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Aspiration Spend & Save Account review
This account is focused on saving the planet, but you'll need to pay for membership to be eligible to earn up to 5% APY.
finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0
With a focus on doing good, the Aspiration Spend & Save Account gives you cash back on debit card purchases and up to a 5.00% APY on the first $10,000 in your Save account — if you spend at least $1,000 a month and pay for an Aspiration Plus membership. And if you don’t meet the requirements, your APY can drop as low as 0% to 0.25% APY.
5.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000 for Aspiration Plus members who make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases each month. Otherwise, 0.25% APY on balances up to $10,000 and 0.1% APY on balances greater than $10,000. Basic members earn 3% APY on balances up to $10,000 when they spend $1,000 each month. Otherwise, you won't earn APY.
From $0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Intro or bonus offer
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
Aspiration is best for those looking for an account that is also socially conscious. This versatile cash management account comes with a large ATM network and almost no fees. And it earns a great APY on balances up to $10,000 if you spend at least $1,000 each month. But best of all, you’ll rest easy knowing you’re working with a socially conscious firm. It’s rare to see any company commit to donating 10% of its earnings, and Aspiration sets an admirable example.
However, Aspiration doesn’t offer physical branches, and you’ll only earn the advertised 5% APY on the first $10,000 in your Save account if you pay $5.99 to $7.99 per month for an Aspiration Plus membership and spend at least $1,000 a month.
If you don’t upgrade to Aspiration Plus, it may still be worth getting the account as you can still earn 3% on the first $10,000 in your account, when you meet the $1,000 monthly spending requirement.
But if you want to take advantage of the one monthly free ATM reimbursement you’ll also need to upgrade to the Plus account.
Must read: Aspiration Summit account
As of August 2019, all Aspiration Summit accounts have been converted to Spend & Save accounts. If you had a Summit account, your debit card and routing number will remain the same, but you will have a new account number.
If you’re a new customer, you’ll be able to open a Spend & Save account instead of a Summit account.
Option to plant a tree with every round up through Plant Your Change
View your personal sustainability score based on your daily spending
$7.99 or $5.99 a month if you pay annually
Up to 5%
10% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases
55,000 free in-network ATMs
1 out-of-network ATM reimbursement a month
Everything in the basic plan, plus:
Planet Protection (Aspiration purchases carbon offsets every time you gas up your car)
Debit card made from recycled ocean plastic
What’s Plant Your Change and how does it work?
Plant Your Change is an opt-in feature that rounds your Aspiration debit card purchases to the nearest dollar. For every dollar you round up, Aspiration will plant a tree. Plus, for every tree that gets planted, you’ll earn cash rewards:
How do I open a Aspiration Spend & Save Account?
You can apply for the Aspiration Spend & Save Account online within minutes:
From Aspiration’s website, enter your email address and click Get Started.
Create your password, read and agree to the terms and conditions and click Next.
Enter your full name and date of birth and click Next.
Enter your Social Security number and click Next.
Enter your address and phone number and click Next.
Choose whether or not you want to round up your purchases, then click Continue.
Connect to your existing bank account through Plaid, by finding your bank and signing in.
Follow the prompts to complete your application, fund your account with an opening deposit. Then review your deposit and submit your application.
Sign up for the Spend & Save Account when you meet these requirements:
US citizen or permanent resident
At least 18 or older
Have a Social Security number
Have a permanent US address
Initial deposit of $10
Be prepared to give the following information when you sign up:
Personal information like your name and birthday
Contact details including phone number and address
Social Security number
Exisiting bank account
Compare Aspiration Spend & Save Account to similar accounts
We gathered a quick comparison of similar accounts to help you decide if Aspiration Spend & Save Account is right for you. For more options, select “Compare accounts” to compare even more accounts for your banking needs.
What are the benefits of the Aspiration Spend & Save Account?
The Aspiration Spend and Save account lets you support charities that change the world and has FDIC-insured deposits up to $2 million, as well as these benefits:
Signup bonus. New customers get a $150 bonus when they open an account and spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Aspiration Plus members get a $200 bonus.
Aspiration Impact Measurement. Check the impact of your spending with its two ratings: a People Score and a Planet Score. The higher your score, the more confidence you have knowing your money is going toward improving the world.
Minimal fees. Unless you opt for the Plus account, there’s no mandatory monthly fee. You also won’t pay anything for overdrafts and service charges are lower than its competitors. For example, wire transfers only cost you what Aspiration pays: $0.82.
High APYs. Earn up to 5.00% APY on your Save balance as long as you’re a Plus member and meet these requirements. But even if you don’t upgrade to Aspiration Plus, you can still earn 3% APY on balances up to $10,000 if you meet the monthly $1,000 spending requirement.
Free ATM usage. Use any Allpoint ATM in the US for free. Aspiration doesn’t charge fees for using ATMs outside of this network, but you’re still subject to operator fees. And if you’re a Plus member, you’re entitled to one ATM reimbursement a month.
Cashback rewards. Earn cash back whenever you use your Aspiration debit card at stores under the Conscience Coalition.
How can I earn 5% APY on my Aspiration Spend and Save account?
You’ll earn 5% APY on the first $10,000 in your account as long as you meet both of the following requirements:
Enroll in Aspiration Plus
Spend at least $1,000 or more with the Aspiration debit card
If you don’t meet the spend requirement, the APY will drop to 0.25% or 0.10% for balances over $10,000. And if you don’t upgrade to Aspiration Plus, you can still earn 3.0% APY on balances up to $10,000 by spending at least $1,000 each month. Otherwise, you won’t earn any interest.
Daily spending and transfer limits
There is a $1,000 daily limit for cash withdrawals from an ATM and a $4,000 daily limit for PIN purchases or any charges requiring your signature.
You’ll also be limited to a $5,000 daily outgoing transfer limit and a $1,000 daily incoming transfer limit. These limits only apply to transfers made on the Aspiration’s online platform.
For the first 30 days after you open your account, you’ll have lower limits on ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases and transfers. Once you’ve been with Aspiration for more than 90 days, your incoming transfer limit may change depending on your account type.
What to watch out for
Here are a few things to watch out for when opening an account with Aspiration:
Requirements to earn max APY. To earn Aspiration’s best interest rate, you must be an Aspiration Plus member and pay $7.99 per month ($5.99 per month if you pay annually). You’ll also need to spend at least $1,000 with your Aspiration debit card each month.
No physical branches. Aspiration operates entirely online, meaning you’ll need to call or go online to contact customer service, and check deposits can only be made through your mobile app.
Limited product selection. As an investment firm, Aspiration doesn’t offer savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs and other common accounts, so you might want to keep looking if you want all your accounts at one institution. This also means you can’t link your account for overdraft protection.
Required bank account. To complete your application, you’ll need to link to your existing bank account. You don’t have the option of skipping this application step and connecting your account at a later time.
If you’re looking for an account with more branch locations, you’ll want to keep looking. As always compare your options when choosing a checking account.
Is Aspiration Spend & Save Account safe?
Yes. Aspiration accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $2.46 million dollars. This level of insurance is significantly higher than most other cash management accounts because Aspiration has relationships with 10 partner banks, each of which can insure your deposits for up to $246,000.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account reviews and complaints
Aspiration is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives it a D+ rating based on more than 160 complaints in the past three years. And based on nearly 30 customer reviews on the BBB’s website, Aspiration has an average rating of 1.63 out of 5 stars.
On Trustpilot, Aspiration earns an average of 3.2 out of 5 stars based on 138 reviews. Many of the reviews and complaints on both sites relate to issues accessing accounts and withdrawing deposited funds. Several also mention negative experiences with customer support specialists.
How do I make deposits or withdrawals?
Despite being online-only, it’s easy to access money in the Aspiration Spend & Save Account:
Mobile check deposit
Visit any ATM worldwide
How do I contact customer service?
To get in touch with Aspiration customer service you can:
Email: Fill out the form on the Aspiration contact page
What other products does Aspiration offer?
Aspiration Financial is an investment broker-dealer and can help you grow your investments or save for retirement, all while donating to charity.
With a $10 minimum deposit, you can get started with Aspiration’s managed funds:
Redwood Fund. Invest in companies that support sustainable environmental policies.
Flagship Fund. Invest in multiple mutual funds at once to spread your risk.
Open an IRA with a $10 minimum deposit. Choose between the Redwood IRA and Flagship IRA.
Frequently asked questions
Aspiration commits to donating 10% of its earnings to charity. It maintains multiple funds to disperse its contributions, including the Poverty Fund, Water Fund, Education Fund and Environment Fund.
When you refer a friend, Aspiration donates $25 to the charity of your choice and another $25 to one of your friend’s.
Aspiration looks at where you’re spending your money. Your score is determined by the stores you’re shopping at and whether those businesses are socially or environmentally impacting the world in a positive way.
No. It doesn’t have any accounts that are specifically designed for students, but that doesn’t prevent students from opening an account if they are 18.
You can earn cash back on your purchases through these merchants:
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