Spiral Banking App Review: $50 + $200 Bonus Details, Donations Required, iOS Only

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Spiral is a new fintech banking app (iOS only currently) with a unique mandate on social responsibility through charitable giving. If you maintain an account with them, you must agree to set aside some portion of every deposit towards a charitable donation (Giving Account). The minimum amount is 0.25% ($2.50 for every $1,000 deposited). In turn, Spiral will match your donations up to $150 per year. Spiral is a fintech, with banking services provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. Hat tip to DoC.

Sign-up bonuses. Spiral is also offering some good sign-up bonuses to encourage you to try them out. There are currently two separate bonuses:

  • $50 bonus when you fund your new Spiral checking account with at least $200 by November 30, 2021.
  • $200 bonus after recurring direct deposits of at least $1000 each month for two consecutive months.

Inactivity fee warning. They promise the usual no minimum balance and no monthly fees, but there is an inactivity fee that is relatively punitive:

Spiral will charge your account $7 per month (up to 6 months) if you do not make a deposit or withdrawal for 90 days. Interest posting is not considered a deposit for purposes of this fee.

Giving Account details. Here’s an excerpt from the terms of their Giving Account:

As a condition to opening and maintaining a Spiral Account and receiving the Spiral Services, you must open an account designated as your donation or giving account (the “Giving Account”). Upon establishing your Spiral Account, you must deposit an amount equal to no less than 0.25% of your initial and future deposits to your Checking or Savings Accounts in the Giving Account. You may select (and periodically adjust on the Spiral App and Spiral Website) by indicating the percentage (between 0.25% and 20%) of each deposit (rounded down to the nearest penny). You agree to direct the distribution of funds in the Giving Account to a charitable organization of your choice that is an organization that qualifies as an exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, through the Spiral App and Spiral Website.

They have a very large directory of millions of eligible nonprofits.

Application details. I found this app interesting and decided to try it out. The application was straightforward, 100% online, and took a few minutes. My free credit monitoring suite detected no hard credit checks. I connected an external checking account via Plaid, made a $250 deposit, and quickly received in-app confirmation that I qualified for the $50 bonus.

My $250 deposit is pending, but I was reminded that $0.62 will be set aside for my giving account (see screenshots below). It appears that Spiral also seeded my giving account with a $5 “Giving Cash Bonus” as well. I discovered that the savings account only pays 0.07% APY, so I did not open one. I intend to go for the direct deposit bonus as well.

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  1. Hello!
    My daughter and I have opened and funded a new spiral account We’ve both got notice we’ve qualified for the deposit bonus and it indicates it’ll be credited within 90 days. Yeah, she’s 20, everything was pink, she was down!
    I was wondering if anyone had received this and if so do they actually wait the full 90 days or do they potentially post sooner?
    Many thanks!

  2. Melissa Olson says

    I applied to open an account and was told to call customer support to give them information. I called within minutes and was not able to get through. I tried several times, but no answer. When I did get through, I was denied an account because too much time had lapsed to verify my information. I explained that they were the reason for the lapse and gave specific times that they were called. Not only was it denied because of them, it was also a lifetime denial without any other option or explanation. No apology, remorse or service given. I wanted to support a company that, at least on paper, cared about improving the world for better. In reality, they don’t care and won’t be bothered to even try to correct their error. I can only imagine what they won’t due if there was an error on an open account. Avoid them and save yourself the grief and frustration.

  3. I opened my account and was notified that I was qualified to receive the $50 bonus for funding my account for the first time. I waited and waited and waited… I understood that it would be 90 days from the info I was sent but I’ve never had an incentive for a bank take so long and have so little info around it.. it was just about to the 90 day mark and I called customer service to ask for more info and they told me it would be by the end of the month which was over the 90 days but maybe a few days or something. I know it’s just $50 bucks but I just felt it was very much so laid out last second and they did that on purpose which I didn’t like coming from a financial institution… I’ve had incentives come through if anything by surprise or early for that matter. My experience with spiral hasn’t been the best not the worst either but anytime I’ve called it takes time to get the issue understood and heard then it seems no one really has the answers or want to be clear about their processes either. Maybe because they are not wanting to call themselves a bank more so a tech company Southey are not regulated under a bank status I don’t know but it’s been rough and for sure not an account to have as your main banking account but not terrible for someone younger or for sharing accounts and transferring money to a friend or family member like I have to. Also I have yet to be successful in linking through plaid as well it’s nearly not possible and bank doesn’t come up at all not even with the “nbkc” name

  4. Samantha Morris says

    For the bonus there’s a clause they are not open and honest about. There’s a specific way you have to spend the money you put in. Just another bank grasping at straws to gain governmental funding and not help its customers. Pity I was so looking forward to using a bank I could donate with. Who even knows if the donations actually get donated with how tricky their clauses are. Seems like a scam to me.

  5. They either wait to the last minute to post a bonus or the don’t post the bonus at all. I did not get the bonus and had actually forgot that I even had the account because I did not use the card further. But on the 6th month marker exactly, they had sent me an email saying they had closed my account because it hadn’t been active in 6 months. How is it? They can be so timely with closing accounts but not with posting rewards? Run far and run fast from this place.

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