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Zerocard and Zero Checking review

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Zero Checking
3.5
★★★★★
Finder score
Fee
$0 per month
APY
N/A
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Summary

Unlike traditional accounts, this no-fee option requires a credit check with limited accessibility.

Discontinued product

This product has been discontinued, and it is not available on our site. Compare other Checking accounts to find one that fits your needs.

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How do I open a Zerocard and Zero Checking account?

Open a Zerocard and Zero Checking account through the Zero app:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the iOs app store, download the Zero app.
  3. Input your email and create a password, then tap Continue.
  4. Select Continue and apply.
  5. If you agree to the terms, tap the bubble next to I want to apply and agree to all, and then tap Continue.
  6. Input your mobile phone number and select Next.
  7. Enter a referral code if you have one and tap Continue. Tap I don’t have a code if you don’t.
  8. Select Scan ID and scan your government-issued ID.
  9. Enter your full name and tap Next.
  10. Fill out your date of birth and select Next.
  11. Input your address and tap Next.
  12. Enter your Social Security number and select Next.
  13. Submit your application and wait for a response, typically within a few minutes.

Eligibility

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

Required information

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

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.

Zerocard tiers

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 tierUnlimited reward rateRequirements
Quartz1%Open an account
Graphite1.5%Refer one friend or spend $25,000 annually
Magnesium2%Refer two friends or spend $50,000 annually
Carbon3%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 chargeAmount
Purchase APR24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR24.99% variable
Cash advance APR24.99% variable
Late feeUp to $27
Returned payment feeUp 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.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
BMO Smart Advantage Checking
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
BMO Smart Advantage Checking
$0 per month
$25
N/A
Earn a $400 cash bonus when you have a total of at least $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within the first 120 days.
Earn a $400 cash bonus after $4,000 deposits in the first 120 days. Pay $0 monthly fees and no minimum balance. Access a large nationwide network of free ATMs. Member FDIC.
Cash Card by Cash App
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash Card by Cash App
$0 per month
$0
N/A
The Cash App Cash Card lets you pay for goods and services both online and in stores using your Cash App balance. Enjoy features like ATM access, direct deposit, instant discounts at select stores and a customizable card.
Chime Checking account
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Checking account
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Pay $0 monthly fees, and no minimum balance is required. Access 24/7 support and get daily balance and transaction alerts. FDIC insured.
Revolut
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Revolut
From $0 per month
$0
4.25% on balances of $0+
3.25% on balances of $0+
Use Revolut Premium for three months for $0 when you sign up for Revolut. Just make one qualifying transaction with your Revolut card during the promotion period. Terms and conditions apply.
Revolut is a global fintech that offers up to 40% off international transfers.
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
4.60% on balances of $0+
0.50% on balances of $0+
1.20% on balances of $0+
Get up to $250 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2023.
Earn up to 4.60% APY on savings by meeting deposit requirements, and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Members without deposit requirements will earn 0.50% APY on both savings and checking balances. Turn on automatic savings or use the Roundups feature to help you reach your savings goals faster. Get up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks.
Step
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Step
$0 per month
$0
5.00% on balances of $0 to $250,000
Build credit while earning 5.00% on savings and cashback rewards – all with $0 monthly fees and no APR.
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How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Access your funds in three ways:

  • Withdraw money from an ATM. Zero doesn’t charge a fee for withdrawals, but it does treat ATM withdrawals as cash advances.
  • ACH transfer. Deposit money or transfer it out by ACH through the app.
  • Direct deposit. Receive your paycheck or government check directly to your Zero Checking account.
  • Frequently asked questions

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