We wrote about the NorthOne business account last year as Swagbucks briefly offered $300 for opening an account and depositing at least $50. Then they offered $25 around small business Saturday for making a single debit card purchase. Since the account has a $10 monthly fee that is not waivable, I assume that most readers closed their accounts. In my case, it took them a couple of months before they first charged a fee. Then, when I chatted with support to cancel in January, they offered me two months fee-free so I accepted in case they ran another easy-money deal — and voila! Today I got an email telling me that they would pay me $50 to update my account details by 11:59 EST on February 14th (note: not clear whether that’s AM or PM), so I gladly took them up on another fifty bucks by updating my account info today. If you still have an account with them, be on the lookout for the email.
Anyone with a NorthOne account has been bombarded with emails as of late to update account information — they even began sending text messages over the past few days. After a little research, I came to the conclusion that NorthOne must be changing its backing bank. Many of these modern banking-like apps (NorthOne, SoFi, Aspiration, Betterment, Chime, etc) are not banks themselves but rather an interface. Your money is (at least hopefully) swept into an actual bank account each day. NorthOne had been using Radius Bank (the same institution that is on the back end of the Brex Cash account).
Indeed when clicking through to update details (which entailed providing them with estimates as to how much my business does in revenue, how many times each month I deposit or write checks and other similar info that banks tend to collect about your intended use of the account), there was a new agreement to accept. A link titled “what happens if you do not accept” brought up this message:
Your current NorthOne account and debit card will stop working on March 2, 2021. This date may change based on logistical timelines. NorthOne will provide you with adequately advanced notice in case of any changes to this date. Ensure that you closely monitor your email for any updates.
You will be responsible for arranging continued access to the funds on deposit in your existing account directly with Radius Bank, including the issuance of a new debit card.
We cannot provide you with any assurance that Radius Bank will be willing to continue to maintain your existing account once we move to our new platform or what the terms of any account you retain with Radius Bank will be, including the fees that may apply to any services offered in connection with the account, whether you will be issued a new debit card or the extent of bill pay and other services that you will continue to be able to access.
In other words, if you don’t accept the account through NorthOne’s new institution, you’d be on your own to work out keeping your account with Radius Bank (NorthOne presumably needs your permission to move your money to its new partner bank).
The NorthOne website now says this at the bottom:
Banking Services provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A, Member FDIC. The NorthOne MasterCard Business Debit Card is issued by LendingClub Bank, N.A pursuant to a license from MasterCard U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere MasterCard Debit Cards are accepted.
I figured that LendingClub must be the new backing bank as my debit card says it is issued by Radius Bank. However, the updated agreement names Bancorp as the new bank in the terms in sentences like these in the new agreement:
….“Bank” means The Bancorp Bank…..
That said, the new agreement makes it clear that can change at any time.
NorthOne reserves the right to modify or change these Terms, including NorthOne’s partnering financial institution that acts as the Bank, at any time without prior notice to you. If NorthOne modifies or changes these Terms of Service, it will also revise the “Last Updated Date” at the top of the page. NorthOne may also send you an email to the email address you provided to us with additional information and any action that you may need to take to continue using the Services, including agreeing to the terms of the designated Bank. You may contact NorthOne at any time to request information about the Bank by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you have provided us with the most up-to-date email address.
I was fine with them moving my account over in exchange for another $50. I’ve already gotten $325 from them between the Swagbucks new account bonus and the small business bonus (I added $1 to my Cash App card to trigger that $25 bonus). I did get hit with one $10 fee before asking to cancel, so I was up $315. I’ll gladly take another $50 with no requirement (especially since my current account balance is $0 :-). Pizza is on NorthOne next weekend! (Note that it says the $50 bonus will post in 3-5 business days, so given that Monday is a holiday it might not post before next weekend. That’s OK, I’ll get pizza anyway.)
Note that NorthOne is not good at removing you from their email system. My wife had also opened an account for the $300 Swagbucks bonus back in November. When we asked to close her account last month, they only offered her one free month to stay (no idea why I got 2 free months and she was offered only 1 free month apart from speaking to a different rep – no difference in our accounts otherwise). I wish we had taken them up on that free month after all, but she had asked to close her account. She still got the incessant emails from NorthOne asking her to update her account details. She even got the $50 email above, so she tried to log in to her account in case they had actually failed to close it. Unfortunately, it seems it was closed as her login didn’t work. She tried resetting her password and that worked, but when she subsequently went to log in using the new password it said she was locked out. It seems they did indeed close the account as per her request. Bummer, but also good that they closed it when they said they would.
Anyway, if you opened the NorthOne account and like me had dragged your feet on closing the account, congratulations – procrastination has paid off yet again this week (it previously paid off when the Rakuten/Betterment deal increased yesterday). Just be sure to update your details by 11:59 ET on 2/14. Again, it isn’t clear whether that is AM or PM because the fine print only says 11:59, so I’d get it done before noon Eastern on Sunday just to be safe.