Oxygen Bank Review – The Elements of Banking

Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers.

Oxygen is a San Francisco-based fintech company that provides personal and business bank accounts through its mobile banking app. It focuses on delivering low-fee, high-interest-paying accounts. 

In our Oxygen Bank review, you’ll find out how the bank stacks up against its competitors. I’ll cover what you can expect out of an Oxygen account, what fees you should and shouldn’t expect, the pros and cons of using this service, and more.

Oxygen Bank

Overall Rating

8.8

Pros

  • Tons of account perks
  • High APY on personal accounts
  • Well-rated mobile app
  • Free ATM access in the Allpoint network
  • No monthly fee

Cons

  • Surprisingly high annual fees
  • APY earning caps at $20,000
  • No physical branches

Mobile Banking

8.5

Virtual Cards

9.5

Free ATMs

8.0

Cashback Rewards

9.0

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Oxygen Bank.

or, skip straight to the section on how to sign up for Oxygen Bank

Oxygen Bank Features

Before we get into the specifics of Oxygen accounts, let’s take a look at some of the broader features you’ll enjoy as an Oxygen Bank customer.

Mobile Banking

Oxygen is an entirely mobile platform, so you’ll manage your account exclusively through the mobile app. The company has a website, but you can’t transact on it. 

The Oxygen app is well-reviewed on both iOS and Android, with a 4.7-star (out of 5) rating in the App Store, and a 4-star (out of 5) rating in the Google Play Store. 

Virtual Cards

In addition to physical cards, Oxygen offers virtual debit cards. The appeal of a virtual card is the ability to make payments while masking your actual debit card number. 

These cards can be deployed for single-use or merchant-locked transactions, and the number of virtual cards you get depends on which Oxygen account you have. 

40,000 Free ATMs

Oxygen is part of the Allpoint ATM network, so members can access more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs across the country. However, there’s a fee if you use any ATM outside of this network. Unfortunately, Oxygen doesn’t reimburse any out-of-network ATM charges. 

Note: Since Oxygen is a mobile-only bank, you won’t be able to make deposits at any ATMs. That said, you can use Oxygen’s app to make mobile check deposits. You can also head to any Green Dot location to deposit cash. But you’ll have to pay fees if you go that route. 

Cashback Rewards

When you spend with your Oxygen debit card, you’ll earn cashback rewards from select merchants. 

Cashback deals will change over time. But you can expect offers from popular brands like Trader Joe’s and Walmart, plus rideshare and food delivery services. 

Oxygen Personal Banking

Oxygen’s personal deposit account is an interest-bearing account that serves as both a checking account and savings account. It comes with an Oxygen Visa debit card and has no minimum balance requirement. 

Elements

Oxygen’s loyalty program breaks its personal account into four “Elements” — Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. 

Each Element comes with different account perks, along with a different annual fee. 

Take a look at the details of each savings/checking account option to determine which makes the most sense for your specific situation:

Included with all Elements

  • $1 cashback on food and coffee
  • Cell phone protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay protection
  • Lost luggage protection
  • Hotel theft protection
  • Early direct deposit (up to two days early)
  • Mobile bill pay

Earth

  • No annual fee
  • 0.25% APY (on balances up to $20,000)
  • 2% cashback with select merchants
  • Up to three savings goals
  • Three active virtual cards

Water

  • $19.99 annual fee
  • 0.75% APY (on balances up to $20,000)
  • 4% cashback with select merchants
  • Up to 10 savings goals
  • Two-month Netflix reimbursement
  • 15 active virtual cards

Air 

  • $49.99 annual fee
  • 1.00% APY (on balances up to $20,000)
  • 5% cashback with select merchants
  • Unlimited savings goals
  • Two-month Netflix reimbursement
  • Two-month Peloton Digital reimbursement
  • Priority Pass Annual Membership (plus five free visits)
  • Unlimited virtual cards

Fire

  • $199.99 annual fee
  • 1.25% APY (on balances up to $20,000)
  • 6% cashback with select merchants
  • Unlimited savings goals
  • Two-month Netflix reimbursement
  • Two-month Peloton Digital reimbursement
  • Priority Pass annual membership (plus 10 free visits)
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck reimbursement
  • Unlimited virtual cards 

Every new Oxygen account starts at the Earth tier, and you’ll have to meet minimum deposit and spending requirements over thirty consecutive days to get a chance to level up. Moving to a higher tier is entirely optional. But if you’ve got a decent amount of cash on hand and the above perks appeal to you, it might be worth looking into.

If you choose to move to a new tier, you’ll pay the annual fee for your first year upfront. There’s no way around it. Fortunately, you’ll have a chance to avoid paying the account fee in subsequent years. 

Qualifying for Upper Tiers

With that in mind, let’s take a look at details for how to qualify for each upper-level tier, along with the annual qualifications you’ll need to avoid the fee the next year. 

Water

  • Initial Qualification: Over thirty consecutive days, spend at least $500 and deposit at least $1,500.
  • Annual Qualification: In one year, spend at least $6,000 with your debit card.

Air

  • Initial Qualification: Over thirty consecutive days, spend at least $1,000 and deposit at least $3,000.
  • Annual Qualification: In one year, spend at least $12,000 with your debit card.

Fire

  • Initial Qualification: Over thirty consecutive days, spend at least $2,000 and deposit at least $6,000.
  • Annual Qualification: In one year, spend at least $24,000 with your debit card.

Oxygen Bank Pricing & Fees

Even though Oxygen skirts plenty of traditional banking charges — like monthly fees, ACH transfer fees, and overdraft fees — it isn’t a completely free platform. 

Annual fees

Aside from the Earth tier, each of Oxygen’s Elements comes with an annual fee that you have to pay during your first year with that given tier. That said, you can get around these fees in subsequent years if you meet the requirements.

With annual fees ranging from $19.99 to $199.99, members face an important question: Are the higher tiers worth it?

As is the case with most fees, it depends. If you can max out the APY within each tier, you’ll easily surpass the cost of the annual fee. Add in the additional perks and the account becomes well worth it. 

On the other hand, if you tend to keep a lower balance and don’t take advantage of enough cashback offers, you might end up paying more than you need to.

You know your financial situation better than anyone else, and only you can decide what makes sense. 

ATM Fees

ATM transactions are fee-free when you use Allpoint ATMs. But you’ll pay Oxygen a $3 fee each time you go outside the network. You’ll also be responsible for the fee that the ATM charges, which Oxygen does not reimburse. 

International Fees

If you plan to use your Oxygen card overseas, you’ll need to be aware of the fees. For each international transaction (including ATM withdrawals), you’ll be charged 1% of the transaction amount.

On top of that, international ATM withdrawals also come with a flat $5 fee per transaction.

When you’re gallivanting across Europe, these fees can add up. 

Cash Deposit Fees

Cash deposits are available only through Green Dot, which you can use through merchants like 7-Eleven, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. 

Green Dot transactions always come with a fee that can reach as high as $4.95, depending on the specific merchant.

Signing Up & Getting Started

To sign up for an Oxygen account, you’ll first need to download the app. From there, you can choose to open a personal or business account. 

Once you create a login with your email address, you can fill out your application. Accounts are available to anyone 18 years or older with a residential U.S. address and a valid Social Security number.

Personal applications are typically reviewed quickly, and you should know within a couple of business days if you’re all set. However, it could take up to three weeks for you to get an answer for business accounts.

Oxygen Bank Promotions 

If you have a friend who’s already using Oxygen, you can both earn Oxygen referral bonuses when you sign up for a new personal or business account.

The bonus is worth up to $60 each for you and your friend, but it does come with some requirements.

To get the initial $10 bonus, all you have to do is sign up through a unique referral link within 30 days of receiving it. Once the account is open, the bonus will hit both accounts within 10 days.

For the remaining $50 bonus, you have to make at least five debit card transactions and deposit at least $500 into your new account within 60 days. Then, just like the first bonus, you’ll get the remainder within 10 days after qualifying. 

Oxygen Bank Security

Oxygen is PCI DSS-certified, which is the highest level of payment industry security. If you aren’t familiar, PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Sate Security Standard, which ensures that companies process, store, and transmit debit or credit card information in a secure environment. 

Oxygen accounts are also FDIC-insured by its partner bank, the Bancorp Bank, so deposits up to $250,000 are protected. 

Customer Service & Support

To get in touch with Oxygen’s customer support team, you can send an email, use the in-app chat feature, or give them a call at 866-287-7021. Many financial services companies don’t offer phone support these days, so this is a nice feature.

Customer service agents are available seven days a week (excluding holidays) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time. If you have a lost or stolen debit card, you can call the same number during these hours.

Oxygen is still a relatively new neobank, so it hasn’t built up many user reviews just yet. That said, it isn’t off to a great start and has a Trustpilot rating of just 1.7 stars (out of 5) on 28 reviews. Your mileage may vary.

Oxygen Bank Review Pros & Cons

Here are the pros and cons of using Oxygen Bank.

Pros

  • Tons of account perks
  • High APY on personal accounts
  • Well-rated mobile app
  • Free ATM access in the Allpoint network
  • No monthly fee
  • Combination savings and checking account

Cons

  • Surprisingly high annual fees
  • APY earning caps at $20,000
  • No physical branches

Alternatives to Oxygen Bank

If you like the sound of an online bank and want to see what else is out there, check out Chime or Revolut. These digital banking options offer similarly low-fee personal accounts.

If you’re after a digital account for your business, look into Novo, Bluevine, and Mercury, each of which offer low-to-no-fee, online-only business banking platforms. 

Oxygen Bank FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Oxygen Bank.

Is Oxygen Bank a real bank?

Yes and no. It offers real bank accounts, but Oxygen is not a bank itself. It’s a fintech company that offers accounts through its partner, the Bancorp Bank. 

The Bancorp Bank is a real, member-FDIC bank that services all of Oxygen’s bank accounts. 

Is Oxygen a prepaid card?

No. Oxygen provides deposit accounts with physical debit cards and virtual debit cards. 

Does Oxygen Bank have Zelle?

Not at the time of writing. Oxygen allows for ACH transfers and peer-to-peer payments, but it isn’t currently compatible with Zelle. I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the future, though. 

The Bottom Line

Oxygen’s brand is appealing to free-thinkers who look at banking differently. Whether or not it’s the right bank for you depends what you need from it.

There’s plenty to like, including high APYs, cashback rewards, and perks that rival the best rewards credit cards. 

The downside, of course, is the cost. Unlike most neobanks, Oxygen doesn’t shy away from account fees. It also limits your earning potential with a cap on maximum balance requirements to earn their above-average APYs.

Overall, Oxygen is a good fit if you can max out the APY and meet the requirements to get around the annual fee. 

Additional Disclosures: Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

In This Article