Twine Review: Built for Couples to Save and Invest
Takeaway: Operating separate checking accounts from your partner is fine, but when you want a way to save for joint goals, Twine is a great option.
One of the interesting pieces of modern marriage is that so many couples don’t share all of their finances anymore. One TD Bank survey showed that about half of couples who do have some joint accounts also have separate accounts from one another. And some couples don’t share accounts at all.
That can be a good option for some. But, still, couples who are married or in serious relationships need to be able to save towards common goals like buying a home or paying for the kids’ college. Enter Twine. It has many of the same features as the savings and money management apps that are all over the place these days, but it’s specifically geared towards couples.
What is Twine?
Twine is an app from John Hancock that helps couples save and invest together. The app is free to use if you use a regular savings account, which offers 1.05% variable interest. Or you can open an investment portfolio for a monthly fee. Twine offers three basic investment portfolio options, depending on your savings goals.
Basically, you can each connect Twine with your bank accounts so that you can transfer money in to reach your savings goals. Twine helps you meet your goals with tips and progress updates, and you can set your goals based on when you want to reach the savings goal.
Twine is a very nice-looking app that makes it easy to set up your savings goals. It features a slick user interface where you can set up one or more goals to work towards together. And you can set up customized alerts to let you know where you are on your goal, which can be a great way to hold each other accountable.
One feature of Twine is the ability to choose between a traditional savings account and an investment account. The savings account earns 1.05% APY, which is fairly high in today’s market. And there are three investment portfolio options. The conservative option is good for mid-term savings goals. Moderate portfolios offer a slightly more aggressive investment strategy but hedge against the risk of loss, and the aggressive portfolio has a higher rate of return but also more risk of loss.
When you set up Twine and set up your savings goals, you can create automatic deposits into your Twine account towards your goal. Since Twine is linked to your bank account, it’ll pull the money towards your goal automatically.
Pricing and Fees
If you decide to just use the FDIC insured savings account for your goals, Twine is completely free to use, and you get that 1.05% APY. But if you choose to use an investment account to potentially get more return on your investment, you’ll pay 0.6% annually in fees.
The investing fees aren’t terrible but there are definitely other automated investing platforms out there that have a lower cost. So if you’re planning to use an investing option, it may be better to look into those other options, which we’ll discuss below.
Signing Up for Twine
One spouse will need to sign up for Twine first, which just requires basic personal information after you download the app. Then you’ll connect Twine to your bank account, and you can send an invitation to your partner to join the app. They’ll need to sign into the app, also, and then connect it with their bank account.
You can set up a joint savings goal based on what you want to save for, how long you want it to take to reach your goal, etc. Then you can decide how much you’ll each deposit towards the savings goal each week and set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account for that amount. As you save, Twine will give you updates on where you’re at on your savings goal.
Twine isn’t a budgeting app, so it’s not going to pull in your bank account balance or anything. But it will connect securely to your bank account so that you can set up automatic transfers to your Twine account according to your goals.
Twine is available only for Apple phones at this point. It is planning to roll out an app for Android in the future, though, so stay tuned for that development.
Twine is new enough that it doesn’t have significant reviews for its customer service. But it does have a support center with a robust FAQ section and a contact form you can use to connect to the support team directly.
Pros and Cons of Twine
- Free app for regular savings: Twine’s regular savings account option is free to use and has a pretty decent 1.05% APY on the attached savings account.
- Easy to visualize goals: For some people, visualizing goals and progress is absolutely the best way to keep moving towards said goals. With Twine, it’s easy to visualize your savings goals as a couple and to check on where you’re at whenever you want.
- Built for two people: You can use plenty of other savings apps similar to this one to save as a couple, but Twine is definitely the best option on the market for couple-focused savings.
- Not available for Android yet: Android users should just check back to find out when Twine becomes available for their devices since it’s not yet an option.
- Fairly expensive investing option: Twine’s investing fees are definitely not the highest in the market, but they aren’t the lowest, either. If you’re working on a goal that’s more than five years out and you want to invest, there are probably better alternatives.
If you only want to use Twine for short-term savings, it’s an excellent option. It’s free, easy to use, and comes with that FDIC-insured savings account.
However, if you want to invest for the longer term, there are better options with lower fees like Betterment and Wealthfront. These options come in at a lower cost, 0.25% per year as opposed to 0.6% per year with Twine. They may not be quite as simple to use, but if you put in a bit of effort into learning the interface on the front end, you could save hundreds of dollars over the life of your investment.
Who is Twine For?
You can use Twine as an individual. But it’s really set up to be used by couples, and it shines there as a great option for short-term savings. If you generally keep your savings and checking accounts separate but want to tag team some big financial goals, Twine is an excellent option.
It will be interesting to see what features Twine adds as it grows. Right now, it’s definitely not the best mini robo-advisor option on the market because of its higher-than-average fees. You may not feel these fees much at first. But if your goal is to save a $30,000 down payment for a house through Twine, those investing fees can make a big impact.
In short, this is an excellent app to use for short-term savings goals with a high-yield savings account for you and your partner. It has better integration and visualization tools than a traditional savings account, and the automated savings option is excellent.