Zerocard and Zero Checking review
Unlike traditional accounts, this no-fee option requires a credit check with limited accessibility.
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
★★★★★Zero Checking with Zerocard is built for the digital age, requiring signup by app and electronic deposits. Unlike traditional checking accounts, it requires a check on your credit and you have the option to apply for the Zerocard, a credit card that’s directly linked to your account.
Minimum deposit to open
|Minimum deposit to open||$0|
|Intro or bonus offer||Use your linked debit card to earn 0.5% cashback rewards or the Zerocard to get 1% to 3% back on your purchases, depending on your tier and spending.|
|ATMs||No access to ATMs|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|ATM fee rebates||At the Carbon level, all ATM fees, including what the ATM owner may charge, are refunded.|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$0|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%|
Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at finder.com who tackles topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.
Zerocard and Zero Checking is for those looking for a cashback rewards option. No maintenance fees and rewards up to 3% make this account tempting.
But it loses its shine as a useful everyday account when you consider limitations on deposits, expensive withdrawals and a required credit check.
What are the benefits of a checking account with Zero?Zero Checking offers benefits beyond traditional checking accounts through a mobile app:
- Minimal fees. You won’t pay monthly maintenance, annual, inactivity or foreign transaction fees.
- Rewards for everyday spending. Use your linked debit card to earn 0.5% cashback rewards or the Zerocard to get 1% to 3% back on your purchases, depending on your tier and spending.
- Reports to the credit bureaus. If your account is tied to the Zerocard, you can potentially build or rebuild your credit score with responsible use and timely payments.
If you choose to apply for the Zerocard, you start out with a Zerocard Quartz after approval. Each year, you can maintain your reward or build your way up to higher-tier cards through qualified spending or by referring qualified friends. Each tier comes with its own requirements and cashback rewards rates as long as you pay your balance in full by your due date.
|Zerocard tier||Unlimited reward rate||Requirements|
|Quartz||1%||Open an account|
|Graphite||1.5%||Refer one friend or spend $25,000 annually|
|Magnesium||2%||Refer two friends or spend $50,000 annually|
|Carbon||3%||Refer four friends or spend $100,000 annually|
Zero’s ATM network and fees
Zero isn’t a bank: WebBank issues the card, and Evolve Bank and Trust houses the checking account. But you manage your account through the Zero app.
Zero doesn’t charge ATM fees, but it’s possible the owner of the ATM will. Cash withdrawals from an ATM are considered a cash advance and carry a separate APR.
The Zero Checking‘s associated Zerocard comes with an APR and fees for late or returned payments.
|Type of charge||Amount|
|Purchase APR||24.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||24.99% variable|
|Cash advance APR||24.99% variable|
|Late fee||Up to $27||Returned payment fee||Up to $25|
What should I look out for?Zero Checking isn’t designed for everyday checking.
While you can use your Zerocard to withdraw money, withdrawals are considered cash advances. And you can’t deposit checks at an ATM or through the app as of this writing. It’s also worth mentioning that you have the option to forego the Zerocard for a traditional debit card.
This highly streamlined service comes with other drawbacks you’ll want to weigh against potential benefits:
- Withdrawals are cash advances. It’s worth mentioning again that your Zerocard is a credit card, which considers cash withdrawals cash advances that come with a high 24.99% APR.
- App for iPhone only. While you can preregister for the Google Play app, it’s currently unavailable.
- No cash or app deposits. Zero Checking accepts electronic transfers only, with fine print warning that not all transfers are accepted.
If you prefer a more traditional banking experience, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options to narrow down the best checking account for your needs.
Compare with other checking accounts
If you’re uneasy about a checking account that requires a credit check, look into other checking accounts that might better fit your needs.
How do I open a Zerocard and Zero Checking account?
Open a Zerocard and Zero Checking account through the Zero app:
- Go to the iOs app store and download the Zero app.
- Input your email and create a password, then tap Continue.
- Select Continue and apply.
- If you agree to the terms, tap the bubble next to I want to apply and agree to all, and then tap Continue.
- Input your mobile phone number and select Next.
- Enter a referral code if you have one and tap Continue. Tap I don’t have a code if you don’t.
- Select Scan ID and scan your government-issued ID.
- Enter your full name and tap Next.
- Fill out your date of birth and select Next.
- Input your address and tap Next.
- Enter your Social Security number and select Next.
- Submit your application and wait for a response, typically within a few minutes.
To apply for a Zerocard and Zero Checking account, you must consent to a credit check and meet three eligibility requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Valid Social Security number
- US residential address
Have the following ready when you apply for a Zerocard and Zero Checking account:
- Your name and mobile phone number
- Your physical and email address
- Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
- Your Social Security number
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
Access your funds in three ways:
Frequently asked questions
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