Aspiration Review 2021: If you want to support socially responsible business practices, Aspiration helps make that happen. The firm gives businesses a “social impact score” based on how they treat their employees, customers, community, and the environment, and you also receive a score based on where you shop.In this article, we’ll be showing everything you need to know about Aspiration, how to sign up, investment account, aspiration mobile banking, and a lot more
In this article:
Aspiration was founded on the idea of making a banking experience that gave fair pricing and was socially and environmentally responsible for transactions. This encouraged social responsibility from corporate partners.
They even give 10% of their fees to charity! Beyond that, it gives a ton of great perks for those using the bank like free banking, no ATM fees, cashback, and more.
Aspiration combines investment and banking services with social responsibility. It offers two main services:
- Banking services: Aspiration offers a Spend & Save Account to easily save money or manage daily living expenses. The Spend account offers cashback, while the Save account offers a high-interest rate. The minimum to open is just $10.
- Investment services: Aspiration offers 2 specially-curated professionally managed mutual funds. It selects sustainable and low volatility investments to help you maximize your returns. It offers individual accounts and Traditional IRAs. The minimum to start is $10.
Signing Up for Aspiration
Signing up for Aspiration is a simple process; they say it will take less than 5 minutes. You just need to be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, age 18 or over.
You’ll first enter an email address after which they’ll ask for a password. Next, they’ll ask for your Social Security Number and ask some identity verification questions related to your credit history.
Finally, you’ll be asked to link your Aspiration account to an existing bank account. Some banks will allow for instant verification, while in others will be required to verify a couple of micro-deposits and make your $10 account opening minimum deposit.
After you finish the account opening process you’ll need to wait a few days while the account is approved. Once it is approved you’ll receive your debit card in the mail.
Aspiration Investment Accounts
Aspiration offers two investment options if you’re looking to invest your spare cash. Both have an initial minimum opening deposit of only $10, so it’s easy to get started investing.
You can open a regular taxable investment account, or you can open an IRA retirement account, both have the two investment options available within them.
Both mutual funds are 100% fossil fuel-free investments that attempt to invest in socially and environmentally responsible companies.
- Redwood Fund – Sustainable Investing – REDWX: The Aspiration Redwood Fund is a fossil fuel-free fund investing in sustainable businesses that are leaders in their industry when it comes to caring about their people, the planet, and their company’s purpose and mission.
- Flagship Fund – Lower-Volatility Strategy – ASPFX: The goal of the Flagship Fund is to grow your money steadily over the long-term while trying to reduce the number of ups and downs of the stock market along the way.
Both funds carry mutual fund operating expenses of 0.50% of assets, with Aspiration holding an “expense limitation agreement” that agrees to limit their funds’ annual operating expenses to 0.50%.
I do think you can probably find better investments with lower costs via an index fund elsewhere, but these funds have the added “socially responsible” component, so if that’s important to you, it can be a decent option
Mobile Banking for Aspiration
Aspiration has apps available for both iOS and Android, both of which receive regular updates. They are both use bank-level security with 256-bit encryption and offer Touch ID or Face ID sign-in on supported devices
What can you do in the app?
- Remote check deposit: Take a picture of your check to deposit it in your account.
- Checking balances: Up to the minute balance and transaction tracking.
- Transferring funds: Transfer funds between your linked accounts.
- Send payments: Pay your bills or send a check to a friend.
- Check your impact: See what kind of an impact your socially responsible choices are making.
- Check your cashback: Check your cashback balance, figure out how much in rewards you’re earning.
- Pay any way: Pay with Apple Pay or Android Pay right on your phone.
- Account management: You can also do pretty much anything else as far as managing your Aspiration account.
The apps can do basically anything you can do on the website, just in the app. It’s nice to know that you can access your accounts anywhere you are, on the desktop, or on your mobile phone.
An Aspiration account comes with some added features, functionality, and extras. Here are some of our favorites:
- Free cell phone protection: Up to $600 in cell phone damage insurance.
- Remote check deposit in the app: Free remote deposit in the Aspiration app.
- Identity theft protection: If your identity is stolen, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim for losses you incur as a result of identity fraud.
- $0 ATM fees worldwide: You can be reimbursed for any foreign ATM fees or surcharges you pay, at a machine in the U.S. or overseas
Reasons Why You Should Consider Aspiration
1. Only $10 to open an account.
Many big banks require you to have a large opening balance. Aspiration only requires $10 to open the Spend & Save Account, and there is no monthly balance requirement.
2. Competitive interest rate.
Aspiration offers a very competitive interest rate on Save balances. The APY is in line with those offered by top online banks.
3. No ATM fees worldwide.
Aspiration never charges you ATM fees, and will even reimburse fees charged by 3rd parties (up to 5 reimbursements per month). However, for ATMs overseas, there will be a 1% foreign transaction fee that cannot be waived.
4. Pay what you feel is fair.
They put you in charge of the service fee, even if it means $0. They feel that trust works both ways, so they let you be in the driver’s seat. You can change the amount you pay as often as you want too.
5. 10% is donated to charities.
Aspiration commits to donating 10% of their earnings to charity. You can also make a donation yourself through their online giving platform. The charity categories include poverty, water, education, environment, health, and human rights. You can decide which cause you want to donate to, or to all of them.
6. Link to a variety of third-party apps.
You can link Aspiration to apps like Mint, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. You can link the external accounts just like you would any checking account.
7. Socially-responsible investments.
Aspiration’s platform offers a socially responsible investment fund. Requiring only $10 to start, this opens up socially-responsible investing to everyone, instead of only to the wealthy.
8. Charity donations for referrals.
Every time you refer someone to Aspiration, and they sign up for an account, Aspiration will donate $25 to your charity of choice. They will also donate $25 to your friend’s charity of choice once their account is open and in good standing for at least 10 days.
9. Aspiration Impact Measurement score.
This tells you how your own spending habits affect the environment. Aspiration bases your score on the impact the businesses you spend your money on have on the environment and the people.
Cash management accounts — or cash accounts — have features that are commonly found in both checking and savings accounts.
Aspiration has a high annual percentage yield for customers who meet the requirement of depositing $1,000 into their accounts per month. This online-only account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
If this article was helpful to you, do not hesitate to share it with friends via Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.