Reviews

Qoins Review: Round Up Your Purchases to Pay Down Your Debt

Qoins Review
Some links on our website are sponsored, and we may earn money when you make a purchase or sign-up after clicking. Learn more about how we make money and read our review methodology.

Qoins aims to help you pay off your debt or reach your financial goals more quickly by putting your spare change to work. In this Qoins review, we’ll run down the service’s details and dig into whether or not it can help you improve your financial situation.

product-image

Qoins rounds up your credit and debit card purchases, sets aside the spare change, and applies those savings to your debt or financial goals. It can be a valuable service if you're struggling to pay more than the minimum due each month or to achieve basic financial goals like saving for an emergency fund.

Qoins Pros:
  • Automates both savings and debt payoff.
  • Can raise your credit score by lowering your total credit usage.
Qoins Cons:
  • Has a $4.99 monthly fee.
  • Does not pay interest on the money you set aside for goals.

How Qoins Works: Round-Up Program

Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll need to link at least one debit or credit card that you’d like to round-up from. You’ll also need to link a “funding account,” which must be a checking account (not a debit or credit card).

This is where many people start to get a little bit confused. If Qoins rounds up your debit and credit card purchases, why do you need to link a bank account?

The answer has to do with the mechanics of how Qoins works.

The concept of “round-ups” suggests that when you spend $1.50 on a cup of coffee, 50 cents is set aside. But Qoins isn’t technically rounding up your purchase; to do that, it would need to charge your card 50 cents — and it would have to pay the card processors (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) a small percentage of that transaction (just like the coffee shop has to pay a small percentage of the $1.50 it charged you).

Instead, what happens is that Qoins records your $1.50 transaction and makes a note that you had 50 cents in “spare change.” Qoins then moves the funds from your checking account (i.e., your linked “funding account”) to a separate Qoins account (where it sits in waiting until it’s applied to your debt). Quoins send payments monthly toward your debt.

It’s important to understand this, because many people don’t realize using Qoins means they’ll be subject to periodic account debits, instead assuming the “spare change” will show up in their list of card transactions.

Note that in order to link your funding account, Qoins will issue a couple of micro-deposits. They normally hit within three business days, and you’ll need to verify the amounts to prove ownership and begin using the account to fund your round-ups.

Paying Down Debt with Qoins

Once you’ve linked a funding account, you’re ready to enter the information for the debt (or debts) you want to repay.

You can choose to apply your round-ups to one or more debts, and because Qoins sends your creditors paper checks, you can pay down anything that accepts physical payments — from credit cards to car loans to student loan debt and more.

Checks sent from Qoins often take 7-10 days to arrive. As a result, Qoins is only practical as a way to make extra payments — not your minimum payments that are due each month.

Smart Savings

In addition to round-ups, you can enable your Qoins account to use “Smart Savings.” 

With Smart Savings, Qoins will use an algorithm to figure out how much you can afford to save every day. That amount will be within one of three ranges, which you can choose from:

  • Level One (least aggressive): $0.50 to $1.50.
  • Level Two (moderately aggressive): $1.50 to $3.00.
  • Level Three (very aggressive): $3.00 to $5.00.

The funds are deducted from your linked bank account once they reach $5.

Qoins Fees: How Much the Service Costs

Qoins Fees chart.
Qoins pricing.

Qoins charges a fee of $4.99 per month or $49.99 if paid annually. This fee allows you to pay off up to five debt accounts at once.

Qoins Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Helps you save money with the specific intent of getting out of debt faster.
  • Automates your debt repayment or savings goals, making it harder to deviate from your plan by spending the extra money you set aside each month.
  • Can improve your credit score by lowering credit utilization as you pay down your balance.

Cons:

  • The $4.99 monthly fee adds up quickly, especially when you’re already in debt.
  • Using round-ups makes it impossible to balance your checkbook and difficult to budget precisely.
  • The unreliable nature of the postal system and paper checks, coupled with the inability to set your own payment dates, means Qoins can’t be used for managing your monthly payments.
  • Qoins charges you for something you can do yourself (for free) — saving money and applying it to your debt.

However, with regard to that final point: you and I both know it’s not always that simple. Saving money, applying it to our debts, and doing so over and over each month can be difficult.

That makes Qoins a good option for…

People who struggle to pay more than the minimum monthly payment. If you want to get out of debt (and save thousands of dollars in interest), you need to pay back more than required on a consistent basis. Qoins can help with that.

But it might not be right for…

People who have a precise budget, a specific debt reduction plan, and the discipline to stick to both. If you’re already making headway on your debt, then there’s no reason to pay for this type of automation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there other apps like Qoins?

Chime is an online bank that has a program that works similarly to Qoins for helping with debt repayment. When you set up a Chime spending account and opt into the automatic savings plan, each time you make a transaction with your Chime debit card the amount will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and that amount will be transferred to your savings account. Chime doesn’t make the debt payment for you, as Qoins does, so you’ll have to make the payment yourself.

Tally is a mobile app that extends a line of credit to qualified users, which the app uses to pay off credit card debt. Users can opt to let Tally make their credit card payments for them, and for those with more than one credit card balance, the app will prioritize the payments using the stacking method. If the interest rate on your Tally line of credit is lower than that on your credit cards, it can be a great tool to help you save money on your debt.

Bright Money is similar to Tally in that it extends you a personal line of credit to help you pay off debt. The big difference between the two is that Tally also focuses on automating additional goals, such as increasing your score and building your savings. 

Check out our Bright Money review and our Tally review to learn more.

Is the Qoins app safe?

Yes. Qoins uses 256-bit encryption (bank-level encryption) to protect your financial information, and the money Qoins transfers out of your checking account is held in an FDIC-insured account before it’s sent to your creditors.

Which banks work with Qoins?

Qoins supports thousands of banks, credit unions, and credit cards for round-ups. If your bank is not among them, you can reach out to Qoins’ customer service with the bank’s URL and they will try to get the bank added to their catalog.

How long does it take for Qoins to round-up?

Round-ups for savings goals will be withdrawn from your funding account (checking account) once they reach a total of $5, so it depends on how many transactions you make and the dollar amount of those transactions. Qoins pays your debt payments once per month.

How does Qoins store your account number?

Qoins doesn’t store your bank account information on its servers; it only accesses the information when needed for round-ups and Smart Savings transfers. When doing so, it connects through the third-party platform Plaid, which is widely used in the banking and finance industry.

How many debt accounts can you link to Qoins?

You can use Qoins to pay up to five debts. Keep in mind that it’s best to use the debt snowball method to prioritize your debts, addressing them one at a time.

Can you pause Qoins?

Users can pause their account any time they wish. Tap on the linked payment from the homepage and the three dots in the top right corner. When you’re ready to resume payments, you can unpause them.

How do you delete an account from Qoins?

To remove a scheduled payment to a creditor, click on the payment from the Upcoming Payments card, tap the three-dot menu and choose “Remove this payment.” From this section, you can send out a final payment or send the money back to your own checking account.

How do you cancel a Qoins account?

To delete your Qoins account, you must first delete all of your upcoming payments. To do so, tap on each payment from the Upcoming Payments card, tap the three dots and select “Remove this payment.”

Any outstanding funds will either be refunded to your checking account or sent out as a payment to the creditor. If there are any pending withdrawals, the payments will be sent as soon as Qoins receives the funds and users will be notified via email.

Once your linked payments are deleted, contact customer service and ask that your entire account be deactivated. This can take up to two weeks.

Qoins App Review: Summary

Qoins can help you accomplish one of the most important financial goals there is: getting out of high-interest debt. And that’s certainly something I can get on board with. If you’ve tried and failed to get out of debt in the past, I’d certainly give Qoins a shot.

As far as saving for a goal like an emergency fund or wedding, the fact that you don’t earn interest on your savings is a big downside, making platforms like Acorns or other micro-savings apps a better alternative.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Read our comment policy.