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Aspiration provides a number of accounts, with a focus on rewarding customers with cash back for purchases made from ethical businesses. Aspiration is not a federally insured or chartered bank. It's a brokerage that offers a cash management account similar to the one offered by Charles Schwab Investments.
And, like Charles Schwab, it relies on relationships with banks to ensure that the funds in your “Spend and Save” account are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. Customers who want the convenience of online banking without having to visit a branch may find Aspiration to be a good option. Customers' deposits with Aspiration are held at one of its partner banks, which are FDIC-insured.
Chime is an internet banking platform in the United States that provides services via a mobile application. The website offers a savings account with an automatic saving feature that allows you to save as you spend and get paid. After each purchase, the chime visa debit card rounds up the money in the account to the nearest dollar, and the remaining cents are transferred to your savings account.
To encourage clients to save as they earn money, a percentage of each paycheck can be deducted and deposited into a savings account. There are several debit card benefits with Chime bank accounts, including no hidden fees, no minimum deposits, free ATM charges, cashback, no monthly payments, no overdraft fees, and FDIC insurance coverage up to $250,000.
Chime's, like Aspiration, is not for customers who prefer in-person services because there is no live office or physical building.
Both Aspiration and Chime have a fairly streamlined banking product line. Aspiration has just one hybrid account with an upgrade option costing $7.99 per month and one credit card option. Chime has one savings account, one checking account, and one credit card option. However, the premise of the product lines are different.
While Aspiration is a banking service aimed at helping people lead a greener life, Chime’s products are designed to help those who want to build their credit. This will influence whether Aspiration or Chime is a better option for you.
Money Market Account
Aspiration’s Spend & Save account is a hybrid account, combining both savings and checking, but for this part of the comparison, we’ll look at the savings features. In this regard, Aspiration offers far better rates compared to Chime.
Additionally, while Chime doesn’t have maintenance fees, the Pay What’s Fair approach to maintenance fees means that you don’t need to worry about fee waivers.
Up to 3.00%
Again, Aspiration has the edge with regards to checking account features. Although Chime offers a fee free overdraft of up to $200 subject to requirements, the 5% cash back offered by Aspiration is tough to beat. Additionally, you can earn 3% on your balance, while Chime does not pay interest on checking account balances.
However, Chime does have some nice account features, such as round up auto savings. So, if you make a debit card payment of $4.65, $5 will be deducted from your checking account and the remaining $0.35 will go into savings. These amounts are small enough so you don’t really notice them at the time, but these small amounts can add up.
1.00% – 3.00%
Since both of these banks are quite small, they each only have one credit card option. Aspiration has the Aspiration Zero. As with the general ethos of Aspiration, this card is designed to encourage you to work towards being carbon neutral.
The bank will plant up to two trees for each card purchase. You’ll earn 0.5% rewards on your qualifying purchases, but when you reach 60 trees and achieve carbon neutral status for that month, your rewards in the applicable period will be doubled to 1%. However, the card has a $60 annual fee.
Chime’s credit card is a secured card with the aim to help you build credit. There is no annual fee or interest and no credit check to apply. You will need a security deposit for the card, but there is no required minimum.
Chime reports your card payments to all three credit bureaus, so you can start to build your credit over time. Chime claims that its members have an increase of 30 credit score points on average.
Aspiration has a toll free number that is open 6 am to 6 pm PT Monday to Friday and 8 am to 4 pm PT on weekends. Aspiration does have social media channels, but it does not promote using them to contact the support team.
On the other hand, Chime has a toll free number that is available 24/7, so you can access the customer service team at any time if you have any queries or questions.
Both Aspiration and Chime have an app to help you to manage your accounts on the go. The Aspiration app is rated 4.7/5 on the Apple Store and 4.1 out of 5 on Google Play respectively, while Chime’s app is rated 4.8/5 on Apple and 4.7/5 on Google.
The bank’s websites are both easy to use, but Chime’s site does have more learning resources. Aspiration does have a “learn” section with details of sustainable investments, retirement planning and banking, but Chime has a good help section that allows you to explore all aspects of the bank’s products and finance in general so you can get help and guidance.
Aspiration’s entire site is designed around having a greener impact, so if this is not particularly of interest to you, you may find the site lacking details.
For example, while the product pages detail how your spending habits can work towards being carbon neutral, it is difficult to find details about the credit card rates and other terms. Bank of America’s site is far more clear cut. You can simply select the products you’re interested in and even compare different products, if you’re unsure which one is right for you.
Which Online Banking is The Winner?
To sum up, we’ll need to look at which bank is better, according to what you’re looking for.
If you have a less than perfect credit rating, Chime offers a great trifecta of products. The checking and savings accounts are solid products, but the no credit check secured credit card is a nice touch.
However, if you prefer products that are more ethically designed, then the Aspiration ethos will appeal to you. While there is only one hybrid savings checking account, one credit card and limited investment options, you have the assurance that your deposits will not be used for fossil fuel exploration. You will also get rewards for greener activities.
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Chime employs two optional programs to help you save money. Save When You Spend is the name of the program. This program allows you to save small amounts of money when you shop. When you use your Chime debit card to make a purchase, Chime rounds up to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to your savings account4.
Chime also has a savings program called Save When I Get Paid. This feature allows you to set up a recurring transfer of 10% of your direct deposit paycheck of $500 or more from your spending account to your savings account each time you are paid4. This is a valuable tool for saving you money on a regular and consistent basis.
Customers can earn between 3% and 10% cash back when they use their Aspiration debit card to make a purchase at one of the Conscience Coalition's businesses. Customers can earn cash back when they use their Aspiration debit card at Conscience Coalition businesses, but the highest levels of cash back are reserved for the Aspiration Plus account.
You must also spend at least $1,000 per month with your Aspiration debit card to be eligible for the 1% APY.
Customers' basic CMA is Aspiration Spend & Save. Customers can spend and save from the same account, while still receiving many of the benefits of a checking account. The most significant advantages of Aspiration's CMAs are available only to Aspiration Plus customers. Aspiration Plus increases your cash back rewards for spending with Conscience Coalition members to 10% across the board. The savings portion of your Aspiration Plus account has additional advantages.
To begin, even if you do nothing else, you will earn a 0.25% APY on your savings balance up to $10,000, and 0.10% after that. If you also spend at least $1,000 per month on your Aspiration debit card, you will earn a 1% APY on savings up to $10,000 and 0.10% after that.
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Aspiration has a streamlined banking product line that includes a hybrid account with a $7.99 per month upgrade option and only one credit card option. Aspiration's premise is to help you live a greener life, so the products are heavily weighted in this category. This means that you can earn cash back and other rewards for making environmentally conscious purchases and taking action.
Ally offers a much broader range of banking products. In addition to checking, savings, and CD accounts, you can also get investment and retirement products, mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans. This brings it more in line with a traditional bank, which may make switching from your high street bank easier.
Read Full Comparison: Aspiration vs Ally Bank: Where to Save Your Money?
Bank of America is a nationwide network that offers deposit, loan, and credit card services. There are also increased daily limits on ATM and debit purchases, which is an excellent incentive to improve your financial situation. Aspiration's company was presented in a very different manner than their bank competitors.
One feature that sets them apart from their competitors is that they let their customers decide how much they want to pay for their services. The fee that the customer believes is fair or appropriate for the level of service they receive is set by the customer.
Read Full Comparison: Aspiration vs Bank of America: Which Bank Account Is Better?
Axos Bank offers home improvement loans as well as checking and savings accounts online. Because Axos is a low-cost online lender, it is able to pass on significant savings to its customers. Axos waives many fees and reimburses ATM and rewards checking fees.
Chime is an online-only company that works with two banks to provide checking and savings accounts. Online banking with Chime is not the same as using a traditional banking system. Chime secures and protects your online financial accounts. It is a safe place to keep your money and access it without any technical difficulties.
Read Full Comparison: Axos VS Chime: Which Online Bank Is Better?
Chime differs from many banks and other financial institutions in that it screens customers in an unusual way. If you don't have perfect credit or are still building your credit history, this may make it easier to open an account with Chime.
Varo, a mobile-only bank, was established in 2015. As a result, there are no bank branches. To use Varo's services, first download and sign into the bank's Apple and Android mobile apps. Varo offers a lot of functionality for on-the-go users, which may entice you to go online.
Read Full Comparison: Chime vs Varo Comparison: Which Online Bank Wins?
There are some key differences between Current and a traditional checking account. Current, for example, allows you to access direct deposits up to two days faster and manage your account completely through the mobile app. Keep in mind that Current does not have any physical locations, so you will be unable to deal with any banking issues in person.
Online banking with Chime is not the same as using a traditional banking system. Chime secures and protects your online financial accounts. It is a safe place to keep your money and access it without any technical difficulties. You can round up your purchases to the nearest dollar amount and save the difference because Chime has no monthly or overdraft fees.
Read Full Comparison: Chime vs Current – Which Banking Service Is Better?
Marcus, a Goldman Sachs Bank division, provides online savings accounts, CDs, and personal loans. Marcus has no physical locations, so you can only access your accounts through the Marcus website, mobile app, or phone-based customer service.
In addition to assisting you in avoiding typical bank fees, Chime includes useful new features such as early direct deposits and automatic saving. While Chime does not provide credit cards or loans, its savings options and competitive interest rates make it an excellent choice, especially for younger people.
Read Full Comparison: Chime vs Marcus: Which Online Bank Wins?
SoFi's online Spend and Save account, like the Chime online checking account, is fee-free, but it has some different checking account features. Chime, for example, offers a $200 fee-free overdraft facility subject to terms, whereas SoFi provides cash back if you have recurring direct deposits of $500 or more each month.
Read Full Comparison: SoFi vs Chime: Which Online Banking Wins?
Ally has a robust banking product offering that rivals that of a traditional bank. Savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, investments, retirement products, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages are all available.
Chime's product line has been simplified. All Chime products are designed to assist customers in rebuilding or establishing credit. There are only two savings accounts, one checking account, and one credit card available.
Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Chime: Which Banking Account Wins?
- *The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of November 17, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
- Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A. Chime Spending Account and $200 or more qualifying direct deposit required to apply for the secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card. See chime.com to learn more.