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Chip Vs Plum – Which Is The Best App?

Looking for an app that will help kick start your savings? Then take a look at this comparison of Chip vs Plum to see which of these auto-saving apps is best for you.

chip vs plum which is the best
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Chip or Plum? 10 second overview

This is a very close call, with both apps offering very similar features.

Fintech apps are a little bit like buses. You wait for one and then a whole load comes at once. In fact, I have a post where I look at the best budgeting apps available, but the problem is, there are a lot to choose from.

So, I’ve decided to take a look at two of the most popular, yet similar apps – Chip and Plum. Both of these apps focus on helping you save, yet come with some slight differences. So, which is the best?

Plum vs Chip face-off

Chip and Plum both have apps that you can download to your Apple or Android device. In the early days, Plum only worked through Facebook Messenger, but this was quite limiting and their own app was soon developed.

The underlying idea of these apps is to monitor your bank account and then work out how much you can afford to save. The apps will then take small amounts of money so you don’t really notice.

Once the money hits your account, depending on the app, there are various options you have with your money.

Getting started

Both apps are very easy to get started with. Once downloaded to your smartphone, you need to link to your current account through Open Banking. If you already have your bank’s app installed, this should take only a few seconds.

Winner – draw

Both have similar joining processes, so nothing to choose between them.


using chip

Navigating the apps

When Plum was operated through Messenger, you could only find the information you needed through the chat option, which was a real pain. Although that chat box is still there, it’s fairly redundant and you can use Plum’s features without it.

Chip has also moved its focus away from the messaging part of the app. This is just as well as the old version was full of annoying gifs. Everything you need from Chip can more or less be found on the first screen.

Winner – Chip

Quicker to navigate and control your account


Saving amounts

So, you’ll be using these apps to help you save. But the fact is, as clever as technology can be, it won’t know how much we’re comfortable with when it comes to saving. That’s why you can give each app a helping hand.

Plum comes with a total of 6 settings:

  • Beast mode – 75% more savings
  • Ambitious – 50% more savings
  • Eager – 25% more
  • Normal
  • Chilled – 25% less savings
  • Shy – 50% less savings

Chip comes with 5. They are originally numbered 1-5, but don’t really give an indication to how much more or less you can save. For example, 5 is known as ‘serious stuff’ and it just tells you it’s the highest auto-save level. 1 is known as ‘take your time!’ but tells you little else.

Of course, if you use either of these apps, you’ll need to fiddle with the levels yourself until you find something you’re comfortable with.

Winner – Plum

Only a minor thing, but Plum has more saving levels, which means it’s more adjustable.


using plum

Making your money work

It’s all very well saving money into these apps, but then what do you do with it? You don’t want money just sitting in an account and not earning anything.

Chip has an easy access account that pays 0.3%. Once your money goes into Chip, you can then transfer it across. There is also a 1.25% account, which you gain access to if you join using a promo code or invite friends.

And Chip has also introduced some investment funds. These are a little limited compared to Plum but are still a useful feature.

Plum Basic pays you slightly less at 0.25%. But if you upgrade to one of the paid versions, you’ll earn 0.4% interest. And, these accounts allow you to invest in a range of funds that can either be done manually or invested automatically when Plum takes money from your current account.

Winner – Draw

A difficult choice. Chip pips it for cash accounts if you can get hold of the 1.25% rate. But Plum provides more investment funds, so is a better choice when it comes to investing.


Cost

Always a major consideration. Neither of these apps will break the bank, but they come with different charges.

The basic features of Plum are free. So if you want to use it as a simple autosavings tool and an account that pays a small amount of interest, then this is the one for you.

If you want to start investing, you need to upgrade to Pro which costs £1 per month. You’ll also see an increase in the amount of interest you receive.

Plus and Ultra throws in more features which include cashback, although most of the benefits are to do with managing your money.

Chip’s pricing is slightly simpler. You start with Chip Lite, but once you have made £100 in automatic saves, you’ll be moved to Chip AI and will be charged £1.50 every month. Chip X reduces the amount you pay in investment fees and gives you access to a General Investment Account and stocks and shares ISA.

Cost (per month)Autosaves?Investments?
Plum BasicFreeYesNo
Plum Pro£1YesYes
Plum Plus£2.99YesYes
Plum Ultra£4.99YesYes
Chip LiteFreeNoNo
Chip AI£1.50YesYes
Chip X£3YesYes

Winner – Plum

The fact that the basic feature is free wins it for me. If you need a paid option, then there’s little to choose between them.


Referral schemes

These are sometimes overlooked, but they can be a decent source of income (although small).

Chip is nowhere near as generous as they used to be. Refer a friend and you can qualify for their bonus interest rate of 1.25%.

The Plum app is fairly more generous and will give you £15 for every 3 friends you recommend. Of course, you only receive your money once your third friend has linked their bank account to Plum.

Winner – Plum

A far more generous referral scheme.


Chip vs Plum… the winner

There can only be one as they say. The close winner for me is Plum.

Chip is great if you’re after interest from your account, although you can get a better rate if you shop around. It’s also a little disappointing that you are charged a fee to use the basic automatic savings feature.

On the other hand, Plum offers autosavings for free. If that’s your main reason for downloading one of these apps, then Plum is a no-brainer. Plum Pro and Chip AI offer very similar features, with Pro being 50 pence cheaper per month.

Whether you want to opt for the more expensive versions of either of these apps depends on how useful their extra features are to you. To find out what’s on offer, take a look at my Plum review or my Chip review.


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