Ando Money Banking Review: Fund Green Projects With Your Deposits

Ando Money is a new online bank that lets you visualize what green activities your deposits are funding. Let’s find out if this green banking option is a good choice for you.

Anna Yen   Updated April 11th, 2022

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Rating: Excellent (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • 100% of your deposits fight climate change
  • Track where your money is invested
  • Earn up to 5% APY on up to $5,000 by recruiting five friends and meeting several other conditions (then 0.17% percent APY)
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on debit card purchases
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Get paid up to two days earlier
  • Free overdraft protection
  • Certified B Corp

Cons

  • New fintech with 1-year history; users reported a few issues with the app and customer service
  • You must invite friends to earn a higher APY (who must join and meet certain conditions)
  • You must meet several conditions to earn a higher APY
  • No joint accounts
  • No physical branches
  • Limits on account balance and maximum deposit amount
  • No paper checks

Summary

CredentialsB Corp
Impact areasClimate change
Minimum balance$0
Account maintenance fees$0
Interest• Ando Spending Account: none
• Ando Savings Account: 0.17% (up to 5.00% on the first $5,000 if you get five friends to sign up)
ATMs• 37,000 free in-network ATMs nationwide (Moneypass network)
• $2.95 per transaction fee to use out-of-network ATMs
App• Apple Store: 4.0 / 5
• Google Play: 4.0 / 5
Accounts offeredChecking and savings accounts
LocationsNone

According to the 2020 Fossil Fuel Finance Report, financing from the world’s top 35 banks provided $2.7 trillion to the fossil fuel industry in 2016-2019. The backlash against the big banks’ financing of oil and gas projects has spurred the growth in fossil free neobanks. Aspiration was the first, followed by Atmos and Ando Money in early 2021.

What is Ando Money?

San-Diego-based Ando Money is an online bank that promises it will never fund fossil fuels. It will invest your deposits exclusively in eco-friendly projects like renewable energy. Environmentally friendly lending is combined with the advantages of modern bank accounts, such as a mobile app, competitive rates, and transaction notifications. Ando Money is also a certified B Corp, meaning that it pledges to combine profits and purpose.

Ando includes the features you’d expect from an online bank. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. They provide bill pay, checks, and ATM access through the MoneyPass network. They also allow you to receive your direct deposit paychecks two days ahead of schedule.

Ando’s app has an Impact Center, where you can see what activities your deposits are funding.

Ando Money was launched to the public in January 2021. The neobank was founded by JP McNeill, who has a background in environmental finance.

How does Ando invest your deposits?

Ando guarantees that your money will be 100% invested in green initiatives and not in fossil fuels. You can see exactly how your money is being used through the app’s Impact Center. The initiatives Ando is funding include clean energy, sustainable transportation, green buildings, and sustainable agriculture.

As your deposits go to fund green projects, Ando calculates the effective reduction in pounds of CO2, converting them into tree equivalents to make the numbers easier to understand. You can even track your friends’ impact.

Ando Money Checking and Savings Accounts

Ando offers checking and savings accounts. Checking accounts come with the Ando Visa Debit Card issued by Ando’s partner, the Community Federal Savings Bank. The card is made with 80% less plastic than a typical debit card. The card also gets you access to fee-free withdrawals at over 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs. (There is a $2.95 fee for each out-of-network withdrawal.) Ando doesn’t offer joint accounts or secondary debit cards.

Ando Money APY

Ando checking accounts do not earn interest, but savings accounts can earn up to 5.00% APY on the first $5,000 if you meet several conditions. The standard APY is currently 0.17% (subject to change).

5% Grow Your Savings Offer

Ando has a 5% Grow Your Savings offer on your first $5,000 in savings. To be eligible for a higher APY, you must complete at least five debit card purchases and receive $500 in eligible deposits each month. An employer or benefits payer can make an eligible deposit. A simple transfer from another account isn’t acceptable.

Then you must invite (up to) five people to join the program as “active users.” For each active user, you get 1% APY. Within 60 days of creating their account, an active user must make at least five debit card transactions and receive at least $100 in deposits.

We note that the Grow Your Savings program is valid through December 31, 2022.

Ando Money cash back

You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every debit card purchase. As usual, cash back does not apply to transactions like ATM withdrawals.

Ando Referral Program

If you refer a friend to Ando, you can earn $15 for each signup that fits specified criteria. Your friend will also receive $15. There are extra requirements: the referred friend must create an account, get a $100 qualifying direct deposit, and make five debit card transactions within 45 days of account opening. They must not have previously had an account, they must utilize your referral link, and the deposit must be from an employer, payroll provider, or benefits payer. Your referral bonuses are restricted to $1,000 per calendar year.

The referral program is in addition to the 5% Grow Your Savings program. 

Ando Money app   

  • Google Play Rating: 4.5
  • Apple App Store Rating: 4.1

Although the app has a good rating and users note that the app is easy to use, several users have reported log-in issues and problems linking the bank to merchants for bill pay.

Ando Money fees

Although Ando Money accounts have no monthly fees, additional fees may apply:

  • Out-of-network ATM fee: $2.95 (in addition to any fee charged by the ATM operator)
  • Debit card replacement fee: $0 for the first replacement, $4.95 for any additional replacement
  • Paper communication fee: $4.95

Change that counts

Ando Money has recently launched the “Change that counts” program that lets you round up your debit card purchases and use the change to plant trees. Ando promises to match 100,000 trees planted through the program by planting the same number of trees. Aspiration is doing something similar with their “Plant your change” effort.

Ando Money account limits

Unusually, Ando Money has limits like a maximum account balance and maximum monthly deposits:

  • Maximum account balance: $50,000
  • Direct deposit: $10,000 per day; $20,000 per month
  • Cash withdrawal (ATM): $500 per withdrawal; $1,000 per day; $2,500 per month
  • Debit card purchase: $2,500 per day; $10,000 per month
  • Account transfer: $1,500 per day; $5,000 per month

What bank does Ando use?

Ando Money is a fintech startup, not a full-fledged bank. So, to provide FDIC insurance, it partners with an FDIC-insured bank. Ando uses the Community Federal Savings Bank based in New York.

Are Ando Money deposits FDIC-insured?

Your deposits are then FDIC insured for up to $250,000 through Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC.

💰 Takeaway

  • If you are concerned with climate change and want to know where your money is invested, consider Ando Money as a green alternative
  • We particularly like the Impact Center, which shows what projects your deposits are funding
  • You can also earn up to 5% APY on your savings account if you get five friends to sign up

Ando Money vs. Aspiration

Aspiration is the best-known fossil free neobank in the U.S. Both Aspiration and Ando Money have committed to not funding fossil fuels. So when should you choose Ando Money, and when is Aspiration best?

Aspiration is best if:

  • You prefer a bank with a longer track record (Aspiration launched in 2015)
  • You are interested in a retirement account and a fossil free mutual fund
  • You want a carbon-neutral credit card

🔔 Read the review of Aspiration.

Ando Money is best if:

  • You want to see a breakdown of what your deposits are funding (Aspiration promises not to invest your money in fossil fuels, but they don’t say they will invest your money in “green” projects)
  • You want to sign up five friends and earn up to 5% APY on the first $5,000 in savings (the maximum you get with Aspiration is 1% APY on the first $10,000 in savings)
  • You want 1.5% cash back on all purchases (Aspiration offers cash back only on purchases at select merchants)

🔔 Check out our list of the top sustainable banks.

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