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Published: Mar 15, 2024 9 min read
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TOP PARTNER
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Checking Account offers 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month (see website for details)

  • No minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance
  • Early Pay: early paycheck access up to 2 days early
  • No. Fees. Period.
  • FDIC insured
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Savings Account with up to 4.60% APY* (read their website to see terms)

  • Cash Bonus up to $300 with direct deposit set up (Terms apply)
  • No monthly fees 
  • Up to 2-day-early paycheck
  • Up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks

 

*Rate as of 10/24/2023

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Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit

  • No minimum balance, no monthly fees and no overdraft fees
  • Over 60,000 fee-free ATM locations
  • Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC

Best Online Banks Key Takeaways

  • Online banks often have lower operating costs and this typically results in lower fees and higher interest rates than traditional banks.
  • Online banks can be more convenient for on-the-go transactions and mobile check deposits.
  • Opening accounts in these financial institutions is generally a quick and easy process.
  • Make sure that your online bank has strong security features in place, such as firewalls, site encryption, and fraud monitoring. This is usually laid out in the fine print.
  • Most online banking is FDIC-insured.

Online banks have become one of the most popular ways consumers manage their financial transactions. The ability to access banking services 24/7 (often via mobile app) means you can transfer funds, pay bills and monitor your accounts whenever it’s convenient. However, the benefits of an online bank account extend beyond round-the-clock availability. Without the need to maintain brick-and-mortar physical branches, digital banks have lower overhead costs and can pass those savings on to their customers through zero or low fees and competitive interest rates.

Top Online Banks Picks for 2024

The banks listed below are in alphabetical order.

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Best Online Banks Reviews

Ally Bank ranks in the top three in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study for their checking and savings accounts, making it our top pick for customer service. But Ally won’t just treat you well; it also pays an excellent 4.35% APY on its Savings Account.

You can also use Ally’s “boosters” to amp up your savings: Set up recurring transfers from your checking account, round up your purchases for automatic deposits and get pleasantly surprised when Ally finds extra cash in your checking account that can be safely transferred to savings.

Pros
  • Highly rated customer service
  • High APY on savings
  • Boosters to help you save more
  • Very few fees
Cons
  • No ATM access on savings account

Our pick for the online account with the best relationship rewards is Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking. You start by earning a very good 0.40% interest rate, but can bump that up to as high as 3.3% APY when you enroll in direct deposit, use the free Personal Finance Manager service and have personal loans or investment accounts. The more relationships you have with the bank, the higher the rate.

Plus, you’ll get unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and can earn a $300 welcome bonus if you meet account balance and meet the following requirements:

  • Funded within 30 days of being opened
  • Average daily balance of $7k
  • Have qualifying direct deposits totaling at least $5k every month for the first 7 months
Pros
  • Pays a high APY
  • $300 welcome bonus
  • Low opening balance
  • Very few fees
Cons
  • Requirements to earn bonus are high

Bank5 Connect’s High Interest Checking account is our choice for the best high-yield checking account. You’ll earn 2.7% APY on balances over $100 without the need to open multiple accounts or establish relationship banking. You also have the option to earn cash back when you enroll in the Purchase Rewards program. Other account perks include up to $15 of other banks’ ATM fees reimbursed per statement cycle (and no Bank5 Connect out-of-network ATM fees).

Pros
  • High APY
  • No monthly fees
  • Chance to earn cash back
  • ATM fee reimbursement
Cons
  • Cannot make account deposits via ATM

Barclays wins this year for the best bank with low fees. The Online Savings Account has no annual or monthly maintenance fees and the fees it does have are very low. Returned deposit and insufficient funds fees are just $5 per item, much better than other banks we considered. In addition to very few fees, you'll earn 4.35% APY on your savings account.

Pros
  • Low or no fees
  • High APY
  • No minimum deposit required
Cons
  • No ATM access
  • No checking accounts available

If all you want is a savings account that earns a great interest rate, then Bread Financial’s High Yield Savings account is for you. This high-yield savings account pays a 5.15% interest rate, the highest among the online banks we considered. The minimum opening balance is $100, and there’s no monthly service fee. You’ll also get a very nice 5.35% high APY on Bread’s 1-year CD.

Pros
  • High APY
  • Easy to open
  • Very few fees
Cons
  • No ATM card
  • No checking accounts available

We chose Discover as the best overall online bank because of the high interest rate paid on its savings accounts and certificates of deposit (they all earn at least 3.75% competitive APY, have low opening balances and a general lack of fees. Plus, you get free overdraft protection and can earn up to 1% cash back on debit card purchases per month when you open a Discover Cash Back debit account. There’s no minimum balance required to open an account, and you’ll have access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs as well rewards credit cards and a variety of loan options.

Pros
  • High APYs on savings accounts
  • Few fees
  • Easy to open
  • Earn cash back
  • Large ATM network
Cons
  • Checking account doesn't earn interest
  • Savings account doesn't have ATM access

While we’ve chosen individual bank checking and savings accounts as the best for earning a high interest rate, EverBank stands out because it pays higher than usual APYs on all its deposit accounts. In fact, the bank pledges to keep interest rates within the top 5% of competitive accounts.

You can earn a decent 0.45% when you open a Yield Pledge Checking account, and an introductory rate of 5.15% on the Everbank Performance Savings Account (this is subject to change without notice). There aren’t a lot of fees, either — not even for overdrafts or insufficient funds.

Pros
  • High APYs on all accounts
  • Easy to open
  • Very few fees
Cons
  • No ATM access on either account

SoFi’s checking account, which comes with a high-yield savings account, is our pick for best checking/savings combo because of the high interest rate and other perks offered in its account options.

Earn 0.50% APY on the checking portion of the account (well above the industry average) and 4.60% on the savings portion. You can also earn up to $250 in cash bonuses when you sign up for direct deposits and meet account balance requirements, and get 15% cash back on SoFi debit card purchases.

Pros
  • Pays high APY
  • Access to 55,000 ATM network
  • Earns cash bonus
  • Earns cash back
Cons
  • No separate checking or savings account

Quontic is once again our choice for the most innovative bank due to its cutting-edge products and services. Open a checking account, and you’ll not only earn a very good 1.1% APY (when meeting transaction requirements), but you’ll also have access to the bank’s Pay Ring, which allows you to easily make purchases by just tapping your ring on the payment terminal. Quontic’s High Yield Savings account is pretty good, too, paying 4.5% APY.

Pros
  • High APY on Checking and Saving
  • Pay Ring
  • 90,000-ATM network
  • Very few account fees
Cons
  • Low APY of 0.01% if transaction requirements aren't met on the checking account

If you’re looking for an account that will pay high dividends on your deposits, Vio’s Cornerstone Money Market Savings account pays 5.30% — the highest of all the money market accounts we considered and making it our top pick. The account has a low opening balance of $100 and there are no monthly service fees either. Plus, Vio won’t charge you if you have a negative balance in your account.

Pros
  • High APY
  • Low opening balance
  • No monthly service fee
Cons
  • No ATM card or checks with account

How we chose the Best Online Banks of 2024

To determine our list of Best Online Banks for 2024, Money staff evaluated 273 of the largest retail banks, credit unions, regional and state banks, ranked by assets, and 20 of the most popular online banks. We then compared opening and minimum balance requirements and minimum opening deposits, annual percentage yields, fees and features — such as customer support, ATM access for easy withdrawals, the ability to deposit cash, and mobile banking — to determine our top picks. You can read our full methodology here.

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