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The best socially responsible banks for your savings

Feel good about saving by choosing an ethical bank that cares.

Socially responsible banks make a positive impact on society because they allow you to control what your dollars support when you choose to stash them in an ethical bank account for your savings.

We researched over 130 savings accounts and looked at key factors such as social impact, values, interest rates, fees and eligibility requirements, to bring you the best ethical savings accounts available today, so you can put your money where your values are. Some of our options don’t have ethical savings account specifically, but the bank uses its dollars to support certain causes. We detailed why each account made our list under each bank’s section.

What’s changed in 2021?

We listed which banks have socially responsible certifications if any. We also added American Express, Discover, Capital One, Ally Bank and Alliant Credit Union to our list. While none of these banks offer ethical savings accounts, each one earmarks profits to support socially conscious causes in the local or national community.

We added Ando Savings to our list because the bank uses 100% of its investments to fund carbon-reducing initiatives.

The best socially responsible banks for your savings

Take a look at our top picks for ethical banks and alternatives that let you align your money with important causes.

Earn cash back for shopping at socially-conscious businesses.

Aspiration Spend & Save Account

Finder rating 4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Aspiration's secure website
Aspiration is a Certified B-Corp, member of 1% For The Planet and it donates 10% of its profits to charity each year. It offers a socially responsible cash management account that rolls your spending and savings into one. But you'll need to pay a monthly fee for its Plus account if you want to earn it's highest rate at 5% APY.

This bank continually invests in financial literacy programs for high school students.

Discover Online Savings Account

Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Discover's secure website
Discover Online Savings made our list of best ethical savings accounts because the bank has invested over $14 million in financial literacy programs for high schoolers, including more than $1 million in Chicago Public Schools.

Your money supports renewable energy and historic site preservations.

American Express® High Yield Savings

Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

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on American Express's secure website
The American Express High Yield Savings account made our list because American Express uses 100% renewable energy in US data centers and has donated over $65 million to preserve historic sites across the US.

Earn cash back for shopping at socially-conscious businesses.

BankPurely SavingPurely account

Finder rating 3.9 / 5 ★★★★★

BankPurely is a green bank with a clear conscience. It supports various charities focused on human and eco-related causes, and it's PayItGreen Approved, meaning it uses the least paper possible in order to reduce waste. BankPurely also has a small carbon footprint thanks to its lack of physical branches.

Operates on 100% renewable energy and is a local Dress for Success sponsor.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings

Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

Capital One puts a focus on the environment by operating on 100% renewable energy. It also uses 95% environmentally preferred paper and sponsors a local Dress for Success program that provides low-income women with professional attire to use for job interviews.

This bank provides grants to nonprofits in Charlotte, NC, and Detroit, MI.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

Ally Bank supports its local community by offering grants to Charlotte and Detroit-based nonprofits offering affordable housing, financial education and workforce preparedness.

This credit union matches employee giving and gives back to the Chicago community.

Alliant High-Rate Savings

Finder rating 4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

Alliant Credit Union offers financial literacy classes in the Chicago area. It also matches each employee's charitable giving up to $200 per year and underwrites educational grants, reading program funding and school supply drives.

This bank uses its money to actively reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Ando Savings

Finder rating 3.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Ando is fighting back against climate change by pledging to use 100% of its investments to fund green initiatives that support sustainable transportation, regenerative agriculture, clean energy and more. You can track how your money is making a difference from the Impact Center in the mobile app. The savings account is free to open, but you'll need to open the Ando checking account first.

Open a basic savings account with this certified B-corp.

Mascoma Bank Statement Savings

Mascoma Bank is a Certified B Corporation that donates 10% of its profits to charity each year. It gives all of its employees paid time off to volunteer in the local community and 42% of the bank's board members are women.

This bank matches your earned interest and donates it to charity.

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Savings

Amalgamated Bank is a Certified B-Corp and member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). With its Give-Back Savings account, it will match half the interest earned on your account each month and donate it to a charity of your choice. So, if you earn $20 in interest, the bank donates $10.

This bank matches your earned interest and donates it to charity.

Clearwater Credit Union Primary Savings

Finder rating 3.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Clearwater Credit Union is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and Inclusiv, an organization serving residents in low-income communities throughout the US. It's dedicated to protecting the environment, reducing its carbon footprint, providing equal pay to employees and helping families in need.

How to choose the best socially responsible bank account for you?

Whether you’re looking for your first account or thinking of making a change, consider the following when searching for the best ethical savings account:

  • Your current bank’s values. If you already have a savings account, check their website to examine what their investment values are now. If you can’t find the information, you can call or visit a branch to find out more.
  • How your money is being invested. Once you understand what your bank’s investment policies are, you can find out where your savings are being invested now. In most cases, banks that provide ethical savings accounts will disclose this information openly.
  • Your personal beliefs and values. Think about the causes that you are passionate about and how you can make a positive difference to society or to the environment to narrow down your choices.
  • If you’re ready to switch. If you’re not comfortable with the investing principles of your current bank, or find one that is more suited to your morals, it’s usually easy to switch your accounts by providing your new bank with the details of your current accounts.

What is a socially responsible savings account?

With an ethical savings account, your money automatically supports causes you care about — and doesn’t fund projects that you may be against. But like traditional accounts, you can access your money when you need it. And depending on the type of product you choose, your accounts attract interest and fees based on your daily balance. An ethical savings account can have any of the following features:

  • Offered by a financial institution that makes a commitment to not have a negative impact on our society or environment. These principles will directly impact the way in which the bank chooses to invest and lend the money you deposit into your ethical savings account.
  • Donates a portion of the interest earned to a registered charity or group of your choosing.
  • The financial institution donates the same amount of interest you earn to a registered charity or group of your choosing.
  • The bank only lends to ethical organizations.
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What are the different types of socially responsible causes banks support?

There are a number of ethical causes being supported by various banks and other financial institutions, allowing you to choose one that impacts an issue you feel most passionate about:

Contribute to community aid

Banks and credit unions can make a choice to only invest in local businesses and causes that directly affect the community. For example, Greenwood Bank strives to recirculate money within the Black and Latinx community and supports causes, including fighting hunger and committing to civil rights.

The environment and sustainability

Ethical banks who focus on the environment, like US Bank, will research their business partners and customers thoroughly to ensure that they are not participating in any practice that is polluting the planet or causing damage to natural resources.

Stand up for animal rights

Certain ethical savings accounts may make efforts to support institutions that protect and preserve wild and domestic animals. For example, Aspiration makes it convenient to donate to your favorite charity, including the African Wildlife Foundation and Wild Earth Guardians.

Support political parties

If you feel passionate about the beliefs of a particular political party, you can find a socially responsible savings account that financially supports the same group. For instance, Amalgamated Bank has a Political Action Committee (PAC) that favors the Democratic party.

What are the pros and cons of having a socially responsible bank account?

Choosing an ethical bank makes your money do more good for the world, but it has a couple of setbacks.

Pros

Feel good about putting money in the bank with a socially responsible account.

  • Have a positive impact on society. You can contribute to a positive cause without donating directly.
  • Earn interest while you’re making a positive impact. Even as you make a conscientious effort to support ethical banking, you’re still able to earn interest on your savings.

Cons

Here are a few headaches you may run into.

  • Limited range. Not every bank is ethical. If you want a bank whose morals align with your own, that will limit your options when searching for the right account.
  • It might not be fee-free. If you find an ethical savings account offered by a credit union or mutual bank you may need to first meet the membership requirements and pay for your shares before you can apply for the account.
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Compare socially responsible banks to keep your savings

Use this table to explore other socially responsible banks that put a focus on education, giving back to the community or improving the planet:

Name Product Ethical cause
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Aspiration donates 10% of its profits to charity each year, and it pledges to never use your money to support fossil fuel projects, political campaigns or firearms
American Express® High Yield Savings
Uses 100% renewable energy in US data centers, has donated over $65 million to preserve historic sites, has aided disaster relief efforts in over 30 countries and has trained more than 3,500 social sector and nonprofit leaders through its Leadership Academy
Citi Savings
Close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the United States
Discover Online Savings Account
Invests in financial literacy programs for high schoolers, including more than $1 million in Chicago Public Schools and $14 million overall
BankPurely PurelyMoneyMarket
Pledges to plant a tree for every account opened and is PayItGreen certified
Bank of America Advantage Savings
environmental sustainability, driving economic and social progress, and enabling financial health.
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Bottom line

You might need to do some extra research to find a financial service provider whose ethics line up with your own, but once you do, you can feel good knowing that you’re saving money and supporting a good cause at the same time.

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