At one time, consumers looked down on online banks for not having any physical locations. The top online banks took this disadvantage and turned it into a positive, channeling their cost savings into enhanced interest rates, products and services for banking customers. The best online banks now offer a full range of personal financial products and banking services, including checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs, and most come with ATM access and a high APY. To determine the Best Online Bank of 2019, GOBankingRates evaluated 28 online banks using a methodology centered on the following criteria:
- Checking account fee
- Savings account annual percentage yield
- 12-month CD APY
- BauerFinancial Star Rating for overall financial strength
Further consideration was given as to whether or not banks offered the following services:
- 24/7 customer service by phone
- Live chat service with a real person via a website
- Mobile app
- Remote check deposit
All top 10 online banks offer competitive accounts that come with the best online banking services, such as a mobile app and mobile deposit. One of these banks might be the best bank for you, especially if your current bank lacks the generous rates and services offered by these online banks.
Here are the 10 Best Online Banks of 2019, according to GOBankingRates’ Best Banks study:
- Ally Bank
- Bank5 Connect
- TIAA Bank
- CIT Bank
- Barclays Bank Delaware
- Discover Bank
- Sallie Mae Bank
- Synchrony Bank
|The Best Online Banks of 2019|
|Bank||Checking Fee||Savings APY||12-Month CD APY|
|Barclays Bank Delaware||$0||1.85%||2.55%|
|Sallie Mae Bank||$0||2.10%||2.85%|
Why: Ally Bank offers a top savings APY with its online savings account, with a rate of 2.00% APY. The bank also has free checking and a variety of customer service options.
Review: A bank that pays high rates of interest and has no monthly maintenance fees is bound to be a winner, as Ally consistently has proven. Ally Bank is the only bank in the top 10 list that offers 24/7 phone customer service, live chat with a real person, a mobile app and remote check deposit.
- No minimum deposit to open
- No fees for official or cashier’s checks
- Home loans, auto loans and credit cards also available
How to Open: You can open an account online at Ally by providing your personal information, including Social Security number, date of birth and a valid ID. You can also call customer service 24/7 at 877-247-2559, or open an account by mailing in an application.
Why: Great customer service options, low fees, and high rates make Bank5 Connect a top contender for the Best Online Bank of 2019. It’s among the Best Savings Accounts of 2019.
Review: Bank5 Connect doesn’t offer 24/7 customer phone service, but it does have live chat, a mobile app and remote check deposit, whereas most of the top banks only have two of the four. The bank doesn’t skimp in its other features either, paying a high 2.55% APY on its 12-month CD and an impressive 2.05% APY on its online savings account.
- No-fee checking
- $10 minimum to open online savings, with a $100 minimum to earn interest
- Free in-network ATM withdrawals
- Reimbursement of up to $15 per month in non-network ATM fees
How to Open: Accounts can be opened online in about 10 minutes. You’ll need your Social Security number, valid ID, previous address if you have moved in the past two years and a funding source.
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Why: With one of the highest CD yields available and a guarantee of good rates from its checking account, TIAA Bank ranks among the very best online banks and also offers one of the Best CD Accounts of 2019.
Review: Banks often offer promotional yields to entice customers, but those rates can fall after a limited time. TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Checking account guarantees that you will always receive a yield in the top 5 percent of competitive accounts, putting those fears to rest. That account requires a $5,000 minimum to open, but carries no monthly fee and offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements if you maintain that $5,000 balance.
- Checking account yield guaranteed to be among the best
- High online savings rate of 0.61% APY
- Good 12-month CD APY of 2.56% APY
- No-fee checking
- Mobile app and remote checking deposit
How to Open: Accounts can be opened easily online, with the ability to add additional accounts or features throughout the process. Help is a phone call away at 877-259-9050.
Why: CIT Bank offers a wide range of high-paying online accounts, from high-yield savings accounts to CDs and money market options.
Review: CIT Bank offers a sleek online user experience that makes it easy to see all available options when it comes to earning a high yield. On top of standard interest-earning accounts, the bank has an 11-month, no-penalty CD that still pays a high APY but allows withdrawals without penalty seven days after deposit. All of these accounts carry no fees to open or maintain. However, there is no checking account available.
- Large number of online interest-bearing accounts
- Easy user interface
- Online and mobile access 24/7, including mobile deposit
How to Open: You’ll need your Social Security number, phone number and email address to open an account online with CIT Bank, but you can open your account in just a few minutes. To make a deposit, you’ll need to provide your current bank account information like your routing number and account number.
Invest in the Best: The Best CD Account of 2019
Why: Barclays Bank Delaware boasts a savings account rate that is 20 times the national average, currently sitting at 1.85% APY. The bank also has some of the highest CD rates available, with the 12-month CD offering a 1.85% APY.
Review: The award-winning savings account at Barclays requires no minimum balance to open and charges no monthly fees. Direct deposit capabilities, online transfers and 24/7 mobile and online access to your money all help to keep Barclays Bank Delaware on the GOBankingRates list of Best Banks 2019.
- No fees on savings and CD products
- Online financial and savings tools
- Credit cards and personal loans available, but no checking account as of press time
How to Open: The online account opening process is similar to other banks. You’ll need to provide personal information along with a funding source if you plan on making an opening deposit.
Why: Discover Bank offers a good range of products, from checking and savings accounts, to money market accounts, CDs and IRAs, with competitive rates and generally nonexistent fees.
Review: Although rates on Discover Bank CDs are good — currently, 2.65% APY on the 12-month CD — a minimum investment of $2,500 is required. The online savings account is another highlight, offering a 2.00% APY, which far exceeds the national average, plus the account has no minimum and no fees.
- High rates and low fees on a deep product roster
- Cashback Checking pays 1 percent back on monthly debit card purchases of up to $3,000, with no fees or balance requirements
- Fee-free access to over 60,000 ATMs
How to Open: Provide your address, phone, email, and Social Security number to open an account online. To fund the account, you can either send a check or transfer funds from your existing bank.
Need a New Checking Account? The Best Checking Account of 2019
Review: Banking with iGObanking.com is simple and straight to the point. On the bank’s webpage, you’ll find a variety of high-paying accounts, ranging from the iGOsavings yield of 1.90% APY to the iGOcd 12-month CD with a rate of 0.15% APY. The bank even pays interest on its iGOchecking account, currently at 0.25% APY.
- No fees and no minimums on iGOsavings
- Free online bill pay
- Over 35,000 surcharge-free ATMs
- iGOcd maturities are available from three months to 10 years
- iGOiras also available
How to Open: As befitting a modern online bank, you can open your account easily online at iGObanking.com. The process will take about 10 minutes, and you’ll have to be an 18-year-old citizen or resident. You’ll need the standard Social Security number, valid form of ID, and funding source, along with your last address if you moved within the past two years.
Why: Sallie Mae knocks the ball out of the park with its great CD rates, highlighted by the 12-month CD rate of 2.85%.
Review: Sallie Mae Bank repeats its appearance from last year’s GOBankingRates ranking, largely based on the strength of its CD rates. The opening deposit of $2,500 is relatively high, but the bank charges no fees — unless it’s a returned deposit fee of $5 — and pays high rates. The bank’s high-yield savings account is free of charge, has no minimum deposit requirement and offers a very respectable 2.10% APY.
- True to its heritage, Sallie Mae also offers a variety of college-planning products and student loans
- Free online piggy bank account to help create and track savings goals
- Money market accounts also carry high yields and have no fees or minimum balances
How to Open: Opening an account is a simple process through the Sallie Mae website. Your name, email address and telephone number are enough to start the application.
Why: Synchrony Bank’s high-yield savings account offers a 2.20% APY and withdrawals are available online, by phone or ATM.
Review: Synchrony Bank’s CDs also shine, with rates going as high as 3.10% APY for its five-year CD. The Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account is one of the best high-interest savings accounts if you prioritize interest rates and no fees. However, the bank has no online checking account.
- ATM refunds up to $5 per cycle
- Rewards program “Synchrony Bank Perks” that provides various discounts
- Winner of numerous awards for products, rates, safety and technology
How to Open: You must be a U.S. person with a U.S. residence to open a Synchrony Bank account online. You’ll also need valid ID and a Social Security number, along with a funding source.
Why: With a high savings yield of 1.21% APY for all balances, IncredibleBank’s High Yield Savings Account lives up to its name. The bank also offers a free checking account.
Review: Although IncredibleBank’s savings account offers high yields, you do have to deposit at least $2,500 to open the account that earns interest, and you need $25,000 to earn the best rates. The bank only offers three CD maturities. The rate for its 12-month CD is 2.27% APY. It also offers a 24-month CD and 36-month CD, all for a $1,000 minimum deposit.
The bank’s free checking account has no account fees and offers a number of free services, including online banking, mobile banking and bill pay, a smartphone app, a Visa debit card, and the reimbursement of domestic ATM fees, all for a $500 minimum deposit.
- Online banking, mobile banking and bill pay available
- Reimbursement of domestic ATM fees
- Business money market and motor coach loans available
How to Open: You’ll need to provide your physical mailing address, Social Security number, and some form of official identification, such as your driver’s license, state ID or passport, along with information on your funding source.
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Methodology: To determine its Best Online Banks ranking, GOBankingRates examined 28 online-only banks that offer products nationally according to the GOBankingRates and FDIC databases, excluding online products offered by institutions with a physical, retail banking presence. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.
Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored each online-only bank from most to least favorable on the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Rating for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) 24/7 customer service available by phone, (6) live chat service via website with a person, (7) mobile app and (8) remote check deposit. Banks were ranked according to their overall score.
Data was compiled from and verified against BauerFinancial and the individual institutions’ websites between Sept. 21 and Oct. 22, 2018. To determine the Best Banks of 2019, GOBankingRates considered the banks’ rates at the time the research was conducted, however, rates that appear in the articles are accurate as of today. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.