Online Banking

Best Online Banks in 2020

In 2020, your choice of banks is no longer limited by the city in which you live. Online banking has opened up a world full of options, benefits, and perks. Online banks generally offer better interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, but they have even more to offer. Whether you’re looking for an online savings account with an ATM card or fee-free foreign transactions, there’s an online bank ready to help you meet your needs. 

Here is the list of our top five online banks in 2020. These banks offer a wide range of services in addition to their checking and savings accounts.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is one of the front-runners in online banking. They can handle everything from your checking account to your home mortgage or retirement accounts.  With a wide range of services, customers can meet nearly all of their financial needs under one virtual roof.

What we like: 

  • Their high-yield savings account interest rate is consistently one of the highest offered
  • Their app is easy to use
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Access to over 43,000 ATMS, with reimbursement of fees up to $10 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee of $25 is only charged once per day

What we don’t like: 

  • No physical locations mean that you are unable to deposit cash into your bank account. If you work in an industry where you regularly are paid in cash, Ally Bank is not the best bank for you.
  • If you make more than 6 transfers per month from your savings account, you may be charged a $10 fee per additional transaction

Discover Bank

In addition to the credit cards they are known for, Discover Bank offers a wide range of financial services, including checking, savings, money market accounts, and retirement accounts. 

What we like:

  • No fees for checking or savings accounts
  • No minimum balance or minimum deposit required for checking accounts
  • 1% cashback on up to $3,000 for debit card transactions each month
  • 60,000 no-fee ATMs
  • Competitive interest rate for savings accounts

What we don’t like:

  • No interest rate for checking accounts
  • Savings account interest rate, while competitive, is lower than at other online banks

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a brokerage firm that is well-known for its investment products. In addition to their wide range of investment services, they also offer a high-yield investor checking account for their investors. If you don’t have an account already, you can still enjoy the benefits of their online checking account. An investor account will be opened when you apply for your banking account. 

What we like:

  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum balance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates

What we don’t like:

  • Savings account interest rate is low compared to other online banks
  • No way to directly deposit cash

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the United States. While credit unions often have narrow membership requirements, you can qualify to become a member of Alliant Credit Union based on your employer, memberships you may have, living in certain areas, or a blood relationship with an existing member. If you don’t meet any of those requirements, you can become a member of Alliant’s partner charity, Foster Care to Success, for a donation of $5 and become eligible for credit union membership. Alliant will even make the donation on your behalf!

What we like:

  • Competitive interest rates for both checking and savings accounts
  • No monthly fees if you enroll in e-statements
  • Low minimum balance of $5; $100 to earn interest
  • Easily set up multiple bank accounts for specific purposes (such as saving for a car or an emergency fund)

What we don’t like:

  • Overdraft fees of $28 can be charged multiple times a day
  • Only one physical branch location

First Foundation Bank

First Foundation Bank has brick-and-mortar locations in California, Hawaii, and Nevada, but it serves customers all over the United States with its wide range of services. Those services include wealth management and philanthropy services, in addition to the ability to bank fully online through their website or apps.

What we like:

  • 1% interest rate for savings accounts, higher than many other high-yield savings accounts
  • Physical location option if you live in California, Hawaii, or Nevada
  • Reimburse up to $20 for each ATM visit for withdrawals from their online checking account
  • Option of requesting an ATM card for your savings account

What we don’t like:

  • $1,000 minimum account balance for their online savings account
  • Fees for both incoming and outgoing wire transfers
  • Insufficient funds fee of $35 can be charged up to five times per day