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Aspiration Online Checking Account Review

Jan. 2, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts
Aspiration Review: Online Checking
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NerdWallet rating: 4.0/5.0

Where Aspiration shines:

  • Offers checking account with a rare 1.00% APY and no strings attached
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Reimburses all ATM fees worldwide
  • No overdraft fees

Where Aspiration falls short:

  • No branches, savings accounts or CDs
  • No cash deposits

Where Aspiration shines:

  • Offers checking account with a rare 1.00% APY and no strings attached
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Reimburses all ATM fees worldwide
  • No overdraft fees

Where Aspiration falls short:

  • No branches, savings accounts or CDs
  • No cash deposits

Where Aspiration shines:

  • Offers checking account with a rare 1.00% APY and no strings attached
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Reimburses all ATM fees worldwide
  • No overdraft fees

Where Aspiration falls short:

  • No branches, savings accounts or CDs
  • No cash deposits

 

The bottom line

Aspiration

at Aspiration,

Member, FDIC

The Aspiration Summit Account stands out as one of the best checking accounts on the market. The account earns interest and doesn’t have ATM or monthly fees. In addition, Aspiration doesn’t charge overdraft fees. But as an online-only investment firm, Aspiration doesn’t have bank branches or offer savings accounts or certificates of deposit.

Best if: You’re looking for free checking that earns interest and has worldwide ATM reimbursements.


Read on for more details about Aspiration’s checking account, overdraft fees and bank experience.

Checking: 5.0/5.0

The Summit account is a free checking account, with no minimum balance requirement or monthly surcharges. The opening minimum is just $10. Joint checking is available.

More upsides:

Earns solid interest. Checking accounts don’t tend to have interest rates, and if they have them, they’re usually nowhere as high as Aspiration Summit’s annual percentage yield of 1.00%. Deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. like other banks.

Reimburses ATM fees worldwide. Aspiration doesn’t charge for using ATMs, and it reimburses any charges that hit your account in the U.S. or abroad.

Overdraft fees: 4.0/5.0

The upside:

No overdraft fees. Any checking transaction that would push the account negative is simply declined with no fee instead.

The downsides:

No overdraft protection. Because Aspiration lacks savings accounts, you can’t sign up for overdraft protection that would transfer money from savings to checking to cover overages. Some banks also offer a low-cost line of credit to cover overdrafts, but that’s not an option at Aspiration.

Bank experience: 4.0/5.0

Upsides:

Helpful website and multiple support channels. The website has a clear overview of fees, interest rates and other important information, and many detailed answers on the FAQs. You can reach customer service via email, live chat, Twitter or call. Phone support is available on weekdays, live chat and email available every day.

Good mobile apps. Aspiration offers solidly rated iOS and Android mobile apps. Both let you deposit checks with your smartphone.

Unique spending feature. If you want to support socially responsible business practices, Aspiration helps make that happen. The firm gives businesses a social impact score based on how they treat their employees, customers, community and the environment, and you also receive a score based on where you shop.

Other benefits. You can get reimbursed for losses due to identity theft as part of a limited insurance coverage that Aspiration offers. There’s also free cell phone protection if you pay your phone bill with an Aspiration debit card.

Downsides:

No branches. The Summit Account is an online-only checking account.

No savings or additional accounts. With Aspiration, you can’t open multiple accounts. The firm doesn’t have savings option either.

If you’re looking for a savings account with competitive APY to pair with your checking account, compare these highly rated online options:

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

NerdWallet bank rating:
4.0 NerdWallet rating
NerdWallet bank rating:
4.0 NerdWallet rating
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

NerdWallet bank rating:
4.5 NerdWallet rating

APY

2.25%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Excellent CD options



APY

2.20%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Large ATM network



APY

2.10%





Monthly fees

$0





Bonus features

Solid CD options



See more high-yield savings accounts
Aspiration

at Aspiration,

Member, FDIC

If you’re looking to keep your checking and savings accounts together or want a more well-rounded banking experience, read our reviews for Ally, Capital One 360 and Discover. They are three online banks that have good checking and savings accounts along with add-on services that can help you handle your finances.

But if you’re simply looking for an online checking account with great rates and other perks, the Aspiration Summit account could be a great choice.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

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