May 14, 2022

Is Aspiration Safe and Legit

Read more about Aspiration
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Aspiration is a popular neobank with a goal of providing ethical banking services, but is it safe and legit? Read on to find out.

With a "Pay What Is Fair" fee structure, Aspiration aims to put its customers first.

But are they actually legit?

In this break down on the forward-looking green neobank, find out whether Aspiration is a safe and legit option for your needs.

Note: Aspiration is not a bank. Aspiration is a fintech company that partners with banks like Coastal Community Bank to offer banking services. They're also referred to as a "neobank" - an entirely digital financial services provider that doesn't offer brick-and-mortar locations.

Is Aspiration Safe and Legit?

The short answer: Yes, Aspiration is a safe and legit financial services provider.

It's great to hear that a bank (or a neobank) supports causes for the greater good. But you still need to keep your money safe. Plenty of scams have been perpetrated on well-meaning people hoping to help a good cause.

With Aspiration, all deposits are FDIC-insured up to $2,500,000.[1] Your data is also protected with strict routing, firewalls, encryption, and controlled access. Plus, Aspiration does not sell or lease your info for any reason or anyone.[2]

For those who want to verify Aspiration's ethical claims, rest easy. Aspiration is B-corp certified since 2016. B-corp certification is given to businesses dedicated to making a "social and environmental impact."[3]

To get certified, a business must receive a B Impact Assessment score. This score measures social and environmental performance. They must also make a legal commitment to be accountable to all stakeholders, and meet certain transparency standards.[4]

Their credit and debit cards are provided by Mastercard, a company trusted all over the world.

What is Aspiration?

Aspiration is a neobank founded in 2013 with the goal of providing people with an ethical place to do their banking.

Aspiration offers a range of features that anyone would expect to find at a bank, including:

  • Interest-paying checking accounts
  • Free access to a network of ATMs
  • Purchase assurance on lost or damaged items (reported within the first 90 days)

Where Aspiration stands out is their commitment to ethical practices. Here are a few highlights of Aspiration's mission:

Doesn't support companies that harm the environment: Aspiration ensures customers' money doesn't go toward causes that are detrimental to the environment, like the fossil fuel industry.

B-Corp Certified: Certified since 2016, they put their profits toward causes that seek to benefit the environment, stop climate change, and help communities in need.

Ethical cash back programs: They also offer cash back on purchases from companies in the Conscience Coalition, a Carbon Neutral Mastercard that offers 1% cash back on all of your purchases when you're carbon neutral, and more.

Supports nonprofits: For every $10 that customers spend with Aspiration, $1 is donated to charity. They round up user spending to put aside money for planting trees.

Provides sustainability scores for other companies: Aspiration applies their Impact Measurements to various companies. As a consumer, this gives you an easy way to know if the companies you're doing business with are providing a net good or harm to the environment.

If your goal is to make informed decisions about your consumption, this feature, available through the Aspiration mobile app, can be a game-changer.

Fun fact: Their cards are made from plastic recycled from the sea, and they offer carbon offsetting services on gas purchases.

Aspiration Features

Aspiration boasts a suite of handy, user-friendly features. Check out the list below to see if its right for you.

What Aspiration Offers

  • Interest-paying savings accounts
  • Cash back on purchases from Conscience Coalition companies
  • Get paid 2 days early with direct deposits
  • Free ATM access
  • Plant trees when you swipe
  • Mastercard Global Service
  • Purchase assurance for lost or damaged items in the first 90 days
  • Carbon Neutral Mastercard pays 1% cash back on all purchases in months you're carbon neutral

Aspiration Accounts

As a potential customer, you'll want to know what exactly Aspiration offers in terms of banking. To that end, let's take a look at their various accounts.

Aspiration offers two main "Spend and Save" accounts:

Aspiration

This account has a "pay what is fair, even if it's zero" model (no catch!). It comes with an impressive -APY on the first $10,000 of your savings, if you spend more than $1,000 a month and meet the qualifying conditions.

You earn 3% - 5% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases.[5]

There's a $10 minimum deposit to open, and they offer 2-day early direct deposit, access to 55,000 in-network ATMs, and a personal impact score.

Aspiration Plus

The Plus plan is $7.99 per month, or $5.99 if you pay on an annual basis. This plan comes with an even higher APY on the first $10,000 of your savings, as long as you spend over $1,000 a month and meet the qualifying conditions.[6]

You earn 10% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases.

There's a $10 minimum deposit to open, and they offer 2-day early direct deposit, access to 55,000 in-network ATMs, and a personal impact score.

And in addition to the features above, you get carbon-offset Planet Protection, out-of-network ATM reimbursement, and purchase assurance for items damaged or stolen in the last 90 days.

Bottom Line

Aspiration is a neobank that offers a more ethical option for safely storing your money. While they're not technically a bank, they offer many of the same services a traditional bank would, in addition to their pledge to do only good for the environment.

Between their tree-planting, carbon off-setting policies, and their dedication to avoiding investments in the oil industry, Aspiration is working toward positive change in the world.

And as a certified B corporation, with customer funds held in FDIC-insured accounts, you can rest assured that your money is in good hands with Aspiration.

References

  1. ^ Aspiration. Is the Aspiration Spend & Save account FDIC-insured?, Retrieved 4/17/2022
  2. ^ "Aspiration Security": 2022.
  3. ^ "Aspiration": B Corporation, 2022.
  4. ^ "About Our Standards": B Corporation, 2022.
  5. ^ Aspiration. How do I earn extra cash back with Conscience Coalition?, Retrieved 4/17/2022
  6. ^ Aspiration. What is Aspiration Plus?, Retrieved 4/17/2022
Aspiration

Aspiration Plus - Earn $200 Bonus

  • Spend $1,000 Within First 60 Days and Receive $200
Aspiration is not a bank. Cash balances in the Aspiration Spend and Save Accounts are deposited at one or more FDIC-insured depository institutions (each a “Bank”) up to $250,000 per Bank. With ten Banks available, Deposits are FDIC-insured up to $2.5 million per depositor.
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 7/20/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠: $0 overdraft fee when you overdraw your account $50 or less*

*We won't charge an overdraft fee if you are overdrawn $50 or less at the end of the business day. Chase may pay, for a $34 fee, overdraft transactions at our discretion based on your account history, deposits and transaction amount. If you've enrolled in Debit Card Coverage, everyday debit card purchases like groceries, may be approved at our discretion when you don't have enough money in your account.

Citibank

Citi Priority Account - Up to $1,500 Cash Bonus

Expires 7/17/2022
  • Earn up to $1,500 cash bonus when you open a new account with required activities
  • Open a new eligible checking account in the Citi Priority Account during the offer period 1/5/22-7/17/22
  • Within 20 days of opening, deposit $50,000 in New-To Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 in the checking account for an additional 60 consecutive calendar days from the 21st day
  • After all required activities are met, the cash bonus will be deposited to your account within 90 calendar days
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

Money Market Account - Get a Year of Amazon Prime

To get your year of Amazon Prime ($139 cash value):
  • Open a new Money Market account using promo code AMZN22.
  • Fund your account with $15,000 within 15 days.
  • Keep a minimum balance of $15,000 for 60 days.
After 60 days, if you've fulfilled the requirements, CIT will send you an email with your Prime membership code. Existing Amazon Prime members can use the one year of Amazon Prime to renew their membership for an additional year. Limit one Money Market promotion per account and per customer. Conditions apply. See advertiser website for details.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account (online, by phone or Discover App). Enter Offer Code CY222 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 06/15/2022, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 6/15/2022

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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