Top Socially Responsible Banks in 2021

SustainFi August 2, 2021

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We have compared over 20 socially responsible banks based on social responsibility credentials, community investing and sustainability commitments, account fees, minimum balances, APY on checking and savings accounts, ATMs network, app quality, customer service feedback, and additional features.

Here are the top four.

Top Socially Responsible Banks

Fees

Pay what you want

Minimum

$0

APY

Up to 1.00%

Highlights

Socially responsible and fossil free bank

Fees

$0

Minimum

$0

APY

Checking:

0.10%-0.20%

Savings:

0.40%

Highlights

Politically active bank that doesn't fund fossil fuels

Fees

$0

Minimum

$0

APY

Checking:

Up to 1.01%

Savings:

0.55%

Highlights

Quontic invests in low-income communities


Fees

$0

Minimum

$0

APY

Checking:

Up to 0.25%

Savings:

0.50%


Highlights

Spring Bank supports low-income New Yorkers

🔔 Interested in learning more about banking responsibly? Check out our guide.

Aspiration

Rating: Excellent (4.7 / 5)

Impact AreasPoverty, water, education, environment, health, human rights
Minimum Balance$0
Fees• Aspiration account: pay what you want
• Aspiration Plus account: $7.99/month ($5.99/month if you pay upfront for the year)
APYUp to 1.00%
Accounts Offered• Checking and savings accounts
• Investment accounts
• IRAs
ATMs• 55,000 free in-network ATMs nationwide
• 1 free out-of-network ATM withdrawal per month for Plus accounts

Pros

  • Strong commitment to socially responsible banking
  • High-yielding Save account (for balances under $10,000)
  • Great app and online experience
  • A mutual fund that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels
  • Personal impact score for your spending
  • Aspiration donates 10% of every $1 in fees
  • Planet Protection option: Plus account offers automatic offsetting of carbon emissions for each gallon of gas you buy
  • Cash-back on Conscience Coalition (includes TOMS, Warby Parker, and Blue Apron) purchases
  • “Plant your change” program rounds up your spending to plant trees

Cons

  • Must pay for the Spend & Save account to receive interest
  • APY on balances over $10,000 drops to 0.10%
  • No branches
  • No cash deposits

Founded by Andrei Cherny in 2013, Aspiration is a fossil free neo-bank with social goals. Aspiration’s mission is to help customers “make money while making the world a better place.”

It’s the only financial institution that lets you pay what you think is right for basic checking account services. Aspiration also donates 10% of fees to nonprofits helping people in need. And you can be sure that none of your money goes to fund fossil fuels.

Aspiration offers checking and savings accounts, a credit card, IRAs, investment accounts, and a fossil free mutual fund. But it’s the cool extras that make Aspiration shine. As an Aspiration customer, you get a sustainability score of your spending habits, cash back when you spend at sustainable businesses such as TOMS, carbon offsets when you buy gas, and the option to plant trees by rounding your change to the nearest dollar.

Although the pay-what-you-want basic checking account doesn’t earn interest, you get up to 1.00% for the first $10,000 you deposit in the Aspiration Plus account. (Aspiration Plus costs between $5.99 and $7.99 per month, depending on whether you pay monthly or annually).

Note: Aspiration is technically a broker-dealer, not a chartered bank. However, Aspiration partners with banks to ensure your deposits are FDIC-insured.

🔔 Read the complete review of Aspiration.

Amalgamated Bank

Rating: Excellent (4.3 / 5)

Impact AreasClimate change and sustainability, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, workers’ rights, gun safety, and reproductive rights
Minimum Balance$0
Fees$0
APY• Checking: 0.10%-0.20%
• Savings: 0.40%
Accounts Offered• Checking and savings accounts
• Investment accounts
• IRAs
ATMs40,000 free in-network ATMs nationwide (Allpoint network)

Pros

  • Politically active bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuels
  • High-yield savings accounts
  • Give-Back Checking or Savings accounts donate half the interest you earn

Cons

  • Low app rating

Founded by a labor organizer in 1923, Amalgamated Bank is one of the best-known socially responsible banks with over $4.6 billion in assets. Amalgamated Bank is also the only socially responsible bank in the U.S. to be listed on a stock exchange.

Amalgamated Bank is a certified B-Corp and a member of the Global Alliance For Banking on Values (GABV). It serves labor unions, nonprofits, social enterprises and contributes to political campaigns that align with its values (which are climate-friendly, pro-choice, and pro-workers right to unionize).

The Bank is strongly committed to the environment. Its operations are 100% carbon-neutral, and it has pledged not to invest in or lend to fossil fuel companies. The bank also provides hundreds of millions of dollars in solar financing annually.

The Bank has branches in New York, Washington, D.C., and California. Customers can access a network of over 40,000 ATMs nationwide.

Quontic Bank

Rating: Excellent (5.0 / 5)

Impact Areas• Affordable housing
• Community development
• Helping small businesses in the New York City area
Minimum Balance$0
Fees$0
APY• Checking: up to 1.01%
• Savings: 0.55%
Accounts Offered• Checking and savings accounts
• Money market accounts
• Certificates of deposit
ATMs90,000+ free in-network ATMs

Pros

  • Very competitive APY and CD rates
  • CDFI designation
  • Highly-rated app and a great online experience
  • Access to 90,000+ free ATMs
  • No service fees

Cons

  • One branch location in Queens, New York
  • $35 overdraft fee
  • $10 monthly inactivity fee (after one year of no transactions)
  • No cash deposits (unless you visit the New York branch)

Headquartered in Queens, New York, Quontic bank is a digital bank and a certified community development financial institution (CDFI). It was started by serial mortgage entrepreneur Steven Schnall with the mission of lending to low-income businesses and communities. Seeing the fallout from the mortgage crisis, Schnall bought a small bank in Long Island and grew it by lending to immigrants, small business owners, gig economy workers, and people who fall outside the traditional banking approach.

Quontic offers some of the highest rates on checking and savings accounts, including 1.01% on the High Interest Checking Account and 0.55% on the High Yield Savings Account. Certificate of Deposit rates are also very attractive.

Besides high-yield checking and savings accounts, Quontic offers a top-notch digital app.

The ATM network is also excellent: Quontic offers access to over 90,000 free nationwide ATMs.

🔔 Read a comprehensive review of Quontic Bank.

Spring Bank

Rating: Excellent (4.2 / 5)

Impact AreasHelping underserved communities in New York
Minimum Balance$0 (except a $500 minimum balance for the Interest Checking Account)
Fees• Checking accounts: $0 (with direct deposit and e-statements, otherwise $3 – $3.5/month)
• Savings account: $0 (with a $100 balance, otherwise $5/month)
APY• Checking: up to 0.25%
• Savings: 0.50%
Accounts Offered• Checking and savings accounts
• Money market accounts
• IRAs
• CD savings accounts
ATMs46,000+ free in-network ATMs nationwide (Moneypass and Citibank networks)

Pros

  • High-yielding savings account
  • Highly rated app
  • Good ATM network
  • Community Chest Savings account: Spring Bank matches a percentage of your savings and donates to a nonprofit

Cons

  • Only two branch locations

A B Corp and a certified CDFI, Spring Bank was established in New York in 2007. It supports low-income communities and underserved businesses in the New York City area. The bank has two branches in New York, in Bronx and Harlem. In fact, Spring Bank was the first bank to base its headquarters in the Bronx in over 25 years.

The bank offers several checking and high-yield savings accounts, including the Community Chest Savings account, where Spring Bank matches a percentage of your savings and donates it to a nonprofit. The rates on checking and savings accounts are relatively attractive. Spring Bank also offers IRAs, money market and CD savings accounts. The mobile app is highly rated, and the ATM network is wide.

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Compare socially responsible bank accounts

Monthly fee

 $0

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

Pay What Is Fair

APY

1.01%

APY

0.55%

APY

Up to 1.00%