While brick-and-mortar banks try to compete with online banks by increasing mobile banking services, online banks are countering with enhanced customer service, such as live web chat and 24/7 phone support. This competition for your business means you have more online banking options than ever, so GOBankingRates’ annual Best Banks study has identified the best online banks for you.
After evaluating 28 internet banking institutions as part of its Best Banks of 2017 study, GOBankingRates found the 10 best online banks by evaluating their checking account fees, savings account yields, one-year CD interest rates, customer service features and BauerFinancial Star Ratings, which indicate overall financial strength. Here are the best online banks of 2017:
- Ally Bank
- AloStar Bank of Commerce
- Incredible Bank
- Bank of Internet USA
- Discover Bank
- Synchrony Bank
- Barclays Bank Delaware
- CIT Bank
|Checking Fee||24/7 Phone Customer Service||Live Chat||Mobile App||Remote Check Deposit|
|AloStar Bank of Commerce||1.05%||1.05%||$0||No||No||Yes||No|
|Incredible Bank||1.11%||1.00% (13-month)||$15||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Bank of Internet USA||0.61%||1.00%||$0||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Barclays Bank Delaware||1.00%||1.20%||N/A||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Why: Ally Bank won the Best Online Bank award due to its winning combination of no-fee checking, high savings and CD yields, and customer service. Ally topped the list of best online banks in 2016, as well.
Review: Ally Bank offers a 1.00% APY on its savings account and 1.05% APY on its 12-month CD. Its interest checking offers a competitive 0.10% APY that goes up to 0.60% APY on balances of $15,000 or more. No monthly maintenance fee or minimum deposit is required for the online savings accounts.
Ally Bank is the only bank on this list that offers every facet of customer service considered in the study for best online bank:
- 24/7 telephone customer support
- Live online chat
- Mobile app
- Remote check deposit
Plus, you can use any Allpoint ATM for free and get reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle for other ATM surcharges. For all these reasons, Ally is the best bank online.
How to join: If you’re at least 18 years old, you can open a checking account online at the Ally website. You’ll need to provide your address and Social Security number.
Review: Bank5 Connect’s checking account offers one of the highest interest rates: 0.76% APY. It also has a 12-month CD that earns a competitive 1.00% APY.
Bank5 Connect doesn’t provide 24/7 customer support via phone, but customers get access to some of the best online banking features, including live online chat, a mobile app and remote check deposit.
Bank5 Connect reimburses other banks’ ATM fees up to $15 per statement cycle. The UChoose Rewards program lets you earn points — redeemable for gift cards, vacation packages and more — for using your debit card.
How to join: You can open a bank account online with your Social Security number, valid ID, current address and something to fund the account.
Why: Fee-free checking, competitive savings rates and a 12-month CD rate of 1.05% APY put AloStar Bank of Commerce in the top 10. Its online checking account nets customers 0.40% APY for balances of at least $500.
Review: AloStar is accessible by toll-free phone number and email. AloStar’s personal checking account provides a free first order of checks, free online account access and online and mobile banking, and a free debit card. Customers can also opt to use online bill pay for $5 per month.
How to join: You can apply online with your Social Security number, a photo ID, and an external checking or savings account to fund your new account.
Why: A 1.00% APY for a savings account with no fees and no minimums required makes iGObanking.com appealing. The 12-month CD rate isn’t as high as the others on this list, however.
Review: The online bank offers a range of products, including savings and checking accounts, CDs, and money market accounts. Access your savings account anytime, anywhere — and find an ATM, check your account balance and history, and transfer funds — through mobile banking.
How to join: The easy process requires your Social Security number, ID, home address, and bank account and routing number to fund the account.
Why: Incredible Bank’s savings rate of 1.11% APY and 13-month CD rate of 1.00% APY make it a top 10 finalist. It offers CDs for nine, 13 and 19 months, which require a $1,000 minimum deposit.
Review: Incredible Bank offers free online and mobile banking, but requires a $2,500 minimum deposit to open a savings account. You can deposit funds via a mobile app, direct deposit, bank-to-bank transfer, wire transfer or check. Incredible Bank offers many products, including a money market account with 0.95% APY and a checking account with 0.59% APY.
How to join: You can apply with your Social Security number, date of birth, address, email address, phone number and ID.
Why: Bank of Internet’s no-fee checking and 24/7 automated phone support make it a solid choice for banking online.
Review: The savings account at Bank of Internet USA has a 0.61% APY — among the lowest for the finalists in this category of the study but higher than what many traditional banks offer. Its CashBack checking account offers perks including the ability to earn up to 1.00% APY if certain conditions are met. Customers get 24/7 phone support, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, a free mobile app, remote check deposit, cash-back purchase rewards and more.
How to join: Open an account on the bank’s website with your Social Security number, ID and valid U.S. address.
Review: The annual interest you’d earn on a $5,000 savings account balance would be $47.73. The 12-month CD rate of 1.15% APY is appealing, but it requires a minimum of $2,500 to open. Discover offers access to more than 60,000 free ATMs.
How to join: Apply online with your address, phone, email and Social Security number. Send a check or transfer funds electronically from an existing bank account to open an account.
Why: Synchrony Bank offers some of the highest rates among the best online banks.
Review: The Synchrony Bank savings account’s 1.05% APY and 12-month CD’s 1.25% APY are appealing, but the CD requires a $2,000 balance. Plus, Synchrony Bank doesn’t offer a checking account or a mobile app. However, the savings account comes with a free ATM card, remote check deposit and 24/7 automated phone support.
How to join: Open an account online with your date of birth, Social Security number, address, ID, and bank account and routing numbers to transfer funds electronically to your new account.
Why: Barclays Bank Delaware offers a 1.00% APY on savings accounts and no required minimum amount to open plus no monthly fees. Savings customers get access to online saving tools, 24/7 online access to funds, online transfers to and from other banks, and direct deposit.
Review: Barclays Bank Delaware makes transferring funds easy and offers a competitive savings rate, convenient features, and a high rate of 1.20% APY on a 12-month CD. That CD’s interest will compound daily, and there are no monthly fees or required minimum amount to open.
How to join: Apply online with your Social Security number, date of birth, and external bank name, and routing and account numbers.
Why: A CIT Bank savings account nets 1.05% APY, and a 12-month CD earns 1.22% APY. A minimum deposit of $100 is required to open a savings account.
Review: You’ll need $100 to open a savings account at CIT Bank, but you won’t pay maintenance fees. Customers have access to free, online banking. Interest compounds daily to maximize earning potential. A deposit of $1,000 is required to open a CD, but there are no maintenance fees, and interest compounds daily. In addition to FDIC insurance, CIT Bank offers transaction and activity monitoring, layered security, and firewalls to help block unauthorized individuals or networks from accessing your information.
How to join: You must be 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Apply online with your U.S. address, Social Security number, ID and a check or bank account number to electronically transfer money into your new account.
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 Oct. 11 and Oct. 26, 2016. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2017 survey are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.