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.
- High maximum APY rate
- No fees
- Limited products and services
- No wire transfers
- No credit cards
If you’d like to know that the bank you’re using is doing a great deal to help the environment, then Ando might be the right bank for you.
There is a lot to love about their business model, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
As this Ando review will show, quite a few things are missing, but whether what they do offer makes up for it remains something of a question mark.
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 – or not.
We will look at features and products, fees, security, customer care, and some alternatives that you might want to consider, among other things. Let’s get to it.
What is Ando?
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 – which is how they can offer FDIC insurance.
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, which will become more evident as we explore their products and features in more detail.
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.
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.
As mentioned earlier, Ando’s main feature is climate-conscious banking, which is evident throughout everything that’s on offer.
As such, Ando customers are by and large going to be those who have the environment at heart.
One of Ando’s most significant value propositions is that they do not find fossil-fuel projects.
To put it simply, Ando does not lend money to companies that operate in this sector, giving you peace of mind that Ando will not use your money to help companies operating in this sector.
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.
In this section, we will be looking at the products that are currently on offer so that you can decide whether it meets your financial requirements and needs.
Ando Spending Account
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, including the previously-mentioned impact center, through the app available for Android and iOS phones.
If you receive your pay via direct deposit, you can access your money up to 2 days earlier with the Ando Spending Account.
While you can’t order a checkbook to write personal checks with this bank account, you can order paper checks to be sent directly to the payee straight from the app, making the entire process that much easier.
While you can send money for free, the recipient must be an Ando customer – fee-free transfer only works between Ando accounts.
You will also get the Ando Visa debit card with fee-free withdrawals from over 34,000 MoneyPass ATMs when you open an Ando account. You can even use the mobile app to locate the nearest in-network ATM, saving you time, trouble, and, potentially, fees.
Ando Savings Account
The default APY interest rate stands at 0.16%, 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 or 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.
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.
Currently, Ando is not running any promotions or bonuses; however, it does not mean that they won’t.
To be on the safe side, make sure you check their website before opening an account since they might release new promotions from time to time.
They offer a higher APY to those who meet the eligibility criteria. We covered this in the Ando products section, so be sure to read it if you’re planning on opening an Ando account as it can earn you quite a bit of money, everything considered.
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 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. 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.
If the FAQs do not answer your question, you can reach them via email or telephone. Support is available Monday through to Sunday 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
Nothing is perfect, and Ando is no exception. However, this does not mean it might not be the ideal solution for you.
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.
- Environment-positive – The biggest pro of Ando is their green credentials. They offer remarkable features in this department and are very transparent about managing your money, which is a huge plus.
- High maximum APY rate – With a maximum APY rate of 5% on offer, you stand to earn some serious money on your savings. While it’s not easy to get this rate if you manage, it’s an excellent rate to have.
- No fees – With almost no fees all around, Ando is one of the cheaper options. If you’re on a budget and want to keep your costs to a minimum, this is a great pro.
- Limited products and services – With only a checking account and savings account on offer, what Ando offers can be pretty limiting. Whether these two accounts are enough for your financial needs is a very personal matter, and as such, you will need to assess your requirements before opening an account here.
- No wire transfers – Ando accounts offer a limited number of ways to transfer money. You cannot make any wire transfers and invite anyone you want to pay to join Ando or do an interbank transfer.
- No credit cards – Ando does not offer any credit cards, which means no perks such as cash back rewards and points.
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, however, is quite specific in the type of customers they are looking to attract, primarily the environmentally-conscious customer who might prefer limiting their impact on the environment over account features.
To this end, 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. There are two accounts called Aspiration and Aspiration Plus.
The plus account costs $5.99 per month, billed annually, while the standard account follows a pay-what-you-want model – even if that’s $0.
The app offers a personal impact score, which looks at your purchases and scores your environmental impact accordingly. You can also get as much as 10% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases.
You might also want to consider SoFi Money. They offer some of the features available on Ando, such as getting paid two days early and some additional ones, including FDIC insurance up to $1.5 million and free overdraft coverage.
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.
Who Is Ando Best For?
If the environment is crucial to you and you are looking to make an impact in a meaningful way, then Ando is something that you should consider.
Unfortunately, they do not have the wide range of products and services that we have come to expect from modern banks – however, this does not mean that they will not add more in the future.
The important thing here is to take the time to understand what you hope to get out of it and then see whether they can service all of your financial needs and requirements.
Make sure you take the time to shop around and don’t forget to look at the alternatives we listed in the previous section.
What bank is Ando?
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 Trustworthy?
Overall, Ando is trustworthy. 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 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.
Remember that there are other ways you can care about the environment, and while admittedly we should do everything that we can, if this bank is not what you are looking for, don’t fret.
You do not have to sacrifice the way you bank to make an impact. Instead, you should look at other ways you can contribute and choose the right financial institution for you that can meet your requirements and needs.
Finally, you should keep an eye on the bank’s website – Ando often has referral schemes that allow you to share a referral link with friends to get various discounts and offers in return.