Aspiration Spend and Save Account Review: Is It Worth It?

High APY and cash back rewards from a company that's doing good in the world — what's not to love?
Last updated Jul 2, 2019 | By Sarah Li Cain
online savings account with no atm fees

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If you had told me a few years ago that I could have an account that earned both high interest and cash back, I don't think I would have believed you. Nowadays, though, things have changed and new online accounts like the Aspiration Spend and Save Account are offering more features than ever. 

What's more, is that it's also fairly simple to get started and you won't have to pay any crazy fees or worry about maintaining a minimum balance. Even if your credit history isn’t squeaky clean, you can still benefit from opening an account like the Aspiration Spend and Save.

What is the Aspiration Spend and Save Account?

The Aspiration Spend and Save Account offers an easy way to earn more interest than you normally would at many traditional banks, along with earning cash back on your purchases. Because of this hybrid approach and the account's many features, it's worth zooming in and taking a look at the benefits and banking services offered by the account.

What's in it for you

  • High account rate: This account pays you up to 2.00% APY on your savings — around 20 times the national rate!
  • You choose the fee: Aspiration charges according to what it calls a “Pay What Is Fair” system. In other words, you can pay as little as $0.
  • Earn cash back on purchases: Every single debit card purchase is eligible for cashback rewards. You read that right. Every single purchase. Also, if your purchase is made at what Aspiration considers a socially-conscious business, you can get extra cashback rewards. It measures a company’s environmental and social impact using the Aspiration Impact Measurement model in the mobile app — high scores receive 1% cash back and low scores receive 0.5% cash back.
  • No ATM fees: Customers aren’t charged any ATM fees worldwide. If you’re charged an ATM fee, Aspiration will reimburse you within two to three business days. You may be required to take a photo of your ATM transaction to get reimbursed for fees incurred internationally.
  • Manage money on the go: Use the Aspiration mobile app to easily check your account, make transfers, conduct bill pay, and even deposit checks.
  • Free checks: Aspiration gives you your first set of paper checks for free. Pretty handy for those times when your debit or credit card won’t do.
  • Giving back: Sleep well knowing that Aspiration donates 10 cents for every dollar earned to charities.

Potential drawbacks

While we’d love to say this account is for everyone, there are some instances where the Aspiration Spend and Save Account falls short:

  • No cash deposits: Aspiration claims it’s working on partnering with ATM networks to accept cash deposits soon, but for now, it’s not an option.
  • No physical locations: It’s technically not a major downfall for Aspiration if you don’t care to visit a branch in person (is waiting in line all that pleasant?). But if you want to speak to a human, you’ll have to settle for Aspiration’s customer service hotline or contact form.

Are you a good fit?

Your lifestyle and financial goals will be the best determining factor when you’re debating on the Aspiration Spend and Save Account. If you want to use this account to stash some money — like for an emergency fund or a down payment for a home — then you’ll be able to take advantage of earning money with the high APY.

And if you’re the type who hates getting stuck with fees, Aspiration is a great choice. You can choose to pay nothing or something, based on however much you decide. If you were to follow Aspiration’s highest suggestion, it’d be just $20, which is relatively low compared to other banking products. For frequent travelers, it’s a perfect account as you won’t be paying any ATM fees, even when you’re abroad.

Speaking of cash-conscious people, anyone who loves maximizing their purchases should consider this account. Users will love the cashback option whenever you make a purchase with your Aspiration debit card — especially if you can’t qualify for a rewards card that may require excellent credit.

All in all, anyone who wants to maximize savings while minimizing fees should consider the Aspiration Spend and Save Account.

Aspiration Spend and Save Account details

Interest Rate Up to 2.00% APY
Min. Opening Deposit $10
Min. Balance Needed $0
Availability Any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident 18 years or older can apply
Credit Inquiry Soft credit check
Direct Deposit Requirement None
Monthly Fee Pay what you want (which can be anywhere from $0 to $20)
How to fund the account? ACH transfer, wire transfer, or by check (through the Aspiration app)
Early Termination Fee None
How to sign up Get started with the Aspiration Spend and Save

Make your money work harder for you — the easy way

With the Aspiration Spend and Save Account earning a healthy APY, it makes sense to deposit as much as you can to maximize your returns on your short-term savings goals. If your money is sitting anywhere, it should be earning some cash!

This account can also simplify your financial life by essentially combining your other money accounts into one, so there’s less to manage.

By opening an account, you can get the best of what the Aspiration Spend and Save has to offer — high returns, cash back on purchases, and good feelings knowing you’re choosing to work with a company that’s focused on having a positive impact on social and environmental causes.

  • Get a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 with your debit card (terms apply)
  • Earn cash back rewards - up to 10% - when you spend with your debit card
  • Up to 1.00% APY interest (up to 25 times higher than Big Banks)
  • Unlimited fee-free withdrawals at 55,000+ ATMs