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Stash Stock-Back Card Review – Invest as you Spend


FEATURED PROMOTION

Stash Logo

Our rating

4.3/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upNo interest on purchases
  • thumbs-upStock-Back® Rewards on virtually every purchase(1)
  • thumbs-upGreat benefits for investors and savers

Cons

  • thumbs-downNo free plan
  • thumbs-downStock rewards can lose value due to market volatility
  • thumbs-down

Earn $300 with a new U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking account

- Enroll in online banking or the U.S. Bank Mobile App
- Complete two or more direct deposits of at least $5,000

Member FDIC

Stash is one of a growing number of online stock brokers that allow users to invest in fractional shares of stocks. Stash caters to beginner-level investors, though more seasoned investors can find a lot to love in it too.

It’s the Stash Stock-Back® Card2 that really sets Stash apart from the competition though. The Stash Stock-Back® Card2 is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International and tied to users’ FDIC-insured banking accounts through Stride.

Although the card does ask users to open a taxable brokerage account (Stash Invest) as a condition of issue, it doesn’t require a credit check like traditional credit cards do. Purchases made with the Stash Stock-Back® Card2 also don’t accrue interest charges because they’re debited from users’ accounts immediately.

Because the Stash Stock-Back® Card2 doesn’t charge membership fees and doesn’t require a lengthy application process, there’s no reason not to keep it in your wallet once you’ve opened your Stash account. But it does pay to know how to get the most out of this powerful little debit card.

Key Features of the Stash Stock-Back® Card2

The Stash Stock-Back® Card, Stash online banking account, and Stash Smart Portfolio — a robo-advisor investment account — have some important features worth noting.

On the card side, these include Stock-Back® rewards3 and opportunities to earn bonus stock.

On the banking side, perks include the opportunity to get your paycheck by direct deposit up to two days early4 and a handy automated saving toolthat Stash claims helps users save three times more than the average American.

Earning Stock-Back Rewards3

If you have the Stash Growth plan, you’ll earn 0.125% back in stock on every swipe. 

If you have the Stash+ plan, you’ll get 1% back in stock on all purchases up to $1,000 each month. After you’ve spent $1,000+, you’ll earn 0.125% back in stock on every swipe. 

For both Stash Growth and Stash+ plans, you’ll receive up to 3% back in stock at certain merchants with bonuses. For a full list and more details, see the Terms and Conditions.

When you make a qualifying purchase at a publicly traded merchant, such as Starbucks or Amazon, your stock reward will be shares in that company.

When you make a qualifying purchase at a subsidiary of a publicly traded merchant, your stock reward may or may not be shares in the parent company, subject to Stash’s discretion.

Rewards associated with purchases from merchants that are not publicly traded companies are “default investments” — shares in an individual stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) of your choosing from a list of investments available on the Stash platform.

Bear in mind that Stash’s stock rewards’ value can fluctuate as the market moves. Unlike traditional card rewards currency, shares of stock may lose value. You can always monitor your positions’ value and buy or sell shares in the Android- and iOS-friendly Stash investing app.

Stash Banking Account1

Your Stash Stock-Back Card1 is tied to a banking account with a suite of useful features:

  • Early payday up to two days early via direct deposit with participating payers4
  • Goals that allow you to separate your cash into labeled sections, for instance to separate your “needs” and “wants”
  • Automatic saving tools like Stock Round-Ups9 and recurring transfers
  • No overdraft fees or monthly balance fees5
  • Automated tools to track your spending
  • Fee-free access to about 55,000 ATMs6
  • Fast cash deposits at major retailers like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart

Important Fees

The Stash Stock-Back® Card2 doesn’t charge an annual or monthly fee on top of Stash’s unavoidable plan fees, discussed below. 

Additional Benefits

All Stash customers can enjoy all the perks and benefits of the Stock-Back Card2, as it is included with their Stash monthly membership. Here’s a sampling of what’s included in Stash Growth, the $3-per-month entry-level plan:

  • An automated investment management (robo-advisor) that builds and rebalances diversified portfolios of low-cost ETFs — exchange-traded funds issued by companies like Vanguard — with modest expense ratios and SIPC coverage
  • Portfolios tailored to investors’ risk tolerance
  • Personalized investing advice and guidance for new investors and seasoned pros alike
  • Useful saving tools, including Stock Round-Ups7 — which allow you to invest spare change from qualifying purchases made with your Stock-Back® Card2 
  • $1,000 in life insurance through Avibra8
  • Access to tax-advantaged retirement accounts (traditional and Roth IRA) through the Stash investment app

For $9 per month, Stash+ users get everything in Stash Growth, plus:

  • Custodial accounts for kid-friendly investing
  • Stash+ users receive 1% Stock-Back® rewards on the first $1000 of purchases that they make each month9.
  • Premium research and advice
  • $10,000 in life insurance through Avibra8

Advantages of the Stash Stock-Back Card2

The Stash Stock-Back Card2’s biggest advantages include that, as it is a debit card, it doesn’t charge interest on purchases, , the connected Stash banking account offers a ton of perks (as do Stash investment account), and the application process does not require a credit check.

  • No Interest on Purchases. The Stash Stock-Back Card2 is a debit card, not a credit card. It doesn’t charge interest on purchases, period, although it also doesn’t allow users to carry balances from month to month.
  • The Stash Banking Account Has a Host of Perks. The Stash Stock-Back Card2 is attached to a banking account with a host of user-friendly perks, including the opportunity to get paid up to two days early by direct deposit4 (early payday), access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs6, and fast cash deposits at major retailers like Walmart and Walgreens.
  • All Stash Plans Come With Value-Added Benefits. Beyond its super-convenient online banking account, Stash offers tons of value-added benefits for all users. These include life insurance worth at least $1,000 through Avibra8, personalized investing advice, and access to tax-advantaged retirement investment accounts.
  • No Credit Check Required. As it is not a credit card, Stash Stock-Back® Card applicants do not need to complete a credit check to get their card. You’ll just need to prove you are who you say you are and agree to the banking account agreements.

Disadvantages of the Stash Stock-Back® Card2

The Stash Stock-Back® Card’s2 biggest disadvantages include that it comes at the cost of a Stash plan, the fact that Stock-Back® rewards can lose market value.

  • No Free Plan. Although the Stash Stock-Back Card2 doesn’t charge a monthly or annual fee of its own, all Stash accounts do cost at least $3 per month to keep open. There’s no free Stash plan.
  • Stock Rewards Can Lose Value. Unlike traditional card loyalty programs, Stash’s Stock-Back® rewards3 are tied to the price of an underlying asset — common stock — and can therefore gain or lose value after they’re earned. This is a double-edged sword for Stash users and something to keep in mind if you value predictability.

Final Word

The Stash Stock-Back Card is a useful everyday spending aid for Stash users.

It’s a potentially generous one as well, offering cardholders opportunities to earn up to 2% stock with select merchants. That’s a better rate of return than most cash-back credit cards, although traditional credit card rewards programs aren’t vulnerable to the whims of the stock market.

Bottom line: If you’re already committed to using Stash for your everyday banking and investing needs, there’s no reason not to bring your Stash Stock-Back® Card along for the ride.

Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.

Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.

1What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. If you make a qualifying purchase at a merchant that is not publicly traded or otherwise available on Stash, you will receive a stock reward in an ETF or other investment of your choice from a list of companies available on Stash. See Terms and Conditions for more details.

2 Stash Banking services provided by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. The Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Any earned stock rewards will be held in your Stash Invest account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.

3 All rewards earned through use of the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC and are subject to Terms and Conditions. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. In order to earn stock in the program, the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard must be used to make a qualifying purchase. Stock rewards that are paid to participating customers via the Stash Stock Back program, are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.

4 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on when the payor sends the payment file. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

5 For a complete list of fees please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details.

6 Get fee-free transactions at any Allpoint ATM, see the app for location details, otherwise out-of-network ATM fees may apply. For a complete list of fees please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details.

7 This Program is subject to terms and conditions. In order to participate, a user must comply with all eligibility requirements and make a qualifying purchase with their Stock-Back® Card. All funds used for this Program will be taken from your Stash Banking account.

8 Group life insurance coverage provided through Avibra, Inc. Stash is a paid partner of Avibra. Only individuals who opened Stash accounts after 11/6/20, aged 18-54 and who are residents of one of the 50 U.S. states or DC are eligible for group life insurance coverage, subject to availability. Individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions may not be eligible for the full coverage above, but may instead receive less coverage. All insurance products are subject to state availability, issue limitations and contractual terms and conditions, any of which may change at any time and without notice. Please see Terms and Conditions for full details. Stash may receive compensation from business partners in connection with certain promotions in which Stash refers clients to such partners for the purchase of non-investment consumer products or services. Clients are, however, not required to purchase the products and services Stash promotes.

9 This Program is subject to terms and conditions. In order to participate, a user must comply with all eligibility requirements and make a qualifying purchase with their Stock-Back® Card. All funds used for this Program will be taken from your Stash Banking account.

Stash Logo

Our rating

4.3/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upNo interest on purchases
  • thumbs-upStock-Back® Rewards on virtually every purchase(1)
  • thumbs-upGreat benefits for investors and savers

Cons

  • thumbs-downNo free plan
  • thumbs-downStock rewards can lose value due to market volatility
  • thumbs-down
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

FEATURED PROMOTION