The Best Online Banks

With everything our phones allow us to do these days—from ordering a burrito to finding a ride—wouldn’t you want to control your finances with the same convenience as well?

Online banks allow you to do just that. But with so many out there, it can be hard to decide which one to go with.

The Best of Online Banking

Most banks allow their clients to keep tabs on their money through an online portal. However, many banks are now completely digital, often saving their customers hundreds in fees.

While we’ve become more mobile than ever over the last decades, so has our money. Having a bank account that you can manage from wherever you are has become a necessity for so many of us.

While some things like depositing cash can become a tad more complicated, you may find that the switch to an online bank will help you save both money and time.

We’ve compiled a list of 8 of the best online banks in 2019, and whether you’re a student, a frequent traveler, or simply looking to save more, there’s something for everyone.

Best Overall

Our top pick combines all of the features you could ask for in an online bank.

1. Ally Bank

With no monthly fees and relatively high interest, Ally has features that can satisfy most banking needs.

Features:

• No monthly fees
• Earn 2.2% APY on deposits to your online savings account
• Get up to $10 per statement period in ATM fee rebates
• 24/7 customer support available by phone
• Free transfers to accounts in other banks
• Mobile check deposit available

Drawbacks:

• No way to directly deposit cash
• Withdrawals take 2-3 days

Best Online Banks for Students

Personal finance can be an especially intimidating topic for young adults. These banks simplify the process and make banking student-friendly.

2. Chime

Started in 2013, Chime is perfect for young adults who are new to banking, or for anyone with simple banking needs who wants to try an app-driven experience.

Features:

• Easy-to-use mobile app
• No monthly fees
• No overdraft fees
• No minimum balance requirements
• No foreign transaction fees
• Access your direct deposit paycheck up to 2 days earlier than with most other banks
• Option to automatically round up to the nearest dollar on debit card purchases and transfer the change to your savings

Drawbacks:

• Low interest rates on savings accounts (0.01%)
• Maximum online check amount is $5,000

3. Simple

Just as its name suggests, this online bank keeps things simple while helping to keep you on a budget. Like Chime, Simple is ideal for young adults new to banking or anyone looking for an online, hassle-free banking experience.

Features:

• Free debit card
• Mobile check deposits
• No fees for overdrafts or money transfers to other banks
• No monthly fees
• No minimum balance requirements
• Pay bills online: Simple will print and send a check for you
• Set and manage savings goals
• Easily track spending by category
• 1% fee for international charges

Drawbacks:

• No high-yield savings accounts
• Cash deposits are nearly impossible

Best Online Banks for Frequent Travelers

If you’re a frequent globetrotter, you’ll definitely want a bank with the lowest fees possible on international transactions. The following are great options for avoiding stiff fees and keeping your finances in check no matter where in the world you are.

4. Charles Schwab Bank: Investor Checking Account

With the Investor Checking account by Charles Schwab, frequent travelers can worry less about international fees and focus on their next adventure.

Features:

• Easy-to-use mobile app
• Mobile check deposit available through the app
• No foreign transaction fees for using your card abroad (receive unlimited ATM fee rebates)
• No minimal balance required
• No monthly service fees

Drawbacks:

• Limited branches for check or cash deposits
• Lower interest on savings compared to most online banks (0.45% APY)

5. HSBC Bank

While not technically an “online bank,” HSBC is an international bank that comes with a mobile app so you can manage almost everything from your phone. Unlike Charles Schwab, HSBC does come with a $50 monthly service fee. However, the available features might be worth it for expats or frequent travelers.

Features:

• Mobile app that allows you to manage everything from your phone
• 3900 offices across 67 countries
• If you already have an account with them, you can easily open a new one in another country through the app
• No foreign transaction fees with the premier checking account

Drawbacks:

• $50 monthly service fee

Best Online Banks for Better Savings

These banks offer some of the best yield rates, so you can put your savings to work for you.

6. WebBank

Established in 1997 in Salt Lake City, WebBank offers one of the best yield rates with no montly fees.

Features:

• No monthly fee for savings accounts
• One of the highest APY’s available (2.5%)
• Users can easily manage their accounts online
• Interest compounds daily so users can save even more

Drawbacks:

• $1,000 minimum balance required

7. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs opened Marcus as an online bank to pass their savings on costs down to their customers. This allows them to offer some of the highest APY rates available.

Features:

• 2.25% APY on savings deposits
• No monthly fees
• Just $1 balance required to earn APY

Drawbacks:

• Checking accounts not available
• No ATM network, so you may be subject to withdrawal fees

Best Online Banks for Rewards

Looking to earn a little extra something besides interest? Discover Bank offers a cash back program.

8. Discover Bank’s Discover Cashback Checking Account

With Discover’s Cashback Checking Account, customers can earn 1% cash back each month on up to $3,000 in debit purchases.

Benefits:

• No monthly fees
• 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit purchases each month
• Free access to over 60,000 ATMs nationwide

Drawbacks:

• Discover is not as widely accepted as Visa, Master, and other banks
• No way to deposit cash

Banking Made Simpler

If you’re considering an online bank account, be sure to take into account all of your personal finance needs. Some options are certainly better than others depending on how much you’d like to save, how often you travel, or how much experience you have with banking.

 

Do you use apps or the websites to manage your finances? Feel free to share your favorite tools in the comments below!

 

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Kaelyn Barron

As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working from home allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.