PROS / Nationwide Bank pays the highest interest rates on long-term CD accounts in our review.
CONS / It charges monthly service fees on most of its accounts and you have to meet certain requirements in order to have them waived.
VERDICT / Nationwide Bank is one of the best online-only banks because it offers a full gamut of banking services along with competitive interest rates for its savings products.
Nationwide Bank offers online banking services that you expect from a brick-and-mortar bank, including loans, credit cards, and checking and savings accounts. Additionally, its interest rates are competitive and it gives you free access to an extensive ATM network. It even reimburses you for a limited number of fees on transactions made at out-of-network machines.
Nationwide Bank is one of just two online-only banks that offers a full range of credit products. It extends mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, as well as auto loans. It also provides credit cards, including rewards cards and student credit cards.
This online-only bank offers three different types of online checking accounts. All accounts require an initial deposit of $50 and all levy monthly service fees; however, these can be waived by meeting certain requirements. The eChecking account earns the best interest rates, but in order to earn the highest rate and have the monthly service fee waived, you're required to maintain a balance over $10,000. If you have a lower account balance, your rate is lower and you have to set up direct deposit and use the debit card that comes with the account eight times per month in order to have the fee waived.
The online savings account offered by Nationwide Bank requires $50 to set up the account and there's no minimum balance requirement to earn interest, but this savings interest rate is one of the lowest in our review. This account charges a $3 monthly service fee, but you can avoid it by maintaining a minimum daily balance above $300 or by setting up direct deposit for over $25 per month. Like the other savings accounts we reviewed, you're limited to six transactions per month. Each additional transaction results in a $5 excess activity fee.
Nationwide Bank's money market account earns better interest than the savings account, but it requires a $1000 minimum balance to open the account and you're charged an $8 monthly service fee if the balance dips below this amount. Like the savings account, you're limited to six transactions per month and pay a $5 excess activity fee for each additional transaction. This account differs from the savings account in that you're able to write checks against the balance.
Like all of the online-only banks we review, Nationwide Bank is an FDIC member, which means that up to $250,000 of your deposits are insured and are recoverable in the event that the bank fails.
It's free to transfer money between your accounts, including non-Nationwide Bank accounts. The exception is outgoing wire transfers, which come with a $25 fee. Your deposited funds are available very quickly, typically within one to two business days.
Nationwide Bank keeps your internet banking accounts secure by using multi-factor authentication, as do all of the top online only banks we reviewed. After your first log in, it prompts you to select a SafeKey image and answer a set of secret questions. At this time, you can also register your computer, which enables you to skip answering the secret questions on subsequent logins.
You can contact Nationwide Bank's customer service team via the secure email form on its website or by calling one of the company's toll-free numbers. Like most online only banks, it has extended customer service hours but isn't available 24/7.
Nationwide Bank makes it very convenient to conduct your banking online. You can set up direct deposit, and your account includes online statements. This online-only bank also provides mobile banking as a free service to its clients that have checking, savings, money market or CD accounts. The app is available on the iTunes store and Google Play, but you have to search for it since there's no link to the app on either store from Nationwide Bank's website. You can use the app on your phone to check your balance, view transactions, transfer funds, deposit checks, pay bills and find ATMs wherever you are.
Nationwide Bank is one of the best online banks we reviewed because of the complete range of banking services it provides, its competitive interest rates on its deposit accounts and the convenience it offers to its online banking customers.