Adding money to your savings account can sometimes seem like a chore more than anything else. But what if topping up your savings meant you could win weekly cash prizes?
That's the exact model that Yotta is using to make saving money more exciting. With its savings account, you can win weekly bonus cash or even grand prizes like a new Tesla. And with no minimum balance requirements and numerous ways to earn tickets for its weekly draw, it's easy to get started.
But Yotta doesn't pay the highest base APY, and it's not the best for very small account balances. Our Yotta review is covering exactly how this lottery system works and if it's worth using.
Pros & Cons
What Is Yotta?
Yotta is a neobank that was founded in 2019 and offers a prize-based savings account that's also FDIC insured. The company partners with various banks to provide higher interest rates than your average checking account, and according to its website, Yotta currently has over 500,000 customers.
The main difference between Yotta and a regular savings account is that Yotta uses a lottery-based system to award members with cash prizes. This provides the thrill of buying lottery tickets without having to sink money into actual tickets. And the main difference is you can potentially earn a high APY so your money is working for you.
Who Is Yotta For?
If you enjoy games and want to mix up your regular saving efforts, Yotta could be for you. This innovative neobank gives you the chance to win cash or other prizes on a weekly basis using its lottery system. If you strike it big, that could mean tens of thousands of dollars or more in bonus cash. But according to its website, the average APY is 1.5% after accounting for lottery wins.
If you don't like leaving things to chance, Yotta isn't for you. In this case, going with a leading high-yield savings account that offers a stable APY is a better choice. And since Yotta gives you tickets depending on your account balance and if you enable direct deposit, it's not always the best choice for small account balances.
What Does It Offer?
With Yotta, you get a lottery-based savings account that lets you win weekly cash prizes. But there are several features that help you earn lottery tickets faster so you earn more.
Prize-Linked Savings Account
Yotta's main product is its prize-linked savings account. This account pays a flat rate of 0.20% APY, which is much lower than most high-yield savings accounts. But what makes Yotta different is that it pays out weekly prizes to its members ranging from $0.01 to $10 million. You earn tickets every week depending on the cash value of your account, and there's a weekly draw that pays winning ticket holders with cash prizes.
In other words, Yotta is a savings account with a lottery system. According to its website, members have already won $6.5 million, and the actual APY is 1.5% on average because of these cash bonuses.
Note that this account doesn't charge any monthly fees as long as you have over $5 in your account. Funds are also FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
Earning Yotta Tickets
Here's how Yotta's ticket system works:
- You earn one ticket each week for every $25 you have in your account, up to $10,000. For example, having $100 in your account pays you 4 tickets per week.
- You earn one ticket each week for every $150 above $10,000.
You also earn bonus tickets for setting up your first direct deposit and 5% bonus tickets on every direct deposit amount afterwards.
There's a draw every week at 9pm ET. You win prizes based on how many of your ticket numbers match Yotta's ticket numbers during the draws. There's seven numbers each week in total, with six regular numbers and one number on a Yotta ball. Getting all seven numbers results in a grand prize. Past grand prizes have included large cash sums and even Tesla Model 3 cars.
But you can still win prizes if you get partial matches, and Yotta explains the prizes and odds very transparently:
As you can see, odds are you're going to win $0.10 to $0.75 since it's very unlikely to match enough numbers and the Yotta ball. But the more tickets you have, the better your overall odds become to win something.
According to Yotta, a third-party insurance company uses a random number generator to choose numbers, so results are truly random and free from conflicts of interest.
Yotta Debit Card
Another way to earn extra tickets is to use Yotta's debit card. This card pays you 10% back in tickets as its form of cash back. You also have a 1 in 150 chance that your purchase gets reimbursed by Yotta, making it free. The reimbursement limit is $5,000 for a single purchase. Your odds of getting a free purchase can get as good as 1 in 5 if you purchase from “Lucky Partners,” which are a rotating list of companies that partner with Yotta.
Other perks of this debit card include:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Zero liability protection from Mastercard so you don't have to pay for unauthorized purchases if someone steals your card
- 1,000 bonus tickets if you spend $2,000 within your first four months
- Free cash withdrawals from 55,000+ ATMs
- Apple and Google Pay integration
Note there's a daily ATM withdrawal limit of $500 and daily spending limit of $10,000, but you can lower these amounts if you want.
Other Yotta Features
The prize-linked savings account and debit card are the two main features you get with Yotta. This is because the main functionality of this neobank centers around earning more tickets to increase the chance you win prizes.
That said, Yotta comes with several other features to help you save and earn more money:
- Yotta Buckets: You can create saving goals and automatic transfers to consistently put money aside to work towards your various goals. This is similar to microsaving apps like Acorns, just for saving money, not investing.
- Credit Builder: You apply to the credit builder program, which doesn't run a hard credit check. If Yotta accepts you, it loans you $1,000 in a locked credit builder bucket. From there, you pay $55 every month for 24 months to slowly improve your credit score. At the end of 24 months, you get your $1,000 to spend as you please.
- Yotta Pay: This peer-to-peer payment tool lets Yotta members send money to each other without paying fees.
- Yotta Credit Card: This card is still in the works, so you have to join the waitlist. But it will pay bonus tickets and give up to a 2% chance for your purchase to be free. And since your credit limit is tied to your Yotta balance, you don't pay interest or fees and can slowly improve your credit score.
- Crypto Buckets: Deposit USD into your crypto bucket and convert it automatically into the stablecoin USDC. You then get a ticket each week for every $10 in your bucket instead of the regular $25, which Yotta says is equivalent to earning 4% APY.
- Pool Play: You can create a group (pool) with friends or strangers and all contribute tickets to the pool to increase your odds of winning. The more tickets you contribute, the larger your share of the pool's earnings if you win.
- Referral Program: With Yotta's referral program, you earn 100 to 250 tickets for every person you invite to join and can even earn bonus tickets every week for your savings accounts. There's different referral tiers, and the more people you invite, the higher your referral bonuses become.
Some of these features are useful for budgeting and saving. But Yotta's credit builder is honestly horrendous. Paying $55 for 24 months is equal to $1,320, which is an incredibly high rate for a $1,000 loan, even if it helps you build your credit. In contrast, Chime has a free credit builder with no interest or credit checks.
You also have to decide if earning potentially higher rewards is better than going with guaranteed rates from various mobile banks. Yotta claims you earn around 1.5% APY because of cash bonuses, but only the 0.20% APY rate is guaranteed.
Yotta Fees & Balance Requirements
Yotta doesn't charge any monthly fees if your account balance is over $5. For balances of $5 or below, Yotta charges you $0.50 per month. There aren't any other fees to worry about, and you even get free ATM withdrawals from AllPoint ATMs.
But as mentioned, we're not huge fans of Yotta's credit builder. The fact you pay over $300 to take out a $1,000 loan that builds your credit is absurdly high, and Yotta doesn't spell out this very clearly.
Is Yotta Safe & Legit?
Yotta isn't a bank, but rather a neobank that works with partner banks like Evolve Bank & Trust to provide its customers with FDIC insurance. The platform also has numerous security features, like withdrawal notifications and two-factor authentication, to help keep your funds secure. Users can also set daily cash spending and withdrawal limits, and you get zero-liability protection from Mastercard.
In fact, Trustpilot reviews are so positive I originally thought they must be fake. But reviews on the Android and iOS app stores are generally positive as well. Users seem to enjoy the gamification Yotta adds to saving money as well as the frequency of prize draws. And judging by many reviews, users are earning some amount of money on a regular basis, so the 1.5% APY claim might not be too far-fetched.
How to Contact Yotta
You can contact Yotta customer support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-844-945-3449 with your questions.
If you want a bank that spices up how you save money, Yotta is one of the best options out there. But if you prefer a stable APY, this isn't the right model for you. Additionally, some Yotta alternatives are better choices if you have smaller balances or want to use features like Yotta's credit builder.
With Chime, you get a free checking account and a high-yield savings account that currently pays 0.50% APY. And this FinTech company doesn't have any minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Plus, you get free ATM withdrawals at 60,000+ ATMs and don't pay foreign transaction fees.
We also like Chime® since it has a free credit building tool that's superior to Yotta. And if you need some quick cash, its SpotMe feature lets you borrow up to $200 on debit card purchases without paying interest or overdraft fees.
If you want to earn a higher APY than Yotta, Aspiration is one of our favorite alternatives. With Aspiration, you can earn up to 5.00% APY on balances up to $10,000; significantly more than very lucky Yotta winners earn. There's a $1,000 monthly spending requirement to unlock the best APY rates, but if it's your main checking account, this might not be too difficult to accomplish.Aspiration also has other perks. For example, you can earn up to 10% cash back if you shop from eco-friendly brands in its Conscience Coalition program. And if you sign up for its credit card, you can earn rewards and get a tree planted in your honor every time you make a purchase.
Another Yotta Savings alternative that provides a higher APY is Varo. This online bank pays a flat 1.20% APY for its savings account. But you earn 5% APY on balances up to $5,000 if you get monthly direct deposits of at least $1,000 or more into your account.
The $5,000 cap is the main downside, but this still makes Varo an excellent savings account for smaller balances. There aren't monthly fees either, and you get free ATM withdrawals at 55,000+ ATMs. And Varo's debit and credit card both let you earn cash-back rewards.
Personal finance isn't always exciting, and this is especially true for your average savings account. The fact that Yotta is mixing things up with its lottery system is refreshing, especially if you're already a fan of playing the lottery.
Personally, I prefer high-yield savings accounts that pay a fixed APY so I know exactly what I'm getting. But if you want to park your emergency fund or some idle cash with Yotta to see if you win bonus cash, there's really nothing to lose.
Just do the math to see how many weekly tickets you'll earn. Larger cash balances earn more tickets, so Yotta isn't the best solution for very small accounts.Chime Disclosure - Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
1Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.
^Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.