Investing Simple is a financial publisher that does not offer any personal financial advice or advocate the purchase or sale of any security or investment for any specific individual. Members should be aware that investment markets have inherent risks, and past performance does not assure future results. Investing Simple has advertising relationships with some of the offers listed on this website. The information on Investing Simple could be different from what you find when visiting a third-party website. All products are presented without warranty. For more information, please read our full disclaimer.
Developed by Stallion Cognitive
magnifiermenucross-circlechevron-down-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap