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Robo Advisors In Singapore (2021): What You Need To Know Before Investing

Here’s what you need to know before deciding to invest with a robo-advisory platform.

This article was first published on 2 March 2018 and been updated to include the latest information. This article also contains affiliate links. DollarsAndSense may receive a share of the revenue from your sign-ups. You can refer to our editorial policy here.

There are more than 10 robo-advisor platforms in Singapore today, each offering diverse options to invest our money.

Unlike more traditional investment solutions, robo-advisor platforms excel in providing digital tools that enable online account opening, attentive customer support, as well as understanding our online risk assessment to customise investment advice.

Many of these platforms have also extended their services to offer various types of investment styles as well as cash management accounts, a way for us to boost returns from cash savings we have.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Cash Management Accounts In Singapore

Before going into the individual platforms, we should understand some basics about robo-advisor platforms.


What Is A Robo Advisor?

What Are The Robo Advisor Platforms Available To Singapore Investors?

Investment in Unit Trusts
#1 Endowus
#2 MoneyOwl

Investment in ETFs
#3 DBS digiPortfolio
#4 AutoWealth
#5 StashAway
#6 Syfe
#7 UOBAM Invest
#8 UTrade Robo (UOB Kay Hian)
#10 Kristal.AI

Investment in Individual Stocks and ETFs
#11 OCBC RoboInvest

How Do Robo Advisors Work?

Comparison Based On The Amount Invested, And The Fees Charged

Pros And Cons Of Investing With A Robo Advisor

Try A Robo-Advisor For Yourself


What Is A Robo Advisor?

The term “robo advisors” is commonly used to describe digital platforms that utilise automated solutions and algorithms to help us invest and manage our money. By doing this, robo-advisors are able to reduce the number of human advisors they employ, bring high-quality and more consistent investment advice to the masses, and scale up operations very efficiently.

Robo advisor platforms make also use of digital tools to improve customer experience, enabling a hassle-free online account open process, as well as conducting online risk assessments to provide personalised investment advice and solutions to customers. The best robo advisor platforms also deliver extensive educational content as well as regularly host online and offline educational events for their community.

Similar to mutual funds and ETFs, robo advisor platforms pool together funds from many smaller investors to make large and diversified investments. This helps smaller investors incur lower sales charges and achieve diversification even if they only invest a small sum of money.

In addition, investors can take a passive approach in managing their investments, as well as leverage on digital tools to set investment goals.

It is important to note that algorithms that any robo-advisor platforms use are ultimately programmed by humans based on financial models and follow a set of rules and instructions. These sets of rules and instructions can also be tweaked by the various platforms from time to time.

However, this also means that robo-advisors are participating in the same financial markets and investing in the same asset classes as regular investor, such as stocks, REITs, bonds and money market fund. Thus, when we understand how a particular robo-advisor invests, we will have a realistic expectation on the kind of returns we will receive (and risks we take on).


What Are The Robo Advisor Platforms Available To Singapore Investors?

No. Robo-Advisor Platform Minimum Investment Yearly Advisor Fees
Investments In Funds (for main portfolio)
1 Endowus $1,000 – 0.4% (CPF and SRS portfolio)
– 0.25% to 0.6% (Cash portfolio)
– 0.05% (Cash Smart portfolio)
2 MoneyOwl Dimensional portfolio: $50 (per month)
$100 (lump sum)Income portfolio: $100 (per month)
$1,000 (lump sum)Cash management: $10
– 0.5% to 0.6% (Dimensional portfolio)
– 0.25 to 0.3% (Income portfolio)
– 0% (cash management portfolio)
Investments In ETFs
3 DBS digiPortfolio Asia portfolio: $1,000

US Portfolio: US$1,000

4 Autowealth $3,000 – 0.5%
– USD$18 (platform fee)
5 StashAway None

Income portfolio: $10,000

0.2% to 0.8%
6 Syfe None 0.4% to 0.65%
7 UOBAM Invest $1 0.6% to 0.8%
8 UTrade Robo (UOB Kay Hian) $5,000 0.5% to 0.88%
9 FSM MAPS $500 (per month)
$1,000 (lump sum)
– 0.0875% (Conservative portfolio)
– 0.125% (Other portfolios)
10 Kristal.AI None – 0% (Under US$10,000)
– 0.3% (Above US$10,000)
Investments In Individual Stocks And ETFs
11 OCBC RoboInvest US$100 to HK$350,000 0.88%

As you can see, even between robo-advisor platforms, there are different investment methodologies, and of course the costs also vary. Below is more detailed information on each of the robo-advisor platforms.

Investments In Funds

#1 Endowus


  • Invest Cash
  • Invest CPF
  • Invest SRS
  • Cash Smart (Cash Management portfolio)
  • Fund Smart
  • Invest ESG

Advisor Fees:

  • 0.4% p.a. (CPF and SRS Portfolio)
  • 0.25% p.a. to 0.6% p.a. (Cash portfolio)
    • Under $200,000 – 0.6%
    • Above $200,001 to $1,000,000 – 0.5%
    • Above $1,000,001 to $5,000,000 – 0.35%
    • Above $5,000,001 – 0.25%
  • 0.05% (Cash management portfolio)

Minimum Investment Amount: $1,000


Endowus is an independent fee-only financial advisor, providing high-quality financial advice and creating personalised asset allocation and portfolio for investors. Endowus’ approach is to select the best-in-class funds, while building a globally-diversified and low-cost portfolio for investors.

Read Also: Understanding Endowus: How This FinTech Investment Advisor Will Help S’pore Investors Access Superior Global Portfolios At Low Cost

It offers retail investors access to institutional share classes, which were never previously within reach, on funds offered by world-renowned global investment management companies, Dimensional Fund Advisory, PIMCO, First State Investments, Eastspring Investments, Vanguard, Schroders and others.

Besides its cash portfolio, Endowus also offers investments funded by CPF or SRS monies. Endowus also launched a cash management account, Endowus Cash Smart which you can use as a standalone product, or alongside other Endowus investment portfolios. Endowus Fund Smart was launched to help investors custom design their own ideal investment portfolio. With Endowus Fund Smart, investors can choose from a curated list of over 70 funds that have already been identified as best-in-class by its team.

Read Also: How Endowus Fund Smart Can Help Investors Create Their Own Best-In-Class Unit Trusts Portfolio In Singapore

Most recently, Endowus launched its ESG portfolio, built with the best ESG, sustainable and climate funds from both equity and fixed income funds from top ESG managers.

Read Also: How The Endowus ESG Portfolios Can Help You Get Exposure In ESG Investments

Invest Better With Endowus

If you’re interested to start investing with Endowus, you’ll be happy to know that DollarsAndSense readers can have their first $10,000 managed for free for 6 months, which translates to savings of $20 in fees. Sign-up using this link to claim this special offer. Terms & Conditions apply.


#2 MoneyOwl


  • Dimensional portfolio
  • WiseIncome (Income portfolio)
  • WiseSaver (Cash Management portfolio)

Advisor Fees: 

  • Dimensional portfolio:
    • 0.6% p.a. (up to $100,000)
    • 0.5% p.a. (Above $100,000)
  • WiseIncome:
    • 0.3% p.a. (up to $100,000)
    • 0.25% p.a. (Above $100,000)
  • WiseSaver: 0%

Minimum Investment Amount:

  • Dimensional portfolio:
    • $50 (per month)
    • $100 (Lump sum)
  • WiseIncome:
    • $100 (per month)
    • $1,000 (lump sum)
  • WiseSaver: $10

MoneyOwl is a social enterprise joint venture between NTUC Enterprise and Providend. In August 2020, MoneyOwl announced that it would permanently reduce its advisory fees for all amounts, permanently absorb all platform fees, and waive advisory fees for the first $10,000 invested with them till 31 December 2021.

MoneyOwl incorporates advice from both humans and robots to deliver low-cost investment solutions to its clients. Its Dimensional portfolio currently offers 5 investment profiles – Equity, Growth, Balanced, Moderate and Conservative – which are created through different combinations of 4 globally diversified Dimensional equity and bond funds, determined based on investors’ risk appetite.

It also has an income portfolio – WiseIncome – for investors who prefer to see cash flow coming in from their investments.

MoneyOwl doesn’t just provide investment solutions either, offering its own cash management account, as well as comprehensive financial advisory for insurance and wills writing.

Read Also: Investing With MoneyOwl: Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Invest With Them


Investments In ETFs

#3 DBS digiPortfolio


  • Asia portfolio
  • Global portfolio

Minimum Investment Amount

  • Asia portfolio ($1,000)
  • Global portfolio (US$1,000)

Advisor Fees: 0.75% p.a.

DBS digiPortfolio provides investors with two main portfolios – Asia Portfolio and Global Portfolio – consisting of the best funds from DBS’ platform. Its Asia Portfolio invests in Singapore-listed ETFs while its Global Portfolio invests in UK-listed ETFs.

As its portfolios may be purchased in SGD and USD, customers are required to also open a Multi-Currency Account with DBS. This can include the popular DBS Multiplier Account, My Account, eMulti-Currency Autosave (eMCA), eMulti-Currency Autosave Plus (EMCA+) or Multi-Currency Autosave Plus.

There are no other sales charges, platform fees, or switching fees.

For customers wishing to opt for the Global Portfolio, there is an additional hurdle, since it is classified as a Specified Investment Product (SIP). Since it is USD-denominated, investors must also be willing to take on currency risk, and must pass a Customer Account Review.

Read Also: Investors In Singapore: What Is SIP Accreditation And Should You Get It?


#4 AutoWealth

Portfolio: Globally diversified stocks and government bonds  

Minimum Investment Amount: $3,000

Advisor Fees:

  • 0.5% p.a. (Management fee)
  • USD$18 p.a. (Platform fee)

AutoWealth portfolios comprise a mix of equity and bonds through index-tracking ETFs listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. AutoWealth also assigns clients a wealth manager who is readily available via whatsapp.

AutoWealth’s fees are also structured slightly differently, with both a management fee of 0.5% p.a. and an annual platform fee of USD$18.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Opening An AutoWealth Account For New Singapore Investors

Sign up with AutoWealth and use the promo code ‘DollarsAndSense‘ to receive a $20 top-up into your account once you fund it with the $3,000 minimum. Once you do so, let us know what you think!

#5 StashAway


  • Goal-based portfolio (cash)
  • Goal-based portfolio (SRS)
  • Income portfolio
  • StashAway Simple (Cash Management portfolio)

Minimum Investment Amount:

  • Goal-based portfolios: none
  • Income portfolio: $10,000
  • StashAway Simple: none

Advisor Fees: 

  • Goal-based and income portfolios:
    • First $25,000 – 0.8%
    • Additional amount above $25,000 to $50,000 – 0.7%
    • Additional amount above $50,000 to $100,000 – 0.6%
    • Additional amount above $100,000 to $250,000 – 0.5%
    • Additional amount above $250,000 to $500,000 – 0.4%
    • Additional amount above $500,000 to $1,000,000 – 0.3%
    • Additional amount above $1,000,000 – 0.2%
  • StashAway Simple: 0%

StashAway employs a proprietary investment strategy they call Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA), based on the theory of economic cycles. Through monitoring changing economic indicators, they rebalance the asset allocation mix of customers’ portfolios accordingly. It offers 33 ETFs investments spanning diverse sectors and geographies.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Opening An Account And Investing Through Singapore-Based Robo-Advisor StashAway

You can also invest your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds via StashAway, as well as invest in its Singapore-focused income portfolio, comprising the STI ETF, Singapore government bonds ETF, corporate bond ETFs, REITs ETFs.

Read Also: StashAway Income Portfolio: How You Can Get 3.75% Dividends From your Investments Each Year

StashAway also launched StashAway Simple, its cash management account. StashAway Simple does not charge a management fee and rebates the trailer fees it receives from the underlying funds. StashAway Simple has a projected return rate of 1.2% p.a.

Enjoy 50% Management Fees For 6 Months With StashAway

For those who are interested to try the StashAway platform for yourself, StashAway is giving 50% off in management fees for 6 months, for up to $50,000 in portfolio value.

That makes it perfect for giving StashAway a try and see if it is the robo-advisor for you. You can sign-up for free today to enjoy this exclusive promotion.

Read Also: Supplementary Retirement Scheme – 4 Things You Need To Understand Before Opening An SRS Account


#6 Syfe 


  • Core portfolio
    • Core Growth
    • Core Balanced
    • Core Defensive
  • REIT portfolio: REIT+
  • Cash Management: Cash+
  • Other portfolios: Equity 100 and Global ARI

Minimum Investment Amount: None

Advisor Fees: 0.4% p.a. to 0.65% p.a.

  • Under $20,000: 0.65% p.a.
  • Above $20,000: 0.5% p.a.
  • Above $100,000: 0.4% p.a.

Syfe uses an Automated Risk-managed Investments (ARI) strategy, their proprietary investment methodology, which automatically adjusts your portfolio to ensure enhanced risk-adjusted returns by managing your portfolio’s downside risk.

Unlike many other robo advisors, Syfe’s portfolio is diversified into not just equities and bonds, but commodities as well. It does so via ETFs listed on the US stock exchange.

Complementing its Global portfolio, Syfe also has an Equity100 portfolio invested entirely into equities and has also launched Singapore’s first risk-managed REIT portfolio, named Syfe REIT+ to give users more investment choices. In addition, Syfe has also launched its cash management account, Syfe Cash+.

If you are interested to get started on investing with Syfe, DollarsAndSense has an exclusive partnership with Syfe – enjoy 0% management fee for the first $30,000 during the first 6 months after you sign up. Apply here to enjoy the promotion. 

Read Also: Investing With Syfe: 5 Things You Need To Know About Singapore’s Newest Robo-Advisor


#7 UOBAM Invest

Portfolio: Globally diversified investments

Minimum Investment Amount: $1

Advisor Fees: 0.6% p.a. to 0.8% p.a.

  • $25,000 and below: 0.8% p.a.
  • Above $25,000: 0.6% p.a.

Launched by UOB Asset Management, UOBAM Invest is the latest robo advisor in the market. UOBAM Invest employs a Glide-path model to gradually allocate funds towards safer assets as investors move closer to their target goal completion date.

Your UOBAM Invest portfolio may comprise ETFs across diversified asset classes including equities, bonds and money markets.


#7 UTrade Robo (UOB Kay Hian)

Portfolio: Low cost ETFs listed in major stock exchanges

Minimum Investment Amount: $5,000

Advisor Fees: 0.5% p.a. to 0.88% p.a.

  • $50,000 and Below: 0.88%
  • Above $50,000: 0.68%
  • Above $100,000: 0.5%

UOB Kay Hian’s UTrade Robo invests in multi-assets, including stocks, bonds and commodities, as well as globally diversified portfolios. It selects low-cost ETFs listed globally to represent each asset class.

On its website, UTrade Robo states that it utilises the Modern Portfolio Theory to allocate among asset class to determine the maximum expected returns for a given level of risk.

While it has a minimum investment amount of $5,000 per portfolio, subsequent top-ups of investments can be made with a minimum amount of $500.



Portfolios: Globally diversified portfolios, customised into 5 income and 5 growth portfolios, depending on an investors risk appetite

Minimum Investment Amount:

  • $1,000 (Lump Sum)
  • $500 (Regular Savings Plan)

Advisor Fees:

  • 0.0875% (Conservative portfolio)
  • 0.125% (Other portfolios)

FSM Managed Portfolio, or FSM MAPS, doesn’t completely leave the analysis and investment decisions to a predetermined algorithm. Rather, its portfolio managers and research analysts study the markets and products available in the market to gain the exposure they desire.

It offers 10 portfolios straddling either Income or Growth investment objective, varying on five risk profiles, from Conservative to Aggressive.Investors have to start with a minimum of $500 for its Regular Savings Plan and $1,000 for a lump sum investment.

Read Also: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Investing Using A Regular Savings Plan (RSP)


#10 Kristal.AI

Portfolios: Curated ETFs that are auto-rebalanced

Minimum Investment Amount: None

Advisor Fees:

  • Under $10,000: 0% p.a.
  • Above $10,000: 0.3%

Kristal.AI offers two types of account – i) Kristal Freedom for all investors and ii) Kristal Private Wealth for Accredited Investors only. For Kristal Freedom, portfolios comprise ETFs and ETF baskets.

Kristal has custom-curated investing strategies for clients. Its investment committee provides regular updates on market movements and advice on target volatility, value at risk limits, and other parameters which are again incorporated into the portfolio advice. Its advice will also take into account individual investment preferences, such as not wanting to invest in certain regions or types of investments.

Quite uniquely, Kristal charges no fees for investors with under US$10,000 invested, and only starts charging a 0.3% management fee on your account when the value increases to more than US$10,000. Other than management fee, they also charge a custody, asset operating fee and possibly deposit and withdrawal charges in foreign currencies.


Investments In Individual Stocks And ETFs

#11 OCBC RoboInvest

Portfolios: 34 portfolios across 6 markets

Minimum Investment Amount: US$100 to HK$350,000 ($137 to $61,700)

Advisor Fees: 0.88% p.a.

OCBC RoboInvest It offers a diverse selection of 34 thematic portfolios across six risk tolerance levels for its investors. Uniquely, it is the only platform offering the ability to get invested into individual stocks within the themes we select.

Its minimum investment amount starts from US$100 which is offered for several portfolios. However, the minimum investment amount can go up to several thousand dollars, typically under US$5,000, depending on the portfolio investors choose. On a Hong Kong-focused tech portfolio, we found that it required a minimum investment of HK$350,000, which amounts to $61,700.

How Robo Advisors In Singapore Typically Work

Each platform has its own unique ways of offering a robo advisor financial service, but the broad overview is the same:

Step 1: Sign-up and answer a detailed questionnaire about your risk appetite and intended investment time horizon.

Step 2: Fund your account, either on a lump sum or monthly basis.

Step 3: Upon receiving your funds, your robo advisor will then purchase a mix of ETFs (and if applicable, other assets) that corresponds to what they consider “optimal” based on your profile and the current market conditions.

Step 4: The robo advisor will monitor the market and perform rebalancing when necessary to manage risk and maximise potential returns.

As far as we can tell, all of the robo advisors make the majority of their investments in US and global ETFs with exposure to a variety of asset classes including equities, bonds, gold and other commodities.

We typically also incur additional fees for trading/clearing investments.

Comparison Based On The Amount Invested, And The Fees Charged

Some investors may make their decision on which robo advisor platform to use base on the amount they intend to invest. We don’t recommend that you only look at fees only, since the main decision criteria should be whether you agree with their investment methodology in the first place. As with all investments, do not invest in something you do not fully understand.

However, cost is nevertheless a factor we should not ignore. Here’s a rough guide to the cost that you can expect to incur using each of the platform.

Annual Fees/Year Amount Invested
$1,000 $11,000 $51,000 $250,000
Endowus $6 $66 $306 $1,250
MoneyOwl $6 $66 $306 $1,250
DBS digiPortfolio $7.50 $82.50 $382.50 $1,875
AutoWealth N.A. $79.30 $279.30 $1,274.30
StashAway $8 $88 $381 $1,425
Syfe $6.50 $71.50 $255 $1,000
UOBAM Invest $8 $88 $305 $1,500
UTrade Robo N.A. $96.80 $346.80 $1,250
FSM MAPS $1.25 $13.75 $63.75 $312
Kristal.AI $0 $0 $153 $750
OCBC RoboInvest N.A. $96.80 $448.80 $2,200

Some robo advisors have a minimum investment amount, thus, costs are not applicable (N.A.)

Do note that beyond the fees that you fork out, there are also other fees involved when investing. Do look out for the Total Expense Ratio of the underlying funds or investments before putting your money into it. You will typically also bear the cost of currency conversion fees and should ask the robo-advisory firm if you are unsure how much they will charge. As mentioned, you may also incur trading/clearing fees in addition. Some robo advisors may also have other charges.

Pros And Cons Of Investing With A Robo Advisor

Pro #1: You Don’t Need a Large Amount of Capital

When investing as an individual, there are minimum trade sizes and high transaction costs imposed on the account, and this makes investing as an individual cost-prohibitive. Robo advisors allows you to own fractional portions of ETFs, which is impossible to do on your own unless you have a large capital.

Pro #2: Diversification

Because of the scale that technology enables, robo advisors can offer detailed monitoring of market indicators and apply sophisticated investment strategies based on them, much like what mutual funds provide, but at lower cost.

Pro #3: Personalised Portfolio

Rather than needing to pick from a list of mutual funds that you think best fit your needs, robo advisors can give you a portfolio mix that is more finely tuned to your needs (as the robo advisor deems to be appropriate), though not completely personalised on an individual level.

Pro #4: Passive Approach

The idea with robo advisors is that you do not need to rebalance your portfolio as market conditions change. Rebalancing is done by robo advisors for you, automatically.

Read Also: 3 Important Differences Of Automated Investing From Traditional Investing

Pro #5: “Low Fees”

Robo advisors generally charge lower annual management fees than professionally managed funds do. We all know that fees have a compounding effect that eats into our returns, especially over the long term. The higher the fees, the less returns we enjoy for the same amount invested and asset performance.

This point about “low fees” does come with a caveat. While robo advisor fees are admittedly lower than what mutual funds charge, it is still an additional cost that you are incurring, as opposed to buying the ETFs yourself and managing your own portfolio. So you need to decide if the value robo advisors provide is worth the fees you pay, over the long-term.

Con #1: Letting Emotions Get In The Way

Even though you automating the investment process, your emotions can still sway your decisions. This means panic selling during a downturn or making the decision to sell after an upswing in the markets.

Con #2: Forgetting Your Long-Term Investment Needs

Because you automate your investments, you may think it is well taken care of. However, you may forget to increase your investment size as you progress in your career and earn more or when you have more children.

Con #3: Currency Exchange Spread and Risk

Typically, in Singapore right now, robo advisors tend to be heavily invested in US-based ETFs. This means your money will be subject to USD conversions at spot rates, as well as incurring currency conversion fees charged by brokers.

Con #4: The Fees

It might be ironic to say that the fees are a reason not to use robo advisors, since they are one of the draws. However, as mentioned earlier, robo advisor fees are recurring costs, which are on top of underlying fund-level fees or Total Expense Ratio (TER) that may also be charged. Finally, as mentioned, there is a currency conversion fee you also need to be aware of.

If you like the benefits of what ETFs offer and are willing to put in some time and effort to do-in-yourself, then you would be able to save quite a bit, especially over the longer-term. So you need to evaluate if you really need a “purely passive” option that robo advisors provide, or can spare some time to periodically review and manage your portfolio.

Read Also: Fund Management Costs: 3 Ways Your Returns Are Being Eroded By “Hidden” Charges

Con #5: Lack of Flexibility

The whole idea of robo advisors is that you take the emotion out of investing, and that they help you to make “smart” choices based on their algorithms. However, what happens when you do not agree with the choices made by the robo advisor?

If you have a particular opinion or insight that you think isn’t picked up on by the robo advisor, then you might want to give them a miss. Also, you cannot choose a specific ETF to include (or exclude), which can be irritating, since a portion of your money is deployed in something you do not believe in.

Con #6: Tax On Dividends

Many of these robo advisors buy ETFs listed in the US, your dividends are subject to a 30% dividend withholding tax. What that means is that your dividend returns are lesser compared to buying ETFs listed elsewhere. It is unclear whether the robo advisors take this 30% dividend tax into account when doing their projections.


Try A Robo-Advisor For Yourself

Since it doesn’t cost you anything to register and tinker around with the platforms, you should do it and see for yourself how robo-advisors allow you to easily set your risk profile, get insights into your portfolio, and project your investment returns.

If you’d like to try a robo-advisor for yourself, DollarsAndSense has partnered with Endowus, StashAway, AutoWealth and Syfe to give you a headstart on your robo-investing journey.

Endowus is offering DollarsAndSense readers a first $10,000 managed for free for 6 months, which translates to savings of $20 in fees. Sign-up using this link to claim this special offer. Terms & Conditions apply.

StashAway is giving 50% off in management fees for 6 months, for up to $50,000 in portfolio value. That makes it perfect for taking StashAway on a test drive and see if it is the robo-advisor for you. You can also start investing your SRS funds with StashAway to start growing your retirement nest egg today. You can sign-up for free today at this link.

Sign up with AutoWealth and use the promo code ‘DollarsAndSense‘ to receive a $20 top-up into your account once you fund it with the $3,000 minimum. Once you do so, let us know what you think.

If you are interested to get started on investing with Syfe, DollarsAndSense has an exclusive partnership with Syfe – enjoy 0% management fee for the first $30,000 during the first 6 months after you sign up. Apply here to enjoy the promotion.