Consumers are continuing to move away from traditional banks as they continue to grow frustrated with high fees and poor interest rates. In addition to these reasons, many consumers simply don’t trust traditional banks and don’t find themselves visiting their local bank branch very often.
As a result, online banking options are continuing to grow in popularity. If you’re interested in finding a new company to bank with, here are a few of the best online banking options available.
Chime is a fee-free bank account which focuses on providing an optimized mobile experience. Chime’s “spending account,” which is essentially their version of a checking account, has all of the features you would expect from a traditional checking account, minus the fees. Additionally, consumers who bank with Chime receive their direct deposits up to two days earlier than they normally would as Chime gives you access to your money as soon as it is posted. Chime’ “automatic savings” account also makes it easier to save as it rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. Users can also choose to automatically move 10% of their direct deposits into their savings account.
Like Chime, Simple is fee-free and is a mobile-first bank account. Where Simple shines is its budgeting features which make managing your money much easier. Simple’s budgeting features include the ability to set and track goals. You simply set an amount, a completion date, and how often you want to contribute to that goal, then Simple automatically makes those contributions for you. There is also a Safe-to-Spend which helps you understand how much of your account balance is actually available for spending. Simple subtracts your goals and recurring expenses from your current balance to give you a better idea of how much money you can safely spend. Simple is a great checking account option for those who need a little bit more help with their budgeting.
Ally is one of the most popular online banking options for a number of reasons. This bank offers both checking and savings accounts with incredibly competitive interest rates while providing customers with a great online and mobile experience. Ally also has its own internal transfer system which offers same-day transfers to anyone who has an account at participating banks. Moreover, as Ally is online-only, customers might have to withdraw cash from ATMs which charge out-of-network fees. To combat this, Ally offers its account holders $10 per month in ATM fee rebates. Lastly, like Simple and Chime, Ally doesn’t charge its customers any monthly fees and doesn’t require a minimum opening balance.
TIAA is one of the less popular online banking options; however, it is a fantastic option for consumers looking for the best interest rates available. TIAA guarantees to always have yields in the top 5% and currently offers an opening one-year intro APY of 1.21%. TIAA also offers ATM fee reimbursements, no fees, and mobile check deposits. The biggest downside, however, is that TIAA requires a fairly significant opening balance requirement at $5,000.
You probably are familiar with Discover’s credit card offerings, but you might not know that it functions as a bank as well. One of the most unique features of Discover checking accounts is that its debit cards earn cash back, just like its credit cards. Customers can earn cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly purchases through its checking accounts. There are no fees, customers get free checks, and account holders can access thousands of fee-free ATMs across the country. The largest downside, though, is that Discover is not as widely accepted as the more common Visa and MasterCard debit cards.