Level Banking Review

Is the Level Bank Account a good deal?

level app on phone and level debit card
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Level

Important

Level Banking has been acquired by Avant, which plans to add personal banking to its offerings of personal loans and credit cards. Established Level accounts remain active and backed by Evolve Bank & Trust. Those wishing to open new accounts are invited to join Avant's waiting list.

Level is a mobile-centric service that provides only one product: a high-yield banking account. With the Level Bank Account, you earn a relatively good interest rate, plus you can earn rewards when using your debit card. On top of that, Level charges no fees to customers.

Deposits are FDIC-insured through Evolve Bank & Trust, which holds your money and issues the Level debit card. Level was introduced by venture capital-backed Zero Financial, a fintech firm that also has a credit card called Zero. It was designed to address some of the biggest challenges that consumers face: high bank fees, paltry interest earnings, and complicated account offerings.

Level was acquired by Avant in 2021.

What We Like
  • No fees

  • No minimum balance required

  • Decent APY on your balance with no limit on your number of withdrawals

What We Don't Like
  • No withdrawals or deposits by check

  • No other types of products besides the Level Bank Account

  • No physical locations for in-person service

  • Some features still in development (online bill pay, for example)

Who Is Level Best For?

Level Bank should appeal to people who are drawn to new financial technology tools and services. The offering may be most interesting to those who want:

  • A debit card that lets you earn cash back on purchases
  • Interest earnings from a liquid account
  • A banking relationship designed for mobile devices
  • 24/7 customer support
  • No banking fees charged by Level

To take full advantage of Level’s cash-back rewards, you need to have direct deposits of at least $2,500 per month into your account.

What Does Level Offer?

Level provides an interest-bearing payment account, the Level Bank Account, that is only accessible through Level’s mobile app.

Level Bank Account

  • FDIC insured
  • Requires no minimum deposit to open
  • Charges no monthly fees or overdraft fees
  • Comes with a Visa debit card for spending online and in person
  • No foreign ATM fees from Level (the ATM owner may charge fees)
  • ATM fee reimbursement up to three times per month ($4 per fee maximum)
  • Earns up to 1.5% cash back on qualifying spending with your debit card
  • Receives direct deposit up to two days early

Many credit cards offer generous cash-back rewards, but the Level Debit Card stands out as one of the rare debit cards that does. Just note that in order to earn rewards when you use the card in stores, you’ll need to choose “credit” rather than “debit” at the point of sale. Transactions like ATM withdrawals or “manufactured spending” strategies—like buying gift cards—do not qualify for cash back. Rewards post to your account almost immediately, and there is no cap on the amount you earn.

While the Level Bank Account might be able to replace a checking account for some people, it lacks features that others may find essential. There is no online bill payment feature, although you can use your Level Bank Account with apps like Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle. The service does not yet offer remote check deposit, but those improvements are in development.

Level Customer Service

As a new banking service, its customer service has hardly any track record. Customers can contact support at support@levelbank.com.

How to Bank With Level

Level is not accepting new accounts since its acquisition by Avant. Those wishing to open a new account through Avant can join the waiting list. Be prepared to provide basic personal information, as you would need to do when opening any bank account.

Bottom Line

Benefits:

The Level Bank Account offers features that people want, like fee-free banking and interest earnings on balances without withdrawal limits. For now, the Level Bank Account excels at paying a higher-than-average interest on idle cash, and providing rewards for debit card spending.

Even though some features aren’t yet available, it appears that the Level Bank account will be full of customer-friendly features. For example, you’re not tied to a particular branch or ATM network, and you can already complete tasks like locking your debit card from the app.
Drawbacks:

In addition to not accepting new accounts since its acquisition by Avant, some essential banking features are missing. That might not be a dealbreaker, especially if you’re a tech-savvy consumer pursuing high-interest earnings and debit card rewards. But if you’re looking for an everyday checking account, you might need to wait before switching your banking to Level. Several online banks (as well as local banks and credit unions) offer free checking with online bill pay, remote deposit, and other features that help you manage your money.