Oxygen Bank is a new no-fee bank that offers great cash back boosts like 5% cash back at Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods.
Your money is safe with Oxygen with FDIC Insurance up to $250,000, and you can withdrawal cash for free at 30,000 ATMs.
However, on June 17, 2021, Oxygen Bank announced a ton of new changes that will be coming soon.
For most people, Oxygen is reducing the cashback percentage from 5% to 2%, but keeping the valuable $1 off coffee or food perk.
We will update this post once the changes become more solidified.
Signing Up With a $25 Bonus
You can earn a $25 bonus for signing up for an Oxygen account when using a referral link, and you:
- Deposit $200+ in the account AND
- Use the Oxygen Debit card at least 5 times within 60 days.
If you need a referral link, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you a link within a few hours.
Oxygen’s referral links are one-time use only and are not allowed to be posted online according to Oxygen’s terms and conditions, which is why we don’t post a public link.
If you sign-up without a referral link, you won’t get a bonus for joining.
I made that dumb mistake when I joined, so don’t make the same mistake.
You can also earn $25 each time you refer a friend, and they complete the above offer.
Other Bonus Offers
Oxygen may target you for additional promotions after you set up your account.
A popular one is $50 for setting up one qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more with Oxygen.
The bonus only works for people who haven’t set up direct deposit, so don’t set one up until you’ve received the offer.
Another offer is to promote spending on the Oxygen debit card:
- Spend $1,000 and get a free t-shirt.
- Spend $3,000 and also get a Yeti Rambler Tumbler (worth $30).
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, 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.
|Food and Coffee||$1||N/A|
|Uber, Lyft, and Transit||5%||$5|
|USPS, FedEx, and UPS||5%||$5|
|The Container Store||5%||$5|
When we first wrote this review, Oxygen offered 7% cash back on most categories, but it has now dropped to 5% with a lower limit to the maximum cash back you can earn.
Additionally, most boosts can be used every 24 hour period but some exceptions are:
- Gas = Every 5 days.
- Walmart = Every 5 days
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.
Setting up a $500+ direct deposit also qualified me for a $50 targeted bonus, which was paid within four days.
Just remember to wait a few weeks before setting up your direct deposit to see if Oxygen sends you that additional offer.
Disadvantages of Oxygen Bank
There are three main disadvantages of Oxygen Bank: no interest, slow external transfers, and the fee to reload cash.
No Interest on Balances
You will not earn any interest on the funds in your Oxygen Bank account.
That is not a big deal with interest rates being so low.
Plus, you will earn way more cashback using boosts than you would from interest.
But I still would not keep more than $1,000 in my Oxygen account because you are better off keeping enough in the account to use the cashback boosts and keep the remaining cash in an account that earns some interest.
I plan on keeping SoFi Money as my hub bank account because it (1) pays out interest, (2) allows for a joint account with my wife, (3) has my retirement, investment, and crypto accounts.
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.
I recommend signing up for the Oxygen bank account to take advantage of their great cash back boosts, virtual cards, and free ATMs.
There is no banking fees or credit check, so there is not really any reason not to set up an account.
Email me at email@example.com if you need a referral for the $25 bonus.
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.