One of the scariest parts about investing is getting started—because a lot goes into it. You have to learn about different asset classes, platforms, market performance, and how comfortable you are with risk. Then there’s all the financial jargon that comes along with investing, which is another story entirely. It can feel like you’re learning a new language.
However, the Plynk app makes it much less daunting and simpler to start investing.
This intuitive mobile app is designed with beginner investors in mind, offering several learning tools that can help you quickly become a seasoned investor. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to earn up to $85 in sign-up and match deposit bonuses when you get started with Plynk.
If you’re curious about how it works, learn more in my Plynk review. I’ll discuss this app’s features, pros and cons, fees, how it stacks up to competitors, and more.
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What Is Plynk?
Plynk, which launched in 2021, is an investment app designed to help simplify investing. The Plynk app is available for Android and Apple devices and aims to support new investors as they start investing for their futures. Users can invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, stocks, and cryptocurrency through Plynk.
How Plynk Brokerage Accounts Work
When you sign up with Plynk, you’re opening a taxable brokerage account.
Taxable brokerage accounts are among the most flexible investment accounts you can own. While you don’t enjoy the same tax advantages that you do on, say, a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA), you can withdraw your investment account balance at any time without penalty. (Penalties often apply if you make an early withdrawal from a 401(k), IRA, or another tax-advantaged retirement savings account.) They also have much broader investment choices than your standard workplace 401(k) plan.
You can use Plynk to invest in ETFs and mutual funds, which allow you to own dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of stocks, bonds, and other assets within a single investment—an important investment benefit called “diversification.” Users also can invest in the stocks of individual companies through Plynk. So if you’ve ever dreamed of owning a piece of Apple (AAPL) or Target (TGT), this app has you covered.
There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Plynk account, and it takes a mere $1 deposit to begin investing.
Plynk Invest’s Features
Commission-Free Investing for Stocks, ETFs, and Mutual Funds
Plynk offers commission-free trading, which means you won’t pay a fee when you buy or sell an asset. This can be a valuable cost savings, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to invest. And while commission-free stock and ETF trading are pretty routine in the brokerage space, many investing apps still charge fees for mutual fund trades—but Plynk doesn’t.
Cheap Cryptocurrency Trading
While trading crypto isn’t free with Plynk, its fees are far from onerous. Plynk uses Paxos Trust Company; that platform charges 50 cents on any cryptocurrency trades of less than $100, and 0.05% of any crypto trade of $100 or more. While cost-efficiency varies based on trade size, it’s a competitive rate compared to many of Plynk’s rivals.
Plynk Think: Educational Resource Hub
As mentioned, investing can be daunting, especially if you’re new to it. Fortunately, Plynk offers a comprehensive educational resource hub called Plynk Think that can answer all of your pressing questions about investing. It lets you learn about investing at your own pace, providing not just a wealth of helpful info, but the ability to practice what you’ve learned, in one place.
Converting Unused Gift Cards Into Investment Dollars
One unique feature that sets Plynk apart from other investment apps is the option to convert unused gift cards into investment dollars. Plynk relies on CardCash, which has partnered with more than 200 retail brands to allow gift card exchanges. So if you have old gift cards lying around, it could be a good opportunity to turn that retail or restaurant cash into investment funds you can actually grow!
Generous Sign-Up and Deposit Match Bonuses
Simply open an account and link your bank account to get a $10 signup bonus. Plynk is also offering a special bonus promotion through Dec. 14, 2023. For a limited time, make a deposit and Plynk will double it up to $75. Customers must have a minimum of $25 in net deposits during the promotional period to receive a match. That means you may be eligible for up to $85 in signup bonuses from Plynk by taking qualifying actions.
That’s a good amount of free money for very little work.
Plynk users enjoy access to expert ratings of investments, which can be especially helpful for beginners who aren’t sure about their own stock-picking skills. These ratings provide insight into the performance of both stocks and funds, so you can feel more confident in all of your investment choices.
Plynk Explore allows you to find and choose investment ideas that match your interest. The tool serves as a self-directed starting point for your investment research and relies on data on individual securities from third parties. Based on your responses, the Plynk Explore tool shortlists potentially relevant mutual funds, ETFs and stocks that may be available on the Plynk app. (But remember: These are just suggestions. Providing responses to a questionnaire doesn’t necessarily mean these securities are necessarily suitable for you and your unique situation.)
To start, you’ll answer a few questions about which types of investments you’d like to see and learn more about. Your selections will filter and be sorted to display investments best suited for you that you might want to explore further. You can retake the questionnaire as many times as you’d like to see how the results change with your answers.
The questions assess your comfort with risk, what investment categories interest you, and how you’d like to sort the results—by outside expert analysis and opinion, or by historical performance. (You can skip this last option if you’d like.) When you see your curated results, you can tap the “Why this fund” or “Why this company” menu below each stock, ETF, or mutual fund to learn how each investment relates to the questions you answered.
Plynk Crypto is a new crypto account separate from your Plynk brokerage account. It is offered through Paxos Trust Company and allows you to trade four cryptocurrencies inside your Paxos crypto account: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin cash. And before you start trading, Plynk provides quick explainer articles on each cryptocurrency offered, in addition to the general articles highlighting important information about crypto investing.
(Editor’s Note: When I look inside the app, I notice they grant considerable screen real estate toward the educational components before actually showing an option to get started with opening your Paxos crypto account. This shows considerable attention and care being given to this often risky alternative investment.)
Paxos has a two-tier transaction fee that’s cheaper than many other crypto competitors. If you buy or sell $100 or more worth of a supported cryptocurrency, the platform levies a 0.5% transaction fee—so if you bought $500 worth of crypto, you’d pay $2.50. For each crypto trade of under $100, you pay a minimum fee of 50 cents. So, smaller trades have a higher transaction fee as a percentage of the overall trade value.
If you trade crypto on Plynk, you cannot transfer your crypto assets from your account to any other crypto asset wallet. Paxos custodies your crypto assets on your behalf but will leave any fiat currency in your Plynk account. Also, if any forks or airdrops occur and Paxos doesn’t support the crypto asset, the unsupported crypto asset will be accounted for as belonging to Paxos.
Earn Interest on Idle Cash
Plynk defaults all uninvested cash into a money market fund. Of special note, money market funds are not bank accounts that come with FDIC protection on assets held in this investment. Instead, they invest overwhelmingly in cash and other short-term marketable securities. This particular fund invests at least 99.5% of the fund’s total assets in cash, U.S. government securities, and/or repurchase agreements that are fully collateralized (meaning they’re backed by cash or government securities).
The securities held are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, but they are generally seen as some of the safest investments in the world. And they currently allow you to earn a high amount of interest.
While not FDIC-protected, securities in your account do enjoy Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protection of up to $500,000.
- Easy for beginners to get started
- No minimum required to open a new account
- Can start investing with as little as $1
- Commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds
- Relatively low crypto fees for crypto trades of $50 and above
- Helpful investment education hub
- Expert ratings available
- Combined bonus of up to $85; (1) $10 for signing up, and (2) up to $75 for linking bank account and taking advantage of a deposit bonus that matches up to $75 in net deposits
- Monthly fees may eventually apply (they’re currently waived)
- Relatively high fees for small crypto trades (<$50)
- Investments may be more limited than some competitors offer
- No desktop platform available; exclusively a mobile app
- No access to retirement accounts; exclusively a taxable brokerage account
While Plynk offers commission-free trading, certain fees apply depending on what you invest in and how you use the app.
You can get started with the Plynk app for free, though Plynk does say that some features might require a monthly fee in the future.
Plynk also charges fees for specific actions, like wire transfers ($15), stopped payments ($15), and bounced checks ($15). If you buy crypto through its partner platform Paxos, transaction fees of 0.5% (or 50 cents on trades under $100) apply as well. So, for instance, if you want to buy $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, you’ll pay $5 for your purchase.
Who Is Plynk Best For?
The platform focuses specifically on beginner investors, so Plynk is best for those who don’t have much (or any) experience with investing—though we also think it’s very appropriate for novice investors as well. It’s an intuitive app that provides several helpful learning tools, so you can cut through the jargon and figure out your investment strategy as you go.
If you’re seeking a straightforward investment app offering stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and limited crypto options without too many bells and whistles, you might appreciate what Plynk offers. The interface isn’t fancy and doesn’t have advanced investment tools, but it’s a good option if you’d like something simple.
It’s also suitable for those who don’t have much money to invest—the Plynk app itself is free, and you can start investing with as little as $1.
Who Is Plynk Not For?
Plynk isn’t a good option for intermediate or advanced investors seeking advanced investment tools or trading options, as the app would likely be too beginner-focused for these individuals. If you’d like in-depth stock market research, charting tools, or access to margin trading, this isn’t the app for you.
If you’re a more advanced investor, you might be better off with apps including Schwab, E*Trade, TradeStation, and Interactive Brokers, among others.
Plynk vs. Competitor Apps
If you’re wondering how the Plynk app stacks up to competitors in terms of fees, minimum investment requirements, features, and more, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at how it compares to popular investment apps Betterment, Acorns, and Wealthfront.
Related Questions About Plynk
Who owns Plynk?
Plynk is owned by FMR LLC, a major U.S. financial services corporation.
Is Plynk a secure app?
Plynk is a service of Digital Brokerage Services LLC, a broker-dealer regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Plynk follows rules and regulations set by both the SEC and FINRA to act fairly and transparently to protect all investors.
The app uses sophisticated security technology that also requires identity verification to protect users from fraud, and it employs other security methods, like one-time passcodes sent to your phone when you take certain actions, such as opening an account or changing your password.
Is there a monthly fee for a Plynk account?
You can get started with the Plynk app for free and that some features may require a monthly fee in the future.
What do you need to open a Plynk brokerage account?
To open a Plynk brokerage account, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old. You will also need to have an Android or iOS mobile device, as the app is not available for desktop users.
Additionally, Plynk collects certain personal information when you open a new account. For instance, you’ll be required to provide your phone number, Social Security number, and address. This information is required to help verify your identity and keep you safe from fraud.
What is Digital Brokerage Services, LLC?
Digital Brokerage Services, LLC is a brokerage firm that provides brokerage accounts for the Plynk app. It is registered with FINRA and authorized to do business in buying and selling securities.
How old do you need to be to use Plynk?
You’ll need to be at least 18 to open an account with Plynk. This age requirement is fairly standard with most investment accounts. If you’re under 18 and interested in investing, talk to your parents about custodial accounts and research your options.