FNBO Direct Review: High-Yields and No-Fee Accounts

4.8
Our Take: For those comfortable with a completely online banking experience, FNBO Direct provides the holy trilogy of banking: low fees, low minimums and high yields.
  • Fees
    5.0
  • APYs
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    4.0
  • Account Minimums
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • High checking and savings annual percentage yields
  • Free bill pay and money transfer services
  • No-fee accounts
  • No-minimum accounts

Cons

  • High overdraft fee
  • Limited product line
  • No branch network

About FBNO Direct

FNBO Direct is the online version of First National Bank of Omaha. For those comfortable with an online experience, FNBO Direct offers lower fees and higher rates than its brick-and-mortar parent company. As an online bank, FNBO Direct doesn’t have the vast array of product options that many traditional banks do, but it does offer the types of accounts most popular with general customers. This is one of the reasons why GOBankingRates has named it one of the Best Online Banks as well as one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021.

FBNO Direct Products

Although it doesn’t offer a comprehensive lineup of accounts, FNBO Direct does provide the types of accounts that most customers seek, particularly in an online bank. Here’s a look at the bank’s current product lineup.

Sponsors of
Product Key Details
Checking Free ATMs and bill pay
Savings Free ATMs, $1 minimum opening deposit
CDs Automatically renew, terms up to 60 months
529 Plans Multiple investment options; $0 minimum to invest

FNBO Direct Checking Accounts

FNBO Direct’s Online Checking account provides what most customers want: high yields and low fees. This account offers a high APY of 0.25% and is fee-free, which makes it one of the best online checking accounts, as it stands out from many competitors who offer either a high yield or a free account, but rarely both.

Features

  • Free online banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free account alerts
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Free Popmoney person-to-person payments
  • Free fraud monitoring
  • Free incoming wires
  • Free stop payments
  • 55,000 free ATMs via the Allpoint network

Pros

  • No account fees
  • High APY of 0.25%, particularly for a free account
  • Vast network of free global ATMs
  • $1 minimum deposit to open

Cons

  • No paper check capability
  • Overdraft fee of $33

This checking account also comes with a mobile app and digital payment capability. Although FNBO Direct does not assess fees on third-party ATMs, terminal operators might.

Sponsors of

FNBO Direct Savings Accounts

The FNBO Direct Online Savings account has a high APY and no fees. The savings account has the same digital payment and mobile capabilities as the bank’s checking account, and there’s only a $1 minimum to open. These are some of the reasons why GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Single/daily transaction limits of $100,000 for transfers/withdrawals and $250,000 for deposits
  • Monthly transfer/withdrawal limit of $500,000
  • Maximum account size $1,000,000
  • Person-to-person payments with Popmoney
  • 55,000 free ATMs via the Allpoint network

Pros

  • High APY of 0.40%
  • No fees
  • $1 to open
  • No FNBO Direct-initiated ATM fees (might be third-party fees)

Cons

  • First deposit subject to a 10-day hold

FNBO Direct CD Accounts

FNBO Direct offers eight CD maturities, with terms ranging from six months to five years.

Features

  • Low $500 minimum
  • $1,000,000 maximum

Pros

  • Automatic renewals at maturity
  • Free withdrawals for 10 calendar days after maturity

Cons

  • Only a single type of CD
  • Rates for shortest-term CDs not very high

FNBO Direct Banking Experience

FNBO Direct is a good option if you’re looking for a bank with no standard fees and an adequate array of products, but you’ll have to be comfortable with the online banking experience. Although FNBO Direct is a subsidiary of brick-and-mortar bank First National Bank of Omaha, there is no crossover in terms of accounts and services.

Sponsors of

Physical Branch Locations

As an online-only bank, FNBO Direct has no physical locations.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Once you’ve established your account, you can bank with FNBO Direct either from your desktop or via the bank’s mobile app. The FNBO Direct app has full functionality, meaning you can use it to manage your entire account. Features available on the app include bill pay, funds transfer and mobile check deposit. You can also use the app to locate nearby ATMs or contact the bank via a phone call. The app uses industry-standard mobile security, including firewalls, customer authentication techniques and data encryption to keep client information secure.

Users aren’t as enamored with the bank’s mobile apps as their functionality might suggest, however. Android users on Google Play rate the app 3.3 stars, while iOS users on the App Store give the app just 2.8 stars.

How To Open an Account

You can open an account online with FNBO Direct in about 15 minutes. You’ll need the following information to get started:

  • Social Security or tax ID number
  • Driver’s license or state ID issued by the department of motor vehicles
  • Employment information
  • Information about existing loans or mortgages for identity verification
  • Current bank account and routing numbers for funding purposes
Sponsors of

You must be a U.S. resident at least 18 years of age to open an account with FNBO Direct.

Customer Service

You can contact FNBO Direct by phone, email, fax and direct mail. The customer service number is 877-370-3707, and that number is available 24/7. FNBO Direct also offers assistance to hearing-impaired customers via its TDD number at 402-602-8264, 24/7.

Key Information

Customer Service: 877-370-3707; TDD number is 402-602-8264

Routing Number: 104000016

Promotions: See Newest FNBO Direct Promos and Bonuses

FNBO Direct Fees

Although FNBO Direct doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees on its checking and savings accounts, it does have fees for certain transaction types. Most notably, its overdraft fees are relatively high. Here’s a look at the most notable FNBO Direct fees:

Transaction Type Fee
Overdraft item fee (maximum four per day) $33
Return item (maximum four per day) $33
Domestic wire transfer (outgoing) $15
Next-day transfer fee (per withdrawal) $10
Popmoney standard transfer fee $0
Popmoney next-day delivery fee $10
Check issuance fee (per item) $5

Note that FNBO Direct provides one free overdraft or return item every 12 months. Also, FNBO Direct does not permit outgoing international wire transfers.

Sponsors of

As these fees are service-oriented or transactional in nature, they cannot be waived. However, they are easily avoidable if you just want to open and maintain an account, as there are no monthly service fees just for having an account.

For many customers, that’s a big part of the upside of FNBO Direct. As an online entity, FNBO Direct is able to offer lower fees and higher yields to its customers. If those reasons sound appealing, you may want to look into open an account with FNBO Direct, a member of GOBankingRates’ best banks list.

FNBO Direct vs. Competitors

FNBO Direct isn’t the only online banking option. Competitors like Ally Bank and Capital One 360 offer slightly different features and benefits.

Bank Best For
FNBO Bank Checking account yield
Ally Bank More CD options, slightly higher savings yield
Capital One 360 Branch access

FNBO Direct vs. Ally Bank

Ally Bank offers three types of CDs — High Yield, Raise Your Rate and No Penalty — which give account holders more variety than FNBO Direct’s single fixed-term CDs. Plus, Ally’s online savings account offers a slightly higher 0.50% APY versus FNBO Direct’s 0.40% APY.

Sponsors of

FNBO Direct pays a higher 0.25% APY on its checking account than the 0.10% APY paid by Ally Bank for the first $15,000 deposited.

FNBO Direct vs. Capital One 360

Capital One 360 may be a better option for customers who want the benefits of online banking but also the flexibility of being able to visit a physical branch office, which FNBO doesn’t offer.

FNBO Direct pays a higher 0.25% APY on its checking account than the 0.10% APY available at Capital One 360. Although Capital One 360’s customer service hours are extensive — 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days per week — they aren’t 24/7 like FNBO Direct.

Final Take

Although the online product line isn’t as deep as with other multinational banks, most online customers only need or want the basics: checking, savings and CD accounts wrapped up in a low-cost package. If you’re comfortable with doing your banking on your computer or in the palm of your hand, you’ll likely find that FNBO Direct provides all of the basic features.

Editor’s Favorite

The online checking account pays a high yield for a no-fee account, which is not a common offering among banks.

FNBO Direct FAQ

Here are answers to some of FNBO Direct's more commonly asked questions.
  • What is the difference between FNBO and FNBO Direct?
    • FNBO Direct is the online division of the First National Bank of Omaha or FNBO.
  • Is FNBO direct FDIC-insured?
    • Deposits at FNBO Direct are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to the maximum allowed by law, which is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank.
  • Are there any fees for mobile deposit?
    • There are no fees associated with any mobile transactions at FNBO Direct.
  • What are the requirements for a mobile deposit? 
    • You must have an eligible checking account to make a mobile deposit with FNBO Direct, and you must endorse your check. Deposits are limited to $3,000 or five items per day. To ensure processing, unfold and flatten your check in a well-lit area with a solid background. Be sure to include all corners of the check, and try to avoid shadows.
  • What are the cutoff times for mobile deposit, and when will my deposit be available?
    • Deposits made by 8 p.m. CST / 7 p.m. MST, Monday-Friday, are generally available within two business days. On weekends or holidays, the following business day will be considered the day of your deposit.
  • Does FNBO Direct offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • FNBO Direct doesn't currently offer any new account signup bonuses. However, the bank has occasionally offered promotions in the past, such as a $200 bonus to refinance a student loan.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 16, 2020.

This content is not provided by FNBO Direct. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FNBO Direct.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

FNBO Direct Review: High-Yields and No-Fee Accounts
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