Zero Checking with Zerocard review March 2021 |
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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.’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 per month





Minimum deposit to open


Fee$0 per month
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.
ATMsZerocard is usable anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
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 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.

How do I open a Zerocard and Zero Checking account?

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

  1. Click Apply now.
  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.


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 APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
Get rid of fees with this mobile-first bank offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Chase Total Checking
Finder Rating: 2.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase Total Checking
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
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 more than 4,700. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
HSBC Premier Checking
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
BBVA Online Checking
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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