Aspiration Spend & Save Review 2022: Socially-Conscious & Sustainable Financial Services

Katie Stiner

Aspiration is a digital banking alternative founded in 2013 in Marina Del Rey, California. They have targeted a unique consumer base, primarily consisting of millennials who are looking to support do-good businesses. Many big banks fund oil pipelines or political campaigns across the world. Aspiration is committed to supporting environmentally friendly businesses and claims to take a different approach from traditional banks. Aspiration also commits to donating 10% of its Pay What is Fair fees to charities.

Overall rating

4.7

Summary: Aspiration is a great option if you are environmentally conscious and interested in up to 10% cashback on select merchants.

Aspiration Spend & Save

aspiration logo

$0 - $7.99

Monthly Fee

3.00%

Est. APY


Reviews

5

Account Opening

4

Fees

5

Deposits & Withdrawals

4

Features

5

Customer Service

5

Safe & Secure

Pros

  • Conscience coalition cashback
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • High APY

Cons

  • Benefits only for subscribers
  • Cashback only at select merchants

Best For

  • Environmentally conscious clients
  • No hidden fees

Features

HQMarina Del Rey, California
Monthly Fee$0
Min. To Open$10
Min. Deposit For No Fee$0
Paper Statement FeeNot disclosed
Overdraft FeeNo overdrafts allowed
ATM FeeAccess to 55,000 free ATMs
RewardsUp to 10% cashback at select merchants
Debit CardMastercard
State RestrictionsAvailable in all US States

In depth review on Aspiration Spend & Save

Aspiration’s Spend and Save account offers a checking account that includes a debit card and a savings account. Spend and Save technically contains two separate accounts, but allows the customers to operate it as one seamlessly. The clients are not charged any mandatory fees for this account by Aspiration.

Aspiration’s Save account allows you to earn up to 3.00% APY and up to 5.00% APY for Aspiration Plus members. You need to meet a few conditions to qualify for these rates:

  • If you are not an Aspiration Plus member, you need to spend more than $1,000 per month to qualify to earn 3.00% APY on your balance up to $10,000.
  • Aspiration Plus members earn 5.00% APY if you spend more than $1,000 per month on balances up to $10,000, but it also comes with a fee of $7.99 per month or $5.99 if paid annually.

Aspiration also offers a tool called AIM, or Aspiration Impact Measurement. The tool provides clients with insight into their spending habits with a sustainability score for the merchants they shop at. Aspiration’s focus on sustainability and a positive impact on the environment makes it stand out in the market.

The financial institution is not a chartered, federally insured bank. However, it is a brokerage that offers a cash management account. They utilize their partnerships with banks to ensure that your money is secure.

Aspiration Spend & Save is best for

  • Environmentally conscious clients: Aspiration is dedicated to making efforts to protect the planet against climate change. The company guarantees that none of the deposits made by customers is ever used to fund fossil fuel projects. Aspiration’s acute focus on environmentally friendly practices is a great selling point if your views align with them.
  • No hidden fees: The Spend and Save account offers an extremely transparent fee structure. It has no maintenance fee. However, clients have the option to pay Aspiration what they think is a fair price for their services, even if it is zero. Additionally, the organization commits to donating 10% of this fee to charities.

Aspiration Spend & Save benefits

  • Conscience coalition cashback: Aspiration offers up to 10% cashback to Plus members, with its debit card when used at select merchants. Non-plus members still receive up to 3.00% – 5.00% cashback. The group of merchants is referred to as the Conscience Coalition and is picked by Aspiration as part of its initiative to have a positive impact on the environment. This encourages clients to shop at sustainable businesses.
  • User-friendly mobile app: The mobile app is available for both apple and android devices. It allows clients to manage their Spend and Save accounts from anywhere and at any time. The app also provides sustainability data regarding your spending habits.
  • High APY: The save account offers APY much higher than the average. You can earn up to 5% if you are an Aspiration Plus member and 3% if you are not.

Aspiration Spend & Save drawbacks

  • Requirements to unlock benefits: You need to be an Aspiration Plus member and need to spend more than $1,000 per month to qualify for the 5.00% APY (maximum APY available). Otherwise, you still need to spend $1,000 per month if you are a non-plus member to get a 3.00% APY.
  • Cashback only at select merchants: Aspiration’s debit card offers a very high cashback of up to 10%. However, your debit card transactions only qualify for cashback at select stores.

Account opening

5

Opening a new account is easy and straightforward. You can create a new account either from Aspiration’s official website or their mobile app. To be eligible to open an account, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen or Green cardholder, and have another bank account for the initial funding.

When creating an account, you will be required to provide some personal information such as your first name, last name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. You must also make a deposit of at least $10 to your account.

Fees

4

Aspiration does not charge its clients a service fee for the basic version of the Spend and Save account. However, you can subscribe to Aspiration Plus for $7.99 per month (or $5.99 is paid annually) to maximize your returns. Foreign transactions on your debit will incur a 1% fee. Additionally, wire transfers have the following fee:

  • Domestic incoming – $0.82
  • Domestic outgoing – $0.82
  • International incoming – $2.50
  • International outgoing – $15

Features

4

Aspiration’s Spend and Save account offers many features that make it a great free option. Some of these features are:

  • Focus on a positive impact on the environment
  • Large ATM network
  • High APY
  • Complete online service

Deposits and withdrawals

5

Aspiration offers its clients all traditional forms of depositing and withdrawing funds. You can use ACH transfers, mailed checks, mobile-deposited checks, or wire transfers to deposit funds. You can also use the above-mentioned methods to make withdrawals along with ATM withdrawals and point of sales withdrawals.

Customer service

5

Aspiration is a fully online brokerage and does not have any physical branches. Customers can reach Aspiration’s client support over the phone at 800-683-8529. You can talk to a customer representative Monday through Friday between 6 AM and 6 PM and 8 AM to 4 PM on the weekends. You can also submit your queries through the website or the mobile app.

Safe and secure

5

Your funds are FDIC insured for up to $250,000. This insurance protects your money in case a bank fails, resulting in the loss of your funds. Aspiration also provides fraud monitoring and monitors your transactions for unauthorized activities.

Is Aspiration Spend & Save right for you?

Aspiration’s Spend and Save account offers an affordable way to maintain a checking and savings account, while earning a high APY. You can maximize the APY you receive by subscribing to the Aspiration plus membership. In addition, if sustainability is something you care about, this account offers some very unique features that can be beneficial to you. This account is a solid option to conduct your day-to-day banking and make a positive impact on the environment.

APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is variable and accurate as of 1/12/2022. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice. To earn 3.00% APY (5.00% APY if customer is enrolled in Aspiration Plus) interest on Aspiration Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00 in any calendar month, customer must spend $1,000.00 or more, monthly, with their Aspiration debit card. Debit card transactions for money transfer vendors (for example, but not limited to, CashApp, Venmo, Facebook Pay) do not qualify towards the $1,000.00 spend requirement. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.00% APY (0.10% APY if customer is enrolled in Aspiration Plus). If the requirements are not met each month, the APY will be 0.00% APY (0.25% APY if customer is enrolled in Aspiration Plus) on Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.00% APY (0.10% if customer is enrolled in Aspiration Plus). For more information, click here. For additional information on national interest rates, click here. 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 Financial LLC is unaffiliated with any other named entity. Aspiration is not a bank.