Acorns vs. Robinhood comparison: Which is better in 2024?

Adam Rozsa

While Acorns and Robinhood both have platforms tailored to beginner investors, they take different approaches through their financial products and services.

Robinhood is better for investors who want to learn the ropes with a basic set of assets, and Acorns is good for investors who want long-term, diverse portfolios they don’t have to manage. Based on what you need for your investments, either platform could be a viable option.

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📝 Table of contents

Acorns vs. Robinhood: Overview

Account fees

Acorns Personal - $3 per month.

Acorns Family - $5 per month

$0 - No maintenance, opening or closing fees, but there is a $75 fee to transfer out an account.
Minimum deposit$0 to open, but $5 to invest$0
Stock trading feesAcorns does not offer stock trading

$0 - commission

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest cent - Regulatory fee

$0.000119 per share. The Fee is rounded up to the nearest cent and cannot surpass $5.95 - Regulatory Trading Activity Fee

Trading commissions$0 on commissions, transactional fees, or asset fees for any account under $1 million. The company does not post what the fees are for accounts over $1 million.

$0 - commissions on options and ETFs, but you’ll have to pay regulatory fees on options trading:

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest cent - Regulatory fee

$0.002 per contract (options sells). The fee is rounded up to the nearest cent and is never higher than $5.95 - Regulatory Trading Activity Fee

Investment offerings5 ETF portfolios and retirement accountsETFs, Options, Stocks, ADRs, fractional shares
Socially responsible investing (ESG)Yes. You can set up an ESG theme on your portfolio.Offers ESG ETFs, and a swath of ESG companies, but you’ll have to research them before buying stocks.
Retirement accountsYes. Acorns Later offers Roth, Traditional and SEP IRAs.Not available
Fractional sharesYes, but only through the five core portfolios. You can’t buy individual stocks.Yes
Research & educationAcorns offers basic financial education materials, but no research functions outside its own portfolio offers.Financial news from top providers—WSJ, CNBC, Reuters. You get access to Morningstar and other advanced data with a Robinhood Gold Membership.
Customer supportLive chat and email service available 24/7. Phone service available everyday from 5am-7pm PST.24/7 email and social media support, and you can request a service call from inside the app.
Best for
  • People who find it difficult to save and invest money.
  • Cash-back rewards
  • Investors who don’t want to manage an account.
  • Margin accounts
  • Smartphone users
  • Individual accounts

Opening an account is free with Robinhood, and there are no maintenance fees or minimum balances. Trading on the platform is also commission fee, and you can invest in stocks, options, and ETFs.

Acorns has a different setup that doesn’t allow for individual stock investments. Instead, Acorns offers two account tiers that, when funded, automatically invest your money.

  • Acorns Personal - Includes Acorns Invest, which is their 5 ETF portfolios; Acorns Later, their IRAs; and an Acorns checking account.
  • Acorns Family - Includes everything from Acorns Personal and includes Acorns Early, investment accounts for children.

Acorns Personal is $3 per month and Acorns Family is $5 per month, which is low-cost considering the application and robo-advisors do everything for you.¹ These plans also include their retirement account platform Acorns Later that gives you access to IRAs.

Robinhood doesn’t offer IRAs currently, but both platforms offer some form of socially responsible—ESG—investing.

💡 If you’re interested in other Robinhood alternatives as well, make sure to check out our article here.

acorns vs robinhood


With Robinhood, you can open an account, hold balances, and trade with no commissions or monthly fees. However, Robinhood passes the regulatory charges from the SEC and FINRA down to the customer.

  • Regulatory Transaction Fee - $5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only).²
  • Trading Activity Fee - $0.000119 per share—equity sells/stock and ETF—and $0.002 per contract (options sells). Never more than $5.95.²

Robinhood also offers a Robinhood Gold membership if you want to trade on margin. They apply a 2.5% fee to margins over $1,000, but the membership also gives you access to Morningstar research.

As stated, you’ll pay either $3 per month or $5 per month to access an account with Acorns. The $3 Personal plan gives you an investment, retirement and checking account, and the $5 Family plan opens you to custodial accounts for kids.¹

There is no individual stock trading through Acorns, so fees or commissions there are void. However, there are fees tied to accounts over $1 million that Acorns doesn’t post on their main site.¹

Withdrawal & deposit fees

Robinhood doesn’t charge to deposit or withdraw funds from your account. Though you will have to pay $75 to transfer your portfolio to another broker.²

With Acorns accounts, you must link either a bank account, PayPal account, debit card, or credit card to use it, so there are no wire transfer services available. Wire transfers are also not supported via Acorns Checking—in or out.

If you want to transfer your account out of Acorns, you’ll pay $50 per ETF in the portfolio, which can add up quickly as there are multiple in each.³


Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (domestic)Not available

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (international)Not available

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

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Services & features

If you’re ready to dive head-first into the world of trading, Robinhood can be a great option. A Robinhood account opens you to trade stocks, ETFs, and options, all with no commissions to pay. Trading individual assets is not available on Acorns, so it’s a simple decision, if that’s your goal.

However, if you want to go beyond straightforward investing, Acorns might be a preferable option as Robinhood don’t offer IRAs, mutual funds, Forex, or bonds.

Also, Robinhood doesn’t offer checking or savings accounts. But you can put uninvested cash in a cash management account and withdraw money with a debit card.

Acorns works both cumulatively and as a robo-advisor, where you select from five different investment styles and let the app do the work. They are:

  • Conservative.
  • Moderately Conservative.
  • Moderate.
  • Moderately Aggressive.
  • Aggressive.

Outside of investments, Acorns also offers a checking account and debit card which allows you to earn money for investments when you shop with their partners.

acorns vs robinhood

Mobile & online experience


It’s important to note that Acorns and Robinhood are both investment platforms that thrive in the mobile app space. In fact, Robinhood was originally mobile-only and didn’t have a desktop app until three years after opening to the public. And both investment apps are available on Android and iOS.

Robinhood’s mobile app is nearly identical to its online platform in simplicity. You have the opportunity to make a trade on any quote screen. But you won’t be able to customize the interface or access more advanced features that some of their larger competitors offer. Things can get complicated when you want to set up options strategies.

Acorns falls in the category of robo-advisors, and that’s the basic functionality of its online app. You pick from one of their five portfolios and let the application do the rest. The only real settings options available outside of picking a portfolio is to have the robo-advisor focus on ESG companies, and set up different recurring deposits.


As stated, both the Robinhood and Acorns investing platforms focus on mobile. However, they both offer online platforms that have the same functionality. They’re both intuitive and easy to use – anything you can do from your smartphone, you can also do from the desktop app.

Robinhood vs Acorns: Who should use them?


If you want to quickly and simply invest in stocks, options, ETFs, or fractional shares, Robinhood is the best choice. You won’t be able to set up a retirement account or a checking or savings account, but it’s a direct investment account with no commissions and few restrictions.


Acorns is for investors who either have trouble saving money and with personal finance or simply want to be hands-off with their investing. It’s a one-two combination of saving and long-term investment. And if you need to save for retirement or invest for children, they’ve got it covered. Just know that you won’t be able to pick the specific investments outside of an ESG focus, and it’s expensive to transfer your portfolio to another brokerage.


Acorns and Robinhood both offer industry standard security features and two-factor authentication at login. Both companies also carry Securities Investor Protection Corporation—SIPC—insurance up to $500,000.⁴ ⁵ Acorns has FDIC insurance on checking accounts and Robinhood has it on cash management accounts through third-party banks.

acorns vs robinhood

Customer support

Robinhood offers 24/7 social media and email support. However, they have no inbound support phone number to call. To get a support phone call, you must navigate through menus on the application until you can enter a callback number.

Acorns has live chat, phone and email customer support available every day from 5a to 7p PST.

Verdict: Is Acorns better than Robinhood?

Acorns and Robinhood are investment platforms with different focuses. Whether one is better than the other is completely based on what you want from the platform. If you want direct DIY investing, Robinhood is superior. If you want hands-off robo-advisor investing, then Acorns is the way to go.

Regardless, they’re both modern mobile-focused platforms made for a new age of investors. They don’t offer human advisors or many research and education tools, so they differ from the more traditional platforms. If that’s something you’re looking for, there are a lot of alternative platforms available.

Whichever platform you choose, you can fund your brokerage account and set up recurring payments with a free Wise account. And when you’re ready to withdraw your earnings, you can convert and hold balances in 54+ currencies. Plus, you’ll save up to 6x when you send money abroad.

Learn more about Wise

Frequently asked questions

Is it good to have Acorns and Robinhood?

Whether this is good or bad is based on your needs. We only offer general information and education regarding platforms, not investment advice.

Robinhood allows you to invest in individual stocks, ETFs, and options, and Acorns offers five ETF portfolios and retirement accounts. If you’re seeking a blend of those securities to create a diversified portfolio, a combination of Acorns and Robinhood could suit your needs.

Regardless, there is always a risk of loss with any investment.

Does Acorns actually make you money?

No one can guarantee profit or any specific outcome for any platform. Acorns has a solid growth history in their portfolios, but there is always a risk of loss when you invest money.

Is Acorns a bad idea?

This is also up to your needs. Acorns could be good or bad for an investor based on how they want to invest their money. The above states what Acorns offers and their fee structure, but be sure to read their fine print. If you’re unsure about any investment, speak with a licensed investment professional.

Is Acorns worth getting?

Acorns could be worth it based on what you want to use it for.

If you have trouble saving money, their roundups program and recurring investments with linked accounts could be a great way to save and invest money. But if you want to take care of your own investment portfolio and handle things yourself, there are other options that would better suit your needs.


  1. Acorns - Pricing
  2. Robinhood - Robinhood Financial Fee Schedule
  3. Acorns - The fine print of Acorns
  4. Robinhood - How you’re protected
  5. Acorns - Is the Acorns app safe?

All sources checked on 26 November 2021

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