I'm not going to beat around the bush here – if you're reading this article, you learned that Digit.co instituted a monthly fee of $2.99.
(for a deeper dive into what Digit does, read our review of Digit)
When does Digit start charging a fee? I believe July 20th, 2017. Existing users won't have to pay the fee for 100 days but anyone who joins now will be on the hook for $2.99 a month, or $35.88. The announcement went out on April 11th, 2017 and 100 days from that is July 20th, 2017.
The service is great for folks who want to save invisibly but I don't think $2.99 and minimal interest on the balance is going to entice too many folks… especially since there are alternatives.
To be considered for this list, you had to offer similar functionality to Digit – a savings app that is free and relatively painless. It doesn't have to be 100% automatic but it definitely has to be free. If you know of a tool not on this list, let me know in the comments and I'll take a look.
Rize is one of the newest entrants into the microsavings game and they offer many of the same features as Digit. You can set multiple goals, including custom goals, set your automatic savings amount and frequency, then let it do its magic. You link up a checking account from which they can transfer funds and let it be.
They also pay interest — 0.90% APY (as of 9/6/2017). That's within striking distance of the best savings accounts and far higher than many microsavings apps.
Rize's fee structure is different – they let you set how much you want to pay. You can set it at $0. You can set it higher. It's up to you.
Finally, Rize is a registered investment advisor and your account is a brokerage account covered by SIPC insurance.
Learn more about Rize (and get $5 for signing up)
Dobot is the closest replacement for Digit – you download an app, connect your account, and then a savings goal (with associated savings target amount and date).
Each month, they analyze your spending and move a safe amount of funds over to your goal. Your funds are in an FDIC insured account and you can withdraw your money at anytime.
The key difference, and this actually makes it better, is that it knows your goals so it can help motivate you through different features like putting it on your Dobot dashboard and mentioning it in interactions. When you have a goal, it can help your savings since you make tradeoffs rather than “save for the sake of saving.” (which no one likes)
Dobot even has a $5 referral bonus (you get $5 for signing up) and cute text message interactions… it's pretty much the same as Digit except you have savings goals. And it's free.
Here's their explainer video:
Learn more about Dobot (and get $5 for signing up)
Tip Yourself doesn't automatically calculate how much to transfer, you tell it how much – $2, $5, $10, or some other amount. What it doesn't have in automation, which can be scary (but that's what Digit did), it replaces with a social network and a little human engineering. You can connect with others in the Tip Yourself community to support each other's achievements (props!).
The social stuff is fine and dandy, but the thing that really impresses me was their desire to build good habits with daily, weekly, and monthly progress goals. They have a calendar showing when you tip yourself and it plays off the idea that you don't break the chain.
Dobot transfers automatically, Tip Yourself is 100% manual, Qapital is somewhere in between. It will do things automatically but you have to tell it what rules to follow – it gives you more control than Dobot while still having the machines do the heavy lifting.
They're free, FDIC insured, and available on iPhone and Android.
Here's an explainer video:
Not available yet but Hip.Money is an app that is also getting into the savings game. You link your financial accounts so it can understand your spending habits, set your goals, then it makes recommendations. To accept the savings recommendations you just swipe right.
Hip.Money isn't free though, it's $18.99 a year, but that's much cheaper than Digit's $35.88 a year.
You can learn more from their IndieGoGo campaign from last year plus this explainer video:
How to Cancel Digit
Lastly, as for quitting Digit, here's the link to do it. If you're an existing user, you'll have 100 days before the fee. Since your money isn't doing much, there's no reason to stick around the 100 days.
The closing process is quick. They ask you why you want to close your account, try to save you by mentioning their 1% saving bonus, but enter your password and it'll be shut down.
Will you be sticking with Digit and the new fee or finding a new tool? If you're leaving, which one will you go for?