(EXPIRED) Two Acorns bonuses: $500 for 5 friends, $50 per “Early” referral

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Acorns is a micro-investing app that we’ve written about a number of times before. This month, they have two bonuses available that may be of interest to some readers given the relatively low requirements to earn them: first, you can get a bonus of $500 bonus if you get 5 friends to join (on top of the usual $5 per person who joins via your link and deposits at least $5 by the end of the month). Then, separately, Acorns is offering $50 per referral when you get someone to join Acorns Early, which is basically a custodial investing account for a minor. I’m not a huge fan of Acorns, but these bonuses can certainly be worthwhile.

The Deal

  • Refer 5 new members to Acorns and get a $500 bonus (in addition to the $5 you earn from each referral).
  • If you’re new to Acorns, feel free to use one of our referral codes with our thanks – you’ll get $5 as will we when you invest at least $5:

Key Terms

  • Friends must sign up on or after 07/01/2020 and have an account in good standing and make their first investment by 07/31/2020.
  • Bonuses are paid out by 08/15/2020.
  • Referrals who close their account before 08/15/2020, or make an investment that results in a reversal from their bank, will not qualify for the promotion.

Quick Thoughts

Back in January, I wrote a post about my relative lack of enthusiasm for Acorns after having used it for a little over a year (See: Acorns: Low-hanging fruit, but does it grow?). See that post for full information on Acorns and my experience. The summary is that it is a very expensive option compared to other investment apps ($1 per month if you have less than $5K invested or 0.25% if you have more than $5K invested). That doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but considering that you can invest in the same types of funds via Robinhood, SoFi, or Webull with no fees, it’s unattractive.

On the flip side, as I noted in that previous post, if you’re able to pick up this $500 bonus plus $5 per person who joins, you’ll have covered their investing fees for many years to come. Where Acorns adds some value is in two options you won’t get through apps like Robinhood et al:

  • They offer round-ups whereby you allow Acorns to withdraw the “change” from your bank account when you make a charge with a linked card (i.e. you spend $8.28 on something and Acorns moves $0.72 into your investment account as the “change”).
  • They offer some card-linked and shopping portal-style offers whereby you can get investments instead of straight cash back

Those things can be useful for those who will not otherwise have the discipline to invest.

This type of deal makes the most sense for those in multi-player mode on the home front. If you have 2 or 3 or 4 adults in your household, you could probably get yourself most of the way to the $500 bonus and then only need to find another person or two to sign up. That would probably be pretty attractive.

The Acorns Early account is a separate bonus that I saw when logging into the app last week. Here was a screen shot:

I don’t have full details of that bonus, but what you see above is that they are offering a $50 bonus per person who you refer to Acorns Early. As best I could tell based on my limited research here, Acorns Early is essentially a custodial investing account that you can open for a minor. There are a couple of types of investment accounts that can be opened for a minor and it looks like Acorns offers a couple of options. The thing here is that it looks like Acorns charges $5 per month for a “family” account to be able to do that. That hardly seems worthwhile to me. I haven’t priced out custodial accounts elsewhere, so if any readers find this to be competitive, let us know in the comments — but it didn’t seem like a deal to me. I didn’t sign up for it.

 

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