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Plum App review: How to save and invest easily

Do you find it a struggle to put money away every month? What if there was a way to save money automatically in such small amounts that you would hardly notice? Take a look at this Plum app review to see how it uses artificial intelligence to make saving easier and could even open the doors to investing.

Plum review - helping you save
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10-second Plum review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A money management app with lots of options to help you start putting some extra money away. You can also make your money work harder with investments, or there’s a savings account on offer. The cutting bills section isn’t much help, but I can overlook that.

The Plum app

With so many personal finance and savings apps around, how do you choose the best for you? Let’s look at Plum to see why this is an excellent option for helping you arrange your finances.

What is Plum and how does it work?

Plum is a free app available from the App Store and Google Play. Or, you can visit the Plum website and follow the link from there.

You will then need to fill out some personal details and connect your bank account through open banking. This is an officially recognised way to connect accounts and allows Plum to see how much money you have.

It’s a simple process; if you already have your bank’s app downloaded to your phone, it will take less than a minute.

Once connected, Plum analyses the money going in and out of your account and uses artificial intelligence to determine how much you can afford to save.

Then, once a week, Plum will take money from your current account by direct debit and pay it into your Plum account. And don’t worry, it guarantees that you will never go into your overdraft when the money is transferred. However, if that did happen, they promise to refund any fees.

But you may find that it’s taking too much, or you might want Plum to take a bit more.

With a click of a button (or a push of a finger), you can tell Plum whether you want to increase or decrease the amount you’re willing to save. You have a choice of modes:

  • Beast Mode – 75% more savings
  • Ambitious – 50% more savings
  • Eager – around 25% more
  • Normal
  • Chilled – around 25% less
  • Shy – 50% less in savings

And if you want to take a break completely, you can turn off autosaves for a set period.

Another option to help you save is by turning on Round-ups. With this activated, it means that every time you make a purchase from your current account, the app will round this amount up to the nearest pound, which is then transferred to your Plum account.

For example, spend £2.40 on a coffee and 60 pence will be sent to Plum.

Or, you can arrange for money to be transferred on payday. Just let Plum know when that is and how much you get paid, and Plum can calculate how much you can afford to transfer over.

Plum also provides some handy insights about your current account. You can get summaries of how much you have spent over the last week, month or by category.

Also worth reading

Your Plum account

Plum main page

Once the money reaches your Plum account, it goes into the Primary Pocket. This is just a holding account and you don’t really want to keep your money there too long because it pays you nothing in interest.

You can move your money over to a savings pocket or place it into an investment. You can do this manually or by choosing the splitter option. By telling the app how you want your savings to be split when it enters Plum, it’s all done automatically. For example, if Plum takes £15 one week, £7.50 can be placed into your investment and the other £7.50 straight into your savings account.

In just under 1 year, having Plum linked to my current account helped me put away over £1000. Something that I could never have done without it!

How much does it cost?

Using the basic savings functions with Plum is absolutely free.

But there are three chargeable options – Plum Pro, Plum Ultra and Plum Premium. More on these below.

Is the Plum app safe?

Plum uses quite a few features to make sure that your data is safe.

  • They never store (or have access to) your bank login details
  • They only have read-only access to transaction data, so in the unlikely event of a breach no money can be transferred out of your bank account
  • They use symmetric cryptography (AES) to store any sensitive data
  • They use state-of-the-art password algorithms
  • They use 256-bit TLS encryption to communicate between the browser and their servers
  • They are a registered data controller and act in compliance with the Data Protection Act
  • Their servers run on Amazon’s cloud, trusted by some of the biggest financial institutions in the world

But how about your money?

Money moved into your Plum account is held as e-Money with Barclays bank. The money is safeguarded and cannot be lent out (which is why it doesn’t earn interest). However, because this money is ring-fenced, if Plum or Barclays should go bankrupt, their creditors cannot claim your money.

Plum and PayrNet are both regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

If your money is moved into the Plum Easy Access account, it is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That means that if anything should happen to the account, your money is covered by up to £85,000 from the UK government.

If you opt for an investment, your money buys a share of a fund, which is safeguarded by a regulated custodian whose job is to keep your shares safe. The FSCS also covers these custodians.

Also worth reading

If you want to use Plum as a Direct Debit for bank account switching, take a look at other cheap Direct Debits.

Which banks does Plum work with?

Unfortunately, Plum won’t work with every bank, but most big players are available. However, this is for personal bank accounts and doesn’t cover joint and business accounts.

Supported accounts are:

You can also link credit cards and other accounts to Plum:

  • Amex
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclaycard
  • Capital One
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds
  • MBNA
  • NatWest
  • Nationwide
  • RBS
  • Santander
  • TSB
  • Tesco Bank
  • Ulster Bank
  • Virgin Money

Plum features at a glance

Plum BasicPlum ProPlum UltraPlum Premium
Cost (per month)Free£2.99£4.99£9.99
Automatic savings
Choice of stocks01001003,000
No. of managed funds0121221
Management feeN/A0.45%0.45%0.15%
Savings interest rate 3.51%3.72%3.72%4.21%
Rainy Days
52 Week Challenges
Plum Card
Lost money
Money Maximiser

What are Plum’s features?

The Plum app comes with plenty of features. Some are automatically included, whilst others only come if you upgrade to a paid version.

Lost Money – This section suggests how to save money by changing suppliers or finding new financial providers. This includes:

  • Energy supply
  • Personal loans
  • Broadband
  • Travel insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Credit cards

But after looking through this section, there is nothing here that a price comparison site can’t tell you. In fact, I would recommend going through several comparison sites as it’s unclear whether Plum solely links to companies that give them a referral fee… meaning you might not be getting the best deal.

Pockets – separate money into different savings pots.

Rainy Days savings – Plum is probably the first company to take this saying literally. Every time it rains, Plum will set money aside for you.

52-Week Challenge – the first week, you will save £1 with Plum, which will increase by a further £1 every following week. Keep this up and in one year, you could save £1,378.

Plum Card – your own Visa debit card

Goals – set yourself a target amount.

Exclusive deposit rules – allows you to create different saving rules.

Plum CashbackA feature of the paid Plum options are ‘Rewards’. Here, you can earn cashback, simply by clicking on a link before you shop at your favourite store. After a couple of weeks, the cashback is paid straight into your account. Some of the stores included are:

  • Argos 3%
  • ASOS 1.20% – 4.80%
  • Dominos 1%
  • eBay 1.00%
  • Groupon 8.25%
  • Nike 4%
  • Wickes 1.50%

You will find most of these stores on other cashback sites. But Plum offers competitive rates and Argos isn’t listed on some of the top sites like TopCashback and Quidco.

Money Maximiser – get a real-time view of your money and make it go further.

Is it worth paying for Plum’s features?

Of course, this is a personal choice. The basic account will be enough if you want to use Plum as an ad-hoc account to help you put a bit of money aside.

But if you want a better savings rate or you want to use the app for investing, then a subscription is the only way to go.

Plum investment and savings review

So, how does the investment and savings features perform?

Plum Easy Access Account

If you’re not feeling adventurous with your savings, you can put your money into easy-access interest pockets for a fairly competitive interest rate. But this increases if you take out one of Plum’s subscription offers.


This is a tax-efficient way of putting your money away for the future. For example, a basic rate taxpayer can reclaim 20% in income tax when they place money into a pension. So £80 invested in a Plum SIPP could actually mean £100.

Your pension savings can be invested into a risk-managed fund based on your current age and target retirement date, or you can choose from a range of diversified global funds.


But if you want your money to work a little harder for you, Plum offers you the chance to invest in stocks and bonds through Plum’s subscription offers. You can either invest in individual stocks and shares or choose from a range of funds to invest in. Looking at their past performance, these funds return between 1% and 30%.

Plum doesn’t invest the money themselves but uses Vanguard investment funds which is an investment manager with more than $5.1 trillion worth of funds.

With an investment fund, your money doesn’t just go into one company. Instead, the money goes into multiple companies and assets to spread this risk.

However, as with any investment of this type, these returns aren’t guaranteed and there is a chance you could lose your investment. Generally, the bigger the return, the higher the risk.


You can use either a General Investment Account (GIA) or a stocks and shares ISA when you invest. Although the money is invested in the same funds, an ISA means you do not have to pay any tax on your earnings. However, you can only invest a maximum of £20,000 per year.

A sample of investment funds on offer

Fund nameAverage annual returnRisk level
Tech Giants29.54%6/7
Clean & Green3.07%5/7
Rising Stars1.84%6/7
American Dream16.43%5/7
Best of British2.98%5/7
European Essentials8.98%5/7
Slow & Steady5.69%3/7
Balanced Bundle8.45%4/7
Growth Stack9.78%5/7

As you can see, there is quite a range of returns across the different investment opportunities. But even investing in the poorest performing fund (Rising Stars) will still earn you more compared to some high-street savings accounts.

Or, invest in individual stocks

If you don’t fancy putting your money into a fund, you can now invest in individual stocks through Plum. Pro and Ultra only gives you access to 100 stocks, whilst Premium has 3,000.

returns from my plum tech investment

Investing fees

So, to have access to investments through Plum, you’ll need to upgrade and pay a monthly fee. On top of this, there is a 0.48% annual average fund management fee, plus a product provider fee of 0.45%

That means you could be paying around 1% for your investment fee, plus a monthly subscription fee.

If you went straight to Vanguard to invest, it would save you money.

What other people say

Plum has over 4,000 reviews on Trustpilot and scores 4.4 stars out of 5 and is rated as ‘excellent’. Some of the positive reviews state:

Saving without even noticing

Brilliant app for saving money

A real gamachanger in saving

Whereas, some of the negative reviewers say:

Longest reply time’s ever!!!!!

Very poor service, not transparent

Inefficient process/functionality behind fancy App

issues linking plum to bank account

My Plum app review conclusion

Plum really is an excellent method to use if you struggle to save and is very easy to use. It’s also a great way for novice investors to get started… even though you can find better value elsewhere.

Some of the extra features are a little hit and miss, but it’s certainly worth signing up for, even if you don’t want to invest.

Click the sign-up button below to find out more. It’s free to join, so you have nothing to lose!

Alternatives to Plum

There are plenty of finance and budgeting apps currently available on the market. But the app most similar to plum is Chip. This also offers autosaves, investments and instant access savings. You can find out how these apps compare and which one you should choose in my Chip vs Plum review.

If you’re more interested in the investment part of Plum, then Moneybox is another app worth checking out. You can see how they compare in my Plum vs Moneybox post.


How do I cancel my Plum account?

Simply open the app and click the icon in the top left corner. Scroll down and select ‘close account’.

How do I change my auto-save level?

In the app, click the Plum icon (found close to the top right). Then select ‘brain’ and choose your new savings level, listed underneath ‘Rules’.

Why has my bank lost connection to my bank?

Don’t worry, this can happen. Click the Plum icon in the app and select ‘Help’. Then choose the Chat to a Human option and they will give you some advice.

Can I close an investment fund?

If you decide one of the investment funds isn’t for you, you can withdraw the balance to 0. However, the fund will still appear in your Plum account.

Why won’t Plum let me withdraw my money?

This occurs if you haven’t completed the Know Your Customer (KYC) process. These are guidelines that all financial institutions need to follow to ensure against money laundering. To comply with the policy, you must send an official photo ID.

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