Zero Financial, a startup, claims that they will be offering a no-fee credit card with different levels of cash-back rewards based on your annual spend that acts like a debit card, drawing money from a linked savings account that pays high interest automatically. You can’t spend more than you have. To bypass some of the spending requirements for a better rate, you can sign up to be on the waitlist here.
Skepticism is good. Skepticism is often what keeps us from becoming dead, penniless, and of course, deader. So let’s keep that in mind when talking about this new startup(groan, I know right), that claims to be offering the greatest thing in credit cards since the original Chase Sapphire.
They call themselves Zero Financial, and purport to be developing a no-fee Visa credit card, that effectively acts like a debit card whole rewarding you like a credit card. The gist of their pitch is that the myriad of rewards programs, rotating spending categories, transfer programs, etc. not only make life more difficult, but can also lead to overspending, and eventually, credit card debt. With their card and accompanying app, named Zerocard, and Zero respectively, you can keep track of your spending, and only spend as much as you have just as you would with a debit card, while earning cash back rewards just like a normal credit card. The exception being, that these cash-back rewards are larger than normal, unlimited, and are directly deposited into your account each month.
It is a necessity for the Zerocard to be, in reality, a credit card, because of the regulated fee structure of the industry. The second prong of Zero’s approach is to offer a higher interest rate on the savings account (FDIC Insured) tied to the card than normal. Just how much that will be, has not yet been announced. It is also mentioned that it may raise your credit score, but that’s really because a monthly bill exists, it just happens to be paid from your account automatically.
The Zerocard is offered at four different status levels, defined by annual spend. The steps above Quartz are rather steep for the common man, but they can be avoided for the next two years or so, by referring more people after you sign up for the waiting list. Signing up before the release also makes you a Graphite member automatically, with no spend requirements for the remaining calendar year after you receive your card, and the year directly after. The people you refer also automatically receive Graphite status. The magic number appears to be three to level up to Carbon.
The card will be all-metal, and is shown to be a Visa Infinite in the advertising copy. That weightiness will definitely increase your dopamine levels every time you use it. (Apparently the Sapphires do…)
They just received $2.5M in Venture Capital funding, so I hope that this card does really come out in early 2017 like they say. The introduction video was a bit of a letdown to be honest. The puppy ruins your house, and forces you to spend over a thousand dollars from Casper (I see that co-product placement peeps), and then you get a girlfriend as it predicts your net worth into the future. Skymoney. Watch out.
Only time will tell if this truly comes to fruition, and if it is really worth the metal it’s printed on. But until then, it can’t really hurt to sign up for the waiting list using this link. If they deliver, it will be an awesome addition to your credit card arsenal, and if they don’t all they have is one of your (hopefully) many email addresses.