Best online banks of 2021


Final verdict

Some online banks are more suited for checks, others for savings, and others for loans or investing. The best online banks can do it all, and Ally Bank does it, consistently offering some of the highest rates on completely free accounts.

This, along with useful extras like savings compartments and savings boosting features, make it the best bank overall. You can use Ally Bank as a one-stop shop for all your financial needs, whether you’re looking to bank, borrow, or invest, and know you’re always getting a good deal.

Compare the best online banks

Society Minimum deposit APY Types of accounts
Allied bank

Best overall
Nothing 0.50% for savings, 0.25% for control Checks, savings, CDs, money market, investment, retirement
Synchronization bank

Ideal for saving
Nothing 0.50% savings, no control Savings, Money Market, CDs, Retirement, Credit Cards
A capital letter

Ideal for students
Nothing 0.40% for savings, 0.10% for control Checks, savings, CDs, credit cards

Ideal for checking
Nothing Nothing Checks, savings, CDs, money market, retirement, credit cards
Charles Schwab

Ideal for travelers
Nothing 0.05% for savings, 0.03% for control Verification, savings, CD, investment, retirement
Axos Bank

Ideal for couples
Nothing 0.61% for savings, up to 1.25% for checks Verification, savings, CDs, money market, investment

How to choose the best online bank

Choosing the best online bank is first and foremost about finding the features that suit your needs. Here are some considerations:

  • Rates: If you’re considering checking, savings, CD, or money market accounts, getting the highest possible rate will help you get the most out of your money. Go for banks that offer a high APY compared to competitors.
  • Monthly fee: Monthly maintenance fees are the most common and add up quickly. Now that there are so many free bank accounts out there, there’s no reason to choose one that charges a monthly fee.
  • ATM fees: If you get an account with an ATM card, make sure it doesn’t charge ATM fees. Other institutions may still charge you an ATM fee when you use off-network ATMs, but the best online banks now also offer discounts on ATM fees.
  • Other expenses: Two other big ones to avoid are overdraft fees and overseas transaction fees. Many of the best online banks don’t charge overdraft fees. You can also find checking accounts with no overseas transaction fees, which is important if you are traveling overseas.
  • Minimum balance required: Some bank accounts require a minimum monthly balance to keep your account open, while others require one to avoid charges. The best online banks don’t have minimum balance requirements. So, you never have to worry about keeping your balance at a certain number.
  • Types of accounts: If you want to do all of your banking in one place, you need a bank that offers it all. While it might be a little less convenient, having different accounts at different online banks can help you get the best deals. For example, you can open a checking account with the best online bank for checks and a savings account with the best online bank for savings.

Online banks vs traditional banks

Traditional banks are the big pillars that operate primarily from physical locations, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and US Bank. Online banks operate primarily, or exclusively, online. Some may have a handful of branches while others may not offer physical locations at all.

Because online banks don’t have the overheads of operating physical branches, online banks tend to charge less and less fees (the best online banks don’t charge any fees) and offer higher rates. higher on your savings. That said, you won’t always get the full range of financial services, such as mortgages, personal loans, and retirement, that you can find at traditional banks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are online banking safe to use?

Online banks are just as secure as traditional banks. The accounts of the best online banks are FDIC insured up to $ 250,000, which is also the norm for traditional banks. These accounts also have the same, if not more advanced, security features for online banking services as other banks.

Does FDIC Insure Online Banks?

The FDIC insures online banks, and most online bank accounts are FDIC insured up to $ 250,000. This is the norm for all types of banks.

Do you pay more fees with online banks?

You usually pay less and less fees with online banking. It’s cheaper for online banks to operate online, so you get some of that savings in the form of no monthly maintenance fees, no ATM fees, and sometimes even no overdraft or overdraft fees. foreign transaction.


To select the best online banks, we surveyed over 25 online banks, looking at rates, fees, rewards, minimum balance requirements, customer service, mobile app, and account types offered. These are the most important features when it comes to online banking if you want to minimize your costs, maximize your income, and enjoy a convenient and easy banking experience.

We have ruled out all online banks that charge monthly maintenance fees on checking and savings accounts, as there are so many that don’t. We also did not include banks that require high minimum opening deposits or high minimum monthly balances. A high APY was not a strict requirement if the bank distinguished itself in other ways, such as lowering all fees. Likewise, banks with a minimum opening deposit requirement were considered, as long as it was low and the bank offered something in return, such as a high APY.


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