Invest Voyager Review: Lots of Hidden Fees
Invest Voyager is designed to make purchasing and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as easy as possible without any fees. At least that’s what they say. There are some very high fees hidden into the Buy/Sell Spreads that can range from 1% to 3%. All trades can only be done against the USD (more on that later). Other features of the Voyager crypto app is that you do earn interest on some of the coins you hold in your Voyager wallet.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Voyager crypto app is ONLY available for residents of the United States with the exception of New York. Sorry New York, those financial regulations always leave you out just like they did with BlockFi.
8 Things I hate About Voyager App:
- Creating an order always defaults to market price while having the Limit Price on another page
- For limit orders, they WON’T show you the current ask/bid price
- Voyager Exchange only trades against USD. That means if you have BTC and want to buy VGX, you have to sell BTC for USD. Then use USD to buy VGX. With the hidden fees, that’s an instant 6% loss rather than a 0.1% fee with Binance or 0.5% with Coinbase.
- Can’t see transaction history unless you’re looking at a cryptocurrency
- Can’t see open orders under the coin you are trading. Open orders are only available in your transaction history
- The interest rates are lower than competitors like BlockFi, Celsius and Nexo (I did reviews on all 3). To earn interest on the coins that are available there is a minimum balance requirement.
- Limit orders will have fees rolled in so you can’t actually see your Limit sell ask price. Example: The ask price for Uniswap was $20.32 and I placed a Limit Sell order for $20.20, while the bid price was $19.81. The ask price of $20.20 never showed up. (Pictured below)
- Hidden fees (1% to 3%) are rolled into your orders. That’s very high!
Invest Voyager $25 Sign-Up Bonus
I don’t recommend the Voyager crypto app, but I do like free money. If you want to sign-up for the Voyager crypto app, you can use my Voyager promo code for a $25 sign up bonus. I know, pushing my own Voyager referral code, right? But this isn’t JUST a selfish request. It’s the only way to get the Voyager $25 sign-up bonus.
First, you’ll need to use the Voyager affiliate link to access the site and download the app. The Invest Voyager exchange is only available via APP. There is a Voyager crypto website, but it’s pretty much a landing page for the app.
My Invest Voyager bonus code: https://voyager.onelink.me/WNly/referral?af_sub5=DAN8DE
During the sign-up process you will need to enter DAN8DE for the Voyager promo code. Then you’ll need to go through the detailed verification process so have your ID ready. After getting your account approved, just deposit $100 into your Invest Voyager account.
Funding Your Account: You can fund your Invest Voyager crypto account with cryptocurrency or with a bank account. The Invest Voyager App uses Plaid to connect to your bank accounts so you can securely transfer money.
I still don’t trust all these apps with my information so I connect my real bank to another checking account (let’s say Citibank) AND then use my Citibank checking account to connect to these apps. This just makes sure my main bank accounts are safe from being leaked onto the internet.
How long does it take to get the Invest Voyager Sign-up Bonus? The $25 BTC Voyager sign-up bonus was received in my account several hours after I deposited $100 to my Voyager crypto app account. I transferred $111.29 worth of USDC and then used it to buy $108 worth of Uniswap tokens…$3 was complete
What if I don’t get my Voyager referral bonus? After someone has signed up and deposited $100, you should receive an email notification. From there, the Bitcoin will be in your account within 72-hours. This should happen automatically. If you don’t get this email, you should get in contact with customer support. You’ll need to send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the Fees on the Platform?
Like any company, Voyager will need to find a way to make money. Often, they will do this by charging transaction fees. Interestingly, Voyager states that they are commission-free but in the small print they say additional fees may apply. They do apply. Those are very high fees.
Huge Bid Spread: Buying/Selling
The buying and selling experience is very bad on Voyager. The bid and ask prices can have a spread up to 3%. Let’s say the market price for Dogecoin is $1.00, you’ll see the ask price as $1.02 and the bid price at $0.99. That 3% makes a BIG difference in your trades.
Fee Example: if you bought and sold the exact same coin within 1 second, you’d already be down 3%.
Withdrawals: When you want to withdraw your money, you will need to pay a fee that varies between each coin. Some withdrawal fees can be anywhere from $10-$15USD (full list here). For example, to withdraw BTC you will need to pay 0.0004BTC ($15USD). You will need to wait for your funds to clear before you will be able to withdraw them.
Buying and Selling
Market Buy/Sell: As mentioned in the fees section earlier, you will be subject to the rolled in “fees” Voyager has when you buy or sell a cryptocurrency. These fees depend on the coin but can range anywhere from 1% to 3%. This is 10x to 30x higher than the fees on Binance which are 0.1% per trade. Coinbase Pro has fees at 0.5% which is high, but makes up for it with the lower withdrawal fees.
Limit Buy/Sell: Whenever you try to buy or sell a cryptocurrency using the Voyager app, it automatically defaults to Market Buy/Sell. You have to select LIMIT as another page at the top. Very annoying.
At the Voyager crypto app LIMIT Buy/Sell page, it will NOT show you the current ask/bid prices. This is the ONLY exchange that does this which is nonsense. You’ll want to see the current bids so you know how much to set your price.
After setting a Limit Sell order as the lowest ask price, the Voyager app does not show my order! I even lowered the price more and it still did not display my order when the spread was still at a 3% difference. This tells me that Voyager app is rolling their fee into every order.
Trading Minimum: There is a minimum trade size of $10USD. Your order will automatically be rejected if you try to put in a trade worth less than $10. So if you don’t have $10, the Voyager crypto app doesn’t want anything to do with you.
Only USD Pairs: Some people like to sell their altcoins for BTC or ETH. That’s why it’s common to have these trading pairs at big exchanges. This is because you’ll save time and money when converting altcoins to BTC or ETH (and the other way around):
1 step: BTC -> DOGE / DOGE -> BTC
2 steps: BTC -> USD -> DOGE / DOGE -> USD -> BTC
Earning Interest On Voyager App
If you want to earn interest on the Voyager app with your cryptocurrency, you’ll need to meet the minimum balance. This can be pretty steep for some of the coins.
The actual interest earning rates for some of these coins is much lower than Nexo, BlockFi and Celsius Network. The only thing that the Invest Voyager App has is that you can earn interest on some coins that are not available at other platforms.
When does Voyager App pay interest? Interest is paid monthly. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular options. If you don’t see a cryptocurrency listed in the table, try the full list on the website.
|Cryptocurrency||Interest Rate (APR)|
What coins can you earn interest on with Voyager? You will be able to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies, though you can only collect interest on 20. You can find the full list of supported products here.
Where is Voyager Available and What are the Legal Restrictions?
Voyager is currently open to everyone in the United States. The exception is those living in New York. However, they plan to expand to more countries throughout 2021.
Before you can open your account, you will be required to provide specific information. This includes your name, address, email, mobile phone number, and date of birth. You will also need to provide your social security number.
There might be further legal requirements that you need to meet. You might need to provide your driver’s license. This will allow Voyager to verify your identity.
You will have an individual cryptocurrency account. This will make it easier for the IRS to discover your taxable obligations. It will also make it easier for Voyager to spot any signs of fraud.
I highly recommend freezing your credit reports with Experian, Equifax and Transunion. You can do that completely for free and I made a video tutorial on that. When your giving out your personal information, freezing your credit report can save your identity from being stolen.
What platforms can you use Voyager on? One of the downsides of Voyager is the limited ways that you can use it. It’s only available on mobile devices. It will be compatible with both Android and iOS.
Funding Your Invest Voyager Account
You can fund your Voyager account with either cryptocurrency or a bank ACH transfer. I would recommend a bank transfer, because it costs you money to send cryptocurrency. When you do a bank transfer with Voyager, they connect to your bank account using Plaid.
Plaid is a pretty common service that you’ll see that allows you to create a connection to your bank with their supported platforms. If you don’t trust the Voyager app, I completely agree. Whenever I connect to my bank account, I have an extra checking account that I only use for suspicious platforms. My real bank account with my actual funds never gets connected to these sites. I highly recommend getting an additional bank account for this very reason.
Is Voyager a scam?
I wouldn’t say that Voyager is a scam, but I would say their business practice is not in the best interest of their customers. They literally on “trade all of your favorite coins commission-free*” and then the in smaller print “Additional fees may apply.” Additional fees do apply. They do!
With that said, the additional fees on Voyager average 1.5%. So if you buy and sell a coin that’s a 3% fee which is outrageously high and it doesn’t make any sense why you would use this app…unless you thought that there were no fees and all trades were commission free.
How Safe is the Platform?
It’s common to be wary before trying a new platform. Like many other people, I have been burnt by shady companies in the past. Voyager, though, is a publicly-traded company. It’s listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol VYGVF. Because of this, they are held to a higher standard of scrutiny.
Like all public companies, they will be audited. Because of this, they will need to make sure that their records are kept up to scratch. They also advertise that they are actively trying to prevent hacking and fraud.
Another interesting safety feature is that they are insured with the FDIC to the value of $250,000. So, in theory, if something happens, you can expect to get your money back. Though I wouldn’t want to put this to the test.
How can you make your account more secure? The best way to make sure that your account is secure is by using 2-Step Verification. SMS verification is the default method. However, there are a few other options to explore. For example, you might want to use Authenticator.
Who is the CEO and How Legitimate is the Company?
The team that runs Voyager can be found online, with links to their LinkedIn pages. The CEO is Stephen Ehrlich. According to his LinkedIn page, he has 25 years of experience running organizations. He also has a CPA. He has experience helping financial companies before, working with Honos Financials.
There are a few reasons why I feel this is a legitimate company. First, they are listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. This ensures that they will need to meet regulatory scrutiny. If there is anything dodgy about the platform, the investors would have discovered it.
Also, all the people listed as involved in the company have experience with this kind of organization. There are multiple interviews and profiles with them. The company’s Twitter account is very active. When there is a problem, they respond promptly, trying to be as transparent as possible.
How Does the Voyager app Make Money?
Hidden fees that are rolled into every market buy, market sell, limit buy and limit sell. That’s how the Voyager Digital app makes its money.
Should You Use Voyager?
Heck no. I am obviously incentivized with a $25 bonus when you sign up, using my referral link, but you’ll end up losing A LOT of money in fees in the long run.
How to take advantage of the Voyager $25 bonus?
- Deposit $100 (use your bank ACH transfer because you’ll be subject to withdrawal fees from your crypto exchange)
- Buy $100 of USDC (this should trigger the trading requirement)
- You should get the $25 BTC bonus for “trading”
- Sell $100 USDC back to USD
- Sell the $25 worth of BTC to USD (you’ll probably get $24)
- Withdraw $124 back into your bank account.