Uphold might be one of the best money-moving apps around with its combination of fee-free movements among members and support for a wide range of currencies and precious metals.
Send money to other Uphold users or to email addresses. When emailed, your recipient is invited to create an Uphold account to receive the funds.
Uphold accounts themselves are also free, as is transferring money to your account through a bank transfer or cryptocurrency.
Costs come in the form of exchange fees that start at 0.65% when converting to USD, EUR or GBP and reach 1.4% for less common currencies. These fees are easy to find, which is a nice contrast to other apps that more opaquely pull from spreads instead.
Unique to Uphold is the ability to store value as precious metals — specifically gold, silver, palladium and platinum — in your account. You can move this value as you would any other money, but exchange fees tend to be higher than for currencies.
Withdrawing funds from Uphold is still a point of friction, even if it’s only a small flat fee: You’ll pay $2.99 when using crypto or $3.99 for bank transfers. Third-party costs may apply.
A plus for security: Uphold is fully collateralized. It holds slightly more than 100% of all user funds and assets. This level of transparency is unusual, and you won’t get the same level of security from other money apps.
While Uphold uses a lot of cryptocurrency technology itself, you don’t need to worry about losing your funds due to the loss of private keys and backup phrases. And Uphold offers account recovery procedures if you lose your phone or computer.
Uphold is rolling out a system to return 2% to 5% on digital assets held, which could go a long way toward putting everything you needs all in one app.
The wide range of assets in the app itself — currencies, cryptocurrencies and precious metals — paired with fast, seamless exchanging between them, means there might be opportunities for speculative profits.
And although fees can vary depending on what you’re buying or selling, they tend to be competitive with the other apps we compare.
The app is pushing ahead of competitors with a clearer portfolio view, additional pricing data for assets and other quality-of-life features introduced in a recent update.
The catch might be that elements like interest earnings are still largely oriented toward digital assets, which means it’s still relatively risky. However, that risk is mitigated by features like collateralized stablecoins, which let eligible customers hold funds as USD-pegged cryptocurrencies to earn the interest on it, without all the volatility risk of something like bitcoin.
Having a wide range of digital assets in the same app, including nonvolatile stablecoins, gives you flexibility in investing. Uphold is also making movements toward security tokens, likely with the intention of letting people hold and trade stocks, equity and other financial products in the app.
There’s still a way to go, but Uphold appears set to shine in this area.
Uphold offers a growing range of options in this area — one of the most distinctive is loans for users collateralized by their digital assets. This perk could allow a savvy user to use margin-trading strategies from their Uphold account without signing a contract with an overseas CFD exchange.
Uphold also supports merchant services that allow for payments for goods and services, and it plans to offer a traditional payments card in 2019. Once you can seamlessly spend money from your Uphold account, you won’t necessarily have to ping-pong funds between your bank account, which might cut down on transfer costs.