Aspiration Review

By | March 20, 2021

What is Aspiration?

Aspiration is a US based digital bank founded in 2013, which provides financial services online at your home. It is a branchless bank, meaning it does not have any physical branch located anywhere. 

It does not hold a banking license, it is an SEC registered broker. The deposits made by clients are secured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Its function is to provide support to small scale business and to focus on socially and environmentally concerned projects. It does not use clients money in any of the projects supported by them.

It has more than 2 million clients as of now. Top US celebrities are even part of the bank. 

Aspiration

Aspiration Account Opening

Account opening at Aspiration is quite complicated. It takes a few times to verify the details provided by you. Once your details are verified, you’ll receive your physical ATM card within 7-8 days. 

You can start an account opening process either via website or by application. Aspiration Bank account opening process:

  1. Provide your information either on the website or after downloading the app.
  2. To verify your bank account, Aspiration sends a small amount to the account, which takes about 2 days to arrive.
  3. You need to verify that you received the amount and transfer the $10 minimum deposit to your Aspiration account.
  4. Next, to verify your identity, you need to scan an ID document such as a driver’s license or passport. Take a photo of yourself, and send these to Aspiration. It may take another 1-2 days for Aspiration to review these.
  5. At this point, you may be flagged for some reason, and asked to submit additional documentation, such as bank statements. This additional review can take another couple of days.
  6. After your verification process is complete and your minimum deposit has arrived, you can start using your Aspiration account. 

Aspiration Bank is available only for permanent US residents. It has USD as the only currency to make transactions.

Aspiration Premium Account

Aspiration offers a premium account, called Aspiration Plus. The fee for this service is $7 per month, or $69 per year.

The benefits of Aspiration Plus are:

  • 10% cash back at selected partners
  • 1 out-of-network ATM fee rebate per month
  • up to 1% interest on first $10,000 in account carbon offsets for all gas purchases through Planet Protection feature
  • bank card made from recycled plastic
Aspiration

Aspiration Account Top Up Method:

  • Wire transfer
  • Direct deposit from employer
  • Mobile check deposit 
  • Cash
  • Electronic bank transfer
  • Via third party app (venmo, paypal,& more) 

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Aspiration Fees

Account opening & maintenance fee

Account opening at Aspiration is free, but you are required to pay $10 minimum deposit to check the account. On the other hand, maintenance fee is charged on the basis of the “pay what is fair” principle. In this you have to decide a charge between $0-20. 

If the charges provided by you are suitable to them, you are now set to move further with your transactions. 

Card fee

Getting an Aspiration card is free, they do not charge any delivery charges as well. Even in case of loss and theft your card is replaced at no additional cost.

Aspiration Bank do not charge for any foreign transaction, but you have to pay 1% as international transfer fee charged by Mastercard. 

ATM fee

All withdrawals within Allpoint network ATMs are free. Any withdrawal outside this network is charged according to the ATM service provider.

Initial limit on ATM withdrawal is $500, but it will increase to $1000 in 1-2 month of regular transactions.

Transfer fee

Electronic, i.e. Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfers from your Aspiration account are free. Outgoing wire transfers cost $4.50 within the US and $19.50 for international transactions, while there is a $2.06 fee for all incoming transactions. 

Aspiration Bank features

  • Your savings are stored separately in your Savings Account for easier overview and management.
  • Joint accounts are available.
  • You can set up Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.
  • You can also link your account to third-party apps like PayPal, Venmo, Mint, Square Cash, Uber, Lyft, Acorns and Zelle.

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Aspiration additional features

Aspiration is a bank which focuses so much on ethical practices. The bank is environmentally conscious, it invests all its amount in environmentally protective projects. It never uses the fund of its clients to empower fossil fuel projects. 

Ity provides a list of non-profit organizations which pay much attention to environmental needs and work for climate change and betterment. 

It can provide 3-5% cashback, this is the feature introduced by Aspiration. Here they have designed the AIM score. The score is generated by Aspiration for different companies with respect to their performance in terms of environment protection.

You will usually get 0.5% of cashback with the companies who have average scores. This cashback will rise up to 5% for companies who have a high AIM score. If you are an Aspiration Plus customer then in that case cashback will be upto 10%.

You can check your sustainability score, with the help of your card. 

10% to charity: Through “Dimes Worth of Difference,” Aspiration commits to donating 10% of its earnings to charitable activities. 

Another feature provided is Plan your Change, with this you allow Aspiration to round off your transactions to nearby amount. The difference is allotted for planting new trees. In this you will get a cash reward after reaching a certain milestone. 

You can also open an investment account at Aspiration, through which you can invest in its Aspiration Redwood Fund, an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) fund that does not invest in fossil fuels or firearms companies. Aspiration also offers retirement accounts (IRAs).

Aspiration

Is your money safe at Aspiration?

Yes it is safe. Although Aspiration does not hold any banking license but has partners with several banks, which holds accountability of funds invested by clients. Money deposited here is secured by FDIC. 

Aspiration Bank debit cards are provided by Coastal community bank, based in Washington. It has provided a list of banks he has partnered with. Those are;

  • Coastal Community Bank
  • EagleBank
  • Ion Bank
  • Bremer Bank, NA
  • ProgressBank
  • Bank of New Hampshire
  • Manufacturers Bank
  • C3 Bank, NA
  • The Freedom Bank of Virginia
  • Bridgewater Bank
  • Nano Banc
ProsCons
You can set your own feeAvailable only for US customers
Socially conscious banking serviceLengthy account opening process 
Upto 3-5% cashbackNot so user friendly banking services

Customer Support 

You can connect Aspiration via :

  • Phone 
  • Email

FAQ’s

Who may apply for an Aspiration investment account?

Anyone with a permanent U.S. address and a U.S. Social Security Number, who is 18 years or older may open an Aspiration investment account. You will need a checking or savings account from a U.S. bank or Credit Union in order to fund your account with us.

Please see the Aspiration Spend & Save Account for details on who is eligible to apply for that account, as the requirements are different!

How do I sign in to my Aspiration account?

Once your account is open, you will be able to sign in through the app, or on Aspiration.com at any time. To sign in you will just need your email address and the unique password you created when you opened the account.

How much do you need to start an IRA?

The minimum initial deposit to open your IRA is $10, and you can make additional contributions into the account with as little as $1. Or, if you would like to transfer funds from a previous IRA account, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will provide you with a form to get the ball rolling on transferring your funds!

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