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Who Is M1 Finance?
M1 Finance is an investment and banking platform. It’s free for anyone to join and download the app on iOS and Android devices.
On the investing side, M1 is a self-directed investment platform with automated investing options if you want a more hands-off approach. Investors can create a custom portfolio that M1 calls ‘pies’ made up of stocks and funds chosen by you. Or you can select from an assortment of portfolios created by experts.
You can buy full shares or fractional shares using M1 Finance. This makes it easy to build your portfolio either by yourself or through automated investing. If you choose the hands-off approach, you can also take advantage of automatic rebalancing, which gets your portfolio back in line with your goals when things change.
The Owner’s Rewards Card – Recap
The M1 Owner’s Card is a Visa credit card that’s tied to your M1 investment account. When you use the card at select companies, you’ll earn a larger reward in cashback that you can reinvest into your portfolio, increasing your assets.
Cardholders can earn up to 10% cash back on their favorite brands. You don't have to own stock or assets in the companies in order to earn the cash back. The Owner’s Card is a way to get rewarded for shopping at select stores and offers an easy way to invest your rewards.
The Owner's Rewards Card Features
The M1 Owner’s Card has many benefits, including the following.
No Annual Fee for M1 Plus Members
M1 Plus members don’t pay an annual fee for the credit card. The credit card is included in their $10 monthly fee or $95 annual fee for being a Plus member.
Reinvest in Your Favorite Brands
You can automatically reinvest the cash back you earn by shopping at your favorite brands. This increases your portfolio without any extra money out of your pocket.
An Additional Income Stream
The cashback you earn can be another income stream to grow your portfolio that you don’t have to think about or worry about forgetting to invest.
There Are Four Reward Levels
You can earn in all four reward levels starting at 10% at stores like Lululemon and Netflix; 5% back at stores like Chipotle, Nike, and FedEx, and 2.5% back at stores like Amazon, Best Buy, and DoorDash. Using the card to make other purchases still earns a 1.5% cashback reward.
You can use your rewards in one of two ways.
- Reinvest in your portfolio – You can automatically set your rewards to reinvest in your portfolio. You don’t have to do anything after selecting this option, and your rewards automatically help increase your portfolio.
- Receive as cash – You can also choose to receive your rewards as cash in your ‘Spend’ account at M1 Finance, which is like a checking account. You can then withdraw the cash as needed.
Shop worry-free, knowing that M1’s card has all the benefits of Visa's Zero Liability Policy. This policy requires card issuers like M1 to replace funds taken from your account as the result of an unauthorized credit or debit transaction within five business days of notification.
The Card Is Aesthetically Pleasing
Not that you get a credit card because it’s pretty, but the M1 Owner’s Card is a slick, attractive metallic card.
The Owner's Rewards Card Downsides
Like any credit card, there are some downsides you should be aware of as well.
You Must Be an M1 Plus Member
To get the M1 Owner’s card, you must be an M1 Plus member.
Certain Accounts Aren’t Eligible
If your portfolio is in a trust or you have a custodial account, they aren’t eligible for the cashback rewards.
Not a Lot of Stores Participate
To date, there are about 79 stores that offer higher cashback rewards, which isn’t a lot compared to the number of securities you can open.
Limit on Rewards
You can only earn a maximum of $200 in rewards on eligible purchases per month.
While the card may be used just like any other Visa, the M1 Owner’s Card doesn’t allow balance transfers. They also don’t report your account to the three credit bureaus like other credit cards do to help build your credit.
How to Apply for the M1 Owner’s Rewards Card
If you’re a member of M1 Finance, you can apply for the card online through your account. Most applicants get an answer right away, but M1 Finance can do a manual review that takes up to 30 days if you're declined initially.
When you apply for the M1 Owner’s card, they will check your Experian credit score, which results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, and if you’re declined, they will mail you a reason why – they won’t tell you right away.
Maximizing Rewards for the Year
To maximize your rewards for the year, you should shop from the 10% category as much as possible. This means using your card at:
- AMC Theatres
- Dollar General
- Stitch Fix
You could also focus on shopping at stores in the 5% category, including:
- American Airlines
- Jet Blue
- Burger King
- Tim Hortons
- TJ Maxx
- United Airlines
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
The 2.5% cash back category isn’t bad either and can be a great filler. These stores include:
- Whole Foods
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
- Uber Eats
- Duane Reade
- Sam's Club
You can earn a maximum of $200 in rewards monthly. If you make a large purchase, such as at Peloton, where you can earn 10% back if you spend $2,000, you will hit your maximum with one purchase.
You can also earn a 5% reward back on plane tickets on a $4,000 purchase, or you can sign up for subscriptions at eligible stores to make sure you always hit your goal.
The easiest way to hit the $200 reward is to focus on stores where you can earn 10% back when you can, which helps with large purchases, while focusing on using your card for everyday purchases at stores like Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Walgreens where you only earn 2.5% back. Still, if you use it for your regular monthly spending, it could be easy to hit your $200 target.
How Much Can I Earn With the M1 Owner's Rewards Card?
As noted above, the cash back rewards are capped at $200 a month. If one were to maximize their monthly rewards, the yearly total would be $2,400. But that’s just the start.
Investing these rewards with M1 is where the real benefit lies. Let’s assume one invests these rewards in a total U.S. stock market ETF (e.g., Vanguard’s fund is ticker VTI). If we further assume an annual 8% return, the $200 monthly cash back would grow to about $14,700 in five years. In 10 years the total would reach more than $36,500.
The Bottom Line
M1's online platform and its powerful tools make it an ideal way to invest money while watching your investments grow. Appealing to its M1 Plus users, the M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card offers no monthly or service fees and the ease of use associated with already using the platform.