Aspiration Spend & Save Review [2020]: Earn Rewards, Help the Planet

Grow your money and help protect our environment with an Aspiration Spend & Save hybrid checking and savings account.
Last updated Jul 16, 2020 | By Ben Walker
Aspiration Spend & Save Review

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Aspiration simplifies your online banking experience with offerings like its Spend & Save Account. With this account, you can access both an online checking account and online savings account via a web browser or mobile app. This may not be too different from the offerings of competitors, but Aspiration’s no-fee stance and mission to protect the environment certainly make it stand out.

Deposits into your Aspiration accounts won’t be used to fund fossil fuel projects or support political campaigns. Even better, there are no monthly fees with the basic plan and you can earn money through cashback rewards.

This Aspiration Spend & Save review will help you determine whether this cash management account may be a good fit for you.

  • Earn cash back rewards - up to 10% - when you spend with your debit card
  • Get $100 bonus when you spend $1000 in the first 60 days
  • Up to 1.00% APY interest (up to 25 times higher than Big Banks)
  • Unlimited fee-free withdrawals at 55,000+ ATMs
  • Deposits are FDIC insured

In this Aspiration Spend and Save review

Aspiration Spend Account basics

APY Not an interest-bearing account
Minimum balance for APY N/A
Minimum deposit to open account $10
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access Yes, up to at least five transactions per day. Transactions at Allpoint ATMs are free and unlimited.

Aspiration Plus members may have one out-of-network ATM fee reimbursed each month.

Transaction limits (after 30 days as an account holder) $5,000 daily outgoing transfers (ACH/bank transfers)

$1,000 daily incoming transfers (ACH/bank transfers)

$1,000 ATM daily withdrawal limit

$4,000 total PIN and Signature based daily limit

50 transfers daily between Aspiration Spend and Aspiration Save accounts.

FDIC insured Yes

Aspiration Save Account basics

APY Up to 1% for Aspiration Plus members as of June 16, 2020
Minimum balance for APY

Between $10 and $10,000 balance to earn .25% APY (as of June 16, 2020)

Between $10 and $10,000 balance and $1,000 monthly spend on debit card to earn 1% APY (as of June 16, 2020)

More than $10,000 balance to earn .10% APY (as of June 8, 2020)

Minimum deposit to open account $10
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access None
Transaction limits 50 transfers daily between Aspiration Spend and Aspiration Save accounts.
FDIC insured Yes

What we like about the Aspiration Spend & Save Account

  • No hidden fees: Aspiration doesn’t surprise customers with hidden fees, so you can expect to pay only what it costs to provide the service. With its “Pay What is Fair” approach to monthly account fees, you get to choose how much you pay Aspiration each month for your account, even if that amount is zero. Aspiration is built on mutual trust. Its customers trust them to provide services and it trusts its customers to pay what they think those services are worth. You can change the amount you pay Aspiration at any time. Whatever you decide to pay Aspiration, they will donate 10 cents of every dollar to charities providing economic opportunities to Americans.
  • Earn with savings: Earn up to 1% APY (as of June 16, 2020) on your savings in the Aspiration Save account. This benefit is available only to Aspiration Plus subscribers (keep reading below to learn more about how Aspiration Plus works).
  • Conscience Coalition cash back: Earn up to 10% cash back on debit card purchases with your Aspiration Mastercard. If you’re not an Aspiration Plus member, you can earn up to 5% cash back on purchases with your debit card. Cash back is earned when you shop at a group of select merchants called the Conscience Coalition. These merchants have been specifically chosen by Aspiration because of its dedication to having a positive impact on the world. This means you can earn cashback rewards while supporting companies with good causes.
  • Cell phone protection: Get up to $600 worth of cell phone insurance coverage for damage or theft of your eligible cell phone when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Aspiration Mastercard debit card.
  • Planet Protection: Aspiration is dedicated to protecting our planet from the effects of climate change. Aspiration’s Planet Protection program automatically buys carbon offsets whenever you make gas purchases.
  • Mobile app: The Aspiration mobile app is available on both the App Store and Google Play. The app makes it easy to manage your Aspiration Spend & Save Account from anywhere. You can deposit checks with the mobile check deposit function, use your digital debit card from the app, and access both your Aspiration Spend and Aspiration Save accounts.

What Aspiration could improve

  • Subscriber-only benefits: Aspiration offers an Aspiration Plus membership for those seeking exclusive perks. This membership costs $3.99 per month (or $3.75 per month if paid annually) and provides you with additional benefits over the free Aspiration membership. Without this membership, you can’t earn any interest with an Aspiration Save account, have access to Planet Protection, or earn up to 10% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Purchases made abroad with your Aspiration Mastercard debit card may incur foreign transaction fees.
  • Limited cash back: Cashback earnings are limited to select merchants. So if you don’t shop from stores within the Conscience Coalition group of companies, you won’t earn any cash back with your Aspiration Mastercard debit card.

Aspiration Spend & Save Account vs. traditional bank accounts

Compared to traditional savings accounts, the Aspiration Spend & Save Account could provide a much larger return on your initial investment. The Aspiration APY is higher than what you would generally find from a typical financial institution, but you may have to jump through a few hoops to get the better interest rate.

Note: Bank accounts typically earn interest based on APY vs. APR, which is annual percentage yield vs. annual percentage rate. Credit card interest is calculated based on APR.

The 1% APY (as of June 16, 2020) with an Aspiration high-yield savings account is achieved only through certain conditions:

  • You must have a balance between $10 and $10,000 in your savings account and you have to spend at least $1,000 per month with your debit card.
  • If you go over the $10,000 balance, your APY will drop to 0.10% (as of June 16, 2020).
  • If you keep your balance between $10 and $10,000 and don’t spend at least $1,000 per month on your debit card, your APY will be .25% (as of June 16, 2020).

Here’s a quick comparison of how a traditional savings account and an Aspiration Spend & Save Account could match up on earnings over the span of multiple years. In the comparison, we applied the highest possible interest rate you can achieve with an Aspiration Spend & Save Account.

Traditional Savings Account

.10% APY

Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1% APY

Starting balance $5,000.00 $5,000.00
After one year $5,005.00 $5,050.00
After three years $5,015.02 $5,151.51
After 10 years $5,050.23 $5,523.11

As you can tell, the higher APY with the Aspiration Spend & Save Account would offer a better return than a traditional savings account. In fact, the amount of interest you accrue over 10 years with a traditional savings account is almost exactly the same as just one year with the Spend & Save.

Keep in mind that you have to subscribe to the Aspiration Plus membership to earn interest on your savings account. That will cost you about $45/year, which would put a serious dent in your earnings. After 10 years, you’d have paid $450 in membership fees, so your net earnings would be closer to $5,073. That doesn’t account for any cashback rewards you may have earned with your debit card, though. So even with the monthly fees, what you earn in cashback rewards and interest is still a net positive and higher than the amount you’d earn with a traditional savings account.

How to open an Aspiration Spend & Save Account

Opening an Aspiration Spend & Save Account is simple and straightforward. You can sign up for a new account through the Aspiration website or mobile app with just some personal information and a few minutes of spare time.

Eligibility requirements to open an Aspiration Spend & Save Account include:

  • 18 years or older
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Checking or savings account from a U.S. bank or credit union to do the initial funding of your Aspiration Spend & Save Account

As you go through the sign-up process, you’ll be asked to provide information such as your legal first and last name, birth date, and Social Security number. Once your account has been set up, you can log in on the website or through the Aspiration mobile app. You will need an eligible checking or savings account to fund your new Aspiration account, though you need to deposit only $10 to start.

How to withdraw money from an Aspiration Spend & Save Account

You can use the provided Aspiration Mastercard debit card for purchases and ATM withdrawals associated with your Aspiration Spend account. If you want to withdraw money from your Aspiration Save account, you’ll first need to transfer it to your Spend account. Transfers are free between the Spend & Save accounts, with a limit of 50 transfers per day.

Other Aspiration Spend & Save Account fees

Overdraft fee $0
Stop payment fee $0
ACH transfers $0
Domestic incoming wire $0.82
International incoming wire $2.50
Domestic outgoing wire $0.82
International outgoing wire $15.00

Aspiration charges fees only for the amount it costs to provide you with a service. In the case of overdraft fees, there are none. Your Aspiration debit card and Aspiration.com portal should not allow you to overdraft your account in the first place, but there are no fees for accidental overdrafts.

Other Aspiration financial products

In addition to its Spend & Save Account, Aspiration also offers investing and retirement options. You can invest in professionally managed funds with the Redwood Fund or invest in a traditional IRA with the Redwood IRA.

If you’re interested in either of these other Aspiration financial products, you could always start with the Spend & Save Account first and then build out your banking portfolio with its investment and retirement plans. This strategy would give you a good, low-risk foundation for saving and earning money before seeking higher rates of return.

Aspiration customer service

Aspiration is an online-only brokerage, so there are no in-person branches you can visit to ask questions. However, you can reach the Aspiration customer support line at 800-683-8529. Representatives are available to help from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST or Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.

You can also submit a request to the support team via the Aspiration website, mobile app, or by emailing support@aspiration.com.

Common questions about Aspiration

Is Aspiration a legit bank?

Aspiration is an SEC-registered broker-dealer, not a bank. Opened in 2015, Aspiration provides many financial products, including a checking account, savings account, investment fund, and retirement plan. Funds deposited into Aspiration checking and/or savings accounts are safe and covered by FDIC insurance for up to $2 million per depositor.

Where is Aspiration located?

Aspiration has no physical locations or branches, as it’s an online financial services provider. You can access your Aspiration financial products by logging into your account on the Aspiration website or mobile app.

Does Aspiration have direct deposit?

Yes, you can set up direct deposit with Aspiration. Direct deposit forms are available through the app or website in the “Manage” menu. From there, you can click “Direct Deposit” and then “Create Deposit Form.” You can then download the deposit form to your phone or computer by clicking “Download Deposit Form.”

Your account and routing numbers are located in your account under “Settings” and “Account Info.” Choose “checking” for the account type and use this address, if asked:

Coastal Community Bank
PO Box 2103 Everett, WA 98213

Does Aspiration have checks?

Yes, Aspiration understands that sometimes we all still need to write a check, and the first set of checks you order from Aspiration is free. For subsequent orders, there will be a shipping fee. You can order more checks by contacting Aspiration’s customer service department at 800-683-8529 or emailing them at support@aspiration.com. You can also submit a request on the Aspiration website or mobile app.


Bottom line

The Aspiration Spend & Save Account provides a simple and easy way to earn money with a combined checking and savings account. You can earn cash back from purchases on your debit card while your savings account accrues interest over time. The Aspiration Plus subscription fees can really cut into your earnings, though.

The Aspiration Spend & Save Account would be an ideal fit if you can earn enough money from cashback rewards and interest on savings to offset the cost of the Aspiration Plus membership. If that’s not possible, you can always sign up for a free Aspiration membership and take advantage of the 5% cashback rewards program. That way you can still earn money without paying any fees.

Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of June 16, 2020.

  • Earn cash back rewards - up to 10% - when you spend with your debit card
  • Get $100 bonus when you spend $1000 in the first 60 days
  • Up to 1.00% APY interest (up to 25 times higher than Big Banks)
  • Unlimited fee-free withdrawals at 55,000+ ATMs
  • Deposits are FDIC insured