There are hundreds of personal finance, banking and budgeting apps out there today, but only a select few are even worth considering. Is Empower one of them? With the ability to automate your savings, track your credit and a personalized coach all from one app, they may be the budgeting app many are looking for, or not.
In this detailed Empower Finance App review, we'll lay out all the features offered by the app, and help you determine whether it's worth using or if there are better options.
What Is Empower And How Does It Work?
Empower is a personal finance, banking & budgeting app all in one. It's aimed at helping people manage their money with ease. It is particularly good at tracking your finances and informing you on areas to improve. They help you find ways to earn more on your money, spend more responsibly and save more money on automatic.
How do they do this? By setting up your Empower account and connecting your bank account they can begin helping you with things like automating your savings, getting insights into how you spend your money and access instant cash for emergencies through their 0% cash advance feature for up to $150.
They also offer the option to open up an interest bearing checking account so your budgeting can be even easier with everything the app offers in one place, rather than having to link an external bank account.
With the Empower Finance App, you can manage your money with just a few minutes per week while enjoying the benefits of a healthier budget.
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Not Your Regular Automated Savings Benefits
This isn't just your regular scheduled savings transfers that all banks already offer. It's even more. All you need to do is tell Empower what your savings goal is and the app takes care of the rest after analyzing spending and available money for savings.
After setting your savings target, you simply select the checking account you wish to begin transferring money from. Empower then studies your income and expenses and sets aside a determined amount of money based on your spending habits to help reach your savings goal as fast as possible.
It also shows you how long it will take to reach your savings goals based on your current spending habits, and with other features they will suggest ways you can save more money to reach your goals even faster.
Budgeting Tool & Spending Tracker
“Budgeting for people who hate budgeting.” Empower helps you manage your budget with ease with things such as alerts on how your bills and spending are progressing towards your plans and goals. The app also lets you create your own budget categories as well as select from already common categories.
This helps you set aside money for each type of goal or spending category so you can divvy up your money customized to your spending habits and goals.
You can set spending limits both weekly and monthly for each of the spending categories so you can avoid overspending. If you aren't sure where to start, the app will suggest an amount for you based on your past spending history.
Within each of these spending categories you can also set up alerts to keep you updated on how your spending is going compared to the limits you set for each category.
Personal Finance Tips & Recommendations
The Empower App tracks your money and can even give you regular alerts on when there are opportunities to save more money. An example alert according to their website might be “We've found a way for you to earn an extra $242. Click here to learn more.”
Some of the tips include getting rid of older subscriptions that you no longer use, or ways to lower your regular bills. Empower will even inform you when there are better deals available for your phone bills, internet, cable, streaming, etc. so you can be sure you are getting the best rates and ultimately saving money.
According to Empower Finance, their customers save an average of $444 per year across cable and phone bills alone.
Other helpful alerts are informing you that subscriptions that have increased, late payments on common bills, and even progress updates on your savings goals to keep you motivated.
Personalized Human Coaching
Technology and A.I. can only go so far, so they have a team of expert financial coaches that you can access when you need. Their coaches will answer common questions and issues that you come across and tailor the answers to your specific financial goals and needs.
All you have to do is submit your question via the Empower app and they respond very quickly to give you expert tips. Examples might be “How can I get out of debt faster?” or, “How can I improve my credit score?” or anything related. Rather than the technology giving you an automated response, you'll get advice from another human financial expert.
Interest Bearing Checking Account
Rather than connecting your external bank account, Empower provides you the option to open up a checking account through their app that offers 0.25% interest along with no overdraft fees.
Another helpful benefit of using their checking account is the instant access to additional savings you have built up and even cash advances when needed for things like unexpected emergencies.
If you need access to cash via an ATM, they will reimburse up to three ATM fees per month with a maximum reimbursement of $10 per ATM withdrawal. for you as well.
There are no account minimums, unlimited transfers, FDIC Insurance and automated spending alerts. If you your card or personal information may have been stolen, you can freeze your debit card through their mobile banking app immediately.
Cash Advances Up To $150 With 0% Interest
As briefly mentioned above, Empower lets you get access to an extra $150 for things like emergencies, bills or just a quick personal loan as needed. Or, you might be short on cash for groceries, need some extra gas money, or have an unexpected car repair that you need extra cash for.
How do you pay back the cash advance? As per the app agreement, if you take out a cash advance, Empower will simply deduct it from your next direct deposit so you don't have to worry about making the payment manually.
Note that cash advances aren't available for everyone, first you must meet certain qualifications such as positive account history and spending activity, recurring direct deposits and a healthy average monthly direct deposit.
Is there a monthly fee to use Empower Finance?
Empower lets you use their app for free for the first 30 days to test it out for yourself. After that, they charge just $6 per month. The real question is whether or not you will save $6 or more from the features offered by the app.
With the average savings per customer being $444 per year (according to Empower's website), minus the $6 monthly fee (which is a total of $72 per year), your net savings would be $372.
Is Empower Finance Worth It?
When all is said and done, Empower Finance will most likely benefit those who just hate budgeting and want to automate a lot of the tedious processes such as lowering bills, saving money, knowing when bills increase their payments, and basic spending tracking.
The way you will actually make money from the Empower App is if you actually use it as your primary budgeting app and even checking account. As stated on Empower's website, the average customer saves hundreds per year.
So, is it worth it? Absolutely. Any app that can save you money and help improve your finances in the long run is well worth looking into.
Empower Finance Alternatives
Want to compare Empower Finance to other alternative options? Or perhaps Empower doesn't quite fit what you're looking for? Some alternatives to Empower you might consider are:
The Empower Finance & Banking app is unique in that it offers a variety of options for budgeting your money all in one place, along with additional AI and human coaching support. Most alternative options to Empower Finance will offer only a select few features such as bills negotiation or spending tracking, or will be your total budgeting software that syncs everything for you in one place (all of which are still great options).