Aspiration vs. Big Banks

man with credit card

Whether you know it or not, every financial choice you make can make an impact in today’s world. At Aspiration, we want to give you agency over your money that fosters only positive results—an ethic that megabanks simply can’t match.

The essence of how we differ from the big guys comes down to our mission: Aspiration is not a bank and was not founded to be a bank. We founded it to change the world. 

This mindset infuses everything from the people we attract to the sustainable financial services we offer to help them thrive. With that, let’s take a look at how Aspiration sets itself apart from the likes of Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and American Express.

What Makes Aspiration Different From Big Banks?

At Aspiration, we don’t consider you a customer—you’re a member of our community.

And because you determine whether we successfully execute our mission, we want to give you every opportunity to invest in changing the world for the better. 

In practice, this means complete transparency about how we handle your money. Here are ten ways we set ourselves apart by putting that into practice:

  1. Unlike big banks, we’ll never use your money to fund the fossil fuel industry.
  2. With our Pay What Is Fair promise, we commit to never charging you the huge fees you’ll be charged with the big banks. You decide how much you’ll pay for our services, and for everything else you’ll only pay what it costs us.
  3. Our Spend & Save plans are accessible to everyone, no matter their means—just $10 allows you to make an opening deposit. 
  4. We facilitate sustainable spending with a personal impact score so you can keep track of all the good things your money is doing in the world.
  5. Through our Dimes Worth of Difference program, we donate 10% of the fees our members choose to pay us to worthy environmental and social causes.
  6. When they use an Aspiration debit card, we reward Aspiration Plus members with up to 10% cash back for shopping sustainably through our Conscience Coalition program.
  7. We automatically offset the carbon dioxide from every gallon of gas our Aspiration Plus members buy through our Planet Protection program.
  8. We help you earn more with at least 3% and up to 5% APY on your savings, with a minimum spend of $1000 per month (terms apply).
  9. We give you the option to plant a tree each time you swipe your Aspiration card.
  10. Our network has over 55,000 free ATMs. That’s more than the big banks have combined.

In aggregate, our programs empower you to make the best decisions for your financial health, the planet, and its inhabitants.

Let’s see whether the biggest names in banking hold to the same standard.

Aspiration vs. Chase

Chase Bank has over 60,000 American members. Here’s what they are missing out on:

  • A high-yield APY – Chase savings accounts only offer a .01% APY, rewarding customers less when they’re doing well.
  • Fixed fees – Chase members don’t have the option to decide their own fees, and can only waive them if they meet certain requirements.
  • Ethical banking – Chase is the planet’s #1 banker funding the fossil fuel industry.

Aspiration vs. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo may have branches in 37 states and territories, but here are some things they don’t have:

  • A high-yield APY – Once again, this big bank’s savings account interest rates (of .01% – .02%) can’t compare with Aspiration’s.
  • A commitment to ethical investment – Wells Fargo is the third-ranking big bank that continues to invest in fossil fuels.

For a high interest rate and a cash management solution that reflects your values, Aspiration is a better choice than Wells Fargo.

Aspiration vs. Bank of America

How does Aspiration measure up to Bank of America, the second largest bank in the US?

These are two things Aspiration can provide that Bank of America doesn’t:

  • A lower minimum deposit – Bank of America requires a deposit of at least $25 for checking accounts and $100 for savings accounts. With Aspiration, it’s $10 either way.
  • A high-yield APY – Unsurprisingly, Bank of America can’t match Aspiration’s high interest rates. They offer APY on their savings account of between .01% and .04%.

Aspiration vs. American Express

We want to give credit where credit is due. Compared to other big banks, American Express actually recognizes consumers’ desire to make their money mean something.

The company has pledged to produce net-zero emissions by 2035, and as a gesture of their commitment they partnered with Parley to make an Amex Green Card from recycled plastics.

While AmEx is moving in the right direction, they’ve fallen short of offering their customers direct pathways to sustainable personal finance. At Aspiration, we give our customers the opportunities to take action by:

  • Keeping you on track with ethical spending with a customized personal impact score through our Spend & Save account
  • Building a sustainable economy by rewarding customers and businesses with a conscience by offering cashback on debit purchases at Conscience Coalition partners
  • Incentivizing carbon neutral spending with 1% cash back once your spending reaches carbon zero (60 planted trees)
  • Welcoming referrals by planting 60 trees when they enroll
  • Using biodegradable materials to make your green credit card

Start Small, Save the World with Aspiration

When it comes to personal banking, investing, and fostering a financial system rooted in planetary stewardship, Aspiration beats the big banks at every turn. 

From our perspective, where you put your money should be life-changing—for you, and for the global community. That’s why we’re thrilled to be a part of your journey towards building a better planet for all. 

Make the switch, start saving, and sign up for an eco friendly debit card today.

Sources: 

Chase Media Center. Chase’s 2021 Digital Banking Attitudes Study Finds Consumers Continue to Adopt Digital Banking Tools to Manage Their Finances. https://media.chase.com/news/chases-2021-digital-banking-attitudes-study  

Chase. Chase Savings℠ Interest Rates. https://www.chase.com/personal/savings/savings-account/interest-rates  

Chase. Compare your options: Open a checking account online today. https://personal.chase.com/personal/checking 

 Scientific American. Scientists Risk Arrest to Demand Climate Action. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-risk-arrest-to-demand-climate-action/

ScrapeHero. How many Wells Fargo locations are there in the United States in 2022? https://www.scrapehero.com/location-reports/Wells%20Fargo-USA/ 

Forbes. Wells Fargo Savings Account Interest Rates. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/banking/savings/wells-fargo-savings-account-rates/ 

Vox. The long-shot campaign to get big banks out of fossil fuels. https://www.vox.com/23046282/banks-climate-shareholder-votes-fossil-fuels   

Business Wire. American Express Commits to Net-Zero Emissions Globally By 2035. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210921005301/en/American-Express-Commits-to-Net-Zero-Emissions-Globally-By-2035

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