Online bank Aspiration will give its debit-card customers 3% to 5% cash back when they shop at more than dozen companies that have a social mission, including eyeglass provider Warby Parker, shoe seller Toms and household-goods retailer Brandless, the bank said in a statement Thursday.
“It provides the encouragement people need to vote with their dollars,” Aspiration Chief Executive Officer Andrei Cherny, a former speech writer for Al Gore and Bill Clinton who co-founded the financial startup in 2015, said in an interview. “We want to find every way we can to help people line up their money with their morals.”
While consumers often vote with their dollars by boycotting brands over actions they dislike, the cash-back approach gives customers access to a popular credit-card reward for spending with companies they believe are doing good. A purchase with an Aspiration debit card at Warby Parker — the hipster brand that donates glasses to people in need — gives customers 5% cash back, while using the card for a dog walk with the app Wag, which provides meals to animal shelters, results in a 3% cash reward.
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