Spiral Bank Review: A Neobank That Makes It Easy To Donate

Spiral Bank is a new neobank that lets you support the causes you care about. However, the bank pays a low APY on savings accounts and none on checking accounts, so it’s hard to have the best of both worlds. Keep reading to learn more.

SustainFi November 9, 2021

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Rating: Good (3.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Easily support the causes you care about
  • Discover new charities and keep all your donations in one place
  • $50 welcome bonus (if you deposit $200)
  • Spiral will match your donations for up to $150 a year
  • Highly rated app
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees for active accounts
  • Cash bonuses

Cons

  • No branches
  • Low APY on savings, no APY on checking
  • No ATM network
  • Inactivity fee of $7 per month (up to 6 months) if you do not make a deposit or withdrawal for 90 days
  • Matching donation requires that your pay is deposited into your Spiral account; how much they match depends on how much you get paid

Summary

CredentialsNone
Impact areasCharitable giving
Minimum balance$0
Account maintenance fees$0 ($7/month inactivity fee)
Interest• Checking Account: $0
• Savings Account: 0.04%
ATMsNone
AppHighly-rated app
Accounts offeredChecking and savings accounts
BranchesNone

What is Spiral Bank?

NYC-based Spiral Bank is a neobank that lets you easily support the causes you care about. It was founded by serial fintech entrepreneurs Shawn Melamed and Dan Blumenfeld in 2019 and has raised over $14 million in funding.

You can easily donate to over one million nonprofits through the Spiral app. And, every time you use the Spiral Visa debit card, you can have the app round up your change to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to a nonprofit of your choice. Spiral transfers 100% of your donation to charities, a welcome difference from many charitable giving apps that charge hefty processing fees. Spiral also lets you discover new charities through their social media channels.

Charities that partner with Spiral can get donations without paying fees and share content with supporters through the app.

In addition, Spiral will match your donation for up to $150 a year. This requires that you donate at least $5 and set up a direct deposit of payroll. The matching donation depends on how much you get paid. For example, to get to a $150 a year match, you need to have at least $8,000 in payroll deposited in your account monthly.

It takes under two minutes to sign up, and you will have access to a highly-rated mobile app that is intuitive and easy to use. The bank will keep track of your charitable contributions for tax purposes.

However, Spiral Bank has no branches or ATM network, which is something you should consider before transitioning your banking needs.

To be clear, Spiral is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC.

Spiral Bank checking and savings accounts

Spiral offers checking and savings accounts; credit cards are coming next year. Spiral calls its checking and savings accounts the world’s first giving accounts. Spiral’s accounts have no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and no ACH transfer fees.

Checking Accounts

APYNone
Minimum balanceNone
Monthly service feeNone for active accounts

The online checking account has no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fees for active accounts. The account comes with a beautiful Visa debit card. If you set up direct deposit, you can get your paycheck up to two days earlier.

However, Spiral will charge an inactivity fee of $7 per month (up to six months) if you do not make a deposit or withdrawal for 90 days.

Savings Accounts

APY0.04%
Minimum balanceNone
Monthly service feeNone

Although savings accounts have no monthly service fees or a minimum balance, the APY is very low. You can get much higher APYs from socially responsible banks like Aspiration or Quontic.

Cash bonuses

You are eligible for cash bonuses of up to $11.25 a month ($135 a year), but that requires setting up a recurring monthly deposit of at least $1,000 to your checking or savings account. You are then eligible for a cash bonus based on your account balance. However, earning the top bonus of $11.25 per month requires a minimum balance of $15,000. So we wouldn’t open a Spiral Bank account for this feature alone.

Minimum Monthly BalanceEarned Monthly Cash Bonus
$1,000$0.75
$2,000$1.50
$3,000$2.25
$4,000$3.00
$5,000$3.75
$6,000$4.50
$7,000$5.25
$8,000$6.00
$9,000$6.75
$10,000$7.50
$11,000$8.25
$12,000$9.00
$13,000$9.75
$14,000$10.50
$15,000$11.25

How many ATMs does Spiral Bank have?

Spiral Bank doesn’t appear to have an ATM network, so you may have to pay transaction fees every time you withdraw cash from an ATM.

Matching donations

Spiral will match your donation to the charity of your choice, up to $150 a year. However, getting to that requires jumping through a few hoops. First, you must donate at least $5. Second, your payroll must be deposited into your Spiral account, and the amount they match depends on how much you get paid. So to get to the $150 match, your payroll must be at least $8,000 a month.

Direct Deposit AmountSpiral Annual Match
No Direct Deposit$20
$1,000$30
$2,000$50
$3,000$70
$4,000$90
$5,000$110
$6,000$130
$7,000$140
$8,000$150

Spiral Bank mobile app

With a 4.8-star rating in the App Store and over 200 reviews, the app is intuitive, convenient, and easy to use. You can track your accounts as well as your donations in one place and get inspired by daily quotes from thought leaders.

Is Spiral Bank FDIC-insured?

Spiral is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. Nbkc Bank is based in Overland Park, Kansas. As usual, your deposits are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.

Spiral Bank vs. Aspiration vs. Quontic Bank

We’ve compared Spiral Bank to two more established socially responsible banks, Aspiration and Quontic Bank. (Out of the three, only Quontic is technically a bank. Aspiration and Spiral are both fintech startups, though your deposits are still FDIC-insured through partner banks.)

See how the three compare:

Checking Account

Savings Account

Spend & Save Account

High Yield Checking Account

High Yield Savings Account

Monthly Service Fee

None

Monthly Service Fee

None

Monthly Service Fee

Pay What Is Fair

Monthly Service Fee

None

Monthly Service Fee

None

APY

None

APY

0.04%

APY

Up to 5.00%

APY

Up to 1.00%

APY

0.55%

Minimum balance

None

Minimum balance

None

Minimum balance

None

Minimum balance

None

Minimum balance

None

Sign up bonus

Up to $50

Sign up bonus

Up to $50

Sign up bonus

Up to $200

Sign up bonus

None

Sign up bonus

None

Free ATMs

None

Free ATMs

None

Free ATMs

55,000+

Free ATMs

90,000+

Free ATMs

90,000+

Deposits

May fund fossil fuels

Deposits

May fund fossil fuels

Deposits

Never fund fossil fuels

Deposits

Fund the local community

Deposits

Fund the local community

🔔 Interested in other sustainable bank accounts? Check out our guide to socially responsible banks.

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