Aspiration is a challenger “neobank” that offers cash management and investment products.
However, there’s one big difference: Aspiration puts a heavy emphasis on environmentally-friendly money management. The deposits you hold with Aspiration will never fund fossil fuel projects such as pipelines, oil drilling, and coal mines, and takes other actions that help you positively impact the environment.
Additionally, you can turn on a feature that rounds up every debit card transaction to the nearest dollar to plant trees — an easy way to help the environment.
In our Aspiration review, we’ll look at this company’s products, perks, and environmentally-friendly focus.
- Earn up to 10% cashback on qualifying purchases with Aspiration Plus account
- 55,000 fee-free, in-network AllPoint ATMs
- Socially-conscious finance: from planting trees with debit card roundups to carbon offsets on your gas purchases with Aspiration Plus
|Account Type||Key Features|
|Aspiration||● Pay what is fair, even if it’s $0
● Up to 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases
● Plant a tree with roundups (optional)
|Aspiration Plus||● Up to 5.00% APY on save account balance1
● Up to 10% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases
● Carbon offsets for your gas purchases2
Aspiration’s basic cash management account is simply called Aspiration. It’s “Pay What is Fair,” so you can get it for free or pay whatever you’d like. However, it requires a $10 minimum opening deposit.
Aspiration customers can earn 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases with their debit cards and gain access to 55,000 AllPoint ATMs with no ATM fees.
Additionally, you can turn on a feature that donates your round-ups to planting trees — an easy way to help the environment.
Aspiration also calculates a “personal sustainability score” on your purchases, which tells you how environmentally friendly your shopping is based on the companies you buy from.
Aspiration customers can upgrade to Aspiration Plus for $7.99/month or $72/year (equivalent to $5.99/month). This also requires a $10 minimum opening deposit.
Aspiration Plus customers gain access to up to 5.00% APY the first $10,000 in their Save account when they spend at least $1,000/month with their debit card. Customers who don’t reach the spending minimum earn 0.25% APY on the first $10,000. All balances over $10,000 earn 0.10% APY.
Speaking of spending, you can earn up to 10% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases, making it attractive to reach that $1,000/month minimum.
Alongside Aspiration’s tree-planting roundups and personal sustainability scores, Aspiration Plus includes carbon offsets — it adds up your gas purchases, then buys carbon offsets to help mitigate your potential environmental impact.
|Aspiration Plus||Up to 5.00%|
What is Aspiration Best For?
Aspiration is best for:
- High-yield cash management
- Cashback on purchases
- Low fees (no typical bank fees, like monthly maintenance or overdraft)
- Environmentally-conscious money management
Aspiration charges no fees for accidental overdrafts as part of their Pay What is Fair policy (the same one that makes Aspiration have no hidden fees). However, they strongly encourage customers to monitor their balances regularly. They may take other actions if you overdraw frequently.
That said, they may charge a $4.50 Returned Item fee for items returned unpaid that weren’t check or ACH items.3
Opening an Account at Aspiration
Any US citizen or permanent resident age 18 or older with a Social Security number and a checking or savings account somewhere else is eligible to open an Aspiration account.
Applying for an account is easy and takes about five minutes through the online application. You’ll need to provide necessary information like your name, Social Security number, funding method (your external bank account), and so on.
Once approved, just make your opening deposit, and you’re ready to go.
Pros and Cons
|Up to 5.00% APY on Aspiration Plus||Highest APY involves several hoops to jump through|
|Basic account is free||No CDs|
|55,000 free AllPoint ATMs||No physical branches|
|Environmentally-friendly money management features, like tree-planting roundups and carbon offsets for gas purchases|
Comparison to similar bank accounts
|Discover Bank||Marcus by Goldman Sachs||Ally Bank|
|APY: Up to 0.40% (Online Savings Account)||APY: 0.50%||APY: 0.50%|
|Minimum balance: $0||Minimum balance: None||Minimum balance: None|
4551 Glencoe Avenue
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Link to Ally Bank Review
The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Aspiration is not a bank. ¹The Aspiration Save Account’s up to 5.00% Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) with up to 83x the national interest rate is variable, subject to change, and only available to customers enrolled in Aspiration Plus after conditions are met. Customers not enrolled in Aspiration Plus receive 3.00% APY after conditions are met. Terms & FAQ. ² Planet Protection currently helps offset the CO2 emissions from driving your vehicle. This feature is bundled into the Aspiration Plus subscription and is not offered as a standalone feature that can be purchased separately. For more information on Aspiration Plus click here. ³ Aspiration is committed to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that Aspiration will only charge you what it costs us to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it’s $0, which is why we call it Pay What Is Fair. For a list of service charges, click here.
Aspiration’s Cash Back program is subject to change at any time and without notice, including reversal of rewards for abuse, fraud, and other illicit activity. Cash Back rewards are generally credited on the first day of each calendar month. Aspiration Standard customers receive up to 3-5% cash back while Aspiration Plus members receive up to 10% cash back. Everyday cashback is earned through AIM. For additional Cash Back details, click here & here.