As of 2023, Ando Money has closed its doors. This review is currently being left for historical purposes.
If you’d like to know that the bank you’re using is doing a great deal to help the environment, then Ando Money might be the right bank for you.
In this review, we will be covering everything that there is to know about Ando Money, helping you decide whether it’s the right financial choice for you.
We will look at features and products, fees, security, customer care, and some alternatives that you might want to consider. Let’s get to it.
What is Ando Money?
Ando is a financial app that offers several banking products and services. It is worth noting that while Ando works like a bank, it is not a bank. They do work with an actual bank, Community Federal Savings Bank – which is how they can offer FDIC insurance up to $250,000.
Their entire business model revolves around one central premise – sustainability. More specifically, Ando’s mission is to help fight climate change through accessible and value-driven banking.
This ethos is visible throughout everything they offer.
How Does Ando Work?
When you deposit money into your bank account, banks, including Ando, do not just keep it locked in their vault. Instead, they lend it out to individuals and corporations. Of course, they charge interest, which is typically more than the interest you’ll earn on your savings account.
The difference between the interest the bank charges and the interest it pays is basically how the bank turns a profit.
How Ando Money Helps Fight Climate Change
As such, Ando does not lend money to companies involved in fossil-fuel projects but instead to other types of companies – specifically those considered green, such as companies engaged in sustainable transportation and clean energy.
If this is important to you, you will appreciate ‘Your Impact Center’ – an Ando feature that lets you see how your money is used to fight climate change.
This Impact Center goes into an excellent level of detail, including:
- The percentage of funds by industry
- How much Co2 emissions you’re saving
- Other information to help you measure your impact.
Ando Banking Products
When it comes to products, Ando is quite limited. Even so, it still manages to cover most of the day-to-day financial basics that you might need.
Ando Spending Account
The main Ando account, called Ando Spending Account, works like a checking account and offers some cool and exciting features synonymous with online and neobanks.
The Ando Spending Account is accessible through their mobile banking app, with no brick-and-mortar branches available to visit – Ando is 100% online. You can access all Ando Spending Account’s features through the app available for Android and iOS phones.
- Unlimited 1.5% Cashback: You will receive the Ando Visa debit card with fee-free withdrawals from over 34,000 MoneyPass ATMs. You can even use the mobile app to locate the nearest in-network ATM, saving you time, trouble, and, potentially, fees. To top it all off, you will earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on every debit card purchase, every day!
- Early Paydays: If you receive your pay via direct deposit, you can access your money up to 2 days earlier with the Ando Spending Account.
- Overdraft Protection: With the Ando Spending Account, you will get up to $200 of free overdraft protection.
- Send a Paper Check: Sometimes you need to pay a bill or pay back a friend with a check. While Ando Money does not offer paper checks, they made it even easier for you! You can now send a check directly from the Ando Money app. Simply make your check request, confirm the details, and swipe to have it sent to them. You do not have to worry about an envelope, a stamp, or a trip to the post office!
- Pay Back Your Friends: If you have other friends banking with Ando, you can make fee-free transfers to them via the app. Ando does not currently offer transferring to other banking institutions.
- Change that Counts: You will have the option to “round up” your debit card purchases and every time you swipe your Ando Money Visa debit card, a tree will be planted! What is even more fun is that you can keep track of how many trees you have planted in the app!
Ando Savings Account
Ando also offers a savings account with an outstanding APY. There are several eligibility criteria that you must meet to get the total rate, which we will discuss next.
The default APY interest rate stands at 0.17%, which is neither great nor the worst rate out there – it’s three times the national average interest rate.
However, you can get a more attractive APY rate of 5.00%.
To get this rate, you must:
- Successfully invite five friends to Ando, who in turn must make a minimum of 5 qualifying purchases using their Ando Visa debit card and receive a minimum of $100 in deposits within the first 60 days.
The 5.00% APY rate applies on the first $5,000 each month, which can help you make over $20 each month, provided the total $5,000 balance is available in your account.
When it comes to transferring money into your Ando accounts, you have two options available to you.
- You can either make a direct deposit to your account
- Link an external bank account to your Ando account
Since these are the only two options available, you might want to hold on to your existing bank account unless you feel this is something you can do without easily.
While the app does offer the facility to pay bills, you cannot deposit checks. This missing feature might be a deal-breaker if you receive payments via checks, which you naturally want to cash.
One of the great things about Ando is that it’s generally free. There are no fees to open the account, no minimum balances to maintain, no overdraft fees, and monthly service fees. You will also find that Ando does not charge any of the other fees that most banks charge.
While this is undoubtedly great, do keep in mind that the account does not have many of the features that you’ll find in the more traditional bank accounts – so it cuts both ways.
The only fee that Ando charges is for withdrawing cash over the counter or from an out-of-network ATM. This ATM fee will set you back $2.95; however, keep in mind that the operator might also charge you fees of their own, so it’s always best to avoid it.
Signing up with Ando is super easy. As you might imagine, you can complete the entire process online, with Ando being an online bank. Accounts can be opened by any US citizen who’s 18 years or older.
Ando has a security policy that hits all of the basic requirements. While the policy they have published on their website is not very extensive, it does tell us that the app uses 128-bit AES encryption, which makes it pretty secure.
As mentioned earlier, deposits are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000. Ando does not hold the insurance itself, but instead, they’re insured through Community Federal Savings Banks, also known as CFSB for short.
There’s nothing to worry about here – this setup is quite common among online banks.
Their Visa debit cards also come with Zero Liability protection, helping you stay safe while shopping. You are not held liable for any unauthorized transactions through this policy – as long as you notify them immediately.
Just make sure you enable alerts on the app so that you’ll get a notification straight away whenever a transaction goes through.
When it comes to customer service and support, Ando is quite generous.
- FAQ Page: Firstly, they have a solid FAQ section on their website. While this does not answer every question, it does answer many common basic questions and can help you get on your way as fast as possible.
- Phone Support: If the FAQs do not answer your question, you can reach them via email or telephone 1-844-960-3939, 7 days a week from 9 AM until 9 PM (EST).
Unfortunately, they do not have a live chat system, which is becoming more and more common among online-only banks—as such, calling them is probably going to be your best bet to get timely support with their phone number marked on their website.
Pros & Cons
To help you decide, we have listed the top pros and cons of banking with Ando so that you can make the best possible informed decision to improve your financial situation.
- High Maximum APY Rate
- No Monthly Service Fees
- Can Recieve Your Paycheck up to 2 Days Early
- No Credit Cards
- No Wire Transfers
- Limited Products and Services
Alternatives to Ando
The online banking sector is booming. There is no shortage of general and specialized online banks looking to serve something more technologically focused and ultimately cheaper than traditional bank accounts.
Ando’s main competitor is Aspiration – an online bank that, just like Ando, places massive importance on being environmentally conscious. Aspiration offers a broader range of products and services, so they are worth checking out.
SoFi Money offers some of the features available on Ando, such as getting paid two days early and free overdraft coverage, though SoFi Money includes FDIC insurance up to $1.5 million. While SoFi Money is not a bank, they offer a wide range of products and services, including deposit accounts, loans, and investment accounts. This broad offering can make them your ideal solution if you are looking for one bank to service all of your requirements without referring to different institutions for different things.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ando Bank a real bank?
Technically speaking, Ando is not a bank but a financial app that offers a checking account and a savings account. They work with Community Federal Savings Bank (also known as CFSB) to provide Visa cards and FDIC insurance.
Is Ando Money legit?
Yes, Ando Money is a legit and trustworthy banking option. While the app is still new to the scene and does not have the advantage of history like other financial institutions, initial reactions are pretty positive overall. With FDIC insurance and Visa Zero Liability protection, your money is safe with Ando.
Is Ando FDIC insured?
While the FDIC itself does not insure Ando, it can offer FDIC insurance through Community Federal Savings Bank and is technically FDIC insured.
Is Ando Money Best For You?
Ando offers an attractive (and unique) proposition – transparent banking that puts the environment above everything else. While they don’t offer things like credit cards, if you value transparency, clean energy, reducing emissions, and want your bank to fight climate change, then Ando Spending Account is worth considering.
While making debit card transactions, you’d be sure that the bank you’re using does its best to be good to the environment.
The Ando Savings Account also has one of the best APYs around. So if you’re looking to save but want to do it in a way that aligns with your values (i.e., promotes clean energy, lowers emissions, and supports green initiatives) without compromising on the interest rate, Ando might be for you.