Oxygen Bank Review with Cash Back Boosts

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. 

Deals Points Rating:
Oxygen Debit Card

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 andy@dealspoints.com, 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.

Oxygen Referral Bonus

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.

Oxygen 5% cashback at Trader Joes

The only downside is that you need to earn at least $10 to cash out your cash back.

Whereas the Cash App’s boosts are applied instantly to your purchases.

Oxygen Bank Cash Back cash out

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. 

Category Cashback Limit
Food and Coffee $1 N/A
Food Delivery 5% $5
Walmart 5% $5
Trader Joe's 5% $5
Whole Foods 5% $5
Gas 5% $5
Pharmacies 5% $5
Gaming 5% $5
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
Oxygen Cash back boosts reloading

No Fees

One great benefit of Oxygen Bank is that they don’t charge any fees like overdraft or ACH transfer fees.

Oxygen Bank No Fees

FDIC Insured

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

Oxygen FDIC Insured

Free ATMs

You can withdrawal cash for free from 30,000 Allpoint ATMs.

You can see the free ATMs near you using this map or conveniently on the Oxygen Mobile App.

Oxygen Free ATMs map

Most Allpoint ATMs are located in the below retailers:

Oxygen Allpoint Atms retailers

Virtual Cards

You can create single-use virtual cards, which are great for subscriptions or limited trials that you want to cancel. 

Oxygen Virtual Cards

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.

Oxygen Virtual Cards for Merchants

Added Card Security

There are nice protections for Oxygen cardmembers with the ability to freeze a debit card or change the pin code instantly. 

Oxygen Freeze Card

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. 

Oxygen linking of external 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.

Oxygen Direct Deposit
Employer Information Redacted

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.

Oxygen Direct Deposit Reward

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 Deposit Check

Reloading Cash

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.

The Verdict

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 andy@dealspoints.com if you need a referral for the $25 bonus.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Yes. Your deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.

Yes. You can have your paycheck direct deposited into your Oxygen Bank account.

You need to earn at least $10 cash back through boosts to "cash out" your cash back.

Photos are courtesy of Oxygen Bank.