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Written by Cari Scribner on August 7, 2021
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Oxygen Bank Review 2021: Best Banking App?

Oxygen Bank is a breath of fresh air in a competitive sea of new online banks with zero fees.

What does zero fees mean? It means no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, as well as no minimum balance fees, and bank transfer fees.

Oxygen bills itself as the app designed for movers and shakers, such as entrepreneurs and small business owners. They pride themselves on being flexible, and their slogan is “You do it, we’ll support it.”

There has yet to be an online-only bank or "neobank" that specializes in entrepreneurs, so Oxygen's offering is quite unique. As more and more of these neobanks hit the scene, they are becoming more and more focused on specific niches. this means as consumers we are able to have more of our needs met while paying less!

Oxygen Bank
  • Features
  • Minimal Fees
  • Design
  • Interest
  • Cash Back Rewards


Oxygen Bank is designed for young hustlers out there who want to avoid the pesky fees associated with most bank accounts. With Oxygen Bank, you can rest easy knowing there are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or minimum balance fees. On top of that, you can earn cash back of up to 7% at participating retailers. You can also shop safely using the virtual and contact free debit card feature. Right now, they offer both personal and business accounts. Oxygen Bank is FDIC insured through their custodial bank which is Bancorp.


  • No monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balances fees and no ACH bank transfer fees
  • Cash back rewards of up to 7%
  • Virtual card loading takes the worry out of having multiple Visa cards out there in the hands of all your employees
  • Easy to track and organize spending by specific category
  • $25 bonus to you and a friend when they sign up with your referral code
  • If you don’t recognize a transaction on your account, you can immediately freeze all activity
  • Up to 2 days early paycheck deposit


  • They do not offer any interest on money in your account
  • Free ATM withdrawal not available universally, you must use Allpoint ATMs

What is Oxygen Bank?

Oxygen Bank logo

Oxygen is one of the many new neobanks to enter the fintech scene. By providing specialized services for entrepreneurs, they are serving a market that has typically had a hard time finding an online-first banking solution.

Most big banks require small businesses to open their accounts in-person and do much of their banking within the physical bank branch. As an online-only bank, Oxygen doesn't have any branches, and all of your account maintenance and activities can be managed from within their app.

This provides a much more streamlined banking experience for young entrepreneurs looking to quickly get up and running.

How Does Oxygen Bank Work?

In order to open an Oxygen Bank account, all you have to do is download the app. From there, you can select whether you'd like to open a personal or business account. Although they do specialize in small business accounts, individuals can also open personal accounts with Oxygen.

At this point, you'll be prompted to fill out your personal and/or business information and submit an application. In most cases applications are reviewed in just a couple of business days at most and then your account will be up and running.

If you're going to be opening up a business account, have digital copies of your paperwork handy. You'll need to send off a copy of your operating agreement, EIN letter, and other business documentation depending on the legal structure of your business. Oxygen needs this information to make sure your business is properly set up and registered.

Once your account is set up, it functions similarly to most other business checking accounts. However, the big difference is that you can do all of your banking from their app. You won't have to worry about going into a bank branch or waiting on hold for 30+ minutes to get an issue resolved.

Your account will have a routing number and account number that you'll be able to use to connect your bank account to your Stripe account, PayPal account, and any other accounts you have for collecting from your customers.

Cash Back From Spending

One of Oxygen's most attention-grabbing perks is up to 6% cash back on places you probably already shop, including Walmart, Trader Joes and Whole Foods. This means you can be buying anything from organic fruit at Whole Foods to a vacuum at Walmart and earn a hefty percentage back into your account.

Just like the app is made for people on the go in a constantly changing world, Oxygen is still tweaking its cash back offerings. Currently, the amount of cashback you earn on each purchase will depend on your account tier.

Oxygen Bank Element Account Tiers

Oxygen offers four different account tiers for users to choose from: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Each of these four Elements comes with a different set of perks, so you'll want to evaluate each tier before deciding which is best for you.

Earth Element

The Earth Element is Oxygen's lowest account tier and comes with a $0 annual fee. In general, this tier will be best for casual Oxygen users or those that want to give the platform a try before committing to one of the higher tiers.

Earth users will earn 2% cashback at "approved merchants" and $1 back on all coffee and food purchases. The list of approved merchants regularly rotates and is available within the Oxygen Bank app to browse. On top of that, all balances under $20,000 will be eligible for 0.25% APY.

There are also a number of supplemental benefits for Earth cardholders including cell phone insurance and extended warranty protection when you use your Oxygen card.

Water Element

Oxygen's second account tier is Water and comes with a $20 annual fee. Users are, however, able to get their fee waived if they meet either the spending or saving criteria. To meet the spending requirements, Water users will need to spend a minimum of $500 per month on their card. The deposit requirement on the other hand entails $1,500 per month of deposits into your Oxygen account.

In exchange for this higher fee, Water users receive 4% cashback as well as $1 back on all coffee and food purchases. The APY on the Water account is significantly higher than Earth and is currently 0.75% for all balances under $20,000.

Another noteworthy benefit of upgrading to Water is that you'll receive 2 months of Netflix reimbursements per year. For Netflix subscribers, this could more than make up for the annual fee.

Air Element

For users in search of more cashback and a higher APY, Oxygen's Air Element may be an attractive option. 5% cashback and the same $1 back on coffee and groceries makes for a compelling case to use this card. Plus, a 1% APY on balances under $20,000 is twice what most "high-yield" accounts currently pay.

Additional card benefits include a Priority Pass membership that provides access to airport lounges across the world, and reimbursement for 2 months of Peloton Digital each year.

The cost of the Air card is $50 per year. Users can waive this fee by spending $1,000 per month on the card or depositing $3,000 per month into their Oxygen account.

Fire Element

Oxygen's Fire element appeals to premium users that are willing to spend money to make money. The card boasts 6% cashback and 1.25% APY on balances under $20,000. In addition to the benefits of prior tiers, Fire users receive a reimbursement for TSA Precheck as well as additional airport lounge access.

Fire Element cardholders pay a $200 annual fee for the card. However, this fee will be waived if you spend $2,000 per month on the card, or deposit $6,000 per month into your account.

Oxygen Bank Fire Element

Oxygen Personal Accounts

The personal accounts are in line with the bank’s mission of being flexible to meet the needs of people whose lives may be evolving.

They offer a unique and certainly convenient virtual debit card. You can create single-use cards or merchant locked cards that keep your physical card details out of the public eye.

If you want to load more cash on the single-use card, you can go to Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and more specified locations to load cash into your account. Keep in mind, you will pay the surcharge the realtor has in place.

We’ve all had the nightmare experience of losing a credit card. Oxygen lets you lock – and then unlock – your account. They will also send alerts immediately when they see unusual activity. Oxygen is PCI DSS certified, which is the strictest global standard in the financial industry.

They understand people frequently need early access to their paychecks, so they let account holders get it in their account up to two days early.

You can also track your spending in your Oxygen personal account, and have it organized by type of expense. Simply go ahead and pay your mortgage, office rent, car insurance, gas, a client lunch, or whatever you choose. Then flag the expense, take a photo of the receipt and the bank will sort it automatically so you can see areas that you need to cut back on.

There are clear perks that show Oxygen’s commitment to free thinkers: you can apply for a line of credit without having a conventional full-time job. This means entrepreneurs can get additional credit without the hassle of recreating a detailed work history.

Oxygen Business Account

The creators of the Oxygen Bank app clearly support the efforts of start-up and growing businesses. Again, there are no fees involved.

Create Virtual Cards

They have an interesting feature of virtual cards to protect your small business. You can create these one-time use debit cards to keep things organized, and also to avoid sharing all your Oxygen Visa business debit card details (and the actual card itself).

Sending someone out for art supplies? Load the card with a few hundred dollars. With the business account, you can control monthly spending and the merchants authorized to take your payment.

Worried about unauthorized use? You can freeze or cancel any virtual cards with a tap of your finger. You can also easily change the PIN code. If everything looks fine, you can unfreeze the card instantly.

You can take a close look at all activity on the virtual cards in real time.

Mail Checks In-App

One concern that you might have in working with an online-only bank arises if you make payments with checks. As a neobank, Oxygen does not send out checkbooks to their users (that would go against their low-cost philosophy). Instead, they send their users debit cards that they can use for transactions.

However, when it comes to paying rent for your office space or your utility bill, many of these transactions require you to pay with a check. In these cases, Oxygen allows you to create a check within the app, and then their team will send it in the mail to your recipient.

This is not a service you're going to find with many other neobanks, and one of the prime examples of how Oxygen tailors towards entrepreneurs.

Cashflow Projections & LLC Creation

Oxygen provides additional services to their small-business users including LLC creation and cashflow projections.

If your business is not yet legally established, Oxygen will help take you through the entire process of creating your LLC. This will legally register your business with your state and allow you to open bank accounts and credit cards for your business.

Additionally, Oxygen provides free cashflow projections for their users. As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to accurately predict exactly how much cash will be coming in each month. By taking advantage of the built-in tools on the Oxygen platform, users can perform forecasts and get a clearer picture of what their business financials look like.

Referral Program

You can ramp up your new account by $25 when you give a friend or family member a referral code and they open an Oxygen banking account. They will also get the $25 deposited into their new account.

Is Oxygen Bank Safe?

Oxygen’s partnering bank is Bancorp, and all your deposits into the bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The FDIC covers individual bank accounts up to $250,000.


  • Insures your deposits
  • Examines and supervises financial institutions like Oxygen Bank for safety, financial stability, and consumer protection
  • Works to resolve large and complex financial issues in the unlikely event they arise
  • Manages receiverships

Oxygen also used Plaid to protect your personal financial details. This is the financial industry’s highest data encryption that protects information coming from all sides of a transaction—banks, applications, and customers.

oxygen bank ui

Oxygen Bank Review: Final Thoughts

The Oxygen Bank app is the latest in online banking you can use on-the-go, without being tied to a brick and mortar physical location.

Creators have envisioned a new demographic that includes a wide array of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. The app is loaded with convenience factors that will appeal to this group and account tiers that allow you to customize your experience.

Whether you are opening your first bank account or looking for an attractive APY for savings, odds are one of the Oxygen elements will fit your needs.

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Article written by Cari Scribner
Cari Scribner is a career journalist with 20 year’s experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Now a freelance writer, she is also a published fiction writer with more than 15 short stories in literary mags. She recently completed a novel that is on the desk for consideration at two publishing houses. She lives with her two small dogs, Miloh and Lucy, in Upstate NY.

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