The 13 Best Online Checking Accounts of 2022

When was the last time you checked to see how much your checking or savings account was earning you, just for having money in it?

If you bank with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, it might have been a while — and that’s not surprising.

When financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Bank of America offer annual percentage yields (APYs) as low as 0.01% on their savings and checking accounts, it’s easy to become accustomed to your money being stagnant.

But savings accounts and even checking accounts can earn you money if you choose the right bank or credit union. Increasingly, you’ll find the best APYs (annual percentage yields) through online banks. Here are the best of the best online banks for 2022, whether you want to open a checking account, savings account or money market account:

13 Best Online Banks of 2022

These are the best online banks of 2022 for checking, savings and money market accounts, starting with our top pick.

Editor’s note: APYs are accurate as of Sept. 1, 2022.

Axos

Axos Bank

Best for High-Interest Checking

Key Features

  • Up to 1.25% APY
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • Cashback checking

Axos is our top overall online bank. You have high earning potential with both the checking and savings account options, and you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees. While the sheer number of options of new accounts can be overwhelming, it allows you to pick the Axos account that best suits your needs.

Axos Bank

APY

Up to 1.25%

Monthly fee

$0

ATM Fees

Unlimited domestic reimbursement

More Information on Axos Bank

Why we like this online bank: Axos (formerly known as Bank of Internet) is one of our favorite online banks. For starters, it gives consumers plenty of options when it comes to checking:

The Rewards Checking account has one of the highest APYs on our list for checking at 1.25%, but earning that requires that you:

  • Receive monthly direct deposits of $1,500 or more; 
  • Use your Axos-provided Visa debit card for at least 10 transactions of at least $3; and
  • Have a loan and investment accounts with Axos. 

You have to achieve the direct deposit requirement (0.40% APY) to be able to qualify for the other criteria. The debit card spending adds another 0.30% APY. The rest of the interest rate comes from having an Axos Invest Managed Portfolios Account (0.20%), an Axos Self Directed Trading Account (0.20%) and a loan payment through Axos (0.15%).This account also offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and promises no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.

The Essential Checking account is all about no fees: unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, no monthly maintenance fees and no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees. You can also get your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit express.In addition, Axos offers specific checking features for teengers and senior citizens. 

The Axos online high-yield savings account is also impressive, with a 0.61% APY.

Potential pitfalls: Axos offers a lot of options. Just determining the right account can be stressful. And once you choose a checking account, you’ve got to keep track of quite a bit to either earn the full APY. The $250 minimum balance for opening the high-yield savings account is also steep.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Axos Bank review.

Pros and Cons for Axos


Pros

  • Unlimited ATM reimbursement
  • High APY for checking and savings


Cons

  • Unimpressive mobile app
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Overwhelming number choices and guidelines to manage

Capital One

Capital One 360

Best Overall Online Bank

Key Features

  • Decent APYs
  • Easy-to-use app
  • No overdraft fees

Capital One offers a quality, reliable banking experience with a highly rated mobile app and easy-to-use online platform. Though its APYs aren’t the highest, they certainly exceed most of the competition outside this list. Capital One also moved to eliminate overdraft fees for all its customers.

Capital One 360

APY

Up to 1.75%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM Fees

70,000 fee-free ATMs

More Information About Capital One

Why we like this online bank: Capital One 360 tops our list of the best online banks. While it doesn’t have the highest APYs for either its online checking or savings (0.10% for checking and 1.75% for savings), the online bank makes up for it with the industry’s highest-rated app according to J.D. Power, with users citing the app’s speed, easy-to-use interface and self-service options that are simple to use.

In addition, Capital One’s accounts include zero monthly fees and offer easy bank account integration. With the checking account, you have access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs, and unlike some online banks, Capital One does have physical branches — and Capital One Cafés, where you can enjoy Peet’s Coffee, take advantage of a shared work space, get one-on-one money coaching, attend workshops and even host events for nonprofits. You can also get your paycheck two days early.

In late 2021, Capital One joined the growing list of banks that will not charge overdraft fees.

Potential pitfalls: The APY for the savings account is not the strongest on this list. It’s also not possible to categorize your savings into sub-accounts within the app, which makes tracking toward multiple goals challenging. Instead, you have to open multiple savings accounts with Capital One.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Capital One review.

Pros and Cons of Capital One


Pros

  • No. 1 mobile app (J.D. Power)
  • Access to Capital One and Allpoint ATMs
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unique Capital One Café locations


Cons

  • Lower APYs than other online checking accounts
  • Hard to track multiple savings goals without opening multiple savings accounts

Ally Bank

Ally Bank

Best for No Overdraft Fees

Key Features

  • High APY for checking and savings
  • No overdraft fees
  • No monthly fees

Ally Bank was the first major bank in the U.S. to eliminate overdraft fees, but it’s also notable for its High Interest Checking account and unique savings tools that help you organize your savings goals and automatically grow your savings as you spend. Ally’s ATM network pales in comparison to many on this list, but its app is easy to use, including mobile check deposit.

Ally Bank

APY

Up to 1.85%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

43,000 fee-free ATMs

More Information about Ally Bank

Why we like this online bank: Ally offers both online checking and savings accounts, as well as a money market account. 

APYs are competitive, with a 1.85% APY for savings and up to 0.25% APY for checking. You can also apply for loans through Ally, and ATM access is never a problem. That’s because Ally gets you access to more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide and reimburses up to $10 in ATM fees each month.

Other hallmarks of Ally’s online banking include its lack of monthly fees (a true free checking account) and minimum balance requirements, and its top-rated mobile app with mobile check deposit.

Potential pitfalls: If you travel outside the country frequently, don’t use your Ally Bank debit card — it carries a 1% foreign transaction fee. Travel credit cards are a better option when traveling abroad. 

In addition, the 0.25% APY for checking might draw you in, but know that you need at least $15,000 in the account, or else you’ll earn just 0.10%. However, if you have $15K to spare, you’d be better off storing that in a high-yield savings account or money market account.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Ally Bank review.

Pros and Cons of Ally Bank


Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • Access to Allpoint ATMs (and limited out-of-network ATM reimbursement)
  • No overdraft fees

SoFi

SoFi

Best for Combination Checking and Savings

Key Features

  • 2.00% APY
  • Up to 15% cash back locally
  • Early paycheck access

SoFi has rocketed to a top spot on our list of the top online banks thanks to its high-yield combination checking and savings account. The account operates as both a checking account (you can spend money with a debit card) and a savings account (with Vaults for organizing your funds). The high-interest earnings (with direct deposit set up) are the big appeal here, but we also love the convenience.

SoFi

APY

2.00%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

55,000+ in-network ATMs

More Information About SoFi

Why we like this online bank: SoFi gets a lot right, with an attractive APY on what is technically an all-in-one checking and savings account. You can also earn up to 15% cash back when shopping locally. Other perks are the early paycheck access, automatic savings features and lack of monthly account fees.

Potential Pitfalls: While other banks move to fee-free overdrafts, SoFi only offers no-fee overdraft coverage for up to $50. Some people may not like having their savings and checking funds all in one place.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete SoFi review.

Pros and Cons of SoFi


Pros

  • High APY
  • Potential for cash back
  • Automatic savings tools
  • Convenience of one account


Cons

  • Overdraft program
  • Poor reputation with student loan business

Lending Club

LendingClub

Best for ATM Users

Key Features

  • Varying cash back rewards
  • No overdraft fees
  • Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements

LendingClub is noteworthy for its unlimited ATM reimbursements nationwide, but we also like it for its unique cash back rewards, as well as its 2.07% APY on all savings balances. The minimum deposit requirement, though just $100, is atypical of entrants on our list, which typically have no minimum balance requirement.

LendingClub

APY

Up to 2.07%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements

More Information about LendingClub

Why we like this online bank: LendingClub Banking (formerly Radius Bank) offers a unique free checking account that offers 1.00% cash back on everyday purchases. That means for every $100 you spend, you earn $1. The account is also interest-bearing, but only if you’ve got over $100,000 in checking. (Don’t do that.)

LendingClub Bank’s online checking comes with several perks, but ATM usage is one of the best. When you bank with LendingClub, you can visit any ATM at any time; LendingClub will reimburse you for all ATM fees. 

Other advantages include payment up to two days earlier than your direct deposit, an innovative mobile app with location-based restrictions and spending caps, alerts when you or someone else uses your card and the ability to turn off lost or missing debit cards.

Right now, the LendingClub savings account offers a 2.07% APY for all balances, but rates have been tiered in the past (and could be again).

Potential pitfalls: LendingClub requires a $100 minimum deposit for the checking account. 

Something that’s likely to be more frustrating is the steep set of requirements for earning cash back, including direct deposits totaling at least $2,500 each month. Not everyone qualifies for the rewards portion of the account, meaning you may miss out on the cash back.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete LendingClub review.

Pros and Cons of Lending Club


Pros

  • Fee-free access to ATMs
  • Cash back rewards on the checking account


Cons

  • $100 minimum deposit
  • Restrictions on benefits

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

Best Online Credit Union

Key Features

  • 80,000 in-network ATMs
  • Competitive APY
  • No overdraft fees

Alliant Credit Union has a lot going for. The credit union has recently eliminated overdraft fees, and there are no monthly fees to speak of. The APY for the high-yield checking account is tremendous (0.25%); the high-yield savings APY is even better (1.80%). We like the extensive ATM network (plus ATM fee reimbursement policy) and its easy-to-use, highly rated mobile app.

Alliant Credit Union

APY

Up to 1.80%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

80,000 fee-free ATMs + $20/month in reimbursements

More Information About Alliant Credit Union

Why we like this online credit union: ATM access is almost always guaranteed when you bank with Alliant, as it has more than 80,000 ATMs in its network and offers $20 in monthly ATM reimbursement for out-of-network usage. Alliant also operates one of the highest-rated apps for both checking and savings accounts and has physical locations in the Chicago area.

Currently, Alliant’s checking APY stands at 0.25%. The account has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirements and comes with a free Visa contactless debit card. As of September 2021, Alliant has done away with overdraft and NSF fees. You can also open a checking account for your teen through Alliant.

The high-yield savings account is even more impressive with a 1.80% APY if you maintain a $100 minimum balance. 

Potential pitfalls: Alliant is a credit union, not a bank. Credit unions can be more challenging to join, and Alliant is no different. Alliant currently does not participate in shared branching, a system that allows you to conduct your banking business at other credit unions in the same network throughout the country. This is often a hallmark of other credit unions.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Alliant Credit Union review.

Pros and Cons of Alliant Credit Union


Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • Access to 80,000+ fee-free ATMs (and limited out-of-network ATM reimbursement)
  • Decent APYs
  • No overdraft fees


Cons

  • Foreign transaction fees
  • No shared branching

nbkc

Key Features

  • 0.50% APY across the board
  • No monthly fees
  • One comprehensive account

While nbkc doesn’t offer the most attractive APY in the market, it delivers simple banking that many will appreciate. Rather than have separate savings and checking accounts, you’ll have just one Everything Account with a 0.50% APY. We do wish nbkc offered more in-network ATMs.

nbkc

APY

0.50%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

37,000 fee-free ATMs

More Information on nbkc

More Information on nbkc 

Why we like this online bank: nbkc (the National Bank of Kansas City) keeps things simple by combining checking and savings into one single account, called the Everything Account. You’ll earn an APY of 0.50% across the board with this account.

Even better: There are no fees to bank with nbkc. We’re not just talking monthly maintenance fees; you also don’t have to worry about minimum balance fees, foreign transaction fees or even overdraft fees.

This bank also offers an extensive ATM network (37,000 and counting) with $12 in monthly reimbursements when you use an out-of-network ATM. The mobile app is easy to use, includes Savings Goals for organizing your money, and offers a Pay Bills feature.

Potential pitfalls: Its savings APY (0.50%) is not the most competitive of the accounts listed here. Actual member locations are limited to Kansas City, Missouri, and the bank could use more ATMs in its network. 

Pros and Cons of nbkc


Pros

  • Unique account combines checking and savings
  • Limited ATM reimbursement
  • No foreign transaction and overdraft fees


Cons

  • Brick-and-mortar branches in KC area only
  • Small ATM network

Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank

Best for High-Yield Accounts

Key Features

  • High APYs for savings, money market and CDs
  • Check-writing with money market
  • Massive ATM network

Synchrony Bank is not for everyone. Without a checking account, it often falls short. But we like Synchrony’s money market account, which offers check-writing capabilities and earns 1.50% APY. But for serious earning, open a savings account CD. Right now, Synchrony is offering 2.05% APY on savings and 3.50% on a 60-month CD.

Synchrony Bank

APY

Up to 2.05%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

400,000 in-network ATMs + $5 monthly reimbursement

More Information About Synchrony Bank

Why we like this online bank: Synchrony has a healthy 2.05% APY for the savings account, which also includes a convenience card for ATM access. 

That means that Synchrony offers a savings APY that’s more than 200 times larger than Bank of America’s. Its lack of fees (even for withdrawals past the maximum six per month) is another highlight. 

Right now, Synchrony is offering very competitive CD rates, up to 3.50% APY for 60 months.

While Synchrony doesn’t offer a checking account (more on that below), you can get check-writing capabilities with the money market account, which currently offers 1.50% APY.

Also noteworthy: Synchrony has joined the ranks of other top banks by creating an app, called Synchrony Bank (not to be confused with MySynchrony, which is the bank’s retail portal).

Potential pitfalls: Synchrony doesn’t offer a checking account, meaning you’ll need to rely on an external account or direct deposit to fund your account. 

If you want check-writing capabilities, you can open a money market account. Synchrony also lacks home and auto loans among its products and services, but you can open various credit cards.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Synchrony Bank review.

Pros and Cons of Synchrony Bank


Pros

  • Convenience card for access to ATMs (nice touch for a savings-only account)
  • High APY for all deposit accounts


Cons

  • No checking account, but can open money market account for check-writing capabilities

Chime

Key Features

  • No hidden fees
  • Large ATM network
  • Easy automatic savings

Chime is a great financial institution for those just starting on their personal finance journey. Chime offers automatic savings tools and plenty of learning resources, protects you against overdraft fees and is largely fee-free (no foreign transaction fees is a nice touch). And it doesn’t hurt that savers will earn 1.50% APY.

Chime

APY

1.50%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

60,000 in-network ATMs

More Information About Chime

Why we like this mobile bank: Chime is great for first-time savers and spenders. Chime has no monthly service fees, no overdraft fees (you can overdraw up to $200 on debit cards without incurring a fee using the SpotMe feature), no minimum balance requirements, no foreign-transaction fees and access to more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. 

More importantly, it can be set up to automatically transfer 10% of any direct deposit ($500 or more) into the linked savings account and/or to automatically round up to the nearest dollar on all purchases, depositing the extra change into the savings account. You might also have access to your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit.

If you’re looking to save, you will want to open a Chime Savings Account (only possible if you have a Chime Checking Account). The savings account has an APY of 1.50%.

Potential pitfalls: Chime is a newer option and could face growing pains. There is no in-person service, and reviewers regularly complain of slow customer service. 

Chime is not a full suite bank (no loans, for example).

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Chime Bank review.

Pros and Cons of Chime


Pros

  • Automatic savings features
  • Access to paycheck before actual deposit
  • Access to 60,000+ ATMs nationwide


Cons

  • Not a full suite bank
  • Slow customer service

CIT Bank

Key Features

  • Up to 2.10% APY
  • Leading mobile app
  • $30 in monthly ATM fee reimbursement

CIT Bank regularly has one of the highest interest rates of any savings account on our list; right now, the Savings Connect account boasts a 2.10% APY. The eChecking account is also worth your consideration, with up to 0.25% APY and $30 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements. Interested in money markets or CDs? You’ll find good options for those here as well.

CIT Bank

APY

Up to 2.10%

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

$30 in monthly ATM fee reimbursement

More Information about CIT Bank

Why we like this online bank: CIT Bank provides competitive interest rates on its various deposit accounts, including 2.10% on the Savings Connect account and 0.85% on the Savings Builder account. 

The eChecking account, a newer addition to the portfolio, is attractive, with a 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000 and 0.25% on balances at or above $25,000 — but it rarely makes sense to keep so much in checking. The account does pay out $30 a month in ATM reimbursements, and CIT’s mobile app has great reviews on the App Store and Google Play. You can also get home loans through CIT.

Potential pitfalls: CIT’s savings accounts suffer from their lack of ATM access and a minimum balance requirement ($100). 

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete CIT Bank review.

Pros and Cons of CIT Bank


Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • ATM reimbursement plan
  • High APY


Cons

  • Requires minimum deposit of $100
  • No free ATM network

Discover Bank

Discover Bank

Best for Rewards

Key Features

  • Easy cash back checking
  • Large ATM network
  • No monthly fees

Discover, more widely known for its credit card offerings, includes an impressive cash back checking account and even a high-yield savings account (1.70% APY). While we like Discover for their credit options, Discover’s deposit accounts are also solid and feature a great mobile app.

Discover Bank

APY

1.00% cash back and 1.70% APY

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

60,000 in-network ATMs

More Information about Discover Bank

Why we like this online bank: Discover Bank features both savings and checking accounts. Discover’s checking account is a rewards account, meaning you earn cash back for debit card purchases instead of interest on the money in the bank account. Right now, you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month, for up to $30 a month and $360 a year. You’ll also have access to more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs, and you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees.

Discover’s savings account stands at 1.70% APY.  Discover also offers a money market account and CDs, as well as retirement accounts.

Potential pitfalls: You cannot get an auto or home loan through Discover Bank’s products and services. Cash back on checking accounts is helpful, but big spenders will earn more when using a credit card without a monthly limit on cash back.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Discover Bank review.

Pros and Cons of Discover Bank


Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • Access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cash back rewards


Cons

  • No traditional APY for checking, but cash back is still enticing

Barclays Bank

Key Features

  • Wide range of CDs
  • High-yield savings account
  • Leading mobile app

Barclays is a solid choice for a savings account or CD, but you will need another bank or credit union to operate a checking account. You would be better served by another bank on this list if you need a checking account. That said, Barclays offers an award-winning account with top-notch security and an easy-to-use mobile app.

Barclays

APY

1.80% APY

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

No ATM network

More Information About Barclays Bank

Why we like this online bank: Barclays offers a competitive 1.50% APY on its online savings account. While not super attractive, it is still far above the 0.01% you will earn at Chase. Its mobile app is highly rated.

Low-risk investors may also like Barclay’s assortment of high-interest CDs. Right now, you can get a 60-month CD at a 3.25% APY.

Potential pitfalls: You cannot open a checking account with Barclays, complicating access to funds.

For a full run down of fees and services, check out our complete Barclays Bank review.

Pros and Cons of  Barclays Bank


Cons

  • Limited access to funds (no checking)

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

Best for Travelers

Key Features

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited global ATM fee reimbursement
  • Great for investors

Charles Schwab is a top choice for your investment portfolio, but it’s also a good home for your savings and checking needs. If you travel often and don’t use a travel credit card, you will appreciate the unlimited ATM reimbursements globally and the lack of foreign transaction fees.

Charles Schwab

APY

0.28% APY

Monthly fees

$0

ATM fees

Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements globally

More Information About Charles Schwab

Why we like this online bank: Charles Schwab is great for those who like to travel — it has no foreign transaction fees and offers unlimited ATM reimbursement worldwide

Charles Schwab is, however, more ideally suited for investing than saving and spending, thanks to its wide range of investment options. As such, the checking account — called High Yield Investor — is built with investors in mind with a direct link to a customer’s brokerage account for easy funding. It earns 0.25% APY.

Potential pitfalls: APYs are lower than other online banks on our list: 0.28% for the savings account and 0.25% for the checking account. 

Charles Schwab is great for investors looking for a brokerage account, but savers and spenders looking for basic, high-yield online savings and checking accounts should look elsewhere.

Pros and Cons of Charles Schwab


Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursement worldwide
  • No foreign transaction fees


Cons

  • Overdraft fees if funds aren’t available in linked account
  • Built more for investing, not spending and saving

Online Bank Comparison at a Glance

Banking Features You Want

Bank Rating Savings APY Checking APY Loans
Capital One 5 stars 1.75% APY 0.10% APY Auto
CIT Bank 4.5 stars 2.10% APY 0.25% APY Mortgage
Axos Bank 4.5 stars 0.61% APY 1.25% APY Mortgage and auto
Ally Bank 4.5 stars 1.50% APY 0.25% APY Mortgage and auto
SoFi 4.5 stars 2.00% APY 2.00% APY Mortgage and auto refi
LendingClub 4 stars 2.07% APY 1.00% cash back Auto refi
Alliant Credit Union 4 stars 1.80% APY 0.25% APY Mortgage and auto
Synchrony Bank 4 stars 2.0% APY n/a None
Discover Bank 4 stars 1.70% APY 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly purchases Mortgage
Chime 4 stars 1.50% APY 0.0% APY None
nbkc 3.5 stars 0.15% APY 0.15% APY Only in Kansas
Barclays Bank 3 stars 1.80% APY n/a None
Charles Schwab 3 stars 0.28% APY 0.25% APY Mortgage

Advantages of Online Banks

The biggest allure of online banking is the high annual percentage yield (APY).  APY is the interest (including compound interest) that you’ll earn on your money in a year.

Because online banks rarely have physical locations and need fewer employees, they have low overhead and can pass those savings over to customers.

Traditional banks offer interest rates as low as 0.01% for both checking and savings accounts. (The national average for savings accounts is just 0.13%.)

But online bank accounts have many benefits outside of high interest rates. Here are just a few:

  • Low (or no) fees, including monthly maintenance fees (sometimes called monthly service fees or simply monthly fees), overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees and ATM fees. Some online banks even offer reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Low or no minimum balance requirements.
  • Strong online and mobile banking experiences, including apps and two-factor authentication.
  • FDIC and NCUA insurance up to $250,000.
  • Accessible customer service online or by phone.
Pro Tip

Check out our current list of bank promotions for a chance to gain a monetary bonus when signing up for a new bank account.

Drawbacks of Online Banks

Online banking isn’t without its issues, but customers generally find the high-yield returns, stellar mobile experiences and lack of fees more than make up for online banks’ pitfalls.

Below are some of the most common drawbacks of online banks:

Limited Options for Cash Deposits

Depositing cash is the biggest challenge of online banks because they lack physical locations. Even online banks that have partnerships with brick-and-mortar banks for in-network ATMs often cannot accept cash deposits via ATM.

If you intend to deposit cash regularly (like if you’re a server or hair stylist who depends on cash tips) but still want the benefits of an online account, open an account with a brick-and-mortar bank solely to deposit cash and electronically transfer it to your online account.

Challenges With Transferring Funds

Online checking accounts generally make it easy to access your money with debit cards that work at thousands of ATMs. Some also offer checkbooks, no matter how archaic they may seem.

Online savings accounts, on the other hand, can be more challenging to access in emergencies than accounts at brick-and-mortar banks, but thanks to improvements in the speed of electronic transfer (ACH deposits) and new solutions from online savings accounts (like convenience cards), this issue has been largely reduced.

No Face-to-Face Support

If you’re more old school about your money management and like the idea of walking into a branch and singing your sorrows to a bank teller who can help you figure out your financial problems, an online bank might not be for you.

Online banks offer incredible customer service online and over the phone, but you can only get comforting in-person help for your accounts at a brick-and-mortar traditional bank.

How to Choose an Online Bank

If an online bank makes sense for your finances, you’re now faced with the task of choosing one. While reviewing our list of the best online banks is a great place to start, you will need to assess your specific needs out of a bank to determine which on our best online banks list actually works best for you.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Which bank has the highest APY? If earning the most in interest is what’s most important to you, your task is easy. Do note, however, the APYs can fluctuate. So if two of your top banks are neck and neck, but the bank with the slightly lower APY has better customer service and easier access to brick-and-mortar, it might actually be wiser to go with that one. In a few months, the interest rate may be higher than the current leading bank.
  • Are there other rewards? APYs are only one piece of the puzzle. Certain checking accounts offer cash back rewards, and some accounts — savings, checking and money market accounts — even come with sign-up bonuses.
  • How often do you use an ATM? If ATM usage is a part of your weekly routine, consider only online banks that have free access to a large network of ATMs. Otherwise, fees will add up.
  • What are the fees? The beauty of most online banks is the lack of monthly fees. However, this can vary. If you travel to foreign countries regularly, for instance, and plan to use your bank’s debit card, look for a bank that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Are you a mobile power user? If you live in your financial institution’s app, chances are good you will want one with an intuitive user interface and lightning speed. Check out reviews of mobile apps before committing to a specific bank.
  • How often will you need to talk to an employee? Online banks are known for a lot of things, but stellar customer service is not typically one of them. If you need to chat with someone regularly about your money or tend to ask a lot of questions, look for an online bank with a good reputation for customer service.
  • What about money market accounts? For our list of the best online banks, we primarily considered personal checking and savings accounts. Money markets are quite similar to savings, but not every bank offers them.

Recapping the Best Online Banks

  • Capital One: Best Overall Online Bank
  • CIT Bank: Best for Savers
  • Axos Bank: Best for High-Interest Checking
  • Ally Bank: Best for No Overdraft Fees
  • SoFi: Best for Combination Checking and Savings
  • LendingClub: Best for ATM Users
  • Alliant Credit Union: Best Online Credit Union
  • Synchrony Bank: Best for High-Yield Accounts
  • Discover Bank: Best for Rewards
  • Chime: Best for Beginners
  • nbkc: Best for Simplicity
  • Charles Schwab: Best for Travelers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Online Banking

Still have questions? You’re not alone. Here are some frequently asked questions about online banking—with answers.

Which Is the Best Online Bank in the U.S.?

This year, we have ranked Capital One as the number one online bank in the US. However, these ratings are subject to change, and any bank that made our list of the top 13 online banks is a quality choice. Alliant Credit Union is the only option on our list that is not a bank.

Are Online Banks Safe to Use?

Yes, online banks are safe to use. Just make sure your bank is insured by the FDIC (or, if it’s an online credit union, by the NCUA). As with all websites, only input financial information if you see the HTTPS and a lock symbol. Don’t use the same password for any other accounts, and consider utilizing a password manager. Multi-factor authentication, as well as biometric screenings, are a great way to protect your account as well.

Which Is the Most Secure Online Bank?

Secure banking hinges upon strong apps, multi-factor authentication and biometric screening. Some of the top online banks that utilize such security practices include Citibank, Bank of America, Starling Bank, Barclays and HSBC. However, every bank included on our list above has been deemed to be tremendously safe and is backed by the FDIC or NCUA.

Methodology: How We Picked These Online Banks

To determine the online banks and credit unions for this list, we reviewed nearly 40 of the most popular financial institutions. We chose the 13 banks on our list because of their combination of high APYs, low minimum balances and low or no fees. Customer service, easy (and free) access to ATMs, mobile/online experience and ease of funds transfers were also important considerations.

All financial institutions on this list are FDIC-insured (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA-insured (National Credit Union Administration) and have no monthly fees (or offer a way to waive them).

Contributor Timothy Moore is a writer and editor in Cincinnati who covers banks, loans insurance, travel and automotive topics for The Penny Hoarder.

¹Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. ²Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date. ³The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of August 25th, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest. The average national savings account interest rate of 0.13% is determined by FDIC as of August 15, 2022 based on a simple average of rates paid (uses annual percentage yield) by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit National Rates and Rate Caps to learn more.

*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.




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