Simple Bank Checking Account Review

These days, most banks offer ways to manage your accounts online — so you might think all online checking accounts are the same. An account at Simple, however, is an alternative to traditional checking accounts that could make a good choice for anyone seeking a convenient, free banking solution, with tools and resources to help you effortlessly manage your money.

Simple is different because it’s not a traditional bank — even so, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 through Simple’s partner institution, the Bancorp Bank. This doesn’t mean you miss out on the features that are offered by a traditional bank; holding a checking account with Simple is just like having an account at any other financial institution, but with a few extra perks.

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How Does Simple’s Checking Account Work?

Simple is perfect for people who conduct the majority of their financial transactions on their smartphone or mobile device. There’s a web application, but you’ll get more use downloading the Simple mobile app, for which you’ll need an Apple or Android device.

The functionality and tools offered by Simple take the hassle out of budgeting and managing your cash flow. After opening an account, there’s the option of setting up various categories into which you can deposit your money. For example, you can make a deposit and earmark money for miscellaneous spending or essential bills. You can also create savings goals, such as a vacation, new house, etc. Each day, Simple sets money aside for these goals, allowing you to save gradually. This tool can also ensure you don’t overspend in certain areas each month.

The Safe-to-Spend feature offered by Simple is another invaluable tool to ensure you always have enough cash to pay bills. Rather than looking at your bank account and seeing only your current balance, this tool lets you know exactly how much you can spend, taking into account upcoming bills and pending transactions.

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Simple Checking Review: Account Features

Simple checking includes a variety of additional features.

1. Track your transaction history

If you’re trying to get a clear picture of how much you’ve spent in different categories, Simple provides an easy, smart way to track your transaction history. Using the app’s tools, you can quickly search and calculate the amount spent on groceries, gas, shopping, dining out and so forth over a specific time period. It’s a simple way to know where your money goes — and whether you need to reduce spending in certain areas.

2. Mobile check deposit

You don’t have to drive to a bank, wait in line and deposit checks with a teller. Using Simple’s mobile app, take a photo of the front and back of a check, enter the amount of the check, and then deposit the funds.

3. ATM locator

Although Simple doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, accessing your cash has never been easier. When you sign up for an account, you’ll receive a Visa debit card, with which you can withdraw cash and make debit card purchases. You’ll also have access to 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the United States.

4. Quickly send money

If you need to mail a check to anyone, such as your mortgage company, your landlord or a service provider, simply log into your mobile app or web application, and type the person’s name, address and the amount of the check. Simple issues a check in two to five days and mails it for you. This is a free service, and if you pay the same company each month, you can set up recurring monthly payments. You can also electronically transfer money from your Simple checking account to another account or person.

5. Minimum fees

Unlike some checking accounts that nickel-and-dime customers, the Simple checking account has minimum balance requirements, overdraft fees or monthly maintenance fees.

To get started, visit Simple’s website and submit your email address — you’ll be contacted by a representative to start the process. To open an account, you must be at least 18 years old and a permanent U.S. resident with a Social Security number. Have your driver’s license and Social Security card on hand when opening your account.

Photo credit: John Meyer

About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a personal finance expert who enjoys articles on budgeting, saving money and credit cards. She holds a B.A in English from Old Dominion University and currently lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.