Corinna
VP of Product

Eligibility and costs for Chip Investments | Investments FAQ

All you need to know about your eligibility for the Chip Investment Platform and how much it costs to access.

Who can access Chip Investments?  

Subject to our usual eligibility criteria (see more at getchip.uk/terms) the core investment funds are available to all Chip customers on the ChipAI and ChipX plans, with ChipX members enjoying access to additional funds.

You need to have fully connected your bank to Chip using Open Banking permissions before you can open an investment account and move money into an investment fund. 

What do I need to open an investment account?

You can start investing with as little as £1, the only thing you’ll need to hand is your National Insurance number.

You won’t need to enter any other details, as you will have already fully connected your bank to Chip and entered your address and other details we need to pre-approve you for investing before we make Chip investment funds available to you.  

Why do I need to enter my National Insurance number?

If you want to open an investment account, your National Insurance number is required by HMRC for tax purposes to open an ISA, and we also need it to fulfil our regulatory obligations to identify you. We reserve the right to request additional information to ensure your identity.

Should I open a stocks and shares ISA or a GIA (General Investment Account)? What’s the difference?

It’s up to you which type of Investment Account you want to open.

Stocks and Shares ISAs are tax efficient, which means you don’t need to pay tax on any interest, dividends or capital gains on money invested into an ISA. However, currently you can only put £20,000 into an ISA in any given tax year (which generally runs from April to April). The Government determines ISA allowances and that allowance may change in future.

Just note there are eligibility criteria to open an ISA, and if you’ve already opened and deposited into a Stocks and Shares ISA in this tax year, you can’t open a second one. We explain more about ISAs here.

GIAs do not offer any tax free allowances and you can put as much money as you like into a GIA. They are generally used by individuals who have already maxed out their ISA allowance for the year, or have an existing ISA of the same type with another provider (which they have already contributed to in the current tax year).

What’s the platform fee?

The platform fee is what you pay to Chip so we can bring investment funds to you in an accessible and easy to manage account. 

Platform fees are a standard charge across the industry, and all retail investment platforms and banks will have them. They take the form of an annual percentage on the value of your investments including any growth, but are charged on a monthly basis.

It’s called a platform fee because it’s what we charge to use our ‘platform’. Provided your balance in any investment fund is above £0.50, we will charge a platform fee. 

You will be able to see when a platform fee has been taken in your contract notes, and will have full visibility on the amount paid in your Quarterly Valuation Report. 

We charge a different platform fee depending on which plan you subscribe to, see below. 

What’s the total cost of using Chip Investments?  

To access the platform you need to be on one of our subscription plans, either ChipAI (£1.50 every 28 days) or ChipX  (£3.00 every 28 days), and the platform fee.

These subscriptions offer a lot more benefits than simply access to investment funds, and you can read more about them on the price plans page.  

Fees you need to pay to invest on the ChipAI plan:

  • 0.75% annual platform fee, collected monthly (£0.50 minimum monthly fee). 

Fees you  need to pay to invest on the ChipX plan:

  • 0.25% annual platform fee, collected monthly (no minimum monthly fee).

We reserve the right to amend these fees with two months’ notice. 

Please note additional fund management charges apply , which are charged directly by BlackRock (see About BlackRock), these vary from fund to fund.

How is the platform fee calculated?

On a given date we take the average daily balance in your investments funds in the previous calendar month, we multiply by the platform fee and divide by 12 months. It is taken first from any cash balance held by Seccl. Units/part units are sold to cover any remaining fees.

If you have more than one fund open Seccl will sell down units from the fund with the largest balance.

What happens when I upgrade/downgrade between plans?

You can upgrade from ChipLite or ChipAI to a ChipX membership whenever you like, you’ll find a few prompts around the app, or you can head to your ‘Profile’ tab.

Full access to our investment platform comes with ChipX membership. While you can access our investment platform on ChipAI, you’re limited to three funds.

You can also downgrade whenever you like, but downgrading would have the following outcomes:

  • Downgrade from ChipX to ChipAI - You will lose access to the exclusive ChipX funds and no further deposits would be accepted. You then need to sell your units to a £0 balance in the ChipX funds to complete the downgrade. You can still deposit in the ChipAI funds. If you have an ISA, you can still use your ISA allowance but just by depositing in ChipAI funds only.
  • Downgrade from ChipX to ChipLite - You will lose access to the exclusive ChipX funds and all ChipAI funds and no further deposits would be accepted. You then need to sell your units to a £0 balance in the ChipX and ChipAI funds to complete the downgrade. If you have an ISA, you will no longer be able to deposit towards your ISA allowance in any funds.
  • Downgrade from ChipAI to ChipLite - You will lose access to ChipAI funds and no further deposits would be accepted. You then need to sell your units to a £0 balance in the ChipAI funds to complete the downgrade. If you have an ISA, you will no longer be able to deposit towards your allowance

The investment platform may be available on ChipLite in the future but currently this is not an option.

How can I check how much I’ve been charged?

You will be able to see when your Chip platform fee has been taken in your contract notes and will have full visibility on the amount paid in your Quarterly Valuation Report. For transparency the fund management fee taken by Blackrock is also visible here.

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When investing your capital is at risk

Remember your Capital is at Risk and past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you might get back less than you originally invested.

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