Atmos Financial: Fund Clean Energy Projects With Your Deposits (Review)

Atmos Financial offers up to six FDIC-insured, high-yielding savings accounts. The neobank makes sure that your deposits go to fund clean energy projects, not fossil fuel companies.

SustainFi August 10, 2021

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Rating: Good (4.0 / 5)

Pros

  • 100% of deposits fund climate-positive infrastructure
  • No minimum balance
  • No account maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Attractive APY
  • See the carbon impact of your money
  • You can open up to six savings accounts to meet different goals
  • Donate to nonprofits through your account

Cons

  • No branches
  • No checking accounts (but coming soon), no card, no ATM network

Summary

CredentialsB Corp, 1% for the Planet
Impact areasClean energy financing
Minimum balance$0
Account maintenance fees$0
APYUp to 0.51%
ATMsNone
AppNA
Accounts offeredUp to six savings accounts
LocationsNone

When you deposit money in your bank account, your deposits fund loans supporting various projects, from mortgages to oil and gas pipelines. If you are OK with mortgages but not oil and gas, several neobanks guarantee that your money will only go to “green” causes. These fossil-free banks include Aspiration, Amalgamated Bank, Ando Money, and, now, Atmos Financial.

What is Atmos Financial?

Launched in January 2021 by Ravi Mikkelsen and Pete Hellwig, Atmos Financial offers up to six FDIC-insured, high-yielding savings accounts. Atmos makes sure that your deposits go to fund clean energy projects, not fossil fuel companies.

Neobanks such as Atmos can offer higher rates on savings accounts because they don’t have to support brick and mortar branches or a legacy tech platform.

🔔 Learn more in our Q&A with Atmos co-founders.

What are your deposits with Atmos funding?

At the moment, Atmos works with its partner, Evolve Bank & Trust, to send your deposits to various FDIC-insured banks, making sure that your deposits are only funding climate-positive projects. Going forward, Atmos will be sourcing and lending to its own projects, such as rooftop solar, regenerative agriculture, and electrification.

Once your deposits are placed, Atmos will show you the carbon impact of your balances.

Atmos Financial supports:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Electric Transportation
  • Weather Resilience
  • Building Electrification
  • Energy Efficiency Overhauls

Atmos doesn’t support:

  • Fossil Fuel Extraction
  • Clean energy projects that displace Black, Indigenous, or other Frontline Communities
  • Fast Fashion Clothing
  • Industrial Agriculture
  • Industrial Livestock Production
  • Generic Real Estate

Atmos Savings Accounts

Atmos offers up to six savings accounts for various life events and purchases like electric vehicles, college, kids, etc. Rates on these accounts are more attractive than what you would typically get from traditional banks, especially if you opt to make a donation and get a donation bonus.

Donation Bonus: Atmos will add 0.11% to your savings rate when you make monthly recurring donations to at least one Atmos-approved nonprofit, such as 1% for the Planet. 

With a donation, you can get up to 0.51% APY if you deposit over $25,000. Compare this to the 0.01% APY many traditional banks offer. APYs for smaller deposits are also attractive:

Average Account BalanceBase Savings RateWith Donation Bonus
< $10,0000.30%0.41%
$10,000-$24,9990.35%0.46%
> $25,0000.40%0.51%

Checking accounts are not currently offered but should be launched soon.

To set up your account, you are invited to book a 15-min call with a member of the Atmos team.

Donating to nonprofits through your Atmos account

Atmos lets you round up your purchases or share a percentage of your APY with one of the approved nonprofits. All gifts are transferred fee-free and tracked in one place for tax purposes.

Atmos supports multiple nonprofits, including 1% for the Planet, Amazon Watch, As You Sow, and Ecotrust. You can see the full list here.

Is Atmos safe? Are deposits FDIC-insured?

Atmos is not a traditional bank. It’s a fintech company that partners with banks to offer FDIC-insured deposits. Its current partner is Evolve Bank & Trust, an FDIC-insured institution.

All accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.

💰 Takeaway

  • It’s great to see more green banking alternatives like Atmos
  • We like the high APYs and that you can open up to six savings accounts
  • However, it’s a very new fintech startup and still a work in progress

Atmos vs. Aspiration

If you are looking for a more established fossil free bank with access to a checking account and a debit card, consider Aspiration. Aspiration offers up to 1% APY, a highly rated mobile app, and perks like rounding your change to plant trees. Read the review here.

Other fossil free options include Amalgamated Bank and neobank Ando Money.

🔔 Interested in comparing socially responsible banks? Check out our sustainable banking guide.

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1.01%

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