Oxygen Bank is a new bank that offers great cash back boosts like 2-6% cash back at Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods, and $1 off coffee and food purchases.
Your money is safe with Oxygen with FDIC Insurance up to $250,000, and you can withdrawal cash for free at 30,000 ATMs.
Up to $55 Sign-Up Bonus
Oxygen is offering up to a $55 sign-up bonus when you open this referral link on your mobile device, download their mobile app, and complete the requirements below.
You will earn $5 by just signing up for an account, and an additional $50 when you receive $500 in deposits and make five purchases with your Oxygen debit card.
Oxygen's Four "Elements"
When I first wrote this post, Oxygen offered a single no annual fee account option that earned up to 7% cash back at several merchants.
However, in 2021, Oxygen introduced four “Elements” which are different account levels detailed below.
Everyone starts at the Earth account level, which earns 2% cash back at the merchants detailed below, plus $1 off coffee and food purchases.
You can qualify for the higher account levels by reaching minimum monthly deposit and spending requirements and paying an annual fee, which can be waived in subsequent years by maintaining the monthly requirements for 12 consecutive months.
Additionally, Oxygen will occasionally run promotions where the initial annual fee is waived for the “Elements” as long as you meet the requirements.
The Earth account level has no annual fee and no monthly qualifications.
The benefits of the Earth level are:
- 2% cash back on the categories and merchants listed below in the “Cash Back Boosts” section and $1 off coffee and food.
- 0.25% APY interest on balances in your Oxygen account up to $20,000.
- Cell Phone Protection.
- Extended Warranty Protection
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Baggage Delay Protection
- Lost Luggage Protection
- Hotel Theft Protection
- 3 Active Virtual Cards
- 2 Day Early Direct Deposit
- 40K Fee Free Allpoint® Network ATMs Nationwide
- In App ACH pull from external accounts limit: $1,000/day $10,000/month.
The “Water” account level has an annual fee of $19.99 and you can qualify for this level when you have qualifying deposits of at least $1,500 and spend at least $500 in a 30-day period.
The $19.99 annual fee is waived in subsequent years if you maintain the $1,500 monthly deposit and $500 in monthly spending.
The Water account level gets the benefits on the Earth level, plus:
- 4% cash back on the categories and merchants listed below in the “Cash Back Boosts” section and $1 off coffee and food.
- 0.75% APY interest on balances in your Oxygen account up to $20,000.
- Embedded Metal Card.
- Netflix 2 months Reimbursement when you use the card.
- 15 Active Virtual Cards
- In App ACH pull from external accounts limit: $1,500/day $15,000/month
The “Air” account level has an annual fee of $49.99 and you can qualify for this level when you have qualifying deposits of at least $3,000 and spend at least $1,000 in a 30-day period.
The $49.99 annual fee is waived in subsequent years if you maintain the $3,000 monthly deposit and $1,000 in monthly spending.
The Air account level gets the benefits on the Water level, plus:
- 5% cash back on the categories and merchants listed below in the “Cash Back Boosts” section and $1 off coffee and food.
- 1.0% APY interest on balances in your Oxygen account up to $20,000.
- All metal card.
- Peloton Digital 2 month Reimbursement (equivalent to $25.98).
- Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access Annual Membership and 5 free visits (equivalent to $160 in free visits).
- Unlimited virtual cards.
- In App ACH pull from external accounts limit: $3,000/day $30,000/month
The “Fire” account level has an annual fee of $199.99 and you can qualify for this level when you have qualifying deposits of at least $6,000 and spend at least $2,000 in a 30-day period.
The $199.99 annual fee is waived in subsequent years if you maintain the $6,000 monthly deposit and $2,000 in monthly spending.
The Fire account level gets the benefits on the Air level, plus:
- 6% cash back on the categories and merchants listed below in the “Cash Back Boosts” section and $1 off coffee and food.
- 1.25% APY interest on balances in your Oxygen account up to $20,000.
- Mechanically Engraved All Metal Card
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement.
- Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access Annual Membership and 10 free visits (equivalent to $320 in free visits).
- In App ACH pull from external accounts limit: $6,000/day $60,000/month
Cash Back Boosts
The top reason to open an Oxygen Bank account is for the cash back boosts, similar to the boosts on the Cash App.
For example if you had an “Air” account level, you could earn 5% cash back at Trader Joes when you purchase at least $5.
You can earn up to $5 cash back, equivalent to $100 in spending at Trader Joe’s, and you can use this boost every 24 hours.
Another area for improvement for cash back boosts is the ability to ask for a review of a transaction.
There are situations where, for example, a coffee shop codes as a convenience store, and you don’t get a boost.
This is not Oxygen’s fault, but many times merchants don’t set up their Square or other payment processing account with the correct coding.
The Cash App has the ability to ask for a review of transactions, which is why it would be nice if Oxygen added this feature as well.
Current Oxygen Cash Back Boosts
Below are the current cash back boosts in my account. These boosts will change over time and my boosts differ slightly from yours.
The amount of cash back you earn will depend on your “Element” account level and there is a max discount of $5.00 per transaction. Most boosts reset within 24 hours, but a few require at least 5 days (120 hours) between transactions.
There is also a minimum purchase requirement of $5 for all boosts except Food and Coffee, which have a $3 minimum.
|Food and Coffee||$1 Off||1 Day|
|Food Delivery||2-6%||1 Day|
|Trader Joe's||2-6%||1 Day|
|Whole Foods||2-6%||1 Day|
|Uber, Lyft, and Transit||2-6%||1 Day|
|USPS, FedEx, and UPS||2-6%||1 Day|
|The Container Store||2-6%||1 Day|
One great benefit of Oxygen Bank is that they don’t charge any fees like overdraft or ACH transfer fees.
All deposits with Oxygen Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000.
Oxygen’s host bank (the bank that holds your cash) is Bancorp, which is also the host bank for several other large Fintech companies like SoFi Money.
Most Allpoint ATMs are located in the below retailers:
You can create single-use virtual cards, which are great for subscriptions or limited trials that you want to cancel.
You can also set up “Merchant” virtual cards that will only be allowed at a specific merchant for a specific amount each week, month, year, or charge.
Added Card Security
There are nice protections for Oxygen cardmembers with the ability to freeze a debit card or change the pin code instantly.
Linking of Bank Accounts
You can link your other bank accounts to Oxygen and see balance information and transactions directly from the Oxygen app.
Oxygen uses Plaid, which is owned by Visa, to securely connect your accounts.
Early Direct Deposits
Oxygen advertises that you can get your paycheck up to two days early.
I tested it with a partial direct deposit, and I got it 3.5 days early!
I normally get paid on Friday morning, but my direct deposit showed up on Oxygen on Monday around 4 p.m.
It is dependent on when your employer sends the direct deposit. Many businesses initiate direct deposits a few days before payday to allow for transfer time.
My employer is one of the largest in the U.S., so your experience may differ.
But I don’t get an early direct deposit with my SoFi or Wells Fargo bank accounts, but I do get it a day early with my USAA bank account.
Disadvantages of Oxygen Bank
There are four main disadvantages of Oxygen Bank: no desktop account management, slow external transfers, slow check deposits, and the fee to reload cash.
No Website Account Management
Oxygen is a mobile-only bank, so you have to do everything inside their mobile app.
Personally, I don’t use Oxygen like a traditional bank account because there is no way to access my Oxygen account from my Desktop computer and I cannot sync it with my Mint account.
If Oxygen wants to take their bank to the next level, they really need an option to manage your Oxygen account on their website.
(On a side note, the website and mobile app used to have a very clean and easy-to-use appearance. After Oxygen introduced “Elements,” they tried way too hard to make the website and mobile app look fancy. I strongly dislike the new appearance of Oxygen.)
Slow External Transfers
It takes up to five business days when you add funds from an external bank account.
I tested it with my SoFi and USAA bank accounts, which were linked to Oxygen, and it took 4 business days (or 7 calendar days due to the weekend and a banking holiday).
That is really slow!
One nice benefit of the Cash App over Oxygen is that you can load funds instantly via a debit card, which is great when you need to load funds to take advantage of a boost.
From Oxygen’s point of view, the slower transfers are less risky and less expensive.
But up to five business days is way too long, especially for accounts linked to Oxygen, which allows Oxygen to see that there is enough money in your other account to cover the transfer.
Due to slow transfers, I plan on keeping at least $250 in my Oxygen account so that I don’t run out of money while waiting for a transfer.
There is also a limit on external transfers to the Oxygen account using their app of $200 per calendar day and a maximum of $500 per calendar month.
But there is no limit if you initiated the transfer from your other bank account to Oxygen. The difference is whether you push money to Oxygen (no limit) versus using Oxygen to pull the money from your account ($200 limit).
Slow Check Deposits
Oxygen offers free check deposits, but checks take 10 days to clear! That is pretty ridiculous since most banks will give you allow you to deposit checks instantly.
If you need the check deposited instantly, there is a 5% fee!
Oxygen advertises: “Want to load cash? Walk into Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and more GreenDot locations to load cash into your account.”
However, GreenDot locations charge a reload fee of $4.95, so I don’t recommend you reload cash on the card.
Most fintech banks (like SoFi or Simple) don’t allow you to deposit cash at all, so at least Oxygen gives you the option.
If you don’t carry a lot of cash or have an account with a traditional bank near you, then likely won’t ever need to load cash directly onto the card.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Oxygen Bank?
Oxygen Bank is a no fee bank that offers free ATMs, and cash back boosts such as 7% cash back at Trader Joes, Walmart, and Whole Foods.
Is my money safe with Oxygen Bank?
Yes. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Can I set up direct deposit with Oxygen Bank?
Yes. You can have your paycheck direct deposited into your Oxygen Bank account.
How much cash back do I need to earn to cash out?
You need to earn at least $10 cash back through boosts to "cash out" your cash back.
Photos are courtesy of Oxygen Bank.