Youâ€™ve heard of earning cash back on your credit card purchases. What about getting shares of stock instead? Investing startup Stash is introducing a unique take on rewards by offering its customers shares of stock for using its new debit card.
The stock-as-rewards feature is the most eye-catching part of Stashâ€™s new mobile banking product, which was first announced a year ago and is launching now. With Stash Stock-Backâ„¢ Rewards, instead of cash you can earn shares of stock as rewards when you open a Stash Debit account and make purchases at over 11 million retail outlets.
Stashâ€™s debit account and debit card â€” powered by Green Dot â€” comprise a pretty conventional banking option. There are no overdraft or monthly maintenance fees (though the account is far from fee-free), plus free access to over 19,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide. Youâ€™ll also need to opt into the Stock-Back Rewards program in order to start earning shares.
With Stashâ€™s new Stock-Back program, you earn 0.125% of each qualifying purchase you make with your Stash debit card as a stock reward. Some merchants may even offer bonuses where you can earn up to 5% of each purchase as Stock-Back rewards.
The stock rewards can be in shares of the vendor where you made the purchase, and if the vendorâ€™s stock is listed on the Stash Platform, your reward is in the shares of that company. For example, every time you get Taco Bell and pay with your Stash debit card, you earn a small percentage of YUM! Brands stock. If a vendorâ€™s stock isnâ€™t available on Stash, youâ€™ll earn your Stock-Back reward as shares in Vanguard Total World Stock ETF.
Stashâ€™s investment platform facilitates investing small amounts of money in stock by offering users fractional shares. Itâ€™s important to understand that with Stock-Back rewards, customers arenâ€™t really getting full shares â€” or at least not until theyâ€™ve done a lot of spending. Instead, they are accumulating fractional shares.
In this category of stock investing, brokerages split shares of stock into smaller parts in order to help small investors diversify their holdings or get access to shares with relatively high per-share prices.
The Stock-Back rewards you earn on qualifying debit purchases using your Stash debit card will be added to your Stash Invest account.
Stash boasts zero hidden fees on its Debit account, although there are fees on a few transaction types. You wonâ€™t face a fee for monthly maintenance, overdraft/insufficient funds, ACH bank transfers, direct deposits and replacement debit cards.
Most significantly, however, you will get dinged for using out-of-network ATMs. Since Stash operates entirely online, it also charges a fee for using a bank teller to withdraw cash. Stash also charges for making cash deposits, which means the account may not work well on its own. Instead, consider pairing it with another checking account that does accept free cash deposits.
Note that Stash Invest accounts do charge a $1 monthly fee on balances under $5,000. The fee structure switches to 0.25% of your assets once you reach $5,000 and higher.
|Stash Debit account fees|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$2.50|
|Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry fee||$0.50|
|Teller cash withdrawal fee||$2.50|
|Cash deposit fee||Up to $4.95, varies by retailer|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of total transaction amount|
Stash began as a way to simplify, automate and personalize investing. To start with Stash Invest, youâ€™ll need at least $5. Then you can tailor your portfolio based on your risk tolerance and potential passion projects â€” that allows you to invest in causes you care about from environmentally friendly companies to the newest tech innovators. You can also take advantage of Auto-Stash recurring deposits to keep your investments growing.
Stash Investments is an SEC registered investment advisor. Stash Debit Account Services are powered by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC insured on your debit account funds.
*Fees and rates mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.