If you have been searching for a checking account that is virtually fee-free and costs nothing to open, then the Credit Karma Spend account could be the one for you.
This very secure online banking platform offers some innovative features and incentives. So we’re looking at the Credit Karma Spend account to see if it is as good as it sounds.
We’ll look at who is behind this checking account, what it offers, and what other products or services are available for Credit Karma Money.
What Is Credit Karma Money?
Credit Karma Money is not a bank but a financial institution in partnership with MVB Bank, Inc, a member of FDIC and a network of partner banks.
Originally Credit Karma was known for providing free credit scores and reports, but it has since expanded its reach. It now offers many different products and services.
Credit Karma Money is the money movement platform of the company, and it is here that you will find their checking account, Credit Karma Spend, and their savings account, Credit Karma Save. They also offer home loans.
Thanks to its partnership with MVB Bank, Inc., Credit Karma Money can offer security and deposit protection for all its customers up to $5 million.
What Does Credit Karma Spend Account Offer?
The Credit Karma Spend account operates like a regular checking account. You can deposit your paycheck and use your Credit Karma Visa debit card to pay for everyday purchases and services.
There is no facility to earn a fixed cashback rate when using a Credit Karma Visa debit card, but they offer a purchase reimbursement, although the recipients are chosen at random.
The Credit Karma Spend account is free, and you can access 55,000 Allpoint ATMs with unlimited free withdrawals. Allpoint ATMs are often located in convenient locations such as close to Target, CVS and Walgreens stores.
You can use this account for electronic payments and move money from your Credit Karma Save account to your Spend account.
One of Karma Credit Spend account’s selling points is that it is 100% free and involves no fees. It is free to open and involves no regular charges on the account.
There is no minimum balance requirement either, so you can open and maintain an account with low deposits.
There are no overdraft fees and no charges for using any Allpoint ATMs. However, other ATM operators may charge for using their services.
However, this fee would come from the third-party ATM company, not Credit Karma Money.
The account does not attract maintenance charges or annual or inactivity fees. It is as close as you will find to a fee-free checking account.
Security is one of Credit Karma’s strongest features. The funds in your Spend account are protected and insured by FDIC up to $5 million.
You can also lock your debit card instantly to protect it if you have lost it or had it stolen. It is also possible to dispute a transaction in the Credit Karma app.
Credit Karma Money Products
Since its inception Credit Karma Money has been introducing new products to its portfolio. As well as the Spend account, there is also the Credit Karma Save account and the Home Loan, to name just a few.
Credit Karma Spend Account
The Credit Karma Spend account is like a traditional checking account except that it is operated online for the most part. It is free to open, and no fees or charges are attached to this account.
One attraction for people with the Credit Karma Spend account is that when you deposit your paycheck electronically into the account, you can access the funds two days earlier than you normally would be able to.
You can use a Credit Karma Visa debit card on this account, and with it, you can get a cash reimbursement for purchases made with the card.
These reimbursements are randomly chosen, so this is a nice little fun incentive but not a huge motivation.
Credit Karma Save Account
As you may have guessed, the Credit Karma Save account is a savings account. You can deposit as little as $1 into this account, but more likely, you will set up a scheduled deposit from your Spend account on a monthly basis.
There are no fees associated with this account, no matter how much or how little you have in it. Like the Spend account, the Save account is simple to operate from the Credit Karma app on your phone or computer.
Other Financial Products
Credit Karma money offers a host of financial products, including credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, and home insurance.
In keeping with their origins, they also offer free credit reports, scores, monitoring, and information and advice about credit management.
Through their site, they also offer financial calculators and podcasts, and personal finance articles.
Charges & Fees
The Credit Karma Spend account is free and has no applicable fees, so you will pay nothing for maintenance, overdrafts, or account inactivity.
So the operation of the account will not cost anything, and there is no minimum balance requirement.
No monthly or annual fees are payable, and there is no minimum deposit or opening amount.
When you open a Credit Karma Spend account, your money will be deposited into an account at MVB Bank, Inc. and its associated deposit network.
This bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, and as such, your money is protected and secure.
The fee-free theme continues when it comes to withdrawals which incur zero fees. You will be able to withdraw money free of charge from over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.
While the Credit Karma debit card can be used in other ATMs, these will incur a fee.
If this happens, it will show up on your transactions, but this charge is not applied by Credit Karma but by the third-party ATM company.
Fast Paycheck Access
One of the strongest selling points for the Credit Karma Spend account is that when your paycheck is deposited into the account, you will be able to access it a full two days earlier than normal.
This also applies to other direct deposits.
Using Your Credit Karma Visa Debit Card Abroad
For using your account abroad or for transactions in foreign currencies, you will be charged a 1% fee on the total purchase for each transaction.
However, this charge is applied by Visa and not by Credit Karma.
As we have seen, there are many benefits to opening a Credit Karma Spend account but also some disadvantages. We’ll list the pros and cons of this account below.
Pros Of The Credit Karma Spend Account
These are the advantages of a Credit Karma Spend account:
- No monthly fees
- Minimum opening balance
- No minimum deposit amount
- No overdraft fees
- Access your paycheck or other direct deposits two days earlier
- Access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
- Chance to get purchase reimbursements
- FDIC-insured funds protected up to $5 million
- Instantly lock your debit card if lost or stolen
- Use the account for electronic payments
Cons Of The Credit Karma Spend Account
The following are some of the disadvantages of the Credit Karma Spend account.
- No physical locations
- Joint accounts not provided
- Cannot deposit cash
- No option to overdraw
- Fees charged by out-of-network ATMs are not reimbursed
- No option for depositing paper checks
- Cannot deposit foreign currency
As no-fee checking accounts go, Credit Karma Spend is a good option with no charges on any of its services. This means that there are no fees on anything, including account maintenance, overdrafts, inactivity, or ATM withdrawals.
Coupled with no minimum opening deposit, this is an attractive option for those who want a basic checking account.
You can also withdraw cash at 55,000 Allpoint ATMs with a Credit Karma visa debit card. Unfortunately, there is no option for making cash deposits.
Similarly, you cannot deposit paper checks or foreign currency. While the latter may never be an issue, the former is a disadvantage for anyone who regularly uses this service.
The strongest pros for this account after the absence of fees is the access to direct deposits two days earlier than would normally be the case.
Some people may dislike the lack of physical locations, but the trend for online-only banking means that Credit Karma Spend is following this move towards virtual banking.
Overall this is a good basic checking account for those who are happy to operate their bank accounts virtually.
Credit Karma Spend account is one of many online-only accounts that make virtual banking the norm.
For this reason, it is suitable for those who are comfortable using technology but may not be good for anyone who prefers physical banks and face-to-face banking.
We hope you have found this review of the Credit Karma Spend account helpful.