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Axos Bank Review – Full-Service Online Banking

At a Glance
Bank Of Internet Logo
4.3 / 5
Rating

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Axos Bank

  • Accounts: Rewards Checking, Platinum Checking, CashBack Checking, Essential Checking, Golden Checking, First Checking, Second Chance Checking; High-Yield Savings, Second Chance Checking, High-Yield Money Market; CDs; IRA options for savings and CDs; Various credit products, including mortgages, unsecured personal loans, and auto refinance loans
  • Bonuses: Up to 1% cash back on CashBack Checking transactions
  • Monthly Maintenance Fees: None
  • Minimum Deposit Requirements: $0 to $1,000, depending on the account type
  • Benefits: Full mobile banking functionality, ATM fee reimbursement, free check-writing on select accounts, free money management tools

Axos Bank is an online-only bank that offers a variety of deposit accounts and credit products for consumers and businesses. As is usually the case for U.S.-based deposit institutions, funds held in Axos’s checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts are covered by FDIC insurance, up to $250,000 per account.

Formerly known as Bank of Internet USA, Axos Bank has a number of notable features, including an attractive Rewards Checking Account that can yield up to 1.25% and a full suite of business banking resources, which often aren’t available at consumer-facing online banks. A half-dozen other day-to-day money management options, plus three distinct savings accounts and CDs with terms ranging from three to 60 months, round out the deposit account selection here.

Axos also offers real estate loans, including purchase loans, refinancing loans, home equity lines of credit, and multifamily mortgages (which are ideal for landlords); unsecured personal loans; and auto refinancing loans.

Taken together, all these accounts and credit options make Axos a plausible one-stop shop for your banking and borrowing needs. If you’re not willing to put all your eggs in Axos’ basket, your best bet is probably to use it solely for day-to-day banking — when used on a more or less daily basis, Rewards Checking is one of the better online checking accounts available.

Key Features

Let’s take a closer look at Axos Bank’s accounts and key features.

Rewards Checking

Rewards Checking is Axos Bank’s signature deposit account. It requires a $50 minimum deposit to open, with no minimum balance thereafter, and doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee.

Though Rewards Checking doesn’t automatically pay interest, it does come with a tiered yield system. Taking certain actions in a given statement period boosts your account’s APY by 0.4166% per action for the duration of that period, up to a maximum possible yield of 1.25% on balances less than $150,000. The three actions that can accomplish this are:

  • Receiving direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 per month
  • Using your debit card for at least 10 purchases (minimum $3 per purchase)
  • Using your debit card for at least 15 purchases (minimum $3 per purchase)

Note that using your debit card 15 or more times per month automatically boosts your yield to 0.8333% for that month, since you’d necessarily have met the 10-transaction threshold.

If you opt into Axos Bank’s overdraft protection plan, you never pay a fee when you overdraft on your Rewards Checking account. There’s no overdraft fee or ATM withdrawal fee, either. Online billpay is free.

Cashback Checking

The Cashback Checking account earns a baseline of 0.5% cash back on all debit card transactions. If you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500, all debit card transactions earn 1% cash back, up to a maximum of $2,000 cash back per month. Accrued cash back is deposited into your Cashback Checking account on your monthly statement cycle date.

This account does not have a balance requirement, nor does it charge a monthly maintenance fee. It also boasts unlimited check-writing privileges and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. The minimum deposit is $50.

Essential Checking

The Essential Checking account doesn’t have a rewards program, but its lack of monthly maintenance fees, domestic ATM fees (unlimited reimbursement), and NSF fees is compelling for budget-conscious depositors.

Golden Checking

The Golden Checking account is designed for depositors aged 55 and older. It has no monthly maintenance fee, but it does charge NSF and overdraft fees. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you’ll get a free order of 50 checks every 6 months, plus ATM fee reimbursements up to $8 per month. The minimum opening deposit is $50, and the ongoing yield is 0.20% APY on all balances.

First Checking

As the name suggests, this product is marketed as an entry-level checking account for teens new to the wide world of money management. Structured as a joint account with an adult parent or guardian serving as custodian, it has no monthly maintenance fees. The yield is 0.25% APY on all balances, and the minimum opening deposit is $50.

Daily transaction limits are $100 for cash withdrawals and $500 for all transactions. There are no overdraft or NSF fees, and ATM fees are reimbursed up to $12 per month. All accounts come with a free debit card.

Second Chance Checking

Axos pitches Second Chance Checking as an alternative to reloadable prepaid debit cards. It’s a rare Axos account with a monthly maintenance fee: $6.95 with a regularly scheduled direct deposit; $8.95 without. The minimum opening deposit is $50. Transactions are limited as follows:

  • Cash withdrawal from an ATM: $310
  • Point of sale transaction: $500

Second Chance Checking balances don’t earn interest. Overdraft protection is available for a fee that’s subject to change at Axos’ discretion.

High-Yield Savings

This account yields 1.30% APY on all balances, requires a minimum deposit of $250 (though no minimum balance thereafter), and never charges a monthly maintenance fee. You can request a free ATM card, though Axos doesn’t reimburse ATM withdrawals from your savings account. By law, you’re limited to 6 withdrawals per statement cycle, with each withdrawal above the limit incurring a $10 fee.

Second Chance Savings

This is an entry-level savings account that can be opened in tandem with Second Chance Checking. The minimum opening deposit is $50, but there’s no ongoing balance requirement. The same daily transaction limits apply — $310 for ATM withdrawals and $500 for point of sale transactions.

High-Yield Money Market

Axos Bank’s High-Yield Money Market account yields 1.05% APY on all balances. The minimum opening deposit is $1,000, but there’s no ongoing balance requirement or monthly maintenance fees.

High-Yield Money market comes with a free Visa debit card, 50 free personal checks, and free billpay – but, as with other savings-type accounts, account holders are not permitted to make more than 6 withdrawals per month. Each withdrawal above the 6-per-month limit incurs a $10 fee.

Multiple CDs

Axos Bank offers CDs with terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years (60 months). All require a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. Yields range from 0.55% APY on the three-month CD to 2.25% APY on the 60-month CD, rising proportionately with term. Early withdrawal penalties range from 45 days’ interest for the 3-month CD, to 24 months’ interest for CDs with terms longer than 48 months.

Business Banking Accounts

Axos Bank offers a full lineup of business deposit accounts, including several different checking accounts, a money market account, multiple CDs, and CDARS (Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service, a special product that provides account holders with FDIC insurance on balances up to $50 million). Rates on interest-bearing accounts are customized based on deposit amounts and the business’s needs – you have to call or email Axos Bank’s sales team for a quote.

Savings and CD IRA Options

Axos offers special savings accounts and CDs that can be structured as either Roth or traditional IRAs.

The savings account yields 0.15% APY on all balances up to $1,000 and 0.70% APY on balances above that threshold. A $250 minimum opening deposit is required here.

IRA CDs are available with terms of 12 months (0.60% APY), 18 months (0.70% APY), or 36 months (0.75% APY), all of which require a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.

Personal Loans

Axos offers unsecured personal loans that generally fund within two days. Terms range from 12 months to 60 months; principal ranges from $5,000 to $35,000. There’s no prepayment penalty for loans paid off before maturity. Axos allows loans to be used for a range of purposes, including:

Mortgage and Refinancing Loans

Axos Bank offers several different types of real estate credit products, including purchase loans, refinancing loans, and home equity loans and lines of credit. Mortgage types include:

Loan APRs vary with prevailing interest rates, but they’re broadly competitive with the market.

Multifamily Mortgages

Axos offers mortgage loans for multifamily and mixed-use (residential and commercial in the same building) properties. Such loans are ideal if you’re a professional landlord or property manager looking to add to your portfolio. Loan amounts start as low as $250,000 and range up to $10 million or more.

Auto Loan Refinance

Axos offers auto loan refinance loans starting at 4.20% APR (subject to change with prevailing interest rates) for refinance amounts ranging from $10,000 to $90,000. There’s no payment due for 90 days from origination and no prepayment penalty. Auto loan refinance customers automatically qualify for a free checking account that earns up to 1.25% cash back on purchases.

Mobile and Desktop Check Deposit

Axos lets you deposit checks into consumer and business checking, savings, and money market accounts – though not CDs, as they don’t accept deposits once opened – from your mobile device or computer. To make deposits, you simply need to take a picture of the check and upload it through Axos Bank’s secure platform.

Mobile App

Axos Bank has Android- and iOS-compatible mobile apps that include all important online banking capabilities and most of the functionality of the company’s desktop website. If you plan on doing much banking from a mobile device, be sure to download the app, as Axos Bank’s parent site isn’t particularly mobile-friendly.

Customer Support

Axos has a detailed FAQ section, an email support account (which typically produces prompt responses), and live 24/7 phone support for personal banking clients. Phone wait times are usually minimal, though mid-days and late afternoons can be busier.

Advantages

Here’s why you might want to open an account with Axos Bank

1. Rewards Checking Is a Great Primary Checking Account Option
Rewards Checking has a lot going for it: no minimum balance or maintenance fee, potential yields of 1.25% APY, and no overdraft fees. With so many perks, it’s definitely a great primary checking account option. While there are plenty of other checking accounts with attractive yields, including at Ally Bank, TIAA Bank, and Capital One 360, none of them offer all these features in the same account.

2. Solid Mobile Functionality and Convenience
Between a mobile app that can handle virtually all banking functions and a mobile check deposit feature that makes it easy to deposit physical checks on the go, Axos has an above-average mobile experience. Contrast its functionality with BankDirect’s, which doesn’t even have a mobile app, or FNBO Direct, which doesn’t offer mobile check deposit.

3. Comprehensive Options for Business Customers
If you own a small or medium-sized business, or are responsible for your employer’s banking decisions, Axos is definitely worth a close look. has multiple checking account, CD, and CDARS options, as well as a money market account. Many other consumer-facing online banks, including FNBO Direct, don’t have anything to offer businesses.

4. Excellent Options for Real Estate Borrowers
Axos also has a full suite of real estate financing options. Whether you’re buying a fixer-upper house or refinancing your primary residence, or are investing in a rental property, Axos Bank’s Apartment Bank affiliate can probably help. Even some popular online banks, such as Ally Bank, don’t offer mortgage loans.

5. Solid Returns on CashBack Checking
Axos Bank’s CashBack Checking account offers solid returns on spending: 0.5% back on eligible purchases when your balance is below $1,500, and 1% back on eligible purchases when your balance exceeds $1,500. The latter rate is industry standard in the cash back credit card realm, sans the underwriting requirements.

6. Second Chance Accounts Are Great for Unbanked Applicants
Axos Bank’s Second Chance Checking and Savings accounts are great for previously unbanked customers who’d otherwise turn to high-fee prepaid debit cards — or, worse, payday loans.

Disadvantages

These disadvantages might give you pause.

1. Mediocre Yields on IRA CDs
While they’re not the worst in the business, Axos’ IRA CDs don’t have eye-popping yields – 0.60% APY to 0.75% APY, depending on term. Many of the bank’s competitors significantly outdo it in this regard. For example, Ally Bank and Synchrony Bank both offer IRA CDs with similar term lengths and yields anywhere from 0.50% to more than 1% better than Axos Bank’s.

2. Savings Account Yields Could Be Better
Axos Bank’s savings account yields 1.30% APY, which isn’t terrible. However, it doesn’t stack up to similarly flexible accounts such as Ally’s High-Yield Savings Account, which doesn’t require a minimum balance or a maintenance fee and has far higher yields.

Final Word

Slogging through dozens of account disclosures and rate charts in search of the ideal checking account is not my idea of a good time. While I’m not sure I’ll ever find perfect consumer checking, Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking account definitely has me rethinking my current banking arrangement.

If you’re willing to invest the time, energy, and money necessary to manage a presence with multiple banks, Rewards Checking should be a top contender – even if you choose to keep your savings elsewhere. When it comes to online banking, no one says you can’t play the field.

Do you have an Axos Bank account?

Verdict
Bank Of Internet Logo
4.3 / 5
Rating

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Axos Bank

Axos Bank’s standout product is definitely Rewards Checking, a superior primary checking account choice for anyone who’s interested in earning high checking yields, pocketing cash back rewards, and avoiding overdraft fees. With a full suite of business and real estate options, not to mention value-added perks like personal finance software and free money transfers, Axos is a legitimate one-stop banking shop.

That said, mediocre rates on savings and CDs may drive yield-seeking savers to greener pastures.

If used to its full potential, Rewards Checking is excellent. Business accounts, real estate loans, and personal finance software help too. Iffy yields on some key accounts hurt.

Overall, Axos Bank is among the most comprehensive and consumer-friendly online banks operating today.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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