5 Best Online Banks You Should Check Out Today

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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As banks and credit unions introduce new technology to help you manage your money, fewer people are interested in walking into a branch. In fact, nearly 70 percent of millennials use mobile banking, according to a study by the Federal Reserve.

Compared to traditional banks, the best online banks usually offer better annual percentage yields (APYs) or interest rates on account balances as well as lower fees. If you’re looking for the best online bank account for you, consider our top five favorites.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank makes the list of best online banks because of its low fees, high APYs, and available customer service.

Interest: Ally’s savings account has a flat 1.05% APY for all balances.

However, the amount you earn on your checking account balance depends on how much you have deposited. Balances of up to $14,999.99 will get a 0.10% APY, and balances of $15,000 or more will get a 0.60% APY.

Fees: Ally Bank’s checking and savings accounts are largely fee-free.

You won’t pay a monthly fee or fees on Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers to other banks. Ally also doesn’t charge for standard check orders or cashier’s checks.

Ally will even reimburse you up to $10 a month for ATM fees from ATMs outside the Allpoint network.

If you opt for Ally’s overdraft transfer service, which pulls money from a savings account if you overdraw, there’s no overdraft fee. Otherwise, you’ll pay $25 per overdrawn transaction, with a maximum of one fee per day.

Transfers: If you’re not sure you want to give up your traditional bank entirely, Ally allows you to make ACH transfers to and from other banks for free. ACH transfers typically take three business days, but some are eligible for a one-day transfer.

Although you won’t pay a fee for incoming wire transfers, it will cost you $20 to send a domestic wire transfer (international wire transfers aren’t available).

Deposits: You can deposit checks via Ally’s mobile app only. The bank doesn’t allow cash deposits, but you can set up direct deposit for your paychecks.

Customer service: Ally’s customer service team is available 24/7, and you can even speak with a representative via live chat.

Multiple savings accounts: If you’d like to have a separate savings account for each of your money goals, Ally allows you to create as many as you want.

Aspiration Summit

The Aspiration Summit checking account has some perks that are hard to beat, making it one of the best online banking options out there.

Interest: What makes the Aspiration Summit checking account stand out is its APY, which is high for this type of account. You’ll earn a 0.25% APY on balances up to $2,499.99 and a 1.00% APY on balances of $2,500 or more.

Fees: For basic usage, you’ll likely avoid fees altogether. Aspiration charges no monthly fee, and the bank will reimburse you for any ATM fees you incur. That means you can use any ATM worldwide fee-free.

Aspiration does charge fees for other services, though. For example, wire transfers, money orders, and overdrafts over $5 all incur fees. You also will be charged a $5 daily overdraft fee for every day your account is overdrawn.

There is, however, a five-day grace period, which means you have five days to get your account in the positive again before the daily overdraft fee starts.

Make sure to review Aspiration’s fee schedule before applying for a checking account.

Transfers: Aspiration allows you to do ACH transfers, which usually clear within two business days.

Deposits: You can deposit cash or checks to your Summit account at specific ATMs in the NYCE ATM network. You also can deposit checks via Aspiration’s mobile app and set up direct deposit.

Customer service: If you have general questions, you can peruse Aspiration’s support page to find answers. If you’re still stuck, you can reach the customer service team via live chat, email, or phone or by submitting a request.

Bank5 Connect

If you’re looking to keep your checking and savings accounts with one bank, Bank5 Connect may be your best online banking option.

Interest: Bank5 Connect offers high interest rates on its checking and savings accounts. You’ll get a 0.76% APY with the checking account and a 0.90% APY with the savings account.

The minimum balance of $100 per account isn’t hard to meet, either.

Fees: For basic services, you don’t need to worry about fees. Bank5 Connect doesn’t charge a monthly fee or fees for cashier’s checks, incoming wire transfers, or overdraft transfers from savings. Also, its $15 overdraft fee is well below the average of $30.

Transfers: Bank5 Connect allows you to transfer money to and from other banks via ACH transfers. Transfers typically take three business days.

Deposits: To add money to your Bank5 Connect account, you can deposit checks via your mobile app, send checks to deposit via snail mail, or use direct deposit.

Customer service: If you need help with your account or have a general question, you can reach Bank5 Connect by phone or live chat or by submitting a request via a contact form.

Capital One 360

Formerly ING Direct, Capital One 360 offers an impressive array of features, easily making it one of the best online banks.

Interest: This is one area where Capital One 360 lags behind some of the others. Unless you deposit a boatload of money, you won’t get much from the checking account.

  • 0.20% APY on balances up to $49,999.99
  • 0.75% APY on balances from $50,000 to $99,999.99
  • 0.90% APY on balances of $100,000 or more

The bank’s savings account APY is more impressive at 0.75%, and there is no minimum balance required.

Fees: Like most of the other best online banks, Capital One 360 doesn’t charge fees for most everyday uses. There’s no monthly fee or ATM fee for withdrawals from ATMs in the Allpoint network.

You will, however, pay a whopping $20 for a cashier’s check and $5 for checks after your first order, among other fees.

Transfers: Capital One 360 allows you to transfer to and from other banks for free. Transfers usually take two business days. The bank doesn’t charge a fee for incoming wire transfers, but outgoing domestic wire transfers cost $30. You can’t send international wire transfers.

Deposits: Capital One offers more options for deposits than any other online bank listed here. Of course, you can deposit checks via your mobile app. Plus, if you live near a Capital One 360 Cafe or bank branch, you can deposit checks or cash via a teller. You also can set up direct deposit.

Customer service: Capital One 360 offers support by phone and through live chat.

Multiple accounts: Like Ally Bank, Capital One 360 believes in using multiple savings accounts to work toward different savings goals. You can have up to 25 savings, money market, and business savings accounts with the bank at a time. You also can have up to three checking accounts.

Referral program: If you like what you see, Capital One 360 rewards you for sharing it with your friends. You’ll earn $20 per referral when someone opens a checking or savings account as a new customer. You can receive up to $1,000 total.

Overdraft protection: If you want to avoid getting charged a fee every time you overdraw your account, you can opt for an overdraft line of credit. That way, you’ll be charged interest on the overdrawn amount until you bring the balance above zero again.

In most cases, you’re paying pennies. And if you replenish your account the day it’s overdrawn, you won’t pay any interest at all.

If you don’t want this option, you can have Capital One 360 automatically transfer money from a savings account to cover an overdraft.

Discover

Discover offers great products across the board, so it’s no wonder it offers some of the best online bank accounts.

Interest: Discover’s savings account offers a 1.10% APY, with no minimum balance required. Discover’s checking account doesn’t offer any interest earnings, but it does offer rewards. More on that below.

Fees: There is no monthly fee for the checking account. The bank also has more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs in its network. You won’t pay anything for standard check orders, either.

Discover’s overdraft fee is $30, but the bank limits the fee to once per day.

Transfers: You can move money to and from your Discover account via ACH transfers. Transfers usually take four business days.

You can receive incoming wire transfers to your Discover account for free, but there’s a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers.

Deposits: You can deposit checks into your checking or savings account via the Discover mobile app. You also can add money to your account via direct deposit.

Customer service: Discover is well-known for its outstanding customer service. For example, J.D. Power has ranked the bank highest in customer satisfaction with credit card companies three years in a row. You can reach Discover by phone or live chat or through a secure message.

Rewards: Checking account rewards are hard to find, but Discover is impressive in this regard. You’ll earn 10 cents for every qualifying transaction you make – up to 100 transactions per month. Eligible transactions include debit card purchases, online bill pay, and cleared checks.

If you max out the rewards cap every month, you can earn $120 a year in rewards.

Which of the best online banks should you choose?

The best online bank account for you will depend on a few things.

For starters, ask yourself what you plan to do with the account. For example, if you travel a lot, the fact that Aspiration Summit offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements is appealing.

Next, consider how much money you plan to keep in the account. If it’s not much, the APY may not matter as much as other features. If you plan to use one of these online banks for your main checking and savings accounts, though, you may want to go with one that offers higher checking and savings APYs.

Compare each of these accounts with other checking and savings accounts to make sure you’re getting the best features for your needs. Getting the right one the first time can save you time and money later.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance:
    Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.979% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.

All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of November 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.29%. Variable interest rates range from 2.79%-8.39% (2.79%-8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.

2.47% – 6.99%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.46% – 6.97%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.57% – 8.44%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

3.02% – 6.44%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.50% – 7.24%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.79% – 8.39%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Citizens

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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