Aspiration Vs Ally Bank 2023 [Complete Comparison Guide]
Knowing where to invest your hard-earned money can be challenging in the ever-evolving world of online banking. Two contenders that stand out from the crowd are Aspiration and Ally Bank.
You see, they offer comprehensive banking solutions tailored to meet your unique financial needs. But, as you'd expect, there are key differences between these two institutions. Wouldn't it be great if someone took the time to examine these differences for you? Well, look no further!
This article is specifically designed to help you decipher the key distinctions between Aspiration vs Ally Bank. By shedding light on their features, services, and fees, we aim to provide an informative guide to assist your decision-making process.
What Is Aspiration Bank?
Aspiration Bank, referred to as Aspiration, is an online-only financial institution that's made quite a stir amongst the tech-savvy. With its mission of "doing well and doing good," Aspiration works differently than your traditional bank, connecting your money with your morals.
Choose from their Spend & Save account or become an Aspiration Plus member for extra benefits. What sets them apart is their commitment to social responsibility. They do not use your deposits to fund fossil fuel projects, a unique approach for the banking world.
They offer cash-back rewards and competitive interest rates. All the while, Aspiration maintains transparency by communicating all potential fees upfront - no sneaky surprises here.
This online bank walks the walk in ethical banking, making it an attractive option for socially conscious individuals.
What Is Ally Bank?
Ally Bank is a much-admired online-only banking platform that shines due to its wide range of offerings. From savings and checking accounts to CDs and IRAs, anything you need financially, they probably have it.
The bank also boasts a robust trading and investing platform, Ally Invest, providing a one-stop-shop for those looking to boost their wealth. With customer service accessible 24/7 and no monthly maintenance fees, it's pleasing for any bank-goer.
A highlight of Ally is its top-notch mobile app, gaining acclaim from users who frequently engage in mobile banking. Truly comprehensive, Ally doesn't leave much to be desired regarding your day-to-day banking needs.
Aspiration Vs Ally Bank: Products Offering
Online banks such as Aspiration and Ally Bank have grown in popularity due to their customer-centric approach, innovation, and range of products. But to make an informed choice about which bank is right for you, it's crucial to understand what each one offers.
Let's take a closer look at Aspiration’s offerings.
- Spend & Save Account: This account type allows you to enjoy cashback rewards and offers up to 1.00% APY as interest — encouraging you to save. A bonus is that your deposits won't fund fossil fuel projects.
- Aspiration Plus: For $7.99 per month, or $5.99 if you pay annually, this upgraded account offers up to 5% cash back on socially conscious spending and up to 10% at mission-aligned businesses.
- Aspiration Zero Credit Card: This card rewards you for reducing your carbon footprint, and Aspiration uses your spending to plant trees.
- Investment Funds & Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Aspiration focuses on socially responsible investing through investment funds and retirement accounts.
- Cash Back Rewards & Aspiration Plus Membership: With Aspiration’s debit card, the more you spend at businesses with a high AIM Score - Aspiration's proprietary measure of a company's sustainability and employee practices - the more cashback you get.
- Carbon Offset Initiatives & Plant Your Change Program: Environment-conscious consumers will appreciate initiatives such as carbon offsets for car gas purchases and their "round-up" style Plant Your Change program.
Often praised for its user-friendly platform, Ally Bank provides diverse options to manage and grow your finances. Let's take a closer look at what they offer.
- Savings: With its Online Savings Account, you earn a high-interest rate, higher than most traditional banks, and access your money whenever you need it. There's no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee.
- Spending: The Ally Interest Checking account lets you earn modest interest on your balance. It's easy to use with online bill pay, Zelle for sending and receiving money swiftly, and no incoming wire transfer fees.
- CDs: Whether you prefer the guaranteed rate of a high-yield CD or the flexibility to raise your rate over time under the Raise Your Rate CD option or avoid early withdrawal penalties with No Penalty CDs – Ally has got you covered.
- Home Loans: For those diving into home ownership or seeking to refinance an existing mortgage – Ally’s blend of competitive rates, variety of loan options, useful tools, and resources are worth checking out.
- Ally Invest: Whether you are an experienced trader or a newbie investor looking for managed investment portfolios - you have options here. With Self-Directed Trading, there's no minimum investment required and competitive trade prices, while Robo Portfolios gives automated investing based on your preferences with no advisory fees.
- Money Market Account: Are you looking for easy access to your savings and interest earnings? This might just be it!
- Life Insurance (Ally + Ladder): In partnership with Ladder - a life insurance startup - Ally provides term life insurance policies that can be managed online.
Where financial guidance is concerned, the free "Learn" section on their website is brimming with articles covering budgeting tips and home loan insights – making financial education accessible.
One of the standout features of Ally Bank is its responsiveness. Known for its 24/7 customer service, Ally has built an impeccable reputation for serving their clients efficiently and professionally.
Aspiration Vs Ally Bank: Plans and Feature
As you navigate the choices of online banking, understanding the distinctive features of each can be a game-changer. So, let's unravel this mystery between Aspiration and Ally Bank.
At its core, Aspiration Bank caters to customers who prioritize financial gain and environmental responsibility. Whether it's their free or premium account, they offer a suite of features aligned with these values.
No monthly service fees: With Aspiration, you're not burdened with monthly service fees that take away a chunk of your savings. It's banking that respects your hard-earned money.
FDIC-insured Deposits: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protection keeps your deposits safe and secure. This feature is familiar to most US banks but remains an essential element of risk-free banking.
Planet Protection Carbon Offset Feature: You can help counter CO2 emissions simply by using your card for gas purchases. This initiative is part of their Planet Protection program.
Up to 10% Cash Back on Socially Conscious Spending: Opt for socially responsible brands and get rewarded with up to 10% cashback. It's an incentive to support businesses doing their bit for the planet.
No Minimum Balance Requirement: Your account, your terms! Aspiration maintains no minimum balance requirements so that you can manage your finances without additional stress.
Mobile Check Deposit: Deposit checks conveniently from anywhere using mobile check deposit features, eliminating the need for physical bank trips.
Real-time Transaction Notifications: Stay updated about every transaction in real-time, helping you better monitor and manage your finances.
Recurring Deposits: Automate your savings by setting up recurring deposits. Consistent saving habits will help you reach your financial goals faster!
Premium Account Features: In addition to the free account features, there are unique benefits explicitly tied to a premium Aspiration Plus account:
Higher Cashback Percentage: Get rewarded even more as a Plus account holder with a higher cashback percentage on purchases from conscious business partners.
Exclusive Partner Offers: Access exclusive deals and discounts curated just for you from socially responsible companies.
Cell Phone Protection: What if we told you that even your cell phone could enjoy some protection? Well, it can with an Aspiration Plus account!
Earn up to 3.00% APY: A high annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 3.00% can maximize your saving potential.
Plant A Tree With Every Round-Up: Aspiration Plus users can opt into the ‘Plant Your Change’ program and contribute to global reforestation efforts with every spending round-up.
Unlimited Fee-free Withdrawals: Forget ATM location stress! Aspiration Plus grants you unlimited, free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs worldwide.
Deposits Are FDIC Insured up to $2M per Depositor: As a premium member, enjoy the perk of FDIC protection - up to a whopping $2 million per depositor. This is significantly higher than the standard coverage in most banks.
Additional Rate Boosts or Promotional Offers: You get access to even more exciting offers and rate boosts, allowing you to amplify your savings and earning potential.
Premium Customer Support: Aspiration Plus account holders get excellent customer support. Any queries or issues? An expert assistance team is there to guide you with priority service.
Ally Bank, featuring a comprehensive suite of products, is making in-roads in digital banking by offering its services to consumers across the United States.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
High Yield CD: If you're looking to earn a higher interest rate for a longer term, this could be your ideal solution. It requires no minimum deposit and offers the potential for maximum savings at a fixed rate. However, keep in mind that an early withdrawal penalty applies.
Raise Your Rate CD: The flexibility it offers sets this apart. You can increase your CD rate based on terms and balance tier, significantly enhancing your earnings.
No Penalty CD: Imagine being able to withdraw all your money after just six days without any penalty – and still get to keep the interest earned! Incredible, right? That's what you get with this option.
Ally Bank offers highly competitive rates with interests compounded daily. You can organize and maximize your savings using buckets and boosters – an excellent feature for efficient financial planning.
With unlimited deposits and access to withdraw money anytime, Ally’s savings account ensures flexibility. However, remember that rates are variable and may change – always stay updated on current rates Ally offers.
Get unlimited deposits and ATM withdrawals with Ally’s checking account, extending its limit of up to six additional withdrawals per statement cycle.
You have access to bill pay and Zelle and free use of any Allpoint ATM in the U.S., with reimbursements of up to $10 per statement cycle for fees from other ATMs.
Ally Bank’s money market account lets you save at competitive rates while still having easy access to your funds any time via checks or debit card – giving you a seamless banking experience without compromising the growth potential of your savings.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
IRA High Yield CD: This promises maximum savings at a fixed rate for term length. This is available as a Roth, SEP, or Traditional IRA. It is FDIC-insured up to the maximum allowed by law, though an early withdrawal penalty may apply.
IRA Raise Your Rate CD: It's a retirement savings product that allows raising your CD rate and subsequently increase your potential returns.
IRA Savings: Help build your IRA over time with unlimited deposits up to annual contribution limits. This retirement account combines the benefits of a savings account’s flexibility and easy access with the tax advantages of an IRA.
One of Ally Bank's major strengths lies in its customer service. They offer 24/7 support with real-person availability to assist whenever you need it.
With no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements for account opening, Ally Bank democratizes banking by making it accessible to everyone.
Added to this is their robust mobile banking platform, providing features such as deposits, bill payments, and transfers, an ATM locator, and detailed transaction history records - making remote banking effortless and convenient.
Fees and Hidden Charges: Aspiration Vs Ally Bank
Banking fees and hidden charges can be a burden that diminishes the value of your hard-earned savings. Understanding these costs is essential when comparing Aspiration vs Ally Bank.
Aspiration seems to be a transparent financial institution regarding listing their fees. Here's what you should know:
- Overdraft Fee: Unlike many traditional banks, Aspiration doesn't charge you when your account goes into negative figures. This no-overdraft-fee policy can provide peace of mind and save unnecessary outflows, particularly in tough times.
- Insufficient Funds Fee: Again, you won't have to worry about being dinged for insufficient funds with an Aspiration account.
- Stop Payment Fee: If you need to halt a payment, there's a moderate stop payment fee of $1.19.
- Expedited Debit Card Delivery Fee: If you require your debit card more swiftly than conventional delivery methods, the expedited delivery comes at a cost–$35 specifically.
- Wire Transfer Fees: It’s essential to note that wire transfers aren’t free with Aspiration as well. Outgoing wire transfers within the US are set at $4.50, while overseas transfers will set you back by $19.50.
Aside from these, Aspiration charges other transaction-based fees:
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Every time you utilize your debit card abroad, you're charged 1% on all transactions - it seems small but could mount up for frequent travelers or significant transactions.
- Returned Deposit Item fee: If an issue with a deposit item results in its return, there is a fee of 7.99 per month to bear in mind.
One less standard but the potential fee is the "Paper Statement Fee." Although we've progressed far into the digital era, some might still prefer a physical paper statement. Should you opt for it, it incurs a nominal cent-based fee of $0.01 per completed statement.
Understanding the fees associated with your money management is vital. Like all good relationships, your one with your bank should be based on transparency and trust. Now, let's take a closer look at some fees you should be aware of as an Ally Bank client:
- Overdraft fee: Ally Bank prides itself in providing a solid buffer against costly mishaps. They don't charge you if you overdraw an account by less than $50 at day-end. If more than $50, you'll get socked with a one-time $25 charge instead of every time that item hits.
- Excessive transaction fee: Regarding savings and money market accounts, remember Federal law requires limiting certain types of withdrawals and transfers from these accounts each statement cycle to six. Additional transactions over the limit warrant a $10 Excessive Transaction Fee.
- Outgoing Domestic Wire Transfer Fee: Ally Bank charges just two dollars for outgoing domestic wire transfers - which can easily cost up to $30 at other banks.
- Returned deposit items: If a deposit is returned unsatisfied (bounced back), there’s no fee from Ally. This policy grants customers essential respite from inadvertently bouncing checks or making an unsuccessful ACH transfer, often penalized by banks.
- Overdraft Protection Transfer Service: Registering for Overdraft Protection can save you from unnecessary overdraft fees in emergencies by linking to another account. It's automated - when your account lacks funds, Ally automatically moves funds into it in increments of the nearest hundred dollars ($100), free of charge!
- Stop Payment Fee: Ordering a stop payment on any transaction at a flat rate of $15. It might seem pricey, but is nominal compared to the potential loss if someone cashes an unauthorized check.
- Expedited Delivery Charge: Whether checks or debit cards, expedited delivery bears a cost at Ally – $15 per delivery per item.
Importantly, Ally Bank offers friendly policies like no maintenance fees and the refreshing "No Penalty CD," allowing withdrawal of total balance and interest without facing a penalty after six days of funding the account.
Despite being an online bank, customer service is readily available 24/7 - granting access to real-person assistance as needed.
Their mobile application further enhances the banking experience with features like mobile check deposit, bill pay, quick peer-to-peer transfer via Zelle, transaction history, and ATM locator. Besides, their blog provides valuable resources to empower financial education among customers.
Digital Banking Revolution: Who Did It Better?
The digital banking revolution provides a refreshing wind, shaking up the traditional banking system. In this regard, both Ally Bank and Aspiration have made significant strides. By embracing technology and customer-centric solutions, they have redefined convenience and accessibility.
Ally Bank, established earlier in 2009, is well ahead regarding its product offerings, covering a broad spectrum of financial services from savings accounts to mortgages. The user-friendly interface of their mobile app has also received high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play.
On the other hand, Aspiration has made its mark by leveraging the power of socially conscious banking. Launched in 2015, it hasn't been around as long as Ally Bank. Despite that, Aspiration has gained momentum with its focus on sustainable and ethical banking practices.
Their mobile platform provides easy access to features such as cash-back rewards for eco-friendly spending and carbon offsets for fuel purchases.
Both banks are doing an impressive job in advancing the digital banking revolution. Your choice will ultimately depend on your financial requirements and personal values.
Customer Experience: Aspiration Vs Ally Bank
- Eco-Friendly Approach: One of Aspiration's unique selling points is its commitment to socially responsible and sustainable banking. Customers are attracted to its "Plant Your Change" program and the promise of not using deposits to fund fossil fuels.
- Cashback Rewards: Aspiration offers cashback on certain purchases, especially from eco-friendly merchants.
- Transparency: Aspiration prides itself on transparency, especially regarding fees. However, some users might find its tiered account system a bit confusing.
- Mobile Experience: While its app is relatively user-friendly, some reviews have noted occasional glitches or issues.
- High-Yield Savings: Ally Bank has traditionally been known for its competitive interest rates on savings accounts.
- No Hidden Fees: With no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements, and a good number of no-fee ATMs, customers appreciate Ally's transparency.
- Customer Service: Generally, Ally has a strong reputation for customer service, with 24/7 support.
- Comprehensive Services: Besides checking and savings, Ally offers various financial products, including auto loans, mortgages, and investment opportunities.
- Mobile and Online Experience: Ally's mobile app and online platform are often praised for their user-friendliness and features.
Both Aspiration and Ally Bank have their strengths, with Aspiration appealing to the environmentally-conscious and socially responsible consumer and Ally catering to those looking for comprehensive banking services with competitive rates.
Security Features: Ensuring Your Money's Safety
Ensuring the safety of your money is a top priority, especially in the age of digital transactions and cyber threats. Whether using online banking, mobile apps, or traditional methods, understanding and utilizing various security features can protect your assets.
Who regulates Ally Bank?
Like other banks in the United States, Ally Bank is regulated by multiple federal agencies. The primary regulator for Ally Bank is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations.
Additionally, Ally Financial Inc., the parent company of Ally Bank, is regulated by the Federal Reserve as a bank holding company.
Other regulatory bodies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), also play roles in oversight and protection related to consumer issues and deposit insurance, respectively.
Who regulates Aspiration?
Aspiration is a financial services company that offers banking and investment products. It is not a bank itself but partners with banks to provide FDIC-insured products.
Regarding regulation, any financial product or service in the United States is subject to oversight by various regulatory agencies. Here are some ways Aspiration and its products may be regulated:
- FDIC: Aspiration's deposit accounts are FDIC-insured, meaning that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures the funds up to the applicable limits. This is due to their partnership with FDIC-insured banks.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): If Aspiration offers investment products, they could be subject to regulation and oversight by the SEC.
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): As a regulatory organization for brokerage firms and exchange markets, FINRA would oversee any brokerage-related services offered by Aspiration.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) oversees consumer financial products and services. If there are any consumer-related concerns or complaints about Aspiration's products, the CFPB might be involved.
- State regulators: Depending on the services offered and the states in which Aspiration operates, various state regulatory agencies might also have jurisdiction.
FAQs About Aspiration And Ally Bank
What is the main difference between Aspiration and Ally Bank?
Aspiration is an online-only financial institution that focuses on eco-friendly investing and banking products, while Ally Bank is an online bank that offers a broad range of financial services, including banking, investing, and auto financing.
How do the interest rates compare at Aspiration Vs Ally Bank?
While interest rates can vary based on specific products and market conditions, generally, Ally Bank offers competitive interest rates, particularly with its high-yield savings accounts. Aspiration provides a lower rate on their basic spending account but a higher rate if you enroll in Aspiration Plus.
Who offers better customer service? Aspiration or Ally Bank?
Both banks offer 24/7 customer service via phone or live chat. Users' experience with customer service may vary, but both institutions are known to deliver reliable customer support.
Can I open a checking account with both Aspiration and Ally Bank?
Yes, both banks offer checking accounts with no monthly service fees, though other fees, such as overdrafts, may apply.
Which one offers more physical branches –Aspiration or Ally Bank?
Neither bank has physical branches; they are both digital financial institutions operated entirely online.
How do their mobile apps compare - Aspiration Vs Ally Bank?
Both banks offer full-featured mobile apps allowing deposits, transfers, bill payments, and more. They also integrate well with popular payment apps like PayPal and Venmo.
You've gleaned that both offer compelling features in the Aspiration and Ally Bank battle. One could be a suitable choice based on your financial needs and lifestyle. Aspiration is ideal if you're an eco-conscious person who prefers ethically-focused banking.
On the other hand, Ally Bank might be your perfect match if you desire a diverse product mix like home loans and an extensive range of CDs combined with digital convenience. Ultimately, your financial journey is personal, so the final verdict rests solely in your hands. Choose wisely.