What’s new in online banking? Aspiration.
I get a lot of questions from clients and friends about which bank or checking account I would recommend they use. I generally suggest they focus on the accounts with the best features and lowest fees because, like many of us Millennials, I’m not a fan of most big banks. They tend to not put the consumer first (there seems to be a lot of this lately) and many of us are still skeptical after what we saw in 2008. These feelings are totally valid! But the good news is that with the rapid growth of technology in the last few years, we now have choices that extend beyond the brick and mortar bank branches of yesteryear. One that is rapidly rising to the top of many lists, including being named Money magazine’s “Best Checking Account in America”, is Aspiration’s Summit Checking Account.
Why it’s Cool
Aspiration’s Summit Checking Account has some of the usual features Millennials are looking for but also some that set it apart. It has an app for mobile check deposit, bill pay and more which for me are essential tech features because I can’t tell you how many times I forget to take that paper check with me to the ATM. It of course is FDIC-insured, however, what is different about this account (and my favorite feature by far) is that it has no ATM fees anywhere in the world. We Millennials are a generation that like travel and experience things, so being able to get cash anywhere without a fee is pretty awesome. They also have a higher interest rate on that cash you have in the account. In some cases, as much as 100x times what you might be earning at a big bank*. I talk a lot about fees and making sure what you are paying for is worth it and luckily, Aspiration feels the same way. You actually get to choose the fees and only pay what you think is fair, seriously, that’s no joke.
Why it Matters
Yes, there are a lot of cool features here, but what truly sets things apart from the big guys is what the company does as a whole. Aspiration was founded on the idea that you can do both well and good with your financial institution. They want to help you make money and make a difference in our world. Therefore, they back up that philosophy by donating 10% of their earnings to charity. They also have a feature called AIM (Aspiration Impact Measurement) that lets you see your own Sustainability Score and the impact you make with everyday shopping. How Millennial is that! If you like to shop at business that are good for the environment and their employees, their app can help you do just that.
Every now and then something comes along that changes the game. Like me, Aspiration is trying to do that in the financial world. I love seeing more disruptors join the fray. Change can be good and the more companies like Aspiration that come along and challenge the old school norms, the better off we all may be. Millennials, we have alternatives our parents didn’t to do the simple things like run a checking account while being able to do some good in the world.
* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) accurate as of 09/13/2017. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.25% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$2,499.99, and 1.00% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rate and APY are variable and are subject to change after the account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings. This blog post is sponsored by Aspiration.