Aspiration Summit checking account review | finder.com

Aspiration Summit Account review

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An interest-bearing checking account with no monthly fees and free access to ATMs around the world.

With a focus on doing good, Aspiration separates itself from other financial firms, donating 10% of its revenue to charity.

And its Summit Account is proof of this. With this interest-bearing checking account, you get to choose how much you’d like to pay in monthly service fees — if any at all. You’ll also enjoy free access to every ATM in the world and up to a 1% APY on balances over $2,500. Moreover, with its mobile app, you can check your account balance and track businesses that make a positive impact on the world.
APY0.25% on balances of $0 to $2,499.99
1% on balances of $2,500+
Monthly fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$10
ATMsFree to use anywhere worldwide
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Overdraft fee$5
Nonsufficient funds fee$25
Deposit methodsCash by ATM
Check by ATM
Mobile/remote check deposit
Bank transfer
Wire transfer
Direct deposit

What are the benefits of the Aspiration Summit Account?

There’s no shortage of low-fee, high-interest online banks. But few let you support charities that change the world. Aspiration does, along with offering a number of other benefits:

Banking for social good.

  • Charitable donations. Aspiration donates 10% of your fees to charities that increase economic opportunity. It maintains multiple funds to disperse its contributions, including the Poverty Fund, Water Fund, Education Fund and Environment Fund.
  • Aspiration Impact Measurement. Check the impact of your spending with it’s two ratings: a People Score and a Planet Score. Spend with high-score businesses to increase your Sustainability Score. The higher your score, the more confidence you have knowing your money is going toward improving the world.
  • Referral program. When you refer a friend, Aspiration will donate $25 to the charity of your choice and another $25 to one of your friend’s.
  • No monthly fees. There is no mandatory monthly service fee for this account.

Banking designed for you.

  • Security. Aspiration is FDIC insured, meaning deposits up to $250,000 are protected in the event of a bank failure.
  • Easy access. Use the Aspiration mobile app or website to do your banking online, including to check your account balance, view transactions, deposit checks, transfer money, pay bills and add money to your investment account.
  • Low minimum opening deposit. The minimum to open an Aspiration Summit Account is $10. That’s a low threshold, especially as big banks usually require at least $25.
  • Low fees. There are no monthly minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, and service charges are lower than its competitors.
  • Free ATM usage. Use any ATM in the world for free. Aspiration won’t charge fees for using ATMs and will reimburse fees charged by other banks.
  • Excellent interest rates. Aspiration offers an industry-leading interest rate for checking accounts. You’ll earn 0.25% on balances up to $2,499.99 and 1% for balances above $2,500.

Consider a savings account for high interest

Aspiration’s 1% APY is top-notch for a checking account. But if you’re looking for high interest, a savings account may be what you really want. Here are a few online banks that offer great interest rates.

BankAnnual percentage yield (APY)
CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings Account1.55%
Synchrony High Yield Savings1.9%
Barclays Online Savings2.05%
American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings2%
Ally Bank Online Savings Account1.9%

What to watch out for

Here are a few things to watch out for when banking with Aspiration:

  • No physical branches. Aspiration operates entirely online, meaning you’ll need to call or go online to contact customer service, and cash deposits can only be made at NYCE Shared Deposit ATMs.
  • Mobile app reviews. Your experience with the mobile app may vary. It has a 3 rating in the iOS App Store, with users citing login issues and a buggy experience. However, it fares better on Android, with a 4.1 rating in the Google Play store.
  • Limited product selection. Aspiration doesn’t offer savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs and other common accounts, so you might want to keep looking if you want to do all your banking at one institution. This also means you can’t link your account for overdraft protection.
  • Eligibility for 1% interest. You’ll need at least $2,500 to get the 1% interest. For accounts with less, you’ll earn 0.25%.

Aspiration Summit checking account fees

  • Overdraft. If you make a purchase or transfer that brings your balance below $0, you’ll be charged $5. If you maintain an overdraft for five calendar days, you’ll accumulate a $5 fee every day until it’s erased.
  • Wire transfers. Incoming domestic wire transfers are $10 and outgoing domestic wire transfers are $20. Incoming international wire transfers are $10 and outgoing international wire transfers are $40.
  • Foreign transaction fees. You’ll be charged 1.1% on any transaction made in a foreign currency.
  • Optional monthly fee. While there is no mandatory monthly fee, Aspiration makes money from donations or tips, meaning 10% of your optional monthly payment is given to charity.
  • Money orders. Sending a money order will cost you $3.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
1.01%
Use any of the 32,000+ MoneyPass ATMs in the US for free
$0
Forget the hidden fees and fine print — this checking account has neither.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking
0%
You’ll get fee-free access to over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
0.01%
65,000 preferred ATMs nationwide (Allpoint, MoneyPass, PNC)
$0
An online checking account means no driving around town, no waiting in line and no bankers' hours.
0.01%
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$0
No overdraft fees. No monthly maintenance fees. No monthly service fees. No minimum balance fees. No deposit required. No foreign transaction fees. Over 38,000+ fee-free MoneyPass ATMs.
0.25%
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
Up to 1.00% APY. No monthly service fees. Free access to every ATM in the world. FDIC insured.
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
$0
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA Compass ATMs.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can apply for the Aspiration Summit checking account online within minutes:

1. Visit the Aspiration website and click Sign Up at the top right corner.
2. Enter your email address and click Get Started. Aspiration will send you a link to sign up for an account.
3. Open the email from Aspiration and click Join Now.
4. Create an account by entering your email address and creating a password.
5. Complete the application with information like your name, date of birth, Social Security number and employment information. Fund your account with an opening deposit and pay a fee if you’d like. Then review your deposit and submit your application.

Eligibility

  • US citizen or permanent resident.
  • At least 18 or older.
  • Have a Social Security number.
  • Have a permanent US address.

Required information

  • Personal information like your name and birthday.
  • Contact details including phone number and address.
  • Social Security number.
  • Employment information.

How do I make deposits or withdrawals?

Despite being an online-only bank, it’s easy to access your money:

Deposits

  • Deposit cash at an NYCE shared ATM.
  • Mobile check deposit.
  • Direct deposit.
  • Mail a check.
  • Online transfers.
  • Wire transfers.

Withdrawals

  • Visit any ATM worldwide.
  • Bill pay.
  • Cashback from participating retailers and merchants.
  • Wire transfer.
  • Online transfers.

How do I contact customer service?

To get in touch with Aspiration customer service you can:

  • Call: 800-683-8529
  • Tweet: @Aspiration
  • Email: Fill out the form on the Aspiration contact page

What other products does Aspiration offer?

Aspiration can help you grow your investments or save for retirement all while donating to charity.

Investing

With a $100 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.

Retirement

Open an IRA with a $100 minimum deposit. Choose between the Redwood IRA and Flagship IRA.

Bottom line

Aspiration offers an excellent interest-bearing checking account with industry-leading rates and almost no fees. Best of all, you’ll rest easy knowing you’re banking with a socially conscious firm. It’s rare to see any company donate 10% of its profits, and Aspiration sets an admirable example. However, this bank isn’t without its weaknesses — it doesn’t offer physical branches and has a limited product lineup.

But before opening an account, you should compare your options to find a checking account that suits your financial needs.

Frequently asked questions

Peter Carleton

Peter Carleton is a writer at finder.com who specializes in credit cards, life insurance, mortgages and more. In his free time, you can find him cooking, writing or honing his skills in WordPress development.

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