Think you need help with saving money? Then technology could be your answer. Take a look at this Chip app review to see how it could help you.
10-second Chip app review
This really is a great way to give you a boost when it comes to saving money. The amounts taken are so small, you will hardly notice the money leave your account. However, the introduction of a fee to use the app is unwelcome.
I am one of those people that always has the intention to save but never gets around to it. Either an unexpected bill comes up, or when I see I have a bit of extra money, I decide to treat myself or my family (well mainly myself). And recent reports have highlighted the fact that one in four families have less than £95 saved. With that in mind, I started to look for better ways to save.
A couple of months ago, my attention was drawn to the Chip app. So, as I’m a lover of technology and money, I decided to try it out.
What is the Chip app and how does it work?
Chip monitors the money coming in and out of your linked bank account. Using clever technology, it works out how much you can afford to save and automatically transfer small amounts from your bank to Chip every four days. Because it’s done in small amounts, you’ll hardly notice it. Currently, the app has over 250,000 customers.
To do all this, it uses Open Banking, a system that allows you to access your financial products from 3rd party software.
Taken from their website:
Chip is an AI powered saving app that calculates what you can afford to save and stashes money away automatically.
Save without feeling it
We’ve analysed more than 160 million transactions to build a clever AI that can keep you saving, without affecting your day-to-day spending.
Feel good about your money
Whether you’re spending big, times are tight, or even if you’re in your overdraft, we can help you save up some money.
Benefits to the Chip app
- Chip allows you to adjust the amount you are comfortable with saving, just through a click of a button. If you think it’s taking too much or you want to save a bit more, just adjust the scale.
- You can set a minimum bank balance limit. If you never want to fall below a certain level, then let Chip know and they won’t transfer any money if it means you fall below this limit.
- The money is transferred into your Chip Auto-save account. You can either keep it there, or move it over to an Easy account which will pay you interest.
- Chip will let you know when money is due to be taken. If you want to skip the save option that day, then you have until 3pm to open the app, click ‘view’ and choose ‘skip’.
- Payday put away. You can set up a date and amount and Chip will automatically move that amount to your Chip account on your assigned payday.
- Chip has a ‘goals’ option. Goals can be anything you want to save up for and you can have a maximum of 3. Then, when your money is saved into your Chip account, it can be split towards each goal. Then, just set an end date and you are given updates on how you’re getting on.
What interest rate do you get with your savings?
The APR is currently at 0.3% (November 2020) which may sound a little underwhelming. However, it’s still a better rate than you will find with many of the high street banks.
Who is it for?
Chip is certainly aimed at millennials with a big emphasis on encouraging them to save. However, it’s an app suitable for anybody who needs just a nudge in the right direction. You don’t need ant real technical knowledge and once set-up, you can more or less just leave it to do its business.
Is Chip safe?
The app uses bank-grade security and your data is protected by 256+ bit encryption.
There are two places your money can go when using Chip. Auto-save money goes into a Barclays account, and if Chip were to go bust, you could recover the money from Barclays.
The only real danger is if Barclays were to go “belly-up”. The money isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so it would be lost. Chip is looking into getting this protection, so it is up to you if you are happy to take the risk till then of Barclays going under.
Or your money can go into the Chip savings account, this is provided by the Hampshire Trust Bank. This is covered by FCSC and up to £85,000 of your money is protected.
Which banks does Chip work with?
- Bank of Scotland
- First Direct
- Lloyds Bank
- Marks and Spencer
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- TSB Bank
- Ulster Bank
Although, Chip does say that if your bank isn’t listed, you can still connect it by using your bank card. If you connect this way, Chip will not be able to analyse your account through Open Banking, and instead, it will collect an automatically generated amount based on other user’s autosaves.
How often does Chip take money?
On average, Chip will take money from your bank account every four days.
How long does it take to withdraw money?
It’s all very well saving this money, but what if you need access to it? According to Chip, withdrawals should happen on the same day as long as they’re made before 5 pm. At weekends, you have to wait until the next working day. In my experience, these estimates are pretty spot-on.
How does the Chip app make money?
In October 2020, Chip introduced a charge for using the automatic savings feature of the app. Once you have made more than £100 in autosaves, you will be charged £1.50 every 28 days the feature is used. And let’s be honest, why else would you use the app?
There is another charge to note too. You can make one free withdrawal every month. After that, there is a 50 pence charge.
Although the fees aren’t huge, it’s worth considering that there are other apps out there that do the same, for free.
My experience with the app
I have been a member of Chip for over 2 years and it has helped me save, on average, around £80 per month.
Initial set-up wasn’t the easiest as it failed to recognise my Santander 123 account and Chip never got back to me when I sent in questions. However, connecting to my TSB account was far simpler.
I found the amount that Chip took from my account was a little too much for my liking, so it took a bit of tweaking (well I changed the auto-save level from 3 to 2 in the app) and I was much happier with the results.
It’s a bit of a pain having to relink your account every 90 days… sometimes it runs smoothly, sometimes you have to make a couple of attempts. However, this is necessary due to the rules of open banking.
I’m not a big fan of ‘Chipbot’. This is the chat option that tells you when savings are made. Every save comes with an ‘amusing’ gif, that personally, I could do without it. In fact, I don’t tend to open Chipbot very often and when I do, I have to wait as 30 odd gifs download.
Linking to a new bank account isn’t as easy as other apps. You will need to contact Chip first to let them know you want to swap, and they will remove your original account. You can then add your new bank.
It’s not a long process, but I can’t see why you can’t remove your own bank account yourself.
What other people say
Trustpilot is always a place I recommend taking a look at to get a general idea of what others think. It currently has a rating of 3.7 out of 5 from 238 reviews, with positive reviews claiming:
Simple and effective App for savings and great interest account
Chip is a fantastic app that I highly recommend!
I’ve saved £800 using Chip
On the other side of the scale:
Will I ever see my money again?!
Just been scammed
Did not sign up for this
However, it’s worth noting that many of the negative reviewers seemed to have blamed Chip for money being taken from their current accounts by 3rd parties.
My Chip app review conclusion
I really enjoyed the Chip app and found it was a great way to put money aside. It didn’t take long before I found a comfortable savings level. However, the introduction of a fee really turned me off, especially when there are free alternatives available.
As the fee doesn’t start until you save over £100, it may still be worth trying to see if you find it useful.
Chip promo code
And when you join, use my promo code RJWEGT and you’ll get a £5 boost.
If this Chip app review hasn’t convinced you, why not take a look at my review of the best budgeting and personal finance apps.
Why has Chip stopped taking money?
Two possible reasons. The link to your bank account may need renewing. Just visit the app to refresh it. Otherwise, have you received a new debit card recently? If so, Chip will need to reset your banking details. Just visit the app and send them a message.
How do I delete my account?
If you no longer want to be a member, open the Chip app and select ‘profile’. Scroll to the bottom and click on the delete account button.
How do I contact Chip?
Either send a message through the app or send an email to [email protected]
Is the Chip app free?
Parts of it are. However, if you use the AI (the automatic save feature) you will be charged £1.50 every 28 days.