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Zerocard and Zero Checking review

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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.

$0

Monthly fee

0%

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Monthly fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
Intro or bonus offerUse 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.
ATMsNo access to ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
ATM fee rebatesAt the Carbon level, all ATM fees, including what the ATM owner may charge, are refunded.
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Foreign transaction fee0%

Expert review

Rhys Subitch

Review by


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.

Expert review

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.

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 Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Premier Checking
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get up to $700 (max. $120 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Premier checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
TD Beyond Checking
$0
1,900 ATMs across the country and Canada
$0
A checking account that offers interest plus three ways to waive the monthly fee, two overdraft paybacks a year and no ATM fees with a $2,500 balance.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
HSBC Advance Checking
$0
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
Get up to $270 (max. $50 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
TD Convenience Checking℠
$0
1,900 ATMs across the country and Canada
$3
Offering digital wallet compatibility, free Zelle transfers, TD rate discounts and no fees for students and young adults age 17 to 23. But the $15 monthly maintenance fee could chip at your funds.
Chase Total Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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

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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