Spruce banking review: Banking platform with cash-back rewards and early direct deposit

Pros and cons

Spruce Savings Account

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum balance
    • Savings feature that allows you to set individual financial goals
    • Get cash back rewards through Dosh when you shop at one of 10,000 select retailers
    Cons
    • No interest
    • Spruce Savings account is linked to Spending account, which is the primary Spruce bank account
    • When you use the Spruce debit card at select retailers you’ll get cash back rewards automatically deposited into your account
    • 55,000 free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint ATM network
    • Deposits are FDIC insured through MetaBank

    The Spruce Savings Account may be ideal if you’re looking for unique savings features. You can set up individual financial goals through the account and evaluate them through charts that track your progress. If you use your debit card at select retailers, you’ll get cash-back rewards deposited into your account.

    The one disadvantage to this account is you won’t earn any interest.

    Spruce Spending Account

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • No monthly service fees
    • No minimum balance
    • $20 bonus if you meet the requirements by April 20, 2022
    • Early direct deposit
    • No overdraft fees
    • Courtesy Coverage that covers a negative balance of up to $20 if you meet the requirements
    Cons
    • Unable to overdraw your account
    • $3 out-of-network ATM fee
    • $4.95 fee for bank teller cash withdrawals
    • 55,000 free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint ATM network
    • To receive Courtesy Coverage, you must make at least $200 in qualifying direct deposits within a 35-day period
    • To get a $20 bonus, open a new Spruce bank account before April 20, 2022, and make at least $200 in direct deposits during the first 45 days of opening the account
    • Deposits are FDIC insured through MetaBank

    The Spruce Spending Account is a solid free account. You won’t have to deal with monthly service fees, minimum opening deposits, or overdraft fees.

    If you use an ATM outside of the Allpoint network, you’ll have to pay a $3 fee. There’s also a fee if you go inside a another bank and withdraw cash with a teller.

    How Spruce Banking works

    Spruce is a new fintech platform created by the tax preparation company H&R Block

    H&R Block is not a bank. However, the Spending and Savings accounts are FDIC insured through Spruce’s banking partner Metabank. Money deposited in your account will be safe. You’ll also have access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.

    You don’t need to be a client of H&R Block to become part of Spruce. You can sign up online or through mobile.

    With Spruce, you’ll open checking and savings accounts. At this time, the banking platform doesn’t allow you to only open a Spruce Savings or Spruce checking account by itself. 

    The Spruce mobile app is available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store, where it has 5 stars but limited customer reviews.

    Customer service is available over-the-phone or online from 5 a.m. to midnight CT. 

    Is Spruce Banking trustworthy?

    We usually include ratings from the Better Business Bureau to help indicate how a business deal with customer issues and handles transparency. Spruce Banking is a new banking platform so it doesn’t have a BBB rating, yet. 

    Since accounts are also insured by MetaBank, we’re also including the bank’s BBB rating for some additional perspective. MetaBank has a B rating because it has 775 complaints filed against the business.

    BBB ratings won’t necessarily guarantee your relationship with a bank will be perfect, though. Consider reading online customer reviews or talking to customers to see if Spruce Banking might work for you.

    How Spruce Banking compares 

    We compared Spruce Banking to two other online banking platforms: Chime and One.

    All three banking platforms require no minimum opening, deposit, or monthly fees. You can also see up financial goals through their different savings features. 

    Choosing between these three platforms will likely hinge on what you prioritize in your banking experience.

    You may prefer Spruce to the other banking platforms if you’d like to get cash back on some purchases. Cash-back rewards are provided by Dosh. There are more than 10,000 retailers that offer rewards. 

    If you’re more concerned with earning interest, it’ll be a toss-up between Chime or One. 

    One pays the highest interest rate of all three platforms, but the amount you’ll earn will vary depending on your account balance. If you have a high account balance, you also may want to consider other options.

    Chime pays a good rate on its savings account, but it has access to fewer fee-free ATMs than Spruce or One. 

    Sophia Acevedo

    Junior Banking Reporter

    Sophia Acevedo is a junior banking reporter at Insider who covers banking and savings for Personal Finance Insider. She joined Insider in July 2021 as a fellow for the Personal Finance Insider Reviews team. Before joining the Insider team, she was a freelancer based in Los Angeles and worked briefly in publishing. She also graduated from California State University Fullerton in 2020. You can reach out to her on Twitter at @sophieacvdo or send a quick email at sacevedo@insider.com. Read more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services>>

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