Online banking has revolutionized over the past few years, whether it’s the ease of opening an account or taking advantage of great rates, the sector has seen radical change to move online.
Still, bricks and mortar banks are offering their own solutions that also include online innovations, and often with large ATM networks and in branch support. It means that customer choice is now bigger than ever when looking for the best bank online, with plenty of individual options out there.
The best bank online right now in our opinion is Ally Bank. It has the highest savings account and long-term CD rates as well as a large ATM network and provides access to many other financial services.
1. Ally Bank: Best overall
Ally Bank might be just online, but the benefits are clear. While some banks offer little or no interest for checking accounts, this is where Ally Bank comes into its own. The checking offers 0.10% for all balances. If you find yourself as a high earner then depositing $15,000 will increase the interest amount to 0.60%.
And if you’re interested in saving then here is a great option as there is no minimum balance or deposit needed to open one. Just keep your transactions under six per month or you’ll be hit with a $10 fee for each additional transaction.
When it comes to money market and CD rates then you would need a minimum deposit of $2500 but then you would benefit through their high rates. While CD accounts range from three months to 10 years, there is a penalty for early withdrawals.
As a member of the Allpoint network it means you can withdraw cash on over 43,000 machines absolutely free. Finding your nearest one is easy thanks to a handy tool on the website. If you still find yourself struggling, Ally Bank will repay the first $10 in fees.
2. Bank of America: Best app
If you find confidence in a bricks and mortar bank with an eye for technology then the Bank of America might be right for you. With a network of over 16,000 ATMs and 4000 branches it makes gaining access to cash and services a breeze.
What’s more, the Bank of America has invested heavily in helping you gain the most out of technology by delivering on an app that includes a virtual assistant to help manage, and grow, your wealth. The ability to transfer money using Zelle is also a huge plus for family and friends that like to split bills or borrow money from each other.
If you’re thinking of savings or a CD then the benefits range from a low minimum deposit and plenty of choice between short-term and longer-terms. However, the rate is low and there are penalties for early withdrawals. While they do offer a Reward Savings account this is typically lower than the national average, although you can save on the maintenance fee of $8 per month by keeping $500 in your daily balance.
3. Capital One: Best value
While Capital One has some branches in the US, essentially it is an online only bank that does very well with technology and account choice. Capital One was the first bank in the U.S. to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa so that you can use your voice to find out information, such as your bank account balance. There are also Capital One Cafes that allow customers to open accounts, drink coffee, deposit cash and checks, enjoy free financial coaching sessions and socialize.
Recently it has scaled back its offering and no longer offers mortgages or home loans, but it has a wide variety of options for checking, savings, money market and CD accounts. Indeed, customers can have up to 50 CDs open at once and the rates are competitive with no minimum deposit although there are early withdrawal penalties.
The savings account is really the one to write home about, there are savings goals and automatic saving plans included in the mobile and online interface and you can transfer funds from its checking account for a full picture. What’s more you can deposit checks just by using your cellphone. With rates of between 1% and 2% the return could be 10 times the national average.
The checking account costs nothing to open with a free first checkbook and three ways to keep on top of an overdraft such as an auto-decline, free savings transfers and a potential overdraft.
4. iGO Banking: Best for minimal requirements
iGObanking is a great reminder as to why online banks have done so well. If you need a bank that has minimal requirements and doesn’t ask for monthly fees but still earns interest then this is exactly what iGObanking does best.
What’s more you can open an account from just a $1. While checking rates are only just above average, savings is where this bank really comes into play especially with its money market rate, although you’ll need to deposit $25,000 to open this account. There are various CD accounts which you can open with $1000, however, the longest don’t always equal the best rates.
A standard savings account is still a very good option at just under 2% with no monthly balance or maintenance fee required. Transfers, excluding wire transfers, are free. For the consumer with simple needs, iGObanking offers a wide range of facilities. What’s more you’ll get access to over 43,000 ATMs as part of the Allpoint network and there are apps for both mobile banking and mobile deposits.
5. Axos: Best checking account
Axos Bank (formerly Bank of Internet USA) has one of the highest interest rates for checking accounts currently available. You will need $50 to open the account but after that Axos Bank hands out 0.42% when each of its three conditions are met each month: $1,000 in direct deposits are paid in, you use your debit card for more than 10 transactions at $3 or more, and you make an additional five transactions at $3 or more. If you meet all conditions the rate equals 1.25%, more than double the average rate of most checking accounts.
With no monthly fee and no minimum amount to be eligible each month, this account is perfect for customers looking for a reward each month on their debit card spending. The savings account interest rates are slightly below average, but if you’re just interested in a checking account this will be a hard one to beat.
Although the bank doesn’t have a partnership with an ATM network, it does allow unlimited reimbursement on any surcharges which gives you access to a much wider network.
6. Bank5 Connect: Best high interest checking account
Bank5 Connect is an online only bank that will help you make the most of your checking account, with no loans or credit cards it’s a bank that focuses solely on checking and savings which means it can offer far more.
You can open a checking account with $10 and a $100 minimum balance to earn interest rates of 0.76%. Your first order of checks is free and the debit card is linked to a rewards program that you can later redeem for gift cards and other items. Withdrawing money is easy as the bank is connected to the SUM network with over 5,000 machines available and there’s a reimbursement opportunity of up to $15 per statement cycle.
The savings account is similar in that its $10 to open but this one comes with an interest rate of 2.05% which kicks in after the $100 minimum. If you take out both a savings and a checking account you’ll be able to link them in the online app. Standard procedures apply such as a maximum of six withdrawals a month on the savings account or face a $10 fee per transaction. CD rates are standard more than generous and it doesn’t offer money market accounts.
7. Chase: Best credit card
The new kid on the block is Chase Bank, a subsidiary of the well known financial institution J.P. Morgan Chase. It offers a wide portfolio but aimed in a concierge style service. If you’d prefer a bank with a branch presence and the ability to handle all financial needs in one then this is it. There are nearly 5,000 branches in 26 states and 16,000 Chase-owned ATMs.
A bank that has invested heavily in its online and mobile banking tools, including apps, Chase offers some of the top credit cards for personal and business use including those that offer cash back and rewards. Although it’s not always easy to get one, Chase automatically rejects anyone who has opened five or more cards in the last 24 months.
Once in though, the benefits speak for themselves, 0% APR on balance transfers and new purchases with the ability to earn $0.01–$0.15 in Chase points per transaction. Some cards may come with a management fee but all come with free credit management tools and enhanced privacy and security features.
While interest rates for checking, savings, CD and money market fall somewhat below par compared to online only banks, if you’re after good security and support then having the weight of such an established financial institution and access to wealth management tools may be a trade off you’re willing to make.
8. First Internet Bank: Best for CD rates
The First Internet Bank of Indiana is online only as the name suggests, but it links into one of the largest ATM networks in the country, you will have access to over 450,000 ATMs in its network and what’s more it will still reimburse you up to $10 for any out-of-network fees on some accounts.
By offering its own Cashback Card, the First Internet Bank of Indiana is able to advertise an APY of 12.99%, which is lower than the national average of 15.96% and many other online credit cards. It also offers 3% cash back on gas purchases and 1% on all other purchases, with no annual fee. If you have ApplePay, you can tie it to your credit card for even more convenient shopping.
Other accounts are well thought out too, from high rates for money market and CD accounts, to opening an accessible checking account with just $25 and no monthly fee. There is however, a small fee if you want online and mobile bill payment. Also the checking account doesn’t include any interest which is typical of an internet bank. Other higher rate savings and money market accounts are also available, up to 0.60% for savings and 0.80% for money market with a $2 maintenance fee or free if your daily balance is above $1,000.
9. Synchrony Bank: Best saving account
The savings account at online only Synchrony Bank is certainly something to write home about. It earns you a high 2.15% interest, which is well above the average rate of 0.08%.
Plus there is no difference in the rate you will earn, no matter your balance.
This high-yield savings account comes with low fees and no minimum balance is required to open an account or qualify for the interest rate. Synchrony doesn't charge fees for using ATMs that accept its bank card — those with Plus or Accel logos. But ATM owners might charge a fee. For those charges, the bank offers a monthly $5 refund.
Customers who open accounts through Synchrony gain access to high-yield traditional and IRA CDs. Savings and money market accounts are offered as well. There are also a number of credit cards available, including at Amazon and Lenscrafters which are issued by Synchrony Bank.
There is a slight drawback on its checking account, which offers no interest at all. In terms of ATMs though you’ll have the choice of over 2,000,000 but you can only make up to six per month with the savings accounts before becoming subject to other fees.
10. Discover Bank: Best rewards program
With interest on savings more than five times the national average the Discover Bank is on to a winner. It also has a great rewards system which is perfect for debit card users, at $0.10 for the first hundred transactions that could net you an easy $10 back for your efforts.
What’s more you don’t need a minimum deposit, balance or fee to be eligible. With some of the highest rates for savers on the market, Discover Bank is gaining waves in saver circles, however, you are subject to transaction limits. Once reached expect a $10 fee for every transaction.
While you won’t be reimbursed for ATM fees, with over 60,000 in the network there should be plenty to choose from and Discover advertise that you’ll be able to get cash at more than 800,000 locations world wide thanks to its agreements.
Rates for money market accounts and long-term CDs are also good value in the current market. However, it’s worth noting that you will need a minimum deposit of $2,500 and there are penalties for early withdrawals.