One Finance Review [2021]: A Banking Solution for Budgeters

One Finance uses a concept called pockets to help you budget and save while paying interest on select savings balances.
Last updated Nov 19, 2021 | By Lance Cothern | Edited By Melinda Sineriz
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Budgeting can feel frustrating. Plenty of budgeting apps and worksheets exist to help, but they’re typically separate from your banking, which leaves you tracking two different things (or more if you bank at multiple places).

Although you could use the cash envelope method to manage spending, many people don’t feel comfortable keeping a lot of cash in their household. If you’re looking for an alternative to the cash envelope method or simply want a digital way to make banking and budgeting easier, One Finance may be the solution you’re looking for. Learn more in this One Finance review.

Quick Summary

Budgeting and banking together.

  • Get an account that actually respects you
  • Features designed for your financial health, wealth, and security
  • It only takes a few seconds
In this One Finance review

One Finance spend pocket basics

APY N/A
Minimum balance for APY N/A
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access Yes, fee-free ATM withdrawals at any Allpoint ATM
FDIC insured Yes

One Finance save pocket basics

APY 1.00% on up to $5,000 (can be increased to $25,000 with qualifying direct deposit) as of Nov. 19, 2021
Minimum balance for APY None
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access Yes, fee-free ATM withdrawals at any Allpoint ATM
Transactions per month Unlimited
FDIC insured Yes

One Finance auto-save pocket basics

APY 3.00% as of Nov.17, 2021

APY is limited to up to $1,000 per month from direct deposits and funds auto-saved from One card purchases.

Minimum balance for APY None
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees None
ATM access Yes, fee-free ATM withdrawals at any Allpoint ATM
Transactions per month Unlimited
FDIC insured Yes

What is One Finance?

One Finance, Inc., is a fintech company that was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in Sacramento, California. It was founded by Brian Hamilton, who currently leads the company as its CEO. The company is backed by several investors, including Foundation Capital, Obvious, and Core Innovation Capital. It has hundreds of thousands of customers.

One Finance is a technology company that partners with Coastal Community Bank to offer unique banking services. Money held in accounts at Coastal Community Bank is Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insured.

One Finance has a goal of improving the financial lives of the families and individuals that use their service while avoiding negative impacts to the environment. They do this by never using money held in their care for lending to organizations that support exploration, mining, or production of oil, gas, and coal, as well as other environmental issues.

What does One Finance offer?

One Finance is a technology company that works with a banking partner to provide a relatively uncommon all-in-one budgeting app and banking solution. The company offers three account types called pockets, and it allows you to create additional pockets to meet your budgeting needs. Save and auto-save pockets offer attractive APYs to incentivize you to save. Pockets can be named to match your budget categories and savings goals.

One Finance also offers the One card. This debit card works in coordination with the One app offered on the Android and iOS app stores. Essentially, you can spend money from different pockets by logging into the app and switching which pocket your card uses before making a purchase. This allows you to spend directly from the applicable budget category pocket without having to make transfers later.

Spend pocket and credit line

Think of the spend pocket as a checking account. The spend pocket doesn’t pay an APY, but it makes it easy to visualize the money you have available to spend each month. You can have multiple spend pockets if you like to budget using specific categories, such as rent, groceries, and utilities. Alternatively, you can use just one if you prefer all your spending to come from the same place.

If you have multiple pockets, you can schedule recurring transfers between pockets to ensure you have the money for your budgeted items.

Each spend pocket has its own account number, which you can share with other people to allow them to manage funds. You can also generate a virtual card number for each pocket that you can use to pay bills.

You may also have access to an optional feature called Credit Line. It’s subject to approval, and you must set up a direct deposit to be considered. If you don’t qualify for Credit Line or choose not to use it, purchases that would result in overdraft fees are simply declined.

If you decide to activate the credit line, you can temporarily borrow money and repay it in the same month you borrowed it without paying interest. If you need to carry a balance, the credit line charges 1.00% per month (as of Nov. 19, 2021) on the amount borrowed.

You can also use the credit line to make purchases with your One card, which makes it similar to a credit card. Additionally, you can use the “pay anyone” option within the One Finance app to make an ACH payment using your credit line. You can even transfer funds to an external account from your credit line.

Save pocket

One Finance’s save pockets are for non-automatic savings. These pockets are differentiated by offering a 1.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021) on your account balance. Initially, you can earn the 1.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021) on up to $5,000. This can be increased to $25,000 by adding a qualifying paycheck direct deposit.

You can have several save pockets based on different goals and can even name the accounts. This can help you visualize your savings and give you another reason not to raid your savings.

Auto-save pocket

Auto-save pockets help you automate your savings. This can help you set aside money before spending it, which can make it a bit easier to save. Auto-save comes with a 3.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021) on balances in the account, but the only qualifying balances are auto-saved. Think of this as a supercharged high-yield savings account.

There are two ways you can enable auto-saving features. The first way you can auto-save is with a direct deposited paycheck. One Finance allows you to auto-save up to 10% of each qualifying direct deposit, up to $1,000 per month, to qualify for the 3.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021). This only works with percentages of your paycheck, from 1 to 10%, so you can’t choose a flat dollar amount.

You can also auto-save with the One card. You can turn on a feature that will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. The change is sent to your auto-save pocket. This method of auto-saving does not have a cap on the dollar amount that qualifies for the 3.00% APY.

One card

As a One Finance customer, you get a One card. This card is a debit card used to access your accounts. Although a traditional debit card only pulls money from your checking account, the One card works in a unique way.

At any time, you can log into the One Finance app and change which pocket your debit card uses. This allows you to switch pockets to your correct budgeting category before making a purchase. The One card can make budgeting easier by spending directly from a pocket rather than requiring you to remember to transfer money between accounts to cover a purchase later.

You can withdraw funds from your One card without a fee at any Allpoint ATM.

What we like about One Finance

  • Great APYs on save and auto-save pockets: One Finance offers above-average interest rates. You can earn 1.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021) on up to $5,000 in save pockets or $25,000 if you have a qualifying direct deposit. Auto-save pockets earn 3.00% APY (as of Nov. 19, 2021) .
  • Customizable pockets: You can have several pockets with custom names to help you budget.
  • Shareable pockets: You can have jointly held pockets with other One Finance customers to save for joint expenses or goals.
  • One debit card can spend from different pockets: You can use the One Finance app to change which pocket your debit card withdraws money from.
  • Credit line has a grace period: One Finance’s credit line offers a grace period to pay back what you owe with no interest.
  • No fees: Unlike many traditional banks, One Finance doesn’t charge monthly fees.
  • Early payday: You may get your paycheck up to two days early when it’s direct deposited into a One Finance pocket.
  • Referral program: You can earn $50 for each friend you refer, as long as they complete qualifying actions, up to a total of $500.

What One Finance could improve

  • Balance limits for APYs on save pockets: Save pockets APYs are limited to $5,000 without a paycheck direct deposit. With a paycheck direct deposit, the limit is only increased to $25,000.
  • No physical locations: One Finance is an online-only technology solution and has no branches.
  • Limited customer service hours: You can’t contact customer service 24/7 as you may be able to with some larger institutions.
  • No bill pay: One Finance doesn’t offer bill pay functionality, but you can use the account and routing numbers or virtual cards associated with your pockets to pay bills.

Who can open an account with One Finance?

To open a One Finance account, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must have a Social Security number as well. To apply, you may need a copy of a government-issued photo ID or a utility bill.

One Finance may be a good fit for detailed budgeters who want to separate their money into budget categories and spend directly from those categories with the One debit card. The relatively high APYs on save and auto-save pockets may incentivize users to start saving. That said, people that want to accumulate high savings balances will be disappointed the APY only applies up to set limits.

How to open a One Finance account

Opening a One Finance account is a straightforward process. You can start by clicking the Get Started button on One Finance’s website or downloading the One Finance app, which is available on iOS and Android phones.

You have to enter an email address and create a password. Next, you have to verify your mobile phone number via text message. As part of the sign-up process, you’ll have to provide your name, U.S. physical address, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number, and email address.

You may be required to submit a copy of a government-issued photo ID or utility bill to verify your identity. One Finance will also use a soft credit inquiry to verify your identity, which doesn’t impact your credit score.

You’ll need to fund your One Finance account once approved. You can do this in many ways, including linking an external bank account to your One Finance account. Other options include direct deposit, mobile check deposit, wire transfer, and peer-to-peer payment services such as Cash App, Venmo, or PayPal.

One Finance customer service

Contacting One Finance, an online-only service, isn’t difficult once you find its contact options, which are not prominently displayed on their website. You can call them Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time at 1-855-970-1919.

Another alternative includes chatting with One Finance on their website by using its chat widget during the same hours. You can also email the company by clicking a submit a request button on its website, but it does not not provide a contact email address.

FAQs about One Finance

Is One Finance a legit bank?

One Finance is not a bank itself. Instead, the company works with a legitimate banking provider, Coastal Community Bank. This bank is an FDIC member, which means up to $250,000 of your deposits are insured.

Does One Finance deposit your paycheck early?

One Finance may deposit your paycheck up to two days earlier than the scheduled payment date. This depends on several factors, including the timing of the payer’s deposit transmission as well as the type of payer transmitting the deposit.

One Finance says regular paychecks that qualify as a direct deposit must be from a private company or another employer type to qualify. Other qualifying direct deposits include Social Security income, annuities, retirement payments, government salary, or other government payments such as unemployment payments.

How do you add money to your One Finance card?

Your One Finance card is a debit card that uses money from your pockets. You can add money to your One Finance pockets using direct deposit, moving funds from an external bank, mobile check deposit, wire transfer, and apps such as Cash App, Venmo, and PayPal. Your One card can access the money from pockets you choose by using the One app to assign the card to a specific pocket.

What bank does One Finance use?

One Finance uses Coastal Community Bank as its banking provider. Coastal Community Bank is a member-FDIC institution.

Bottom line

One Finance’s mobile apps, One debit card, and flexible pocket account structure offer an easy-to-use all-in-one budgeting solution. Although One Finance isn’t a bank, its banking partner offers the actual bank accounts and FDIC insurance you’ll use.

Combine these benefits with attractive APYs on save and auto-save pockets and you may decide One Finance is worth trying out. If it isn’t a good fit for you, check out our list of the best banks. People looking for just a checking or savings account may want to look into our list of best checking accounts or best savings accounts, instead.

Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of Nov. 19, 2021.

One Finance Benefits

  • Get an account that actually respects you
  • Features designed for your financial health, wealth, and security
  • It only takes a few seconds

Author Details

Lance Cothern Lance Cothern, CPA is a personal finance writer and founder of MoneyManifesto.com. Lance's work covering several personal finance topics has been published in U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Investopedia, and several other publications.