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Aspiration Debit Card: Pay What’s Fair

Cory Santos

| Last updated on January 22nd, 2024

Aspiration Debit Card

Aspiration Debit Card
No Credit Required
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: No Credit Required
Mastercard Processing Network
None ($7.99/month for the Aspiration Plus) Annual Fee

Aspiration Debit Card

At a Glance

The Aspiration Debit Card lets users do their part in conservation while earning impressive cash back on eligible purchases at the same time. The card, which features two tiers, offers up to 10% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases, the opportunity to plant a tree with all eligible purchases, and more.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Get a sleek debit card made from recycled plastic
  • Earn up to 3% APY interest on your Save Account
  • Get one out-of-network ATM fee reimbursed per month
  • Deposits do not fund fossil fuel exploration or production
  • Option to plant a tree with every roundup
  • Annual Fee: None ($7.99/month for the Aspiration Plus)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars when using foreign ATMs
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $10
  • You're a conscientious shopper who wants to help the environment
  • You want to offset the carbon footprint of your gas purchases
  • You want to earn cash back on shopping with ethical businesses

Aspiration Debit Card Review

The Aspiration Debit Card is a combination debit and savings program that ensures your hard-earned money is never used to fund the oil or coal industries. The card, which comes in two different plans, lets users do their part in saving the environment while also enjoying exceptional cash back on eligible purchases. Aspiration is issued through Coastal Community Bank, a Washington-based community lender.

How Does Aspiration Work?

Aspiration is a unique debit card that seeks to help the world better – not just profit. Unlike other banks, which invest in industries that result in the best profits (regardless of the environmental impact), Aspiration pledges never to invest funds into fossil fuel exploration or production.

Aspiration also allows users to further the company’s environmental goals by offering the opportunity to plant trees – via an optional purchase round-up – or track their spending through its personal impact score. The personal impact score monitors where customers shop and help identify retailers that match the user’s values.

Eco-Friendly Features

Aspiration is active in striving for a better planet, and it shows in the company’s efforts, which are apparent in the services it provides.

Aspiration Impact Measurement, for example, gives you a personal sustainability score. By analyzing your spending patterns with various businesses, your score is determined based on whether or not those businesses are making a positive social or environmental impact on the world.

Additionally, Aspiration cards are crafted using 80% pre-consumer recycled content (PVC), and the Aspiration Plus cards are partially constructed using upcycled ocean-bound plastic.

Finally, Aspiration actively donates to causes that matter to customers. The fintech donates $0.10 for every dollar paid using the Pay What’s Fair plan. And, when you refer a friend to Aspiration, they donate $25 to the charity of your choice and an additional $25 to a charity of your friend’s choosing.

Aspiration Tiers

Like many fintech debit cards, Aspiration offers two distinct plans for customers: a basic tier available for as low as $0 and a premium paid tier with additional perks, including greater rewards and higher interest rates on savings.

Pay What’s Fair Tier

The basic tier offers a “pay what is fair” pricing model. This model means users can pay a fee that they believe is fair for the services provided – even if that is $0. For this optional fee, users get access to an impressive selection of perks and environmental benefits, including:

Deposits never used to fund fossil fuel companies Access to a network of more than 55,000 ATMs (free of charge) Access to their personal impact score to help them make purchasing decisions that align to their conscious
The option to potentially plant a tree with every purchase via round-up Get paid up to two days earlier than through normal pay schedules Up to 5% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases

The benefits of this basic plan are fairly robust for those who fit a certain niche. Reaching the $500 minimum threshold for earning 1% APY is fairly simple. The $500 in purchases equates to $116 per week in spending, comparable to a weekly grocery store visit.

Aspiration Plus Tier

Aspiration Plus is the premium tier and, as such, offers even more cash back savings through Conscience Coalition purchases. Additionally, the Plus tier has a monthly service fee of $7.99, though this fee drops to $5.99 per month when paid annually.

The Aspiration Plus program offers many of the similar features of the basic tier but with additional benefits such as:

Up to 10% cash back on Conscience Coalition purchases Up to 1.00% APY on Aspiration savings accounts
One out-of-network ATM reimbursement monthly Carbon offsets for all your gas purchases with Planet Protection

As with the basic tier, reaching the spending goal to unlock that 3% APY is not tricky. What’s frustrating is that the top-tier APY isn’t an automatic feature for Plus subscribers. Instead, users are locked into a 0.25% APY until they reach $500 in monthly spending on the Aspiration Debit Card.

The carbon offset feature with Aspiration Plus is unique in that the company automatically offsets the carbon dioxide from gas purchased with the eligible card through carbon offset programs – including the planting of trees.

Earn Rewards with the Conscience Coalition

The Aspiration Debit Card also provides impressive cash back rewards on eligible purchases. Depending on the card tier, users can earn between 3% to 10% cash back on purchases made through Conscience Coalition businesses. Conscious Coalition partners with nonprofits and social ventures committed to reducing poverty, conflict, and social injustice.

Eligible companies (that Aspiration says are “doing the right thing”) include the following brands:

Cariuma Warby Parker Cloud Paper Brightly
Feed Blue Apron Dropps Boody
Fordays Imperfect Foods Lola Superzero
Girlfriend Collective Seatopia Burst Zero Waste Store
Known Supply Tony’s Chocolonely Soapbox Tentree
Miir This Saves Lives rumpl Allbirds
Toms Parachute wolven Backdrop
United By Blue Goodwings Boyish Got Bag

Mastercard World Debit Benefits

The Aspiration Debit Card also benefits from Mastercard World Debit features and protections – meaning cardholders can enjoy life while saving the planet at the same time. Features of Mastercard World Debit include:

ID Theft Protection Zero Fraud Liability Mastercard Global Service customer support
Purchase Protection Extended Warranty Protection Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee

Aspiration Fees

Fee Charge
Monthly service $0 to $7.99
Opening deposit $10
ATMs $0 with Allpoint ATMs (in network); 1% of the transaction (international)
Foreign transaction 1%
Overdraft $0
Card replacement $0
Wire transfers $2.06 (receiving); Up to $19.50 (sending)

Debit Card Comparison

Here is how the Aspiration Debit Mastercard compares with another popular rewards debit card, the Extra Mastercard Debit Card:

Extra Mastercard Aspiration Debit Card
Annual fee See terms $0 (see terms for tiers)
Builds credit Yes No
Rewards 1% back Up to 10% back
Interest? N/A 5% APY on Save Account w/ Plus

What We Like About Aspiration

Savings with the Conscience Coalition

Aspiration’s planet-forward approach with rewards is likely very attractive to certain population subsets, and it’s easy to see why. Aspiration lets users closely monitor their impact on the environment and earn up to 10% cash back with Conscience Coalition brands. The rewards dip slightly, from 3% to 5% without Aspiration Plus, but that is still a respectable (and valuable) earning rate for purchases with Eart-conscious companies.

Up to 3% APY

Perhaps the most outstanding financial feature of the Aspiration Debit Card is the ability to earn up to 9X higher interest on savings with Aspiration. That APY, currently 3% APY, is generous compared to the national average APY on savings accounts, currently around 0.45% APY.

Things to Consider

High APY Comes with a Catch

Of course, there is a caveat with that high-interest savings account – namely, it requires subscribing to Aspiration Plus, a premium paid tier. The Aspiration Plus fee is $5.99 per month when paid annually (equivalent to $72 per year), or $7.99 per month ($95.88 per year).

And the 3% APY isn’t particularly high compared to other savings accounts – and even a few debit card accounts. Varo Bank, for example, provides the Varo Savings Account, offering between 3% to 5% APY on savings but with no minimum deposits or maintenance fees.  Those hoping for a checking account should consider the Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account, a tongue-in-cheek name that boasts a massive 5.3 APY when meeting minimum transaction thresholds each month.

Minimal Banking Features

Aspiration is not a bank. Because of this, there aren’t a ton of bells and whistles with the Aspiration Debit Card program. There are no branches should you experience issues, for example. Additionally, Aspiration does not offer overdraft protection nor permit cash reloads of the card at stores.

Aspiration Debit Card FAQs

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about Aspiration’s Debit Card:

  • Aspiration offers a variety of accounts, with a focus on rewarding customers with cash back for purchases made from ethical companies. The money customers deposit through Aspiration is held at one of its partner banks, which offer FDIC insurance.
  • You may only access your Cash Balance through your Aspiration Account. You cannot access or withdraw the Cash Balance by directly contacting the Priority List of Banks. Balances in the Cash Sweep Program can be liquidated on your order and the proceeds returned to your brokerage account or to you.
  • Aspiration credit, debit, and checking products are available in all 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia (DC).

Aspiration Ratings

How does the Aspiration program stack up? Here is a selection of expert reviews for the card:

Should You Consider the Aspiration Card?

There are plenty of cash back debit card programs on the market today, but Aspiration is something different. The card – and the program – offers conscientious consumers the chance to save money and help the planet simultaneously.

The carbon offset with the Aspiration Plus is an excellent feature – especially for those who commute but hate the damage they are doing to the planet. However, even the basic plan offers the chance to plant trees through the round-up option on purchases. This means that no matter what you pay for the service, you’ll be helping out Mother Earth.

Add to that the impressive array of perks and protections that come with a World Mastercard debit product, and the Aspiration Card is an exciting debit card that any Earth-conscious consumer should consider getting.

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