The Top 5 Ethical Online Banks to Keep Your Money Safe and Used Correctly

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These banks use their money to give back not only to the world but also to their customers.

What do you look for when you decide to deposit your money in a bank? Do you want the lowest possible interest rate? What are the most helpful account features? Or do you want to know that the bank is using your money ethically and responsibly? 

Many banks provide all of these services, but in the end, would you rather have a good return on investment or a better world for future generations? Why not have both? That is why we have compiled this list of the top five ethical online banks so that people can make an informed decision about where to invest their money.

What exactly are online banks?

An online bank does all of its business and provides all of its services to customers via the internet. This means that there will be no physical branches but rather an easy-to-use website for all of your banking needs. 

Anonymity can be maintained when dealing with these banks because they frequently do not require face-to-face meetings or phone calls for verification purposes. This can also be a disadvantage, but we will discuss that later in the article.

Why should you use an online bank?

People who want to manage their money but do not have the time or patience to visit a physical branch will benefit from the online banking experience. These banks offer a variety of services, including checking accounts and savings plans. Some even give a portion of their profits to charities, which traditional banks do not. But, more importantly, each of these banks strives to use your money responsibly and ethically.

What distinguishes an ethical bank?

An online bank can be considered ethical if it invests and uses its customers’ money responsibly and with integrity. Each of the five ethical online banks we’ve chosen for this article also donates a significant portion of their profits to communities worldwide or invests in projects that protect and preserve our environment so that future generations can enjoy it as much as we do now.

The top five ethical online banks

For our readers’ consideration, we have compiled a list of the top five ethical online banks. These are all well-established and trusted financial institutions that will be good places to keep your money while also keeping the environment healthy so that future generations can continue to do business with them. All of these banks are FDIC-insured, which means your money is safe with any of them.

Axos Bank (Formerly Bank of Internet USA)

If you want to bank online, Axos Bank is a great choice. They not only have low fees, but they also allow customers to earn interest on their money and grow it in an account that is FDIC-insured up to $250k per person.

Furthermore, Axos Bank has ATMs all over the country, so you never have to worry about paying fees when you’re on the go. Customers can also direct deposit their paychecks, send wire transfers, and make mobile check deposits.

Axos Bank believes that this approach to banking is more sustainable than simply offering products and services. Their goal is to provide community development loans and investments at competitive rates for small business growth, which means you can earn interest on your savings while also knowing that your money is being used to help others.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is an online bank with a reputation for providing some of the industry’s best customer service. They don’t have any physical branches, so you don’t have to worry about how long it will take for your money to be available or what fees will be charged if you need to make account changes. Nonetheless, they believe in giving back to their community and making it simple for you to do so as well.

Ally Bank is a great online bank with many great features, but the best part is how they give back to their customers. They do not charge ATM fees and will reimburse them for any non-Ally Bank ATM fees. All checking accounts earn interest for customers. This is a fantastic bank with fantastic perks.

Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial is an industry leader in online banking and exemplifies what financial institutions should be doing. They give back to their community members through charitable donations, volunteer opportunities, and low-interest loans for those in need.

This bank also does not have any hidden fees or account minimums, which many other banks have been chastised for, resulting in lower costs for their customers.

Synchrony Financial is one of the largest providers of private label credit cards in the United States, which allows them to maintain competitive interest rates. On the other hand, this bank is unique in that it also strives to help people manage different aspects of their financial lives by providing free online budgeting tools and educational materials to everyone, from college students to retirees.

SoFi Money

SoFi Money is a digital checking account explicitly created for millennials. They can offer some of the best account rates, which means you get more bang for your buck, but they also have an app that their customers can use at any time or from any location. They even offer online tools and educational resources to help people learn how to spend their money wisely.

SoFi Money has a competitive interest rate and is the only bank that provides eligible students with free college tuition. They invest in their employees by offering profit sharing, so you can rest assured that you are banking with a company that has your back.

Varo Bank

Varo Bank is another online bank that offers an easy-to-use mobile platform to customers. Nonetheless, they are interested in providing products and services for people who large banks may underserve. 

They provide fee-free accounts, which means you won’t be charged fees if you use your debit card or write too many checks. They also provide tools to assist you in improving your credit score so that you can qualify for lower interest rates on loans and invest in your family’s future.

Varo Bank is one of the best online banks in terms of ethics and reputation. Customers rave about how they always receive five-star service when dealing with this bank. They have low fees, no hidden charges, and no overdrafts, and they provide free bill pay services, which save customers money on paper checks each month. Varo also contributes to several non-profit organizations, which distinguishes them from the competition.

future of ethical banking - Retail Banker International

Honorable mentions

Bank5 Connect

Bank Five is a great place to go if you want to save money. They have a 0.75 percent interest rate, and it’s pretty simple to get started with them; all you need are some identification documents and the ability to open a checking account online. They don’t charge exorbitant fees and also give back to their customers. Bank Five will donate five cents to charity for every ten dollars you deposit.

Bank Five, one of America’s leading community development financial institutions (CDFI), works to strengthen communities in New England by offering low-interest loans, financial education, and community development grants.

This means that when you deposit money into this bank, it is used to help local businesses start or expand; people in financial need have access to loans so they can improve their homes or use the money for emergencies. They may be able to offer grants for community improvement projects. 

Capital One Financial Corporation

Capital One, headquartered in Virginia, is a for-profit bank. Its banking services are available via the internet, phone, and mobile devices. Loans, savings accounts, checking accounts, and credit cards are all available. 

Capital One provides personal banking services such as car loans, student loans, and home mortgages. Capital One also offers business products to small businesses that require financial resources to expand; they can obtain commercial lending, equipment financing, or leases.

Capital One’s mission is to “bring ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity to banking.” They believe in ‘breaking down barriers between people and their money by constantly developing better ways for individuals and businesses to manage their finances.’

One of Capital One’s primary objectives is to assist customers in managing their money and planning for the future. They believe that everyone should have access to financial resources and tools.


Discover is a financial services company that offers its customers credit cards, checking accounts, and savings accounts. They also provide online tools and educational resources to help you improve your finances. Discover is a customer advocate who strives to set new standards for other banks to follow. Discover has been in business since 1985 and is still going strong today.

When you use a Discover card, you support ethical business practices because the company focuses on sustainable investing, social responsibility, workplace diversity initiatives, community development efforts to support local communities, and environmental sustainability programs.

Aspiration, taking banking into the future

Aspiration is a newer bank that was founded in 2013. They are a “values-based financial institution” that assists customers in leading more conscious lives. By opening an account with Aspiration, you support the communities around them and contribute to reducing global poverty and environmental destruction.

The Aspiration Zero is a credit card that rewards you for going carbon neutral. The best part? You don’t need to be an environmentalist or even do anything different than your current routine to reap the benefits of this ethical online bank. 

If you’ve already decided to go green, this one-of-a-kind financial tool will help you get there faster…and in style! Not only are they dedicated to preserving our planet’s natural resources, but they also offer competitive interest rates on their cards. Visit Aspiration Zero today to learn more!


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