Suction exam: a financial institution that gives back

GOBanking Rates Score

Quick take: Aspiration Bank approaches banking differently. It focuses on a small community presence. Along with the standard checking and savings accounts you’d expect from any online or traditional bank, Aspiration Bank offers ethical and socially responsible investment options.
  • APY
  • Advantages
  • Some products
  • Customer service

How did we calculate this?

Advantages

  • Opportunity to invest in sustainable businesses through Redwood and Flagship funds
  • No monthly service fees
  • No ATM fees
  • Direct deposits pay up to two days early

The inconvenients

  • Only one current account option
  • Fees such as $25 overdraft fee, $10 fee for domestic inbound transfers, and $20 outbound transfer fee

Introducing the Suction Bank

Based in Los Angeles, Aspiration Bank was founded in 2015 and is backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom. Aspiration Bank continues to attract customers ranging from large banks to small banks looking for a community experience.

The bank donates 10% of every dollar paid by customers to charities that help struggling Americans build better lives. Additionally, Aspiration Bank is a member of 1% for the Planet and certified B-Corp for its commitment to social and environmental causes.

Main characteristics

Aspiration Bank earned a GOBankingRates score of 4.7 out of 5 thanks to its strong performance in four main categories.

APY

Aspiration Bank doesn’t offer many account options, but offers high returns on your balances. Spending and savings accounts can earn % APY, while Aspiration Plus subscribers can earn higher APY on the first $10,000.00. However, account holders must spend at least $1,000 on their Aspiration debit cards per month to earn the high yield.

Advantages

One of the biggest benefits of banking with Aspiration Bank is the ability to do good. Aspiration automatically offsets the negative climate impact of driving your car and buying gas with the Planet Protection program. Additionally, you have the option of investing in two ethical mutual funds: the Redwood Fund and the Flagship Fund, both with a minimum opening deposit of $100.

The Redwood Fund is a mutual fund that includes investments in sustainable businesses. The majority of the fund’s money is invested in information technology and financials companies and is managed by UBS Asset Management Inc., one of the world’s largest asset managers.

This flagship fund is a low volatility fund. The main objective of the Flagship fund is to grow your investment over the long term while trying to withstand the unpredictability of market action.

Some products

Only one current account is available. But what Aspiration lacks in products, it makes up for with charitable banking policies and investment options. For example, the bank is tied to several charities and donates one dollar of every dollar they earn to the community. Aspiration’s Summit is a high yield current account. Here are some of the main features of the account:

  • Minimum deposit of $10
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum monthly balance
  • No minimum monthly deposit
  • No ATM fees at 55,000 locations.

You can upgrade to Aspiration Plus for $7.99 per month. This increases your potential APY and adds one ATM cashback per month as well as automatic carbon offsets for the gasoline you buy.

Customer service

To contact Aspiration Bank customer service agents, you can email [email protected] or call 1-800-683-8529, weekdays 6am-6pm PST and weekends 8am-3pm PST.

How Aspiration Bank Stands Out

What sets Aspiration Bank apart is its commitment to ethical banking for all. There are many ways to contribute to good causes. Moreover, the bank claims that your deposits will never fund coal or oil projects. For anyone looking for simple verification with a feel-good twist, Aspiration Bank is an ideal option.

Comparable Aspiration Banking Options

To compare banks before choosing, consider the following alternatives.

Aspiration Bank vs. Ally Bank

Aspiration Bank and Ally Bank both offer high yield accounts. Aspiration Bank’s rate is significantly higher, but it’s capped at the first $10,000 and requires debit card spending of $1,000 per month. Ally’s product is simpler – win 0% on your balance without having to do much.

Aspiration Bank versus Ellevest

Ellevest offers a similar banking platform that includes a spending and savings account and a linked ATM card. As Aspiration Bank caters to the ethically conscious customer, Ellevest is designed for women by women. Ellevest also offers funds focused on social and environmental causes, with up to 53% of your portfolio invested in ESG and impact funds.

How to register

To open an account with Aspiration Bank, enter your email address to receive an invitation to apply. The application process is quite simple – you will need to enter your name, address, social security number and set up a connection. When you’re ready to fund the account, provide a current bank account and routing number to transfer the funds. .

Who is Aspiration Bank best suited for?

Aspiration Bank is best for anyone looking for a simple checking account that doesn’t incur a lot of fees and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Aspiration’s focus on socially responsible investing could also be ideal for anyone making conscious decisions about who they do business with in order to make an impact.

Final take

Most banks fall into three broad categories: traditional bank, credit union or online bank. Aspiration Bank is unique because it offers a simple online banking experience with the ability to do good with your money.

FAQs

  • Is Aspiration a legit bank?
    • Aspiration Bank is not exactly a bank. However, it is a legitimate financial institution with FDIC insurance of up to $2.5 million per depositor.
  • Which bank owns Aspiration?
    • No bank owns Aspiration. However, the financial institution has partnered with several banks to provide FDIC coverage on its customers’ cash deposits up to $2.5 million per depositor.
  • How much does it cost to open an Aspiration bank account?
    • Opening an Aspiration current account is free. You can upgrade to Aspiration Plus for $7.99 per month to increase your APY and receive one ATM refund per month.

John Csiszar contributed reporting for this article.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Aspiration Bank. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, evaluations or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by Aspiration Bank.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise specified, prices are updated periodically. All other account information is accurate as of June 22, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create accurate, unbiased and up-to-date content. We verify every statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to ensure that the information we provide is correct. You can read more about GOBankingRates processes and standards in our Editorial Policy.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with a degree in international business and journalism from American University. In addition to writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design, and architecture. His work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates Open Skies magazine and more.

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