How Does Stash Make Money?

Stash is a FinTech platform offering a suite of financial tools for young investors, coupled with personalized investment advice and life insurance. The company primarily makes money via subscriptions, cashback, payment for order flows, and interest for cash sitting on members’ accounts.  

Subscription PlansStash offers subscription plans that provide users with access to a range of premium features and benefits. These subscription plans are typically offered on a monthly basis, and users can choose from different tiers, each with its own set of features. The subscription fees constitute a significant source of revenue for Stash. These premium features may include personalized investment advice, access to financial education content, and additional investment options.
Investment FeesStash provides users with the opportunity to invest in various exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual stocks. While Stash aims to make investing accessible and affordable, it charges investment fees on users’ investment portfolios. These fees can include expense ratios associated with the underlying ETFs and any additional management fees imposed by Stash. The fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the user’s invested assets and contribute to the company’s revenue.
Banking ServicesStash offers banking services through its Stash Banking feature. This includes a Stash debit card, a checking account, and savings tools. While Stash promotes itself as a user-friendly banking platform with no hidden fees, it may generate revenue through interchange fees charged to merchants when users make purchases using their Stash debit card. Additionally, Stash may earn interest income on user deposits held in the Stash banking account.
Stock-Back RewardsStash offers a unique feature called Stock-Back Rewards, where users earn fractional shares of stock in select companies as rewards for making purchases with their Stash debit card at certain merchants. Stash may generate revenue through partnerships with these merchants, receiving a portion of the fees paid by merchants for participating in the Stock-Back Rewards program. This can serve as a source of income for Stash.
Stash LearnStash provides a platform called Stash Learn that offers educational content on various financial topics. While this content is typically available for free, Stash may monetize it through partnerships and sponsorships. Companies or financial institutions may pay Stash to feature their products or services within the educational content. This can result in advertising or promotional revenue for Stash.
Challenges and CompetitionStash faces challenges related to competition in the crowded fintech and robo-advisory space. The company must continually differentiate itself by offering unique features, providing a seamless user experience, and keeping fees competitive. Ensuring regulatory compliance and addressing user concerns related to security and data privacy are also ongoing challenges.
Future Growth StrategiesStash’s future growth strategies may involve: – Product Expansion: Introducing new financial products and services to cater to a broader user base. – Enhanced User Engagement: Fostering user engagement through improved financial education and personalized offerings. – Sustainable Investing: Expanding its range of sustainable and socially responsible investment options.


Stash is an American financial technology company founded by Brandon Krieg, David Ronick, and Ed Robinson in 2015.

The platform offers a suite of financial tools aimed squarely at young investors to encourage them to spend, save, and invest wisely.

To that end, Stash offers personalized investment advice and a life insurance option. For those with children, there is also the capacity to set up a custodial account.

Stash is an integrated product. When a consumer purchases with a Stash debit card, they receive Stock-Back® rewards in return. This allows them to invest in fractional shares or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Stash revenue generation

To drive revenue, Stash offers investment, banking, and retirement services via the subscription model. The company also makes money from referral fees and any returns Stash account holders make on their investments.

Let’s take a look at the mechanisms for revenue generation in more detail.


Consumers can sign up for one of three subscription plans: Stash Beginner, Stash Growth, and Stash+. Each plan offers varying degrees of personalized investment or retirement advice.

The premium plan, Stash+, incorporates the Stock-Back® rewards system.

In 2020, Stash removed asset-based pricing on its plans. It now charges users a flat fee for each plan irrespective of the amount of capital invested.

However, the company does charge an investment management fee of 0.16% for non-thematic funds and 0.25% for all other funds.

There is also a $75 fee for an outgoing transfer.

Cashback scheme

When a consumer uses their Stash card to buy from a participating merchant, a percentage of the purchase price is invested in that merchant’s stock.

With every eligible transaction, Stash collects a fee for connecting the buyer with the seller.

Payment for order flow (PFOF)

When an investor using the Stash platform places a stock order, it is then sent to a market maker who compensates Stash for bringing in deal flow.

PFOF processing is a somewhat controversial practice, so the exact compensation amount is not public knowledge. 


Stash also makes use of the cash sitting in member accounts by lending it out to other institutions.

In return, the company collects interest from these institutions – otherwise known as net interest margin (NIM).

Again, the exact compensation Stash receive is unclear. But according to research agency Statista, the net interest margin for all U.S. banks was 3.35% in 2019.

Key takeaways:

  • Stash is an American financial technology company with a focus on improving the financial literacy of young investors.
  • Stash derives the majority of its revenue from a subscription-based model comprising three, tiered plans. Each offers varying access to personalized advice and added features. In 2020, the company switched to a flat fee plan structure instead of taking a percentage of the total amount of capital invested.
  • Stash also makes money from the somewhat controversial practice of order flow payment where a financial institution acts as a broker for the customer. The company also takes a percentage of eligible transactions as a commission under the Stash rewards scheme.

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