Plum vs Moneybox – Which App Is Better For Saving & Investing?

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The Generation Money Guarantee

At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

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Plum logo vs Moneybox logo

In this comparison I’ll be assessing Plum vs Moneybox, two of the leading money management and investing apps in the UK.

I’ll be putting Plum and Moneybox head-to-head on a number of metrics in this comparison to see which comes out on top. This includes portfolio performance, ethical offerings, products and, of course, fees.

Most people want to get the best possible return on their money for the least cost. As an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I know how important it is to balance costs against returns!

Both apps are geared towards younger and less experienced investors. Plum is better for buying individual stocks and shares as it’s cheaper than Moneybox and has a far wider range of stocks for you to invest in. It also has more extensive automation tools for saving and investing.

Moneybox is cheaper for investing in funds as it has lower subscription costs. It also offers more ethical funds than Plum as well as providing ready-made portfolios, which Plum does not. Moneybox doesn’t have quite as diverse a range of fund themes to invest in as Plum, though.

Before diving in, new Plum customers who open a Stocks & Shares ISA before 12 noon on the 30th April 2023 will enter into a prize draw with a chance of winning £250!

To enter, you will need to open a Stocks & Shares ISA with a subscription to Plum Pro or above. No purchase or deposit is necessary, simply open a Stocks & Shares ISA and subscribe to Plum Pro or above by 12 noon on the 30th April 2023. Your first 30 days of Plum Pro/Premium/Ultra are free. The £250 prize will be paid into the winner’s Plum primary pocket within 10 days of competition close. Click the link below to get started:

Read on for my full Plum vs Moneybox comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

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Plum vs Moneybox: At A Glance

Here’s my overview of Plum vs Moneybox in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison. 

The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.

PlumMoneybox
Management Fees£2.99 per month Plum Pro (or higher) subscription required to invest in funds, first month free

0.45% platform fee

No monthly fee or platform charge to invest in individual stocks, transaction fees apply

SIPP Fees: 0.45% platform fee, no monthly subscription fee required
£1 per month subscription fee to invest in funds or stocks, free for your first 3 months

0.45% platform fee

SIPP Fees:
Up to £100k: 0.45%
Over £100k: 0.15%
No monthly subscription fee for a SIPP
Fund Fees0.06%-1.06% (Average 0.45%)0.12%-0.58%
Minimum Investment£1£1
ProductsPocket Savings Accounts

Stocks & Shares ISA

GIA, SIPP (Pension)

Plum debit card
Simple Saver & Notice savings accounts

Cash LISA

Stocks & Shares: ISA, LISA, JISA

GIA, SIPP (Pension)
Risk-Based Portfolios03
Risk-Based Ethical Portfolios03
Number Of Funds (excl. Ethical)1817
Ethical Funds37
DIY PortfolioYesYes
Trade Individual Stocks & SharesYes (1,200 to choose from with Plum Basic, Pro & Ultra; 3,000 with Premium)Yes (20 to choose from)
Index / Passive FundsYesYes
Money Management FeaturesYesYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYes

Both Plum and Moneybox offer a wide range of savings and investment options. There are two broad ways to invest with either app: buying individual shares or investing in funds.

You can invest in individual stocks and shares at zero commission with both Plum and Moneybox. But with Moneybox, you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee of £1 to be able to buy stocks and shares. There is no monthly fee for this with Plum, so buying shares works out cheaper with Plum vs Moneybox.

In addition, Plum offers a far greater range of shares to choose from, with up to 3,000 for Plum Premium users. This dwarfs the 20 to choose from with Moneybox, so if you are interested in buying individual stocks and shares you will get a much greater choice with Plum at a lower cost vs Moneybox.

On the other hand, Moneybox offers 3 ready-made investment portfolios to choose from based on risk: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous. Plum doesn’t offer ready-made portfolios, so Moneybox is a good choice if you’re a beginner investor or if you don’t want to pick your own investments.

Both Plum and Moneybox offer a similar range of funds to invest in and allow you to build your own investment portfolio. However, to invest in funds with Plum you will need at least a Plum Pro subscription, costing £2.99 per month. When investing, your capital is at risk.

This is more expensive than Moneybox’s £1 per month subscription. As both apps charge the same platform fee of 0.45%, this means Moneybox is cheaper overall if you want to invest in funds.

Both the Plum and Moneybox apps come with a range of personal finance and money management features. Plum offers a free basic account that allows you to buy stocks and shares and has basic money management features. But to access more features and to invest in funds, you will need one of its 3 paid-for account options.

Moneybox offers savings accounts and money management features for free, but you must pay £1 per month to open an investment account to buy shares or invest in funds. 

More on the account options and money management features of Plum vs Moneybox, beyond investing, later in this review.

What is Plum?

Plum was founded in 2017 as a chatbot, but has changed significantly since then. It’s now a comprehensive personal finance app that allows you save, spend, earn and invest all in one place.

It comes with AI-driven money management features designed to help you to save and invest automatically, based on your needs and circumstances.

Plum is geared towards younger people and those new to investing, and now has over 1 million users. 

Check out my in-depth Plum investment review for more.

What is Moneybox?

Moneybox is a personal finance and investing app that was founded in 2016. Its aim was to allow more people to access wealth building and financial planning services and knowledge.

In 2023 it now has more than half a million users and offers a wide range of personal finance and investing features.

This includes a robo-advisor investment offering, fund and stock investing as well as savings accounts and home buying services.

Plum vs Moneybox: Fees

Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for Moneybox vs Plum. 

Moneybox has a simple fee structure – it charges 0.45% on all investments (except for over £100k in a SIPP which is charged at 0.15%), no matter how much you have invested. There’s also a £1 per month subscription fee, but this is waived for your first 3 months.

Plum investment also charges a 0.45% platform fee but requires a subscription to at least Plum Pro at £2.99 per month. You can, however, buy individual stocks and shares without needing a subscription:

Plum BasicPlum ProMoneybox
Subscription FeeFREE£2.99 per month, first month free£1 per month, first 3 months free

No monthly fee for SIPP
Platform FeesN/A – cannot invest in funds with Plum Basic0.45%0.45%

0.15% if investing more than £100k in a SIPP
Fund FeesN/A0.45% average0.12%-0.58%
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund FeesN/A0.17%-0.88%0.12%-0.58%
Individual Stocks & SharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US shares

It’s cheaper to buy individual stocks and shares with a Plum basic account compared to Moneybox, as there’s no monthly fee. Both charge a 0.45% currency conversion fee for exchanging GBP into USD when purchasing or selling US shares.

So if you want to do your own stock trading, Plum is the cheaper option. It also offers far more shares to invest in, starting at 1,200 with a Plum Basic account and 3,000 with a Plum Premium account (£9.99 per month).

For investing in funds, however, Moneybox is the winner on fees. It charges a monthly fee of £1 per month, which is cheaper than Plum Premium’s £2.99 a month subscription.

Moneybox and Plum are equal on platform fees, with both charging 0.45% on the funds you’re invested in with them (excludes individually held stocks and shares). Therefore if you want the lowest cost fund investing option, then you will prefer Moneybox vs Plum. 

It’s worth noting that investing small amounts, e.g. under £5k, into funds is cheaper with alternatives to Moneybox which don’t charge a monthly fee. Read more on this in my other comparison reviews:

Plum vs Moneybox: Products

Plum and Moneybox both offer Stocks and Shares ISAs, General Investment Accounts (GIAs), savings accounts and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) 

Moneybox also offers a Stocks & Shares Junior ISA (JISA) which requires you to download a separate iOS only app. It also offers both cash and stocks & shares Lifetime ISAs (LISAs).

So if you want to open either a JISA or LISA you will prefer Moneybox over Plum. 

Both Plum and Moneybox offer savings accounts. With Plum, you can create different pockets (otherwise known as pots on other platforms) for different purposes, and the interest rate you get will depend on your Plum subscription.

With Moneybox, you can open a simple saver account with 1 day notice on withdrawals, or choose from a range of longer notice accounts with different interest rates. More on this below under Savings.

Moneybox also offers home-buying products, including mortgage advice and a broker service. You can integrate your saving and investing goals with your house buying goals in the Moneybox app. Plum currently does not offer these features, so if you’re thinking of buying a home soon you may prefer Moneybox for these features.

You can buy and sell individual stocks with both Plum and Moneybox, but Plum offers a far greater choice of stocks. It’s also cheaper to do so with Plum, as you don’t need a subscription account to trade individual shares, so if you’re interested in trading you may prefer Plum. Both allow you to buy fractional shares and to get started with just £1.

With Plum you can also get a pre-loaded debit card to use for spending, similar to digital banks. If you want a spending card to go alongside your savings and investing, then you may prefer Plum as Moneybox does not offer a card. See more below for a comparison of money management features for Plum vs Moneybox.

Plum vs Moneybox: Portfolios

Moneybox offers 3 ready-made portfolios to choose from, each with differing risk levels: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous. Plum does not offer ready-made portfolios based on risk preference, so you may want to go with Moneybox if you’re a first time investor or don’t want to pick your own investments.

Both Plum and Moneybox offer a range of funds to choose from, including ETFs and passive index funds. These range from index trackers that follow the S&P500 and the FTSE100, to funds put together based on themes, such as healthcare or real estate.

By picking your own funds, you’re able to build your own DIY investment portfolio based on your values and views. There’s not much to choose between Plum and Moneybox when it comes to the range of funds – Plum has 23 funds and Moneybox offers 24. When investing, your capital is at risk.

Given that Moneybox combines 3 robo-advisor funds alongside the option to pick your own, you may prefer it over Plum for its greater variety. However, Plum offers a more diverse range of themes in the funds it offers.

Both Plum and Moneybox offer ethical/socially responsible funds. Read on for more on ethical investing.

Plum vs Moneybox: Ethical Portfolios

Ethical, or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, is considered a big factor among younger investors, which is exactly who Plum and Moneybox target as users.

So it’s no surprise that both Moneybox and Plum offer a range of ethical options for you to invest in. These funds are put together by professional fund managers with the caveat that the companies and industries in these ETFs must comply with socially responsible investment criteria as defined by the fund provider.

Moneybox has an ethical option for each of its 3 ready-made portfolios: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous.

You can also customise your ethical portfolio with Moneybox by picking which ETFs you want to invest in. So if you want to pick your own ESG funds from those on offer, you can still do so. At the time of writing (Feb-23), Moneybox had 7 ethical funds to choose from.

Plum doesn’t offer ready-made ethical portfolios, but you can choose from its range of ethical funds. It has only 3 to choose from at the time of writing (Feb-23), so for more ethical investing options you’re better off with Moneybox.

ESG fund costs tend to be higher across the market. With Moneybox, its SRI funds have the same cost range of 0.12%-0.58% as its regular funds. However you can expect its ESG funds to be closer to the upper end of this range, e.g. L&G’s Clean Water ETF has a fund charge of 0.54%.

Plum’s ethical fund charges range from 0.17% to 0.88% for its 3 funds. Which is cheaper out of Plum vs Moneybox will depend on which funds you want to invest in. When investing, your capital is at risk.

Plum vs Moneybox: Performance

Given that Moneybox offers ready-made portfolios but Plum doesn’t, a direct comparison of performance is a little difficult.

Below is how Moneybox’s 3 ready-made portfolios performed for 2022:

2022 PerformanceMoneybox Return
Moneybox Cautious-5.3%
Moneybox Balanced-8.6%
Moneybox Adventurous-9.2%

It’s important to note that 2022 was not a good time for investors. Energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis, high inflation and rising interest rates, particularly in Western economies, caused sell-offs in many major stock markets.

For context, the S&P500 in the US lost 18% during 2022 and the pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 12.5%. The UK’s FTSE100 fared better, posting a modest 0.9% return for 2022. 

With that in mind, Moneybox’s returns on all of its portfolios outperformed the S&P500 and the European Stoxx 600 for 2022. This shows that simple index fund investing does not always deliver a higher return than actively managed funds.

For example, if you’d invested in an index fund tracking the S&P500 in 2022, you’d have lost 18% (including dividends) compared to a loss of just over 9% in Moneybox’s Adventurous portfolio. So, if you prefer to invest in a ready-made actively managed fund you will prefer Moneybox, as Plum doesn’t offer them.

However, this is not a scientific analysis and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

This does, however, demonstrate one advantage of actively managed portfolios, or robo-advisors, over passive index investing. Passive index investing continues to buy during a downturn, whereas actively managed portfolios are able to sell if necessary to protect their value.

Each ETF that Plum and Moneybox allow you to invest in has its performance history clearly visible in their respective apps. Which ETFs you invest in, if building your own investment portfolio, is ultimately your own decision.

Plum vs Moneybox: Savings

Aside from investing, which this comparison of Plum vs Moneybox mainly focuses on, both apps were originally built around savings.

Plum offers the option to create savings ‘Pockets’, which are essentially separate savings buckets for your money. Every Plum user gets a Primary Pocket which is where any deposit from your linked bank account lands. No interest is earned on this account.

In addition to the Primary Pocket, a basic account holder can create 1 additional Pocket which earns interest. Plum Pro, Ultra and Premium subscribers are able to create 14 additional Pockets. You can name these pockets and add a goal for each.

The variable interest you earn on Plum’s Pockets is as follows (March-23):  

  • Plum Basic: 2.20%
  • Plum Pro: 2.45%
  • Plum Ultra: 2.45%
  • Plum Premium: 2.90%

You can automate your savings each month and set up rules to divert your money into different pockets according to your desire. This is a great way to automate your monthly savings. You can also divert money into your investment accounts instead or split money between savings and investments.

Moneybox also allows you to set up automated regular savings transfers from your linked bank account to your Moneybox savings account. With Moneybox you can open a Cash LISA as well as more accessible savings accounts.

Full Moneybox savings options and variable interest rates as follows:

  • Cash LISA: 3.5% (including 0.75% one year bonus rate)
  • Simple Saver: 2.32% 
  • 32 Day Notice Account: 3.20%
  • 45 Day Notice Account: 2.94% 
  • 95 Day Notice Account: 3.25% 
  • 120 Notice Account: 3.20%

If you want to open a Lifetime ISA, then you can do so with Moneybox but not Plum. Moneybox also offers a wider range of savings accounts, but these come with fixed withdrawal notice periods, as shown above. 

So if you’re happy to lock away your cash for longer to get a higher interest rate than Plum, you will prefer Moneybox. Even the Simple Saver requires 1 working day notice to withdraw your money.

On the other hand, Plum allows you to withdraw money from any of your savings pockets on the same day. So if you want easier access to your savings, then you’ll prefer Plum.

Both apps have a range of automated savings tools and features, but Plum currently offers more than Moneybox. More on these below.

Plum vs Moneybox: Money Management Features

Below is an overview of the main money management features of Plum vs Moneybox:

PlumMoneybox
Round-up savingsYesYes
Automated saving / investingYesYes
Saving pockets / potsYesNo
Payday saving / boostYesYes
Rainy days rulePlum Pro / Ultra / PremiumNo
Adjustable savings moodsYesNo
GoalsPlum Pro / Ultra / PremiumYes
Money MaxmiserPlum PremiumNo
Debit cardPlum Ultra / PremiumNo
Cashback on spendingYesYes
Home buying servicesNoYes
Mortgage brokerNoYes
Bill switchingYesNo

Both Plum and Moneybox offer a wide range of personal finance features, making them two of the most innovative saving and investing apps in the UK. 

Plum has a wider range of automated savings and investing features than Moneybox, though. It has lots of different rules you can set up, including adjustable moods depending on how much you want to save. 

You also get access to a Plum debit card if you’re a Plum Ultra or Premium account holder. This allows you to transfer money to the card to spend and earn cashback. If you want to link your spending to your saving and investing all in one place then Plum is a good choice.

Moneybox also allows you to earn cashback, but this is via links to retailers through the app. When you make a purchase after following a link to a retailer’s website, you’ll get cash deposited into your chosen Moneybox account.

In addition, Moneybox offers home-buying tools and mortgage advice which Plum does not offer. You can create savings goals linked to your LISA, and Moneybox will take you through pretty much the entire home buying process. 

So, if you’re considering buying a home in the future then Moneybox could be a great way to link your saving and investing goals to buying your home.

Both apps have a ton of money management features. Overall Plum is better for automating and controlling your monthly savings and investment contributions. Moneybox is better for linking your savings and investing goals to buying a home. 

Plum vs Moneybox: Which Has The Better App?

Both Plum and Moneybox are app-only which means you should be comfortable with not having the option to log in via their websites. 

As you can imagine, both platforms have significantly invested into making their apps user friendly – which they both are.

The Plum app is easy to navigate. On the home screen, your total savings and investments with Plum are clearly visible. You also access various features easily from here.

Moneybox’s app is much the same in its core set-up. It’s also easy to navigate and access features, as well as viewing your savings and investment accounts. 

You will probably choose which you prefer out of Moneybox vs Plum based on features within the app, rather than the app itself. 

Plum vs Moneybox: Is My Money Safe?

Both Plum and Moneybox are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection with all of their savings products.

This means that if either company were to go bust, your money would be protected up to the value of £85,000 by the regulator. 

However, any money in your primary account with Plum is not covered by FSCS protection. Instead it falls under the rules in place for e-money institutions, which your primary Plum accounts falls under.

As an e-money institution, Plum must still follow clear safeguarding rules to keep your money safe. This includes separately storing it. 

It should also be noted that some of the funds offered by Moneybox are located outside of the UK and therefore are not covered by FSCS protection. For example, the Global Shares ESG fund is based in Ireland.

Both Plum and Moneybox say that they use sophisticated TLS encryption to keep your data safe. This is similar to the protection that banks use.

Plum vs Moneybox: Pros & Cons

To summarise my comparison of Plum vs Moneybox, I’ve outlined below the main pros and cons of each investment platform:

Plum Pros & Cons

Plum Pros

  • No monthly fee to invest in individual stock and shares
  • Huge choice of stocks and shares, with up to 3,000 to invest in
  • Start investing from just £1
  • Wide range of savings and money management tools
  • Plum debit card allows you to spend similar to a bank card
  • Bill switching service covering energy bills, credit cards and broadband
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
  • Lots of savings and investing guides for beginners

Plum Cons

  • On the flip side, it’s a more expensive option compared to Moneybox if you want to invest in funds due to the minimum £2.99 a month subscription fee
  • Lack of ready-made actively managed, or robo, funds
  • Lacks the investment research and tools of other investing platforms 
  • Only 3 ethical funds

Moneybox Pros & Cons

Moneybox Pros

  • Lower monthly subscription fee required to invest in funds (£1 per month vs £2.99 with Plum)
  • Start investing from just £1
  • Low platform fee of 0.15% if investing over £100k in a pension (SIPP)
  • Choice of 3 ready-made investment portfolios
  • Customisable portfolios allow you to add individual ETFs to one of the 3 ready-made portfolios
  • Home-buying features, including mortgage broker
  • More ethical funds than Plum, with 7 to choose from
  • Better 2022 performance of its ready-made portfolios vs major index funds, but past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance

Moneybox Cons

  • Have to pay monthly £1 subscription fee to be able to invest in individual stocks & shares
  • Has far fewer individual stocks to choose from (only 20 vs 3,000 with Plum)
  • Smaller range of savings and automation features vs Plum

Plum vs Moneybox: The Winner

Both Plum and Moneybox are great platforms for beginner investors and those looking to start building their savings. 

However, Plum offers the most tools and automation features. If you want an app that will analyse your income and outgoings and set up automated, adjustable savings plans for you then you will prefer Plum.

If you want to invest commission-free in stocks and shares then Pum is also the winner, as it has by far the wider choice of stocks. Moneybox also has commission free trading but only offers a fraction of the stocks that Plum does.

Investing in individual stocks and shares is cheaper with Plum too, as it does not charge a monthly fee to do so, whereas Moneybox charges £1 per month.

REMINDER: New Plum customers who open a Stocks & Shares ISA before 12 noon on the 30th April 2023 will enter into a prize draw with a chance of winning £250!

To enter, you will need to open a Stocks & Shares ISA with a subscription to Plum Pro or above. No purchase or deposit is necessary, simply open a Stocks & Shares ISA and subscribe to Plum Pro or above by 12 noon on the 30th April 2023. Your first 30 days of Plum Pro/Premium/Ultra are free. The £250 prize will be paid into the winner’s Plum primary pocket within 10 days of competition close. Click the link below to get started:

But beginner investors seeking a ready-made portfolio based on risk will prefer Moneybox, as it has 3 to invest in. These portfolios are similar to those offered by robo-advisors. Plum does not offer ready-made portfolios. You can also customise your portfolio with Moneybox by choosing individual ETFs to invest in as part of your portfolio.

When it comes to cost, Moneybox is the winner when investing in ETFs as it charges a £1 per month fee to do so vs Plum’s minimum £2.99 per month fee. However, Plum’s higher fee also gives you access to more unique money management features. 

Both apps offer a similar range of ETFs to invest in, but Moneybox offers slightly more ethical funds to choose from.

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