Update 11/30/21: More people targeted for the $200/$300 direct deposit bonus. Subject line is ‘ Holiday Bonus: Get $200 or $300 when you set up a qualifying Direct Deposit with Oxygen’. Hat tip to reader Gadget
Update 11/7/21: Some existing users are getting an email offer for a direct deposit bonus of $200/$300 if you get $2,000/$3,000 direct deposited. Many people are getting it, but not everyone (also check your spam). Hat tip to readers Mike and Yaro. Also, the referral offer is now for $55.
Update 6/17/21: Major change in fee structure and benefits as they’ve now added 4 tiers with different benefits for each. See full details at this link.
Update 5/16/21: Some existing users have been targeted for a bonus of either $60 or $120 with direct deposit of $1,500/$3,000+. E-mail subject line is Subject: <your name>, Set up Direct Deposit and earn up to $120!’, get $50 when you switch your Direct Deposit to Oxygen’. Will be interesting to see if this becomes a public offer. (Hat tip to readers Racoonzel, AS, Holly)
Update 9/29/20: Some existing users have been targeted for a $50 bonus when they set up a direct deposit of $500+. E-mail subject line is ‘<name>, get $50 when you switch your Direct Deposit to Oxygen’. Will be interesting to see if this becomes a public offer. Hat tip to readers Gadget & Jeffrey.
[Below is a guest post from Evan Mullen. You can see his prior posts here.]
Oxygen Bank is a fee-free digital checking account marketed toward ‘free thinkers, rebels and entrepreneurs.’ The main feature that entices me is the cashback offers on debit purchases. There’s also a $25 referral bonus.
Here are the major highlights of the account:
- Mobile only
- No fees
- FDIC Insured up to $250,000
- Connect external accounts via Plaid
- Multiple virtual cards
- Map of free ATMs nearby
- Flat fee line of credit
- Support for personal and business accounts
- Debit card with cashback boosts (see below)
The cashback boosts seem similar to Cash App, in that they will be rotating. This is what I’m currently seeing for my offers:
- Walmart – 7%, valid for 60 days, unlimited uses until you hit $10 in cashback (12 hour cooldown, minimum $5 purchase)
- Trader Joe’s – 7%, valid for 90 days, unlimited uses until you hit $7 in cashback (4 hour cooldown, minimum $3 purchase)
- Rideshare and Transportation – 5%, valid for 30 days, unlimited uses until you hit $10 in cashback (2 hour cooldown, minimum $4 purchase)
- Pharmacies – 5%, valid for 90 days, unlimited uses until you hit $5 in cashback (2 hour cooldown, minimum $2 purchase)
- Gas – 5%, valid for 30 days, unlimited uses until you hit $10 in cashback (24 hour cooldown, minimum $5 purchase)
- Gaming – 5%, valid for 90 days, unlimited uses until you hit $5 in cashback (2 hour cooldown, minimum $2 purchase)
- Food Delivery – 5%, valid for 90 days, unlimited uses until you hit $5 in cashback (2 hour cooldown, minimum $2 purchase)
- Food and Coffee – $1, valid for 90 days, unlimited uses until you hit $10 in cashback (2 hour cooldown, minimum $2 purchase)
These offers will likely change over time. Hopefully Oxygen can continue to offer useful merchants. Currently, the minimum cashback redemption is $10.
One benefit to Oxygen over Cash App is that Oxygen is an actual bank account, and therefore can be linked to cashback apps. Pei and Bumped have support for Oxygen, while Drop and Bits of Stock do not.
One negative to Oxygen compared to Cash App is that you have to fund the account via ACH instead of an instant debit. Therefore you have to plan more in advance if you don’t want a lot of funds sitting in Oxygen, which earns no interest. However, the interest you lose from letting a few hundred sit in Oxygen for even up to a year doesn’t come close to the cashback you’ll earn from spending this balance at boosted merchants. You can, however, fund your account with cash ‘at 90,000+ stores, including CVS and Walgreens’, which will ‘be available within a few hours’ (retail service fee applies).
For the flat cashback category ($1 back for Food and Coffee), you’ll earn more back by using Oxygen for purchases under $50 if your alternative cashback earns 2% ($1/0.02 = $50).
- There is also currently a referral program where the referrer earns $25 for every person who funds their account with at least $200 and uses the Oxygen debit card 5 times within 60 days.
- New member also gets $25 when they open the card using a referral link and fund their account with $200 and use the Oxygen debit card 5 times within 60 days.
- Referral bonus posts within 10 business days of qualifying.
- Your referral link can be found in the app.
- Please do not leave referrals in the comments; Oxygen stipulates that referrals are restricted to personal friends, family, and known acquaintances. Network with friends to get/give referrals.
Lots of banks are digital and fee-free these days, so for me, the only worthwhile feature is the high cash back rate at some of the boosted merchants. I’ll surely be using my card at Walmart, Trader Joe’s (when the Cash App 10% grocery boost is no longer offered for Trader Joe’s), and dining. It’s also nice that you can double dip with cashback apps.