Update 8/8/2017: Aspiration is not owned by Radius bank. We’ve updated the article to reflect this change.
It’s not often that you find a bank whose main selling point is that they’re striving to be morally good. I first heard about Aspiration from a very unusual place, an Instagram ad. Generally, I ignore the few advertisements I’m exposed to despite using Adblock, but Aspiration stood out to me. The bank promised to offer an experience like no other—you earn up to 1% APY on your checking account balance, you pay as much or as little as you want for their services, and you don’t have to worry about ATM withdrawal fees or any other fees for that matter. In fact, Aspiration only makes money if their users decide to give it to them. And even then, they donate ten cents of every dollar of profit.
This may sound completely outlandish, especially when we’re all so jaded by traditional, money hungry banks. I can assure you, however, that it’s completely legitimate. They offers a range of services, from their traditional, interest bearing checking account with an included debit card to their two investment funds. One fund focuses on investing in sustainable, environmentally friendly companies that support good relations with their employees. Their second fund, the Flagship Fund, has a goal of achieving long term growth with less volatility than the stock market. This one is best for conservative investors or for your retirement account as it offers much lower risk.
Another interesting feature of Aspiration is their referral program. Most referral programs offer some sort of mutually beneficial incentive, say $10 to the person who refers and $10 to the new user. With Aspiration this is kind of the case. When you refer someone to the bank, they will give each of you $25, with a caveat. The money must be donated to a charity of your choice. You can’t stick it in your new checking account, but you can make a difference with it. This may not seem all that enticing for penny pinchers, but how many of us really donate to charity as often as we should? By doing this, Aspiration has given its users an incentive to research a charity that they support and to donate the not-so-measly amount of $25 to it. That’s a few meals for the homeless, a piece of a property loan for a family in need, or much needed funding for those researching cures for some of the horrible diseases afflicting our world.
If you want to join with a referral link, please click here so that we both can donate $25 to a charity of our choice. The minimum deposit for opening a checking account is $10. Whether you like the idea of Aspiration simply for the interest rate, which is competitive with some of the best savings accounts available, for the ability to use any ATM without paying a dime, or for their morally upstanding business model, there’s really no reason not to check them out and open an account.
The featured image for this article was taken from the video at the beginning of the page, posted by Aspiration.