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Oxygen personal bank account review: Checking account with competitive cashback

Earn up to 6% cash back, but you’ll pay an annual fee depending on your plan.

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Our verdict

The Oxygen personal bank account earns up to 6% cash back on specific spending categories and merchants. It also comes with early paydays and benefits like travel insurance, which you typically find with credit cards. But to earn the highest potential cash back, you must pay an annual fee of $199.99, receive $6,000 in direct deposits and spend $2,000 a month.

While there is an option to waive the fee on all plans, it's tied to the amount you've spent on the previous year. This means that new customers can't avoid the fee in the first year. If you want to avoid a fee, you'll need to stick to its Earth plan, which earns 2% cash back and has no requirements.

Best for: Big debit card spenders who receive direct deposit.

Pros
  • Up to 6% cash back at approved merchants
  • Get paid up to two days earlier
  • Retail and travel benefits typically only found on credit cards
Cons
  • Annual fee on most plans
  • Direct deposit and spending requirements
4.7

★★★★★

Finder rating

Learn more

APY

Up to 3.00%

Minimum deposit to open

$0

Oxygen plans and costs

All Oxygen personal bank accounts allow you to access your paycheck up to two days earlier, come with unique retail and travel benefits and earn $1 on all food and coffee purchases. But cashback percentages vary by tier.

PlanAnnual feeMonthly plan requirementsCashback
Earth$0None2%
Water$19.99, waived if you spend $3,000 in the previous year
  • $1,500 direct deposit
  • $500 debit card spend
4%
Air$49.99, waived if you spend $6,000 in the previous year
  • $3,000 direct deposit
  • $1,000 debit card spend
5%
Fire$199.99, waived if you spend $12,000 in the previous year
  • $6,000 direct deposit
  • $2,000 debit card spend
6%

Your annual fee is automatically deducted from your bank account when you upgrade your plan.

What makes the Oxygen personal bank account shine

The Oxygen personal bank account has three distinct advantages that sets it apart from its competitors:

  1. Competitive cash back. While most cashback cards offer a rewards rate of up to 5% on specific or revolving categories, Oxygen Bank offers cash back of up to 6% and $1 on food and coffee purchases at approved merchants.
  2. Retail and travel benefits. Enjoy retail and travel perks like cell phone insurance, baggage delay and lost luggage protection and hotel theft protection, which are usually reserved for premium credit cards.
  3. Streaming services reimbursements. Members on higher tiers also qualify for two months of Netflix and Peloton Digital rebates.

Where the Oxygen personal bank account falls short

The Oxygen personal bank account misses the mark in several areas:

Oxygen cash back program

While the cashback percentages are competitive — up to 6% cash back on its highest tier — the rewards program is exceptionally clunky with considerable red tape. Those who want straightforward, automatic cash back may want to steer clear of this checking account.

First, new customers can’t waive the annual fee in the first year. Since its fee waiver is based on your spending on the previous year, you can only qualify starting in your second year.

Next, to earn cashback rewards you have to manually activate offers by:

  1. Opening your Oxygen app.
  2. Tapping the Cashback section.
  3. Activating an offer at an approved merchant to load it onto your debit card.
  4. Meeting the specific offer terms, such as a minimum purchase amount.

There may also be a limit to the number of times you can use this offer and a cap on how much cash back you can earn in a single transaction. And you can’t view its offers until after you’ve signed up. We contacted Oxygen directly and they wouldn’t send us examples of approved merchants they partner with.

Also, unlike some cashback programs that deposit your rewards at the end of the month, you’ll need to keep an eye on your cashback balance since you can only collect your rewards after you’ve racked up at least $10.

Redeem your cashback rewards manually in three steps:

  1. Open your Oxygen app and go to the Cashback section.
  2. Under You earned, tap on the cashback rewards amount.
  3. Select how much you want to redeem to your Oxygen bank account.

Oxygen savings account interest rates

Your Oxygen personal bank account tier unlocks a specific APY if you also open an Oxygen savings account. The amount of interest you earn depends on how much you keep in your Oxygen savings account. Here’s what you might earn depending on your Oxygen plan:

PlanAPY on balances up to $20,000
Earth0.5%
Water1%
Air2%
Fire3%

While 3% APY on its highest plan is pretty competitive, the kicker is that these interest rates only apply to balances up to $20,000 — a remarkably low cap — before dropping to 0% APY. If you’re in the market for a high-yield account that doesn’t cap you on rewards, consider a savings account like Ally Bank Online Savings Account or Capital One 360 Performance Savings.

Oxygen personal account’s fees and access

Type of feeFee details
Annual feeDepends on your plan:
  • $0 – Earth plan
  • $19.99 – Water plan
  • $49.99 – Air plan
  • $199.99 – Fire plan
Opening deposit$0
ATMs
  • $0 for domestic withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
  • $3 for domestic out-of-network withdrawals
  • $5 plus 1% fee for international withdrawals
Cash deposits via Green Dot$4.95
Foreign transaction fee1% of the purchase amount
Overdraft or nonsufficient fundsNot available. This account doesn’t support overdrafts.
Wire transfers
  • $0 for incoming domestic
  • Outgoing and international wire transfers aren’t supported
Person-to-person transfer$0
Lost card replacement
  • $0 for standard shipping
  • $50 for expedited shipping
Other fees
  • $0 Paper statements
  • $0 Account closure

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Minimum deposit to open

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

N/A


Minimum deposit to open

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How to open an Oxygen personal account

Here’s how to join Oxygen‘s digital banking platform:

  1. Sign up from the Oxygen website or on its mobile app.
  2. Enter your email and choose a password to create your account.
  3. Input your personal information, including your name and date of birth.
  4. Enter the verification code to confirm your phone number.
  5. Fill out your address and hit Continue.
  6. Follow the prompts to complete the account verification process.

Customer experience

Reviews on Reddit, Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau are predominantly negative. Many users report trouble logging into the Oxygen mobile app, unexpected account closures and difficulty contacting customer service.

Contact Oxygen customer support by:

  • Chatting with a live agent.
  • Calling 866-287-7021.
  • Emailing support@oxygen.us.

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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