Aspiration Review

Top10.com Staff

In a Nutshell

Aspiration is a socially conscious online financial services firm that offers users variable interest rates and gives some of its profits to charity. Aspiration is best known for its cash management accounts, where users decide their own monthly fee and earn conscious cash back. It offers a green selection of benefits and products, including an optional tree planting service, impact measurement scores, and fossil fuel free accounts.

pros

  • You choose your monthly fee
  • Competitive interest for Aspiration Plus members
  • Cash back and rewards

cons

  • Limited number of financial products

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Aspiration at a Glance

Fees
You choose (seriously)
Personal loans available
No
Credit card available
No
SMS/Mail alerts
Yes
24 hour customer service
No
Money transfers
Yes
Check scanning
Yes
Average APY
Up to
1.00% APY (Annual Percentage Yield is variable and only available to Aspiration Plus customers after conditions are met)

Advantages Over Traditional Banks and other Financial Institutions

Banks may make you physically go into a branch to open a checking and savings account—and even after going to all that trouble, there’s no guarantee of getting a good rate. Because Aspiration is a financial services firm and not a chartered bank, users get the convenience of doing everything online, the benefit of competitive services, and the good feeling that comes from knowing your money is with a socially conscious and fossil fuel free financial institution.

Here are some of the advantages of banking with Aspiration:

  • Higher-than-average interest of up to
    1.00% APY. Annual Percentage Yield is variable and only available to Aspiration Plus members after conditions are met.
  • Open and manage your account from your computer or your phone, without any need to visit a branch.
  • Aspiration commits to give 10% of its own profits to charitable causes and makes it easy for you to give directly to tax-deductible charities too. It works with a range of non-profits that help address issues related to: poverty, water, education, the environment, health, human rights, and microloans.

Cutting-Edge Financial Services

With an Aspiration Spend & Save account, users get access to a long list of benefits and products. One of the biggest selling points to the Aspiration account is that you decide how much you pay in monthly fees.

Aspiration accounts include the following features:

  • As mentioned, you decide how much you pay in monthly fees through the “Pay What is Fair” model. You can pay $2, $10, or nothing—however much you like. You can increase or decrease your fee whenever you feel like it.
  • Unlimited cash back rewards on purchase from participating Conscious Coalition members.
  • Bill pay straight from Aspiration’s mobile app.
  • Mobile check deposits straight from the app.
  • Up to $1,000 in reimbursements if you are the victim of identity theft, and up to $600 in phone protection coverage when you pay your monthly fee with your Aspiration debit card. Learn more.

Traditional Financial Services

Aspiration doesn’t offer credit cards or loans, but it does offer a handful of other traditional Financial services.

Here’s where Aspiration competes with the big banks:

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide, with reimbursements within 2 business days of withdrawals.
  • Mastercard debit card issued by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Inc., with cash bank on purchases.
  • All deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $2.46 million per depositor.*

Interest Rates and Fees

Aspiration’s interest rates and fees are among its biggest selling points. Under its “Pay What is Fair” program, customers decide how much they want to pay each month. The Spend & Save account promotes interest rates of up to 1.00%APY for Aspiration Plus enrollees. In order to earn 1.00% APY on the first $10,000.00 in your Save Account in a particular month, you must also spend $1,000.00 or more with your Aspiration debit card that month. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.10% APY. If the spending requirement is not met in a particular month, the APY that month will be 0.25% on your Save Account balance up to and including $10,000.00, and 0.10% APY on any funds over $10,000.00.

Customer Service

Customer service is the one area where Aspiration appears to fall down. As the Better Business Bureau has noted, Aspiration has received a number of recent complaints about poor response times and difficulties in closing accounts. According to Aspiration, these difficulties were the consequence of a large number of customers joining up in a small period of time, and it has added more customer support staff to handle queries. 

Phone: 800-683-8529, from Monday to Friday, 7am – 5pm PT (10am – 8pm ET)

HQ: Aspiration Financial, LLC, 4551 Glencoe Ave Ste 300, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6681

Mobile Apps

Aspiration offers a mobile app for iOS and Android with some pretty cool features. The following are some of the highlights of the Aspiration mobile app:

  • Account Management, including transfers and wires
  • Automated Bill Pay.
  • Mobile Check Deposits.
  • AIM (Aspiration Impact Measurement), a new feature that lets you see the impact you’re making on people and the planet based on where you shop and spend with your Aspiration debit card.

Aspiration Aspiration Visit Site

Security

Aspiration protects customers in the following ways:

  • Its website employs firewalls and industry-standard 265-bit encryption to protect your personal information.
  • It promises never to sell or share your information without your permission.
  • It automatically notifies you of any suspicious activity related to your account.
  • Customers are required to use multi-factor authentication to get into their account
  • Cash accounts are FDIC-insured up to $2.46 million (higher than the standard $250,000).*

Conclusion

Aspiration is a solid option for anyone looking to park their money in a fossil fuel free account without losing a large chunk of their cash to fees. With a commitment to environmental and social causes, it’s a particularly good option for the socially conscious investors out there. Add to that the cash back, ID theft insurance, and phone protection, Aspiration offers a feature-packed green account that actually helps you save.

*Deposits are FDIC-insured up to $2.46 million per depositor by being swept to FDIC Member Institutions. Visit fdic.gov. Aspiration’s Program Banks.

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. Disclaimers. Aspiration is not a bank.

Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.

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