There’s no shortage of fintech apps offering different versions of the same service: Helping you understand your spending patterns so you can improve your budget and your overall finances. Moven is squarely in this group, offering both budgeting and spending features.
Moven provides a cash management account with checking and savings features. This account has deposit and withdrawal limitations, and it doesn’t pay any interest, making Moven a non-starter for savers who want the best possible return on their money. In addition, it’s hefty international withdrawal fees mean it’s not an account you’ll want to use while on vacation overseas.
Those issues aside, Moven’s spending and budgeting features — plus no ATM fees or overdraft fees — make the app a good choice for people who are getting back on their feet after a rocky period in their financial life.
How does Moven work?
Think of Moven as two separate but linked tools: an app-based budgeting program, and a cash management account with checking and savings features. You can sign up for both budgeting and cash management, or just the budgeting tools.
Moven’s app-based budgeting program provides plenty of handy insights into how you’re spending your money, especially compared to your past spending habits. If you decide to not sign up for the cash management account, you link your existing financial accounts to the app, which then analyzes your spending patterns.
Moven cash management account features
Moven partners with CBW Bank to hold your cash deposits and provide FDIC insurance up to the legal limit on the account. Moven Spending, the checking side of the account, includes a prepaid Mastercard debit card. Moven Stash is the savings side of the account.
You cannot overdraw your Moven Spending account. If you don’t have enough funds to pay for a transaction, it will simply be declined. This could be embarrassing in certain situations, but it also means that you’ll never have to pay overdraft fees.
As noted above, a major downside of the cash management account is that it doesn’t pay any interest. Furthermore, depositing money into the account, and withdrawing money from the savings side of the cash management account is more limited than with conventional bank accounts.
To get funds into the Moven Spending account, you can use direct deposit, do an ACH transfer from your existing bank account, deposit cash at a Mastercard rePower service provider, or deposit checks through a third-party service called Ingo.
Direct deposit or ACH transfers are the easiest way to fund your Moven account. If you want to deposit cash with Mastercard rePower, you’ll need to pay a fee that varies depending on location, and prices aren’t advertised on the Mastercard rePower website. Using Ingo to deposit your checks is free, but only if you want to wait 10 days — you’ll need to pay a rush fee if you want it before that. By contrast, even most online banks allow you to quickly deposit checks through their own apps for free.
Moven also has relatively strict limits on how much you can deposit and withdraw at a time. Your first deposit must be between $50 and $500, and must be made with an ACH transfer from your existing bank. After that, you can only deposit $10 to $1,000 at a time, up to $10,000 per month (not including direct deposits). When it comes time to use your money, you can only withdraw up to $500 per day from an ATM, or spend $10,000 per day.
Even though the account technically has FDIC insurance coverage for up to $250,000, you can actually only only keep a maximum of $25,000 in both your Spending and Stash accounts at a time. This may pose a problem if you’re working with large amounts of money or saving up for something large such as a down payment on a house, for example.
Finally, the Moven Stash savings feature is very limited. It’s not a separate account with its own bank account number, so you can’t move money directly into and out of it without first transferring it back into Moven Spending. It simply functions as a way to separate your savings balance from your spending balance.
Moven budgeting features
One of Moven’s biggest selling points is that it comes with useful budgeting features. Moven collects and analyzes all transactions you make in either a linked checking account or your Moven Spending account, and provides you with detailed insights.
Each transaction is automatically characterized in one of three major categories: wants, needs, and other. From there, it’ll also sub-categorize them according to categories like travel, entertainment, groceries, or several others.
Once Moven categorizes your transactions, it can show you how your current spending compares to your previous spending history as you go through the month. It’ll also show you how you compare to a “typical” spender, although the company doesn’t say where they get this data, and what’s “typical” may vary greatly depending on where you live, your family size, or your age.
Moven also provides you with a Spending Meter that gives you an easy-to-follow green or red light when you log into the app. If it’s green, you’re spending less so far than you did last month, and you can feel free to spend money. If it’s red, you’re overspending compared to normal and you should consider pausing your spending for the moment.
Moven fees and fine print
Moven is a relatively fee-free bank, with a few exceptions. The most unusual exception is that the app actually charges a closing fee. If you ever want to close your account, it’ll cost you $10 to do so. If you travel overseas, you would face hefty foreign transaction fees.
|ATM fees||$0, although the ATM’s owner may charge you a fee if you use an out-of-network ATM|
|Account closing fee||$10|
|Replacement card fee||Free for the first two of the year, then $4.99 each|
|Expedited replacement card fee||$30|
|Paper statement fee||$5 per statement|
|EFT surcharge for foreign transactions||1% of transaction amount|
|International ATM withdrawal fee||1% of withdrawal amount|
|International transaction fee||3% of transaction amount|
Opening a Moven account
Moven has only three requirements in order to open an account:
- You must be a U.S. citizen
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a Social Security Number
You can sign up for Moven in two ways: either online, through its website (click “Sign Up” at the top), or through the app. If you sign up through the app, you’ll first have to download it and then click the circular blue dollar sign button at the bottom of the screen.
Overall review of Moven
We would recommend Moven for people who have had trouble managing their spending levels and account balances. The app’s budgeting tools distill your spending information down into a simple Yes/No, Spend/Don’t Spend, Green Light/Red Light scenario. The reality is that this is better than nothing for many users, especially those with a history of problems in managing their bank account. Plus, you cannot overdraft this account.
For anyone else, we’d suggest you look elsewhere. Moven’s money tools are fine, but they don’t offer a very sophisticated approach to budgeting. If you need in-depth budgeting analysis, you could make much better decisions about your financial management with other apps. The clunkiness and limitations of depositing and withdrawing money, combined with the fact that these accounts offer no interest, mean that most people would be much better served with other alternatives.