Stash Review 2021: Pros, Cons, and How It Compares

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Our rating

Cost and fees:



Investment mix:



Research tools:






Customer support:




Stash is a popular investing app designed to make investing accessible to everyone. Absolute beginners will love Stash’s automated investing features, Stock-Back® Card, and various saving tools like the automatic spare change investing.

on Stash's website


$1 – $9
per month

Account Minimum


Best For

  • New investors
  • Passive investors
  • Investors who want guidance


  • Build your own portfolio from scratch
  • Fractional shares available
  • Socially responsible investment options


  • High expense ratios on ETFs
  • No tax-loss harvesting

Stash at a glance

Account minimum balance:
Pricing plans:
$1/month for the Stash Beginner plan, $3/month for the Stash Growth plan, $5/month for the Stash+ plan
Account fees:
$75 outgoing transfer fee
Available securities:
ETFs, stocks
Account types:
Individual brokerage account, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, FDIC bank account, custodial account
Customer support:
Phone, email, help center articles
Mobile app:
Available on the App Store and Google Play

About Stash

Stash is a financial services app that allows users to micro-invest.

Stash has over 4.3 million active users. Those users have set aside a total of $2.5 billion.

Stash was founded in 2015 and originally only offered investing services. It has since then released new features, including retirement account services and banking services, complete with a debit card.

Stash has over 176,000 reviews on the App Store with a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating. On Google Play, Stash has over 43,000 reviews with a total rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

How Stash works

The basics

At its core, Stash is a micro-investing app that allows you to start investing with very little money.

Stash has various built-in tools to help beginner investors start making incremental investments in their daily lives. These incremental investments add up over time and can really end up earning users a lot of money.

Stash takes these small amounts of money using automated recurring deposits, spare change round ups, and other methods.

The idea is that you can start investing without disturbing your current lifestyle too much. If only a few cents here and there are being taken out of your account, you shouldn’t really notice it. At least that’s the idea behind micro-investing.

How to use Stash to improve your financial future

Stash offers many features and services that can help improve your financial future. However, the flagship feature of the app is the investing tools.

When you open an account with Stash, you’ll automatically get a Stash Investment account. This is a brokerage account, which means you can invest in just about every kind of security—namely stocks, bonds, and ETFs.

Besides making recurring deposits and one-time investments into your Stash account, you can also take advantage of a more passive investment approach with Round-Ups.

Round-Ups is a fancy name for spare change investing. Whenever you make a purchase with the card linked to your Stash account (or with your Stash debit card), Stash will automatically round up your purchase to the nearest dollar and invest the difference.

The difference is being added into your Stash investment account, where it is being invested in your investment portfolio.

You can also earn cash back on most of your daily purchases in the form of pieces of stock with Stash’s Stock-Back® program.

Stash fees and pricing

stash pricing

Stash has three different pricing plans—Beginner, Growth, and Stash+.

Pick the plan that’s best for your financial goals. You can switch plans at any time.

There are no hidden fees or surprises. Each plan comes with a set of features and benefits designed to help you save and invest more of your money.

The higher the plan, the more benefits you’ll receive. Let’s go over each one.

Beginner plan

Price: $1 per month

Stash’s Beginner plan allows you to get your feet wet, trying out Stash and learning the basics of investing.

The Beginner plan comes with these features:

  • Personal investment account
  • Bank account with Stock-Back®
  • Get your paychecks up to 2 days early
  • Free financial education

Growth plan

Price: $3 per month

Stash’s Growth plan comes with more features than the Beginner plan that allow you to really build a foundation for your future. With the Growth plan, you’ll have access to retirement investing through a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA. 

The Growth plan comes with these features:

  • Personal investment account
  • Tax benefits for retirement investing
  • Bank account with Stock-Back®
  • Get your paychecks up to 2 days early
  • Free financial education

Stash+ plan

Price: $9 per month

Stash+ is Stash’s highest plan. It allows you to maximize the power of every dollar you spend daily. You’ll also have the option to open investment accounts for kids if you want to get an early start on your little one’s financial futures.

The Stash+ plan comes with these features:

  • Personal investment account
  • Tax benefits for retirement investing
  • Investing accounts for 2 kids
  • Bank account with Stock-Back®
  • Get your paychecks up to 2 days early
  • Metal card with 2x Stock-Back®
  • Free financial education
  • Monthly market insights report

Stash features

Stash has several features that make it unique from its competition. Let’s go over each feature in detail.

Stash Banking

stash banking

Stash Banking is an FDIC insured bank account that comes with your Stash membership.

Get flexible money management, early payday, and a metal debit card that you can use to earn rewards.

Stash’s early payday feature allows you to get your paycheck up to 2 days early if you have a direct deposit set up.

With your Stash debit card, you can get rewarded with pieces of stock for spending money like you normally would. How does that sound? Getting stocks added to your Stash account just for shopping.

Your Stash bank account has no overdraft fees, no monthly minimum balance fees, and no maintenance fees. You’ll also have access to thousands of fee-free ATMs across the country.

In addition to all these great features, there are also several other tools available, including bill pay, mobile check deposit, budgeting options, and bank insights.

Stash Personal Investment

stash invest

The Stash Personal Investment account is a brokerage account that allows you to invest in your future.

With this account, you can pick your own investments with the guidance of Stash’s experts. 

Because Stash Personal Investment is a registered broker, you’ll have the option to choose from hundreds of investments, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more.

You’ll also be able to invest in fractional shares. A fractional share of stock allows you to invest in companies like Apple for as little as 1 cent. That’s right, a single copper penny.

With your Stash Personal Investment account, you’ll also have access to the Auto-Stash feature, which helps you automatically save and invest daily.

Stash Retirement

stash retirement

Stash Retirement allows you to open a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA to save for retirement.

A retirement account is practically the same as a regular investment account. The major difference is that with a retirement account, you’ll have access to huge tax benefits.

For example, a Roth IRA allows you to earn unlimited interest on your investments without paying a single cent in taxes, as long as you don’t make withdrawals before the age 59 ½.

With a Stash Retirement account, you can start saving toward your future for as little as $1 at a time.

You can also take advantage of Auto-Stash and automatically invest in your retirement account with Round-Ups and scheduled deposits.

Stash Custodial

stash custodial

Stash Custodial is a kid’s investment account that can help your kids get a head start on their financial future.

With Stash Custodial, you’ll have access to the same features and investments that come with a regular Stash Investment account. This means you can start investing in stocks, bonds, and ETFs for your kids as early as you want.

Because of the power of compounding interest, by the time your kids hit 18, depending on how much you invest, they’ll be at a huge advantage.

It doesn’t take much—you can open a Stash Custodial account and start investing with $1 or less.

Your kid’s financial future depends on you. Set them up for success by starting to invest for them early.


Auto-Stash is an essential part of what makes Stash great. There are three parts to Auto-Stash:

  • Set Schedule
  • Round-Ups
  • Smart-Stash

Set Schedule lets you automatically transfer money into your Stash investing accounts.

The transfers are scheduled so you don’t have to do any work. You set your own schedule, and it can be updated at any point.

Round-Ups allow you to save and invest money from your everyday purchases. Like Acorns, Stash will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar amount and invest the difference.

For example, say you buy a coffee for $3.64. Stash will automatically round up that purchase to $4.00 and put the $0.38 difference into your Stash investing account.

And finally, Smart-Stash is an Auto-Stash feature that helps you save your spare cash by analyzing your spending habits.

Smart-Stash looks at your recurring transactions, things like your rent payment, bills, and other monthly expenses, and uses those patterns to set aside small amounts of money.

It’s another way you can save and invest your money without ever having to think about it.


stash stock back rewards

Stock-Back® is Stash’s equivalent to cash back. It’s similar to services like Ibotta or Rakuten, where you can earn cash back when you shop at participating stores.

But instead of earning cash back while shopping, Stash allows you to earn pieces of stock for shopping.

To earn Stock-Back® on your purchases, you’ll have to use the Stash debit card that comes with your Stash Banking account.

Stock-Back® works with hundreds of popular retailers and restaurants, including Amazon, Walmart, Netflix, Costco, Chipotle, Starbucks, and many more.

Portfolio Builder

stash portfolio builder

Stash’s Portfolio Builder tool allows you to build your own balanced portfolio without the help of an expensive financial advisor.

You can pick and choose from hundreds of stocks, bonds, ETFs, and various funds. You can also customize the amount that you want to invest.

For example, if you build a portfolio that includes shares of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft stock, and perhaps a few shares of an S&P 500 ETF, you can specify how many shares of each you want to buy.

You can see a meter that runs from conservative to aggressive at the top of the Portfolio Builder. As you add investments to your portfolio, the meter will move from left to right showing you if your portfolio is too conservative or too aggressive.

The idea is that you want it to be in the center, which is considered balanced. However, depending on your investment goals, this may not be the best advice.

For example, if you have a time horizon of 30 years to invest before retirement, it would be smarter to be aggressive. You have time on your side, so even if the stock market crashed, it would have time to recover, and you would get much better returns over the years.

Stash alternatives

You’re considering using Stash, but you still want to see some other options. Not a problem. Here’s a list of Stash alternatives that you can look into.

See our full Qapital review here.
Sign Up
See our full Acorns review here.
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See our full Wealthsimple review here.
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M1 Finance
See our full M1 Finance review here.
Sign Up

How to sign up for Stash

Stash is available on both Apple iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. You can also use it on your computer’s browser.

Signing up for Stash is easy. Here are the steps you need to take to get started.

Create your Stash account

Creating your Stash account is easy and shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes. 

Whether you are signing up for Stash via a mobile app or on your computer, both processes are the same.

Here are the exact steps.

Step 1: From the Stash signup page, enter your email and create a new password. Then, hit the Start your Stash button to continue.

stash sign up page

Step 2: You’ll be taken to a page that outlines the steps you have remaining to complete your registration. Hit the Continue button.

stash sign up step 2

Step 3: Fill out your name and date of birth. This information is needed to verify your identity. Hit the Continue button.

Step 4: On the next page, you’ll be asked to select your citizenship status. Again, this is required because Stash is only available to US citizens, permanent residents, and certain valid US visa holders.

stash citizenship status

When you select your citizenship status, you’ll automatically go to the next page.

Step 5: You’ll be asked how you want to use Stash. Check all the options that apply to you.

If you are using Stash to invest your money for retirement, check the Save for retirement option.

how do you want to use stash

Perhaps you’re using Stash to build wealth for your future, in this case, check the Invest & build wealth option. You get the idea.

Hit the Continue button.

The create your account portion of the registration is now complete. Next, you’ll have to answer some questions to help Stash better understand your investing needs.

Setting up your Stash investing account

stash personalized recommendations

Now that the first part of the registration is complete, it’s time to answer some questions to help Stash give you better investment advice.

Step 1: From the main registration screen, click on the Continue button.

You’ll be taken through a few pages that ask about your employment status, income, and estimated net worth. Answer the questions accordingly.

Step 2: The next few pages will ask you about your marital status, children, and if you currently have a retirement account. Answer the questions accordingly.

Step 3: Continue through answering all the questions. Some of the questions being asked might seem unrelated, but it’s important to answer them accurately.

Stash uses your answers to better understand your investment goals and current situation.

Step 4: Now that you’ve answered all the questions, it’s time to verify your identity.

Stash will ask you questions to help keep your account safe and secure. Stash will also ask for your social security number. You shouldn’t be alarmed by this.

The SEC requires Stash to get this information from you by law.

Step 5: The final step to completing your registration is to choose a subscription plan and link your bank account.

Plans start at $1 per month. If you are not ready to pay for a subscription and just want to head to your Stash account, simply close out of the registration window, open up, and click the Log in button at the top right corner of the screen.

Log in to your account, and you’ll be able to see your Stash dashboard. The same trick should also work for the Stash mobile app. If not, log in to your Stash account from a computer browser instead.

That’s it! You are now officially registered with Stash. If you skipped linking your bank account and choosing a subscription, you’ll have to do that first before you can start investing.

Otherwise, you can at least begin familiarizing yourself with the Stash app.

Who is Stash best for?

New investors

Stash is a perfect fit for new investors. If you do not already invest regularly (or have never invested), Stash can hold your hand throughout the process.

Stash will take care of everything from setting up your investment account, to picking your investments. Stash has new investors covered.

What’s great about Stash is that you can invest in what matters most to you. Unlike similar services, you are not limited to a few pre-built portfolios. Instead, Stash will walk you through picking your own individual investments, including stocks, bonds, and ETFs.

As a new investor, you can also take advantage of the helpful tools on Stash, including the Portfolio Builder, which will help you instantly build a diversified portfolio according to your risk profile.


If you are bad at saving money, no problem. With Auto-Stash, you can take advantage of some of Stash’s most essential money-saving features.

Automatically save money from your daily purchases with Round-Ups.

Set a recurring saving schedule to automatically transfer money into your Stash investing accounts.

Use Smart-Stash to have your spending and earning patterns analyzed for optimum auto-saving.

If you are new to saving and investing, Auto-Stash is a great way to begin saving toward investments.

Someone looking to open a retirement account

If you do not already have a retirement plan, you can easily open one with Stash and take advantage of all the smart investing features that come with it.

Stash gives you the option to open a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA. Two of the most common retirement plans outside of an employee-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k).

When you open an IRA with Stash, you’ll be able to start investing for retirement with as little as $1 at a time.

Take advantage of Stash’s smart portfolio management tools to build your wealth in your IRA. Invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more within your IRA. Then sit back and watch your savings grow exponentially over the years.

Someone looking to open a kids investment account

Stash allows you to open a custodial account with $1 or less. A custodial account is essentially an investment account for kids, managed by you, the parent, or guardian.

Getting started is easy. With the Stash+ subscription, all you need is basic information about the child, including their name, date of birth, and a social security number.

Any adult can open a custodial account for a kid, including a relative or grandparent.

Take advantage of Stash’s easy-to-use investing tools and get an early start on your kid’s investments. They’ll thank you later.

Who should not use Stash?

Experienced investors

If you are already an experienced investor, Stash won’t be as beneficial for you.

Stash does give investors more flexibility than other similar services to choose investments. However, the cost of using Stash only makes sense for a new investor who needs someone to hold their hand through the process.

For an experienced investor, you’ll likely already be managing and diversifying your own investment portfolio. This means you won’t need to pay for the tools Stash offers.

The costs associated with using brokers like Vanguard and Fidelity are smaller than a subscription with Stash.

Experienced savers

If you are already great at saving your money and only plan to use Stash to save, it may not be worth it.

Stash is specifically designed to help bad-savers become better savers with tools like Auto-Stash.

You wouldn’t need to pay for a monthly subscription just to use these tools. You are already saving money by yourself manually without having to use fancy tools.

However, if you still want to use Stash to take advantage of the passive-saving, go for it. You’ll only need to pay $1 per month for the Beginner subscription, which comes out to $12 per year.

Is Stash worth it?

If you are a new investor, yes, Stash is worth it.

For a small monthly fee, less than the cost of a coffee, you get state-of-the-art benefits and features that can impact your financial future forever.

There’s a saying that I like to use that goes “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” If you’ve been contemplating investing your money, now is your time.

Creating your Stash account is easy. You have nothing to lose and much wealth to gain.

About the author

Joshua Mayo is the founder of The Investor Post, runs a self-branded YouTube channel, and is an avid investor and entrepreneur.

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