Tellus Review: A Smarter Way to Save
Published Feb 25, 2022•Updated Feb 25, 2022
Looking for a way to earn passive income? Tellus might be the right opportunity for you. Tellus is a real estate management and high yield cash management account that allows you to earn a high APR while you save. There are no fees, interest compounds daily, and you can access your money at any time.
In this detailed Tellus review, we explain what Tellus is, how it works, how you can use it to earn passive income, the pros and cons, and much more.
Borrow our cheat sheet
MoneyMade member rating
Minimum to invest
New users automatically get up to 1.5% APY boost for 30 days.
Pros and cons
Average 3.71% APY (base rate of 3.0% APY)
Earn interest daily
Withdraw your money at any time
Minimal required deposit of $200
App is free to use
Relatively short history (founded in 2016)
Android app can be glitchy
What is Tellus?
Tellus offers two products to consumers:
1. Super High Yield Account: High APY savings account with a base rate of 3.0% APY and an average rate of 3.71% APY
2. Real Estate Management: Comprehensive property management tool for owners and landlords, property managers, and renters.
Super High Yield Account
After signing up for a Tellus Boost account, you are required to make a deposit. After your account is funded, Tellus will pay you an APY interest yield. It’s really pretty simple.
Funds deposited in a Tellus high yield account are issued to Owners who are in need of a loan. Loans are secured by their property or real estate. Tellus makes its money by issuing loans secured by residential real estate. Savers don’t have to take on any loan exposure as Tellus sits in the middle and controls the entire process.
When you save your money in Tellus’ Super High Yield Account, you can earn more than 60 times more than if you were to save in a regular bank account. Tellus can pay such a high rate because the Owners (those taking out a loan) are charged an even higher rate to borrow the money. As a Saver, you get a base APR of 3%, and then Tellus takes the remaining amount.
With Tellus Boost, Savers have the opportunity to make even more than the 3% APR all the way up to 6% APR. If you use Boosts frequently, you can increase your overall returns. There are a few simple ways to take advantage of Tellus Boosts:
- Log into the Tellus app every day
- Complete a daily quiz
- Special promotions
While most boosts are only available for one day, some of the promotions can last from seven to 30 days.
Tellus also provides a way to organize your savings into different sub-accounts called “Stacks.” This is helpful for those who want to organize their savings. You might have one stack assigned as a vacation fund, another for an emergency fund, and another for saving up for a down payment. There is no limit to how many stacks you can have but you are required to maintain a minimum balance of at least $125 in each account.
Real Estate Management
The real estate management tool is meant to help Owners simplify the property management process. Owners and landlords can use the app to perform a number of tasks including:
- List rental properties
- Collect rent
- Screen potential tenants
- Fill Vacancies
- Chat with tenants
- Organize finances
- Track expenses
- Create financial reports
- Organize work orders
Renters can also take advantage of this app to pay their rent, message their landlord, submit maintenance requests and even send reimbursement requests.
The app is basically a one-shop stop for everything a property manager or owner needs to effectively manage their properties. Plus, it's free to use.
Where Tellus gets it right
With a base rate of 3.0% APY and an average rate of 3.71% APY, Tellus provides a much higher rate of return than your average savings account.
Free to use
One of the best things about the Tellus app is that it’s free to use. Property management is totally free no matter how many properties you manage. The only time you will encounter a fee is if a credit card is used to make a payment using the app. In this case, you will incur a 3.4% service charge from the credit card company.
With Tellus, you can access your money as soon as your deposit has been successfully processed. The processing period usually only takes between one or two days but can take as long as seven business days.
Where Tellus could do better
Not FDIC Insured
Tellus is not FDIC insured. However, the company is backed by residential real estate and holds enough cash to deposit interest liabilities.
While there isn’t a lot Tellus can do to improve this factor, you may want to consider it when deciding how comfortable you are investing money into the Super High Yield Account. The company has a relatively short history as it was only founded in 2016.
Issues with Android App
Based on comments from Android app users, it seems like there is an opportunity for Tellus to improve its Android App. When scrolling through the comments on Google Play site, there are several complaints about limited Android app functionality and annoying glitches.
Can you really make money on Tellus?
Yes, according to Tellus and many happy customers, you really can really make money on Tellus. By putting your money into the Super High Yield Account, you can earn an average rate of 3.71% APY (base rate of 3.00% APY with an initial deposit for the first 100 days and no less than 2% APY after). Tellus claims that this rate is 60x more than the national average savings rate.
How do I make money with Tellus?
You make money with Tellus by holding your cash in its Super High Yield Account. Interest is calculated daily and you have the option of setting up automatic deposits so you can consistently add money into your Tellus account.
With Tellus’ accelerated earnings, you can claim free daily boosts for a chance to increase your rate to as high as 6.00% APY. To earn a daily boost, you are required to participate in simple tasks like logging into your account daily or participating in short quizzes.
How do I cash out with Tellus?
Any new Tellus deposits (after February 3, 2022) are 100% liquid as soon as your money has been successfully processed. This typically takes one to two days but can take up to seven business days.
However, if you made an ACH deposit before February 3, 2022, you are subject to a 60-day aging term. This aging term was originally put in place as a way to protect Tellus and its members against ACH fraud.
Tellus vs traditional investing
Investing with Tellus feels more like saving because you are simply holding your money in a high yield account and the risk seems to be more minimal than traditional investing. This is because any loan made by Tellus is backed by residential real estate and the company holds enough cash to deposit interest liabilities.
Your money is also much more liquid when you use the Super High Yield Account versus investing in stocks. With Tellus, you can withdraw your money at any time, without penalty.
Another difference between Tellus and traditional investing is around volatility. Unlike regular investing where you can experience daily market volatility, Tellus offers a consistent base rate APR of 3.00% (with an initial deposit for the first 100 days and no less than 2% APY after). You have a better idea of what you are getting into and what you can expect.
Like any investment, there are pros and cons to consider with each. While Tellus offers limited risk and consistent rewards, traditional investing in the stock market comes with higher risk but the potential for higher rewards (the average stock market 10-year rate of return is 9.2% according to Goldman Sachs).
What other people are saying about Tellus
In general, Tellus receives a lot of positive comments from happy customers. People are very impressed by the excellent customer service and Apple users appear to find the app easy to use.
Some Tellus app users said that it has helped them to save time and keep track of everything related to their properties.
Additionally, Tellus customers love the 3.0% APY base rate and see it as an easy way to make money.
A lot of customers said they had their doubts about the app but have since been pleasantly surprised.
However, there were some common complaints among Android app users who commented that the Tellus app lacked functionality, and several were frustrated by app glitches. To Tellus’ credit, every complaint or customer frustration was quickly responded to.
Are there other apps like Tellus?
Tellus and Varo are similar in that they both offer high yield savings. However, Tellus offers a higher rate with a base APRy of 3.00% and the potential to boost your APR to 6.00%. With Varo, you can start earning a rate of 0.50% and qualify to earn a 3.00% APR.
A major difference between Varo and Tellus is that Varo is a bank and is FDIC insured. On the other hand, Tellus is not a bank and, while it has safety measures in place, is not FDIC insured.
Tellus and Concreit are similar in that they both offer high yields from income that comes from income-producing real estate. However, while Tellus is focused on residential real estate, Concreit uses commercial real estate. Another similarity is Tellus and Concreit both offer easy access to your money whenever you need it.
Check out the table below to see how these apps stack up against each other. Also, be sure to join MoneyMade to find 160+ other investment platforms.
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Full [platform] review
Our hot take on Tellus
If you are a property manager or a landlord looking to streamline all of your property management tasks, you might as well give Tellus a try. The app is free and easy to use. Additionally, if you’re someone who wants to park their cash in an account that will yield a higher return than an average savings account, you may want to give Tellus a try. Of course, you should do your own research before you put your money into any app or investment.
I’m in! How do I sign up for Tellus?
1. Create a MoneyMade account
If you haven’t already, sign up for a MoneyMade account. This will connect your Tellus account directly to your MoneyMade account.
2. Get the App
To get the app, simply click the blue button on the top right hand of your screen.
3. Provide your phone number.
You will then be prompted to provide your phone number where you will be sent a link to download the app.
4. Download the app.
Download the app onto your device. You will be asked to provide some personal info like your phone number, name.
5. Verify your account
You will be asked to verify your account using a four-digit code sent to your email or phone. Once you verify using your code, your account is created.
6. Set up your account and verify identity
Your next step is to provide a U.S. address, and you will also need to confirm your identity.
7. Fund your account
Finally, it’s time to fund your account and start making passive income.
8. Come back to MoneyMade to see all your investments in one place
If you want to track all of your investments in one place, return to your MoneyMade account so you can track your investments in one place.
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