Wallet Hacks

4 Digit.co & Dobot Alternatives & Replacements: No Fee Micro-Savings Apps

Microsaving apps have exploded in popularity in recent years but they're constantly changing. Digit.co was one of the first in the market but this past summer they instituted a monthly fee of $2.99.

I created this page specifically to list alternatives to Digit.co (for a deeper dive into what Digit does, read our review of Digit), but since then some of the alternatives have started charging fees, changing their business model, and this page has grown into something bigger.

Digit.co pays a low interest rate and requires a $2.99 monthly fee. Dobot, which was the closest replacement, went from free to a $1.99/mo fee over the summer. At the end of September, Dobot announced, via email, that it was shutting its doors!

So if you need a way to microsave, we've continued maintaining this list with the best alternatives we know of.

To be considered for this list, you had to offer similar functionality to Digit & Dobot – a savings app that is free and relatively painless. It doesn't have to be 100% automatic but it has to be inexpensive (free is getting harder to find). If you know of a tool not on this list, let me know in the comments and I'll take a look.

(there are a lot of great personal finance apps that don't qualify because they look and don't touch your money)

Rize – 1.16% APY

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 — 1.16% APY (as of 1/24/2018). That's within striking distance of the best savings accounts and far 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 shutting down! I received this email on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 12:55 AM:

Dobot was founded in the spring of 2015 with a desire to help people reach their goals and achieve their dreams. We wanted to address a very real problem: too many Americans struggle to make ends meet, without the tools or knowledge to confidently navigate their financial lives.

Our product, a mobile app to help people easily save money for the things they care about, was designed to make saving fun. And it has. The feedback we've received from our members has been overwhelming. Thank you for that.

Journeys often take turns we don’t expect and today, we're writing to share an important change with you. Going forward, Dobot will be transitioning from a direct-to-consumer company to a business-to-business company. This was not an easy decision, as we will no longer be directly supporting the accounts of our tens of thousands of Dobot members.

As a result of this strategic shift, we will be returning all funds to your originating checking account within the next two weeks.

Thank you for trusting us to help you save money more effectively, for listening when we've offered suggestions to improve your financial health, and for providing ideas and suggestions along the way. Your feedback has been invaluable.

It has been our pleasure to serve you. Thank you.

Dobot

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

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.

Learn more about Tip Yourself

Qapital

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:

Learn more about Qapital

Hip.Money

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.

A good service but not worth $2.99 unfortunately.

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?

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