In a nutshell
What better way to save money than getting technology to do it all for you. Chip connects to your bank account and works out how much you could afford to save. Pretty smart. You can then invest this cash (with experts) with the intention of growing your money more. 4 stars from us.
cracked open 🥥
Not a good saver? Chip could be for you.
Chip helps you save cash by connecting with your bank account and reviewing all your transactions (let’s hope there’s not much to hide!), and works out how much you could afford to save. After that, it takes small amounts of cash out of your account every few days – so small you probably won’t even notice, and puts it into a savings account where it can be invested with the aim of growing it further.
Sounds a bit complicated, but it’s simple really – the technology does all the work! And over time you’ll have lots of cash saved up without even realising it’s gone from your bank account.
There’s different types of savings and investment options, so you have a few choices of where you want your money to go – we’ll cover these later.
It’s pretty popular, there’s over 500,000 customers using Chip to save, and Chip claims the average person is able to save £3,000 per year!
It’s a great app to use too, and available on both Apple and Android.
Let’s dive in a bit more and see if it’s right for you.
Is Chip good for beginners?
Yes. Chip is perfect for beginners in fact. It’s designed to help those people who find saving quite hard, and well, not very good at it!
The downside to investing for beginners is you do have to make a few decisions about where your money is invested, and we've listed your options below. It’s easy to pick up though.
You can also just save your money as cash too and earn interest in return if you don’t want to invest. (You’d likely make a lot more money over time if you did invest though).
Stocks & Shares ISA
With a Stocks & Shares ISA, you are allowed to invest up to £20,000 per year and everything you make within your account is completely tax-free, forever! Not bad right?
You’re only allowed to pay into one Stocks & Share ISA per tax year however (April 6th to April 5 the following year), so if you’ve already paid into one somewhere else this year, you can open a General Investment Account, until next year.
General Investment Account (GIA)
This account is not tax-free unfortunately. You can pay in as much as you like each year, but you’ll pay tax on anything over £12,300 in profit, within a tax year (April 6th to April 5th) – and only when you sell your investments – so this is unlikely unless you have lots of investments!
Chip has 2 options to invest, investing in investment funds, and investing in real things (we cover both below). You’ll start with investing in funds, and then if you like, can branch out into alternative investments (investing in real things). But don’t worry, it’s all easy to do and you can automate it.
Investing in investment funds
This is investing your money in Stocks & Shares with the aim of growing your money over time. A share of a company means you own a tiny piece of the company.
A fund is lots of different companies put together into one single investment. Simple. They can be grouped together by themes, such as companies in the UK, USA, across the world or even industries such as companies building electric vehicles or in healthcare.
Investing in real things
This is a bit different to your normal investment options with other investment apps. With Chip you can invest in things like cars, fine wine and art – just like the mega rich. These are called ‘alternative assets’.
When you invest you would own a small portion of the asset, for instance, if an expensive whisky cost £100,000, and you invested £100, you would own 0.1%.
Investing in this way would also be within a separate account and wouldn’t be part of an ISA.
Can I invest in Crypto?
You can invest in crypto companies, but not crypto itself. You would have to buy a share in an investment fund which has shares in crypto businesses. You can’t buy things like Bitcoin and Ethereum, or any other coin yourself.
How much is Chip?
There’s 2 account options with Chip – a free account and a paid account (called ChipX). Let’s take a look at both:
This is the standard account and lets you do all the basic things, such as connect to your bank account, start automatically saving your money, and set targets (goals).
You’ve only got a few simple investment options, and you can only open a General Investment Account (so you’d have to pay tax in future if you begin making over £12,300 per year in profit).
It’s not entirely free, however, you’ll be paying a fee to Chip of 0.5% of your savings per year when they’re invested, so it’s a little misleading. Plus the fund you are invested in will have their own fees, which can range from 0.06% - 1% per year.
This is the paid for account, and it’s £3 every 28 days. You’ll get everything on the free account, plus the ability to open a Stocks & Shares ISA, so you can start saving tax-free.
If you’re looking for just a Stocks & Shares ISA without Chip’s feature of automatic saving from your bank account, check out our comparison table of investment platforms.
With ChipX, compared to the free plan, you get access to a much wider range of investment options, such as ethical investment options, clean energy, and even crypto funds.
You’ll also have access to the alternative assets section we mentioned above, which is investing in art, fine wine, cars, and things like that.
As a bonus, the management fee Chip charges you on the amount you have invented reduces from 0.50% to 0.25%, which you’ll benefit from if you have quite a bit of savings in your Chip account.
The customer service is pretty good. They’ve got live-chat within the app, so you can actually message them when you need to, they’re available from 8am to 8pm throughout the week.
There’s also a help centre with articles to help you if you get stuck. And you can also send an email if you’ve got a bit more time to wait for a response.
Is Chip safe?
Yep! It’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). That means they’ve been approved and are trusted to look after your money, and your cash is protected up to £85,000 with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Your money is also held within the investments themselves, not Chip – so even if Chip were to go out of business, you’d still get your investments back. It's super safe.
Note: if you invest in ‘alternative assets’ with Chip, like fine wines, cars and whisky, you won’t have any FSCS protection.
What do the people say about it?
Most customers like it. It’s got a pretty great rating on Trustpilot, the popular reviews website, with a score of 3.9 out of 5, from over 1,000 reviews too.
Common reviews are that the customers love the excellent customer service and, well, simply the app itself – helping you save cash!
We like Chip. We’re on a mission ourselves here at Nuts About Money to help people learn about money and savings, so anyone else doing it too is great!
It’s a solid app that helps you save without even thinking about it. Perfect for those of us struggling to save money, but it goes one step further and helps you invest that money with a view to growing it over time.
It might be slightly on the expensive side at £3 per month for the fully loaded version (plus fees on your investments) – however you do get what you pay for with more investment options and an ISA to save tax-free – but you need to be serious about investing and have saved a fair bit already to make the fee worthwhile.
There’s a free version to trial first, and you never know you might not need the features on the paid version anyway!
The customer service is great too, and the app itself is pretty easy to use. There’s not many negatives to mention!
Is there a deal?
Nope, not currently.