Zero Financial is a mobile banking startup based in San Francisco, California. The company is based around an app and a Visa card, Zerocard.
Zero hasn't launched yet so many of the details we usually report on are missing. For instance, we don't know what interest rates it will provide on deposits. However, Zero does promise the rates will be higher than "leading savings accounts." So at least we know they will be higher than 0.01% APY.
The main advantage of Zero is that it offers a credit card that combines the best features of a debit card. The Zerocard allows you to enjoy the rewards of a credit card while avoiding monthly credit card payments. The Zero app displays all your purchases and deposits in real time so you know exactly what your net balance is.
There is no annual (or monthly) fee, as long as you agree to automatic payments and paperless statements. The automatic payments are what provide Zerocard's debit-like functionality.
Funds are insured by the FDIC. Zero isn't a bank but it works through a partner bank that is insured by the FDIC.
- Cash back rewards ranging from 1.0% to 3.0% depending on your Zero level. Your annual spending will determine what your Zero level is. Graphite level has a minimum annual spending of $25k, Magnesium's is $50k, and Carbon's is $100k.
- Solid metal card. You can have the Sapphire Preferred look without the annual fee.
- The bank transfers, direct deposit, and Bill Pay features you expect from a bank.
- ATM use without fees at over 50,000 locations. Although some out-of-network may charge fees, Zero never charges its clients a fee.
The main disadvantage of Zero is that is still not available. All you can do now is join a waiting list. If you're interested in a no-annual fee credit card that offers 3% cash back rewards and works like debit card, you may want to join now. The only catch with Zero is you have to spend a lot of money a year to receive a 3% cash back. However, if you join the waiting list, Zero will waive the annual spending requirement.