Chip Review

Chip review

The Two Minute Review

70% The Grade
Chip aims to make saving money easy through smart AI tools like Autosaves that analyse your spending and automatically put money aside for you. It has a nice app but the cherry on the cake is its Instant Access Saver account which usually sits close to the top of the list of the best easy-access accounts on the market. However, we’re not so in love with the investing side of the app, which is limited to a small number of funds. We also hate that it charges you for making Autosaves unless you sign up for a subscription. It goes against the whole point of the app. We’d suggest only using it as an easy-access account into which you transfer money directly to avoid costs.

PROS

  • 📱 Nicely designed app.
  • 🤖 Genuinely useful AI features like Autosaves.
  • 📈 4.84% interest rate.
  • 🧑‍🎓 Good for beginners.

CONS

  • 👛 Charges you every time you do an autosave.
  • 💰 Investing is limited to 14 funds.
  • 💸 Have to pay a subscription to access all features.
  • 💳 Can only link one bank account.
  • ☎️ Customer service is slow to respond.
  • 💷 Withdrawals take two working days.
Expert score
76%
 
User score
66%
 
The Deep Dive
70%
 

What The Experts Say

Be Clever With You Cash logo

 

Perfect for those of us struggling to save money, but it goes one step further and helps you invest that money with a view to growing it over time.
Bee Money Savvy logo

 

I’m disappointed Chip has added charges for using autosaves (again)……it’s ridiculously expensive
Forbes logo

 

This is a great option for helping you to stash money away for a big purchase or an unexpected emergency without affecting your day-to-day spending.

What Users Say

Trustpilot logo

3.1/5

Chip has a Trustpilot rating of 3.1 but here at The Grade we like to dig a bit further.

When you exclude reviews the company itself invited and look only at organic reviews the average score is 2.68.
App store logos

 

iOS users rated the app as 4.6 out of 5, while Android users gave it 3.5 out of 5. This gives it an average app score of 4.05.

Some Interesting User Comments

We spend hours reading user comments to see what feedback people are giving. Here are some positive and critical comments that stood out to us:

  Positive

 

5/5

Helped me save for a house.

Today I officially did what I never thought I could, I bought my first house. After trying to save for years and failing I decided to open a CHIP account. A small amount was taken each week, that I barely noticed was gone, and so saving was much more manageable than trying to save a lump sum each month. Finally after 4 years I’d saved enough for a generous house deposit and my dreams came true. Thank you to those people that came up with the idea of CHIP. I can’t wait to start saving again.
 

5/5

Excellent money saving app.

Been using Chip now for months, perfect app. Helps me save money without trying. Never a problem with customer service. Never a problem accessing my money.
 

5/5

Great app for ALL things savings.

I’ve been a Chip user for a long time, I was first attracted by their auto-save technology. Since then, they’ve added fund investments, physical asset investments, and their instant access account is right up there – great service too!

Critical

 

1/5

Once upon a time…

I had to deal with customer service on a few occasions and they were helpful, but I am not sure if it is enough reason to be paying .45p per auto save and .25p for recurring payments. Like recent posts here, I used to be a customer since mid 2021. In fact there were signs of things which were not working quite well. The products changed a number of times, either the names or the content, but still there was something affordable for anyone who just wanted to put some money aside with no fuss or anything. This £1.5 monthly fee was ok last year. But now a charge for each time, and really confusing product structure. Nope, people won’t take it. i agree with many others here that yes it used to be a great savings app, but not any more. I made my switch to Plum free account, and have been happy so far.
 

3/5

Until Chip is free again, I will not be returning.

I have used Chip and loved that the auto saves would put money away for me so every few months when I had a rainy day, I could tap into it and not feel the hit of manually saving each month. I just forget about it! Things have now changed, the amazing free app is charging for EVERY save (I use auto save so it is 45p per transaction). Charging people to save defeats the whole point, hence interest rates. You get paid to save. I have separate apps for investing so luckily, I have no other money tied in with them. I am now going to be withdrawing all money and moving to Plum (as many have moved and seems like a good alternative). Sorry Chip, but you are now going to be losing a lot of business by this move.
 

1/5

Used to be good but will be moving.

Unfortunately, since their charge for autosave and their introduction of charging for taking money out has put me off. I will now be looking for somewhere else to move to.

The Deep Dive

Overview

Chip is a savings and investing app with a clear vision: to help people build long-term wealth by making saving and investing straightforward and accessible. 

It was founded in 2017 by Simon Rabin, who remains the CEO and Alex Latham. Under their leadership, it has grown from a simple savings app into a more comprehensive financial platform offering both savings and investment options. Through Autosaves they leverage AI to simplify the process of saving for the average person. Today it has over 500,000 customers and, through crowdfunding, thousands of investors.

The product broadly splits into two areas – savings and investing – so we’ll review them separately. 

Saving

Saving is the key product Chip offers – it’s so good we use it ourselves.

Account Options

🏦 There are a number of accounts that Chip offers – but some of them might as well be shut down as they are less than useless!

Instant Access Account: This account allows for quick and easy access to your funds. It features a very competitive 4.84% annual interest rate. The highest on the market is currently 5.15% with an easy access account from Coventry Building Society – but Chip is up there with the best accounts fairly consistently. You can also get boosted to 5.06% if you invite a friend to join and they take you up on the offer. We’ve been impressed at how it responds every time the Bank of England puts up its rates by increasing its own rates quickly. 

The interest is calculated daily and paid monthly on the fourth working day of each month.

Your money is held with ClearBank. Chip is not actually registered as a bank and instead sets up an account with Clearbank in your name. It makes little practical difference day to day as you still do everything through Chip’s app as though it was your bank. The setup also gives you FCA and FSCA protection (see our Is Chip Safe? section).

Deposits can be made starting from as little as £1, up to a maximum of £250,000.

Prize Savings Account: This unique account gives users the opportunity to win cash prizes. By maintaining an average monthly balance of over £100, every £10 deposited counts as an entry into a prize draw. The draw includes a grand prize of up to £10,000 each month, along with numerous smaller prizes that add up to a total pot of £75,000.

It’s essentially a modern-day Premium Bonds. We wouldn’t recommend it though. The odds of you winning with a £10,000 deposit, are 1 in 1.6 – but this is most likely to be one of the smaller prizes. It’s therefore very difficult to work out the effective average interest rate.

If you like a bit of a punt though, knock yourself out.

Cash ISA: Chip also provides the option for customers to register their interest in a Cash ISA (Individual Savings Account), which is a tax-efficient savings account available in the UK. You’re allowed to put in up to £20,000 a year and all interest earnings will be free from tax. However, most people won’t go anywhere near their default annual tax-free limit which is £1,000 of interest income for basic rate taxpayers (higher and additional rate payers should check here).

And then there are the not-so-useful accounts…

90-Day Notice Account: This account requires a notice period of 90 days for withdrawals and only offers 4.1% interest. So it’s more restrictive and pays less than the easy access account. Avoid!

Easy Access Account: Similar to the Instant Access Account, but with 1.1% interest – eugh!

Features

Chip savings features tested

Autosave: Chip connects to your bank account via Open Banking and then uses artificial intelligence to analyse your spending habits and calculate an affordable amount to save. The AI considers your current account balance, upcoming commitments (like bills or subscriptions) and recent spending patterns to determine an amount that won’t impact your daily finances. Once the AI calculates an appropriate amount to save, it automatically transfers this money from your current account to your Chip savings account. 

You can turn up or down the aggressiveness of the saves that Chip makes. Within the app settings you can pick a level from 5-Bold to 1-Relaxed. You can also pause or cancel automatic saves at any time. We’d suggest starting low while you get comfortable with what the AI is doing within your account.

It’s a great feature but we were a little disappointed that in our tests you couldn’t connect to all banks. We used Chase Bank for our main day-to-day spending and this was not on the list of banks to choose from, despite having Open Banking.

We also think the cost is way too high coming in at 45p every time you make an autosave (though it is free on the premium subscription tier). These charges can really add up over time. We’d recommend just doing transfers straight into the account.

Recurring Saves: This feature allows you to set up regular, automatic transfers from your bank account to your Chip savings account. You can choose the amount and frequency of these transfers. We love that you can even select a specific day of each week or month (see the screenshot above). It enables a consistent and disciplined approach to saving, tailored to your individual financial goals and capabilities. The minimum you can set to save each time is £10. 

However, non-subscription users are also charged for this – 25p for each save – so again we’d recommend straight transfers into your account over these more automated alternatives.

Savings Goals: Chip’s Goals feature enables you to set specific savings targets within the app. You can create individual goals, assign them names, and decide how much you want to save towards each. The app tracks your progress. We’ve gone through the process and screenshotted it above.

Chip X For Saving

Chip has a standard free model and a subscription level called Chip X. It costs £5.99 every 28 days or you can pay £65.05 upfront for the year which effectively reduces to cost to £4.99 every 28 days. We do wish Chip would change this to a monthly charge as we found it really annoying for the fee to come out on different days each month. 

On the savings side, the only benefits are that you don’t have to pay for Autosaves or recurring saves. It’s therefore not, in our opinion, worth buying Chip X if you don’t use the investment side of the app.

Investing

Chip’s investing accounts are fine, but if don’t stand out in the field. If you’re not also using their savings account you should probably look at another, cheaper fund investment platform (we would recommend InvestEngine).

Account Options

Stocks & Shares ISA: Available under the Chip X subscription, this is a type of investment account that allows for tax-efficient investing. You don’t pay UK income or capital gains tax on returns from investments held in this ISA, nor do you pay tax on any dividends. You can contribute up to £20,000 within a tax year. Chip’s ISA is flexible, meaning you can withdraw and replace cash within the same tax year without affecting your annual allowance.

At the moment you can’t transfer your existing ISAs over to Chip. However, they do have a form on their site for you to register interest so it looks like this functionality is coming soon.

General Investment Account (GIA): It gives you the same functionality as the Stocks & Shares ISA, but it doesn’t have any tax benefits.

Chip doesn’t offer a Lifetime ISA or SIPPs so isn’t as attractive for those saving for their first home or retirement. 

Range of Investments

😐 Chip has a relatively limited range of investments.

You can’t invest in individual stocks via the app – instead, there is a curated list of funds to pick from. Let’s take a look at them:

Funds Available to All

  • Cautious fund: Invests in bonds cash and property that are typically seen as lower risk (and lower reward) than stocks. Has 0.75% historic average returns.
  • Balanced fund: Invests up to 65% in stocks and shares. Has 2.1% historic average returns.
  • Adventurous fund: Invests up to 85% in stocks and shares. Has 4.5% historic average returns.
  • S&P 500 Tech Fund: Offers exposure to some of the largest and most influential tech firms in the United States. Has 19.72% historic average returns.
  • FTSE 100: Invests in the 100 biggest publicly listed businesses in the UK, like Vodafone and Rolls Royce. Has 4.71% historic returns.

Funds Available To Chip X Subscribers

Subscribers can get access to a wider set of funds:

  • Cautious X: Has 3.11% historic returns.
  • Balanced X: Has 4.97% historic returns.
  • Adventurous X: Has 6.39% historic returns.

These are similar to the accounts available on the free tier but are more actively managed by Blackrock’s investment team.

  • Ethical X: A fund that aligns with ethical principles, investing in companies that meet ESG (Ethical, Social and Governance) standards.
  • Healthcare Innovation: Invest in companies involved in medical research and technology. Has -0.19% historic returns
  • Emerging Markets: Invests in companies in countries with the potential for higher growth. Has historic returns of 2.94%.
  • Crypto Companies: Investing in companies involved with Blockchain etc. Has historic returns of 8.94%.
  • Physical Gold: Invests in 100% gold bullion. Has historic returns of 10.26%.
  • Global Companies: Invests in huge companies globally. Has historic returns of 8.35%.

None of these funds are actually run by Chip. They simply represent pre-existing funds, run by big asset management firms, that Chip has selected and given more understandable names. For example, the Global Companies fund is actually just a wrapper for iShares’ Core MSCI World UCITS ETF.

It’s a really limited selection and, being frank, we think it’s a boring list of funds. It might be interesting for those who also use Chip for their savings and want to dabble in investing, but if you’re serious about putting your money into funds we would recommend trying out InvestEngine – especially as it has much cheaper fees.

Costs

👛 Investing fees aren’t particularly cheap, especially for small portfolios.

The costs of investing in the funds depend if you are a subscriber or not.

Let’s break down what you get for subscribing on the investment side of the app:

Plus each fund itself will charge you a fee. This money doesn’t go to Chip.

So if you want to take advantage of the ISA tax benefits you’re going to have to pay. We think the subscription cost here is too high when Chip is only offering 14 funds to pick from. For example, InvestEngine offers over 500 funds to choose from and will charge you nothing but the fund fee. Freetrade meanwhile has a cheaper subscription cost of £4.99.

You can use these platforms to get the same results you would through Chip. Take, for example, the Clean Energy fund that Chip offers – the exact same fund (iShare Clean Energy Fund) is available on InvestEngine.

If you’re already subscribing for the savings side it could be worth a look, but otherwise, we can’t recommend this as a paid investing product.

How Good Is Customer Service?

☎️ Customer service is not great.

You can only contact Chip via web chat or email. We tested the web chat and it first triaged us by chatbot. It was a frustrating experience that forced you to pick from predetermined options. When we got the option to speak to a human it took over a day to get a response.

Is It Good For Beginners?

🧑‍🎓 Yes, Chip is great for beginners.

Chip’s well-designed app, easy-to-understand language and limited choice of funds make it a good choice for investing novices. However, that £5.99 fee is very high if you only have a small portfolio!

Is Chip Safe?

🔒 Chip is considered a safe platform for saving and investing.

It is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and offers protection for investments and savings up to £85,000 through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Additionally, investments are held within the funds themselves, not by Chip, providing security even if Chip faces financial issues.

So Is Chip Any Good?

Chip is great for instant access savings but beyond this its fees are too high and its investment product is very limited and not worth the price.