Aspiration is a California-based financial institution that offers cash management services. The company’s co-founders, Andrei Cherny and Joseph Sanberg started the company in 2013. Their mission was to provide free financial services while protecting the environment.
Namely, the company’s various programs allow its customers to help plant new trees by offsetting their gas purchases or rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar if they wish to. By now, the company has over three million clients, and they have helped plant more than 10 million trees.
The company’s Spend and Save plans include two different accounts called Aspiration and Aspiration Plus.
APY and Fees
Unlike many other money management accounts, Aspiration charges monthly fees. However, Aspiration clients have an option to choose how much to pay for the company’s services.
With the Aspiration account, you will not be required to pay anything if you don’t want to. Aspiration asks customers to pay what they think is fair, and if you think it’s $0, they will not charge you anything. However, the fees are mandatory with the Aspiration Plus account, and they are $5.99 per month if billed annually.
We recommend applying for the Aspiration Plus account even if you can get Aspiration with no monthly costs because it comes with a potentially massive 5% APY. Based on our research of various financial institutions, this is the best interest rate that you can get with a cash management account.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to spend $1,000 or more per month with their debit card, or the APY will go down to 0.25%.
Both accounts come with a cash reward program. You will get 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases with the basic Aspiration account, while Aspiration Plus offers 10% cashback rewards and one out-of-network ATM reimbursement each month.
Another great thing about these accounts is that all new account holders get the first set of paper checks for free. Unlike other companies, Aspiration doesn’t have an option to send checks online, so you’ll need to pay a shipping fee on your orders. You can sign up for the direct deposit program and get your paychecks up to 2 days earlier.
The company promises that it won’t fund fossil fuel production or support weapons manufactures and allegedly plants one tree every time users round up their debit card transactions.
Application and Ease of Use
Like other cash management companies, Aspiration enables online applications. Just go to the company’s website, and choose the account type you want to open. There are no deposit fees regardless of the plan you choose. The only requirements you need to meet are being a U.S. citizen that’s at least 18 years old.
Thanks to the company’s partnership with Allpoint, you will get access to over 55,000 free ATMs across the state. If you use your debit card to withdraw money from out-of-network ATMs, expect only one reimbursement per month, and only if you’re using the Aspiration Plus account.
Another thing that Aspiration offers is the ability to sign up for a direct deposit program. With this program, you can get your paychecks up to two days earlier.
Security and support
If you apply for a money management account at Aspiration, you may rest assured that money and private information are in safe hands. The company offers accounts that are FDIC-insured across up to ten banks for up to $2.46 million per depositor in total. When it comes to online security, website transactions are protected with 256-bit encryption and monitored 24/7.
- Eco-friendly company
- High interest rates
- Free paper checks