This Unusual Card Won’t Let You Go Into Debt, but Still Gives You Cash Back

Hands hold an Aspiration debit in a urban city setting.
Aileen Perilla/ The Penny Hoarder
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Those cash-back credit cards are wicked cool, aren’t they?

Buy a cartful of groceries; get cash back. Fill up your gas tank; get cash back.

As long as you pay off your balance each month, this is basically free money — especially if you’re just buying stuff you’d need to purchase anyway (like gas or food).

Unfortunately, it can be hard to qualify for these cards. The Credit Card Gods are awfully picky when it comes to handing them out. To get your hands on that sweet, sweet cash-back plastic, you might need a near-flawless credit history. Let’s face it: That’s something many of us don’t have.

We found another option, though.

It’s called the Aspiration Spend and Save Account.

This online account comes with a debit card that gets you 0.5% cash back on purchases. It basically turns your debit card into a cash-back card.

That means you can start earning cash every time you swipe your card.

An Account We Love as Much as an Everything Bagel

This is actually an all-in-one account that does a bunch of different things. You can pay your bills, build your savings, invest and earn interest — all in one place.

Here’s what Aspiration offers:

  • You get your cash back, obviously. (Bonus!)
  • The debit card comes with no ATM fees, so you can use any ATM you want.
  • It pays up to 2.00% APY on your savings.
Aspiration's 2% interest rate is at least 100 times what you’ll get with a typical checking account!

Declutter Your Financial Life

Are you a little leery about using an online account? Aspiration makes it super easy.

Its mobile app lets you access the account from anywhere and deposit checks from your phone. It offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements anywhere in the world.

Pro Tip

The average total cost of taking cash from an out-of-network ATM is $4.68. If you do this about once a week, switching accounts could save you almost $240 per year.

There’s no monthly fee and no minimum balance. All of Aspiration’s services work on a “pay what is fair” model. You choose your price and pay as a “tip” — up to $10 a month and as little as $0.

It’s also simple to set up. The whole sign-up process takes about five minutes, and you can open an account with just $10.

So go get that cash back!

Get cash back at the grocery store, at the gas station, at the gardening center — heck, wherever you’re spending your hard-earned money.

Tell the Credit Card Overlords to take a hike. You don’t need them or their approval anymore.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He doesn’t qualify for a cash-back credit card — not that he’s bitter about it or anything.