M1 Plus Review: Is This M1 Finance Upgrade Worth It?

Bob HaegeleBy: Bob Haegele

July 12, 2021July 12, 2021

The value in M1 Finance is largely in the fact that anyone can start investing with this platform and there are no costs or fees, hidden or otherwise.

M1 Finance’s free account offers a lot, including full portfolio management, M1 Spend’s complimentary cash management, and access to thousands of bonds, stocks, and ETFs. So, what do you need M1 Plus for?

We believe that M1 Plus has a lot of potential value in it for the right investor, but it’s not for everyone. Let’s examine what M1 Plus has to offer and whether it’s worth it.

What Do You Get with M1 Plus?

M1 Plus is not a separate platform. Instead, it provides a selection of premium features for investors to take advantage of.

Here’s a rundown of the three main features you gain access to when you subscribe.

Smart Transfers

M1 Smart Transfer is a feature we touched upon briefly in our M1 Finance review. The point of Smart Transfer is to ensure you always have enough cashflow to cover your bills.

When you connect your financial accounts with M1, Smart Transfer will automatically analyze your spending and detect any potential shortfalls. If it does discover a gap in your income, the shortfall will be made up from your investment accounts.

It’s a completely optional feature and you’re not required to use it. Smart Transfer is not 100% accurate and can make mistakes.

For people who usually have trouble managing their budgets and saving, this can be a lifesaver.

Lower Interest Rates with M1 Borrow

M1 Borrow is the platform’s margin loan program. If you want to leverage your portfolio to amplify your gains, M1 Borrow offers leverage of up to 35% of your total portfolio value.

Interest rates are linked to the Federal Funds Rate. As of this writing, the standard interest rate on margin loans is 3.5% with M1 investing.

M1 Plus subscribers can shave 1.5% off of current interest rates. Regular users of margin will quickly find this interest rate cut more than makes up for their initial investment in the program.

M1 Spend Cash Rewards

M1 Spend is the cash management program available to all investors on the platform. If you subscribe to M1 Plus, you’ll gain access to more rewards via M1 Spend.

Your cash balances will earn interest at 1% per year. While this may seem like a paltry amount, remember that interest rates are currently at historical lows and are likely to rise in the future. There are few savings accounts offering anything higher without requiring you to lock your money in for a prolonged period.

As well as 1% interest on cash balances, you’ll also gain 1% cashback on eligible debit card purchases, therefore you can earn while you shop.

How Much Does M1 Plus Cost?

M1 Plus is priced at $125 per year, which is $10.41 per month. For the first year, all new subscribers gain a discounted membership rate of just $50. So, for year one you’ll pay just $4.16 per month.

This is an incredibly low fee for what you get back. Of course, the value you get from M1 Plus depends on your goals and what you intend to do on the platform.

Get a free year of M1 Plus!

Both new and existing members can get their first year of M1 Plus free. Most services offer 30-day free trials, but you can try M1 Plus for an entire year!

Is M1 Plus Worth it for Investors?

We believe several groups can benefit from signing up for M1 Plus. We recommend using this M1 Finance product if you match any of the following criteria:

  • Margin Investors – Are you an experienced investor who wants to use the M1 Borrow program? The interest rate cut alone can more than repay the annual subscription cost.

  • Regular Shoppers – If you shop online and use your debit card for purchases, the extra cashback can quickly add up.
  • Cash Savers – People who want to move their savings accounts to M1 can benefit from a competitive interest rate without any requirement to let your money sit for a predetermined period. While 1% isn’t much, it’s still a better deal than what most traditional banks are offering.

Of course, if you’re a beginner looking to invest a small amount into one of M1’s pre-built pies, it may not be worth upgrading to M1 Plus just yet.

The reason why M1 Finance has exploded in popularity is that you can do so much with a free M1 account. Most features are already available without paying a cent.

The Bottom Line

For the right investor, M1 Plus can be a valuable tool, particularly when investing with margin. At just $125 per year, this is not a significant investment.

Plus, M1 constantly adds brand-new premium features to its platform. We expect M1 Plus to only become more valuable in the future.

If you want to find out more about M1 Plus, or you want to create an account with M1 Finance, follow this link.

Bob Haegele

About the Author:

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer, entrepreneur, and dog walker. He's a money management expert and investing connoisseur. Bob has been writing about personal finance for three years and now manages several personal finance sites, including The Frugal Fellow and Modest Money. You can also find him contributing to popular websites such as GOBankingRates, Bankrate, and Insurance.com. You can see more of his work on Muck Rack and Contently, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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