FNBO Direct Review: Online Bank With High Yields and Low Fees

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick 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
    3.0
  • Customer Service
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • High checking and savings APYs
  • Free bill pay and money transfer services
  • No-fee accounts
  • 24/7 customer service 

Cons

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

About FBNO Direct

FNBO Direct is an online-only bank division of First National Bank of Omaha. For those comfortable with an online banking experience, FNBO Direct offers lower fees and higher rates than its brick-and-mortar parent company. As a digital 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 GOBankingRates has named it one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2022.

Checking Account

FNBO Direct’s Online Checking account provides what most customers want: high yields and low fees. This account offers a high APY of 0.15% and has no monthly service fees, which makes it one of the best online checking accounts. The minimum opening deposit is $1. 

The Online Checking account is full of complimentary perks for customers, including free BillPay, free account alerts, a free Visa debit card, free Popmoney person-to-person payments and free fraud monitoring. Customers also don’t have to pay for incoming wires or stop payments — and they get access to more than 2 million ATM locations worldwide without having to pay FNBO Direct any fees to use them (though the terminal companies might charge).

You won’t be able to use paper checks with this checking account. Instead, it comes with a mobile app and digital payment capability. 

Savings Account

The FNBO Direct Online Savings account has a high APY and no fees. This 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. The APY is 0.35%. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Savings account customers get the same access to more than 2 million fee-free ATMs worldwide as checking account customers, and they also can make person-to-person payments with Popmoney.

FNBO Direct Online Savings does come with some restrictions though. You can’t transfer or withdraw more than $100,000 from your account in any one transaction or any one business day or more than $500,000 in any month. You also can’t deposit more than $250,000 in any one transaction or any one business day. Finally, the maximum account size is $1 million. 

How FBNO Direct Earned Its Scores

Fees

One of the advantages of online-only banks is that they don’t have much overhead, so they can offer perks such as no-fee checking and savings accounts. FNBO Direct doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees on its accounts — though it does have fees for certain transaction types, such as overdrafts.

APYs

FNBO Direct offers very high interest rates compared with most banks, including an APY of 0.15% for its checking account and 0.35% for its savings account.

Breadth of Products

If you are looking for a myriad of product choices, you’ll have to look elsewhere. FNBO Direct offers only two types of bank accounts, and there are no loans, investment, insurance or other products. It does offer a credit card, however.

Customer Service

FNBO Direct customer service reps are available around the clock by phone (877-370-3707). Customers also can contact the bank by email and postal mail. 

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 vs. Competitors

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

Bank Best For
FNBO Bank Checking account APY
Ally Bank More product options, including CDs
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 gives it a big edge over FNBO Direct, which does not offer CDs. FNBO Direct pays a 0.15% APY on its checking account, regardless of the balance. Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account offers an APY of 0.10% for average daily balances of $15,000 or less. To get the highest rate of 0.25%, you need to have at least $15,000 in the account. 

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 0.15% 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 8 p.m., seven days a week — they aren’t 24/7 like FNBO Direct. 

Final Take

FNBO Direct’s product lineup isn’t as deep as those of other banks, but it does offer very attractive checking and savings account options. If you’re comfortable doing your banking on your computer or in the palm of your hand, FNBO Direct can give you a better return on your money than most other banks.

FNBO Direct FAQ

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about FNBO Direct.
  • 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.
  • What is the difference between FNBO and FNBO Direct?
    • FNBO Direct is the online division of the First National Bank of Omaha or FNBO.
  • 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. CT 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.

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Apr. 26, 2022.

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.

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