Credit

MoneyLion Review: Features for Learning How to Manage Money

Overall Ranking

5/5

Overview

Fees

3/5

Features

3/5

Ease of Use

4/5

Customer Service

4/5

MoneyLion is an app that offers members credit builder loans without a credit check. They also have some other great features, such as early payday and debit card rewards. If you’re struggling to build credit and stabilize your finances, MoneyLion may be for you.

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Managing your money while on the go can be difficult. You need separate apps for your bank, investments, and credit cards, and keeping track of where your money is can get tricky.

MoneyLion is an app that aims to be an all-in-one financial app, giving you an easy-to-use bank account, investing services, lending, and more.

What Is MoneyLion?

MoneyLion is a financial services app that is available for iPhone and Android. It combines banking, investing, and borrowing in a single app. If you want to keep all your money and financial services in a single place, MoneyLion is an option.

The company has been operating since 2013 and has partnered with major American financial services companies, including Metabank, meaning its bank accounts are fully FDIC insured.

Features

These are the basic features that MoneyLion offers.

RoarMoney Account

The RoarMoney account is MoneyLion’s checking account. The account has no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and comes with a variety of nice perks.

One benefit of the RoarMoney account is that you can get your paycheck up to two days early. If you sign up for a direct deposit, RoarMoney can release your paycheck to you as soon as it receives the money from your employer. This usually happens a day or two before payday, so you can get paid early, which means less waiting for money that’s yours.

The account also makes it easy to access and use your money once it’s in your account. You’ll get a debit card that you can use to make purchases as well as fee-free withdrawals from more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the United States.

The debit card includes a few perks that you usually only see from credit cards.

For example, the card comes with price protection. If you buy something, then find it for sale at a lower price within the next 90 days, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. MoneyLion can reimburse you for the difference, up to $250 per purchase, up to four times per year. That can give you confidence in making purchases.

Additionally, you can easily track your budget and spending when you use your MoneyLion debit card. The app automatically tracks each purchase you make and categorizes it, helping you see where you spend your money.

Related: Best Free Online Checking Accounts

InstaCash Advance

If you have a MoneyLion account, you can use the InstaCash Advance feature to get an interest-free cash advance of up to $250. To qualify, you must receive some form of recurring deposit, like a regular paycheck.

If you sign up for a direct deposit or a Credit Builder Plus account, you can borrow up to $300 at a time.

There is no credit check to use an InstaCash advance and money will arrive in your MoneyLion account within 48 hours. For a small fee, you can get the cash advance instantly.

MoneyLion will automatically take the money back from your account when you receive your next recurring deposit. That means you don’t have to worry about payment due dates or not paying back the proper amount.

Related:

Auto Invest Account

Investing is one of the best ways to save for the future and to build a nest egg, but getting started with investing can be hard. Many brokerage accounts have high minimum balances and you have to figure out what you want to invest in.

MoneyLion offers an automatic investing service that can help you invest for the future in a hands-off way. There are no management fees (other than the fees charged by the ETFs used to build your portfolio) to use the service and you can start with any amount of money.

When you sign up, you’ll answer a few questions about your investing goals and risk tolerance. Based on your answers, MoneyLion will design a portfolio of low-cost stock and bond ETFs that you can invest in.

If you want more control over your portfolio, you can adjust it to be more or less aggressive. You can also choose to focus your portfolio on your interests by investing in high-tech companies, socially responsible businesses, or other specific areas.

You can invest as much or as little as you’d like and have the flexibility to add more money or make withdrawals whenever you want to. You can also set up automatic investments, such as weekly contributions, which lets you build your balance without even thinking about it.

Credit Builder Plus

Building your credit score can be a bit of a chicken and egg problem. If you don’t have credit or have poor credit, you can struggle to qualify for credit cards and loans. However, if you don’t have a credit card or a loan, you can’t build your credit score.

MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus helps you solve this problem. It’s a credit builder loan that you can qualify for, even if you don’t have a credit score.

When you sign up for the credit builder loan, MoneyLion will place the amount of the loan in an account on your behalf. You’ll get a bill each month to repay the loan. When you’ve finished paying off the loan, MoneyLion will give you access to the account that’s holding the money.

This makes it into something like a forced savings plan that helps you build your credit score. You can get credit-builder loans up to $1,000 and take up to twelve months to pay them back.

While you’re building credit, you can still take advantage of MoneyLion’s other services, including its interest-free cash advances.

There is a $19.99 per month fee to sign up for the Credit Builder Plus account. The fee will be added to the monthly bill you receive for the loan. You also have to pay interest, so the loan can be quite costly.

Related: Best Apps to Boost Your Credit Score

Debit Card Rewards

One of the drawbacks of using a debit card over a credit card is that credit cards frequently offer rewards. When you use a credit card, you can earn cash back, hotel points, and airline miles. If you use your card a lot and shop at the right places, the rewards can add up very quickly.

Most debit cards don’t offer rewards but MoneyLion’s debit card does.

Each month, MoneyLion has a cashback of the month offer. This offer gives you rewards every time that you shop at a certain type of retailer. For example, you might get 2% cash back on every purchase you make at a gas station one month, then get rewards at restaurants the next.

There are also opportunities to earn cash back when you shop at select merchants. MoneyLion partners with some stores to give rewards when you shop. You can check the rewards tab of the app to see what offers are available and how to activate them.

You can also earn rewards with Shake ‘N’ Bank. With each purchase of $10 or more, you’ll get an opportunity to Shake ‘N’ Bank. When the transaction settles in your account, you’ll get a phone notification. You’ll have a few days to respond to the notification. Open the MoneyLion app and shake your phone to earn rewards.

With each Shake ‘N’ Bank, you can earn between $0.01 and $120.

To Shake ‘N’ Bank, you’ll need to have a MoneyLion investment account. All of the rewards you earn will go directly to the investment account.

Related: Best Cashback And Rewards Apps

Pricing

MoneyLion has a relatively transparent pricing structure, which makes it easy to decide whether its services are right for you.

The RoarMoney checking account has a $1 administrative fee that you have to pay each month. You will pay $2.50 each time you use an out-of-network ATM, on top of any fees charged by the ATM’s owner. There’s also a $4.95 fee each time you make a cash deposit to your account using one of MoneyLion’s retail partners.

There are no fees to use MoneyLion’s InstaCash advance, but if you need the money deposited quickly, there is a fee of $3.99 to get it deposited to a MoneyLion account or $4.99 for deposits to an external account.

The Auto Invest account, like the RoarMoney account, has a $1 monthly administrative fee. You also have to pay $0.25 for each ACH withdrawal made from the account.

The Credit Builder Plus account is the most expensive of MoneyLion’s services. You have to pay a $19.99 fee each month to have the account. You also have to pay interest on your loan, which can make the service expensive. However, if you’re a member of Credit Builder Plus, MoneyLion will waive the administrative fee for your RoarMoney and Auto Invest accounts, making the effective cost $17.99 a month.

Most of these fees are relatively reasonable, though there are plenty of online banks and brokerage accounts that charge no monthly fee. It’s up to you whether the $1 or $2 a month is worth what MoneyLion offers.

Credit Builder Plus, however, is incredibly expensive. There are cheaper options for building your credit, including other credit builder loans and secured credit cards. If you need help building credit, you should consider those cheaper options first.

Synchronization

MoneyLion offers a fully functional experience on its website as well as mobile apps for both iOS and Android. You can manage your account on either your computer or from your phone so you don’t have to worry about losing data as you move from one device to another or having a subpar experience based on the device that you’re using.

Security

Whenever you’re doing something with money online, it’s natural to wonder how safe you are. Online crime and fraud are common and it’s important to be critical of internet security.

MoneyLion uses industry-standard security practices to keep both your money and your personal information safe. It has also partnered with Metabank to offer FDIC insurance for its MoneyRoar account. You’ll receive the full $250,000 in insurance offered by the FDIC if you keep money in the account.

Mobile Support

MoneyLion is a tech-focused company, so it’s no surprise that it has a strong mobile experience.

You can download MoneyLion’s app on both iOS and Android and both apps are well-reviewed. It’s easy to manage your account, make transfers, and sign up for new services from the app, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to manage your money while on the go.

Customer Support

MoneyLion offers multiple ways to get technical support.

For basic issues, you can visit the website’s knowledge base, which contains solutions to common problems.

You can also chat with a support representative once you sign in to your account on your computer or phone.

If you prefer to talk over the phone, you can get support at (801) 252-4427. Phone support is available on weekdays from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern time and on weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM Eastern time.

Pros and Cons

  • Many financial services available in one app — Banking features, investing services, lending, and more.

  • Cash advances — Free cash advances.

  • Rewards — MoneyLion's debit card gives you the opportunity to earn rewards.

  • Credit Builder Plus — Offers members loans of up to $1,000 without a credit check.


  • Fees can add up — There are a few unavoidable administrative fees.

  • Credit Builder is pricey — The Credit Builder account is very expensive at $19.99 per month.

  • Limited investing features — There is less functionality than a standard brokerage account.

  • Limited banking features — There is no savings account.

Honest Recommendation

If you’re looking for an all-in-one financial app, MoneyLion is a pretty solid choice. You can get a checking account, investing account, access to short-term loans, and a credit-builder loan all in one place. If you pass on the credit builder loan, you’ll only pay between $12 and $24 per year, which is relatively reasonable.

However, MoneyLion is something of a jack of all trades, master of none. There’s no option to have a savings account, and the investment account only lets you invest in pre-determined portfolios. There also isn’t a rewards credit card available through the app.

If you’re looking for a financial services company that offers more fully-fleshed-out accounts, you’ll want to consider working with a major online bank or brokerage, like Ally, Vanguard, or Chase. If you want a sleek experience and convenience, MoneyLion is a solid choice.

What Others Are Saying

Here is what other top review sites have to say about MoneyLion.

Credit Karma – “MoneyLion is a financial services company that offers credit-builder loans to its members without a credit check. MoneyLion offers credit-builder loans at low-interest rates, but you have to pay a membership fee, which adds to the overall cost of the loan.”

Benzinga – “Structured around empowering the average bank user to maximize their wealth, MoneyLion is a digital platform fulfilling all your personal financial needs. Between your RoarMoney account, Credit Builder Plus membership, and automated investing account, MoneyLion can check all the boxes on your personal finances wishlist.”

Alternatives

If you’re looking for a service like MoneyLion, but don’t think MoneyLion is right for you, consider these alternatives.

Self

Self is a company that aims to help people build their credit by offering credit builder loans. Unlike MoneyLion, there isn’t an expensive monthly fee. You only have to pay a one-time account setup fee, plus monthly payments. There are interest charges for the loan, but they tend to be much cheaper than MoneyLion overall.

With Self, you can have payment plans for as long as 24 months. This gives you more time to build your credit with timely payments. It also means your monthly payments will be smaller, which may make them easier to fit into your budget.

Chime

Chime is a financial app that offers a checking account, savings account, and secured credit card that can help you build credit.

Like MoneyLion, Chime gives customers access to short-term loans in the form of fee-free $100 overdrafts from their checking accounts. It also offers early paydays if you sign up for a direct deposit.

If you open a savings account, you can use the balance of the account as a deposit on a secured credit card. The card’s credit limit will equal the amount you set aside as a deposit, but it otherwise functions like a normal credit card. This gives you the chance to get experience with credit and to build your credit history.

Learn More: Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card Review

Chime Disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

1Chime cannot guarantee when files are sent by the IRS and funds can be made available.

^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

FAQs

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Can you deposit cash into your account?

Many online banks don’t have an option that lets customers deposit cash, which makes them hard to use if you’re a frequent cash user.

MoneyLion has partnered with retailers around the United States to allow cash deposits. There are more than 90,000 locations around the United States, including major retailers like Walmart and Dollar General.

There is a $4.95 fee to make a cash deposit, so keep that in mind when you plan on making a deposit.

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What happens if you're late on a credit builder loan payment?

Just like a regular loan, if you miss a payment or submit a late payment for your credit builder loan, that information will get sent to the major credit bureaus. This can damage your credit score, so it’s important to make sure that you make your monthly payments if you want build credit successfully.

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How can you redeem rewards?

MoneyLion offers its rewards in the form of rewards points. Once you earn 2,500 points, you can redeem those points for $25 in cash deposited to one of your accounts.

Your points will expire if you don’t log into your account for 180 days, so remain an active user of your account to stop your points from expiring.

Who Is It For?

MoneyLion is for people who want a sleek, easy-to-use financial app that can handle many different financial needs, including banking, investing, and building credit. If you forego the credit builder account, it has reasonable fees and offers services that can be useful to many people, especially those who are learning how to manage their money.

Bottom Line

MoneyLion is a financial services company that helps people bank, invest, and build credit. It also offers useful tools that people can use to learn about managing money. While it isn’t the best choice for any specific need, such as banking or investing, the convenience of having everything in one place for a reasonable price will appeal to many people.

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