Level was acquired by Avant in April of 2021. This review will remain live for historical purposes.
Level Bank is a neobank that offers a high-yield banking account exclusively on its mobile app.
Level was initially owned by Zero Financial, Inc. and recently merged with Avant, so we are still waiting to see what will happen next.
While Level isn’t technically a bank, its accounts are backed and FDIC-insured by Evolve Bank & Trust.
The growing fintech company is building momentum for two main features: 1.5% cashback rewards on spending and 0.50% annual percentage yield (APY) on deposits.
Account-holders can also enjoy same-day availability on direct deposits.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Level Bank, including an overview of the fees, the pros and cons of being a customer, how to sign up, and more.
Level Checking Accounts
Level offers three tiers of mobile checking accounts: Standard, Plus, and Premium.
All three accounts pay an APY on deposits and offer cashback on spending. You’ll also get a Level Debit card, which you can use to make payments and take out cash wherever Visa is accepted.
But before you go signing up, it’s important to point out that Level is not a traditional checking account, so there are some banking basics that you simply cannot do. For example, you cannot deposit cash or checks with any Level account.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s dive into the bank accounts that Level offers.
Level Standard is the bank’s entry-level account. Here are the top features that stand out:
- No monthly fee
- 0.50% APY on deposits
- No minimum balance requirement
- Unlimited 1.0% cashback on qualifying purchases (if you link a monthly direct deposit)
- 1 ATM fee reimbursement each month
- $300 limit on ATM withdrawals
Level Plus is the next level up and comes with the following features:
- Monthly fee: $5
- 0.50% APY on deposits
- Unlimited 1.0% cash back
- Free cash advance (up to $150)
- 3 ATM fee reimbursements each month
- $500 limit on ATM withdrawals
- Message-based Support
Level Premium is the next step up and comes with a few perks in exchange for a higher monthly fee. Here are the top features:
- Monthly fee: $15
- 0.50% APY on deposits
- Unlimited 1.5% cashback
- Free cash advance (up to $150)
- 5 ATM Fee Reimbursements
- $1,000 limit on ATM withdrawals
- Exclusive merchant perks (e.g., 5% off at Starbucks, 7% off on Spotify)
- Customer support on phone and in-app
Level Bank Features
As a tech-forward, online-only bank, all of your banking is done in the Level Bank app, which is available to both iOS and Android users.
Using the banking app, you can pay bills, make transfers, set up direct deposits, and more. You can also link Apple Pay and Google Pay to your account, right from the app.
Overall, customers seem to be happy with the app’s functionality. At the time of this writing, the Level Bank app has a 4.6-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store and a 4.2-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play store.
0.50% APY On Deposits
As mentioned above, all Level bank accounts pay a 0.50% APY on deposits, putting it in line with our top-rated high-yield savings accounts. The best part is that you can earn this APY interest rate with any balance amount.
Cash Back On Debit Card Purchases
Level Bank also pays unlimited cash back on debit card purchases (up to 1.5%), depending on which account tier you sign up for.
However, you’ll need to use your debit card as a credit card for your purchases to qualify for cashback. This means when making a transaction, selecting “credit” as the payment type rather than debit.
It’s rare for banks to offer cashback on debit card purchases, as this is typically a feature you’ll see with credit cards.
Early Direct Deposit Availability
When you link direct deposit to Level, you can get access to your funds much sooner than with a traditional bank. In some cases, Level will post the funds on the same day that your employer’s deposit occurs.
With a standard bank account, you typically have to wait a couple of days for the deposit to fully clear.
While there are monthly fees for Level’s middle and top-tier banking options (more on that below), the bank doesn’t charge for certain things that many other banks do.
For example, Level does not charge the following fees:
- Minimum balance fees
- Overdraft fees
- Non-sufficient funds fees
- Foreign transaction fees
Free Cash Advances
Level Plus and Premium account holders have access to a free cash advance feature. This is a very rare feature that most banks don’t offer.
If you qualify, you can request a cash advance in the app. Then, you must repay it within 15 days. Level doesn’t charge any interest or service fees for cash advances. However, you must repay them on time, or they may close your account.
Pro Tip: Think of the free cash advance feature as a nice-to-have backup plan, which you should only tap into in the event of an emergency.
Level Bank Fees
As for the fees go with Level Bank, customers can expect to pay a $5 monthly fee for a Level Plus account and a $15 monthly fee for a Level Premium account.
One of the main draws of Level is that there are absolutely no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees.
The bank also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or non-sufficient funds fees.
At the time of writing, Level is not accepting new applications due to its recent merger with Avant.
You can sign up to be on the waitlist, and once they are back in full swing it will only take a few minutes to sign up online.
Prior to the merger, the only information you needed to apply is your name, address, and date of birth. You will also probably have to submit a government-issued ID to confirm your identity.
Level Bank takes online banking security seriously and uses bank-grade encryption and compliance practices to protect customer accounts. Debit card purchases are covered by the Visa Zero Liability guarantee.
Level Bank also actively monitors transactions for potentially fraudulent activity, such as when a debit card is unexpectedly used in a different location or if someone makes a sudden string of costly purchases.
Most importantly, Level comes with FDIC insurance through its partnership with Evolve Bank and Trust.
Existing Level customers can contact customer support through the app or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Level Premium account holders have access to VIP support, whereas Level Standard and Plus customers are only able to contact support through the app.
Pros & Cons
- No minimum balance requirements
- Solid APY on deposits (0.50% at the time of writing)
- Cashback on debit card purchases
- Early direct deposit
- No cash or check deposits
- ATM withdrawal limits
- No physical branches
- Monthly fees on Plus and Premium accounts
Alternatives to Level Bank
Level Bank is one of many up-and-coming neobanks and online-only banks that offers a user-friendly mobile experience and interest-earning on deposits.
With that said, Level is not accepting new applications at this time. So, if you are looking for a similar provider, check out:
If you’re in the market for online banks that offers more features than Level and has a competitive HYSA, check out:
Level Bank FAQs
Is Level Bank legit?
Yes, Level Bank is a legit, mobile-only neobank. Its accounts are backed by Tennessee-based Evolve Bank & Trust, which is a federally chartered financial institution.
What is Level Bank?
Level Bank is a neobank, which means it is a technology company that offers banking services from its mobile app. Technically, Level Bank is not a bank. However, its accounts are backed by its partner bank, Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC.
How does Level Bank work?
Level Bank works just like any other online-only or mobile-only bank. The main difference is that it’s a high-yield checking account, which means you can earn a 0.50% APY on deposits.
Account-holders will get a Visa Debit Card for everyday spending, and banking transactions are handled in the mobile app. However, since Level is online-only, you cannot deposit cash or checks, and there are no brick-and-mortar branches.
How do you get a cash advance with Level?
To qualify for a free cash advance, you must be a Plus or Premium account holder, which means you need to pay a monthly fee just to have access. Then, you must pay the cash advance back within 15 days.
If you don’t, Level will attempt to collect the money from your account. If it cannot, your account might be closed, and you are likely looking at a negative report on your credit. Check out the full terms here.
Is Level Bank Right For You?
Level Bank is an interesting new contender in the growing neobank playing field.
If you are looking for an online-only bank account that pays a competitive APY on deposits and up to 1.5% cashback on debit card purchases, Level is an attractive choice.
What’s more, if you tend to overdraft your account frequently at other banks, Level might be your best option to avoid overdraft fees.
However, if you occasionally need to deposit checks and cash, or if you are a big cash spender, Level is probably not the right choice. You also have to watch out for monthly fees on the Plus and Premium accounts.
Whether or not the Level brand will continue, or if it becomes Avant, remains to be seen. Stay tuned for updates on that front.
And remember: Your bank should be working for you and not the other way around.