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Best online banks

Without the cost of physical branches, online banks offer better rates and fewer fees.

The best online banks offer competitive interest rates, low fees and the digital tools you need to stay on top of your money and pay bills. For our best list, we researched over 150 banks and credit unions to find the best 12 online banks available today. This meant digging into factors like mobile apps, website interfaces and online features, as well as the bank’s overall product range, fees and minimum deposits to open.

12 best online banks

Best overall

Ally logo

Ally

Ally Bank is a full-service, exclusively online bank. It’s also one of the biggest online banks, and it offers a full suite of banking products, including checking, savings and money market accounts. The single checking account offered is called Spending, and it’s interest-bearing. Ally offers many CD options as well, which are a product that many online-only banks don’t offer. Loan products, such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and personal loans, are also available. Plus, to make up for the lack of branch locations, Ally offers a long customer service phone window and a 24/7 customer support chat function.

Pros
  • Large suite of banking products
  • Competitive APYs
  • Large free ATM network
  • 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • No cash deposits

Best for interest rates

Raisin logo

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Raisin

Raisin is a bit of a unique option and isn’t a bank itself. Previously called SaveBetter, Raisin is a digital marketplace that offers you the ability to compare and open deposit accounts from 40 different FDIC- and NCUA-insured banks and credit unions. With your one Raisin account, you can access exclusive rates and benefits on various products with its partners. Many of the savings accounts and CDs available through Raisin are well above 5% APY, and you can hold multiple savings products from multiple institutions under one platform. But you can only compare and open savings products.

Pros
  • Browse products from 40 institutions
  • Exclusive high-rate deals on savings products
  • No fees and low minimums
  • Free to sign up
Cons
  • Limited customer support
  • Saving products only

Best for money market rates

Quontic Bank logo

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Quontic Bank

Quontic is a full-service online bank, offering a wide range of banking products with competitive rates. It takes the win for its money market account, which comes with a high 5% compounding APY for all balances. There are no monthly or overdraft fees, and the account also comes with a debit card and checkwriting privileges. Like its other savings accounts, there’s an opening deposit requirement of $100. Quontic also offers high-interest and rewards checking accounts, traditional savings, CDs and mortgages. It has a very large ATM network of over 90,000 and charges no out-of-network ATM fees. But it’s missing some classic products, such as credit cards and personal loans.

Pros
  • High 5% APY on money market
  • Competitive rates across the board
  • Large ATM network
  • Lacks monthly fees for most accounts
Cons
  • Requires $100 opening deposit on saving accounts
  • Lacks some basic banking and lending options

Best for ATMs

Axos Bank logo

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Axos Bank

If you frequent ATMs and like free money, Axos might be the online bank for you. Axos Bank has one of the largest ATM networks we’ve seen — over 91,000 ATMs nationwide. Enjoy no ATM fees within its network and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements with select checking accounts and limited reimbursements with its other checking accounts. Axos also offers $50 to $300 bonuses for many of its personal and business accounts, making it the best for bank promotions. All in all, Axos is a large digital bank, offering several personal products. There are also business accounts and commercial lending products. But its CDs aren’t worth the time, carrying low rates and high deposit requirements.

Pros
  • Large 91,000 ATM network
  • Signup bonuses for deposit accounts
  • ATM reimbursements for checking accounts
  • No or low monthly fees on many accounts
Cons
  • Low rates and high deposit requirements on CDs

Best for businesses

Bluevine logo

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Bluevine

Bluevine is a fintech company with banking services backed by FDIC-insured Coastal Community Bank. Its business banking has three plans: Standard is $0, Plus for $30/month, and Premier for $95/month. All plans offer unlimited transactions, 200 free checks if you maintain a balance, no foreign transaction or overdraft fees, and high earning potential. The free plan offers up to 2% APY on balances up to $250,000 by spending at least $500 per month or receiving at least $2,500 per month. If you go with a paid plan, earn either 3% or 4.25% APY with no activity requirements, and the monthly fee can be waived. Also enjoy the 38,000-strong ATM network, team managament tools, up to $3 million in FDIC insurance and more. On the downside, Bluevine doesn’t offer any savings accounts, and customer service is only available during the week. There’s also a $4.95 cash deposit fee and a 2.90% transaction fee when you pay bills with your credit card.

Pros
  • Free plan option
  • Earns up to 2% APY with free plan
  • Earn either 3% or 4.25% APY with paid plans
  • Up to $3 million in FDIC insurance
  • Offers business lines of credit
  • Create subaccounts
Cons
  • Limited customer support
  • $4.95 cash deposit fee
  • Fee for bill pay with a credit card

Best for second-chance banking

Chime logo

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Chime

If you need a bank account with no ChexSystems check, look at Chime. It’s a fintech company with banking services provided by its banking partners, offering a free online checking account that’s great for when you need a second chance. When you apply for an account with Chime, it won’t review your ChexSystems report. The account also doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance, foreign transaction or overdraft fees. One of the better perks is the overdraft service called SpotMe, which allows qualified users to overdraft up to $200, and the overdrafted amount is repaid with the next deposit. There’s also Chime’s Credit Builder card, which is a secured credit card that works with the Chime Checking account. On the downside, Chime doesn’t offer joint accounts, you can’t perform wire transfers and it only has one checking account and savings account.

Pros
  • Doesn’t review ChexSystems reports
  • No monthly, foreign or overdraft fees
  • Overdraft service SpotMe with direct deposit
  • Credit Builder secured card
Cons
  • No joint accounts
  • No wire transfers
  • Lacks CDs or money market accounts

Best for teenagers

Step logo

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Step

Step is a fintech company with banking services provided by its bank partner Evolve Bank & Trust. It’s one of the best online banking options for teens and young adults, as those under 18 can sign up with an adult sponsor. It’s free to use, and it’s a secured credit card backed by the Step deposit account. When the Step card is used, the amount is deducted from the linked Step deposit account. Once teens turn 18, they can opt into credit reporting. The last two years of the card’s payments are automatically reported once they do. Step also offers savings, cashback and referral rewards, as well as investing options. However, and it lacks phone support.

Pros
  • No monthly or overdraft fees
  • No interest charges
  • 5% savings rewards with direct deposit
  • Option for credit reporting at age 18
Cons
  • No customer phone support

Best for couples

Sofi Logo

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SoFi

SoFi is an online FDIC-insured bank offering affordable banking and lending options. SoFi is a great option for couples looking to manage funds together. You can invite a joint member to your existing SoFi account right from the app. SoFi is particularly great for budgeting together, thanks to its Vault feature that comes with its hybrid Checking and Savings account. You or your partner can create up to 20 savings subaccounts to organize your finances and manage savings goals together. SoFi’s hybrid account has no monthly fees, no opening deposit requirements and a high APY on both your checking and savings accounts with direct deposit. SoFi is known for its few fees on its loans and other products and has high FDIC insurance of up to $2 million. But there’s a $4.95 fee for cash deposits, and you can’t do international wire transfers.

Pros
  • Easy to add joint account holder
  • Few fees on banking and lending products
  • High $2 million FDIC insurance
  • High APYs available by meeting deposit requirements
Cons
  • Can’t have joint and single accounts at the same time
  • No international wire transfers
  • $4.95 fee for cash deposits

Best for savings

UFB logo

UFB Direct

UFB Direct is a fintech company with banking services provided by Axos Bank. It beats out other online banking saving options with its high 5.25% APY savings account that comes with an optional ATM card. You’ll also pay no monthly fees if you have a balance of $5,000 or more. Like many other online banking options, its lack of branches and operation costs allow it to pass on savings to customers in the form of high savings rates and low rates on mortgages. But if you’re looking for a full-service bank, look elsewhere. On the whole, UFB Direct is pretty specialized, only offering savings accounts, money market accounts and mortgages.

Pros
  • High 5.25% APY on savings accounts
  • Optional ATM card for savings
Cons
  • No checking accounts
  • Doesn’t automatically update APY if rates offered increase

Best for CD rates

First Internet Bank logo

First Internet Bank

First Internet Bank is an FDIC-insured digital bank that earned its namesake for being the very first FDIC-insured, fully online bank. It was founded in 1999 and is still branchless. Its CD rates are what earned its spot, offering high rates ranging from 4.18% to 5.35% APY across all terms. Its CDs require opening deposits starting at $1,000. Also, the early withdrawal penalties are easily spelled out — most banks make you dig for that information. Overall, First Internet Bank is solid, offering a full suite of personal and business banking products. In addition, it has a large suite of lending products that we don’t often see with online banks, such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans, recreational financing and more. However, watch out for monthly maintenance fees on some of its deposit accounts.

Pros
  • First FDIC-insured digital bank
  • High rates on all CD terms
  • Large suite of banking and lending products
  • ATM reimbursements
Cons
  • Some accounts have monthly fees
  • Requires $1,000 opening deposit on CDs

Best hybrid bank

Capital One logo

Capital One

Capital One is largely an online bank, but it has some physical branch locations and cafés. There are nearly 300 branches in seven states and 30 café locations across a few states — mostly in the east and southeastern parts of the country. It also offers 24/7 automated phone help. You can open Capital One accounts completely online, and it’s well-known for its credit cards and large variety of banking and loan options. Many of its accounts have no monthly fees, no opening deposits and its savings accounts have competitive rates. Overall, Capital One is best for those who want a mostly online banking experience but like the option of heading to a nearby branch if needed.

Pros
  • Few branch locations and cafés
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Many accounts lack monthly fees
  • Multiple credit card options
Cons
  • CD rates are mediocre
  • Lacks branches in western and northern US

Best credit union

Alliant logo

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is a completely digital credit union offering a large variety of banking and lending services. It’s one of the largest credit unions in the states and is known for its affordable banking options and competitive rates. Alliant has a large network of over 80,000 ATMs, offers interest-bearing checking accounts and kid banking options. Its CDs and savings accounts have higher-than-average rates, with its CDs offering around 5% APY and savings around 3% APY. But like all other credit unions, Alliant requires a membership to bank or borrow from them. To become a member, you must be a current or retired employee from their partner list, be related to a current Alliant member or live or work near its headquarters in Chicago. Or you can simply become an Alliant member by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success.

Pros
  • Multiple checking and savings account options
  • Large ATM network
  • Competitive APYs on savings and CDs
  • Inclusive and easy membership requirements
Cons
  • Must become a member

Methodology: How we choose the best online banks

Finder’s banking experts review over 150 online banks to narrow down the best 12 options. We consider multiple factors, including state availability, monthly fees, ATM access and more. We consider the following criteria:

  • No more than 300 physical branches
  • Average savings and CDs with rates above 4% APY
  • $0 monthly fee
  • No more than $2.50 ATM fee
  • Less than $25 for overdraft fees
  • If membership is required, must offer easy ways to sign up

Are online banks worth it?

If you don’t need to make frequent cash deposits and don’t mind doing all your banking through an online portal or mobile app, the payout and convenience of digital banks can well be worth the lack of branch access. Many of us have said goodbye to regular bank trips anyway, thanks to mobile and online banking.

Convenience

Nearly all modern banks and credit unions have their own banking app, which lets you make mobile check deposits, access early paychecks, transfer funds between accounts, view bank statements, pay bills and much more. If you’re no longer taking frequent trips to the bank, then switching to a digital bank can be a simple and profitable transition.

Fewer fees and higher interest rates

Since they don’t have to maintain physical branches, many digital banks can offer competitive products and services, such as fewer fees and much higher APYs. Many online banks offer savings accounts with APYs around 5% — over 11 times higher than the national average of 0.45%(1).

Digital banking adoption

Digital banking is growing in popularity in the US, with roughly 37% of American adults saying they do at least some of their banking online, and 19% saying they exclusively bank online.

How to choose the best online bank for you

Online banks may not have all the same products as typical banks, but they make up for it with fewer fees, higher insurance coverage and top-of-the-line tech.

  • Fees and rates. Online banks are known to offer competitive interest rates on savings accounts and fewer fees on accounts — just make sure that’s really the case before you make the switch.
  • Insurance coverage. Some online fintech companies offer banking services through an FDIC-insured partner bank, or a network of banks. Those that partner with more than one bank offer insurance that exceeds the typical $250,000 coverage amount, such as SoFi, which offers up to $2 million in FDIC coverage.
  • Site and mobile app. Look out for speed, accuracy and whether it’s easy to navigate the bank’s website and online platform. After all, you’ll need to primarily manage your account online.
  • Range of products. Some neobanks only offer basic bank products and services, like checking and savings accounts. If you prefer to have all your accounts and loans with one institution, compare the digital bank’s suite of offerings, such as its credit cards, mortgages, personal loans and auto loans.
  • Security and protection. The safest online banks publicly post their security measures and offer 256-bit advanced encryption standard encryption, two-factor authentication and encrypted email. Make sure the online bank you choose takes proactive measures to keep your information safe.
  • Customer service. Some online banks are limited in terms of customer service, but many offer 24/7 chat support, phone support and automated chat support. Since you can’t visit a branch, make sure the customer service is accessible and offers a long support window.
  • ATMs. Most online banks don’t have their own ATM network. Instead, they’re part of a shared network of ATMs like AllPoint. Also, they might not offer the option for cash deposits, and those that do allow it through Green Dot locations for a $4.95 fee.

How to open an account with an online bank

Opening a bank account online is pretty straightforward: Visit the bank’s site, select the account you want and follow the application instructions. You may need to submit some documents to verify your identity, such as a driver’s license or government-issued identification, and provide a deposit via ACH transfer from an existing, external bank account.

Bottom line

Choosing the best online bank for your needs ensures you can manage your money with ease wherever life takes you. Consider these top online banks and learn more about how online banking works so you know what to expect when you open and set up your account.

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