This Secret Account Pays up to 20x the Average Interest Rate

detail of a woman's hand holding her Aspiration Bank debit card using an ATM machine.
Aileen Perilla/ The Penny Hoarder
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To put it simply, online financial services are easier to use than traditional banks. They’re cheaper and more accessible.

One of our favorite companies, Aspiration, offers an online-only account with no fees* and no minimum balance. Plus its savings account pays you up to 2.00% APY, and it pays you cash back when use your debit card!

This isn’t a traditional bank; it’s a California financial tech company with a jovial personality that’s sorely lacking in the financial space.

What You’ll Get With This Free Account

When you use an Aspiration Spend and Save account, you’ll get:

  1. No Fees

    Aspiration works on a pay-what-is-fair model. You choose to set a monthly tip up to $20 or as low as $0, and you can change it anytime.

  2. Free ATMs

    Get reimbursed for any ATM fees (i.e. get money anytime, anywhere you need it without worrying about the exorbitant cost of those pesky machines). Users who travel, especially abroad, love this feature.

  3. 20x the Average Interest Rate

    Aspiration offers up to 2.00% APY on savings. That’s 20 times the average savings account interest rate of 0.10% reported by the FDIC** — and at least 100 times what you’ll get with a typical checking account. With no monthly fee and a minimum deposit of just $1 per month, this is an attractive option.

  4. Anytime Access

    This account can be a good place to keep an emergency fund, too. You can transfer between accounts easily and make payments as needed with an Aspiration debit card, via Apple Pay or through Venmo.

  5. Charitable Giving

    You can give to your favorite causes directly from your Aspiration account. Just enter an amount you want to give, and select one or more causes — poverty, water, education and more. Plus, the company’s commitment to “do well and do good” means it commits to donating 10% of its earnings to charity.

  6. Option for Sustainable Investing

    In addition to the free, high-yield account, Aspiration offers two investment funds for middle-class investors. These funds require only a $100 minimum investment, which opens up financial services that were traditionally only available to elite investors.

How to Open an Aspiration Account

If this sounds good to you, too, you can get started with Aspiration here. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Start by entering your email address. The whole sign-up process takes less than five minutes.
  • You’ll need your Social Security Number (you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to open this account) and your current bank account information to set up your opening deposit.
  • To open the account, you’ll need to make a one-time deposit of at least $10.
  • You’ll answer some questions to verify your identity online.

*Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that it’ll only charge you what it costs them to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it’s $0, which is why it’s called Pay What Is Fair.

**Interest rates accurate as of 5/2/19.

Dana Sitar is a writer and editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.