Oxygen Bank Review

oxygen bank
oxygen bank card
  • Mobile-only
  • Personal and business accounts
  • Almost no fees
  • Cashback
  • Coverage for damage, theft, and more
  • 40K+ Fee-free Allpoint network ATMs

One of the youngest challenger banks in the country, Oxygen, already had a facelift. It’s now offering more tiers for early adopters, so we decided to take a look at them in our Oxygen bank review. But first, here’s our short verdict: 

Oxygen bank is flying under the radar for most people at the moment. For such a young fintech start-up, they offer a really rounded banking product with everything that a person or freelancer would want. No fees across the board, make it that more appealing. 

oxygen banking infographic

About Oxygen Bank

Oxygen’s banking app was launched in 2020 and runs on both iOS and Android devices. Its founder and CEO, Hussein Ahmed, decided to open a digital bank when he realized just how inefficient big banks could be.  

Why is Oxygen so special?

Oxygen.us offers full banking service to personal customers and small businesses. It has paid and free tiers, and there are almost no fees that you have to worry about. In fact, all the features that are crammed into paid accounts, far outweigh the one-off fee that you need to pay for them.

Oxygen’s service can rub shoulder to shoulder with more established players in the digital banking space such as Chime or Revolut with who it draws many similarities. And even adds more to the table. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to open online
  • No fees
  • Cashback rewards
  • Good personal interest rates
  • Early payday

Cons

  • No multi-user log in
  • $10,000 balance maximum

Fees

  • No monthly, 
  • No minimum balance 
  • No ACH fees
  • No transaction fees
  • $3 out-of-network ATM withdrawal
  • Up to $4.95 for cash deposits

Personal accounts

There are four different loyalty tiers as Oxygen likes to call them. The fact is that all but the free account, which is called Earth, have initial and annual qualifications that you have to complete in order to get a bigger cashback, bigger interest rate, more savings goals, metal debit card, and other interesting perks.

For the top tier – Fire, you have to have 30 consecutive days of qualified deposit ($6,000), spend ($2,000) plus pay a $199.99 annual fee. The annual fee gets waived if you continue to meet the deposit and spend qualifications. 

Fire gets you an exclusive engraved metal Visa card, up to 6% cashback, 1.25% APY, unlimited savings goals, but also 2 months of free Netflix and Peloton membership. You also get all sorts of protections: mobile phone, lost baggage, and hotel theft protection. 

Earth 

  • Plastic Card
  • 2% Cashback 
  • $1 Cashback on Food & Coffee
  • Savings 0.25% APY
  • Up to 3 Savings Goals
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Luggage Protection
  • Hotel Theft Protection
  • 3 Active Virtual Cards
  • 2 Day Early Direct Deposit

The annual fee for the Water, Air, and Fire account is waived in subsequent years when annual qualifications are met.

Water 

  • Initial qualification: 30 consecutive days qualifying deposit/ spend ($1,500/m/$500/m)
  • Annual qualification: 12 x cumulative qualifying deposit/spend over 1 year
  • Embedded Metal Card
  • 4% Cashback 
  • $1 Cashback on Food & Coffee
  • Savings 0.75% APY
  • Up to 10 Savings Goals
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Netflix 2 mo. Reimbursement
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Luggage Protection
  • Hotel Theft Protection
  • 15 Active Virtual Cards
  • 2 Day Early Direct Deposit

Air 

  • Initial qualification: 30 consecutive days qualifying deposit/ spend ($3,000/m/$1,000/m)
  • Annual qualification: 12 x cumulative qualifying deposit/spend over 1 year
  • All Metal Card
  • 5% Cashback 
  • $1 Cashback on Food & Coffee
  • Savings 1.00% APY
  • Unlimited Savings Goals
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Netflix 2 mo. Reimbursement
  • Peloton Digital 2 mo. Reimbursement
  • Priority PassTM Annual Membership + 5 visits
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Luggage Protection
  • Hotel Theft Protection
  • Unlimited Virtual Cards
  • 2 Day Early Direct Deposit

Fire

  • Initial qualification: 30 consecutive days qualifying deposit/ spend ($6,000/m/$2,000/m)
  • Annual qualification: 12 x cumulative qualifying deposit/spend over 1 year
  • Mechanically Engraved All Metal Card
  • 6% Cashback 
  • $1 Cashback on Food & Coffee
  • Savings 1.25% APY
  • Unlimited Savings Goals
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Netflix 2 mo. Reimbursement
  • Peloton Digital 2 mo. Reimbursement
  • Priority PassTM Annual Membership + 10 visits
  • Global Entry Reimbursement/ TSA Precheck Fee Credit
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Baggage Delay Protection
  • Lost Luggage Protection
  • Hotel Theft Protection
  • Unlimited Virtual Cards
  • 2 Day Early Direct Deposit

As you can see, the higher loyalty tiers really pack a punch. I can see several features that I’d like to have and that my current digital bank doesn’t have. And then there are the metal cards. I mean, you have to have one in this day and age.

Business account

  • Cashback on Ride Share, Gas, and more
  • Tag expenses
  • Virtual cards with spending controls
  • Business Savings Account
  • Form an LLC from within the app

Besides personal accounts, Oxygen offers a business account for freelancers, sole traders, digital nomads, and small businesses. Everyone knows that small business is the backbone of America and we’ve been snubbed long enough by big banks.

Luckily, in this digital banking dawn, we’re really spoilt for choice. You can get a solid business account for free, which is the case with Oxygen. 

Same as with personal accounts, there are no transaction fees, no minimum balance or minimum deposit, up to 5% cashback on shipping and gas, for example, but also no monthly or annual fees. 

There are unlimited single-use virtual cards on offer for secure shopping and payments that you can control by setting a dollar limit or locking it to a specific merchant. 

It’s not suitable for medium to large companies as the app is not advanced enough. But for freelancers and smaller businesses, this business account should be perfect. 

Who can open an Oxygen account?

Oxygen.us is available nationwide (with planned expansion to Europe and Asia) to people, freelancers, and small businesses with an address in the US. It’s also welcome to people that have not formed an LLC yet because they can do it through Oxygen. 

How to open an Oxygen account?

You’ll have to download their app on the Apple Store or the Google Play Store and sign up with an email, phone number, and a password. 

You’ll need to provide Oxygen your full name, address, SSN, and other such information. Plus you’ll need to get verified with an ID and a selfie. Businesses will also have to provide the usual business documents.

To form a company through Oxygen, open a personal account (instead of business) and after you get approved, continue to open an LLC through the app.  

Get paid early

More and more digital banks are now offering early payday so that their customers don’t have to wait for their paycheck/direct deposit. Oxygen gives you your well-deserved paycheck up to 2 days early. 

Cashback rewards

Oxygen is offering cashback to its users. But how much cash back you’ll be getting by spending your money, depends on your tier level. 

Earth users get only 2% cashback, Water 4%, Air 5%, and Fire whopping 6% cashback. All tiers also get $1 back when buying food and coffee. 

Savings

Similar to other challenger banks, Oxygen offers savings goals. You can name them whatever you want. Earth and Water accounts get up to 3 and 10 goals respectively, while Air and Fire have unlimited goals. Interest rates also vary from 0.25-1.25% APY. 

It’s not the highest but it’s not too shabby as well. Business interest rates are a different story. A 0.01% APY at the time of writing is nothing worth mentioning, really. 

I need to mention that the stated interest rates are only applicable up to $20,000 or less. After 20k, they will drop significantly. 

Incorporation services

If you’re thinking about opening an LLC, you can do it easily with Oxygen. The LLC formation is powered by CorpNet, and fees for LLC creation differ by state and services selected. 

It’s a turn-key service that could help out a great deal of entrepreneurs that don’t know where to start when trying to lift a business off the ground.

You also get your freshly formatted company integrated with in-app accounting tools like cashflow projection.  

Who owns Oxygen?

Oxygen was founded in 2018 by Hussein Ahmed. Its headquarters are in San Francisco Bay Area.

The company raised more than $24 million from 4 rounds of funding. The last corporate round brought in $17 million in December 2020.

It has 30 investors that include 1984 Ventures, Leonis Investissement, Peter Treadway, Runa Capital, Citius, and Rucker Park Capital, among others.

How is Oxygen regulated?

Oxygen is a financial technology company that doesn’t have a banking license and therefore all of its banking business is done by Bancorp Bank. 

Is my money safe with Oxygen?

Although Oxygen is not actually a bank, its banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, and deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Oxygen applies all the usual safety measures such as the ability to freeze the card, instant notifications, and two-factor authentication. 

Customer reviews

Oxygen has a 4.8/5 star rating from more than 7k reviews on Apple Store and a 4.6/5 from more than 10k reviews on Google Play Store. From some recent reviews, users aren’t so happy with the new revamped version of the app. I guess you can’t please everyone. 

Customer service

You can call them at +1 (866) 287-7021, email them at support@oxygen.us, or send them mail at PO Box 477, San Francisco, CA 94104-0477. The best way to contact Oxygen would be through the chat option in-app. 

Customer service is available: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (holidays excluded), Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (holidays excluded).

Competition

Revolut

revolut

With more than 15 million users worldwide, Revolut is one of the most prominent digital banks in the world. It also has much more features such as multi-currency accounts, instant international money transfers, crypto, commodities, and stock investing, to name a few. It offers a world of features and a metal card, the same as Oxygen. 

Chime 

chime bank

Chime Bank is best for those looking for a simple, completely mobile, low-maintenance bank account. Chime Bank’s features include: get paid early, online banking, fee-free overdraft, no hidden fees, mobile banking, automatic savings, mobile payments, security, and control.

MoneyLion 

moneylion

MoneyLion will appeal to a range of potential customers, especially those familiar with the digital banking space. If you’re interested in trying a new service that offers saving, borrowing, and investing in one place, MoneyLion might be for you. 

Cash App

cash app

The Cash App is a great tool to transfer or receive money, without fees, from people you know, first of all. It should not be viewed as a bank account, and you shouldn’t let your money, or at least, a great deal of money, sit on it.

The bottom line

Oxygen is a low-key digital bank that offers solid accounts for personal use but also for freelancers and small businesses. Even their free account packs a punch. No fees and cashback, savings rate, all kinds of damage and theft protection, and even metal bank cards should give even the most demanding users something to look forward to.