Bank Fees Demystified, At Last - Our Cushion Review

(Money Under 30 Rating)

Ranking

9/10

Cushion is the self-proclaimed fee fighter. Through an easy to use SMS format, this app helps people save money on credit card fees, bank charges, and other refunds due to them. Cushion takes a complex and dry subject and infuses it with fun, so everyone wins.

Visit Site


Rates

9/10

Options available

5/10

Ease of use

10/10

Customer service

8/10

Discounts

9/10

Transparency

10/10



Best for:

 

  • Simplicity
  • Effortless savings
  • Refunds & Discounts
  • Preventing Mistakes

Editor's Note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

According to the research done by Paul Kesserwani, Americans shell out an astonishing $200 billion every single year for fees and credit card interest payments. Take a minute to let that figure sink in. 

With such a staggering sum of money flowing freely out of the pockets of Americans across the nation (often without the consumers even being aware of or knowing that they are paying the fees), entrepreneurs and visionaries knew something had to be done, and fast.

Cushion was born out of a need to right a wrong: costly and unnecessary bank charges and credit card fees. These seemingly innocuous fees can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars if left unchecked. Cushion was launched to help the regular people fight back and reclaim money that is rightfully theirs.

The concept is simple: give consumers an advocate to help them navigate the intimidating, confusing, and beguiling world of finance. Pitting the hapless American against huge bodies like corporate banks and credit card providers is an unfair and obviously weighted match.

The goal of Cushion and other personal finance management tools is to even the playing field a little. Now, with just a few taps, you can manage bank fees, receive refunds, and reduce your credit card interest with ease.

How does Cushion work?

Cushion Welcome screenshot

A Facebook Messenger system, a friendly artificial intelligence robot, and a fast signup process all contribute to one hugely positive thing: working with Cushion is very simple.

  • Start by connecting your credit cards and/or bank accounts that you use the most.
  • Once your accounts are linked with the program, the Fee Fighter bot will scour the policies and fees you’ve paid out in the past.
  • If Cushion finds any fees or surcharges that you have paid that can be contested, the service will go to work for you defending your rights for a refund. Before it can go to bat for you though, you’ll need to give Cushion permission to fight fees on your behalf.
  • After a grueling battle between the bank or credit card company and Cushion, you should receive a refund of the fees paid out.
  • You’ll receive a breakdown of the negotiations and a summary of how much you are saving very quickly – usually within 24 hours.
  • Once fees are refunded, Cushion takes its cut from the profits you’ve just made.

What’s amazing about this service is that it really works. Clients who have let the Cushion Fee Fighter fight their battles for them report a savings of $100 at least and some walk away with thousands of dollars in savings due to lowered interest rates. That’s a lot of money to save by doing absolutely nothing!

Cushion chat screenshot

Refunds with Cushion

You can expect to get refunds on commonly-paid fees like:

  • Wire transfer fees
  • Monthly service fees
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Account maintenance fees
  • Minimum balance fees
  • ATM fees
  • Credit card interest charges
  • Late fees
  • Overdraft fees

This is even more impressive considering that these are all fees and charges that the average Joe pays all the time. If you’re like most people and are used to shelling out $35 a month for overdraft charges or late fees, those refunds will certainly start adding up.

Lowering interest rates on your credit card bills is an even more impressive feat that will literally save consumers thousands of dollars as well.

Cushion is a free tool

Cushion is a totally free tool to use. You won’t pay a thing to sign up, chat with the bot, and have this AI robo fee fighter analyze your accounts and fight for your refunds.

But there are fees.

How much are Cushion fees?

However, Cushion isn’t a completely free service through and through. It’ll take 25% of the refunded dollar amount you receive from your banks or credit card providers. The good news is you only pay this surcharge if Cushion helps you save money.

So, you’re not actually paying anything out of pocket since the payment comes from savings that you make thanks to Cushion.

Let’s say, for example, Cushion is able to save you $100. Cushion keeps $25, and you get $75. If you want to be pragmatic about things, you could say that Cushion is a free service that just made you $75 (since the money you are paying Cushion comes out of the savings you make, so it’s money you didn’t have before anyway).

Make sense?

What’s more, 25% is the maximum amount that will be taken. Oftentimes, Cushion will take an even smaller cut of your profits, so you end up saving even more. Now, some finance apps are free, and if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s worth comparing the competition (which I’ll cover in a minute).

However, if you are looking for an advocate with the big banks and credit card companies, you probably won’t get better than the offer being made by Cushion.

Cushion features

Cushion is one of the best in its industry for several reasons. Aside from the affordable fees and laughably simple system to use, the Cushion Fee Fighter bot comes with some notable features including:

Backing

There are several good indicators that you can look toward to see how trustworthy, legitimate, and potentially successful a startup is. One of the best indicators is the companies that are backing it financially, i.e., their investors.

Who’s investing in Cushion? Only a few smallish companies you may have heard of, including Google, Nerd Wallet, Symantec, Twitter, and Instagram.

That’s right, with some of the biggest names across the finance, social media, technology, and security industries in its corner, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Cushion is a sure thing.

Security

The Cushion network is secured with the latest security technology and partners with leaders in the industry for maximum protection. You can enjoy end-to-end bank-level encryption with all of your conversations, and Cushion servers are hosted on Amazon Web Services, one of the most secure online data storage and hosting options out there. Plus, Cushion can’t see any of your important information like usernames, passwords, etc.

My experience using Cushion

Cushion is a completely customer-centric product that is out to help people hold on to or regain their hard-earned cash by correcting financial faux pas and demanding refunds when applicable.

What’s more, the Fee Fighter also helps consumers from making the same costly mistakes in the future. But could you really get money back from the big corporations like banks and credit card companies once you paid it out?

Cushion fee fighter

I had to find out, so I signed up for Cushion to give it a real try.

To get things started, I entered my email address. I was then automatically redirected to log into my Facebook Messenger account. This is how I would be communicating with the bot. I loved how simple everything was.

There was no lengthy signup process, no annoying forms to fill out, and no invasive questionnaires to answer. Instead, I just logged directly into Messenger (which I was already logged into, so that made things even simpler) and got started right away.

Points for simplicity.

From there, you’ll choose the bank account or credit cards you want to be analyzed by Cushion. Then the Fee Fighter will get to work combing through your accounts to find any fees, charges, and overly-high interest rates.

The next part is where Cushion really shines. This service will negotiate with your bank to refund the charges you paid. Things like late fees, overdraft charges, and ATM fees can be refunded if you push the right buttons. And as a bot, Cushion is an excellent button-pusher. 

Cushion competitors

Cushion is an excellent service that genuinely helps consumers save and get back the money they’ve spent. Of course, it’s not the only software of its kind, and some of the competitors do a just as good, if not a better job. Albert, Acorns, and Prism are a few that come to mind.

But if you’re looking for a full-fledged personal finance manager, why not say Hi Charlie?

Charlie

Cushion Review - Charlie Logo 210 x 100

No literally, that’s the name of the most convenient money-saving bot I’ve seen to date. With an easy to use Facebook Messenger-based system, Charlie (an adorable cartoon penguin) will analyze your finances, show you where/when you’re spending too much, and help you create a savings plan.

What’s even more impressive, this flightless bird will analyze your accounts to see where you can be saving money and help you get discounts on things like your cable rates, phone bills, and other monthly expenses.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Simple, SMS system to work with — If you can send a text message, you can use Cushion.
  • Fights fees and gets you refunds on unnecessary charges — Cushion works for you to get your money back.
  • Only takes a cut if/when you receive a refund — Unlike some service that charge just for using them, Cushion only takes a cut from what you've already earned.
  • Huge backing — Tremendous brands have invested a lot of money in this company.

Cons

  • Not a free tool like some personal finance management apps — You'll pay a 25% service fee for using Cushion.
  • Doesn't work with every bank in America yet — There is a growing list of banks, but Cushion doesn't include every bank.

Summary

Cushion is one of the personal finance management tools that is helping consumers find a solution to their financial problems starting from the foundational level. You can’t start to save if you’re so busy paying unnecessary bank fees and too much interest.

Cushion helps consumers alleviate these charges, lower their interest rates on credit card bills, and put money back in their pockets. The system itself is easy to use (as effortless as an SMS), and what’s more, it really works.

About the author

Sarah Pritzker
Total Articles: 8
Sarah Pritzker is a professional writer who specializes in financial markets and trends in the U.S. She grew up in Virginia, went to university in Boston, lived in New York City, and circumnavigated the globe with stops in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, Israel, and then back to the States. As a mom of 3, she's always looking for ways to save money - and is happy to share her finance research with the world. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn