10 Best Online Banks for Checking, Savings, Loans January 2022

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Fact check by Jazmin Castello

Best Value

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

  • 0.50% APY
  • Over 43,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No overdraft or ATM fees
  • No monthly service fees

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Most Easy

Axos Bank

Axos Bank

  • Over 91,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No overdraft or monthly fees 
  • Provide savings and checking accounts

Open Account

Varo Bank

Varo Bank

  • There are no monthly fees charged
  • The bank has an excellent APY on savings
  • You get an early paycheck with direct deposits

Open Account

In today’s world, where people value convenience, online banking has become increasingly popular for personal banking services. Online banks provide low fees, high APYs, and intuitive digital banking tools. They offer instant access to your money with interest-earning potential above the national average. While online banks provide full-service banks, the best online bank is the one that meets your financial needs. If you are looking for the best online banks for November 2021, Here is an overview of the best online banks of 2021 and how to choose the right bank for your needs. 

The Lineup At A Glance

Ally Bank best-online-banks

Best overall

Ally Bank

  • 0.50% APY
  • Over 43,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No overdraft or ATM fees
  • No monthly service fees

Axos Bank best-online-banks

Best for customer experience

Axos Bank

  • Over 91,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No overdraft or monthly fees 
  • Provide savings and checking accounts

Varo Bank best-online-banks

Best for high yield savings account

Varo Bank

  • There are no monthly fees charged
  • The bank has an excellent APY on savings
  • You get an early paycheck with direct deposits

NBKC best-online-banks

Best for combined checking and savings

NBKC bank

  • No overdraft or minimum balance fees
  • Excellent customer service
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No monthly maintenance fee

Discover Bank best-online-banks

Best for avoiding fees

Discover Bank

  • Have access to over 60,000 ATMs
  • There is no monthly service fee 
  • Competitive APYs on savings account balances
  • 24/7 customer service support

Synchrony Bank best-online-banks

Best for  cashback rewards

Synchrony Bank

  • 0.50% APY
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No overdraft or monthly fees

Capital One best-online-banks

Best for high balances

Capital One

  • No monthly service fee
  • 24/7 live chat available 
  • Comes with a competitive APY

Charles Schwab best-online-banks

Best for cash for CD ladders

Charles Schwab

  • Extensive market research and insights
  • Excellent phone and live chat customer support
  • Solid trading platform with customizable tools

Chime best-online-banks

Best for automated savings

Chime

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Over 38,000 ATM networks 
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit

Alliant Credit Union

Best for combined interests and rewards checking

Alliant Credit Union

  • $100 requirement to qualify
  • 0.55% APY with $100 minimum balance
  • More than 80,000 free ATMs
  • No overdraft fees

10 Best Online Banks for Checking, Savings, Loans January 2022

Ally Bank

Ally Bank doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit for any of its accounts, allowing you to get started with any amount. The surprise savings feature assesses your checking account balance to determine how much you can afford to save.

  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Doesn’t have monthly service fees 
  • Savings buckets to help you save for different goals 
  • High APY
  • You cannot deposit cash; customers transfer funds from an external account
  • There are no physical branches

This bank provides full-service online banking services to millions of customers. Its banking products include an interest checking account and competitive APY through the online savings or checking account. Its savings account offers a 0.50% APY while the checking account offers a 0.10% APY for balances under $15,000. 

It also has comparative rates for the certificate of deposit and money market account. There is no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement with the checking and money market account and it comes with ATM cards and check-writing privileges. You can set up separate savings buckets for different goals, such as travel funds or emergency savings. You can contact the customer support service over the phone or live online chat.

Axos Bank

Axos Bank offers several types of checking accounts. It has a large ATM network and refunds the fees that an out-of-network ATM provider charges you. 

  • This bank has competitive interest rates 
  • You get 24/7 customer service 
  • It has a highly-rated mobile application
  • Low fees and unlimited ATM rebates
  • It has low CD rates for an online bank
  • Customers don’t have access to an ATM network

This online bank features five checking accounts, including an option to earn interest and cashback. It provides a savings account and money market account for high-yield interest. There is a $250 minimum opening deposit to open a savings account and a $1000 minimum opening deposit to open a money market account.

This bank offers 24/7 customer service via phone and secure online messaging. Many accounts come with unlimited ATM fee reimbursement, with the money market account having an ATM card and check writing privileges. Axos Bank does excellently on the mobile banking front with a well-rated mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.

Varo Bank

Varo bank is best for APY-maximizers who are comfortable with online-only banking and don’t need to deposit cash. 

  • There are no monthly fees charged
  • The bank has an excellent APY on savings
  • You get an early paycheck with direct deposits
  • Customers can get up to a $100 instant cash loan with the Varo Advanced feature
  • There are no branches 
  • Cash deposits are only available through third-party retailers that charge fees

Varo Bank is an online-only bank that offers plenty of capability for the on-the-go user. The bank’s savings products have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. It has a fee-free ATM network and doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees. You also don’t need to keep a minimum balance in your account. 

It makes it easy to bank via its mobile app and a broad ATM network for complete basic checking and saving transactions. However, you must meet the requirements to qualify for the highest savings rate. This bank promotes early access to direct deposit by unions and a no-fee overdraft. 

NBKC bank

NBKC Bank is an online bank that provides a variety of mortgage options. Its account provides everything you expect from checking and savings accounts. It offers slightly less competitive APYs than other online banks and credit unions.

  • Excellent customer service and fast response rate
  • No overdraft or minimum balance fees 
  • International traders don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees
  • There is no monthly maintenance fee
  • Customer service is not available 24/7

This bank provides some helpful features that make it easier to manage your personal finance. You can pay bills online with an option to link external accounts to your NBKC account. This interest-bearing account offers an APY of 0.15% with no minimum balance requirement.

It is a great option for users who are looking for an efficient online application process. There are virtually no fees, including those for wire transfers, and you can get some ATM fees reimbursed. The bank also provides a credit and debit card with home, personal, and auto loans. You can complete the online account opening process in as little as 5 minutes. 

Discover Bank

This bank offers a wide range of products, including a cashback checking account, a high-yield free savings account, a money market, and CDs.

  • Have access to over 60,000 ATMs
  • There is no monthly service fee 
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Competitive APYs
  • 24/7 customer service support
  • There is only one branch location 
  • Doesn’t pay interest on the checking and savings accounts

Discovery bank has a strong cashback checking account that lets you earn 1% back on up to $3,000 debit card purchases every month. It is a full-service online bank and payment service company offering banking and retirement solutions. Discover’s cashback debit account provides a cashback reward that’s rare to find in a checking account. The checking account earns a percentage cashback of qualifying debit card purchases each month. 

Discover bank keeps its fees to a minimum, as it doesn’t charge monthly fees. There are no fees for stop payment orders, excessive withdrawals, or returned items. You also pay minimal ATM fees for using out-of-network ATMs from its extensive ATM network. This bank offers mobile banking with a highly rated app on the App Store and Google Play. 

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank offers high-yield savings accounts with convenient withdrawal options. There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees, and the account has a strong 0.50% APY.

  • Offers easy ATM access
  • There is no minimum balance requirement 
  • No monthly fee for overdraft fees
  • Strong APY
  • It doesn’t offer a checking account

Synchrony offers a competitive savings account and certificate of deposit. It is popular for its high-yielding accounts, well-reviewed mobile app, and lack of monthly fees. Its high-yield online savings account comes with a 0.50% APY, which is much higher than the APY offered by most brick-and-mortar banks.

They have a mobile application that is available on Google Play and the App Store.  You can deposit cash and checks through the mobile application without paying bank fees. Savings account holders can get an option ATM card and access money by ATM, wire transfer, or through an electronic transfer to accounts from other banks. The bank’s customer service line is available seven days a week by phone or online chat. Customers can also manage their accounts on the go through its mobile app. 

Capital One

Capital One Bank doesn’t require any minimum opening deposit, meaning you can start an account with any amount. It is a great option if you like online banking while still speaking to a banker face-to-face.

  • There is no opening deposit or minimum account balance
  • No monthly service fee
  • 24/7 live chat available 
  • Comes with a competitive APY
  • The bank has limited access to customer service by phone
  • It does not reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers

This is a full-service online bank offering a variety of banking products and services. The services include savings and checking accounts, CDs, and accounts for kids. While most of its business is online, the bank offers limited in-person services at select local bank branches. It is the best option if you want a consumer-friendly online bank with no monthly service fees. 

Capital One customers have access to auto financing online. The bank doesn’t charge monthly service fees on any of its products, and there are no minimum deposit requirements. You can use your debit card at over 39,000 ATMs nationwide for free. Its mobile app is one of the highest-rated banking applications available in Google Play and the App Store.

Charles Schwab

This bank stands out among the competition for its customer service. It is an attractive online broker for all kinds of investors.

  • There is a large fund selection 
  • Extensive market research and insights
  • Excellent phone and live chat customer support
  • Solid trading platform with customizable tools
  • No paper trading platform 
  • You must navigate a foundry before reaching live support

This bank has a large selection of funds with lower expense ratios and funds that charge no transaction fees. It has competitive trading commissions and offers flexible trading platform options. The website provides real-time market data that allows you to filter potential investments based on expert ratings.

You will appreciate the zero account minimum requirements. They also provide 24/7 customer service by phone and live chat, the best among online brokerage. There is a mobile application you can use to trade, follow accounts, and check market news. You will find a solid variety of research and educational materials covering the latest market trends.

Chime

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. You must have a Chime Spending Account to open a savings account. When you bank with Chime, you can receive your direct deposit up to 2 days early.

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit
  • You can receive your paycheck up to 2 days early
  • Over 38,000 ATM networks
  • There’s no overdraft protection for overdrafts exceeding $100

This bank offers hassle-free online banking with simple bank accounts options. It keeps it simple with one checking account, one savings account, and one secured credit or debit card, all tied up with an attractive mobile app. You can open a Chime spending account, a version of a checking account that comes with an ATM debit card. 

However, Chime is not a good option if you only want to open a savings account. You must open a checking account to qualify for a Chime savings account. Its high-yield savings account offers a 0.50% APY. The bank doesn’t have monthly maintenance fees or a minimum balance requirement. It has a program that accelerates your direct deposit to make them available early.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant is an online bank that offers a full range of products and services. It provides a competitive APY on savings account balances with plenty of options for personal banking.

  • More than 80,000 free ATMs
  • No overdraft fees
  • Above-average interest rates on checking and savings
  • Competitive APY
  • Doesn’t have physical branches; you must feel comfortable banking online
  • $1 per month in master 25

Alliant credit union is an excellent option if you prefer credit unions over a bank. It offers a cash-rewards checking account and broad membership interiors for users who want high-yield checking and savings. Its checking account offers dividends without a high balance requirement. The bank provides special savings account for parents wanting to teach their children about money management. 

The bank has an extensive ATM network with various options. There are more than 80,000 ATMs, while you can open as many as 19 separate accounts. You can get up to $20 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees. This credit union doesn’t charge a monthly fee if you select e-statements. It also has a mobile app that allows you to manage your account. 

How to Choose the Best Online Bank

There are some things to consider when choosing an online bank:

Product offering: The first consideration is whether the bank offers the products you need. Look for full-service financial institutions that offer checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs, and other products. 

APYs: Find a bank that pays a competitive annual percentage yield on its financial products if you want to get the most for your money. Since all online banks pay higher rates, compare their APYs to get the best rates on the market.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Look for a financial institution that keeps its fees to a minimum since higher fees can eat into your overall bank balance. Consider all types of fees, including monthly fees, overdraft fees, insufficient funds fees, and ATM fees. You can choose the right bank and avoid some of these fees.

Minimum deposit: A bank offering lower minimum deposits and balance requirements make it easier to maintain an account. 

ATM network: When choosing the best online bank, look for a bank that offers extensive fee-free ATM networks. Check the bank’s website to ensure there are ATMs close to your location to facilitate access to your personal finance.

Digital banking experience: Convenience is always a priority in the world of digital banking. The best online bank account provides a simple online interface and a highly-rated mobile application for banking on the go. You can determine the best digital banking experience from online reviews.

Customer experience: Apart from the digital banking experience, find an online bank that offers easily accessible customer service. Since online banks don’t offer branch access, it is important to keep customer support in mind.

Online Banks vs. Traditional Banks/Savings Accounts

While online banks and traditional banks take care of your money, they differ in features and capabilities. A traditional bank is described with a lower annual percentage yield (APY), higher fees, and in-person service. However, some traditional bank accounts have online access and mobile apps services if you need them. Online banks have lower fees and higher APY for savings, with some banks offering interest on a checking account. They offer online and mobile app access, though not all online banks have ATMs.

Methodology 

We created this list of the best online banks by analyzing the products and services of several online banks in the country. Online banks with national availability made the list. The factors considered are the customer experience, product offering, ATM network, APY, and availability. Other factors were digital banking experience, minimums, and the attached fees.

A bank offering the highest APY and the lowest fees across its products is ranked at the top. Also, banks with no minimum deposit and balance requirements, while having a broad ATM network go to the top of the list. There are also high scores for online banks with high customer satisfaction and an intuitive digital banking experience. All the banks and credit unions listed are insured by the FDIC or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an online bank

Online banks are financial institutions that operate primarily on the internet. It allows you to manage your account from a computer or mobile device from anywhere.

Are online savings accounts or online banks safe?

Yes, online banks are safe. The money kept at an online bank is just as safe as your local bank branch, with most online banks being FDIC-insured.

How does online banking work?

You can initiate transactions online through the bank’s mobile app, by phone, or by mail. Some banks allow you to link the online accounts with your other accounts at a traditional bank or credit union.

Are online bank FDIC insured?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) influences many online banks today. Other online banks affiliated with brick-and-mortar banks are also FDIC-insured.

What are the best online banks?

The best online bank is one that fits your needs and has competitive high-yield savings accounts.


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Written by:

Billy Graham

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Billy Graham is a Highly skilled copywriter/editor with over 8+ years of experience working for content mills, direct clients, and SEO marketing agencies alike. Possesses extensive expertise in crafting unique copy, exceeding editorial goals, and delivering first rate client focused service in results driven content production.Specialties include: iGaming, branded content, short-form to long-form copywriting, call-to-action, buying guides, how to – articles, product reviews and comparisons, copy editing, proofreading, complete QA and in-depth research.

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