Cheese is a digital banking platform that are in support of Asian Americans and immigrants. Their various products offer some great rates but one of the most notable ones are their checking accounts that pay interest, gives cash back rewards, and lets you get your paychecks early. Additionally, they allow you to donate your sign-up bonus and earned cash back to Asian American nonprofits.
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Table of Contents
Should You Bank With Cheese?
|You’ll Like It If…||You Won’t Like It If…|
|Are comfortable banking digitally||Don’t want to bank digitally|
|Are an immigrant who doesn’t qualify to open accounts elsewhere||Are looking for a company that also offers a savings account|
|Are Asian American or want to support Asian American communities||Would like the option to overdraw funds|
|Want to earn cash back|
|Are looking for an interest checking account|
|Want to receive your paycheck up to two days early|
- No minimum opening deposit
- No monthly service fees
- Earn interest
- Earn higher interest for 30 days when you refer a friend
- Earn cash back
- Receive your paycheck up to 2 days early
- No overdraft fees
- No out-of-network ATM fees
- Bilingual customer support (English and Mandarin)
- No option to overdraw funds
- Doesn’t reimburse fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers
- Interest compounded monthly, not daily
How Cheese Works
As mentioned, Cheese is an online banking platform with a checking account that is geared towards immigrants and Asian Americans.
You’ll receive a $5 sign-up bonus. You’ll also earn 0.25% cash back on all purchases and up to 10% at certain retailers, including Asian-owned businesses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Texas. You may choose to keep your sign-up bonus and cash back, or donate it to one of Cheese’s four partner nonprofits that benefit Asian American communities. Here are the current partners:
- Asian Pacific Fund: Provides grants and scholarships to Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents in San Francisco
- Welcome to Chinatown: Supports businesses in New York City’s Chinatown, especially ones that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic
- AAPI Women Lead: Supports AAPI women facing racism and sexism
- Southwestern Chinese Students and Scholars Association: Provides scholarships to international students
Cheese themselves have pledged to donate up to $100,000 to these nonprofits. With Cheese, you will have free access to over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the US. They don’t charge you for using a non-MoneyPass ATM, but any out of network ATM provider may. On top of these great benefits, they don’t charge overdraft fees. If a purchase were to be overdrawn, Cheese will just deny the transaction.
To contact customer support, fill out an online form and someone will get back to you within 24 hours. Customer service is available in both English and Mandarin. Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 through Cheese’s partner bank, Coastal Community Bank. Many features are expected to be added in the future such as live chat, customer support in more languages, and an overdraft line of credit.
Is Cheese Trustworthy?
Cheese is partnered up with Coastal Community Bank. On that note, the Better Business Bureau has not given Coastal Community a trustworthiness score yet, because it claims not to have enough information to give a fair rating.
On the other hand, Coastal Community Bank has not had any recent public scandals, so it is up to you to decide whether or not you’re comfortable keeping your money with cheese.
All in all, Cheese offers a great rewards checking account that is designed for ease of use for immigrants, Asian Americans, and people who want to the support the Asian American communities. Some stand out features include no SSN required to open an account, no fees, a cash back debit card and more. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank account promotions!
(Visit the link above to learn more)