Empower Review | The Ascent
Empower makes it easy to monitor all of your expenses in one place. You can connect all your bank accounts and credit cards to the app. Once you’ve linked an account, you can use Empower to view balance and recent transactions.
The application also allows you to personalize your budget, in particular by setting limits on different categories of expenses. It will then alert you if you are approaching a spending limit.
Let’s say you aim to spend no more than $ 50 per week on meals. Empower will track your meal purchases, and if you get close to $ 50, they’ll let you know. You can do this with any expense category that you want Empower to keep tabs on.
Offer a debit card
The Empower Card is a convenient payment option that works with this app. It’s a debit card that you can use with your Empower account. There is no minimum balance required to obtain the card. There are also no overdraft fees, as transactions that exceed your balance are automatically declined.
If you are planning to use the Empower app, it makes sense to get the Empower card as it comes with some additional perks. You will be able to earn money through special offers and get paid up to two days in advance.
LEARN MORE: What is a debit card?
There are a few transaction limits for the Empower card:
- Daily ATM withdrawal limit: $ 500
- Daily purchase limit: $ 2,000
- Daily transfer limit: $ 2,500 to start, increases to $ 5,000 31 days after your first trade
Saving money can be difficult, especially on a tight budget. Empower can be of great help here with its auto-save feature.
All you need to do is set a weekly savings goal. Empower will study your income and expenses to see how much you can afford to save. Once he understands this, he will transfer money from your expense account to your Empower AutoSave account.
Up to 10% cash back
If you have an Empower card, you can earn high cash back rates through special offers. For example, there may be cash back offers of 5% on groceries or 8% on gasoline. Empower aims for easy-to-use offers, so you don’t get stuck with random offers from merchants you never visit.
It should be noted that if cash back is your primary goal, a cash back credit card would be a better choice. Most of these cards provide cash back rewards on all of your purchases, not just purchases in specific categories. This allows you to save a lot more money than with Empower.
COMPARE THE BEST CHOICES: Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Up to $ 250 in cash advance
For quick cash, Empower offers cash advances of up to $ 250, with same day delivery if you have an Empower checking account. There are no fees, no interest, and no credit checks, but you must meet certain conditions to be eligible for a cash advance.
SEE MORE OPTIONS: How to get a free cash advance without a credit check
Empower withdraws the advance payment from your main checking account on the date it expects you to receive your next paycheck. If this date is incorrect or if you want to change it, contact Empower to request a new payment date.
Free ATM withdrawals
The Empower Card offers free ATM withdrawals with over 37,000 ATMs in the United States. You can find free ATMs in the app, so you shouldn’t have a problem withdrawing money for free.
What could be improved
$ 8 monthly fee
After a 14-day free trial, Empower charges a monthly subscription fee of $ 8. It might not seem like a lot per month, but it’s still $ 96 per year.
Empower offers some useful features including budgeting tools, banking, and cash back for that $ 8 per month. However, it is also possible to get most of these services for free. Here are some examples:
Empower is a convenient option because it provides a lot of services in an affordable package. But if you don’t need everything in one app, there are other options.
If you have an Empower Card or DDA AutoSave Account, you earn an APY of 0.01% on your Empower Account balance. Several savings accounts offer much higher interest rates than this, including accounts that don’t charge a monthly fee or have a minimum balance requirement. You better keep your money in one of these accounts instead of Empower.
DISCOVER THE BEST CHOICES: Best Online, High Yield Savings Accounts
Foreign transaction fees
The Empower Card charges an overseas transaction fee of 1%. This type of charge applies to transactions that go through a foreign bank or that are in a currency other than the US dollar. This means that it will apply to purchases you make while traveling abroad. It may also apply to online purchases made from international merchants.
LEARN MORE: What are the foreign transaction fees?
A 1% fee is not a huge amount, especially since some cards charge 3%. But there are also cards with no overseas transaction fees, and it’s worth getting one for travel outside of the United States.
COMPARE THE OPTIONS: Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees
No deposit of cash or checks
Empower accounts currently do not accept cash or check deposits. While it’s understandable not being able to deposit cash, mobile check deposits are a common feature of banking apps.
Here are the ways to fund an Empower account:
- Direct deposit
- Mobile payment apps, such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App
DISCOVER THE PAYMENT APPLICATIONS: Best payment apps