This MoneyLion review will provide you essential information to be able to gauge if this digital banking platform is your perfect choice.
When you search online, you will find a lot of different versions of the definition of digital banking. But, to put things simply, digital banking refers to the digitization of all traditional banking activities as well as program services.
All these banking activities and services are offered and delivered over the internet or online instead of how traditional banking does it.
Thanks to the birth of technology and the internet, digital banking became possible.
Although traditional banks still exist, over the years, more and more digital banks are opening up, which is not surprising given the fact that people prefer anything that is more convenient, but safe and secure at the same time – which is precisely what digital banking offers.
Based on data published online by the Statista Research Department, about 61% of Americans used digital banking in 2018, and the number is expected to increase to 65.3% by 2022.
This data goes to show that indeed digital banks have changed the way people do banking – and that is a good thing!
As mentioned, there are a lot of digital banks out there. Too many choices, in fact, that it can be very challenging to choose the right one.
Of all the options available, MoneyLion is one of them – and today, we are going to do a review about this digital banking platform to help you decipher if this is the one you are looking for.
To help you out, in this MoneyLion review, we are going to provide you answers particularly on the following commonly asked questions about this digital bank:
- What is MoneyLion?
- How does MoneyLion work?
- What does MoneyLion offer?
- Are there any fees and charges?
- How to open an account with MoneyLion?
- What are the benefits of using MoneyLion?
- What are the downsides of using MoneyLion?
- Is MoneyLion safe?
WHAT IS MONEYLION?
Before we even go into deeper details about MoneyLion and what the bank offers, let us first and foremost, know what the bank is all about.
MoneyLion was founded in 2013 and is a mobile banking platform that offers financial services.
Unlike other online banks, this New York-formed digital banking platform offers a membership program, which comes with various products and services such as online banking services, credit-builder loans of up to $1,000, interest-free cash advances, managed investing, cashback rewards, as well as financial tracking and education.
What makes MoneyLion set apart from other digital banking platforms is that it breaks down traditional barriers to financial health. More so, it provides financial access to hardworking American people, helping them control their hard-earned money, at the same time, reach their goals financially.
Furthermore, MoneyLion is can increase a 360-degree view of its customers’ personal finances as well as deliver one of a kind, personalized advice and underwriting by taking advantage of superior analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as machine learning technologies.
Since its inception, MoneyLion has already gained over 6 million users. On top of that are various awards and recognitions received for providing excellent banking products and services.
Some of MoneyLion’s awards and recognitions received include the 2020 Forbes Fintech 50, Webby Awards 2019 People’s Voice Award, Finovate Award for Best Digital Bank 2019, and the Benzinga Fintech Awards (winner for Innovation in Personal Finance 2019).
Although formed in New York City, MoneyLion is currently based in Sandy, Utah, and has other offices in New York, San Franciso, as well as in Kuala Lumpur.
MoneyLion’s checking and debit card are issued by Lincoln Savings Bank, a member of the FDIC.
HOW DOES MONEYLION WORK?
MoneyLion is a one-stop online banking platform. It offers various banking products and services — from personalized financial advice to wealth management information, loan access, as well as credit-building and monitoring services, and different other financial tools and services.
What makes MoneyLion set apart from its competitors is that all its services are available in just one place. Apart from that, they all work together to help maximize the client’s financial status.
As a user, you can choose the kind of services that you think will work best for you, and then sign up as needed.
Now, to be able to use MoneyLion’s services, users must sign up to have a MoneyLion account.
The creation of a MoneyLion account is free. More so, you have the option to choose to add other free services that work for you like Instacash advances, or you may opt for paid services like the Credit Builder Plus.
Credit Builder Plus costs $19.99 per month. It includes services like credit monitory, credit builder loan, as well as provides access to other services.
To be able to register with MoneyLion, one must be at least 18 years old, and must also have an existing bank account. Once done creating an account, the user immediately gets access to different MoneyLion’s services.
WHAT DOES MONEYLION OFFER?
In this section, we are going to talk about what MoneyLion offers to the consumers.
If there is one thing that this digital banking platform believes — that would be that consumers must have access to various financial products like loans with little or no fees at all.
MoneyLion offers a variety of products and services, which include:
- Credit Builder Plus
- Smart Mobile Banking
- Cash Advances
- Cash Back Rewards
- Personalized Financial Tracking & Education
- Managed Investing
Credit Builder Plus
Credit Builder Plus is a paid service of MoneyLion. It is a membership, credit-building plan.
Credit Builder Plus, as earlier stated costs $19.99 per month.
With your membership, you will get to take advantage of the following:
- Loans access of up to $1,000 with very competitive rates
- 24/7 Credit Monitoring and tracking using the app
- Payment reporting to all three credit bureaus
- Access to 0% APR Instacash cash advances
- Access to Lion’s Share, an exclusive cashback rewards that allow the user to get back up to $19.99 a month
Additionally, if a Credit Builder Plus member signs up for a RoarMoney account and/or a MoneyLion Investment account (both are paid services as well), the bank will refund the $1/month administrative fee charged for each of the accounts.
Smart Mobile Banking
Another feature that MoneyLion offers is RoarMoney, which is the bank’s banking offering in partnership with Mastercard and MetaBank.
With RoarMoney, you get to enjoy the following features
- Direct deposits that are received up to two days early
- 0% APR Instacash, SM advances for up to $250
- No minimum balance, and no fees across 55,000 ATMs
- Contactless MoneyLion Debit Mastercard® with Price Protection and Zero Liability
- RoarMoney virtual card (received as soon as you open your account)
- Weekly spend reports by category
- Transparent pricing
- No hidden fees
You can enjoy what RoarMoney has to offer for only $1 per month or $12 a year. However, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, the $1 administrative fee will be reimbursed, which means you can get it for free.
Earlier we mentioned Instacash. Instacash is MoneyLion’s short-term cash advance feature.
MoneyLion customers can instantly get up to $250 cash advance with 0% interest. Yes, you read it right. You get to advance cash without having to worry about getting charged for interest.
This cash advance feature helps customers get money faster to cover unexpected expenses.
What makes it even more interesting is that customers cans apply without having to worry about going through a credit check.
In addition, Instacash does not charge a monthly fee. So you can enjoy using it anytime you need to.
Know more about MoneyLion’s Instacash feature in the video below:
Cash Back Rewards
With RoarMoney, MoneyLion customers can earn cashback rewards on their purchases every day.
Unlike other cashback programs, MoneyLion’s cashback rewards can grow when customers invest it on their fully managed investment portfolio.
Customers have the option to grab it and let their money grow.
Personalized Financial Tracking & Education
Another prime feature that MoneyLion offers is what they call Financial Heartbeat, which is basically a fitness tracker for finances.
MoneyLion’s Financial Heartbeat is a combination of a dynamic framework for both monitoring financial health and empowerment of members to help them improve on a day-to-day basis.
You can check your Financial Heartbeat, which literally uses a beating heart to serve as a visual presentation, through the MoneyLion mobile app. Basically, the heath changes colors to reflect the user’s progress on a scale from 1 to 10.
The Financial Heartbeat feature enables members to immediately evaluate where they are standing in terms of their financial health journey.
The MoneyLion Financial Heartbeat feature sums up five essential financial pillars: Save, Spend, Shield, Score, and Strive.
With MoneyLion, it’s easier and faster to invest and reach your financial goals, respectively with its fully managed portfolios as well as auto investing features.
All these are free of management fees and with no minimum amount requirements.
To enjoy this feature, all you have to do is answer a few questions on MoneyLion’s app, and wait for its recommendation among its 7 core portfolios.
Furthermore, you can personalize it by simply changing it to either more or less aggressive or by adding investment themes like Future Innovations. You can also opt for auto investing to make it easier to fund and build your account.
For this feature, MoneyLion charges a $1 administrative fee per month for full investment management services, which include trading and rebalancing. However, as mentioned earlier, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, your $1 per month will be reimbursed.
ARE THERE ANY FEES AND CHARGES?
In this section of our MoneyLion review, we are going to share with you the fees charged by MoneyLion. This one’s important so you’d be able to see if it’s worth it or not — apart from the features, of course.
While creating an account is free, MoneyLion charges $19.99 per month when you sign up for the bank’s Credit Builder Plus, which is a membership program that allows you to leverage the bank’s amazing features.
MoneyLion also charges a $1 administrative fee per month for its RoarMoney and investment account. However, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, these charges will be refunded.
Furthermore, customers can also be charged a $2.50 fee for using an out-of-network ATM plus the financial institution’s fee ($2 to $5).
When using MoneyLion’s debit card in another country, customers will be charged a 0.8% foreign transaction fee.
Also, a $0.25 fee is assessed when withdrawing money from your MoneyLion investment account.
HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH MONEYLION?
Similar to other digital banking platforms, MoneyLion also made the sign-up process quick and easy.
You can sign up using your smartphone through its mobile app, or you can use your desktop or laptop computer and open an account on MoneyLion’s website.
To proceed with the sign-up process, you will need to provide your full name as well as your address.
Once you’re done with this step, you can now proceed with your application for the Credit Builder Plus membership (if you want to request a credit-builder loan).
To complete the whole process, you will be asked to provide the following personal details:
- Full name
- Full email address
- Home address
- Social Security number
- Verifiable phone number
- A verifiable bank account that’s in good standing (at least 60 days old and has deposits that show steady income)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING MONEYLION?
To complete our MoneyLion review, we are giving some of the good things we found about MoneyLion.
Some of the benefits of using MoneyLion include:
Free Online Account – MoneyLion allows you to create an online account for free.
- No ATM Fees – The bank does not charge any fee for as long as you make ATM transactions at Allpoint.
- Credit-Builder Loans for up to $1,000 – As part of the benefits of being a Credit Builder Plus member, you can enjoy credit-builder loans up to $1,000.
- Offers 0% APR Instacash Advances – MoneyLion allows members to enjoy 0% APR Instacash advances up to $250.
- Competitive APR – For MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus, the APR starts at 5.99%, which is low compared to other banks. Meanwhile, Instacash cash advances offer 0% APR.
- No Hard Credit Check – MoneyLion’s loans are suitable for all credit types. Customers only need to link a checking account to their MoneyLion app, and they can get loan approval in just a few minutes.
- Quick Funding – MoneyLion provides customers a portion of the loan amount upfront (instantly or within 48 hours). Meanwhile, the rest of the loan will be held in a Credit Reserve Account in your name. Customers will this fund after they’ve paid off the full loan amount.
- Easy Repayment Terms – MoneyLion’s repayment scheme is fixed, which means payments won’t fluctuate over time.
- Early Repayment Option – Customers have the option for an early repayment fee of penalties or charges.
- Transparent Fees – MoneyLion provides all fees during the loan process so customers won’t get surprised by any fees or charges.
- Chance To Offset Paid Membership – MoneyLion Credit Builder Plus member may get a portion or all their monthly membership fee offset by payouts from the Lion’s Share Loyalty Program. This reward can be provided by meeting certain requirements like logging into the app, as well as making a certain number of purchases.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING MONEYLION?
There is no such thing as a perfect banking institution. So, just like the other digital banking platforms, MoneyLion does have its share of cons as well.
Some of the downsides of MoneyLion that we found are as follows:
- Monthly Membership Fee – MoneyLion charges a membership fee of $19.99 a month to its Credit Builder Plus members. Without this membership, you won’t be able to use its premium features.
- Small Loan Amounts – Compared to other digital banks out there, the loan amounts offered by MoneyLion are smaller, which makes it not ideal for those who need to loan bigger amounts.
- A Portion of Loan Funds Go to Reserve Account – As mentioned earlier, while customers get a portion of the loaned money upfront, the rest will go to a reserve account, which will only be available once you are able to pay back the loan.
- APR Can Be High – Although MoneyLion offers as low as 5.99% APR on its credit-builder loans, the interest can actually go as high as 29.99% depending on certain factors like your income.
IS MONEYLION SAFE?
Before we conclude this MoneyLion review, we’ll talk about the safety and security of using the MoneyLion app.
To ensure the safety and security of your money as well as your personal information, MoneyLion uses encryption on both its app and website.
Additionally, MoneyLion monitors its site and database 24/7 for any possible threat.
Furthermore, the bank also implements strict privacy and information security practices to ensure that their customers’ data is handled carefully and is secure.
MoneyLion checking, as well as a debit card, are all FDIC-insured.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MONEYLION REVIEW
Online banking or digital banking has definitely boomed over recent years. It is not surprising though because compared to traditional banks, it is easier, convenient, and more accessible.
There are a lot of digital banks out there, and MoneyLion is one of them. Just like the rest, MoneyLion offers certain features that make it stand out from the rest — particularly its Credit Builder Plus membership.
So, having all learned all the information you provided, can you say that MoneyLion is the online bank you’ve been looking for?