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Axos Bank review

Axos Bank provides a premium checking rate and service.

Axos Bank review
(Image: © Axos Bank)

Our Verdict

If you're on the lookout for a top-paying checking account, there's no better place to start than Axos Bank. Highly competitive interest rates, low to no fees and convenient access, are all available, so long as you deposit $1,000 a month and make regular use of your debit card.

For

  • Highly attractive rewards checking rate
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement also

Against

  • Strict requirements to earn top rate
  • CD interest rates are poor

Since opening for business as a digital bank in 2000, Axos Bank has become widely recognized as one of the best online banks in the US. A change of name in 2018 from the Bank of Internet USA has helped Axos Bank strengthen its brand even more, with national recognition regularly bestowed on its banking and saving services.  

Overseeing more than $12 billion in assets, and headquartered in San Diego, California, with another eight offices across the US, Axos Bank is well-established and here to stay. And if you're looking for an online bank that can cater to your other financial service needs, Axos Bank offers mortgages, personal loans, and auto loans too. 

  • Note that rates were correct as at September 2020, but may have changed since.

Axos Bank review: Account options

Axos Bank has five checking account options, but the best by far is the rewards checking account. Paying up to 1.25%, it has the potential to earn the highest interest, if you meet all the necessary requirements. This means monthly direct deposits of at least $1,000, and using your Axos Visa Debit Card for at least 15 transactions per month. 

Key figures

Basic checking: 0%
Premium checking: 1.25%
Savings: 0.90%
Money market: 0.90%
Short term CD: 0.25%
Long term CD: 0.40%
Fund availability: 1-2 business days
Number of ATMs in network: 91,000

It also allows for unlimited ATM fee reimbursements - Ally Bank, by comparison, limits this $10 per statement cycle. The minimum opening deposit is $50, but there's no minimum balance and no monthly fees, and no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees either.

There's also a high yield savings account that pays 0.90%, has no maintenance fees, no monthly minimum balance requirements, and can be opened with $250, and a money market account that pays the same rate too (a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required). Axos Bank's CD accounts range from terms of three to 60 months, and pay 0.25% up to six months and 0.4% for terms beyond this - a deposit of $1,000 is required here also. 

Axos Bank review: Features

Axos Bank has a mobile app that is available on iTunes and Google Play, and also linked from its website. This means you can check your account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, check on your transactions and contact a customer service representative wherever you might be. 

There's also free ATM withdrawals at around 91,000 locations, which can be tracked down using the ATM Locator online or on the app. Should you take money out from elsewhere, Axos offers unlimited fee reimbursements for Rewards Checking, Cashback Checking, and Essential Checking account customers. 

Axos Bank review

(Image credit: Axos Bank)

Axos Bank review: Service

It is always easy to get in touch with Axos Bank. Your first port of call is likely to be a conversation with Evo, its virtual financial assistant, an option which is available 24/7. Alternatively, you can log into your account and send a secure message, or speak to a direct banker, who are on hand round the clock, seven days a week. In terms of deposited funds, they should be available within one to two days, which is around average for internet-only banks.

Axos Bank review: Security

Like all of the online-only banks we reviewed, Axos Bank is FDIC insured, which means your funds are protected should the bank fail. If online security is a concern, Axos Bank protects its accounts using two-factor authentication. It also proactively monitors accounts for unusual activity, and will contact you immediately if it spots anything suspicious. In the event of any fraudulent activity, a specialist will be assigned to you who will help resolve your issues.

Should you choose Axos Bank?

Axos Bank should be high on your shortlist of options if you're looking for a high checking account rate. Assuming you can meet the deposit and debit card use criteria, an excellent return of 1.25% is on offer. The unlimited refund of ATM fees only adds to the appeal of the account, and of Axos Bank as an online-only bank overall.