When trying to meet your financial goals, having some help can go a long way. Whether you’re building your emergency fund, paying down student loans or credit card debt, or saving up for a down payment on a house, the right savings app can help you prioritize your saving — and help you save without even thinking about it.
Oportun (formerly known as Digit) and Qapital are two automatic savings apps that can help you consistently transfer money from your checking account to a savings account. But how do they work? And which should you choose? Let’s take a look at Oportun vs. Qapital.
Oportun vs. Qapital
If you’re figuring out how to manage your money and looking for a way to automatically save for your goals, a budget app that moves your money for you might help. Both Oportun and Qapital can help you figure out how to save money without thinking about it.
Here’s a quick comparison of Oportun vs. Qapital:
How does Oportun work?
When you connect your bank to Oportun, the app automatically analyzes your transactions to find “extra” money you can save. Oportun then transfers that money from your checking account to your Oportun savings account. You can set up different savings goals and direct Oportun to put money toward them.
Oportun also offers a service called overdraft prevention. It moved money back to your bank account if it goes below an amount you set. You can turn overdraft prevention on and off.
If you do end up getting charged fees due to a withdrawal made by the app, Oportun will reimburse up to two overdraft fees. It’s also possible to move your money from your Oportun savings account back into your checking account at any time, and transfers typically take one business day. On top of that, if you save for three consecutive months with Oportun, you’ll get a savings bonus of 0.10% (as of Aug. 14, 2023) annualized, which is automatically deposited into your account. Oportun costs $5 per month.
Read our Oportun review to learn more.
How does Qapital work?
Qapital is a banking app that gives you the ability to automatically save for personalized goals by creating rules that trigger a transfer to savings. For example, you could decide to use Qapital to complete the 52-week challenge, where you make a goal to save an increasing amount of money each week for a year: save a $1 in week one, save $2 in week two, and so on. Or you can choose to set up a rule that every time you order takeout, a certain amount of money is put toward a travel goal. It’s also possible to round up every debit transaction to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference in your savings.
In addition to setting up a savings ecosystem, it’s also possible to set up investing goals and have your money put into low-cost index funds based on your risk tolerance and preferences. You can also get a Visa debit card connected to a Qapital spending account and use that as a way to save more — as well as analyze your spending. These extra features cost more, however. There are three pricing tiers with Qapital: $3, $6, or $12 per month.
What both budgeting apps excel at
Both of these budgeting apps are great at helping you save for your goals without thinking about it. They have mechanisms designed to help you identify your savings goals and then automate your savings to help you reach those goals. Both apps allow you to set up multiple goals and choose how to allocate your savings among them. Both offer convenient mobile apps so you can easily track your progress.
Both apps are secure and hold your money in FDIC-insured accounts. Your savings deposits are held at partnered banks, and you’re insured for up to $250,000 with both apps, which can give you some added peace of mind as you work toward your savings goals.
If you’re wondering how to save money for specific goals, either Oportun or Qapital could potentially help you reach those goals.
6 important differences between Oportun vs. Qapital
Even though Oportun and Qapital both use automation to simplify the savings process, there are some differences in the way they identify the money that gets transferred. Additionally, a Qapital account offers a number of additional features that aren’t available with a Oportun account.
1. How savings amounts are identified
One of the biggest differences between Oportun vs. Qapital is how savings amounts are identified.
- Oportun: Connects to your account and identifies “extra” money you could be saving based on an analysis of your income and spending. Oportun uses an algorithm to determine how much can be safely transferred from your checking account to your savings account. The amount changes based on your spending habits.
- Qapital: When Qapital connects to your bank account, it also automatically moves money, but it does so based on rules you set. You can decide to do a round-up rule to save your spare change, or even trigger a set transfer based on different rules, such as guilty pleasures like Starbucks or takeout purchases funneling money into a short-term goal like a vacation.
Deciding which one works for you depends on your objectives and how you want to set aside money. Oportun offers a way to automatically identify inefficiencies in your saving habits and helps you close those gaps to build your rainy day fund. Qapital is a little more active, providing you with a way to fine-tune how much you set aside, and when certain funds are funneled to different goals. The right app for you depends on your preferred savings strategy.
Another difference between the two services is the price points. Oportun charges $5 for a subscription, with a set suite of tools and options. Qapital, on the other hand, offers a tiered approach with different pricing based on the tools you choose. You pay either $3, $6, or $12 per month. If you’re interested in choosing which savings tools you want, Qapital may be the better option for you.
3. Subscription plans
With Oportun, the $5 subscription gives you automatic transfers from your checking account to your Oportun account, as well as the ability to set unlimited savings goals.
Qapital, on the other hand, offers three different plans:
- Basic: For $3 per month, you can set up unlimited savings goals, personalized to your own triggers and amounts.
- Complete: At $6 per month, this plan comes with a Visa debit card, as well as the ability to track your spending and invest some of your savings. You can also get access to Payday Divvy, which is designed to automatically help you set aside money for the categories that matter most to you.
- Master: In addition to everything in the other plans offer, if you pay $12 per month you can be added to Money Missions, which are designed around helping you spend your money on things that make you happy.
Oportun works well if you want a basic savings app that automatically moves your money and you’re not looking for extra features. On the other hand, if you want to be able to do more with your money, or you’re looking for automatic help managing some aspects of your finances, it might be worth it to pay $6 or $12 per month for Qapital.
One of Qapital’s strengths is that it offers budgeting help. In fact, Qapital will create a budget on your behalf. You can identify how you want your paycheck used each pay period, and Qapital will look at the situation and move the necessary amount of money around to match your goals. It can help take some of the stress out of managing your budget.
Oportun doesn’t provide a budgeting option. While you can direct your money to different goals, the tools for budgeting aren’t as robust as what you see with Qapital.
5. Interest rates
Both of these personal finance apps pay interest on the money in your account. However, the interest is handled differently for each account:
- Qapital: Earn 0.05% (as of Aug 14, 2023) APY on your spending account. Interest is compounded monthly.
- Oportun: Rather than regular monthly interest, Oportun offers a savings bonus. After you save for three consecutive months, a bonus, amounting to 0.10% (as of Aug. 14, 2023) annualized interest, is deposited in your account.
For those who want a steady yield on the account, Qapital might make more sense. On the other hand, if you like the idea of regular bonuses, Oportun can be a decent choice. However, if you skip saving with Oportun during a month, you won’t receive any interest until after you’ve saved for three months in a row again.
While you can set a savings goal to invest with Oportun, you can’t actually use Oportun to invest directly. You have to save the money, then transfer it out so you can add it to your investment account.
On the other hand, Qapital has an investing feature that allows you to designate a portion of your savings account balance to investments. Using low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Qapital invests your money based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Which savings app should you choose?
When deciding which savings app you should use, it’s important to consider your goals and money style. Some of the things to consider when choosing between Oportun vs. Qapital include:
- Cost: If cost is one of your most important considerations, choosing the Basic plan with Qapital might make sense. You can set up various savings goals, and get some similar functionality to Oportun, but at a cheaper price. If you want more functionality, it might be worth paying $6 for Qapital’s Complete plan.
- How you want to save: Qapital is more hands-on, so if you’re looking for something that requires less effort from you, Oportun might make sense. Qapital requires you to set up different rules for saving, while Oportun simply uses an algorithm to find “extra” money you can save. However, if you want more gamification in your savings and like the idea of setting different rules, Qapital can be a good choice.
- Types of features you want: If you’re hoping to get a boost with automatic savings, Oportun can help. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a wider set of features, including the ability to invest and connect your account to a debit card, Qapital might be a better choice for you.
Think about what is likely to work best with your lifestyle before making a decision. If you want something simple and straightforward that puts everything on autopilot and finds “extra” money in your account to save, Oportun might be the answer. You don’t have to think about setting up savings rules or worry about different pricing tiers.
On the other hand, Qapital can work well for someone looking for a more robust set of features. If you want to take more of a money management approach to your automated savings, Qapital can help with a debit card for spending, a budgeting feature that helps you automatically assign your paycheck to your savings priorities each time you receive it and the ability to invest.
Once you know what you’re looking for from an automatic savings app, you can decide whether Oportun or Qapital is more likely to meet your needs.
Which is better, Oportun or Qapital?
Whether Oportun vs. Qapital is better depends on what you’re looking for in an automatic savings app. Oportun can be better if you’re looking for an app that will analyze your bank account activity and automatically figure out how much you can afford to save. Qapital is better if you want more features and if you want to create specific rules around your saving.
Is the Oportun app legit?
Yes, the Oportun app is a legitimate savings app. It even comes with FDIC insurance.
Is Qapital legit?
Yes, Qapital is legit if you’re looking for a savings and budgeting app. Qapital deposits are also FDIC-insured.
How do Oportun and Qapital make money?
Oportun and Qapital make money from the monthly subscription fees they charge users. Additionally, they profit by keeping your money at different financial institutions that pay a higher rate of interest than what they pay you.
What are some alternatives to Oportun and Qapital?
There are a number of different alternatives to Oportun and Qapital that can be used to save money. For instance, Acorns is an app that will round up your transactions and then invest the difference, helping you supercharge your savings. The Bank of America Keep the Change program also offers a way for you to round up debit transactions and have the difference deposited in your savings account.
It’s also possible to use an investment account or high-yield savings account for automatic savings. Simply set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to one of these other accounts and you can achieve a similar effect, simply with the help of regular transfers. Other checking and savings accounts, like those offered by Chime, also allow savers to set up automatic transfers in order to stash money away for a rainy day.
The bottom line
If you’re trying to learn how to manage your money and save more, but struggling to remember to move that money, apps like Oportun and Qapital might help. They allow you to make automatic transfers in small amounts — without the need for you to consciously think about saving. Both of these apps have different approaches and features, so it’s important to think of what is likely to work best for you and choose the app that matches your needs and money style.