Pros and Cons of Online Savings Accounts

The best high-interest savings accounts with the lowest bank fees are usually online.

As more banks introduce mobile-friendly features and secure access to your account, it makes sense to explore your online savings account options. Although many brick-and-mortar banks offer online savings options, you might get the best interest rates by opening an account at an online-only bank.

To maximize your contributions, always compare savings accounts to find high APY offers and the best interest rates. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of online savings accounts so you can find the best savings account for your hard-earned money.

Online Savings Account Pros

Although you might be concerned about online security, you’ll find that good online banks provide complete security measures, and there are several advantages to having an online savings account. Decide if these positive features outweigh the negatives:

  • Mobile apps: Many banks now offer mobile banking features through apps for your smartphone and tablet. If you have access to the apps you can deposit checks, review your balance and keep track of transfers with a few taps or screen swipes.
  • Easy access: You always have access to your online savings account from your computer, or you can call customer service to check your balance, make a deposit or handle other banking tasks. Waiting in line at the bank or rushing to get there before it closes will become a thing of the past.
  • High interest: Many online banks offer higher interest rates because they have less overhead costs than a brick-and-mortar bank — and online banks typically pass on the savings to their customers. Not only do online-only banks often offer the best high interest savings account options, they typically charge low or no bank fees.
  • FDIC insured: Online savings accounts are FDIC-insured like other bank accounts, which means your money — up to $250,000 — is safe from a bank failure.

Related: 10 Best Online Banks of 2017

Online Savings Account Cons

Online savings accounts can provide you with the best interest rates available and the convenience of 24/7 access, but they aren’t without their drawbacks. Here are the disadvantages to consider:

  • Deposit issues: To deposit a check in your online savings account you can use your bank’s app to take a picture of it. If you want to deposit cash to an online bank account, however, you need to find an ATM that accepts deposits, buy a money order or have someone deposit the cash in his account and write you a check that you can deposit.
  • Minimal personalization: If you choose an online-only savings account, you won’t be able to walk up to a teller to make a deposit or sit down with a personal banker to explore savings options.
  • Slow transfer times: It typically takes anywhere from three to five days to move money from your online bank to another institution. If you don’t want to wait this long, an online-only account might not work for you.
  • No relationship building: An online-only account doesn’t give you the opportunity to build a relationship with a banker or the bank even if it’s the best online savings account available. Bank relationships can be important if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage or other type of loan.

Make the Choice

If you don’t require in-person interactions for your banking needs an online, high interest savings account might be for you. Many online-only banks offer attractive interest rates and conveniences that enable you to securely manage your funds from a mobile device or computer.

If you prefer a more personalized banking experience, stick with a brick-and-mortar bank. You can build a relationship with your bank, deposit money easily and move money quickly to another institution. And, if you ever change your mind, you can always switch to online banking or use a combination of both banking options to fit your needs.

Up Next: Pros and Cons of Traditional Banks — How to Decide Where to Put Your Money