Aspiration Announces Earth-Friendly Aspiration Zero Credit Card
Since its debut in 2015, Aspiration has made a name for itself thanks to its “Do Well, Do Good” approach to financial services. With savings, checking, and investments accounts that promise both customer and Earth-friendly practices, the company has continued to gain fans — even earning investments from Leonard DiCaprio as well as Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition Ventures among others. Now the eco-centric brand is preparing to launch a new credit card that aims to lower cardholders’ carbon footprints: the Aspiration Zero card.
According to Aspiration, the company will plant one tree for every purchase made using the Aspiration Zero card — and another if cardmembers elect to “round up” their purchases and donate the change. Then, cardholders will be able to track their progress and impact each month as they work their way toward eliminating their carbon footprint. Plus, for each month that customers do achieve carbon neutrality, they’ll earn up to 1% cashback on all of their purchases.
Currently, those interested in the Aspiration Zero card can join the waitlist. Additionally, once prospective customers join the list, they’ll be able to refer others to sign-up as well. For each person who joins the list via personal referral, Aspiration will plant 10 trees.
Although the full terms of the Aspiration Zero card have yet to hit the Aspiration site, according to NerdWallet, the card will carry a $60 annual fee. They also report that cardholders will earn a rate of 0.5% cashback by default with the 1% rate being achieved once a customer reaches 60 trees planted for the month. This would mean that card members would need to make between 30 to 60 purchases per month (depending on whether they opt-into the “round up” option) in order to reach that higher cashback rate.
Underlining what makes the Aspiration Zero card different from other credit cards, the company’s co-founder and CEO Andrei Cherny said in a statement, “There are plenty of credit cards out there that let you rack up miles, this is the only card that rewards you for taking miles off of the planet.” Cherny continued, “For the first time, you can have a climate change-fighting tool right in your wallet.”
There’s no question that the Aspiration Zero card continues the brand’s pursuit of sustainable banking features. However, like with some of Aspiration’s other financial products, this comes at the expense of making the card competitive on a tangible rewards level. This is to say that most cashback credit cards offer 1% back as a base in addition to multipliers (2% to 5%) on purchases in specific categories. Meanwhile, Aspiration Zero cardholders will need to make dozens of purchases per month just to unlock that 1% back — not to mention that reported $60 annual fee. Of course, this may not be a factor for those who believe in Aspiration’s larger mission and want to be a part of their efforts. In any case, with only a few details on the card currently officially announced, we’ll need to wait and see if the benefits of the Aspiration Zero card truly add up.