Online Banking

The Best online banks...

...Online banks operate without branches. They tend to have higher rates and lower fees compared with traditional banks.

Online banking, by definition, means managing your bank accounts with a computer or mobile device. This includes transferring funds, depositing checks and paying bills electronically.

Traditional banks and credit unions with branches typically let customers access their accounts via the internet, too. But online banks offer primarily mobile access. You won’t meet a banker face to face, but with a mobile device or computer, you can reach your account anytime.

Lower fees

Because online banks don’t have to spend money on branch maintenance, they tend to have low or no fees. Many online accounts don’t charge monthly service fees, for example, and some don’t charge overdraft fees, either.

To compare, accounts at large brick and mortar banks often charge monthly service fees around $10, though they may waive them if you meet certain requirements, such as having a $1,500 minimum balance

Better interest rates

At online banks, deposit accounts tend to have higher annual percentage yields. The best online savings accounts, for example, have APYs around 1.50%. Compare that to the national average savings rate of 0.07%, and some of the largest brick and mortar banks have savings accounts that earn only 0.01% APY.

A few percentage points difference might not sound like much, but the larger your balance, the more it matters. A balance of $10,000 deposited for a year at 0.01% will earn a dollar; at 1.50%, it earns just over $150.

Online cash management accounts are another option for earning interest. These financial products are offered by nonbank service providers, such as brokerages. They typically combine the features of checking, savings and investment accounts, and can also have good yields.

Standard bank services

Though online banks typically offer higher rates and lower fees, many still have basic banking features you can expect to find at traditional banks, including:

  • ATM access. A good online bank will be part of an ATM network, like Allpoint or MoneyPass, with thousands of fee-free machines nationwide. If you need to withdraw cash from a non-network machine, some online banks will also reimburse any fees the ATM owner charges.
  • Security. Online banks with standard security measures are just as safe as traditional banks. Look for features such as encryption and fraud monitoring, and before you open a bank account, make sure the money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. There are also measures you can take to ensure secure online banking, including avoiding public Wi-Fi networks and keeping anti-virus software up to date.
  • Accessibility. You can access your bank accounts and bank services wherever there’s internet — on your computer or mobile device — around the clock. You can also reach customer service by phone — in many cases, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

No branches

With an online bank, prepare to have limited access to in-person help. Instead of face-to-face meetings, many banks offer phone-based customer service, as well as options for online chat.

Cash can be hard to deposit

Some online banks have cumbersome cash deposit processes. You might have to find a deposit-accepting ATM. Or you may need to put money into a traditional bank account and transfer it to your online account. You could also use cash to buy a money order, and then deposit it electronically using your online bank’s mobile app.

Some banks also partner with a third-party service, such as Green Dot, to let retailers and convenience accept cash deposits. But these services typically charge fees of around $5 for deposits.

Fewer one-stop-shop options

Some online banks have outstanding savings accounts but don’t offer checking, so you might have to open one type of account at one institution and a separate type of account at another.

...If you want higher rates, lower fees and don’t need frequent branch banking services, an online bank may be worth a look. Keep in mind, you can choose to open an online account without giving up an existing account at your local institution. In fact, having accounts at both a traditional bank and an online bank could give you the best of both worlds — higher interest rates and access to in-person help when you need it.

...Ally Bank is an online-only bank offering competitive deposit accounts and other financial services. Ally'sroots go back to 1919 when it started out as GMAC, the finance arm of automaker GM. The bank rebranded in 2009 as Ally Bank, a straight-talking online bank.

Customer service: 00 1 757-247-2559

Headquarters: Sandy, Utah, United States

Founded: 2004

Parent organization: Ally Financial

...Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial services company. Ally Bank, the company's direct banking subsidiary, offers an array of deposit and mortgage products and services.

ATM fee refunds

High APYs

No monthly fees

Ally Bank is ideal for consumers comfortable with banking entirely online who want access to loans, high-yield deposit products and credit cards. If you need access to a bank branch or you’re a member of the service industry who’s primarily paid in cash, look elsewhere.

...Radius Bank is an online focused community bank based in Boston, Massachusetts. Radius Bank is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender as well as a member of the NYCE SUM ATM network. Radius is one of the fastest growing banks in Massachusetts. and is currently the 39th largest bank headquartered there.

Headquarters location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Founded: 1987

Parent organization: Radius Bancorp Inc.

  • The bank offers competitive yields on savings and CDs, as well as checking accounts.
  • There are no monthly fees on many of the bank’s products.
  • The bank offers top-notch digital tools, including bill pay, P2P payments and more.

ATM fee refunds

Digital Leader

No monthly fees

Radius Bank is a great option for people looking for competitive yields, low fees and ample ATM access at a digital-first institution.

..."Discover Bank offers a broad range of products, including checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs with maturity dates between three months and 10 years."

Customer service: 00 1 302-323-7810

Headquarters: New Castle, Delaware, United States

Founded: 1911

Parent organization: Discover Financial Services

  • Discover customers have access to a full suite of financial products and services.
  • Checking account offers cash back when its debit card is used for everyday purchases.
  • Account holders can pay credit card bills and check bank accounts through the same app and website.
  • No monthly fees for keeping any of the bank accounts open.

Free Checking

No Minimum Balance

No monthly fees

Discover Bank is a great option for consumers hoping to manage their credit cards and bank accounts in one place. You’re better off banking elsewhere, however, if you want wider access to bank branches or deposit accounts with higher yields.

  • The same APY applies to all balances.
  • No deposit is needed when applying for an account.
  • No fees for official bank checks or excessive withdrawals and no insufficient fund fee.
  • There's no maintenance fee.

...The E*TRADE Financial Corporation family of companies provides financial services, including trading, investing, investment advisory, and banking products and services. ... E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Securities are separate but affiliated companies.

Headquarters: Virginia, United States

Founded: 1933

Parent organization: ETB Holdings, Inc.

  • No minimum deposit to open a savings account.
  • No overdraft fees for debit purchases.
  • Customer service representatives are available 24/7.
  • There is no minimum deposit to open the account.
  • Interest is compounded daily.
  • No monthly fees

E-Trade Bank is especially worth considering if you also invest at E-Trade and want products from the same parent company. If you like to do banking in person, you will want to bank somewhere else.

...The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly referred to as CIBC, is one of the "Big Five" banks in Canada. The bank is headquartered at Commerce Court in Toronto, Ontario. CIBC's Institution Number is 010, and its SWIFT code is CIBCCATT.

Customer service: 00 1 902-420-2422

Credit card support: 00 1 514-861-9898

Number of employees: : 45,157 (FTE, 2019); 44,220 (FTE, 2018);

Headquarters: Toronto, Canada

High APYs

Low Fees

No monthly fees

CIBC Bank USA is a great option to earn a top-tier yield on a savings account, with its CIBC Agility Online Savings Account. In addition to having a high APY, the account doesn’t charge a maintenance fee.

  • The bank offers a range of personal banking products.
  • The Agility Online Savings Account offers a competitive yield with no maintenance fee.
  • CIBC Agility Online Savings Account earns a top-tier yield.
  • A minimum balance of only 1 cent is required to earn the APY.
  • The account doesn’t charge a maintenance fee.