- Ando is an online banking platform focused on fighting climate change.
- You can track how your deposits are helping the environment in Ando’s Impact Center.
- There’s no minimum deposit or monthly service fees, and you’ll earn an above-average savings APY.
- See Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »
Should you bank with Ando?
Ando Spending is a solid checking account, with no minimum opening deposit or monthly service fees. Not all
give you a way to access cash, but Ando lets you deposit cash at GreenDot locations in places like CVS, Kroger, and Rite Aid. Just know that GreenDot typically charges a few dollars for deposits.
Like its checking counterpart, Ando Savings doesn’t charge monthly fees or require a minimum deposit to get started. It pays 0.17% APY. While this is more than what you’ll earn with most brick-and-mortar banks, you will earn more with online
How Ando fights climate change
When you deposit money at a typical bank, the bank doesn’t keep most of that money in the building. It uses that money to make investments or provide loans for customers to buy cars, homes, and other big-purchase items. The bank has full discretion over how it uses the money.
You probably have no idea what your bank uses your deposits for — and there aren’t always easy ways to find out.
Ando CEO/founder JP McNeill describes many banks’ investments and loans as “brown securities.”
“These are loans and securities that are contributing to the degradation of the environment and the increase in emissions,” he told Insider. “Whereas the very small percentage are green loans or green bonds that are going to do the exact opposite.”
It could be as simple as a bank giving someone a car loan for a Toyota Sequoia, one of the worst vehicles for the environment.
But Ando promises to a) only invest in green initiatives, and b) provide transparency about how it’s using your deposits.
In Ando’s Impact Center, you can see how much impact your deposits are making on the environment, expressed by a number of trees planted. (Ando isn’t only using your money to plant trees, but the tree visual can help you understand your impact.) You can invite friends to use Ando. When you do, you’ll see their environmental impact, and the impact of the people they invite.
McNeill said this can help you understand the impact of sustainable banking. Even if you don’t have much money to deposit with Ando, the combination of your money and your friends’ money can make a lasting difference.
In the Impact Center, Ando breaks down how your deposits are being used in more detail. For example, you could see that 20% of your deposits are being invested in companies that provide clean energy. Of the money going toward energy, Ando splits it between solar energy, hydro power, wind energy, storage, and infrastructure.
McNeill said he hopes that as Americans move money out of big-name banks to sustainable banks, other institutions will be pressured into being more transparent about how they spend customers’ deposits — and hopefully make some changes themselves.
Other Ando features
Ando is an online banking platform that focuses on helping the environment. It has a checking and savings account, and you must first open a checking account to be eligible for a savings account. Ando doesn’t have joint accounts or secondary debit cards.
There are no physical branches, but you do have free access to over 38,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass network. If you use an out-of-network ATM, Ando charges $2.95.
The mobile app doesn’t have many online reviews yet. So far, the app has 4.9 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
To contact customer support, call or email seven days per week from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.
Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 through Ando’s partner bank, Community Federal Savings Bank.
Is Ando trustworthy?
The Better Business Bureau rates companies’ trustworthiness based on responses to customer complaints, advertising, and transparency about business practices. The BBB gives Ando’s partner bank, Community Federal Savings Bank, a D in trustworthiness.
But BBB grades aren’t everything. The BBB states that the D grade is partly due to the bank not responding to all its complaints on the BBB website, and to the length of time it takes to respond. However, the bank has only received three customer complaints on the site in the last three years, and it’s failed to respond to one in the past 12 months.
Community Federal Savings Bank doesn’t have any recent public scandals.
If you’re passionate about the environment, you may actually feel more comfortable banking with Ando than some other banks. Many banks use deposits for investments and loans that contribute to global warming. Ando actively fights against global warming.
How Ando compares with similar banking platforms
Ando review vs. Aspiration review
You might be intrigued by all the ways Aspiration helps you support the environment with an account. You’ll earn cash back when you shop at environmentally-conscious stores, and you can choose to round up each purchase to the nearest dollar to pay for planting a tree. With an Aspiration Plus Account, Aspiration provides offsets to counteract carbon impact each time you use your debit card to fill up your gas tank.
With Aspiration, you’ll need to choose between an Aspiration Account or Aspiration Plus Account. Aspiration Plus comes with a savings APY, higher cash-back rewards, and more ways to help the environment than the regular account — but there’s a $7 monthly service fee.
In some ways, Ando is a nice balance between the two Aspiration accounts. It pays interest on your entire balance and has no monthly fee.
Ando review vs. Amalgamated Bank review
While Ando focuses on sustainability, Amalgamated Bank gives to numerous causes. You can read the bank’s stances on various social issues on its website. With a Give-Back Checking or Give-Back Savings Account, you can choose from six charities, and Amalgamated will donate the equivalent of half the interest you earn to the cause.
You may like Amalgamated Bank if you want a bank that supports several causes, and if you want a choice about which charities your donations support.
You might prefer Ando if you want to receive paychecks up to two days early. Getting your direct deposits early can give access to your money sooner and help you earn interest faster.
Laura Grace Tarpley is the editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.
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