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Years ago, finding a bank meant heading downtown and choosing from whichever options were available there. Depending on where you lived, you might be able to find a handful of community banks and credit unions with physical branches in your city, county, or region. You might also have had access to larger institutions with outposts across a broader geographical area, but your choice would still be limited to banks with branches near where you lived or worked.
The Internet dramatically lessened the importance of physical branches and made it possible to bank from anywhere, at any time. Virtually all banks with physical locations have online portals – but a growing number now do the bulk of their business online. Some have ties to community banks and may have physical branches in select regions. Others exist only in the digital realm and have no physical branches.
What follows is a list of the best online banks on the market today.
Best Online Banks
Unless otherwise noted, online banks’ free checking, savings, CD, and money market accounts come with FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per account. These accounts may also feature higher yields relative to those of traditional banks.
Savings and money market account withdrawals are limited to six per statement cycle by federal law, with possible penalties or account closures for depositors who exceed the limit.
And, for the most part, all CDs described below come with early withdrawal penalties equivalent to as little as one month’s interest on shorter-term CDs, to 24 months of interest on very long-term CDs.
Rates, yields, and fees are subject to change at banks’ sole discretion. For up-to-date information about specific accounts and bank policies, check their websites or call customer service.
If you’d like to explore your online banking options, start here.
Comprehensive Lineup of Deposit Accounts
BBVA is a full-service bank with an impressive lineup of deposit accounts and credit products for individuals and businesses. What follows is a general overview of BBVA’s top online options for checking, savings, and credit customers. Before you apply, check that products are available in your geographical area.
BBVA offers multiple checking, savings, and CD options.
- Free Checking: This is a no-frills option with no monthly Service Charge. Enjoy ATM fee waivers at BBVA ATMs.
- Online Checking: This is the ideal option – also with no monthly Service Charge – for customers not located near BBVA branches. Enjoy no ATM fees at more than 64,000 BBVA USA ATMs and participating non-bank ATMs.
- Online Savings: Earn interest on your entire savings account balance and open with a low minimum deposit of $25. There’s no quarterly service charge.
- Money Market Account: Earn a competitive tiered interest rate on balances; the more you deposit, the more you earn. Easily access your money in person or online.
- CDs: BBVA offers a range of CD options, all with a $500 minimum opening deposit. Choose from 12- to 36-month terms at competitive interest rates.
Other Products & Services
Other BBVA products and services worth noting include the following.
- Credit Cards: BBVA offers several rewards credit cards, including no-annual-fee cards.
- Personal Loans: BBVA offers unsecured personal loans for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation and home improvement.
- Home Loans: BBVA’s home loans vertical includes conventional and specialty purchase loans, refinance loans, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit.
- Auto Loans: BBVA offers competitively priced auto loans for new and used car buyers seeking alternatives to dealer financing.
- Investing: BBVA’s investment management services appeal to investors who prefer hands-on relationships with their financial advisors.
Innovative Cash Management Account With Awesome Perks
Aspiration is a financial firm with a conscience. Its Save Account earns up to 1.00% APY* on balances up to and including $10,000 when you upgrade to Aspiration Plus — a steal at $15 per month or $150 per year when paid annually. And, when you open a new Spend & Save Account and make at least $1,000 in cumulative debit card transactions within the first 60 days, you could earn a $100 bonus. Terms apply.
Aspiration offers an innovative cash management account known as the Aspiration Spend & Save Account. Spend & Save Account deposits are always fossil fuel-free, meaning they won’t go to fund oil pipelines or drilling. And they’re FDIC-insured up to $2 million per depositor when swept to FDIC member institutions (for details on FDIC insurance with Aspiration, see Aspiration’s FAQ and visit the FDIC’s website).
Upgrade to Aspiration Plus ($7 per month or $69 per year when paid annually) to earn up to 1.00% APY on Aspiration Save balances up to and including $10,000 and enjoy up to 10% cash back at Conscience Coalition merchants — double the maximum 5% cash back rate for regular Aspiration customers. Otherwise, you choose your account maintenance fee, even if it’s zero. All Aspiration customers enjoy free ATM withdrawals at more than 55,000 Allpoint Network machines.
* The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) associated with the Aspiration Spend & Save Account is available only to customers enrolled in Aspiration Plus. APY is variable and accurate as of May 27, 2020. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice. To earn 1.00% APY interest on Aspiration Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00 in any calendar month, customer must be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and spend $1,000 or more, monthly, with their Aspiration debit card. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.10% APY. If the requirements are not met each month, the APY will be 0.25% on Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.10% APY. Minimum deposit required to open an Aspiration Save Account is $10.00. Enrollment fee and Pay What Is Fair fees debited directly from the Aspiration Save Account could reduce earnings. Customers not enrolled in Aspiration Plus will not earn interest. For more information, click here
3. CIT Bank
Great Rates on CDs and Savings Accounts
Founded as Commercial Investment Trust Bank, CIT Bank primarily caters to savers. An unusually broad range of custodial account and retirement account options make CIT attractive for long-term clients and multi-generational families.
CIT Bank offers just two types of deposit accounts. You can structure both as traditional or Roth IRAs, and can also roll over funds from outside IRAs, 401(k)s, 457 deferred compensation plans, and 403(b) plans.
- eChecking Account: This high-yield checking account offers very good yields on balances above $25,000 and solid yields on balances below $25,000. It requires a $100 minimum opening deposit but doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee and offers to reimburse other banks’ ATM fees up to $30 each month.
- Savings Connect: This account comes with a very good base yield on all balances and an excellent upper tier yield in any month that finds you completing a simple qualifying activity: making a qualifying electronic deposit (payment) of at least $200 into a linked eChecking account.
- Savings Builder: This account has an even better yield, though the best returns are reserved for the highest balances. The catch: to achieve that yield, you must maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 or set up and maintain a $100 recurring monthly deposit. The minimum opening deposit is $100.
- Money Market Account: This account also requires a minimum opening deposit of $100 and boasts no monthly service fees. Its yield is very competitive up and down the balance scale.
- Term CDs: CIT Bank’s Term CD terms range from six months to five years. Yields are above average, if not spectacular, and rise in proportion to term length. There’s a minimum opening deposit of $1,000, regardless of term. Early withdrawal penalties are 90 days’ interest for terms less than 12 months, 180 days’ interest for terms between 12 and 36 months, and 360 days’ interest for terms longer than 36 months.
- Jumbo CDs: Terms range from two years to five years with yields slightly above those for the corresponding Term CD. The minimum opening deposit is $100,000. Early withdrawal penalties apply.
- No Penalty CD: This 11-month product has no penalties for early withdrawal and boasts a surprisingly high yield.
- Custodial Accounts: Under the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act, CIT Bank offers tax-efficient custodial accounts for minor children. You control the account until the child reaches age 21. Savings, money market, and CD accounts are eligible.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: CIT Bank offers a full range of home loans, including fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, cash-out refinance loans, jumbo mortgages, and specialty loans designed for borrowers who wish to minimize their down payments.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: CIT Bank doesn’t have a brokerage or investment product access.
- Additional Perks and Services: CIT has a fully functional mobile app. Certain accounts qualify for real-time transfers via PeoplePay. To maximize your CD interest earnings, consider setting up CD ladders.
Read our CIT Bank review to learn more.
High Yield Savings Account and CDs
Ask any random person on the street what they know about American Express and chances are pretty good they’ll mention Amex’s premium credit cards right off the bat. What most don’t know is that Amex runs a savings bank (American Express National Bank, member FDIC). American Express National Bank features high yield savings accounts and CDs.
American Express National Bank is not ideal for day-to-day banking, but its savings products are definitely worthy of close consideration.
- American Express High Yield Savings Account: This account has a solid yield on all balances. There are no maintenance fees, minimum opening deposits, or minimum balances.
- CDs: American Express National Bank has 7 CD options. Terms range from 6 months to 5 years. Yields are very good across the board, with excellent yields on the longest-term product. Early withdrawal penalties are 90 days’ interest for terms under 12 months, 270 days’ interest for terms between 12 and 48 months (4 years), 365 days’ interest for terms between 48 and 60 months (5 years), and 540 days’ interest for terms of 60 months or longer.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: American Express has an extensive lineup of personal credit products, including premium credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: American Express National Bank does not have an in-house brokerage.
- Additional Perks and Services: American Express National Bank has an all-but-seamless funds transfer option that lets you move money between up to three external bank accounts in short order.
Solid Cash Account Yields; Competitively Priced Investment Management
Wealthfront is a nextgen banking service that’s ideal for day-to-day money management needs and long-term investment strategies alike. The company offers best-in-class banking solutions that include its Cash Account which offers high-interest checking, no account fees, and a host of value-added features. You can open an account with just $1.
The Wealthfront Cash Account qualifies as one of the best checking accounts on the market right now. Key selling points include:
- 0.35% APY (variable) on all balances
- $1 minimum opening deposit
- No account fees
- No overdraft fees
- FDIC insurance on balances up to $1 million
- Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit
- Put your money to work in the market within minutes when you use your Cash Account to invest in a Wealthfront Investment Account
- Mobile check deposit
- Free bill pay and P2P transfers
- Complimentary debit card and free in-network ATM access
Other Products & Services
Wealthfront’s other products and services include:
- Investment Management. Wealthfront’s automated investment management solution constructs and periodically rebalances globally diversified portfolios comprised of low-cost index funds optimized with daily tax-loss harvesting. Wealthfront requires $500 minimum to invest and charges 0.25% AUM on all balances. Available account types include individual and joint taxable accounts, IRAs, and 529 college savings plan accounts. Wealthfront automatically monitors your accounts for excess cash and transfers extra balances to any of these account types, including the Cash Account.
- Portfolio Line of Credit. Wealthfront investors with at least $25,000 under management are automatically enrolled in Wealthfront’s Portfolio Line of Credit (PLOC). PLOC clients can draw up to 30% of account value, usually within 24 hours. Rates are variable but generally below prevailing rates for most home equity products.
- Financial Planning. Wealthfront offers a consolidated view of all of your financial accounts and free software-assisted financial planning tools for all users. No investment or cash account is required to link external bank, investment, loan, or alternative asset accounts.
Read our Wealthfront review to learn more.
6. Ally Bank
Great Customer Service; Attractive Deposit Account Yields; No minimums
Ally Bank is one of the United States’ oldest and most popular online banks. It evolved out of GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors, though auto loans are just one facet of its business today. Ally offers a full range of free checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as several types of CDs.
It also offers vehicle financing for purchase and lease transactions and boasts an investing arm called Ally Invest, which has options for DIY and hands-off investors. Read our Ally Invest review for more information.
Ally Bank administers a range of deposit accounts, none of which come with management fees, minimum deposits, or minimum balance amounts. You can structure any of these accounts as an irrevocable living trust.
- Interest Checking: This account has two interest tiers. Yields are modest on balances below $15,000, and good (for a checking account) on balances above $15,000. Ally Interest Checking comes with a Visa-branded debit card.
- High-Yield Savings: This account has a very high yield on all balances.
- High-Yield CDs (Traditional CDs): Ally’s traditional CD terms range from three months to five years. Yields vary widely, depending on term length and balance size. Early withdrawal penalties are 60 days’ interest for CDs with terms under 24 months, 90 days’ interest for terms between 24 and 36 months, 120 days’ interest for terms between 36 and 48 months, and 150 days’ interest for terms up to 60 months. Ally’s best rate guarantee ensures you always get the best available rate within a 10-day window of account opening.
- Raise Your Rate CDs: The two- and four-year Raise Your Rate CDs both start with excellent yields. With this product, Ally offers the option to bump up to a higher interest rate once (for the two-year) or twice (for the four-year) if interest rates for new CD customers rise. Early withdrawal penalties are identical to Ally’s traditional CDs. Ally’s best rate guarantee applies here as well.
- No Penalty CD: This 11-month CD yields slightly less than High-Yield CDs of comparable length. Yields vary by balance, with the best reserved for CDs with balances of $25,000 or greater. No Penalty CD holders may withdraw funds at any time without penalty. Ally’s best rate guarantee applies here too.
- IRA CDs: All CDs – including Raise Your Rate and traditional – are eligible for inclusion in a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA. All IRA CDs come with Ally’s best rate guarantee.
- Money Market Account: This product has moderate yields across all three tiers: sub-$5,000, $5,000 to $25,000, and $25,000 or greater. All money markets come with a Visa-branded debit card.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Ally Bank offers auto loans for individual car buyers, home loans (purchase and refinance) for homebuyers, and commercial financing services for businesses with annual revenues above $50 million. The bank routinely runs promotions for new borrowers, so check back often for new offers.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Ally Invest is a low-minimum online brokerage with DIY options for self-directed investors and managed portfolios for those who prefer hands-off service. The managed side charges no advisory fees, period, though component funds may charge expenses and other fees. Most self-directed stock and ETF trades are commission-free. Mutual fund, option, bond, and low-priced stock trades may incur commissions, but they’re generally competitive.
- Additional Perks and Services: Ally refunds any ATM fees charged by other banks, though not necessarily third-party ATM fees charged by private owners. Its customer service team is available by phone, live chat, and email 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. You can use your phone (as long as it has a camera) to deposit checks through Ally eCheck Deposit. You can sign up for free overdraft transfers from your funded savings account to prevent your checking account from going negative after a transaction. You can also opt into traditional overdraft protection for a moderate fee. And, using Zelle, you make free person-to-person transfers (either sending money or requesting it), regardless of whether that person has an Ally account. To add a payee or payor, you just enter their phone number in the Zelle window.
Read our Ally Bank review to learn more.
Earn Up to 7% Cash Back When You Buy eGift Cards in the App1; 1% APY2 paid quarterly on Savings Balances Up to $5,000
Go2bank is a low-friction online bank with a mobile-friendly bank account (No monthly fee with eligible direct deposit) and impressive yields on savings (1% APY2 on savings up to $5,000). Eligible electronic gift card purchases in the app earn up to 7% cash back; Amazon eGift Card purchases in the app earn 3% cash back. Terms and conditions apply.
Go2Bank offers two great features for managing your money:
- Deposit account. There’s no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirement, and you can avoid the $5 monthly fee with an eligible direct deposit. Plus, get paid up to two days early with ASAP Direct DepositTM 3, deposit cash at participating retail stores (subject to fees and deposit limits), and enjoy up to $200 in overdraft protection with opt-in and eligible direct deposit.*
- Savings. Earn 1% APY paid quarterly on savings up to $5,000 — over 10 times the national average savings rate2.
* $15 fee may apply to each purchase transaction not repaid within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdrafts your account. Overdrafts paid at our discretion.
1Active GO2bank account required to receive an eGift Card. eGift Card merchants subject to change.
2GO2bank, Member FDIC. Interest paid quarterly on the average daily balance of savings during the quarter up to a $5,000 balance and if the account is in good standing. 1% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of January 2021. APY may change before or after you open an account. The average national savings account interest rate of 0.05% is determined by the FDIC as of 12/14/20. Visit https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/ to learn more. Fees on your primary deposit account may reduce earnings on your savings account.
3Direct deposit early availability depends on the timing of the payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. The name and Social Security number on file with your employer or benefits provider must match your GO2bank account exactly or we will decline your deposit.
A Banking Solution Built for Teens
Copper is a banking solution for teens age 13 and older (and their parents too). It’s also a fantastic resource for financial literacy content — for parents and kids alike.
Copper Banking is built around the Copper Card, a personalized debit card that leverages Apple Pay technology to facilitate seamless online and in-person transactions. You can use the Copper debit card to shop everywhere and withdraw cash for free at over 55,000 ATMs. The Copper App allows you to monitor spending and instantly send money in seconds. Features like Automatic Saving teaches teens strong financial habits by automatically set aside a portion of the money they make for savings. Copper uses secure encryption and authentication to protect your account and all Copper Accounts are insured up to $250,000 through Evolve Bank & Trust.
9. Axos Bank
Tiered Yields and a Robust Purchase Rewards Program
Axos Bank is an online-only bank that offers deposit accounts (checking and savings) with potentially attractive interest rates, though you may have to jump through some hoops to earn them. It also offers a range of consumer loans.
Axos Bank offers several different deposit account options.
- Nationwide Account Options: Axos Bank offers a slew of Nationwide-branded checking and savings accounts in partnership with the Ohio-based insurance giant. Standouts include My Checking and Direct Checking, which don’t charge monthly maintenance fees (though Direct Checking requires recurring direct deposits to avoid maintenance fees), and My Savings, which delivers category-leading yields on all balances.
- Rewards Checking: Rewards Checking doesn’t have a base yield, but if you meet certain qualifications, such as using your debit card 15 times in a month, it has an annualized yield that’s very good for the interest checking category. This account has no monthly maintenance fee or balance requirements and comes with a Visa-branded debit card.
- CashBack Checking: This account has no yield, but you can earn up to 1.00% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases when you meet certain criteria. There’s no monthly maintenance fee, and you automatically qualify for unlimited check-writing privileges.
- Essential Checking: This account has no yield, monthly maintenance fee, or minimum balance requirement. It comes with a free debit card and unlimited ATM reimbursements, too.
- Specialty Checking Accounts: Axos Bank offers specialty accounts for older adults and minor children. Golden Checking, which has a modest yield on all balances, is reserved for depositors aged 55 and older. First Checking is a joint checking account (custodial) for parents and teens ages 13 to 17.
- Smart Savings: This account has a decent yield, though not spectacular, on all balances. It has no maintenance fees, minimum opening deposits, or minimum balances. A modified version of this savings account can be structured like a traditional or Roth IRA.
- Money Market Account: This account has a good yield on all balances. It has no minimum monthly balance requirements or deposits, nor a monthly maintenance fee. It also comes with a free debit card and unlimited check writing privileges.
- Traditional CDs: Axos Bank CDs have terms ranging from three months to five years and annual yields that vary widely, with longer-term CDs generally offering higher returns. Early withdrawal penalties are 45 days’ interest for terms between three and six months, 90 days’ interest for terms between six and 12 months, 180 days’ interest for terms between 12 and 24 months, 360 days’ interest for terms between 24 and 36 months, 18 months’ interest for terms between 36 and 48 months, and 24 months’ interest for terms above 48 months. Some Axos Bank CDs can be structured as IRAs.
Other Products & Services
- Conforming Home Loans: Axos offers fixed and adjustable-rate conforming loans for purchase and refinance transactions.
- Non-Conforming Home Loans: Axos offers nonconforming home loans above the conforming loan limit (approximately $510,000 in most markets).
- FHA Home Loans: Axos issues FHA home loans with low down payment options, low closing costs, and flexible credit qualification requirements — ideal for first-time buyers.
- VA Home Loans: Axos offers VA home loans for eligible active-duty and veteran borrowers and their families, featuring favorable terms and no down payment options.
- Jumbo and Super Jumbo Home Loans: Axos offers home loans well above the conforming limit for credit- and income-qualified borrowers.
- Home Equity Products: Qualifying borrowers can tap into their homes’ equity with Axos’ competitive home equity loans and lines of credit.
- Interest-Only Home Loans: Axos’ specialized home loan lineup includes interest-only loans that permit flexible principal repayment.
- Personal Loans: Axos Bank offers rapid-origination (two business days or less) personal loans with terms ranging from 12 to 60 months and principals ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 (subject to change).
- Auto Refinance Loans: Axos Bank issues auto loan refinance products to qualified applicants.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: There’s no brokerage or access to investment products at the moment, but Axos has a low-fee, low-minimum investment platform in the works.
- Additional Perks and Services: You can deposit checks remotely using the MyDeposit feature, which requires a smartphone with a camera. Axos Bank has a mobile bill pay feature as well as contactless payment options. And you get your paycheck two days early when you sign up for direct deposit.
To learn more, check out our Axos Bank review.
Totally Free Checking With Automatic Tax Savings and Financial Insights
Lili offers a totally free checking solution with a slew of value-added features designed to simplify your financial life. Its core product is built with freelancers in mind, but it’s appropriate for a range of use cases, from solopreneurs to folks who supplement 9-to-5 income with side hustle revenue.
With powerful, automated tax savings and expense categorization tools, Lili eliminates the need to juggle separate bank accounts for business and personal needs — it’s just one deposit account for your entire financial life.
The Lili Account is fee- and minimum-free: no minimum opening deposits or ongoing balance requirements and no account fees. It comes with a Visa debit card that’s accepted worldwide and boasts user-friendly features like:
- The Tax Bucket, a tool that automatically sets aside funds earmarked for income tax payments
- Expense management and categorization tools that simplify business budgeting, cash flow management, and year-end accounting
- Real-time alerts for every transaction (and other account activities too)
- Mobile check deposit through the Lili mobile app
- Remote cash deposit at more than 90,000 retail locations across the U.S., including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid
- Early direct deposit for account holders (up to 2 days early)
- Fee-free withdrawals at about 38,000 ATMs nationwide
Plus, get $25 for each friend you refer and a bonus of $1,000 when you deliver 10 successful referrals to Lili.
11. SoFi Money
Virtually No Fees; FDIC Insurance on Balances Up to $1.5 Million
SoFi Money is a cash management account with virtually no fees and unusually high FDIC insurance coverage on balances up to $1.5 million. It also features an excellent account opening bonus that’s among the best new bank promotions around.
SoFi Money has no minimum deposit or balance requirements. It also offers a slew of perks and benefits for account holders, including:
- Rate discounts on SoFi loans
- Free P2P transfers
- Customized financial planning
- Member-exclusive offers from SoFi partners
- A referral program that pays up to $310 per successful referral
But the real headline here is the excellent account opening bonus that’s worth up to $100. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for SoFi Money
- Earn a $25 account opening bonus when you open your account add $100
- Get another $75 bonus (terms apply) after you set up a direct deposit of at least $500 into your account
See SoFi Money’s account disclosures for more details on this account and possible fees.
Other Products and Services
Read our SoFi review for more information about SoFi Money and the rest of the SoFi lineup.
Category-Leading Savings Yields
Betterment started out as a next-generation wealth management platform for frugal investors content to forgo hands-on relationships with experienced financial advisors. These days, it’s more mature, with a range of investment services and packages up to and including unlimited access to Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals.
Betterment also has a generous, if not particularly diverse, banking arm. Its signature account, Betterment Cash Reserve, boasts a category-leading yield multiple times higher than the national big-bank average. A host of value-added tools promise a first-rate online banking experience too. Don’t miss the attractive account opening bonus opportunity either.
Betterment has two deposit account options:
- Betterment Cash Reserve (Cash Management): With virtually no fees, no limits on withdrawals (as opposed to the typical six-per-statement-cycle limit at most banks), and a category-leading yield, Betterment Cash Reserve is a no-brainer for savers looking to maximize FDIC-insured returns. Indeed, Everyday Savings is FDIC-insured for balances up to $1 million, far higher than the standard $250,000 limit.
- Betterment Checking: Betterment Checking has no monthly maintenance, overdraft, or ATM withdrawal fees. With standard FDIC insurance coverage on balances up to $250,000 and an eye-catching Betterment Visa Debit Card, Betterment Checking is a true everyday checking account without the whole branch experience. Betterment Checking has a potentially generous rewards program as well: Betterment Cash Back Rewards.
Other Products & Services
Betterment’s banking arm has some additional services worth noting, and its investment services remain legendary.
- Cash Analysis: This tool helps you determine whether you can afford to transfer extra cash in your checking account to a different type of account (such as Cash Reserve) where it will work harder for you. It also works in the other direction, helping you identify potential checking shortfalls.
- Two-Way Sweep: Use this feature to link your Betterment Checking account or external checking account to your Cash Reserve account and quickly move funds with no fees. Set a target checking balance, and if Cash Analysis flags a checking shortfall, Betterment automatically sweeps that amount from savings to checking. If you have a cash surplus in checking, Betterment sweeps in the other direction. Betterment alerts you before making a sweep, allowing you to cancel the transaction, and you can always change the target checking balance.
- Investing and Wealth Management Products and Services: Betterment offers a slew of products and services for investors, including advice packages that provide one-off access to CFP professionals and higher-end packages (such as Premium) that provide unlimited financial planning support.
13. Ponce Bank
Fantastic Savings Account Yield
Ponce Bank is the largest Latinx-owned minority depository institution east of the Mississippi. It’s also a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has served underbanked neighborhoods throughout the greater New York City area for more than six decades.
Though it’s not the biggest bank in the world, Ponce Bank has an excellent online account option: a high-yield savings account with very competitive terms and national coverage. Thanks to an extremely low minimum opening deposit (just $1), it’s a great tool for jumpstarting your savings too.
- High-Yield Savings Account: This account has a minimum opening deposit of just $1, 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on all balances, and no fees.
For product details and further information about Ponce Bank click here.
Very Good Savings Account Yield
Like Ponce Bank and Continental Bank, Central Bank of Kansas City is a community-focused institution that’s devoted to its hometown — in this case, Kansas City. The bank has invested in financially distressed communities for more than seven decades and has been a designated CDFI for more than three, supporting projects totaling more than $200 million in investments serving low-to-moderate income populations in the past 15 years alone.
Today, those outside the Kansas City region can take advantage of one of its best accounts ever: the Central Bank of Kansas City High-Yield Savings Account.
- High-Yield Savings Account: Open with just $1, earn 0.40% APY on all balances, and pay no account fees.
For product details and further information about Central Bank of Kansas City click here.
Great savings yields
Varo is a user-friendly financial platform with two core products: the Varo Bank Account checking account and the Varo Savings Account, which boasts one of the best yields on the market today.
Varo’s deposit account lineup isn’t as comprehensive as some competitors’, but it’s difficult to argue with its products’ quality.
- Varo Bank Account: The Varo Bank account is a user-friendly online checking account that pairs beautifully with the Varo Savings Account. There’s no minimum deposit or balance requirements and no monthly banking fees.
- Varo Savings Account: Open a Varo Savings Account and meet Varo’s three easy requirements to earn 2.80% Annual Percentage Yield* on balances up to $50,000 – one of the best online savings yields in the business. Otherwise, earn 0.40% APY. The three requirements are: Make at least five Varo Visa Debit Card purchases in each calendar month, receive total direct deposits of $1,000 or more in the same calendar month, and maintain a savings account balance up to $50,000.
Other Products & Services
Varo has some additional products and services worth mentioning:
- Early Payday: As long as your employer or government benefits provider files to the Federal Reserve to start the direct deposit process, you could be eligible to receive your funds up to 2 days early.^
- No Fee Overdraft: Get no-fee overdrafts up to $50 when you qualify for and enroll in No Fee Overdraft. Complete at least 5 Varo Visa® Debit Card purchases in each calendar month and receive at least $1,000 in total direct deposits into your account in the same calendar month to qualify.
* Varo APY is accurate as of January 12, 2021. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open an account. Balance in the savings account must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.
**The qualifying period begins the first calendar day of the month and ends at close of business on the last business day of the month.
^ Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the payer’s submission of deposits. Varo generally posts such deposits on the day they’re received, which may be up to two days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.
Bank Account Services provided by Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visa® Debit Card is issued by Varo Bank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
16. Radius Bank
Full-Service Bank With Excellent Yields
Radius Bank is a true one-stop banking shop, with everything from high-yield checking and savings accounts to student loans and business banking services. If you’re in the market for an online bank with all the trappings of a traditional player but none of the stuffiness or overhead costs, you could hardly do better.
Radius has a slew of checking, savings, and CD accounts. Its top deposit account options include:
- Rewards Checking: Radius Bank’s flagship checking account is Rewards Checking. Earn 1.5% cash back on debit card purchases in select spending categories and 1.00% cash back on all other eligible purchases during statement cycles when you maintain an average balance of $2,500 or more in your Rewards Checking account or receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,500 or more. This account has a modest yield, depending on your balance.
- Superhero Checking: Earn a modest yield on balances of $2,500 or more and feel good about donating 1.00% of your debit card purchases to March of Dimes, a leading kids’ charity.
- Essential Checking: Designed for Radius customers who don’t qualify for Rewards or Superhero Checking, this account is ideal for rebuilding credit. Though it carries a modest monthly service charge, you may be eligible to upgrade to a Rewards Checking account after logging 12 months of positive banking history.
- High-Yield Savings: Radius Bank’s High-Yield Savings account consistently offers one of the best savings yields in the United States. Better yet, there’s no monthly balance requirement after the $100 opening minimum and no monthly service fees.
- CDs: Radius Bank’s CD terms range from 3 months to 5 years. Opening minimums range from $500 to $1,000, depending on term. Yields are consistently above the U.S. average for all terms.
Other Products & Services
Radius Bank offers credit cards, personal loans, student loans, specialty loans (including boat loans), and a host of customer-friendly features and services that come in handy every day.
- Credit Cards: Radius offers a wide range of credit card options for consumers with average to excellent credit. The product mix here is subject to change, so check Radius’s website for the latest details.
- Personal Loans: Radius partners with Credible to deliver competitive personal term loans with principals ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Get prequalified rate offers from multiple lenders in minutes with no hidden fees.
- Student Loans: Credible also helps Radius deliver market-leading student loan and student loan refinancing offers from multiple lenders.
- Specialty Loans: Most online banks don’t bother with yacht loans. Radius does, much to the delight of the boating public.
- Marketplace Products: Radius has several third-party partnerships that stand to save its customers serious cash. Visit the Marketplace page to learn more about its arrangements with Lemonade, a property insurance disruptor; Ladder, a life insurance solution; and Billshark, an app that negotiates recurring bills lower.
- Business Banking: Radius offers small business and commercial checking, plus commercial lending and escrow services.
17. Bask Bank
Earn Miles on Deposits
Bask Bank offers a clever way for frequent travelers to outsmart low interest rates: a savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, not cash interest. These miles are redeemable for American Airlines award airfare and upgrades with American Airlines and its partners starting at 7,500 miles for short-haul economy one-ways, plus multiple non-airfare options (a full list is available on American Airlines’ website).
Bask Bank’s sole deposit account is the Bask savings account. Bask savings account customers earn 1 American Airlines AAdvantage® mile for every $1 on deposit with no minimum balance required, but it’s the Bask savings account’s numerous bonus opportunities that really shine for mileage-minded depositors.
Account Opening Bonus
Bask Bank savings account customers enjoy an impressive account opening bonus opportunity
How impressive? You’ll earn 1,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles when you deposit $5,000 in new money (not previously on deposit with Bask Bank or its affiliates) into your account within 30 days of opening your account, then maintain a $5,000 minimum balance in your account for at least 90 days within the first 120 days of opening your account.
For more information, read our Bask Bank review.
18. Capital One 360 (Capital One Bank)
Full Line of Deposit Products
Capital One Bank is the banking arm of Capital One Financial, which is probably best known for quirky, celebrity-studded credit card commercials. It has a full lineup of free checking, savings, and CD accounts, plus consumer and business credit products. Separately, Capital One backs a slew of premium cash-back and travel rewards credit cards, including popular options like Venture® from Capital One®.
Capital One Bank offers several deposit accounts, all of which can be structured as traditional, Roth, or SEP IRAs, and none of which come with management fees.
- 360 Checking: This account has solid yields on higher balances, with no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirement. It comes with a free debit card and a free first check order.
- 360 Savings: This account has a decent yield on all balances and has no minimum opening deposit or balance requirement. There’s no monthly maintenance fee. This account can be structured like a traditional or Roth IRA.
- 360 Money Market: This account has a moderate yield on balances below $10,000 and a fantastic yield on balances above $10,000. There’s no monthly maintenance fee, and you get a free debit card for your troubles.
- 360 CDs: Terms range from six months to five years. Yields range widely but are generally above-average across the term spectrum. You can choose whether to receive interest monthly, annually, or on a once-per-term basis. There’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement. Any CD can be structured as a revocable or irrevocable living trust. Early withdrawal penalties are three months’ interest for terms under 12 months and six months’ interest for terms over 12 months. Any 360 CD can be structured like a traditional or Roth IRA.
- Custodial Accounts: Capital One Bank has two custodial accounts for minors: MONEY Teen Checking and Kids’ Savings. Both bear resemblance to Capital One’s “adult” checking and savings accounts. MONEY Teen Checking has a modest yield on all balances and comes with a free debit card. Kids’ Savings has a decent yield on all balances.
- Business Accounts: Capital One Bank has a full lineup of business checking, savings, and investment accounts. If it’s available in your area, the business savings account has a modest yield on all balances. Business CD accounts have the same terms and yields as consumer CDs.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Capital One Bank offers auto loans for buyers of new and used cars, but no mortgages or other personal loans aside from its extensive credit card lineup. For business owners, there’s an extensive array of commercial financing products here.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Capital One Investing shuttered in 2018 and has yet to be replaced. Existing accounts migrated to E*TRADE, but Capital One has no ongoing relationship with that brokerage.
- Fee-Free ATM Withdrawals: Capital One Bank has a network of about 40,000 fee-free ATMs around the country.
- Mobile Check Deposit: You can remotely deposit checks using its free CheckMate app.
- Overdraft Protection Options: Capital One has several opt-in overdraft protection options. The cheapest is the free savings transfer option, which simply transfers funds from your savings account to cover a checking overdraft. The overdraft line of credit charges interest on overdraft balances until they’re repaid in full. The next-day grace option is a traditional arrangement that charges $35 per overdraft with a limit of four per day. You can also opt to do nothing, in which case Capital One simply declines transactions that would result in overdrafts.
For more information, check out our Capital One 360 review.
Automatic Savings Transfers; No Hidden Fees
Chime is another lightweight banking solution that puts customers front and center where they should be. Its biggest claim to fame is its “early payday” promise – direct deposit customers get paid two days earlier than depositors at most other banks (most often, Wednesday rather than Friday). Another big perk: no hidden fees.
Chime has two main account types. The Chime Visa Debit Card, the bank’s point-of-purchase spending aid, connects with the Spending Account. You’re under no obligation to sign up for a Chime Savings Account, though it’s a great place to park funds earmarked for longer-term goals.
- Spending Account (Checking Account): This a liquid account best used for day-to-day expenses and recurring bills. Use your Chime Visa Debit Card to make purchases with online and real-world merchants.
- Savings Account: This is an optional spending account where you can save for goals or hold funds you don’t need right away. As with all U.S. savings accounts, withdrawals are limited by law to six per statement cycle.
Other Products & Services
Like Simple, Chime is a lean banking solution without tons of superfluous features. But it has plenty of customer-friendly perks.
- Fee-Free ATM Withdrawals: Chime has about 38,000 fee-free ATM locations and over 30,000 cash-back locations.
- Account Alerts: Use daily balance alerts and transaction notifications to keep on top of your spending.
- Automatic Savings: Stash funds away each payday (or whenever you’re feeling flush) with Chime’s automatic savings feature, which lets you automatically transfer up to 10% of your paycheck to savings.
20. TIAA Bank
Checking Account Yield Always in Top 5% of U.S. Banks; Full Lineup of Investment Products
TIAA Bank has one of the most comprehensive product lines of any banks on this list. Its defining characteristic is its “yield pledge,” according to which it promises to keep certain checking, savings, and CD yields in the top 5% of all U.S. banks. TIAA Bank’s most compelling accounts have fairly high deposit minimums, but there’s plenty for frugal depositors here as well.
TIAA Bank offers a range of deposit accounts. Some come with a minimum opening deposit of $5,000; others have lower minimums. None of these accounts have management fees, and all can be structured as traditional, Roth, or SEP IRAs.
- Yield Pledge Checking (Interest Checking): TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Checking account has an excellent yield during the first year, though it’s always tiered by balance size: five tiers ranging from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000. After the first year, yields fall into a lower range, again depending on the balance tier. The minimum deposit to open is $100, but there’s no minimum balance thereafter.
- Yield Pledge CDs: Terms range from three months to five years, and yields on the longer-term products are quite competitive. The early withdrawal penalty ranges from 45 days’ interest on the shortest-term CDs to 456 days’ interest on the longest-term CDs. The minimum opening deposit is $5,000.
- Yield Pledge Money Market: During the first year, there’s a very attractive promotional yield on all balances. After that, yields fall into a slightly lower range but still exceed the category average. The same five balance tiers apply here as in Yield Pledge Checking.
- Basic Checking: This free checking account requires just $25 to open and has no monthly maintenance fees. It doesn’t earn interest, but with the same great features as TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Checking account, it doesn’t need to.
- Basic Savings: This account requires $25 to open and has no monthly maintenance fees. Its yield is lower than some comparable savings accounts but still competitive. Link it to a checking account to execute free overdraft transfers.
- Basic CDs: TIAA Bank’s basic CD terms range from three months to five years. Yields are lower than TIAA’s High-Yield CDs, but still quite competitive. The minimum opening deposit is $1,000.
Other Products & Services
- TIAA Bank Rewards Credit Card: The TIAA Bank Rewards Credit Card is a cash-back credit card with no annual fee. The card earns your choice of simple cash back or rewards points: 3% cash back or 3 points per $1 spent on gas and grocery purchases, 2% cash back or 2 points per $1 spent on wholesale club purchases, and 1% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Credit approval is not guaranteed.
- Other Loan and Credit Products: Other TIAA Bank credit products include mortgages (traditional, jumbo, and FHA), refinancing, and commercial real estate loans (up to $50 million).
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: TIAA Bank doesn’t have an in-house brokerage, but its parent company does. TIAA Bank does offer direct access to certain types of alternative investments, including precious metals and CDs comprised of global currencies, but these options aren’t suitable for all customers.
- Additional Perks and Services: For checking and money market accounts, TIAA Bank reimburses all ATM fees for customers with balances of more than $5,000 in the account. Deposit and account holders can use TIAA Bank’s free mobile check deposit and secure P2P transfer feature. TIAA Bank also offers an overdraft credit line to tap if your account goes negative. Through TIAA Bank’s CDARS service, depositors can invest in jumbo CDs insured well above the FDIC limit – to $12.5 million per CD, in some cases.
For more details, check out our TIAA Bank review.
21. UFB Direct
High-Yield Savings and Money Market Accounts
UFB Direct is a phenomenal choice for high-asset savers looking to maximize interest on deposits. As long as you can maintain a balance high enough to earn interest, this is one of the best online banks to seek yield.
UFB Direct offers two high-yield account options.
- UFB High-Yield Savings Account: Earn up to 0.20% APY on balances of $10,000 or more and never pay a monthly maintenance or service fee. Each account comes with a complimentary ATM debit card.
- UFB Premium Money Market: Open your account with a minimum of $5,000 and maintain that balance to avoid monthly maintenance fees. Moving forward, you’ll earn 0.20% APY on balances of $25,000 or more and 0.10% APY on balances below that threshold. Easily access your funds with a complimentary Visa debit card and limited check-writing privileges.
Other Products & Services
Through Axos Bank, its corporate parent, UFB Direct originates mortgage loans at competitive rates. UFB Direct mortgages have some notable advantages, including no lender fee (a potential savings of up to $2,500) and flexible underwriting.
22. Discover Bank
Solid Savings Yields; Great Retirement Options; Student Loans
Discover Bank is a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services, which is best known for its Discover it credit card family. The bank has a wide range of deposit accounts and many loans, plus gift cards in multiple denominations – unusual for online banks.
Discover Bank has a range of deposit accounts with competitive yields. Of note, the money market accounts and CDs can be structured as traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. They can also be rolled over 401(k)s, 457 deferred compensation plans, annuities, and IRAs from other institutions. You can also set up revocable and irrevocable living trusts here. Discover has a coast-to-coast network of 60,000 fee-free ATMs.
- Cashback Debit: This checking account has no yield, but you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in qualifying debit card spending each month. There’s no monthly maintenance fee.
- Online Savings Account: This account has a very strong yield on all balances. There’s no maintenance fee or minimum to open.
- Money Market Account: With a minimum opening deposit and balance requirement of $2,500, this account has competitive yields on all balances. Its two balance tiers cleave at $100,000, but yields on higher balances barely exceed those on lower balances. Enjoy a free, optional debit card, and no maintenance fee. There’s also no minimum balance fee, despite the minimum balance requirement.
- Traditional CDs: CD terms range from three months to 10 years. Yields range widely, peaking on longer-term CDs. You need $2,500 to open any CD. Early withdrawal penalties are three months’ interest on terms less than 12 months, six months’ interest for terms between 12 and 36 months, nine months’ interest for terms between 36 and 72 months, and 15 months’ interest for CDs with longer terms. A special 24-month CD can be structured like a traditional or Roth IRA.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Discover Financial Services separately offers a pretty comprehensive lineup of loan and credit products: the aforementioned Discover it credit cards, unsecured personal loans, student loans, and home equity loans.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Discover Bank doesn’t have a brokerage or direct investment product access.
- Additional Perks and Services. Discover is in the Allpoint and Money Pass ATM networks, with a total of about 60,000 fee-free ATMs. Its phone, live chat, and email support professionals are available 24/7. You can make mobile check deposits if you have a smartphone with a camera. With your money market account, you can use Google Wallet to pay for purchases without swiping your debit card and to send P2P transfers.
Read our Discover Bank review to learn more.
23. Bank5 Connect
Excellent Checking and CD Yields; Low Fees
Bank5 Connect is an online-only bank that offers attractive yields on checking and savings accounts, plus a variety of CDs with competitive yields. Its Investment CD, which lets you add funds at any point during its term, is a somewhat unique feature.
If you want a loan, credit card, or money market account, you need to look elsewhere.
- Connect Checking: This interest-bearing checking account has a solid yield on all balances above $10 and a $10 opening minimum. When you open a checking account, you get a free Visa debit card. There’s no monthly maintenance fee.
- Connect Savings: This account has an excellent on all balances above $100, also with a $10 opening deposit.
- Connect CDs: Bank5 Connect’s traditional CDs come with terms of six to 36 months and boast category-leading yields from top to bottom. Short-term CD yields are particularly impressive, exceeding online bank averages by an order of magnitude. Early withdrawal penalties are three months’ interest on CDs with terms under 12 months and six months’ interest for CDs with longer terms.
- Investment CD: This special 24-month CD has a very high yield and offers the rare ability to add funds at any time during the term. If you add funds after your initial opening deposit, you get them back at maturity, which is 24 months after that opening deposit. The early withdrawal penalty is 6 months’ interest.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Bank5 Connect doesn’t make loans or administer credit cards.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Bank5 Connect doesn’t have a brokerage or offer access to investment products.
- Additional Perks and Services: Bank5 Connect reimburses other banks’ ATM fees up to $15 per month. Bank5 Connect doesn’t have any facility for P2P transfers, but you can make remote check deposits with the bank’s mobile app. Like other Massachusetts-chartered banks, Bank5 Connect offers DIF insurance on balances above the FDIC’s $250,000 insurance limit.
For more details, read our Bank5 Connect review.
24. First Internet Bank
Great CD Yields; Full Lineup of Loan Products
First Internet Bank (First IB) is an online-only bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, a money market account, and CDs with attractive yields. As one of the original online banks, it knows a thing or two about providing great service sans branches.
First IB has a full range of deposit accounts with competitive yields and other perks. Its consumer money market account and CDs with terms of 12 months or more can be structured as traditional and Roth IRAs.
- Checking Accounts: First IB has two checking accounts. Interest Checking ($100 to open and maintain) has a moderate yield on all balances greater than $500. It also waives a $10 monthly maintenance fee with a minimum balance of $500. Free Checking ($25 to open and maintain) doesn’t pay interest but also doesn’t charge a fee. Both accounts come with a free debit card.
- Free Savings Account: With a $25 opening requirement and no ongoing balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee, this account has an OK yield on all balances. It’s definitely not ideal for yield-seekers.
- Regular Savings Account: This account requires $100 to open and maintain. It also has an OK yield on all balances. Its monthly fee of $2 is waived with a minimum balance of $1,000.
- Money Market Account: This account requires $100 to open and maintain. Its yield is far better than First IB’s savings accounts’, and the $5 monthly fee is waived with a minimum balance of $4,000. It comes with a free debit card identical to the one provided to checking account customers and boasts up to $10 in ATM fee surcharge reimbursements per month.
- Consumer CDs: First IB’s consumer CD terms range from three months to five years. All have terms well above the national average, with shorter-term yields among the best in the business. You can open a CD with as little as $1,000. Early withdrawal penalties range from 90 days’ interest on the shortest-term CDs to 365 days’ interest on the longest-term CDs.
- Business Accounts: First IB’s business accounts include a money market account and CDs with terms and yields identical to its consumer offerings. First IB also offers three commercial checking accounts (Small Business, Commercial Premium, and Commercial Analysis), which require opening deposits ranging from $500 to $1,000 and carry maintenance fees ranging up to $25 per month (waived with balances above $10,000 for Small Business and $25,000 for Premium).
- Health Savings Account: First IB’s health savings account (HSA) is a nice alternative to employer-sponsored products.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: With 3% cash-back earnings on gas purchases and 1% back on all other eligible purchases, the Cashback card is a great gas credit card. Meanwhile, First IB’s real estate loans include conventional 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, FHA (30-year) mortgages, VA (30-year) mortgages, jumbo mortgages, home equity loans with terms from five to 15 years, and home equity lines of credit. First IB offers loans for cars, motorcycles, boats, and RVs, as well as unsecured personal loans and student loans for graduate and undergraduate students.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: First IB doesn’t have a brokerage or direct investment access.
- Additional Perks and Services: First IB offers free access to FinanceWorks, a personal finance tool. It also offers mobile check deposit (if you have a camera phone) and never charges an ATM fee. There’s also a maintenance-fee-free HSA option here, which allows you to set aside pre-tax funds for healthcare expenses at a modest yield. Of note: First IB has long provided personal email addresses for customer service employees in specific departments, so you have the option to email someone with particular expertise rather than phone an anonymous call center rep.
To learn more, read our First Internet Bank review.
25. Sallie Mae Bank
Full Lineup of Products and Services With a Focus on Students
Sallie Mae is best known for issuing student loans, but the company also operates an online bank with high-yield savings and money market accounts. Note that Sallie Mae Bank is separate from the company’s student lending arm, so you can’t get loans directly through the bank. However, you can apply through the same parent website.
Sallie Mae has three types of deposit accounts: savings, money market, and CDs. Note that there’s no traditional checking account here.
- High-Yield Savings Account: This account has a solid yield on all balances, with no monthly minimums or maintenance fees.
- SmartyPig®: This is a goal-oriented savings account that lets you set, create, and track your progress toward multiple savings goals. To increase your saving power, you can set up automated transfers from a linked checking or savings account. Yields are generally in line with the High-Yield Savings Account’s, with four tiers that all currently deliver the same return.
- Money Market Account: This account’s yield is slightly higher than Sallie Mae Bank’s savings accounts’ – a rarity in the online banking world. It also boasts no minimum opening balance, ongoing minimum balances, or monthly maintenance fees. This makes it one of the most attractive money market accounts in the online banking business.
- Traditional CDs: Sallie Mae’s CDs have terms ranging from six months to five years, all with highly competitive yields. This is another great bank for short-term CD holders. All CDs do require a $2,500 minimum deposit to open. Early withdrawal penalties are 90 days’ interest for terms less than 12 months and 180 days’ interest for terms longer than that.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Sallie Mae is best known as a top lender for primary and secondary school students, undergraduates, graduates, and post-graduates.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: There’s no brokerage or investment product access here.
- Additional Perks and Services: You can deposit checks online and by mobile device (as long as it has a camera) with Sallie Mae Bank.
26. My eBanc
Interest Checking With an International Focus
My eBanc is the online banking arm of BAC Florida Bank, a Miami-based institution with physical branches in South Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Though it’s open to everyone, it caters to international clients and people with dual citizenship, making it a good option if you do a lot of business south of the border.
My eBanc offers a full range of deposit accounts, including CDs (“Time Deposits”) that waive withdrawal penalties under certain circumstances.
- Advantage Checking Account: This account requires $5,000 to open. If you maintain that balance moving forward, you can avoid the $15 monthly fee. The yield is 0.50% on all balances, including those below the minimum – though, again, you’ll want to maintain a balance of $5,000 or more to avoid the monthly fee. For your troubles, you get a free debit card and your first order of 50 checks free.
- SuperSaver Money Market Account: This account also requires $5,000 to open and charges $15 per month on accounts that fall below that threshold. Yields are broadly competitive, though slightly higher in the over-$100,000 tier. You can get a free debit card with this account if you open a checking account simultaneously. Otherwise, you get an ATM card.
- Online Time Deposits (CDs): These come in two varieties: Standard and Jumbo. Standard time deposits require $5,000 to open and earn interest. Terms range from six months to three years. Yields are extremely competitive, with the highest reserved for the longest-term products. Jumbo time deposit terms and yields are identical, but they require $100,000 to open and earn interest. Early withdrawal penalties are 90 days’ interest for terms under 12 months, and 180 days’ interest for terms longer than that.
- eRelationship Savings Account: This account boasts competitive yields, with the highest reserved for balances above $100,000. The minimum opening deposit is $25,000. Pair with a checking account, Time Deposit account, or both in one of two eCombo Solutions to boost yield and earn an exclusive $100 checking bonus.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products. My eBanc doesn’t offer loans directly, but its parent company (BAC) underwrites individual mortgages and commercial real estate loans.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Though BAC has a subsidiary (BAC Florida Investments) that operates a brokerage, it caters specifically to institutional investors and private banking clients and isn’t available to the general public.
- Additional Perks and Services. Since the majority of BAC’s clients live and work in Latin America and the Caribbean, the bank’s support team and loan officers are fluent in Spanish. BAC lets you deposit checks through its mobile app and transfer funds to friends and family through its P2P transfer app.
27. FNBO Direct
Solid Checking Yields; Low Account-Opening Requirements
FNBO Direct is the online arm of First National Bank of Omaha, a subsidiary of First National Bank of Nebraska, which has branches throughout the Plains states. The online version is available to anyone with a U.S. address. One notable feature is a 529 college savings plan registered in Nebraska and available nationwide.
FNBO Direct offers two types of deposit accounts, none of which come with management fees.
- Interest Checking: This account has a solid yield on all balances, with no minimum deposit requirement. It includes a free Visa-branded debit card and boasts free P2P transfers courtesy of PopMoney.
- Online Savings: This account has a very good yield on all balances, with no minimum deposit requirement.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: All savings and checking account holders are eligible to apply for the Extra Earnings® Visa® Credit Card, a rewards credit card that accumulates 2 points for every $1 in purchases for the first 12 months and 1 point for every $1 thereafter. Each point is worth $0.01. Once you accumulate 2,500 points, you can request a $25 deposit into your FNBO checking or savings account. Other than the credit card and a student loan refinancing product, FNBO Direct’s loan offerings are thin: no mortgage, auto, or business loan products here.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: FNBO Direct doesn’t have an in-house brokerage arm.
- Additional Perks and Services: FNBO Direct offers a 529 education savings plan, which allows you to protect your money from some taxes as you save for your or your child’s education.
Read over our FNBO Direct review to learn more.
No Minimums for Checking and Savings Accounts; Lots of Fee-Free ATMs
iGOBanking is an online-only bank that offers attractive yields on some accounts and merely decent yields on others. It is important to note that mobile accessibility is pretty limited, and there’s no overdraft protection available.
iGOBanking offers a full range of deposit accounts, including an unusually broad range of CD terms.
- iGOChecking: This account has a modest yield on all balances, with no minimum opening deposit or balance requirements. It comes with a free debit card and fee-free access to about 43,000 ATMs.
- iGOSavings: This account has a solid yield on all balances, also with no minimum opening deposit or balance requirements.
- iGOMoneyMarket: This account boasts one of the best money market yields in the category. The catch is the hefty minimum opening deposit and balance requirement of $25,000.
- iGOCDs: iGOBanking’s CDs range in term from three months to 10 years and offer very good yields, if not quite category-leading. All CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. Early withdrawal penalties are three months’ interest for CDs with terms less than 12 months, six months’ interest for terms between 12 and 36 months, 12 months’ interest for terms between 36 and 84 months, and half the total interest the withdrawn amount would have earned over the life of the CD for terms longer than 84 months. You can structure any CD as a traditional or Roth IRA.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: iGoBanking doesn’t make loans or issue credit cards.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: No brokerage or investment product access.
- Additional Perks and Services: In addition to the 43,000-strong fee-free ATM network, iGOBanking customers enjoy free P2P transfers and free online bill pay.
To learn more, read our iGOBanking review.
29. eOne by Salem Five Direct
No Minimum Deposits or Balance Requirements
eOne by Salem Five Direct (Salem Five Direct) is the online banking arm of Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, a 150-year-old institution with a handful of physical branches in Massachusetts. Yields are solid on the majority of accounts, and a serviceable mobile app offers online check deposit and P2P transfers.
Salem Five Direct’s deposit accounts have decent to very good yields. For convenience, you can apply for the checking and savings accounts at the same time with the eOne Combo feature. The one omission here: no money market account.
- eOne Checking: This account has a modest yield on all balances, with no minimum deposits, balance requirements, or maintenance fees. Every debit card transaction selected as “credit” at the point of sale earns $0.05 cash rewards.
- eOne Savings: This account has a very good yield on all balances. The minimum opening deposit is $100, but there’s no minimum balance requirement thereafter. There’s no monthly fee, either.
- eCDs: Salem Five Direct has three CD options: 18-month, 24-month, and 36-month, all of which have yields well above the national average. However, early withdrawal penalties amount to 4% of the total principal withdrawn on all CDs – stricter than many other online banks’ CDs.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: eOne doesn’t make loans or issue credit cards.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: eOne doesn’t have a brokerage or access to investment products.
- Additional Perks and Services: eOne reimburses all third-party ATM fees, without limit, and never charges its own ATM fees. The bank’s opt-in overdraft protection program charges a one-time $25 fee for all overdraft transactions. The bank’s customer service representatives are available by phone or online live chat from 8am to 6pm Eastern, Monday through Friday. And, as a Massachusetts-chartered bank, eOne by Salem Five Direct boasts DIF insurance over and above the FDIC’s per-account baseline.
Read our Salem Five Direct review to learn more.
Robust Rewards; Competitive Interest Checking
BankDirect isn’t particularly noteworthy for its yields, but it’s worth a closer look nonetheless.
BankDirect offers a variety of free but relatively low-yield deposit accounts. The money market accounts and CDs can be structured as traditional or Roth IRAs.
- Smart Checking Account: This account requires $100 to open, with no ongoing minimums. It doesn’t pay interest.
- Checking With Interest: This account requires a $500 minimum opening balance and carries a modest yield on all balances. There are multiple balance tiers here, but they’re rendered superfluous by the subpar yields. The $15 monthly maintenance fee is waived on larger balances.
- Money Market Plus Account: This account has a solid yield on balances above $10,000. The minimum opening balance is $500.
- Savings Account: This account comes with a modest yield on all balances and requires $100 to open and maintain.
- Traditional CDs: BankDirect’s CDs have terms between three months and five years. Yields on the longer-term products are among the best in the business, while shorter-term CDs have above-average yields. Note that the 24-month CD actually has the highest yield. Early withdrawal penalties range from 30 to 180 days’ interest, depending on the CD terms. Traditional CDs can be structured as traditional and Roth IRAs, but unfortunately at much lower yields. Mind the high account opening minimum.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: BankDirect doesn’t have any credit cards or loan products.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: There’s no brokerage or investment access here.
- Additional Perks and Services: BankDirect has an online bill pay feature, but its online and mobile banking features are otherwise a bit thin.
Read our BankDirect review to learn more.
31. Synchrony Bank
Attractive Yields on Savings and Money Market Accounts
Synchrony Bank is an online savings bank that offers a range of non-checking deposit accounts with attractive yields. If you want an account to handle your day-to-day spending and saving needs, any type of loan, or any type of investment products, look elsewhere.
Synchrony Bank has a nearly complete lineup of deposit accounts. Checking is the only major omission here.
- High-Yield Savings Account: This account has no minimum balance to open and no monthly maintenance fee. All balances carry excellent yields.
- Money Market Account: This account has a very good yield on all balances and comes with a free, optional ATM card. You can structure this account like a traditional or Roth IRA.
- Traditional CDs. Synchrony’s CD terms range from three months to five years and boast some of the best yields in the business, increasing with term length. Early withdrawal penalties are 90 days’ interest on CDs with terms of 12 months or less, and 180 days’ interest on CDs with longer terms. You can structure any CD as a traditional or Roth IRA. The minimum opening deposit is $2,000 on all terms.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: There are no loan products or credit cards.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: There’s no brokerage or investment access here.
- Additional Perks and Services: The Synchrony Bank program offers travel discounts, ATM fee reimbursements (up to $5 per statement cycle), identity theft resolution services, and other benefits. The depth of discounts and availability of some perks depends on how long you’ve been a customer and how much you keep in your accounts. You can make mobile check deposits into savings accounts and money markets with Synchrony’s mobile app, but there’s no way to transfer money to other individuals.
32. Barclays Bank
No Savings Minimums; Very Good CD Yields
Barclays Bank is the online savings bank arm of Barclays US, a well-known credit card issuer. If you’re looking for a profitable place to stash funds for a rainy day, give Barclays Bank a closer look.
Barclays Bank isn’t designed for everyday banking. Its savings accounts and CDs are compelling, though.
- Online Savings Account: This account has no minimum deposit and no ongoing balance requirements. All balances have very good yields, and there is no monthly maintenance fee.
- CDs: Barclays Bank CD terms range from three months to five years. Yields vary widely, with short-term CDs delivering modest returns and longer-term CDs offering excellent payback. There’s no minimum balance to open.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: Barclays has more than 20 credit cards in its stable, including several popular travel rewards credit cards. You’re not entitled to any particular credit product just because you have a Barclays account, but accountholders with strong credit are invited to apply. Other credit options are lacking here.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: Barclays Bank does not have an in-house brokerage.
- Additional Perks and Services: Barclays’s Savings Assistant feature lets you set and save toward your goals by outlining a manageable savings plan on your desired timeframe. To maximize your CD earnings, set up CD ladders using multiple CD accounts with stepped terms.
Social, Community-Focused Online Banking With Competitive Yields
ableBanking is an online-only savings bank with a social, community-focused approach to banking. It pays competitive interest rates on money market accounts, with low or nonexistent opening deposits.
Its biggest differentiator: ableBanking allows for seamless, tax-deductible donations from your ableBanking money market account to your favorite nonprofit organizations, including a $25 gift when you open a new account.
ableBanking has a limited range of deposit accounts. If you need checking or traditional savings accounts, you need to look elsewhere.
- Money Market Savings Account: This account has a very good yield on all balances, with no minimum opening deposit requirement and no ongoing balance requirement. You can automate deposits on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Traditional CDs: CD terms range from six months to four years and boast extremely competitive yields. The highest yields are reserved for the longest-term CDs, but the spread is relatively thin. All CDs require opening deposits of $1,000 and minimum balances of $500 to earn interest. Early withdrawal penalties are somewhat light, at 90 days’ interest for terms under 36 months, and 180 days’ interest for terms longer than that.
Other Products & Services
- Loan and Credit Products: ableBanking doesn’t make loans or issue credit cards.
- Investment Products and Brokerage Accounts: ableBanking doesn’t have a brokerage or investment access.
- Additional Perks and Services: If you need help finding a suitable nonprofit for your account opening gift, ableBanking has online resources to help.
It’s amazing to think that online banks didn’t exist a generation ago. A generation from now, the idea of visiting a physical bank branch for any reason may very well seem quaint. By then, who knows what online banking – or banking in general – might look like?
For now, the institutions on this list offer a great combination of FDIC-insured banking products, solid yields, open access, and helpful customer service. Before choosing one, take a closer look at the features that set it apart from the competition: rewards checking, flexible withdrawal terms for CDs, particularly high account yields, a socially responsible corporate philosophy, and so on.
And remember that, unlike in the old days, your banking choices aren’t bound by geography or other restrictions. If you can’t settle on a single online bank, why not open accounts at multiple banks and compare your experiences?