Did you know that you could fight climate change with your credit card? With a growing demand for environmentally-friendly products in the financial space, there’s finally a credit card designed for those seeking greener options to reduce their carbon footprint. Aspiration is determined to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Here’s what you need to know about the Aspiration Zero cash back credit card.
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Aspiration is a fintech company founded in 2013 that prides itself on being more of a community than a company. It set out to build a better world when it originally started offering banking services. Aspiration has partnered with other sustainable companies that are working towards similar goals when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint and the use of fossil fuels.
The Aspiration Zero Credit Card is newer to the market and it’s a unique cash back credit card for those seeking environmentally friendly alternatives. There aren’t many credit cards committed to sustainability with an emphasis on being socially responsible. It’s for environmentally-conscious folks who are actively looking to make a positive impact on the planet.
As you may be aware, deforestation poses many significant risks to our environment and atmosphere. Aspiration helps you go green by combating that issue. You help plant a tree with every purchase you make with your Aspiration Zero card. You can even plant an additional tree if you’re willing to round up every purchase you make.
Aspiration Zero Credit Card Features and Benefits
The Aspiration Zero Credit Card has interesting features you won’t find anywhere else with a credit card. We’re going to look at the financial features and the sustainability benefits you can find with Aspiration Zero.
Generous Introductory Cash Back Offer
The first thing many may consider with switching credit cards is the financial incentive to make the move. You can get up to $300 in cash back as an introductory offer with Aspiration Zero. If you spend $3,000 in your first three months, you’ll get $300 cash back. This is one of the most generous introductory offers we could find out there. You’re getting $300 back while positively impacting the planet. This introductory offer helps make this credit card more competitive with other cards with higher cash back percentages.
Fight Climate Change With Your Aspiration Zero Credit Card
The main benefit of the Aspiration Zero Credit Card is that you’re working on reducing your carbon footprint by simply using your credit card. With the threat of climate change posing real concerns, Aspiration is focused on being environmentally friendly by planting a tree every time you use your credit card to make a purchase.
Aspiration also has a Plant Your Change program that allows you to opt-in so you can round up every purchase to the next dollar. When you round up to the nearest dollar, you plant another tree on top of the one planted with your original purchase. This means you could potentially plant up to two trees with every purchase. How’s that for a unique benefit for a credit card?
Aspiration has partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects for this tree planting initiative to battle the threat of deforestation that can impact us all.
Sustainable Card Design Made From PLA Bioplastic
You go green immediately when you switch to the Aspiration Zero Credit Card because it isn’t made from typical plastic. Your Aspiration card is made from about 84% corn-based PLA (a sustainable plastic substitute) instead of the PVC plastic used in every other credit card. PVC plastic isn’t biodegradable, but PLA is compostable. PLA bioplastic helps with reducing your carbon footprint because it doesn’t generate toxic fumes during incineration as PVC does.
Why does this matter? If you’re looking to neutralize your carbon footprint and fight climate change, it all starts in your wallet and the small changes you can make to contribute to the greater cause.
Earn Cash Back Rewards Being Environmentally Responsible
When looking for a cash back credit card, you’ll want to ensure you can earn a decent percentage to make it worth the switch. Aspiration Zero cardholders can earn up to 1% cash back on all purchases.
Aspiration Zero entices users to become “carbon neutral” by offering 1% cash back for those who earn 60 planted trees in one billing cycle. If you enable the Plant Your Change feature, you can reach this threshold with 30 purchases. If you don’t enable this, you’ll have to make 60 purchases in a billing cycle to reach 60 planted trees to earn 1% (instead of 0.5%) cash back.
Go Carbon-Neutral With Your Aspiration Zero Credit Card
If you use your card once a day, you can plant enough trees that will eventually counteract your daily negative carbon footprint once they’re grown. You can even track your progress on the app to see how you measure up. You get your own personal sustainability score to match your dollars with your values.
Use Cash Back Rewards To Plant Additional Trees
You can combat deforestation even further if you’re concerned about climate change. Your cash back rewards with the Aspiration Zero Credit Card are automatically redeemed monthly to your account. However, if you’re intent on improving the environment, you can use your rewards to plant additional trees. Every $1 in cash back rewards can be redeemed for one tree planted. By using your credit card, you could have a positive influence on the environment without any additional effort.
Other Perks of Aspiration Zero Credit Card
As we looked through the mission of Aspiration, we uncovered additional perks you’ll want to consider.
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection
- Compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay
- Monthly reporting to all of the major credit bureaus
- Aspiration mobile app can help you track your carbon footprint
- Aspiration gives back to society by giving 10% of the fees collected to nonprofits that help American people who need it.
Aspiration also offers identity fraud protection. You’ll be reimbursed for any expenses that you incur from identity fraud.
How To Sign Up for an Aspiration Zero Credit Card
Are you thinking about signing up for an Aspiration Zero Credit Card? You can go through the application process if you’re a U.S citizen over the age of 18. You must have your annual income and social security number handy for the application process.
It’s important to note that you need to check your credit score before applying because you need good to excellent credit to be approved. Aspiration Zero does a hard credit inquiry - that’s something to keep in mind also.
What’s considered a good credit score? You’ll need a FICO score of 670 or higher since the Aspiration Zero Credit Card is designed for people with a higher credit score.
The company will also consider your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. If you don’t get approved for the credit card, Aspiration also offers other bank accounts for you to go with an environmentally friendly financial product. The Aspiration Spend & Save™ accounts also come with green features. You can use these accounts while you build up your credit so that you can apply again in the near future.
What are the rates like with an Aspiration Zero Credit Card?
- Annual fee: $60
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 13.15%-22.95%, variable APR depending on your credit.
- Balance transfer APR: 13.15%-22.95%, variable APR depending on your credit.
- Cash advance APR: 19.75%-24.75%, variable APR depending on your creditworthiness.
- Cash advance fee: The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount.
- Balance transfer fee: 3% (minimum of $5)
- Foreign transaction fees: 2%
- Late payment or return payment fee: $10
Pros and Cons of Aspiration
It’s an ideal credit card for those looking to save the planet. You automatically assist in planting trees with every purchase you make. You can also round up every purchase to the nearest dollar to fund another tree planting.
The actual Aspiration Zero Mastercard is made of PLA bioplastic. This is notable because most credit cards are made of PVC plastic, which isn’t biodegradable. PLA is obtained from corn, plant leaves, and other renewable sources.
You can redeem your rewards to plant more trees. For every $1 in cash back rewards, you can plant another additional tree.
The $300 introductory bonus is one of the better rewards we could find on the market right now. This helps offset the annual fee and entices you to go green.
Aspiration reports monthly to the major credit bureaus. This benefits those looking to build their credit with a credit card.
You need good to excellent credit to be approved. This means those who want to make a difference on the environment will have to work to build their credit.
There are no 0% introductory APR deals, so you may not be interested in a balance transfer.
The annual fee is on the high end at $60. According to Aspiration, the annual fee goes towards covering the cash back for the monthly trees-planted quota. However, this fee is still something to consider when making your decision.
The cash back rewards rate is fairly low. The starting rate is at 0.5% cash back, which is lower than many other cash back credit cards we have reviewed. You have to essentially use your credit card every day and have the Plant Your Change feature enabled to get your rewards increased to 1%. You still may not hit this threshold for 1% cash back rewards.
The card has a 2% foreign transaction fee. This makes it more expensive to use your card when you’re traveling.
There are many pros and cons to consider with the Aspiration Zero Credit Card. On one hand, you’re reducing your carbon footprint with every swipe. On the other hand, you have to accept the realities of the annual fee and the low cash back rewards.
How Aspiration Zero Compares To Other Credit Cards
When it comes to cash back, Aspiration’s rewards start at 0.5%, and you can earn up to 1% cash back if you meet the criteria.
Its welcome offer is enticing since you can get up to $300 if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. However, there’s no 0% APR offer, so a balance transfer may be out of the question.
It’s important to note that cash back credit cards aren’t always competitive with travel rewards credit cards, and the Aspiration Zero Credit Card falls short in that regard. Similarly, as mentioned before, one of its disadvantages is its high annual fee of $60. If you’re looking to save money on the annual fee, you may want to consider the competitors. Even though its annual fee covers the tree planting process, it’s still an expense you must consider.
So, how does the Aspiration Zero Credit Card compare with similar cash back credit cards? We’ll compare it with Citi® Double Cash Card and Discover it® CashBack Match™.
Citi Double Cash Card
Cash Back Rewards - It offers 2% cash back on all purchases.
Welcome Offer - It comes with an 18-month 0% APR introductory offer for balance transfers. This allows you to save a decent amount of money if you currently carry a fairly high balance.
Annual Fee - It comes with no annual fee.
Travel Insurance - Citi® Double Cash Card provides protection for:
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Trip delay
- Baggage delay
- Lost baggage
- Roadside assistance
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Worldwide travel accident insurance
Discover it® CashBack Match™
Discover it® CashBack Match™ has an interesting cash back rewards system. In summary, you can earn up to 5% cash back on a rotating spending category (which varies throughout the year). The cash back is capped at $1,500, which equates to $75 every quarter.
It also pays 1% on all other purchases. It will match your cash back at the end of your first year. So if you were to earn $1,000 in cash back rewards, Discover would reward you with $1,000. Finally, you can even choose how you redeem your cash back rewards. You can go with the statement credit, or you could even choose a gift card. You can read our review for more information.
Discover it® CashBack Match™ has two welcome offers since you can choose which version of the card you want. One version offers you 0% for six months on purchases and 0% for 18 months of any balance transfer. The other version offers 0% on purchase and balance transfer for 14 months.
It also comes with no annual fee, however, it doesn’t offer much travel insurance.
|Aspiration Zero Credit Card||Discover it® CashBack Match™||Citi® Double Cash Card|
|Cash Back||Rewards start at 0.5%, up to 1% cash back on all purchases.||1% on all other purchases. It will match your cash back at the end of your first year.||2% cash back on all purchases|
|Welcome Offer||Get up to $300 if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.||Depending on the card, 0% for 6 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months of any balance transfer, or 0% on purchases and balance transfer for 14 months.||18-month 0% APR introductory offer for balance transfers|
|Travel Insurance||Limited Protection||Limited Protection||Trip cancellation and interruption, trip and|
baggage delay, lost baggage, roadside and travel emergency assistance, and worldwide travel accident insurance.
The Verdict on Aspiration Zero Credit Card
The Aspiration Zero Credit Card is a good choice for those with excellent credit looking to make a difference in the battle against climate change. No other credit cards are currently proactively working to plant trees and help you reduce your carbon footprint.
However, if your main focus is to optimize your cash back rewards while not paying an annual fee, then there are better credit cards with many additional features.
But, if your primary goal is to be environmentally responsible with your spending and you place importance on saving the planet, you truly can’t go wrong with a credit card that’s concentrated on creating a better environment.
*Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for this one-time $300 statement credit bonus offer, Cardholders must make net qualifying purchase(s) (minus returns and other adjustments) of $3,000 or more with their Aspiration Zero Credit Card within 90 days of account opening. Maximum of one $300 statement credit bonus offer per person. This offer is valid to approved Cardholders until 11:59 p.m. EST 9/30/2022. Statement credit will be applied to the next billing cycle after net purchase qualification threshold is met within the first 90 days of account opening. Your Aspiration Zero Credit Card account must remain open and be in good standing at the time when the one-time statement credit bonus offer is awarded in order to qualify. The Aspiration Zero Mastercard is issued by Beneficial State Bank pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Beneficial State Bank, Member FDIC 2021.