Tag: Green Bank

Online Banking Service- Is it for me?

When was the last time you walked into your bank?

The reality is that most of us already do all of our banking online. Most traditional banks offer automated bill pay, deposits, and transfer capabilities online. You can easily download statements and print them anytime you need. You can easily take a picture of your check and have it deposited automatically via your phone. It’s not a whole lot different from online banking.

When was the last time you called your bank?

Did you notice that the call was picked up by a call center in another state or country? This is the reality of banking today. Very few people find a reason to ever actually visit their bank except to use the ATM without incurring fees.

Today, most services provided by traditional banks are available online. But whether or not you want to completely move to an online bank will really depend on your personal banking needs.

Online Banking?

Pros

  • High yield interest rates.
  • Socially Responsible banking options.
  • User friendly web interface.
  • Low or no fees.
  • 24/7 access.
  • Low or no ATM fees.

Cons

  • No option for a face to face encounter.
  • May need to link an account to fund initially.
  • You will need to ask yourself some straight questions about what services you need.

What kind of account do you need?

Checking Account

If you primarily use your bank for a checking account, online banking could save you tons of money in fees. In addition, online banks have less overhead, which means they don?t have to pay for a building and all its expenses, they can offer better interest rates than a conventional bank. For example, The Aspiration account, offers free ATMs around the world, and up to 2.00% APY Interest on all of your deposits. If you are only using your bank for a checking account, moving to an online bank can not only save you money, it can make you money.

Here are a few online account options. Bonus:? Aspiration is a socially responsible banking option that is divested from fossil fuels and private prison lending.

Online Checking

Min?balance

Monthly Fees

ATM fees

Interest paid
Aspiration*

0$

0$

0$?worldwide

up to 2.00% APY

Ally

0$

0$

Reimburse $10month

0.01-0.60%

Alliant

0$

0$

Reimburse $20/month

0.65%

Savings Account

How is your interest rate on your savings account? Is it less than 1.30%? That is the going rate for online savings accounts these days. If you are making less than that in interest, online banking for your savings account could make you money.

Online Savings

Min?balance

Fees

Interest

Ally

0$

0$

1.25%

Discover

0$

0$

1.30%

Alliant

5$

0$

1.25%

Make your money work for you

If you aren?t earning interest on the money in your checking account, or if your savings account interest rate is low, your money isn’t working for you. And if you are paying monthly fees, it?s definitely time to think about making a move to online banking. Do some research and decide which bank suits?your needs. Remember, it’s your money, not theirs.?


*The Annual Percentage Yield ?(?APY?) associated with the Aspiration Summit Account is variable and accurate as of [January 2019]. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice.

All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard?, Interlink?, Cirrus?, or Maestro? logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.

Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed ?to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us 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 we call it Pay What Is Fair.

Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit the FDIC website.

Tags: , , , , , ,

What?s Keeping You From An Online Financial Institution?

What’s Keeping You from an Online Financial Institution?

Let?s be honest. When was the last time you actually walked into your bank?s local branch to perform a transaction? If you are like most people today, you are performing most of your transactions online.

Online financial institutions have a host of advantages over traditional banks.

  • Higher earned interest – Many of the costs incurred by traditional brick-and-mortar banks are nonexistent for online financial institutions. That means that they can afford to pay out higher interest on your deposits. Would you rather earn 0.01% or up to 2.00% APY interest on the money sitting in your account?
  • Fewer fees – Banking fees have been the subject of controversy over the last few years and rightly so. Monthly fees oftentimes wipe out your earned interest for the year and sneaky banks love to charge hidden fees. For example, fees are often activated when you don?t maintain a specific balance or perform a certain number of transactions per month. Would you rather pay $15 a month or $0?
  • Convenience – 24/7 access. Ironically, most traditional bank customers already use online services, and it?s the primary reason for sticking with their bank. Some customers are even charged for online services. Would you rather pay $2.50 to use an ATM, or use any ATM in the world for $0??

What?s Keeping You From An Online Financial Institution?

In light of the obvious financial advantages that online services offer, what keeps people from making that switch? People are worried about security; primarily data theft and loss.

Data Theft: While data theft is a valid concern these days, traditional banks are not any safer. Traditional banks store all of your information in big online data centers which are equally vulnerable to hackers. We live in a digital age. That means all data kept by both traditional and online banks is vulnerable to data theft. What?s important is to research the security processes offered by the institution, traditional or not.

Loss: Online banks backed by the FDIC cover losses up to $250,000, just like any traditional bank customer. If you want to find out if a bank is insured by the FDIC, you can check here.?

What?s the best online banking service?

We think Aspiration deserves your attention.

Here?s a quick overview of Aspiration’s Account:

  • Pays you up to 2.00% APY interest?- at least 100X more than the big banks offer.
  • No minimum deposit – you can open an account with $10.
  • No minimum balance – no minimum balance required, ever.
  • No service fees?- their Pay What Is Fair philosophy allows you to pick your fee, even if it?s zero.
  • No ATM fees – Aspiration reimburses ATM fees worldwide.
  • FDIC insured
  • Certified B Corp

  • Industry Standard Encryption

What?s not to love?

So, if you are on the fence about whether to move your money from a traditional bank, ask yourself what is holding you back.

Online institutions pay you higher interest rates, have fewer fees and are more convenient than traditional banks with the same level of security and insurance against loss.

It?s your money. Stop giving it away to megabanks and let it work for you.

It?s a Well Wallet smart move.

Based on a comparison of Aspiration’s up to 2.00% APY Interest rate to the following checking account interest rates reported by Bankrate for 2019: Wells Fargo (0.01% APY), Chase Bank (0.01% APY) and Bank of America (0.01% APY).

Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed ?to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us 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 we call it Pay What Is Fair.

All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard?, Interlink?, Cirrus?, or Maestro? logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account two business days after the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.

Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit the FDIC website.?

Tags: , , , , ,

If You Have A Bank Account, You Are Impact Banking

Your money is speaking for you

Wondering how to start investing? If you have a bank account, you are already an investor. And an impact investor at that. Why? You are impact banking – your deposits are used by your bank to lend to whomever they want.?

Turns out you may not like what your money is doing. In fact, your bank might be investing your money against you.?More and more, people are asking how they can make a positive impact and get better returns on their investment.

Every dollar we spend has an impact of sorts. But have you ever asked yourself:

  • What?s the impact of the money we save in our bank accounts?
  • How about the interest we pay on credit cards?
  • Or the plethora of fees we are charged for a bank?s privilege to use our money?

Where does your money sleep at night?

Most of us understand that our bank is not storing our money in some vault, waiting for us to withdraw whenever we choose. Banks loan out our deposits and earn interest off of those loans. And those loans may be financing all kinds of things. What we don?t often realize is the extent to which our money is being used by the bank?for whatever they want.

If you are banking, you are impact banking.

You may be blindly supporting something that you find reprehensible…that may actually be working against you. The fees that you pay to maintain your bank account, the interest you pay on your credit cards, every cent you contribute to your financial institution, in any way, is going somewhere.

What is bad impact banking?

Many people began thinking about where their money sleeps at night in 2016 when social pressure forced the disclosure of Wells Fargo and other banks? funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This discovery led to the city of Seattle completely cutting ties with Wells Fargo. (Wells Fargo is also one of the biggest funders of private prisons in the U.S.)

But Wells Fargo isn?t the only bank invested in the financially risky and environmentally destructive industries of the fossil fuel sector. In fact, according to the Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2017, ?Well?s Fargo is only ranked the 20th worst in the world.

In 7th place, we have Bank of America, with an overall financial contribution of $13.376 billion dollars funneled into the most climate changing, environmentally destructive and capital-intensive fossil fuel enterprises. $13.376 billion dollars of the people?s money. If you have a Bank of America personal checking account, your $12 monthly maintenance fee is a part of that $13.376 billion.

What is good impact banking?

Right now good banks are competing for your business. What are good banks? Good banks are those which are both customer-centric while financing values-driven enterprises for the good of the community and the planet. What does this mean? They want to offer you a better deal and show you that they are doing good things with your money.

Good banks want to offer you a better deal AND show you that they are doing good things with your money.

Let?s start by comparing what your money is doing in the simple interest-earning checking accounts offered by two big banks.

If you have a Wells Fargo Preferred Checking Account and keep a balance of $500, you will earn 0.01%. But you will also be subject to a $15 Monthly Service Fee unless you retain a balance of $10,000, or have a mortgage with them, or set up direct deposit of at least $1,000 per month. In addition, every time you use a non-Wells Fargo ATM, you will be charged $2.50. And if you travel outside of the country, that increases to $5.

At Bank of America, you will also earn 0.01%, but that $25 Monthly Maintenance fee will eat it up unless you keep a balance of $10,000. Like Wells Fargo, Bank of America will charge you $2.50 when you use a non-brand ATM.

How Good Banks Do Better (for your wallet and our planet)

1. Amalgamated Bank

If you open a Convenience+Checking interest-earning account at Amalgamated Bank, you will earn 0.06% for balances less than $500, 0.10% up to $1,000, and 0.15% thereafter. Your non-brand ATM fee will be $1.50, but they?ll reimburse you for this twice a month. And your $10 monthly maintenance fee can be waived with direct deposit. ?

In addition, if you link your debit card to their Donate the Change program, the bank will donate 10 cents of their own money every time you use your debit card on a purchase of $10 or more. (They are currently donating to Solutions Project, which is leading an energy revolution towards renewable energy powered by the wind, water, and sun.)

Amalgamated Bank, is a B Corp and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, as well as a member of RE100, a collaborative, global initiative of corporate leaders committed to 100% renewable energy.

?We have a growing environmental crisis unfolding, and Amalgamated Bank will no longer sit on the sideline.? – Keith Mestrich, President & CEO, Amalgamated Bank

2. Beneficial State Bank

Beneficial State Bank is also B Corp and a member of GABV. Beneficial State Bank is a triple-bottom-line financial institution that believes money should serve people, not the other way around. (“Triple-bottom-line” means they look at people, planet, and profit).

Beneficial Bank?s simple Interest Checking rates vary per state. There is no minimum monthly balance and the bank will waive their $8 monthly service fee if you participate in direct deposit. You can use any ATM you want free of charge. (And if you?re a student, they?ll even reimburse up to $10 of ATM charges imposed by other financial institutions.)

?The way we look at it is banking is actually the original and most powerful form of crowdfunding. All banks have impact good or bad.? – Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Beneficial State Bank.

Although it may be difficult to wrap your mind around, your consumer debt is also a type of investment. And the interest you pay to financial institutions is most definitely having an impact somewhere. Good banks offer a variety of banking products that don?t put corporate polluters before the people and our planet. So if you are paying interest on credit card debt, you can at least choose what is done with it. ?

If you have a credit card through one of the big banks that are financing enterprises you are opposed to, the Sierra Club credit card with Beneficial State Bank is an alternative that assures your money won’t support environmentally destructive projects. Instead, it’s used to support clean energy, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, and education.

Revenue from the card also supports the Sierra Club’s work while providing you with both rewards and competitive rates. If you transfer your balance, you?ll receive 12 months of %0 APR and no annual fee.

Of course, both Amalgamated and Beneficial Bank offer online banking and mobile Apps. But our favorite for online personal banking accounts is Aspiration. A quick look below and you can easily see why.

3. Aspiration*

Aspiration?is divested from oil and gas and they put your deposits in places you can feel good about.

Here?s a quick overview of the Aspiration Account:

  • Pays you up to 2.00% APY interest?– at least 100X more than traditional banks offer.
  • No minimum deposit – you can open an account with $10.
  • No minimum balance – no minimum balance required, ever.
  • No service fees?- their Pay What Is Fair philosophy allows you to pick your fee, even if it?s zero.
  • No ATM fees – Aspiration reimburses ATM fees worldwide.
  • Deposits are FDIC insured
  • Certified B Corp
  • Industry level encryption?
  • An app that lets you track whether you?re actually voting with your dollars. If you use their debit card, a People and Planet score is assigned to every merchant at which you shopped.
  • They also commit to donating ten cents of every dollar to charities that help struggling Americans get off the ground (microloans.
“We wanted to build a financial firm around the idea that you could make money and make a difference at the same time.” – Andrei Cherny, Founder and CEO, Aspiration.

While Aspiration doesn?t offer business banking products at the moment, ?Amalgamated,??Beneficial and New Resource Bank do. All of these banks are also B Corp certified and members of GABV, and are quite transparent about where your money sleeps at night. ?

“By putting deposits to work for good, we lend to organizations that benefit our communities and preserve our planet.” – New Resource Bank

For better or worse, your money is financing either socially desirable or socially destructive outcomes, good impact banking or bad impact banking. Today, the push by consumers to democratize data is forcing banks to reveal what they are doing with our money.

The Big Banks are Taking Notice

As our demands for socially responsible alternatives and transparency increase, so do our options.

The big banks are starting to pay attention. U.S. Bank (the best of the not-so-bad big banks, if there is such a thing) won most ethical company award in 2016. They also recently announced their intent to stop pipeline project loans.

Your Money Is Powerful. Spend With Your Heart.

In the wake of this, we consumers are becoming empowered with more opportunities to both do good and do well. These opportunities translate into better deals and transparency. As more of these opportunities arise, Wellwallet is committed to bringing them to you.

It is our mission at Well Wallet to provide consumers with the knowledge needed to decide for yourself whether your money is being used in line with your values, and in favor of your financial health.

By choosing well, you can create prosperity on all levels, no matter how small, both out in the world, and with your personal finances. You are already an investor and your money is already making an impact. We owe it to ourselves to make sure that our money is working in our best interest. And we owe it to our communities to make sure our money is working in the best interests of the people and the planet. If you don’t know what your money is doing, it’s time you took a closer look, understand the type of impact banking you are engaged in, and make some changes.


*Based on a comparison of Aspiration’s up to 2.00% APY interest to the following checking account interest rates reported by Bankrate for 2019 Wells Fargo (0.01% APY), Chase Bank (0.01% APY) and Bank of America (0.01% APY).

Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed ?to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us 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 we call it Pay What Is Fair.

All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard?, Interlink?, Cirrus?, or Maestro? logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account two business days after the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.

The Aspiration Summit Account provides customers with the ability to see Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) People and Planet scores on a range of merchants where they shop using the Aspiration Debit Card. These scores are determined using a proprietary algorithm that incorporates several measures of sustainability performance. For more information, please click here.

Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit the FDIC website.

Tags: , , , , ,

Wanna Change The World? Change Your Bank

Wanna Change The World? Change Your Bank


As impact investing enters the mainstream, many people are asking how they can make a difference and get a better deal. Yet the change they need to make may be right in front of them. If you wanna change the world, you may need to change your bank.?

The truth is that, outside of investing, every dollar you use or save is doing something somewhere.

Every time you spend a dollar, you are having some impact on something outside of you which you may not realize.

Simply picking up your go-to bathroom cleaner at the store can create an impact of sorts, both on the environment and on your family?s health, that you may not be aware of and may not approve of.

Your money could be contributing both to the destruction of the environment and the health of your family. How can you know? Today we are lucky to have organizations that provide us with information about products and services. Information educates, and consumers who learn can push for change.

For example, when consumers first learned of the harmful chemicals in Johnson & Johnson?s baby products by referencing Skin Deep, an online database containing ingredient information for more than 75,000 personal care products, consumers pushed back and demanded change. Johnson and Johnson reacted by removing?Formaldehyde from their baby products and?have promised to reformulate others. Today, if you are wondering what’s in the personal care products you’re buying, all you have to do today is click and read.

The same applies to your bank account. If you have a bank account, your money is not lying in a box with your name on it, waiting for you to withdraw whenever you choose. In fact, if every bank customer tried to withdraw their money at the same time, they couldn?t. This is because banks do not hang onto your money, they loan it out and earn interest off it. Banks make money by loaning it out at a higher interest rate than the cost of the money they lend. And these loans may be financing all kinds of enterprises that you may not be too happy about.

Whether you like it or not, you are inadvertently investing in whatever your bank decides to do with your money.

The fees you pay to maintain your bank account, the interest you pay on your credit cards, every cent you contribute to your financial institution, in any way, will be used to make an impact somewhere. And it may not be inline with your values and beliefs.?

Many people discovered this in 2016 when social pressure forced the disclosure of Wells Fargo and other banks? funding of the DAPL pipeline.

This prompted the city of Seattle to completely cut ties with Wells Fargo.

So if you feel powerless, think again. Sustained social pressure is powerful.

Regardless of where you stand on that issue, if you were against the pipeline and you banked with Wells Fargo, you would be living against your personal beliefs. Without information, we may be blindly contributing to the very things we abhor. As consumers wake up to this, the market is responding with a plethora of alternatives. And this a good thing.

The traditional paradigm that separates capitalism and philanthropy is crumbling quickly.

Paying high-interest rates to financial institutions engaged in sketchy investments, and then turning around to give money to a favorite charity that may be fighting those very investments is a lesson in futility that consumers are waking up to. We owe it our communities to find out where our money is going, and we owe it to ourselves to find out where we can get a better deal.?

You don’t need to be an “investor” in order to make conscious change through spending choices and reap financial benefits. What you need is access to information about the choices available so that your money is working in line with your beliefs and providing you with the best deal possible. It is our mission at Wellwallet to provide consumers with information they need so that they can decide for themselves whether their money is being used in line with their convictions, and is working in favor of their financial health.

Money is money, whether you save it from avoiding high banking fees, or whether you make it by investing wisely. It can be difficult to find out whether your ?big bank? is investing in something that you may not agree with, but it isn’t difficult to compare the interest rates and fees with good banks who are both committed to socially responsible investing and are quite transparent about their investment decisions.?Right now good banking services are competing for your business. Look into them and decide whether it’s time to change your bank.

What are good bank services? They are both customer-centric while financing values-driven enterprises for the good of the community and the planet. They want to offer you a better deal and show you what they are doing with your money.

Good Banking Services Offer You A Better Deal And Show You The Good They Are Doing With Your Money

Aspiration is divested from oil and gas and they put your deposits in places you can feel good about.?

Here?s a quick overview of Aspiration’s Summit Account*:

  • Pays you up to 2.00% APY interest – at least 100X more than traditional banks offer.
  • No minimum deposit – you can open an account with $10.
  • No minimum balance – no minimum balance required, ever.
  • No service fees – their Pay What Is Fair philosophy allows you to pick your fee, even if it?s zero.
  • No ATM fees – Aspiration reimburses ATM fees worldwide.
  • Deposits are FDIC insured
  • Certified B Corp
  • Industry Level Security?
  • An app that lets you track whether you?re actually voting with your dollars. If you use their debit card, a People and Planet score is assigned to every merchant at which you shopped.?
  • They also commit to donating ten cents of every dollar to charities that help struggling Americans get off the ground (microloans.)

We, as consumers, must take ownership of our financial choices on all levels, from debt to investment, in order to make a change in both our finances and our world. And today we can. By choosing well, you can create good on all levels. No matter how small. You are already an investor and your money is already making an impact. You can?t escape this as a consumer in a capitalist system. If your bank is invested in bad ventures, simply change your bank.

You already have more power than you think you do. Now all you have to do is use it.


*The Annual Percentage Yield ?(?APY?) associated with the Aspiration Summit Account is variable and accurate as of [January 2019]. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice.

Based on a comparison of Aspiration’s up to 2.00% APY interest rate to the following checking account interest rates reported by Bankrate for January, 2019: Wells Fargo (0.01% APY), Chase Bank (0.01% APY) and Bank of America (0.01% APY).

All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard?, Interlink?, Cirrus?, or Maestro? logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.

Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed ?to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us 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 we call it Pay What Is Fair.

The Aspiration Summit Account provides customers with the ability to see Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) People and Planet scores on a range of merchants where they shop using the Aspiration Debit Card. These scores are determined using a proprietary algorithm that incorporates several measures of sustainability performance. For more information, please click here.

Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit the FDIC website.

Tags: , , , , , , ,